Cavalcade: No, Florida State Isn't No. 1

Cavalcade of Whimsy: Core values, Michigan promos, and why FSU isn't really on top

Cavalcade of Whimsy

September 30

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- 2013 Cavalcades 
- Aug 26 Josh Shaw, playoff talk, and there's a new network?  
- Sept 2 - College Football's big new problem  
- Sept 9 - The impossible: defending the Big Ten 
- Sept. 16 - More Big Ten issues, UCLA Jerry & More 
- Sept. 16 - Read it right in the ... 

Cavalcade of Whimsy
Part 2: Interesting sleeper playoff contenders

Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault … Brady Hoke still thinks it can win a championship. He really does – it just has to be written much better.

The latest promotion to get people to try coming to Michigan football games again … buy two Cokes, and Hoke will personally promise that one of the two teams will score a point when Penn State visits on October 11th. He’s not going to guarantee it’ll be Michigan scoring a football point, but you will see at least one being scored by one of the two teams. Fun for the entire family!

Anything to distract the program from dealing with the bigger overall problem … I’m almost never going to take the side of college football coaches on anything, but on this Brady Hoke-Shane Morris “controversy” – if there was a way to properly write air quotes around that, I would’ve – that’s all on the medical staff. Morris took a big shot, got up, waved off the coaches as if to say he was okay, and then wobbled and stumbled before being pull out on the next play. Hoke is a football coach, and that’s it. At this level, it’s the job of someone on the medical staff to immediately tell the football coach to take the player out, and it’s Hoke’s job to keep the player in as long as he’s not told anything different. The buck might stop with Hoke, but this one is about the athletic trainers that should’ve stepped in. Of course, had Michigan beaten Minnesota 49-3, the narrative would’ve been completely different.

”The Lord, the Lord Jehovah has given unto you these fifteen... Oy … Ten! Ten commandments for all to obey!” … Right after Charlie Strong delivered his five core value discussion to Roger Goodell – because the leader of one of the most iconic and beloved businesses on the planet needed to bone up on life lessons from a college football coach – I came in and delivered a second set, just to help the cause.

The 2014 Cavalcade of Whimsy Core Values
1. Pie.
2. Hot chicks are awesome.
3. Toilet seat. Up.
4. Real mayo, Diet Coke – the two balance each other out.
5. If you smelt it, yeah, you dealt it.

But it’s a whole bunch better when No. 5 suits up to play instead of just warm up … Florida State isn’t the No. 1 team in college football right now. There, I said it, and I’m okay with it. You’ll be okay if you’re able to finally admit it, too.

No more, “Florida State isn’t playing well, but …”

Or, “The Seminoles aren’t the same as last year, but …”

And enough of, “Florida State is finding a way,” and worst and dumbest of all, “Florida State is the champion until it gets knocked off.”

No, no, no, no, no. The rankings are supposed to be an indicator of how good the teams are right now, and no, Florida State isn’t playing like the No. 1 team in college football. Or two, or three, or top five. Its defense is squishy soft, the running game isn’t as effective, and when Jameis isn’t being Jameis, the team belongs in the land of the very good, not the elite.

College football isn’t boxing, or prefab wrestling, or a Mr. Tight Buns competition – you don’t get the championship title if you beat the team that last won it. Florida State is the 2013 college football national champion. That’s it. Wake Forest doesn’t get to hold up a trophy if it beats the Seminoles next week.

Florida State will be in the College Football Playoff no matter what if it goes 13-0, and it’ll be in if it goes 12-1 with an ACC championship. So go ahead you pollsters and start ranking with a brain – you can change your minds next week. Pretend you have an opinion, even if it doesn’t matter anymore because ...

“For what is a man, what has he got?/ If not himself, then he has naught/ To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels/ The record shows I took the blows and did it myyyyyy wayyyyyyy” … It doesn’t seem like the playoff committee members particularly care what anyone else thinks – and that’s a good thing. They’re going to do their own research, and they’re going to have their own opinions and thoughts on who the four best college football teams are. We can debate all for days about sitting athletic directors having so much power, and it’s a reasonable discussion to have about how much these 13 dignitaries actually know compared to the superfans and experts who live and breathe the ins and outs of the season, but these are very strong, very opinionated individuals, and each one is going to have a different way of seeing things. With that said, I keep getting asked what the No. 1 most important aspect is going to be, and my best guess is …

Who’s hottest at the end of the year.

In the old BCS era, the computer formula element made sure that at least a one-third of the equation took into account the entire season – a loss in early September counted the same as a loss in late November. Now, with it all about the humans, the entire body of work will be taken into consideration, but close calls in the first half of the season won’t matter too much if a team is rocking and rolling down the stretch – like Auburn of last year.

So for now, Florida State, Texas A&M, and Auburn, just win, baby, and don’t worry about the implications. In the end, win your conference title, and you’re in the discussion.

The latest promotion to get people to try coming to Michigan football games again – … buy two Cokes, Michigan fans, and you get to do your two favorite things for four hours on a Saturday afternoon: wear things that say Michigan, and complain about your head coach! Fun for the entire family!

C.O.W. core value No. 6. “Just because one thing sucks, it doesn’t mean something else doesn’t suck.” - Butthead … I’m sorry, America. I really am. I’d like to see someone challenge the SEC for the Best Conference tag just as much as you do, but it’s really, really not close, and that includes the ridiculously overrated and overblown Pac-12.

Oregon State’s best win this year came against San Diego State, and now USC is in the College Football Playoff hunt after beating the Beavs 35-10? Oh, by the way, that Boston College team that beat USC just got tagged at home by Colorado State, and it also lost at home to a Pitt team that just got pantsed by Akron.

Oooooh, but watch out for Stanford. Why? Because it beat a Washington team that crushed Illinois! Oooooh, very scary.

But don’t forget about Arizona, after all it’s 4-0. Yeah, and it needed everything in the bag to get by a UTSA team that’s 1-3 and couldn’t stop Florida Atlantic last week and a Hail Mary to get by Arizona.

And, of course, you’re not going to fall for the UCLA banana in the tailpipe, right? Wowwwww, it just blew away an Arizona State team without its starting quarterback and whose claim to 2014 fame was beating New Mexico – SCORE! The Memphis team that gave the Bruins fits just lost to a sleepy Ole Miss team that didn’t care 24-3.

Okay, so it’s a good conference, and Oregon is an elite team that could win it all. Fine, UCLA might really be a thing if it gets its stuff together on a consistent basis. Just don’t try comparing this thing to the SEC. It demeans us both.

The latest promotion to get people to try coming to Michigan football games again … buy two Cokes, become Michigan head coach, and benefit from a few great recruiting classes maturing all at once just like Brady Hoke did with RichRod’s rebuilding job. Fun for the entire family!

Sorry … broken record cha cha cha, broken record cha cha cha … After years of arguing this in the BCS era, let’s get it started now. Mark Dantonio is dead-on right. If you’re not good enough to win your conference championship, you don’t deserve to play for the national championship. If you can’t win your conference, you have no argument. No. 2 in the SEC isn’t No. 1. We know No. 2 isn’t No. 1, so it doesn’t deserve a shot to play for No. 1 overall, right? Charlie Strong only has five core values. I just gave you No. 7.

The latest promotion to get people to try coming to Michigan football games again … buy two Cokes and Desmond Howard will come to your house for this week’s Rutgers game and strike the Heisman pose in your living room. However, he’ll be late coming out of the bathroom and will miss the opening kickoff for the second half. Fun for the entire family!

Two words: Bill Callahan … On my Head Coaching Apologist World Tour – there are t-shirts – along with arguing for RichRod and Lane Kiffin, Bo Pelini continues to be one of my main headliners, especially at festivals.

I don’t know why Nebraska fans have never really liked him, I don’t know what any realistic Husker fan could possibly be asking for, but all Pelini has done is win nine or more games in each of his first six years, and now he’s a mortal lock to do it again as the Big Ten’s lone unbeaten team.

Nebraska fans, have you actually been watching Michigan football? Just because you’re a big-time program, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to win national titles each and every year. Ask Texas. Ask Florida. Ask USC. I bring this up now because I know what’s coming.

Nebraska will lose to Michigan State, something weird will happen, and a slew of Husker fans are going to scream and yell that Pelini is holding the program back. And then he’s going to win 9+ games for a seventh straight season and Nebraska will finish first or second in its division for the sixth time in seven years.

Of course, that’s not good enough.

The latest promotion to get people to try coming to Michigan football games again … buy two Cokes and get two seats for the Penn State game AND an entire city block of Detroit. Fun for the entire family!

But G-Chiz was 3-0 in bowls including a very, very big one … Akron just beat Pitt this last weekend thanks to head coach Terry Bowden, who’s working a minor miracle to turn the program into a MAC power. After going 29-9 at North Alabama, 47-17-1 at Auburn, and with 148 career victories, he might not be his dad, but he’s proving to be a whale of a head coach who – even with the ugly end to his Auburn tenure – has carved out a terrific career.

Doug Barfield ended up going 27-27-1 – 29-25-1 officially with a few forfeits given his way – as the Auburn head coach from 1976 to 1980. Nothing against him, but considering Bowden’s success away from the program, and with Tommy Tuberville having a long career, and with Pat Dye a three-time SEC Coach of the Year, and with a stadium named after Ralph Jordan – who won a share of the 1957 national title – and with Gus Mazlahn proving to be a coaching genius in his short time, does that mean that the second-worst full-time Auburn head coach since 1951 is the guy who won an undisputed and unanimous national championship?

The latest promotion to get people to try coming to Michigan football games again … SEX!!! Now that the program has your attention, why not come check out a football game! Fun for the entire family!

”I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint.” … In 2010, I tried to be as nice as possible when I declared that Watson Brown was the least effective head coach in the history of college football. At the time of that writing, his record was 107-172-1 winning fewer than 40% of his games, and yet he was hired over and over and over again before settling in at Tennessee Tech. And then a funny thing happened – he actually won. His 2011 team came up with a piece of the Ohio Valley Conference championship and got into the playoff. Since then, he has gone 9-18 including a 1-3 start this season with a 50-7 loss to Northern Iowa to make him the first coach in college football history with 200 losses. Now his career record is 128-200-1 winning 39% of his games and on his way to a 23rd losing season in 28 years – and more power to him. I can only dream of being able to keep writing this sucky a column for as long as Brown has been a head coach. If you told me I’d go 39% of the time without sucking, I’d take that in a heartbeat.

Part One would’ve been better … but people drank the Cokes and were too hyped up to sit down and read it. 

Part 2: Interesting sleeper playoff contenders

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