'Bama Was A Hit Again, But Plenty Of Misses This BCS Season


The hangover has passed, the coaching carousel has taken a few revolutions already and the crystal trophy has been tucked away in Tuscaloosa, Ala., again. Apparently, another college football season has been put to bed.

Thank the heavens …

As blasphemous as that may read, think about it. The time had come. After months of crash-and-burns by favorites, wasted opportunities and coaches switching programs as much as programs have been switching conferences, it just needed to end.

How fitting the 2012 campaign culminated with a blowout in the BCS title game, with an SEC squad the unquestioned victor. Shocking, huh? The final chapter has read the same for seven straight seasons. All that up-and-down, hedge-your-bets, Notre Dame-rising, Southern Cal-imploding, trash-talking silliness … and, yet, we come to the same result we pretty much expected all along anyway.

It’s become a bit repetitive. The SEC dominates during the fall months, a couple of its teams lose in annual festival of non-important bowls and a nation gets the itch that, hey, maybe Alabama, Georgia and the like ain’t so tough after all.

Who says a team like the Tide can’t be beat? Who says a smoke-and-mirrors outfit like the Irish, bullet-dodgers seemingly every Saturday en route to entering the new year 12-0, couldn’t win?

Well, reality did … and it came crashing down this week in the form of Alabama’s crushing, 42-14 obliteration of an obviously overmatched ND squad.

This, really, was a foregone conclusion. To debate it beforehand was futile.

So, to “honor” those efforts, here are some big misses from the 2012 college football season:

– Yours truly actually trying to convince himself, if not others, that Tuesday’s BCS title game would be competitive after knowing for seven weeks it wouldn’t be. ND’s defensive line was supposed to be the ultimate equalizer. Talk about comic relief; that was quite the joke.

– Anyone who can stand in front of the mirror, look themselves in the face and still sincerely believe that Manti Te’o deserved the Heisman Trophy ahead of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, well, they sincerely need help. The award is given to the best player, not the best story.

– Southern Cal was the consensus preseason No. 1. Huh?

– Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley entered 2012 as the Heisman favorite and a likely top-five selection in the upcoming NFL draft. Ooops …

– Chip Kelly was a cinch to leave Oregon for the NFL. Ummm …

– Brian Kelly claimed the ND job was his “ultimate” and that he’d never even consider an NFL job. Uhhh …

– Bill O’Brien, in yet another of his “end of the day” talks, vowed his ultimate commitment to Penn State and how the Nittany Lions’ cause always would be No. 1 on his list … and then left the door open to bolting in the future, maybe even the near future. OK …

– The continued respect given to Bob Stoops and Oklahoma, as if it’s one of the country’s truly elite programs … even after the Sooners got handled pretty easy three times this season. Hello …

– Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein being a Heisman candidate at any point of the season, never mind the front-runner before the Wildcats got whipped at Baylor in late November. Nice player, but, like Te’o, he never was the best player in the country at any point of the season.

– West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith being perceived, essentially, as garbage after the Mountaineers imploded once their schedule got tougher. He still passed for 4,200 yards and 42 TDs while completing 71 percent of his attempts. Klein (and many others) could only dream of such production.

– Stanford was supposed to struggle with “QB of a lifetime” Andrew Luck having left for the NFL. Funny …

– Rutgers going 0-3 after announcing it would be joining the Big Ten, pretty much erasing a nifty 9-1 start to Kyle Flood’s first season as head coach. Ouch …

– The failure of everyone, self included, to take note of Vanderbilt’s 9-4 season at any point as it was unfolding. The Commodores rattled off seven straight wins, including a blowout bowl win, to match a program record for victories – last achieved in 1915.

– Urban Meyer, owner of two national titles from his time at Florida, posted the second 12-0 season of his coaching career … without having the chance to play for the crystal trophy either time.


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