Time for the Big Kahuna. THE Ohio State University against Oregon for all the marbles. The National College Football Championship.
Reading the venerable NY Times over the past season, it seems that the fair denizens of Gotham City (or at least those who utilize The Times for their information) seem to think of college football as a somewhat base undertaking.
When they are not busy water-boarding us with soccer/futbol coverage, ya know – so we can be more Euro and agree with Paul Krugman, the The Times has basically been bashing the college game.
The actual game results get inside page coverage, while any real or imagined problems (low test scores, cheatin’, concussions, and so on) get the front page. Seems like The Times does not really like football in general, since they spend a lot of press questioning why people would let their sons play the game.
After all, the O-Man himself said if he had boys he wouldn’t let them play. How’s that? Another Blue vs Red state cultural divide, one would think. But then… maybe not.
There are five power division in college football. And this year…the Blues have it.
The reddest of the power conferences is the SEC…14 schools from the dip South who have universities the football teams can be proud of. Bama. Ole Miss. Florida. Georgia. Sooey Pig. South Carolina. Rebel flags and red necks drinkin’ long necks. Unfortunately for them, their league champion, ‘Bama, got a big ol’ can of whup ass opened up on them in the playoffs. No championship for you.
The Big 12, which has ten members (hey, math is not a strong point in college ball) also is pretty dang red. Aside from the hipsters at UT down in Austin (alright, alright, alright), the other schools in the league come from places that last voted for a Demi-crat when Elvis was young. They didn’t field a team into the playoffs this year. No championship for you either.
The ACC,which was totally red until they let a bunch of East Coast misfits like BC, Pitt and Syracuse in two years ago, were represented by the Florida Seminoles. Tomahawk chopin’, political-correctness-be-damned FSU got smoked like salmon in their playoff game. No championship wampum for you either.
So who is in? Why it’s representatives of two Blue conferences.
First, you have THE Ohio State University, representing the Big Ten (which has twelve teams – again, math is not a strong point here). With the exception of Iowa and recent addition Nebraska, the Big Ten is represented by states with strong unions, fairly progressive politics and – by and large – blue voting patterns. Michigan. Wisconsin. Minnesota. Pennsylvania. Heck, they even added Rutgers from blue New Jersey – in the misguided hope that somehow the blue New York metro area would give a rat’s behind about the college game (no such luck).
Ohio itself can run both ways election wise… but make no mistake, it’s an industrial state that generally leans blue in it attitude.
Their opponent, Oregon, represents the bluest of the blue. Tree huggin’, Volvo drivin’, pinot drinkin’ liberals from the left coast. With the exception of recent addition Utah, and the party schools in Arizona, the rest of the Pac-12 is a little to the left of Lenin. Hey, at Stanford they have a friggin’ weird tree as their mascot. They legally smoke rope in Washington and Colorado. And Berkeley is… well, Berkeley. Save the gay baby whales.
So this year we have a deep deep blue Oregon facing off against a paler blue Ohio State. Which means it’s not a blue versus red thing…
It’s New York versus the rest of the country.
Why do New Yorker’s tune out college football while the rest of the country does not? Well…s ome people say because there’s no big school in the actual city itself, at least not since Fordham was a power when Vince Lombardi (the patron saint of contact sports) played for them back in the 30’s.
I think not.
I think the reason that New Yorker’s follow the professional game with passion and tune out the college boys reflects the essence of what New York is known for… money-driven, back-stabbing, rapacious pirate capitalists making tons of money on Wall Street and Madison Avenue. So they respect the pro’s for what they are; honest to goodness mercenaries, where the highest bidder gets the best players.
Or not. As the Jet’s have proven year in. And year out.
The college game, with it’s regional ties, hokey traditions, back door nudge, nudge, wink, wink payola and blatant exploitation of young athletes just does not appeal to a New York state of mind. They prefer their gladiatorial combat straight up without a chaser... undiluted. Hence, the pro game rules there, which is reflected in the coverage not only from the snooty Times but also the working Joe’s tabloids.
But for the rest of us out here, both in the heartland and out in the land of the lotus eaters, there is a championship to which we’ll be paying attention.
Prediction: THE Ohio State 48, Oregon 45.
And here’s a little of the great John Prine to send ya on your way till next time…
Exactly oto… Quasimoto. Come back tomorrow for a man that transcends Blue & Red, Different Matt.