By Josh Kramer
The final weekend is also commonly referred to as ”Championship Weekend.” Predominantly, the slate is full of conference championships and other games with heavy BCS implications. Sadly, outside of the Big Ten Title Game in Indianapolis, most of the other games failed to live up to the hype. I know one thing for sure. I am excited for bowl season.
Game over on the video game
-Yesterday’s Conference USA Title Game had much more BCS implications than normal. With a victory, Houston would all but ensure a spot in a BCS Game. The Cougars had simply been dominant all season long, heading into yesterday’s showdown with Southern Mississippi at 12 and 0. On the year, Houston, led by their fearless quarterback had outscored their opponents an astonishing 632 to 251. That is an average score of 53 to 21. Granted, they had not played one ranked team all season long. Well yesterday, Houston played a ranked foe, and their lack of experience showed.
-All season long, it looked like Houston’s star quarterback Case Keenum was playing a video game. The man put up scary numbers week in and week out. It was as if he was playing “Madden,” but in real life. On the year, Keenum had thrown for well over 4,700 yards, 43 TDs, and just 3 INTs (all tops in the country), while completing an astonishing 73.2% of his passes (2nd in the country). And yesterday, Keenum still put up solid numbers, but also tossed two very costly interceptions, and failed in his lone game against a ranked opponents. Now I am sure Case Keenum feels awful about the loss and wishes he could have found a way to get the Cougars to a BCS Bowl Game. I know I would not have minded watching that high-powered Houston offense in a big time bowl game. But how do you think Conference USA feels? They just lost out on millions of dollars.
Was there really any doubt?
-Generally when a team has 0 first downs through the first two quarters, and gains a whopping total of 12 yards, the game is already over at halftime. In addition, if a team’s quarterback throws for 30 total yards and completes just five passes in the whole game, unless you run a triple option attack, you lost. Well if you are LSU, despite those horrid offensive numbers, you won the SEC Championship Game by 32 points against a team who had won ten straight games and was playing in front of a home crowd.
-Is there really any doubt who the best team in all of the land is? I was flabbergasted watching the first half of the LSU/Georgia game yesterday. But like most, I expected the Tigers to come out and still find a way to get a W in the second half. And boy did they ever. They absolutely ran one of the hottest teams in the nation out of the building. Yesterday’s SEC Championship taught America a few important things. Number one, LSU is without question the best team in the country and will be extremely tough to beat on January 9th. Secondly, there are 60 minutes in a football game. Thirdly, there are three facets to a football game. Those would be offense, defense, and special teams. LSU struggled offensively for the majority of the game, but thrived on defense and special teams. They forced three turnovers, took an INT to the house, and of course scored on a 62-yard-punt return. LSU is a force. Whomever gets the opportunity to play them better utilize the entire month off and come ready to play at the Superdome.
It was fun while it lasted
-The NCAA is likely to lose many players to the next level that have made the 2011/2012 season one of the most memorable in recent memory. Andrew Luck has a bowl game remaining in his illustrious career. Matt Barkley is very likely heading for the pros. Kellen Moore’s time running the show on the blue turf is nearly complete. Landry Jones will no longer be a Sooner in the very near future. And Robert Griffin III, who went out with a bang yesterday, is a bowl game away from the next level.
-I never thought I would see the day that Baylor could put up 48 on Texas, and double up the score of one of football’s elite powerhouse programs. Robert Griffin III had an absolutely magical season this year. There is no if, ands, or buts about it. The guy truly embodied what it means to be a dual-threat quarterback, and a great leader. I will be utterly shocked to see this guy back in a Baylor Bears uniform next year. It has been an absolute pleasure watching him lead Baylor to a magical season in which they defeated TCU, Oklahoma, and Texas in one season. I am very curious to see how this star QB out of Copperas Cove, Texas pans out at the next level.
The moment we all have been waiting for..
-Tonight is the night. Finally, we get to find out the bowl destinations of the nation’s elite teams. Will we have an all SEC rematch on January 9th (after what we saw in the Big Ten Title Game last night, a rematch may not be such a bad thing)? Where will Andrew Luck play his final collegiate game? Will TCU be the non-AQ conference team that sneaks into a BCS Bowl? All of the questions will finally be answered.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.