A proud day for daddy, yesterday. My kids are getting addicted to college basketball. All of them.
Last year, after a big win where Jamaal hit the game winner, he said “Sometimes I just go from Little Mario to Big Mario.”
And that was the case last night. Midway through the 2nd half in a close conference opener Jamaal came down the court tossed it off the glass from 3-point land, dodged traffic, and threw it down.
Last years Mountain West Player of the Year wanted to make sure he was nominated for this years award. Point well taken.
And then Twitter blew up.
Hats off to you, Mr. Franklin.
Like most college athletic departments, SDSU has a point system for allocating tickets. Whether its NCAA basketball tickets, moving to better season ticket locations, or seating priority for a bowl game, the point system is valuable to all fans who like to attend games.
The Problem with the Current SDSU Priority Points System
With that said, the current SDSU point system is struggling to adapt to an exploding fan base. Starting in about 2009, the football and basketball programs have gone on a tear, moving from regional doormat to a blossoming national awareness. The net effect has been that there are two different San Diego State fan bases.
I’m new to State. I moved into the College Area in 2008 and quickly adopted them. I’m not an alumni. I didn’t grow up in San Diego. They are just the school that’s near my house and I enjoy going to football and basketball games.
Co-Champs of the Mountain West
It’s hard to imagine that a team that started off so poorly could come back and win 9 games, capturing a share of the conference title. But that’s exactly what the Aztecs have done. Yesterday they went to Laramie, a place which is high altitude and butt cold, and got a big win.
Congrats to them. I can’t wait to see them in either the Las Vegas or Poinsettia Bowl in a few weeks.
Pinch Me, I’m Irish
Yesterday was a dream. My dad and Paul, 3 generations of McLane men, were at the biggest live game any of us had seen. #1 Notre Dame took on upset minded USC. The stadium was packed 45 minutes before the game… And they booed everything Notre Dame did.
And we ground out a win. What I love about this years tam is that they aren’t always dominant… But they are tough and find ways to win. USC fans kept reminding me that we should be blowing out the Trojans… And I kept reminding them that we only needed to win by one. Style points mean nothing.
It was a magical day in an amazing stadium. Seriously, the Coliseum is one of the best college venues I’ve ever been to. It was made more meaningful to me by sharing the day with my dad and son. Life is messy. There’s been times when I’ve disappointed my dad and times when I’ve completely failed as a father. But some days you get it right. I was one proud dad and son yesterday. Football brought us together and you could feel this simple tradition going from father to son to grandson.
I’m all misty about that. Thank you Notre Dame.
Oh yeah, everyone else
Elsewhere around college football there were few surprises. Ohio State beat Michigan for a championship-less undefeated season. Florida beat Florida State. Georgia beat Georgia Tech. Oklahoma snuck one out against the Cowboys. Oregon beat up Oregon State. Outside of the Big East… Everyone won who you’d expect as we head towards the championship pre-bowl games.
I never thought both of my teams would do so well in 2012. Its been quite a ride. Now, lets get Manti Te’o his Heisman!
Pinch me. That’s how I felt last night as a madly switched between ABC & ESPN as Oregon and Baylor folded.
Going into this season I never thought Notre Dame had a shot at a national title. I didn’t even let myself think they had a realistic shot at a BCS game, though I knew if they got 8 or more wins they were a lock for one.
Um, WOW. That about sums up my thoughts for week 10 of college football.
Let’s start off in two obvious places for me.
- Notre Dame beat Pitt to go to 9-0. If you watched this game you know how ridiculous it was to get an Irish victory. It had all the ingredients of an upset loss. Red zone turnovers, penalties, and Coach Kelly playing Russian Roulette with his QBs. The defense looked mesmerized by Pitt all game– as if this weren’t the team they’d seen on film that lost to lowly Youngstown State to open the season. (As an Irish fan, I know that it’s the NBC factor. For most mediocre teams the Notre Dame game is their only shot at national TV. It’s their de facto bowl game and crappy teams tend to play better.) I thought the game was over when Golson threw a pick in the endzone with 3 minutes to go. But the defense got a stop and 2 plays later Golson somehow tied it up. How far can the Irish go? At this point if they win 1 out of 3 games they are going to a BCS game. Win 2 out of 3 and they go to a BCS game. But win all 3? Mark my words… an undefeated Notre Dame team will not be denied a spot in the National Championship game. They are just too powerful from a fan base perspective. An undefeated Notre Dame team could bump out undefeated Oregon or Alabama. Money talks and everyone in football is poor compared to Notre Dame.
- San Diego State beat Boise State in Boise. For those outside of the West you need to know: No one beats Boise State in Boise. Going into the game they were 71-1 at home since 2001. Additionally, SDSU has not beaten a nationally ranked team on the road in the history of the program. (They were 0-31 in road games against ranked teams.) Quite literally, it was the biggest win in team history. Not only did it catapult them into a tie for the Mountain West lead, it also was huge from a recruiting perspective as they head into the Big East alongside Boise State. A lot of Boise State’s talent at the skills positions comes from Southern California, so showing those recruits we can go there and get a win means a ton. Credit for this victory goes to two departments. First, Rocky Long made some ballsy calls down the stretch to run out the clock, including going for it on 4th down with 2:03 to go. (Rocky’s go-for-it chart now has its own Twitter account.) Second, special teams won this game. We opened the game with a 102 yard kickoff return for a TD. And late in the game we blocked a punt to set up the victory.
Still kind of pinching myself about those two games. Wow.
Notre Dame Opponents Making the Case for the Irish
ND’s schedule was a death sentence. No one… NO ONE predicted they’d be 9-0. But now that we are here we can thank our opponents for helping us with the BCS picture. (In basketball terms we’d call this the RPI) Navy has won 5 in a row. Michigan beat Minnesota in the first post-Robinson era game. Miami beat VaTech. Stanford is on a 3 game winning streak. And BYU went to Atlanta and kicked the crap out of Georgia Tech.
No Upsets in the Top 10
Boy, ESPN was sure hoping for a shake-up yesterday– right? They set it up all week for one of the undefeated teams to lose, but they didn’t. Alabama came back against LSU. Oregon went all video game on USC in the 4th quarter. Kansas State held on despite probably losing their QB. And Notre Dame stole victory from Pitt.
Even in the top 20 teams there wasn’t really a major upset. The day played out with only the SDSU/Boise State game surprising most people. Some ranked teams lost to lower ranked or unranked conference opponents… but that’s gonna happen this time of year.
Who is For Real?
Is Louisville (10-0) for real? Um, no one seems to think so. I think they are destined for the Orange Bowl to play whichever team loses among the 4 undefeated who isn’t Oregon. All of whom will hammer the Cardinals. While undefeated, they haven’t played any team of significance, which is why no one is giving them love.
Is Rutgers for real? No.
Is the state of Texas for real? Meh. I’ve not been impressed with any of the Texas teams this year. I love that TCU beat West Virginia yesterday. But all the Texas teams just seem to be chewing up one another in 2012 and none of them is emerging. I’ve been impressed with A&M… but I have a feeling they’ll get thrashed by Alabama next weekend. I think that we’ve finally learned what happens when all Texas teams can recruit… they all kind of lose something. (TCU, Texas, A&M, Tech, Baylor are all meh in 2012.)
Is Florida State for real? Yes. No one wants to play them in a BCS bowl game. While their schedule has sucked they have thrashed some teams. If they can get by Florida, expect them to be in a top tier bowl.
Is the Big 10 really this bad? Yes. Other than ineligible Ohio State, none of the Big 10 teams are playing very well. It looks like Nebraska could make it to the Rose Bowl. (If Oregon gets the national championship game we could see a 1 loss Notre Dame vs. Nebraska… which would be a GREAT game.) Don’t forget that the Big 10 was horrible in non-conference games this year.
Is the MAC for real? Yes, but it won’t matter. A 1 loss Ohio/Kent State/Toledo/NIU team will still be in the Motor City Bowl because the MAC is a lower tier mid-major.
Adam’s BCS Bowl Projections
National Championship Game – Notre Dame vs. Oregon
Fiesta Bowl – Florida vs. Kansas State
Sugar Bowl – Alabama vs. Florida State
Orange Bowl – Louisville vs. Clemson
Rose Bowl – Nebraska vs. Georgia