NCAA Week 2: Good Snark, Bad Snark
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Where else would the college football poll have been invented but in SEC country?
Heap praise or damnation on Charles Woodroof, who'd served as a media wonk for the conference.
His brainchild came to life in 1934, and the Associated Press picked it up as an annual feature in 1936, selecting 60 writersfrom around the USA to mold what's become the game's caste system that we know today.
Allegedly by popular demand, the pre-season poll began in 1950. And therein were sown the seeds of the media's leaking cred.
The only real money on the line to the colleges then -- boot money was a different matter -- was healthy payouts from the big bowls, and those were by and large determined by conference championships.
Thus, polls were still more a matter of pride than a major factor in big revenues.
However, the perception of branding was being built, and those who got the message loud and clear began to pull away from the rest.
Too bad, really. It looked like those Bucking Broncos from Santa Clara were about to go on a roll.
The irony, of course, is pre-season after pre-season, writers and broadcasters fall for the big-brand concept.
Who knew Charlie Brown would grow up to become a college sportswriter/broadcaster?
Good Snark: Sparty in the Sky ... OK, Norman Greenbaum had a higher calling, but Michigan State will take Vernon Davis Jr's fateful fourth-quarter overthrow as a sign from above.
Coach Mark D'Antonio was thatmuch height and distance away from needing a more defiant tone in his soundbite. As it is, poll or no poll, that was a damn fine game and Sparty's CFP quest has cleared a major hurdle.
Bad Snark: Hail Moroni v2.0 ... Well, the Boise State upsetting the CFP applecart scenario didn't last long. BYU has its own spirits in the sky. Can't wait to see where they send frosh QB Tanner Mangum on his mission.
We suggest Fantasyland.
Good Snark: Redemption ... Wonder if Portland State's AD is on the phone to Rutgers? What with all that's happening off the field at New Jersey State, it's impressive the Scarlet Knights actually have time to prepare for a game. Fortunately for them, all Janarion Grant needs to prepare for is daylight. Other than that, though, it was Leach Ahoy:
Bad Snark: Dust to Dust ... After hearing from the Turk in Philly, it's more than likely that these ashes are the mortal remains of Tim Tebow's NFL career:
Good Snark: The Other Temple ... Speaking of Philadelphia, there's talk that their Owls are now frontrunners as the Other Five's rep when Big Payout bowls roll around. Who knew a Cincinnati takeout would foster such lofty thoughts?
Temple's trip to East Carolina on Thu 22 Oct should have something to say about their future. More to the point, Notre Dame will be bringing them a lotta Brotherly Love a weekend later. DeShone Kizer oughta be settled in at the Irish controls by then and ready to prove the reach of Touchdown Jesus extends far beyond the Golden Domes.
Speaking of the Pirates ...
Bad Snark: Gator-on-Gator Crime ... What? Does Eli Manning coach the Florida defense on Saturdays?
East Carolina had crept to within 31-24 down in Gainesville and were driving when their backup QB, Blake Kemp, forgot that holding on to the ball was a prime requisite in passing it. A fumble recovery and an open field seemed to indicate nirvana for Alex McCalister, but dude was foiled by his over-strategizing teammate and all-around spoilsport, Jarrad Davis.
What's the bigger risk, here? McCalister fumbling and waiting for a Pirate to catch up, or McCalister wrenching an ankle or knee with an unexpected tackle?
Athletic scholarship: check. Mensa membership: doubtful.
Herman's not pulled out the ol' parable about Woody Hayes and the turtle dick, but the season's young. His H-Town Makeover program, though, may have been just south of Bear Bryant's first A&M retreat, but it's getting early results.
Houston's toughest games are all at home, so they could have a shot as the Other Five's anointed one. If an intensity boost is required in November -- most likely -- Woody and the turtle are no doubt waiting in the wings.
Bad Snark: Bruised Brand Weekend ... Why do coaches who should know better -- eg- Bret Bielema -- blow their cred at totally unnecessary times? Could it be they can't turn off their living room recruiting mode?
Then there's Tennessee racing to a 17-0 lead at Neyland against Oklahoma, only to fall in overtime, 31-24.
At least the experience gave Butch Davis the opportunity to coach a Sooner.
However, 41-point favorite Auburn managed to salvage a victory -- after paying for it twice -- to keep the SEC's non-con casualty count at two for the week. But it was a foot on the line from being a bigger headline.
And how do two vaunted SEC defenders even let that ball get caught?
Moral of the story: There are dominant teams, but not necessarily dominant conferences, no matter how much coaches try to perpetuate that myth with hype. Yet another great reason for an eight-team playoff featuring regular-season titlists.
Snarkalicious: We Don't Need No Stinking Cupcakes ... Thunder and lightning washed out LSU's traditional warm-up against an overmatched foe, but the Bayou Bengals proved that good teams rise to the top without staging glorified scrims masquerading as games for which fans are expected to pay top prices.
Don't know what's in the water down Starkville way, but here's another dude who should now be on the wagon:
Probably an AP voter.