The Buck Sweep – BCS Hangover Edition

People always talk about how the holidays are depressing.  Christmas Day can get a little depressing, knowing that month-long holiday build-up resulted in a pair of bedroom slippers that totally didn’t fit.

But after that you always have New Year’s to look forward to. But once that gets here you start thinking about going back to work and you just want to stab yourself in the eyes to keep from having to deal with that hen in the office across the hall.

But we still have football, and while I have railed against the sin of not having the Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day, the BCS has at least extended our holiday into the year’s first week.

But once the BCS title game is over, what is there?  January college basketball sucks really hard people, admit it.  Recruiting? We’re down to pining over a couple of guys who we didn’t really want two months ago.  The outdoors frightens me with its lack of color and creepy leafless branches longing to bring me into their clutches.

Wait, what were we talking about again?

On to The Sweep:

Hail ‘Bama. I hate to say that, because Alabama losing is so much more entertaining and better for business than them winning, what with their crazyass fan base and all. But you have to give Nick Saban credit, he showed why he is a living legend and why The Hat is The Hat. LSU was putting together one of the most epic seasons of all time, with wins over Oregon (Rose Bowl champ), West Virginia (Orange Bowl champ), Alabama (eventual BCS champ) and Arkansas (Cotton Bowl champ).  But the Tide got revenge in a big way, dominating on defense like the ’86 Bears and with an assist from A.J. McCarron and Game of the Century Goat Jeremy “The Toe” Shelley, who is a hero despite MISSING two field goals and an extra point.

The funniest thing to me last night was seeing all the tweets about how “THIS GAME ISN’T BORING THIS IS HOW FOOTBALL IS SUPPOSED TO BE PLAYED!”  Look SEC fans, you don’t have to continue to defend the conference, we’ve already won. Those were the best two teams in the country last night, and one of them proved beyond a shadow of a doubt they are the best in the land.

But please don’t try to pass that off as an enjoyable game.  That game was bad. (I initially typed horrendous, but I recalled all the cracking pads I noticed last night, which I enjoyed, so I upped the grade.)  Games that are great defensive battles have meaningful touchdowns scored, that’s what makes them so great.  I love a good 13-10 game. I love a good 45-42 game. I love football. And I loved last night, but I didn’t love being a spectator of that particular game.

My lasting memory from the game will always be this —> OUCH.

Top 10 Finish. As expected, South Carolina finished with their first ever Top 10 ranking when the polls were released early this morning, earning the #8 spot in the AP Top 25 and the #9 spot in the USA Today coaches poll.  Apparently the Gamecocks did not impress everyone, as Josh Kendall ranked us #11 in his final ballot.  Oh yeah, he works for The State, but I’m sure you already knew that.

Annnnd Here We Go. Will the Gamecocks be ranked in the Top 10 in the 2012 preseason polls? Well, if the way too early prognostications are any guide, it appears so.  Mark Schlabach of ESPN has USC at #10 (his alma mater UGA is at #6),  Other teams of interest include BCS title game participants LSU at #1 and Alabama at #3, probation-riddled SoCal at #2, the record holders for most points ever scored in a bowl game at #7, FSU at #8…wait, seriously?  FSU in the Top 10 again? Sucker.

70-33 is ranked #22 in this poll.

Don’t Say Nothin’ Says Somethin’. Devin Taylor’s announcement that he is staying for his Senior season is a major boost to the Gamecock defense next year.  It’s also the right move for a classy young man who will greatly improve his draft stock over the next twelve months. Any time I heard his name mentioned in conjunction with the draft I couldn’t help but think of Clifton Geathers, whose decision to leave early hasn’t quite panned out so far.

It Just Doesn’t Get Old. Brent Musburger took a shot at Clemson last night during the BCS National Championship, saying something to the effect that “Alabama has given up nine touchdowns all season, Clemson gave up more than that in ONE GAME!”  Ouch, man. (I can’t find a clip of it, so if anyone has one, please pass it along.) Bet the Esso Club won’t be quite so welcoming to Brent next time.

Now I See Why Tigers Eat Their Young. More on the “70-33 Incident”, FIGUREFOUR over at Shakin’ the Southland pretty much hates everything about Clemson football at the moment. And the people in the comments section pile on. Good read. Good, good read.

Ragin’ Cajun. If you didn’t see reporter Bobby Hebert’s questioning of Les Miles after the game you should treat yourself. Hebert used to be the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints. And the Atlanta Falcons. And he has a radio show. And his son plays offensive line for LSU.  And he’s nutty as a fruitcake.

Honestly, my respect for Les Miles goes way up here, because he embraces calm and actually answers like Hebert is a real journalist.

Come on Spring.