Unless you are a fan of Florida, Alabama or Texas, college football nation may be viewing the upcoming postseason as a kind of root canal for the soul. The pain. The disappointment. The dread. Yes, this season has sucked, and Lisa Horne has ten reasons why. Take your pick college football fan, we feel your pain.
And these are our new rivalries?
Stanford used to be an automatic win for USC, but Jim Harbaugh is 2-1 against the Kings of L.A. Pete Carroll and Harbaugh won't be exchanging Christmas cards this year, and they may not exchange handshakes after next year's game, if Pete's memory serves him well. Then there's the drama between Lane Kiffin and Urban Meyer. These two coaches are bickering at each other like two high school girls? Let's just rent "Mean Girls" and avoid all of this, shall we?
The BCS is working, and where's the fun in that?
Critics of the BCS will argue for playoffs, but this year the system has weeded out most of the pretenders. The BCS is working, critics be damned. TCU, Boise State and Cincy may all have an argument that they deserve to be playing in the championship game, but realistically, if Texas and Florida or Alabama win out, there really shouldn't be controversy. Now, if Texas loses to Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game and Alabama loses to Auburn but beats Florida in the SEC championship game, then we could have a donnybrook on our hands. But right now, we can't even debate the BCS.
What happened to Tebow, Bradford and McCoy?
Surely one of these three was going to win the Heisman this year, making the three amigos trilogy one happy ending. But Tebow had a year that could not even impress Lois Lane and Bradford is limping off to the NFL. Let's face it, the Heisman is a crap shoot this year for an SEC running back, a Pac-10 running back and Colt McCoy. And Houston's Case Keenum is not getting the respect he deserves. It kind of leaves a sour taste in your mouth, doesn't it?
We won't have Charlie to kick around much longer
You either hate Notre Dame or you love them. If you say you're indifferent, no one will believe you. So the Charlie Weis era, a three-to-five-year butt of football jokes, has probably come to an end. With Jimmy Clausen reportedly getting sucker-punched at a South Bend bar, we actually are starting to feel sorry for Notre Dame, and there's just something wrong with that.
Technology is spoiling our fun
Without Twitter, we wouldn't have found out so quickly that Notre Dame's private plane's tracking system was turned off on Flightware.com after the Navy loss. What? No possible rumor-mongering about which coach A.D. Jack Swarbrick might be wooing? No reports on Swarbrick taking to the air and landing in Gainesville? Norman? Cincinnati? (We're not saying. Just saying.) That's kind of taking the fun out of the coaching carousel, isn't it?
Beating up on cupcakes has its rewards
Three non-human polls have the SEC as the No. 1 conference, two have the Pac-10 as No. 1, and one has the Big East at No. 1. Yep, cupcake scheduling is still getting its frosting licked by pollsters and nobody cares. Four cupcake wins out-of-conference and two cupcake wins in-conference to get bowl-eligible is nothing to brag about. But let's give the country's most passionate conference fans something to cheer about when their conference champ wins the crystal ball after beating only one ranked team in the regular season, while TCU beat three. Carry on.
No schadenfreude in rivalry games
Sam Bradford and Co. got hurt and the Sooners took a nose dive. Sure Oklahoma would have probably tanked it in another BCS bowl, but now, nobody has the chance to take cheap shots at Stoops' Sooners. Part of the joy in being a football fan is taking shots at your rival. Pity ruins it. What do Longhorns fans do now? Ohio State fans? Florida fans? All of their big rivalry games were stinkers. Yeah, we can't wait for the USC vs. UCLA and Alabama vs. Auburn games.
Time for the NCAA to throw a flag on officials
While we aren't conspiracy theorists, this year might be a good year to take up the cause. Every week, an officiating crew made calls or no-calls that made us scratch our heads. Or hurl. Pass interference, personal foul, and late hit calls/no-calls have all been under fire lately -- especially in the SEC and Big Ten -- not to mention unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Get rid of excessive celebration penalties, make pass interference a spot foul, and have judgment calls such as pass interference available for a coach's challenge and you might have some happier fans. And different game outcomes. Meanwhile, your team got screwed.
Preseason polls made a mess of things
Florida was ranked No. 1 because they are the defending champs. Until they lose, they are the champions. No argument there. But when you have a team whose preseason schedule looks somewhat competitive -- based on perception by the pollsters -- and it turns out that most of the teams they played weren't what they were cracked up to be, you have a team that probably won't move down in the polls. And that's a flaw in the polls. If TCU or Boise State had been ranked No. 1 preseason, they wouldn't have moved down in the polls either. Preseason polls are all about perception, and polls should be based on performance.
Factories shut down as parity arrives in college football
When classic over-achiever schools like Stanford and Duke are making noise in the BCS conferences, football factories are in trouble. USC and Oklahoma are having a "down" year, Florida State, Nebraska, Michigan and Miami are still trying to re-capture days of lore and Oregon, Stanford, Duke and Cincinnati are no longer "any sport but football" schools. Good grief, Georgia Tech looks like they are the new darlings of the ACC. Parity has invaded college football. Utah is a college football state this year while Oklahoma isn't. Damn.