Quick Slants: The Tebow Effect
Breaking down college football's most overhyped people, teams and notions
Prime examples include Tim Tebow, Charlie Weis, Joe Paterno and the SEC
Blame Penn State's first loss on the end of ABC's "Find Paul Maguire" game
Yesterday morning, while driving into work, I was alarmed to discover all four of my XM Radio presets simultaneously playing Rihanna songs. Imagine that. All four at once. Rehab, Take A Bow, Shut Up and Drive and Don't Stop the Music. Was it Rihanna Day or did they just turn over the airwaves to a crazy chick and her iPod? I couldn't escape. It was my own personal Disturbia.
But it got me thinking: How many times have we seen a similar situation in college football? You know, how often has something been so force-fed to us that we've started accepting it as fact?
Tim Tebow is, of course, the most notable example. Highly regarded as a top recruit, Tebow burst onto the scene during his freshman year as a virtual battering ram for the national champion Gators. A year later, he became the youngest player to ever win the Heisman Trophy. This year, he was unanimously anointed college football's messiah before we ever had the chance to blink. So, after much media saturation, we've just conceded Tebow's more indestructible than Chuck Norris in a suit of armor. And really, Tebow could've gone 0-12 this season and that opinion wouldn't have swayed.
This goes on all the time in college football, and not just in Gainesville. There are plenty of other teams, people and notions that have been so overplayed, we've stopped arguing and started believing...
"Playoffs in college football are not logistically possible"
Nothing's been better than watching college football talk in circles about playoffs in its FBS division. The sport has long argued "the regular season is a virtual playoff." When people shot holes in that, however, "our student athletes would miss too much class," became the battle cry. And when that got old, the NCAA just started saying it wasn't logistically possible because ... uh ... because it said so. That's right, just talk to the hand, because the stubborn, greedy fools running the BCS don't wanna hear it. And neither do I. If the NCAA can hold a playoff for every other football division and conduct a 65-team basketball tournament in March, why can't it organize a true, end-of-the-year playoff system for FBS?
"Charlie Weis is a genius"
Witnessing the Charlie Weis era has been a lot like dating a pathological liar. Don't get me wrong, I've always liked Weis. But there seems to be a major disconnect between his rhetoric off the field and the product he puts on it. Yet, many people maintain an aura of confidence about Weis' ability to right the ship and return Notre Dame to glory. However, this notion is taking on more water than the Lusitania. Especially when you consider his contract.
"Joe Paterno is as active as ever!"
Let's send this one out to Todd in Gordon, Pa., who e-mails every week to say what a horrible person I am for disrespecting Joe Paterno. But this just in, Todd: While the man is certainly a legend and role model, he's been "coaching" from the booth for most of the season and attempting the "work from home" trick whenever he can during the week. Wake up and smell the roses. This man will soon be 82-years old. Find me a guy his age who is still as active as he was at 41 and we'll parade him in front of the New England Journal of Medicine.
"Clemson is terrible"
Wait, Clemson is terrible. My bad.
"The SEC is better than your conference."
While there's no question the SEC is usually one of the better leagues in college football, there's no Indian caste system stating the conference is the best every season. Sometimes, it's not. You know, like, this year. Believe me, we all know this brand of football is physical and produces more NFL talent than any other. But it's about time somebody mentioned that, besides Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, the SEC isn't nearly as deep in 2008 as its been in previous years.
"Wearing alternate jerseys will give us a psychological edge"
I distinctly remember an e-mail from a Georgia fan which explained the Bulldogs would surely beat Alabama because they were slated to wear their black jerseys for only the third time ever. Nice logic there. Did you know Flava Flav is a Viking because his hat has horns? Obviously, Georgia never got that victory, and it doesn't feel like these alternate unis ever work for any team. Just ask Notre Dame about its green shirts. I'd love to see statistical data on the winning percentages of teams wearing the vaunted third jersey. With the exception of Oregon, which plays in different unis each week, teams can't be winning more than, what, 30 percent of their games when dressed in special attire?
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