Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blogpoll roundtable #2

We have to go back to Hokie country for the second Blogpoll roundtable - the big one this time, not the ACC version - as College Game Balls has been drafted for duty as host again. Original questions are there, answers below, you know the drill.

1. Which freshman impressed you more last weekend: the California dream Matt Barkley who quarterbacked USC over tOSU or white lightening Tate Forcier who slashed through Notre Dame? Which one would you like to have on your team? Feel free to write in another worth candidate.

Tate! Tate the Great! But Michigan fan in me aside, at least half of Barkley's hype is because every USC quarterback is Montana, Elway, and Marino with a side of Namath all rolled into one as far as the media is concerned. Slobber slobber slobber. I'll stipulate that Ohio State has a much, much better defense than Notre Dame, but Tate's accomplishment far outstrips Barkley's for several reasons:

- Barkley had over seven minutes left in the game when the drive started. Seven minutes! That's not crunch time. That USC scored with a little over a minute left doesn't mean Barkley was under pressure to get things done right now on this drive, it means USC's coaches did a good job of managing the clock. Tate had all of 2:19 to get things done, which means he had to score on that drive or never.

- Barkley made two nice passes and then commenced duties as a transfer station between the center and Joe McKnight. Of 14 plays on the drive, only four resulted in a Barkley pass attempt and two of those fell incomplete. Tate started the drive with a complete pass, his team attempted just two rushes, and the next six plays were pass attempts, five of which were complete and the other hit the receiver right between the numbers and he dropped it.

You can have Sunshine the Golden Boy. I'll take the skinny kid whose teammates call him goofy and who ohbytheway has the added skill set of being able to deprive defensive backs of their jockstraps and dignity with one swift change of direction.

2. Let’s play a game of pretend the unthinkable happened. Commissioner __________ of your conference has been forced to resign after he was caught canoodling with some harlots. Great news, you’ve been chosen to succeed him. To make your mark you decide to make a big change. What is it going to be?

Simple: the ACC CG is never, ever, ever going to be held in Florida again. That turns the game into a pilgrimage for the vast majority of ACC fans. Duhrrr, you think the shitty attendance at the last few games had anything to do with the fact that one of the participants was from a city 1500 miles away? Fans are going to make one pilgrimage to see their team play in the postseason. One. And they'll probably do it for the bowl game, when it's easier to get the time off work. The game stays in Charlotte. Period. Nine of twelve ACC fanbases can make a day trip of a game in Charlotte. The so-called good exposure of having the game in Florida is totally ruined by holding it in front of 35 people.

3. This week the quality of games is kicked up a gear. Other than your own, which game are you most looking forward to?

Michigan State-Notre Dame. This was supposed to be a pretty epic battle between two teams with high expectations. Both were thinking New Year's bowl games. Last week didn't go as planned for either one, and now the team that loses is going to walk out with severely crashed expectations. I like it better this way. The stakes are higher now - you lose, you start thinking maybe Detroit's not such a bad place to play a bowl game.

(FTR, people, it's not. But still. It's no Rose Bowl.)

4. What mascot and/or tradition would you thieve from another school if it was socially acceptable.

Bevo. Animal mascots are pretty great overall, and what better mascot than one you can take on the road and let it take a giant cow shit on the field?

As for tradition, we'll balance the scales a bit and go to Texas A&M, because, hello?! Bonfire? Big ol' bonfire in the Mad Bowl? Yes please. Fire is cool. I would like to start building bonfires, and I recommend, all you student types, that such tradition commence this very year before a rivalry game of your choosing. Go forth and make it happen.

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