In my 21 years of traveling to watch the Gators in every possible venue, I have never come across a fan and media base much like Ohio State’s. Now it is time for someone to wear the purple robe and crown. For the purposes of this article I shall now be referred to The Hollywood Bob or tHB for our northern friends.
tOSU fans have now come to realize that champions are not crowned for week one through 12. How many times in the last month did we hear about them being the number one ranked team from start to finish? Only one team lifts the crystal football each year and this year it’s the Florida Gators — you know them … the team that didn’t even deserve to be in the game.
Let’s talk about the blindness in regards to the Gators non-deserving of a chance. The darling media Buckeye Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN said early and often that the Gators schedule would make it tough to play for a national title. He remarked that if they won them all, they deservingly should be in the title. Then the Gators lost one, a game whose outcome was controversial at best. It was a game on the road at Auburn where an official and replay official’s call were possibly the deciding factors for a team that could be standing undefeated right now.
Nevertheless, the Gators did lose. How easy it is for everyone to forget that all the other teams in the final mix for the final spot lost at least one game also. If the Gators had the hardest schedule in the country, and finished with the same record or better than anyone else in the mix for a shot at the big game, doesn’t it only make sense that they belonged in the big game? With only one controversial loss along the way in their hectic schedule shouldn’t that also mean this Gator team was seasoned and ready for a fight each and every week they take the field? What reasons did Herbstreit and the Conference that Can’t Count [CCC] (Big Ten has 11 teams) have to pronounce that a conference runner up that already lost to tOSU should be in the game?
That leads tHB to Michigan. The mighty Wolverines and their vaunted defense got smoked by tOSU and tUSC. tUM probably needed a lot of TUMs to swallow all the crow they had to eat after the Rose Bowl. I guess this must be a conference that can’t count thing.
Then there is that other Midwest bastion of insight. Notre Dame was born with a delusional mindset. tND is a team that has beaten one ranked team in two years and didn’t even deserve to be in the BCS. This, despite a coach that complained when the eventual National Champions moved ahead of his team in the polls on the Gators’ off week. The Domers won a close game against a nobody and the Gators were cooking cheeseburgers according to Weis. Charlie Cheeseburger looks like another one of the blind leading the blind when it comes to championship football perceptions after ending the season with blowout losses to tUSC and the SEC’s tLSU.
This leads tHB back to the surly and inhospitable tOSU Buckeyes. Certainly there were exceptions to the rule. We met a few gracious fans and the Ohio State team and coach were very humbled after the game. But, by in large, tOSU were the most pompous, egotistical, blinded by success, and down right ignorant fans and media I have ever seen.
Maybe it was the perfect season, or the Heisman quarterback, or the win over another undefeated CCC team in their last game. Whatever it was, tHB got more than an earful from any tOSU fan and media person he encountered. You would think that the college football universe revolves around the state of Ohio. Why anything would revolve around Ohio, I have no idea.
tHB certainly took notice when tUM got spanked by tUSC in the Rose Bowl. tHB also noticed that Texas barely squeaked by an Iowa team that was not a power this year. These were the two games the Buckeyes were hanging their hats on this year. These were the two big wins.
In the meantime, the Gators played nine teams that played in bowl games. Of the nine teams, six of them (LSU, Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Southern Miss) won their bowl game.
The writing was truly on the wall that the teams were probably not nearly as far away talent wise in favor of tOSU as they and most of the media would have you believe. I cannot tell you how many times tHB heard, “the Gators haven’t seen the speed of the likes of tOSU.” I had to admit that was kind of funny and truly showed their ignorance. On Monday night they found out the truth.
They want to blame it on the loss of Ted Ginn. Ginn was a loss, but he wasn’t going to block the front seven of the Gators that continually harassed and dominated the Buckeyes up front all night. He wasn’t going to defend the skill players on the Gators’ offense that had open space and made plays all evening. His deep routes would have been for nothing as the Heisman Trophy winner couldn’t throw from his back anyway.
The media love fest for the CCC and scowled at the thought that the Gators should be in the National Championship Game. Maybe those coaches, the one’s that get paid a lot of money to do their job and beat the teams being considered knew what they were doing voting the Gators in the top two. Maybe “The Media” needs to take a step back and do a better job of analyzing who the best teams in America are before they call the “other” polls a farce.
Right now the Gators hold national championships in the two top major sports in the collegiate ranks. The basketball team went through the same media bias, but they were allowed to prove themselves in a tournament. If it were up to the football writers, tUF wasn’t considered tUF (tough) enough and would have been on the outside looking in, destroying Charlie Cheeseburger in the Sugar Bowl.
Thanks to the coaches, the right decision was made.
And for allowing me to get this off my chest, tHB will officially retire. I am not pompous and arrogant enough for a title like that. Hollywood Bob will do just fine.