Monday, December 7, 2009

2009 Big XII Championship: Nebraska-Texas Fallout

I have let the emotions wear down a bit so that this wouldn't be an angry passage of writing, but instead one of pride, which is a more evolved emotion. Believe me, I am still angry though. I feel there were injustices that didn't entirely lead to the game's outcome, but they were still present and they affected the game in Texas' favor. The worst part, is that I feel there are still more to come (cough cough heisman). The game was a heartbreaker of epic proportions. I'm a big Sports Guy reader from ESPN, and I'm not sure where this game ranks in his levels of losing, but I would put it pretty high up on my list. There were three HUGE letdowns just on the final drive with the kick out of bounds (eerily similar to a Chiefs playoff-squashing loss to the Raiders), the horse collar (called too much), and the clock running out (thanks technology!). And i didn't even include the actual field goal (or the Pass Interferences from earlier in the 2nd half). Ouch. However, I was incredibly proud of the performance that Nebraska put on the field. They may not have been victorious, but nobody can deny they are once again relevant on the national stage, which is underrated in terms of importance. I'll put it this way, I wore Nebraska gear all day Sunday and plan to continue for the rest of this week. I believe they were the tougher team on Saturday, especially in the 4th quarter, proved by Gomes just stealing the ball away from a Texas receiver that set up Nebraska's last field goal. And I believe Alabama to be tougher than us, not to mention a whole lot more talented. Good luck Texas!

Colt McCoy- His heisman campaign is a joke. It is based off preconceived notions that he hasn't done anything to lose the heisman (and i refuse to capitalize the word heisman). He had a bad start to the year, mediocre middle, good ending followed by falling flat on his face in the biggest game. Make no mistake, Texas won this game in spite of him, not because of him. Who do I blame for this? None other than Kirk Herbstreit. I don't want to see this guy leading heisman campaigns anymore. He announces the primetime game every week (usually the best and most important) and he gets on their rambling about how whoever the best team's quarterback leads his team and blah blah blah from the very first week of the season. He has too much power with being heard so much. The heisman trophy should be an award that is played out in front of you and then you select the winner at the end. It's like analysists these days aren't smart enough to form their own complete thoughts, so they need a preseason cookie-cutter like mold to sound educated, to the point where you just fill in the best team and that team's quarterback to the prewritten story of the season. This is more of a big picture hatred towards the entire sports media's NOW NOW NOW attitude, but they could still choose to bring their own opinions into play once in a while. And Kirk Herbstreit had the gall to say that McCoy was having his heisman moment in the 4th quarter of Saturday's game!!! Herbstreit lame, heisman lamer.

Ndamukong Suh- 12 tackles. 7 tackles for loss. 4 and 1/2 sacks. Wait, what's that? You were looking for a possible heisman candidate to step up in the biggest game of the year? If Suh does not get an invitation to the heisman Ceremony (he did), i personally refuse to ever watch or support it again (with the small exception of a Nebraska player going back, which I would have to watch then). People are calling Suh the best defensive lineman in the last 15 years, not in a sense for professional potential, but actual results on the field in college! Combine that with the fact that nobody stands out very highly this year in the crop of quarterbacks or running backs, and the best I am looking for is just an invitation?? Does anyone see anything wrong here? Wasn't this one of the most prestigious awards of all time, up there with the Stanley Cup for coolest trophy of all time?? Why is there nobody on TV screaming about this to help get this fixed? It's very fixable, once we get Herbstreit and fools off TV ramming their cream of the crop, pretty boy, elitist team quarterbacks down our throat! Sorry, it had to be said. The point being, if Suh doesn't show up on your ballot, you don't know football. Period. Exclamation point!

This may have gotten more angry than I had initially intended, but I hope that only drives home my point of how passionate I am about this. Too much conformity in thought is accepted in Sports Journalism and i want to be part of the revolution that stands up against it. Sports are a beautiful thing because of how anything can happen, which is because the variable of human performance is involved. This is why we watch. And yet, we have everybody putting out the exact same thoughts, predictions, and insights 24 hours a day on ESPN. I would like to see people representing all forms of thought- a variety of ages, races, and social classes- because craziness should be represented (hello Beano Cook!); it happens all the time in sports, things that NOBODY SAW COMING, and that's what makes them beautiful.

I got a little off track, so lets bring things back towards the game from Saturday. I believe Bo Pelini has taken enormous strides in his two years under the helm for Nebraska. They are sitting pretty under him, and I believe will win a National Championship at some point in his tenure at Nebraska. It's ridiculous to think that his defense has gone from finishing 117th overall (out of 119 teams) in 2007 to what could be the best defense in the country this year. Not Florida. Texas maybe. We'll see how Alabama fares against Texas' offense. And they all have way better offenses to help control games. Another big plus is that Nebraska might have found a way to kill the spread that was taking over the Big XII, dominating the Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas offenses, with only Kansas finding some success. Football was at its best before the spread, before having to score on every drive, and before defenses became inconsequential. Strategies go in waves like fads, with so many coaches out to create new ones and defeat the old ones at all times. I think we may see the spread die down a lot in the next few years, which is one of many reasons that I feel personally thankful for the 2009 Nebraska team- a defensive team living in a defenseless world.

Roll Tide,
His Dirkness


Dragon Ball Zeets said...

1) Stand out at your position above all else in college football.
2) Lead your team to feats they wouldn't stand a chance of doing without you.
3) Come up big in the biggest games of the year.

My main criteria for a Heisman. It's been a very underwhelming year for Heisman candidates in terms of those that were expected to be in the running have either gotten hurt or not done very well(Bradford, Tebow, McCoy, etc). Every Heisman front runner throughout the year has hiccuped at least once and almost all have in big games. All except Ndamukong Suh- the tenacious defensive lineman from Nebraska.

It could be more that it is Pelini, but in my mind Suh turned that defense around by disrupting almost every play, run or pass, throughout every game this year (except maybe powerhouse Kansas which is understandable). He also came up big in the biggest games (VaTech and Texas).

Obviously it's tough to give the Heisman to a defensive player for a number of reasons. The stats aren't kept nearly as well for them and they just don't have as many stats to look at. They don't have a chance to lead their team down the field for a game-winning drive. And even tougher for a lineman.

All that being said, it's time for the first defensive Heisman since Charles Woodson (only the 2nd ever), the first purely defensive player, and the first lineman to win it ever.

I'm with you Nic. Suh for Heisman.

Also on an off topic comment, I would go Bradford for MVP if that were an award. By not playing he's shown his team can not survive without him more than anyone else. I probably wouldn't actually, but it's a funny concept b/c it's kind of true.

Anonymous said...

At times, the Heisman goes to a player for a career. Eric Crouch is an example, after he had (or at least his team had) a poor performance in a big game, he still got it. Is this legit or bullshit for McCoy? Also, one of my new things is I would get rid of the horse collar tackle altogether. It doesn't hurt you. A face mask can break a person's neck and can be easily avoided. A horse collar is grabbing a piece of equipment that is in the place of where you should grab to make a tackle. And bottom line, it can't hurt you.

His Dirkness said...

Yea it was one T.O. injury that spurred on the whole horse collar stuff. It's too big a penalty for something that is too hard to avoid when your playing a game going that fast. Also its rarely called right, because your supposed to get your hand in the pads-not the jersey- and pull them all the way to the ground on their back. It's bullshit for McCoy because he hasnt had a good year, everything was based on how he was playing at the end of the season in the "biggest games." also crouch had a good game against colorado i think, it was the D that suffered. and crouch didn't deserve the heisman. he was the beginning of the end for it.