Cavalcade of Whimsy
Daily Rants & Whines
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Going into the offseason, I'll be doing a bunch of shorter, daily rants on the world. To find out when they go up, follow me at @PeteFiutak. Please. I'm needy in that way.
Jan. 8 ”The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.”
If you’ve ever wanted to read what a fast-track into madness reads like, here you go.
Usually, by this point, I see it.
I’m above-average against the spread when it comes to picking college football games overall, but I almost never, ever miss a Super Bowl pick, and I almost never miss a national championship selection.
Until this year.
Even if I get the 2015 CFP Championship pick right, I’ll politely refuse to take any credit whatsoever, much like a tennis player sheepishly raising his hand after winning a point after the ball hit the net cord. And if I get it wrong, whatevs … I’ll sleep well after taking my best shot at it.
Really. I don’t see it.
Maybe that will change when I get to Dallas and talk to the players and coaches and get the right vibe. Maybe the heavens will open up and say, And So It Will Be THIS. Maybe I’ll put down two dishes of feed – one dish representing Oregon and the other Ohio State - and let Clucko the Chicken make his selection.
Admittedly, picking the national champion really hasn’t been that hard lately. Assume the SEC is going to win, unless it’s playing a juggernaut of a Florida State squad, and relax and watch it all unfold. This time around, though, that easy SEC crutch doesn’t exist.
Usually, pick the great D over the high-powered O, and you’ll be fine.
2013 Florida State over the Auburn speed attack. Seattle over the Denver Mannings. Tampa Bay Grudens over Oakland. 2008 Florida over the Oklahoma Bradfords. Auburn’s SEC defensive front over 2010 Oregon. This year, both offenses rock, and both defenses are about to be rolled, so I can’t go by the better D theory.
With THE guy and THE team, this just seems to be Oregon’s year. Whether it was Jameis and FSU or Cam and Auburn, the Ducks and Marcus appear to have … it.
But Urban Meyer has the Buckeyes playing at a national title level, and maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason teams with Oregon’s hurry-up style aren’t winning national titles in bunches. Maybe, just maybe, Florida State really did sort of suck this year and wasn’t nearly as good as its record, and the Rose Bowl was a mirage.
Maybe, Alabama was a total statistical fraud defensively, and Ohio State just ripped through an okay D that got by on brand name. Maybe, Oregon has it all figured out and it really is that unstoppable.
What am I missing? Either way, whatever you think is going to happen, I’m not going to argue with you.
Buckeye fans, if you want to say your team is about to come up with a 45-point beatdown, fine. You’re probably right.
Duck fans, if you’re going to pound your shoe on the lectern and scream that Oregon will bury OSU, you’re probably right.
I know this isn’t what you’ve paid for, but I’m not going to lie and say I’VE GOT IT!!!, because I really, really, don’t. That’s how compelling this matchup is. So be kind.
I’ve also been right there to take it whenever I’ve gotten anything wrong, getting slaughtered when I turned by brain off and blindly picked Troy Smith’s Ohio State to get by Urban’s Florida in 2007 - even though EVERYONE I trust was screaming at me that the Gators were going to shock the world. That’s why I’m so scared about what’s going to happen in Dallas.
Am I missing it? Will Urban and his ultra-motivated Buckeye team repeat history and have something special for a Heisman winner and Oregon, just like his Gators did against Smith in Glendale and Bradford in the 2009 game?
I whiffed on the 2010 pick, taking Texas over Alabama, and even though in hindsight I think the Crimson Tide still would’ve won, I refuse to take any guff since Colt McCoy got knocked out right away and the game never really got a chance to get going.
But Alabama was the tougher, angrier team in that game. Oregon was simmering at a slow boil in L.A. – is that the team that’s about to blow up?
I’ve watched way, way, way too much of both of these squads not to have a definitive opinion by now, and it’s making me mad. I should be better than this.
I nailed the Texas over USC pick in 2006 cold, and I spent a month arguing that 2002 Miami was sort of overrated and Ohio State was about to do something special, but I had those two upsets easily.
I know exactly how ridiculous this sounds, but doing this gig non-stop, 24/7/365, sometimes it seems so obvious from ten miles away – like my locks of the century, Ohio State blowing out Wisconsin in this year’s Big Ten title game, and Alabama destroying Notre Dame in the 2013 BCS championship. Other times, that gut feeling is actually a bad burrito and I end up blowing up Sergeant Hulka after disastrously failing to properly calibrate the target.
I still take spit once in a while for assuring everyone that Oklahoma was a sure-thing to beat USC – the Trojans won 55-19 - in the 2005 Orange Bowl.
So with all that smoke-blowing pretentiousness out of the way. The 2015 College Football Playoff national champion is absolutely, positively, there’s no reason to watch the game because I’m definitively saying that … Oregon is going to pull this off.
No, wait … Urban Meyer in a national title game? It’s absolutely, positively going to be Ohio … no, Oregon is my pick and I’m going to stick with it.
Check back Monday morning. The epiphany is overdue.