New York–Let’s tie up a few loose ends before I head back home to the ATL.
1. Congrats to Randy Cross, a new Hall of Famer: Former 49ers All-Pro and UCLA star Randy Cross was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame last night at the annual banquet at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Cross, who played at UCLA from 1973-75, now lives in Atlanta. As a member of the 49ers, he played in three Pro Bowls and was All-Pro six times. He works for several television and radio outlets, including The CBS College Sports Network and FSN South. Randy’s son, Brendan, plays quarterback at Wake Forest.
Also going into the Hall of Fame last night was former Alabama coach Gene Stallings, who won 70 games and a national championship in his seven years as the head coach of the Crimson Tide (1990-96). He also coached at Texas A&M before a long stint with the Dallas Cowboys.
2. Tom Brokaw remembers, Georgia-Alabama, 1965: I spoke to former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, who was honored with the
New York–I’m up here for a few days doing some work for The CBS College Sports Network and getting ready for the College Football Hall of Fame dinner tonight.
It’s a great event and just about everybody who works in the sport is in attendance. We should be talking about another great college football season and the anticipation of what looks to be an incredible BCS championship game between No. 1 Auburn and No. 2 Oregon.
But what are we talking about today during this large gathering of college football people? We’re talking about a damned computer that wasn’t programmed right.
The problem is simple: One of the computers (Wes Colley’s rankings) that is used in the BCS formula did not properly update its information. The formula was missing one game. As a result LSU was No. 10 and Boise State was No. 11 in Sunday’s final standings. The error was caught, corrected, and new standings were released on Monday with the position of the teams reversed.
The error did not
I’m sure they are doing a little fuming this morning in Fort Worth, Tex. And to me this would have been a goood year to have a four-team playoff with 1. Auburn vs. No. 4 Wiscinson or Stanford and No 2 Oregon vs. No 3 TCU. The two semifinal games would have been played on New Year’s Day. It woild give us a more satisfying post-season because a team like TCU would get its shot.
People always ask me how these pairings get made. And believe it or not there is a selection proccess and it goes like this:
**–Auburn and Oregon are chosen as the top two teams to play for the BCS championship.
**–The two bowls which lost their designated conference championships (SEC, Pac-10) go to the front of the line and get to “replace” the teams they lost. The Sugar (SEC champ) picked first and replaced Auburn with Arkansas (10-2), the highest rated remaining SEC team. The Rose (which lost Oregon to the big game) had to take TCU (instead of Stanford) as a replacement team because the new
I can’t believe that I’m writing this, but here is the last Fearless Friday Forecast for the 2010 regular season:
1. Auburn vs. South Carolina (SEC championship): I didn’t think the SEC championship game could ever get better than the last two between Florida and Alabama. In both cases the winner knew it would be in the BCS championship game. But this game is just as big because of some additional storylines:
**–The controversy surrounding Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, which has subsided just a little with a controversial ruling by the NCAA that he is eligible.
**–Auburn having a shot to play for its first national championship since 1957 and perhaps getting payback for 2004, when the Tigers went 13-0 and didn’t a chance to play for the crystal football.
**–Auburn having a chance to give the SEC its fifth straight national championship.
To those good story lines you add the return of Steve Spurrier–The Head Ball Coach–to the game for the first time in 10 years. He won it
There are a lot of people in Athens, Ga., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Los Angeles, Calif. who are going to get mad at this statement. But here it goes:
Based on what its investigators have determined, the NCAA got it right with Wednesday’s ruling on Cameron Newton.
Early Wednesday afternoon the NCAA announced that Auburn’s quarterback was eligible to play immediately. That statement became necessary because on Monday the NCAA determined that a violation of amateurism rules occured when Newton’s father had conversations with a former Mississippi State player about a possible pay-for-play scheme. The NCAA informed Auburn of this and the school, as it must, declared Newton ineligible on Tuesday (How they kept that secret is amazing). Auburn petitioned the NCAA to reinstate Newton as soon as possible. The NCAA committee that determines these types of things granted that reinstatement on Wednesday.
That was the process.
The NCAA enforcement staff has been investigating this case
Nobody asked me but:
1. Steve Spurrier has a chance to make history (again) at the Georgia Dome: The No. 1 story line heading into Saturday’s SEC championship game is whether or not No. 1 Auburn can stay undefeated and give the conference a shot at its fifth straight BCS title.
The No. 2 story line is whether or not Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton, with everything swirling around him, can lead his team to a victory and, in the process, lock up the Heisman Trophy.
Almost lost in this game is that South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has a chance to win his seventh SEC championship, exactly 10 years after he won his sixth and final one as the head coach at Florida. Spurrier’s seven SEC titles would move him past Vince Dooley and John Vaught on the all-time list. Spurrier would be second only to Bear Bryant who won 14 SEC championships (13 at Alabama, 1 at Kentucky).
For the first time at the SEC championship game, Spurrier is here but is not the headliner. I’ll bet he likes
First of all, don’t tell me that it can’t happen. Don’t tell me that No. 1 Auburn and No. 2 Oregon can’t both lose on championship Saturday. We’ve seen it happen.
In 2007 I remember writing the BCS bowl scenarios and mentioning what would happen (that No. 7 LSU could jump to No. 2) if No. 1 Missouri lost in the Big 12 championship game and No. 2 West Virginia lost to Pittsburgh. I had a BCS bowl scenario to account for that but added: “Of course that will never happen.”
Well, it happened. No. 1 and No. 2 both lost on Championship Saturday and when the numbers came out on Sunday we had one-loss Ohio State (which did not play that Saturday) and two-loss LSU (which beat Tennessee for the SEC title game) playing for the national championship.
So we’ve got to have a plan. We may never implement the plan because I don’t think Auburn will lose to South Carolina and Oregon will lose at Oregon State. Still, here are your BCS Bowl Projections.
First, remember the process: After the
Conventional wisdom says that for No. 1 Auburn, Saturday’s SEC championship game is for a berth in the BCS title game in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 10. Beat South Carolina for the second time this season and the Tigers (12-0) will play somebody, probably Oregon, for its first national championship since 1957. Lose, and Auburn is likely headed to the Orange Bowl.
But remember, we are in the age of the BCS, when humans combine with computers to make the unusual happen.
Remember 2003? No. 1 Oklahoma was undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the BCS Standings and No. 1 in both the human polls going into championship Saturday. But the Sooners lost 35-7 in the Big 12 championship game to Kansas State.
Still, when all the BCS numbers were crunched the next day, Oklahoma (12-1) was No. 1 and LSU (12-1), which had beaten Georgia in the SEC championship game, was No. 2. USC (11-1), which had beaten Oregon State 52-28 on championship Saturday, moved to No. 1 in both human polls but dropped
Man, a whole bunch of stuff is going to happen in the next 48 hours. I’ll make this quick because I’m headed out the door to Tuscaloosa:
1. Auburn at Alabama: I have heard a lot of reasons why Alabama is going to win this game and all them make sense. I am certainly not going to be shocked if the Crimson Tide prevails in the Iron Bowl, particularly if Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy has a good day throwing the ball. But Auburn has been a very resilient team under pressure and I just think the Tigers will find a way to win. Auburn will get the last possession and Cam Newton will drive the Tigers into position for Wes Byrum to kick the game-winning field goal: Auburn 27, Alabama 24.
2. Georgia Tech at Georgia: Both teams have had disappointing seasons but right now I just think Georgia has more athletes, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Georgia Tech will have to commit an extra defender to stop the run and then Aaron Murray and A.J. Green will make some big
I delivered these closing remarks at the end of my CBS College Network Show on Tuesday night and wanted to share them with you on Thanksgiving. I added in the note about the great Furman Bisher because I was happy to see his annual “I’m Thankful” column on the editoral pages of this morning’s AJC.
We’ll be back tomorrow with our Fearless Friday Forecast. I am very thankful for all of you and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families.
Here we go:
Folks I’ve dedicated all of my professional life—and a big chunk of my personal life—to the sport of college football. I’ve loved it since I went to my first game at the University of Georgia when I was 13 years old. I have never, ever wanted to do anything else for a living other than talk about and write about college football.
But when you cover a story like Cam Newton, you wonder if that love has been misplaced. You wonder if the money has gotten so big and the stakes for winning and losing so high, that