One Great Season
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Cincinnati has an odd predicament on its hands, and it has nothing to do with the Bearcats' inconvenient depth at quarterback.
Does UC root for Notre Dame at Pittsburgh this weekend? An Irish win would extend Charlie Weis' shelf-life as the coach in South Bend, precisely what Cincinnati fans want in order to keep Brian Kelly in the Queen City.
But a Pitt victory on Saturday ups the BCS ante when the Bearcats head north for their season-ender on Dec. 5 that will likely determine the Big East champion. Both UC and the Panthers are 5-0 in the Big East.
If you're more interested in the long view, you might be rooting for the Irish, but those whose eggs are all in the 2009 basket surely recognize that Kelly will leave soon anyway, so why not try to win the whole thing right now? As a UC grad, I think I prefer the latter logic, so on the same weekend that football fans in Cincinnati will be rooting against the hated Steelers, I'll also be cheering on the Panthers.
WHAT TO DO NEXT? I have my own personal debate I could use your help with. The college football season is winding down, and I'll be back at my luxury Brooklyn apartment in no time. What should I do with One Great Season? Still keep the site college football-exclusive? Or broaden it to cover all sports or even non-sports categories? Any feedback would be appreciated.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A WEEK MAKES: I was on the field under a gorgeous autumn sky at Beaver Stadium an hour or so before Ohio State and Penn State kicked off Saturday. That's when I heard Iowa was trailing late against Northwestern, and one thought hit me: Wouldn't it be funny if Ohio State -- in a down year when after Week 2 folks in Columbus were calling for coach Jim Tressel's head, when fans seemed ready to plan a bowl trip to Florida for a weak New Year's morning kickoff -- won out and grabbed the Big Ten's automatic Rose Bowl bid?
Well, that's exactly what's going to happen and if there's a year for it to happen, it's this year, when the Buckeyes won't likely have to deal with the psychological burden of preparing for 40+ days to meet USC in January. USC never loses in January.
That's not to say teams want to avoid playing the best competition, but trying to beat Pete Carroll in a bowl game is about as easy as figuring out who's leading the Heisman race right now.
A BCS bowl win for Ohio State would do wonders for the Buckeyes' confidence in the national picture, and depending how temperamental Terrelle Pryor performs, he could very well launch a Heisman candidacy in much the same way an athletic quarterback named Vince Young announced his own bid as a Texas sophomore in a breathtaking Rose Bowl win just a few years ago.
And then the countdown will be on for next year's Week 2 meeting in Columbus, when Miami's own 2010 Heisman candidate, Jacory Harris, will lead his Hurricanes into the Horseshoe.
BLOUNT DRAMA: LeGarrette Blount will be back in a Ducks uniform Saturday against Arizona State, and that's a good thing.
But it's a good thing in a general sense more than the specific sense. It's good for the sake of second chances, but there's still a sour taste left by the harsh suspension of Oklahoma State wideout Dez Bryant, whose transgression was far less offensive than Blount's.
I believe in second chances in most cases, especially if the student-athlete has at least met any requirements set forth by his school, which, according to word out of Eugene, Blount has surpassed.
Lastly, the argument that I've heard from some, that Blount shouldn't have been penalized so harshly because football is his meal ticket, that the sport is all he has and the university so coldly took that away from him, is ridiculous. Punishment is doled out according to the severity of an offensive act, not according to the level of inconvenience it will cause the perpetrator.
NOT TOO KEEN ON HOUSTON QB: It's impressive that Case Keenum is 4-0 in games decided by seven points or fewer this year. Being cool under pressure certainly adds a feather to his fedora, but let's remember one thing: Keenum plays for Houston, whose Cougars needed a field goal at the gun to avoid a loss to 4-5 Tulsa Saturday, about a month after giving up 58 points in a loss to 3-6 UTEP.
Such stories are rarely told about Heisman winners.
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