One day after the institution of the first major college football playoff, the sport is in a bit of a hangover. Understandable really, when you consider eleven conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director spent Tuesday evening showering themselves with high-end Tequila and laughing at their presidential counterparts having to answer questions. If we’ve learned anything in following college football though, it’s to expect some bit of bad news, perhaps this evening. There can be no success without detriment, no joy without frustrating stupidity and most of all, no uplifting pigskin news without a player, coach or entire team wallowing in the mud. So just like when Ohio State dropped Jim Tressel’s resignation on a sunny Memorial Day 2010, some parties simply must end with the cops arriving, ready to mace. What could possibly prevent the continual contact high of a playoff finally arriving?
I’m glad you asked.
-A little over two years have passed since the NCAA wielded a surprisingly heavy hammer on the USC Trojans. In that organization’s secret mandate of trying to see what exactly is required to make Lane Kiffin‘s head explode, they enact more retroactive sanctions on the eve of a season in which Southern Cal is a title favorite. Matt Barkley‘s ineligible for being a model student-athlete, Robert Woods has been summoned by the Oakland Raiders and Ed Orgeron‘s translation assistance is needed in Baton Rouge. Monte Kiffin retires because, f*ck this and a day of celebration is declared in Knoxville. Mature Lane Kiffin handles it with aplomb, the Lane Kiffin we all know and love tries to get his hands on a dirty nuke.
-Michigan announces Chad Henne and Mike Hart as honorary alumni captains for the 2014 season. In what would seem a nod to their recent Big Ten success, a horror movie actually plays out in Ann Arbor for thousands of Wolverines fans. Brady Hoke has righted the ship Rich Rodriguez tried to sink. Lloyd Carr is still mumbling somewhere about “Michigan Men.” Bringing in Henne and Hart for the season opener has all the pomp and circumstance of an enjoyable blowout victory. The only problem? Appalachian State comes back to the Big House in September 2014.
-Conference realignment connoisseurs exclaim for the fiftieth time since May that “Team X” is a “done deal” to “Conference Y.” As addictive as I find the shuffling of schools, I’ve reached the point where I read a Tweet or blurb or article and if it doesn’t involve Notre Dame or Florida State, it’s ignored. Those two campuses hold the balance of the axis and until they move, little to nothing is intriguing enough to follow religiously. It won’t stop the perceived insiders from spouting off second-hand information from their intern friends in athletic departments but that’s to be expected. As long as the source remains spotty and I don’t have to put down my beer to check its veracity, I’m still running playoff fever. When the Seminoles commit to the ACC for good, we can all forget how grating this is until next summer.
-Les Miles leaves LSU to chase his dream as a Tibetan monk. This is not implausible and would create a void the size of the SuperDome in readable transcripts of head coach’s press conferences.
-Youngstown, Ohio banishes football within its city limits and as a result, the number of future college coaches decreases by 75%.
-Mike Leach wanders into Lubbock, Texas to pay for damages at his prior residence (something about swords stuck in the wall) and is kidnapped by rabid Red Raiders fans. He is plied with copies of Pirates of the Caribbean, Canadian whiskey and breakfast tacos to convince him to abandon Pullman. Tommy Tuberville misses the event having interviewed three defensive coordinator targets (just a precaution) for 2013.