Saturday, November 25, 2006

College football confusion.

I spent most of Friday watching games I didn't much care about, with the exception of Arkansas/LSU, about which I had mixed feelings. LSU is a team I like, and generally root for whenever they're not playing the Gators. This goes back to the days of Billy Cannon and three-platoon football, featuring the Chinese Bandits. Today, I still find much to admire aesthetically about LSU's game, featuring compact, agile players who execute a well-balanced offense and a quick, swarming defense. The Bayou Bengals occupy the same space for me in college football that the Cardinals do in my baseball universe.

Be that as it may, I had reason to want Arkansas to win. The Hogs are already slated to play Florida in the SEC championship game next week, and a win over a once defeated (and still theoretical title contender) team would do the Gators more good in the BCS standings than one over a twice defeated team. So I watched the game with my amygdala shouting "Geaux Tigers!" while my cerebrum whispered "Soo-ee-ee."

It was my amygdala that got to celebrate. Meanwhile, my cerebrum is forced, once again, to recalculate Florida's chances in the SEC showdown. I'm now backing off my previous waver, and am sticking with my original prediction of an upset by Arkansas. Losing to LSU will make the Hogs hungrier and more focused.

Today we were on the road, so I missed the Florida/Florida State game. The outcome, a 21-14 Gator victory over a Seminole team having a miserable season, will not do Florida's cause in the BCS any good. That, coupled with the fact that beating a twice-defeated Arkansas won't do them as much good as if the Razorbacks had beaten LSU, means the Gators' prospects of a shot at the national championship look to be pretty much obliterated. On top of that, we have the news from L.A. (Once again, I was rooting for the Irish, despite earlier animosity.)

Once again, consolation is provided by my alma mater showing, for the second consecutive year, their ability to upset a team ranked in the top ten. Their appearance in some minor bowl now seems assured. Ignore the hype about this meaning Rutgers still has a shot at the BCS. The Scarlet Knights beat an even worse than usual Syracuse team yesterday, and the Mountaineers aren't about to let themselves be upset twice in a row in Morgantown.