College Football Recap: Miami Exposed, Much to
Degenerate Gambler Brent Musberger's Chagrin
Sports fans like to say that "sports" is the best reality television. Perhaps I'm nitpicking at semantics, but when it's at its heart-pounding best, sports are more like a fantastic suspense drama, with storylines and characters in whom we emotionally invest.
Da U, exposed.
For me, it's that way, at least.
In just the past couple of months, I've discussed this phenomenon a few times in this space as it relates to college football (mostly as a backdrop to trying to explain my man love for Johnny Manziel), and I think it's safe to say that the BCS Title chase is its own self-contained storyline each year.
As with any good drama, some weeks are better than others. Week Four of this season was a total dud, so bad that its badness was a storyline unto itself.
This past weekend was not far behind Week Four's suckitude.
The same way that the marquee characters carry a good HBO drama week to week, so too do the heavyweights in college football carry the quality of play and the compelling outcomes from the weekend in college football. Honestly, when you look at the top ten teams in the BCS rankings heading into this weekend, we kind of should have seen this coming (opponent in parentheses):
1. Alabama (IDLE)
2. Oregon (IDLE)
3. Florida State (vs 7 Miami, WON 41-14)
4. Ohio State (at Purdue, WON 56-0)
5. Stanford (IDLE)
6. Baylor (IDLE)
7. Miami, FL (at 3 Florida State, LOST 41-14)
8. Clemson (at Virginia, WON 59-10)
9. Missouri (vs Tennessee, WON 31-3)
10. Oklahoma (IDLE)
So five of the teams in the top ten were idle (six if you count Miami's effort in the second half against Florida State; more on that in a second), and the four winners won by an average score of 47-7. Yay.
Moreover, of the six BCS conference undefeated teams (sorry, Fresno and Northern Illinois), only three were in action, and in the one game where the two of them were playing each other (Florida State and Miami), it was so widely accepted that one of them (Miami) was a fraud that the spread on the game (Florida State -22) was the largest between two top 10 teams this late in the season in the history of college football.
And certainly, the game lived down to the minimal "hype embers" that ESPN and ABC could stoke leading up to kickoff, with Florida State allowing Miami to hang around for a half before systematically dismantling them in the second half, knocking out the Canes' best player (RB Duke Johnson) for the season in the process.
Looking back now, Miami was a total pretender, a three-loss team masquerading as an undefeated one, and it showed on Saturday night. To circle back to the HBO drama analogy, if the survival pool that is the BCS title chase were The Sopranos, the Miami-Florida State game hardly constituted a momentous "whacking."