Monday, January 08, 2007

Revisiting "" (Alligators vs. Blackeyes)

This BCS title-game tilt (OSU vs. UF) has been sittin' in the fridge for so long, we almost forgot what it was when we saw it wrapped in foil on the top shelf.
Behind the pickles and the orange juice.

And, because of the confusion regarding the shelf-life of such matters, it's not easy to remember what's inside.
Until we peel back the foil.

These are not leftovers to be disguised as a casserole. It's so much more.
But, what exactly is at stake here? After all, this is the first time since the 2001 season in which our college football championship dreams of touchdowns and lollipops won't be influenced by USC asking, "What about us?"
And, that's what's a little odd because the '06 Men of Troy were nearly as good as the Trojan warhorses of '02, '03, '04 and '05 -- except for puzzling slip-ups against very ordinary Oregon State an UCLA.

Since no one seems willing to provide an in-depth analysis of just how much the losses of Brandon Ting and Ryan Ting impacted 'SC's program (and Troy's capacity to dish out an ass-beaTING), a nation will turn it's eyes to another Troy.
Exactly ... the guy who won the Heisman Troy-phy.

It all begins with the stripes on the jersey sleeves of the Ohio State Blackeyes.
Nobody's said a word about it all season (is it taboo?), but the stripe-configuration is clearly different.
In previous seasons (and as recently as last year), the stripe pattern on the scarlet jerseys was the same design as what the Steelers and the Packers still have (except those teams use yellow as the chief color; the Blackeyes use silver/gray).

This year, the Blackeyes have worn scarlet jerseys wherein the sleeves have two thin white stripes with an extremely-thin black border. It's the sleeve-stripe design which was worn by the Blackeyes during the final three years of The Schlichter Era ('79 thru '81), as anyone who was the under-secretary of the Sub-Committee on Schlichter Affairs can tell you.
There are photos here to prove it.
Photos of a handsome #10 with stickers on his helmet.

Speaking of which ... has anyone questioned TresselVest's extremely liberal helmet-sticker policy?
The new #10 -- the Heisman Troy-phy winner -- has too many on his shiny silver headgear. In fact, Troy Smith's helmet is completely covered with decals, a by-product of the over-sticker-ization of the Blackeye helmet.
America is definitely up in arms about gaining access to the Blackeye-sticker qualification list.
What is the criteria?
"Show up to practice on time ... Blackeye sticker!"
"Wearing pants while showing up to practice on time ... Blackeye sticker!"

Speaking of the hard-shelled bonnet, Heisman Troy-phy will attempt to become the first QB to win a national championship while wearing a shield on his facemask.
Imagine that ... the FIRST shield-wearing QB in BCS history.
While Troy Smith has worn a tinted bug shield before, the best guess-timate for tonight's game is that he'll have a clear shield.
It's manufactured by Nike (of course).

However, as we learned from our Nov. 19 entry ("Heisman Troy-phy"), Mighty Troy doesn't look as cool with the windshield on his helmet as Greg Frey did during his days as a Blackeye QB (when Herb Kirkstreit was a frosh QB on campus).
But, that's only because Greg Frey was a white dude wearing a tinted bug shield before it became vogue.
Pretty soon, guys like Jim McMahon and Dan McGwire were pasty white dudes wearing the tinted shield.
Greg Frey, though ... he was the first.
First college QB, anyway.

So, we've addressed the dress code -- although, through the years, the Blackeyes have often crossed us up, switching from black cleats to the completely awwwwwsummm white cleats, which they wore from the mid-'70s thru the '80s ... until they switched to those kinda-cool red cleats ... before switching back to black cleats ... which gave way to the popular (but ugly) black cleat w/ black socks look.

America needs to decide for itself if it likes the black cleat/black socks look -- and if such a look is more-offensive than when the Alligators broke out the white helmets with the block "F" (which they wore during their game against Alabama)
In this fashion-plate expose, we're thanking our lucky stars that FLA has retained the white cleat/white sock combo which, too often, has faded from the coll. FB landscape.

Anyway, the Alligators will use their orange-n'-blue powers to do on the same field (University of Phoenix Stadium) what the blue-n'-orange Boise State Broncos did one week earlier to the Sooner Schooner in a memorable Fiesta Bowl.
And, the Urban Legend will attempt to win a national championship by going against all of the wisdom of ""
Again, it's a classic case of new coach winning with the guys he didn't recruit.
It doesn't take an urban legend to realize that when you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts n' minds will follow.

Now, a textbook example of Urban's legacy as part-magician, part-genius was never more evident than the classic moment from the SEC Championship when he waved his magic wand in the third quarter.
You remember it:
Arkansas had just scored a TD on one of its funky Darren McFadden, option-TD passes to pull to within 17-14 and, a few minutes later, Razorblades D-lineman Antwain Robinson stepped in front of that baby-toss, two-foot shovel pass from Chris Leak and chugged 40 yards for a TD and a 21-17 Hogs lead.

That's when Urban dialed upon some wicked sorcery.
Following an Arkansas punt, the Alligators were about to run their first play of the possession (on 1st-and-10 from their own 15) when Urb called timeout.

Three plays later, the Alligators faced 4th-and-10 -- and the Eric Wilbur was summoned to punt.
Only Wilbur didn't kick the ball. Instead -- in a horrifically-slow-developing, fake-punt scenario, Wilbur gave the ball to Jemalle Cornelius, who swept around the left side and gained 17 yards to the 32-yard line.

After two plays netted three yards, Urb burned his second timeout of the series.
When a 6-yard pass from Leak to Percy Harvin brought on a 4th-and-1 from the Gator 41, Urb spent his final timeout of the half.
Urb decided that it would serve the Alligators' best interests to punt the ball -- and, this time, Wilbur really did.
Only thing is, Arkansas' Reggie Fish muffed the kick inside his own 5-yard line and the ball danced free in the end zone.
That was where, among a threesome or foursome of converging Alligators, Wonty Pierre-Louis emerged as the player who made the recovery for a Florida touchdown.

Verne Lundquist informed his CBS audience that Wonty Pierre-Louis was born in Haiti.

That sequence cemented his image as the Urban Legend. It was what the anti-Zookists had asserted all along -- that the Alligators needed a head coach who was a visionary ... thay it was impossible for the revelers to execute a Swamp Romp Stomp n' Chomp unless the head coach was willing to burn all three timeouts on one possession which featured the Big Three of classic plays: 1) Fake punt 2) Actual punt 3) Real-live muffed punt recovered for a TD by the Haitian dude.

Sure, Boise State head coach Chris Petersen pulled a game outta the fire with a hook-n'-ladder play, the WR-turned-HB-option pass and the insane Statue of Liberty play, but Boise's sequence lacked the originality and vision of Urb's master plan.
Timeout, fake punt, timeout, timeout, punt, muff, a TD for Haiti.

Urb's intellect CAN take over games. He seizes such opportunities.
Take the win over LSU. With 22 seconds until halftime in a 7-7 game, Urb diagrammed the unforgettable Tim Tebow play wherein the frosh QB double-clutched a 1-yard, jump-pass TD.
Then, after a halftime spent working with new diagrams and re-working old diagrams, Urb drew up a special play -- "Watch The LSU Return Man Shit His Pants While Dealing With The Second-Half Kickoff."

That muff resulted in a safety, not a TD for a Haitian -- but did nothing to tarnish Urban Muffer's legacy as master strategist and tactician.
Urb'll be the first to tell ya: Strategy ain't nuthin' without tactics.
Just as tactics ain't squat without strategy.

This is what TresselVest must weigh ... that, and a 51-day layoff for his squad.
So much down time tends to render pre-game prognostications moot. After all, there's nothing coll. FB players love more than practicing for a month and a half and havin' no enemy to hit (and to exchange smack with) at the end of each 7-day installment.
Seven weeks of practice without seven games at the end of each week.
Makes sense ...

Uh oh, those knuckleheads are here to offer their goodbye kiss.
Leak Orso's three keys for the Alligators are:
1) Stuff the run (with the nickel D)
2) Get Harvin involved
3) Don't kick field goals

Herb Kirkstreit's three keys for the Blackeyes are:
1) Win the psychological battle (because Fla. is out to prove Ohio State is a fraud)
2) Spread and balanced offense
3) Make Florida earn everything

Herbie, Herbie, Herbie ... it'll be a long winter without your jelled coiff, hazel eyes and raspy voice for us to mock/taunt.
During one of the College LameDay preview shows 'round Xmas time, Herbie boldly proclaimed, "I'm warning you right now, watch out for Notre Dame against LSU in the Sugar Bowl."
It was laughable before the game, more laughable after.
In his defense, though, LSU began to seLf-deStrUct, but didn't have the balls to completely seLf-deStrUct vs. the Farting Irish.

In the end, all we know about OSU-FLA is that the Big 11 was one puhhhhh-thetic conference this year. By the same token, the "team speed/team speed/team speed" concept in the SEC (which we learn about from the day we're born) is a complete myth, given Wisconsin's win over Arkansas and Penn State's win over Tennessee last week.
How's that team speed working out for Oklahoma vs. Boise State?

The game's about blocking, it's about tackling, it's about executing on every play (not just some plays or most plays) and it's about steering clear of ridiculous turnovers which absolutely kill a team.
It's not about "don't kick field goals."
Or which "sets" Team X is showing to Team Y.
These analysists fall so deeply in love with "concepts" and window-dressing minutae.

Does Player A have a huge advantage ove Player B if Player A runs a 4.33 40 and Player B runs a 4.54 40?
Good gravy, no ... not if Player A brings his A-game only 47 percent of the time.

So, tonight, we'll find out who wins the classic one-on-one matchups.
Again, LameDay did a bang-up job giving America ZERO in-the-trenches matchups (because LameDay is layyyyy-zeee).
So, right now, let's picture Ohio State center Kirk Lowdermilk mixing it up with Florida DE Trace Armstrong.
Or, let's picture Gator OL Zac Zedalis squaring off against OSU DE Alonzo Spellman.

Butler By'not'e just got tripped up on the KOR by Bobby Xynidas.

If ya haven't watched any college football in the past 20 years (hi, Leak Orso!), those names won't mean anything to you ...

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