Are You So Angry?
I have noticed in the past few weeks
that there have been dozens of Buckeye fans united under anger against a few
unimportant facets of the current season that have for some reason come to the
forefront. This strikes me as odd,
considering Ohio State is undefeated and playing with a purpose going into
(gasp) November. After three years
of having so many things to be furious about, apparently this is what we're
reduced to when the Buckeyes are successful.
Personally, I don't get it. Sports-related
ire is for fans of teams whose teams underachieve, blow big leads or lose their
homecoming game regularly. Not for
things that really don't matter.
What is the deal with you people? This is what I'm talking about.
Beano Cooke, Lee Corso, Jimmy the Greek
– nobody has created fury like Trev Alberts this year.
The common complaint is that he hates Ohio State, he arrogantly proclaims
his opinion as fact (then changes it when he's proven wrong, then changes it
again, then changes it again), and he is smug in his demeanor.
Trev Alberts has been on television talking about college football since
1997, but for some reason he's only really started pissing Buckeye fans off
this year. Why?
Well, early in his career he worked for the now defunct CNNSI, so he had
no audience to annoy. Then, Ohio
State was mediocre for three years – and mediocre teams don't really get
talked about on national television. Now
Ohio State is good but Trev Alberts says Iowa is definitely better – which he
bases on nothing other than his own opinion.
He also doesn't seem to think Nebraska, his alma mater, is as bad as
reality says they actually are. And
his bias for some reason makes the fragile Buckeye fan contingent crazy.
Look, Trev Alberts was one of the
biggest NFL busts of all time. He
lost four bowl games at Nebraska, and in three of those games the other team won
the national championship. Nebraska
finally ended a losing streak in bowl games that lasted seven years the year
after he left. He and equally
notorious bust Heath Schuler are the only players drafted in the top 15 of 1994
who aren't still playing, and he never really ever had a pro football career. He's on television, smug and arrogant – almost angry,
commenting on college football. He's
bitter. Wouldn't you be?
After a long hiatus, Notre Dame hating
is back, and good for college football. It's
been so many years since Notre Dame actually mattered that there's an entirely
new generation of college football fans not old enough to realize that Notre
Dame's schedule of a few challenges and a bunch of service academies hasn't
changed for decades. This is
nothing new. And the close calls,
the unbelievable gift fumbles and bounces going Notre Dame's way – people,
this is what it is always like when Notre Dame is good.
Just because Notre Dame has a highly visible, utterly annoying bandwagon
fan base doesn't mean you should be angry that they're undefeated and ranked
higher than Ohio State in the BCS standings (we'll get to this next). If they win all of their games – and in theory, Notre Dame
is supposed to get everyone's best game, though it could be argued that
they've gotten most of their opponents' worst – then they'll have a shot
at a national championship, and rightfully so.
Hate Notre Dame because it is healthy, hate Notre Dame because it is
finally fashionable again, but don't be bitter about it – leave bitterness
to people like Trev Alberts.
BCS Standings in October
Ohio State isn't ranked number one in the BCS. Neither are several other undefeated teams. And none of it matters. Sure computer-based football championships are a complete joke, and sure – we could end up with enough undefeated teams to have a final four – but why worry about it in October? If Ohio State loses once in November it doesn't matter. If Ohio State wins out and all of the other teams lose, it doesn't matter. The BCS rankings in October are not important, just like the #1 team in the polls when the season starts.
The BCS was a failure of an idea before
Ohio State was ranked sixth in its standings.
It is no different now. Worry
about two U of Ms coming into Columbus sandwiching two road games. Worry about the fine line between Pasadena and the Capital
One Bowl. But don't waste any
anger on the BCS standings right now – it's much ado about nothing.
Paterno and bad officiating
Joe Paterno has been coaching for seven thousand years, and in every year he has coached, officiating has been really, really bad. Shots of JoePa animated after another bad call now make up half of Penn State game highlights (if you hadn't seen the OSU/PSU game last week, based on what ESPN showed you'd have thought that the Buckeyes won because of two bad calls). This is something the media does – they find something they think people want to see and they show it. Joe Paterno is the winningest coach of all time. If he screams, it will make television. If Randy Walker screams, that wouldn't make local news. All it is is sad – JoePa protesting a missed call on a nine yard punt return is a highlight? NBA highlights are dunks, Texas Tech highlights are Bob Knight shouting and clapping his hands, and Penn State highlights are now, sadly, Paterno shouting. He's been Knighted.
Penn State protesting officiating, in my opinion, was a strong statement. The officials who blew the Purdue/Wake Forest game being unassigned from future duties was an equally strong statement. Until the Big Ten does something about a) defining what it takes to call holding, b) making officials accountable for bad calls, and c) entertaining the idea of efficiently using replay to protect humans from human error, bad officiating will continue to reign in the Big Ten, as well as elsewhere.
Aren't we supposed to obsess over nonsense in the middle
of summer? What happened to just
obsessing over Buckeye football during the season?