My ground breaking analysis? ~College football is all about the individual match-ups
It has always been amazing to me how much time is devoted to conference talk on this message board. Its as if somehow what conference your team play in gives you some magical power over other conferences or something. Its amazing! Thread after thread of confroentric diatribes about how my league is better than your league. What a bunch of crap. Will fans ever be able to stand on their own again?!?
To me, its a commentary on America...especially American sports. We have become so conditioned not to fail in this society, that when our team doesn't come out victorious, we are so quick to piggy-back the victories of others. The opposite happens as well. We are so quick to blame others when things don't turn out our way. What has happened to personal accountability? What happened to standing on our own and being strong? This happens in our work places, in government and painfully obvious to me...in the sports world. How many times have you heard the blame game at work? I know we hear it all the time in Washington. "Its the (insert Democrats or Republicans) fault we are in this mess. No one is willing to take the blame for anything, so in turn we love to blame others. And when others win, we are quick to jump in and share the spotlight even though we did nothing to help them achieve victory!
The worst example of all, in my biased opinion, is in the sports world. The most notorious poster on this board has made it an art form to resort to this behavior. Again, in my biased opinion, he is the classic case of this dilemma. He is so afraid to fail, that he has allowed himself to be a fan of an entire conference that has 12 teams! How sad. He'll never know failure. He'll never know or gain the knowledge that a child needs to become an adult. Failure makes you grow, but if you can't admit you failed you'll never grow. (Hmm, this explains a lot of his behavior now that I think about it...)
Anyway, so what does this have to do with my thread. Well, what do you think we have learned so far in this bowl season? I conclude that the only thing we've learned is that college football is a game of individual match-ups. Stat rankings? Forget it. Individual stats? No way. Conference records? Nope. Common opponents? Not likely. College football is about hat on hat, man vs man, individual effort. Sure, all of those other things help us attempt to predict what will happen, but are no way a true indicator. No one knows whats going to happen unless the two teams play the game.
94% of fans thought Texas Tech would beat Ole Miss. Were they far off to predict things that way? If we take the current way of thinking, then no. Texas Tech clearly had the better resume, more wins, better stats, etc. But if one would have studied enough tape, it would have been easy to see that the individual match-ups for that game certainly had swung in Ole Miss' favor. Even a higher percentage of fans knew Alabama was gonna crush Utah. We all know what happened, but its amazing how individual match-ups change a game. One players gets suspended, a teammate has to move to a new position, he gets hurt, a couple freshman have to step in and guess what...6, 7, 8 sacks later, the game is out of reach. One match-up in particular had such a huge affect on the game that no matter how good the resume, or what conference the team played in or what their ranking was...none of it mattered. It was the match-up and not the name of the conference that swung the balance of the game!
To my knowledge, a national ranking nor the name of a conference ever won a football game! I contest that we need to move away from the mindset that name of the conference or what number is in front of your name in the poll has nothing to do with how well you play that day. Its time for college football players, fan, coaches and Americans in general to get back to an era of personal accountability. Where we take a new look at personal effort and responsibility to ourselves and to each other. And so I don't appear hypocritical, that includes me. I guess the better thread to this title would be, "So, what have I learned so far?" I've learned that's its important to pay attention to the details. To avoid confrocentric ideologies by cheering for 12 teams at once, to not worry about rankings and to give my team the best I can give no matter what.
Here's to a year of newly found personal accountability!