VETTEL: So much for the greatest game ever

The out-of-control hype leading up to Tuesday's Orange Bowl game was so far over the top that it was reminiscent of the Super Bowl. And, true to Super Bowls, particularly in the 90's, the game was a colossal disappointment. Oklahoma's disastrous performance with the National Championship on the line was eerily similar to the Gators Fiesta Bowl debacle a few years back.

Like the Gators nine years ago, (yes, it's been that long) the Sooners started out well, scoring a touchdown on their very first possession. [Does anybody remember that Florida actually led Nebraska 10-6 after the first quarter?] After that it was a four turnovers, five Southern Cal touchdowns and an early night's sleep for those of us expecting to go to bed around 1:00.

If someone ever writes a book about the dumbest plays in the history of college football, Oklahoma wide receiver Mark Bradley definitely stars in the opening chapter. It reminded me of that Leon Lett (Dallas Cowboys) play in the snow against the Dolphins when the big dummy decided to field a blocked punt, handing Miami a win. In this case, Bradley inexplicably decided to shove an S-C cover man out of the way to field a rolling punt on his own three-yard line! Looked like a scene out of "Jackass, the Sports Movie" didn't it?

And how pathetic was it for Jason White to be throwing a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Give it up dude, it was 55-12!

Leinart Gets The Pinocchio Award

The intentions were probably good but I'm surprised Matt Leinart's nose didn't grow when he stated after the game he was leaning towards returning to school next year. NO WAY ON EARTH!!!!

Let's see: Heisman Trophy, consecutive National Titles, 332 passing yards and five touchdowns in his biggest game and likely top five pick if not the Number One guy overall. I'll shave Mike Bianchi's head if Leinart doesn't turn pro. The lure of being the first quarterback to ever win three straight A.P. national titles might be enticing, but there's no way on earth it happens. Let someone else try and make history for the Men of Troy.

Auburn Second-Biggest Loser On The Night

The only people feeling worse than the Sooners at halftime had to be those who support the Auburn Tigers' claim to a share of the title. Two things had to happen in the last two games of the season for Auburn to have a chance to win the A.P. vote and neither occurred. First, Auburn needed to rout Virginia Tech, something USC did not do. Auburn's failure to score a touchdown in their first four trips inside the ten-yard line eliminated the chance of a blowout. Virginia Tech's two late touchdowns eliminated an impressive final score. Second, Auburn needed a poorly played title game, ideally one that was decided by a bad call. While Oklahoma did its best, Southern Cal simply refused to cooperate. As much respect I have for the SEC, there's no way I would vote Auburn number one.

Still, while the system generated a consensus national champ, the system still stinks. College football will always have credibility problems as long as it continues the only system known to competitive athletics where a team can win every one of its competitions and still not earn a championship. Why the hypocrites who run college football continue to do this is one of the great mysteries of life/sports. I have railed and railed at the absence of a playoff and will do as for as long as I can. No, it hasn't had any impact, but I won't stop. What's that they say is the definition of insanity? … " doing the same thing over and over and expecting the result to change".

So I'm nuts! Not exactly a news bulletin.

Crowder Decision Debatable

Channing Crowder is leaving Florida for the NFL and while I support his right to make such a decision, I do not agree that it is in his best interests. Crowder has two years of eligibility remaining and much to gain in draft positioning with a strong third season of college football. While I suspect he will be chosen in roughly the same range as teammate Ciatrick Fason, I believe Channing has the potential of a top 15 pick. Still, you gotta respect a kid who feels he owes it to momma to begin making her life easier…. Even though she would prefer he stay in school.

For all his physical gifts, Crowder spent two years of college football doing too much freelancing. He played middle linebacker while I believe his future is on the weak side where his running ability can be better put to use. A year alongside Brandon Siler and a year of learning, maturing and playing with more discipline could have done wonders for him. That said, Channing Crowder would have turned pro after the Outback Bowl had he the opportunity to do so. College football was a means to an ends and he has chosen to use it as such. He's a bit risky on draft day, but he will be picked way lower than his physical talents would normally justify. That means if Channing Crowder is around after say pick 40, someone is either going to get something special… or one helluva headache.

I would bet on Crowder being THE steal in the draft of 2005. He's one guy who really is going to get better and better.

Keep those emails coming!

Don't forget to email me your questions and comments, but please do not include attachments! My email address is: vettel@gatorcountry.com .

I look forward to you joining me on the radio, Sunday nights from 6:00-to-8:00 on Gainesville's WSKY-FM 97.3 (877/975-9825 toll free)

Have a great week.


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