Pocket Change – The Weekend in Football


So what did we learn last week?  Maybe it’s that the football season NEVER fails to surprise us.  Maybe it’s that a team can find a win where it’s least expected.  Maybe it’s the idea that bad offense can sometimes make bad defense look good.  No matter what lessons we might have learned, one thing that is understood and has always been true is that every season is unique.  Each tells a story written entirely from scratch and never entirely follows the expected script.  This is one of the reasons it’s the best season of all.

With a full month (and a week) to go in the college football regular season, it’s anybody’s game.  Eight teams are still unbeaten, and although there is NO WAY all of those teams have any legitimate claim to playing for the national title, the idea that those teams are on pace to finish in the top ten is more proof that they should at least have their shot.  Just not at the expense of the other unbeaten teams.

The unpredictability of the football season continued this week with the upset of the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman.  The Texas Tech Red Raiders made a clear statement that no team should be taken for granted, even on the road.

Who knew that a game between teams with fewer wins Matt Moore’s jersey number would end up having one of the greatest finishes to this point in the season?  The Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins might not have played the best game of the year, but for sheer drama it was at least entertaining, even if it was only for the last part of the fourth quarter.  With the Tebow fans packing the stadium FOR THE OPPOSING TEAM’S PLAYER (you gotta be kidding me), the last three minutes of regulation and overtime almost made suffering through the first 57 minutes of the game worthwhile.

The Jacksonville Jaguars looked more like the Baltimore Ravens than the Ravens did on Monday night.  Was either team willing to play offense?  In an era where offense rules almost every week, it was hard to tell if the defenses were actually playing effectively or the offenses were so bad that the defenses didn’t need to do much.

Schizophrenia continued with the Chicago Bears, where every week they appear like a different team.  This week it was the good Bears, winning a tough game in London over the Buccaneers, another hard-to-judge team.  Like the Bears, the Buccaneers could be a “dark horse” team in the NFC, but they’re still a young team that might need more experience.  They’ve shown in the past that they have the resilience to come from behind and win games, and with all their top runners out of the game last Sunday, I think they’ll get a pass this time.

Let me be clear on this first: I like Boise State and all that they have represented in the last few seasons.  I appreciate the idea that a “non-BCS” conference school is willing to take on the “big boys” and show no fear in doing it.  It’s a bogus idea that none of the top teams think that the Broncos should ever have a shot at the national title.  In most seasons I would never think that, but this year it’s a little different.  I can’t for the life of me understand how a team that has played a schedule such as theirs is as high as they currently are in the BCS Standings.  I suppose it will all “work itself out” in the end, but the specter of another BCS screw-up can’t make any of the other contenders comfortable.

I would like to see Boise make the move to the Big 12, or even better, if the Mountain West was “anointed” as the next BCS Conference.  The only better move would be to do what should have been done a long time ago: get rid of the BCS nonsense and put together the 16-team playoff that most all logical (see: non-BCS) people are looking for.  You know, the way EVERY other sport determines it’s champion.  This could prove detrimental to the bigger schools claim that “little ‘ol Boise” isn’t worthy.  They’d have to prove it on the field – where it should be.  It would at the very least give every school in the country a legitimate chance at the beginning of every season to win it all, instead of being eliminated before the first game is even played.

We’re right at the halfway point of the season.  The big game is now only one more week away, and for LSU and Alabama the driver’s seat awaits.  There will be plenty of hype next week for that game.  For now the hype is all about the treats for the kiddos (and how I get mine to share with me).  Next week is the treat for the football fans.  Let’s hope it’s not a trick instead.