Wednesday, November 12, 2003

This was passed along by Dan Gilmartin. Gee, Dan... this seems like typical Gator football to me:

Except for Oklahoma, it's one wacky football

by Mark Bradley
Atlanta Constitution

Nobody knows anything, OK? I don't know. You
don't know. Bobby Bowden doesn't know. Tommy
Bowden doesn't know. Terry Bowden doesn't know.
Nobody knows.

Nobody knows what's coming next because nobody
can make any sense out of what has happened.
Florida State shut out Notre Dame in South Bend
but lost to Clemson, which was shut out at home
by Georgia. Florida lost to Tennessee, which lost
to Georgia, which lost to Florida. See any

Nobody sees any pattern. Nobody knows anything.
Larry Coker doesn't know. Frank Beamer doesn't
know. Miami, which hadn't lost a regular-season
game in three years, lost two in eight days. In
the span of 17 days, Virginia Tech lost to West
Virginia, beat Miami and lost to Pittsburgh.

Ole Miss started its season 2-2 and leads the SEC
West. Auburn started its season ranked No. 1 by
The Sporting News and The New York Times and will
be 6-5 if it loses Saturday in Athens. Georgia
Tech beat Auburn and nearly beat Florida State in
the same season it lost to Duke and almost lost
to Vanderbilt. Florida led Miami by 23 points and
lost and trailed Kentucky by 18 and won -- in the
same month!

TCU is undefeated. Notre Dame is 3-6. Southern
Cal went to Auburn and won and went to Berkeley
and lost. Arkansas plays six overtimes every week
and wins. Alabama plays five overtimes every week
and loses. Penn State is 2-8. Tennessee is two
points from being 1-4 in the SEC but is No. 7 in
the BCS standings. Ohio State still has won every
close game except the one where its linebacker
tried to throttle Wisconsin quarterback Jim
Sorgi, who was rendered speechless and who gave
way to backup Matt Schabert, who threw the
winning touchdown pass.

The best collegian in the country, Maurice
Clarett, hasn't played a down. A.J. Suggs, who
has been a starting quarterback in both the SEC
and ACC, hasn't played a down. Peyton Manning
couldn't beat Florida, but Eli Manning has.
Dennis Franchione's old team lost to Northern
Illinois; Dennis Franchione's new team came
within 78 points of Oklahoma. Mike Price, briefly
Franchione's successor, says he never had
improper relations with any of those women.

Northern Illinois, Bowling Green and Boise State
are ranked in the latest AP poll. Washington,
Kansas State and Maryland are not. Miami (Fla.)
is ranked only nine places ahead of Miami (Ohio).
Eleven teams are ranked in the Top 25 that were
unranked in preseason. TCU has pulled ahead of
Tennessee, Michigan, Georgia, Florida State and
both Miamis in the BCS standings.

If not for the numbing omnipotence of Oklahoma,
this would be the weirdest college season ever,
and there's still a chance things will get
stretched beyond all shape and reason. Nobody has
any idea what to make of TCU or where to send it
for the holidays. North Carolina State isn't
ranked in the Top 25 but has a realistic chance
of playing in a BCS game. (It must beat FSU and
Maryland and then pull within five spots of the
Seminoles in the final BCS rankings.) Texas,
which lost to Oklahoma by 52 points, could play
the Sooners again in the Sugar Bowl.

And then there's the SEC, which has enlivened the
scene by making up tiebreakers as it goes along.
Say Ohio State loses to Purdue and then beats
Michigan. Say Southern Cal loses to Oregon State
or UCLA. Say Texas loses to Texas A&M. Say LSU
loses to Ole Miss. The BCS standings as of Nov.
30 would have Oklahoma No. 1, Tennessee No. 2 and
Georgia No. 3. Which would mean:

Georgia goes to the SEC championship game.

And Tennessee might go to the national
championship game.

Say Georgia loses to Ole Miss in the Dome. That
would put the Vols in a position we historians
like to call "Nebraska." You might recall that,
two seasons ago, the Cornhuskers lost their final
regular-season game to Colorado 62-36 but wound
up No. 2 in the BCS without actually winning
their conference. College football -- it's the
realm where nobody knows anything, and nobody
ever learns.