by Pat Dooley
It’s hard to believe it’s already over. I know it’s over when I cast my Heisman ballot, which I did just before posting the final Sunday Blog of this college football season.
Oh, I know it’s not really over because they haven’t played the Helicopter Bowl and the Buffalo Wings Bowl yet. But there are only a handful of these bowl games you’ll watch. Me? I’ll watch more than I should, but it’s really time to turn our attention to college basketball, the NFL race down the stretch and Christmas shopping.
One last time this season, we bring you the Sunday Blog.
THE FINAL NOTE-READY-FOR-PRIME-TIME
COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL
1. Notre Dame: Must have been nice to sit back and watch on Saturday.
2. Alabama: Doesn’t Nick Saban deserve some Coach of the Year consideration?
3. Florida: Will Muschamp was out recruiting hard last week.
4. Oregon: I still think the Ducks were the best team in the country this year.
5. Ohio State: All dressed up and nowhere to go.
6. Georgia: Close losses like that one eat away at you for months.
7. Kansas State: Enjoy the Fiesta Bowl, Wildcats. You deserve it.
8. LSU: Curious to see where the Tigers end up.
9. South Carolina: Steve Spurrier has a habit of getting 10-win seasons.
10. Stanford: You wonder if David Shaw isn’t headed for the NFL soon.
11. Texas A&M: First, he wasn’t allowed to talk. Now, you can’t turn the TV on without seeing someone interviewing Johnny Football.
12. Oklahoma: Sooners were sporting Big XII champ t-shirts Saturday.
13. Oregon State: Beavers scored 77 on Nicholls State Saturday.
14. Florida State: Seminoles shut out in second half by a bad Tech defense.
15. Clemson: Tigers getting ready for a return to Atlanta?
16. Northern Illinois: Tried to blow it, but won conference title.
17. Michigan: Strange season for the Wolverines.
18. UCLA: A field goal away from overtime in Pac-12 game.
19. Louisville: Congrats to Charlie Strong and enjoy Miami.
20. Utah State: Another nice season for an under-rated team.
21. Vanderbilt: Three of their four losses were to top 10 teams.
22. Boise State: Way-under-the-radar 10-win season.
23. Northwestern: Another fine year for Pat Fitzgerald.
24. Nebraska: Yikes, Huskers, you have to show up for a conference title game. Don’t you?
25. Kent State: Only team in the rankings that lost to Kentucky.
THE SEC FOUR-PACK
1. Nick Saban was at it again after the SEC Championship Game yelling about how Georgia belongs in a BCS bowl. He said the SEC should get three teams in. Of course, it’s against the rules. Other things Saban believes should happen — ice cream should be free, it should never rain on a wedding day and Alabama should have unlimited scholarships.
2. There were some nervous Gator fans after the great game Saturday night and we won’t find out for sure until tonight. They were worried that Georgia might stay ahead of Florida in the BCS Standings and go to the Sugar Bowl. One thing voters hopefully considered when filling out their ballots — Georgia’s second-best win this year (Vanderbilt) was Florida’s fifth-best win this year.
3. So now we get more than a month of breaking down the Alabama-Notre Dame game. Please, don’t ask me what I think. I think I need to get my birthday present off to my daughter in Los Angeles and get ready for cataract surgery Tuesday (I postponed the hip surgery for a number of reasons). I think I need to find a really cool Christmas gift for my wife. I think I need to get started on Bowl-o-rama. I am not going to think about Alabama and Notre Dame until after Christmas.
4. I was a little puzzled by the hiring of Mark Stoops at Kentucky. He might do a fine job. He certainly has the pedigree. But to me, you have to hire a coach who is going to think outside the box to win at Kentucky. You can’t just line up and play basic football with those athletes. I will be really interested to see who he hires as offensive coordinator.