I’m thankful that, in 34 years, I have gotten almost everything I ever wished for. I didn’t get it all at once, and I have since lost some of it, and I didn’t get some things I thought I wanted but ultimately didn’t (Vice-President of the United States, anyone?) and I got some things I didn’t realize I wanted until I had them.
But all in all, what the hell, I’m thankful anyway.
* Cal beats USC, giving them their second loss.
* MIchigan upsets Ohio State, becoming #1 and leaving Ohio State with one loss.
* West Virginia, Rutgers, and Louisville all win, staying one-loss.
The next week:
* LSU wallops Arkansas, giving them their second loss (but only 1 SEC loss).
* USC beats Notre Dame, giving them a second loss.
* Maryland beats Wake Forest, giving them a second loss.
* Georgia beats Georgia Tech, giving them a third loss.
The week after that:
* West Virginia beats Rutgers, giving the Big East three teams with one loss.
* Arkansas beats Florida, giving them a second loss and sending Arkansas to the BCS.
All of these are entirely feasible, if not outright likely. The result:
* Undefeated Michigan #1.
* Ohio State and Wisconsin, both of whom have one loss to Michigan, along with the three Big East teams, are the only 1-loss teams.
* Boise State is undefeated.
Who goes to the national championship game against Michigan? A team they’ve already beaten once (and how to you pick between them), or a one-loss team from a soft conference (and how do you pick between the three of THEM)? Or do you give it to Boise State, whose could become the first BCS participant to lose by triple digits?
I am pulling for this scenario (or something like it) the whole way, with apologies to the fans of all the teams involved, because it would once again demonstrate the utter futility of the BCS system. After Dec. 2, I’ll go through and figure up the bowl pairings if we were in 1990 instead of under the BCS regime, and we’ll see what gives the better matchups.
In case you forgot, I do have two degrees in political science, with an especial focus on American institutions in the 20th century and the Southern influence on same. Once you’ve seen how they make the hot dogs, you kind of lose your taste for them.
I will say this: I think the problems of our participatory democracy could be improved a lot with a better class of participant. On both side of the ballot box.
FLORIDA 25, VANDY 19: Moral victories aren’t getting it done anymore. In a game where we hit the QB four times and pick him off 3 more, we ought to win. That’s 3 winnable SEC games we could have had.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 24, ALABAMA 16: Alabama has lost their way; they are simply incapable of converting from the red zone. If Mike Shula is going to stay at the controls, he needs to hire a capable offensive coordinator to run things, because it’s not working anymore. Shula was the right man for his time, and it’s not a lock that Croom would have been any better (even though he was my choice), but the sad fact of the matter is that we had 10 wins last year, and now we have all our scholarships and bowl eligibility again. It’s time for a coaching staff that’s more about success than survival.
UCLA 24, CAL 38: Any win you can walk away from is a good one. Two garbage-time TDs from UCLA made this one look a lot close than it was, but so did a punt return from Cal that, while electrifying and backbreaker, over-inflated the Bears’ success against one of the tougher defenses in the conference. Longshore moved the ball pretty much at will, though…so it looks like the game against USC will go to whoever has the ball last.
PETERHEAD 2, MORTON 4: The Ton comes back from their first loss of the year and hangs four unanswered goals to stay nice and clear at the top of the table. First Division, here we come!