Found November 13, 2012 on Taking Bad Schotz:
So what now? In case you were buried under a rock somewhere, you already know Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M went to Tuscaloosa and slapped down No. 1 Alabama’s national championship hopes like Tommy Tuberville might an unassuming assistant coach. The Crimson Tide – as well as the entire SEC – is out of the national title picture – for now, at least, and probably for the rest of the season. For the first time since 2006, one has a crystal-clear vision of a BCS National Championship Game without a team from what many consider to be the unbearable SEC. And, truthfully, it feels somewhat empty. If you’re an SEC fan, you have an easy out: Your best teams are challenged week-in and week-out.  Of course, to argue that is to largely overlook the fact that the Toughest Conference in the History of the World 2012 is weaker than in years past. But then again, you’re an SEC fan. You can’t see any other way. For college football fans that have long since grown tired of the TCITHOTW, watching Alabama fall this week had to be similar to watching the villain of a horror flick die with 30 minutes left in the movie. How do we even finish this movie? The new front-running teams are so – well – likable. That is, of course, unless you are a Jayhawk or a Beaver. Kansas State and Oregon assumed the top two spots in the BCS standings Sunday night. Unless one of them loses, they seem destined to meet in Miami to determine the national championship. There are great stories to be told there, whether it’s offensive mastermind Chip Kelly riding off from the college football sunset with a national title or 73-year-old Bill Snyder finally finishing his ascension of bringing the hopeless, pitiful Kansas State team he inherited in 1989 to the pinnacle of college football. Even if Oregon or Kansas State tumble – and both still face tough challenges in the final weeks – there is still an undefeated Notre Dame team standing between the SEC champion and the BCS title. That Brian Kelly has lifted the Fighting Irish to the brink of a national championship in Year 3 speaks to the nature of his underrated talent. Some are conditioned to hold contempt for the Fighting Irish. They are, after all, the spoiled kid in the neighborhood with the sense of entitlement. While your team has to fight for all the attention it gets, Notre Dame has its own network and scores of national media members who fawn over every excuse to consider the golden program relevant again. Even if those are your feelings, you can’t help but admire a team that has been doubted all year – that has looked defeat right in the face several times – and every time has found a way to win. The Irish have past every test – whether Michigan State, Stanford or a tough challenge at Oklahoma. There is one more real challenge – a trip to the Coliseum where Notre Dame will face a USC squad that could have as many as four losses by kickoff. It’s hard to imagine Notre Dame going undefeated and getting left in the cold. It could happen. No matter which teams make up the championship matchup, it seems apparent they will not be able to avoid the gargantuan shadow of the SEC. It is hard to think whoever emerges from the conference as champion will not get a chance. Many will wonder if the BCS champion is truly superior to the SEC champ. That question will likely go unanswered. There is some pride in the way the SEC seems poised to watch its six-year BCS stranglehold end. The league, in the end, cannibalized itself in the regular season. Fans will say the depth of the conference made it impossible to keep up the national dominance it enjoyed for so long. Make no mistake about it: Whether Alabama or Georgia, the SEC champ will be able to look back and find blown opportunities. The Bulldogs will have played 12 games after the SEC Championship Game. That’s because they didn’t bother showing up in Columbia when South Carolina dominated from start to finish, naming the score in a 35-7 victory. The Crimson Tide paid lip service all last week to the ability Manziel and the Aggies. No matter, though. Nobody comes into Bryant-Denny Stadium and wins. Well, someone did. And with the fall of that unbeatable spirit came the probable fall of the SEC Dynasty. Then there were three. What happens now depends on how well Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame can handle the national spotlight. Quick Outs A pair of SEC coaches – Derek Dooley at Tennessee and Gene Chizik at Auburn – continue their relentless treks toward the exits of their respective schools. The Volunteers and Tigers have combined to go 0-13 in SEC games this year. Whether you have a great bloodline or won a BCS National Championship Game two years ago, going 0-8 in the SEC is the best way to get fired in a region obsessed with college football. Of the two, Chizik has the best chance of survival – though he also has the best chance of finishing 0-8 in league play. If Chizik and Dooley collectively pull in $12.5 million in buyouts this offseason, there will be four SEC openings this offseason. One must also wonder how much security California coach Jeff Tedford has while preparing for the final game of what could be his last season in Berkeley. The race for the SEC’s seemingly obvious second BCS bowl bid has become murky all of a sudden. The winner of the Alabama-Georgia SEC Championship Game is a lock for no worse than the Sugar Bowl. If the Bulldogs win, it would be difficult to imagine another bowl – possibly the Fiesta Bowl – swooping in to claim the Crimson Tide. The same can’t be said for Georgia if Alabama wins in Atlanta. The Bulldogs would likely not be as much of a slam dunk. An Alabama win would open the door for Florida, LSU and Texas A&M to stake their claims for a BCS appearance. Perhaps Stanford has not gotten enough respect this season. After all, the Cardinal took down then-No. 1 USC earlier this season, pushed undefeated Notre Dame to the brink in an overtime loss in South Bend and have now taken down Oregon State. Stanford is not a pretty team. It plays strong defense behind a hulking front seven and is limited by quarterback play. Honestly, if coach David Shaw had the guts to go with QB Kevin Hogan earlier in the season, this team might be the exact replica of the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly had the foresight to go with freshman QB Everett Golson while Shaw stuck with Josh Nunes as long as possible. Aside from the one decision – which might have been made properly by Shaw because we will never know any different – these two teams are mirror images of each other in 2012. Notre Dame will be pulling hard for the Cardinal to topple No. 2 Oregon this week. Florida can look back and laugh now, but it played horrible football for much of its game against Louisiana-Lafayette and was fortunate to come out with a victory. The Gators trailed late in the fourth quarter and QB1 Jeff Driskel got knocked out of the game with an injury. However, Florida tied the game when QB2 Jacoby Brissett hit WR Quinton Dunbar for a 3-yard TD pass with 1:42 remaining in regulation. The Gators then blocked a punt with fewer than 15 seconds remaining in regulation. LB Jelani Jenkins caught the deflected punt in mid-air and returned it 36 yards for the game-winning score. Even Notre Dame has to look at that finish and mutter under its breath about how lucky the Gators were. The remarkable job James Franklin has done in his two seasons at Vanderbilt cannot be overstated. Taking the lowly Commodores to consecutive bowl games is quite a feat and will certainly draw attention from programs looking for new head coaches this offseason. Franklin might very well decide to stay in Nashville a little longer. No matter what, he seems poised to see a substantial pay raise. So much for Indiana and its hopes at a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game. Wisconsin wasted no time in dousing those dreams in its 62-14 road win. The Badgers were terrible early in the season, but have found their run game again in recent weeks behind RB Montee Ball. Can Wisconsin derail Ohio State’s aspirations of an undefeated season? The Buckeyes have struggled on defense, but the Badgers still have shown no ability to consistently pass. Before the season started, most would have assumed the Big Ten MVP to be Michigan QB Denard Robinson. QB2 Devin Gardner has played remarkably well in Robinson’s absence, though, leading Michigan to two wins. Last week he accounted for four TDs in helping the Wolverines survive a tricky contest against underrated Northwestern. The Cornhuskers returned from the dead in their 32-23 win over Penn State on Saturday. Nebraska trailed 20-6 at halftime, but pulled even in the third quarter and took the lead for good early in the fourth. Bo Pelini’s team seems poised for a rematch with Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game. It is easy to make jokes about Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville slapping an assistant coach on the sideline during his team’s 41-34 overtime win over Kansas last week. Tuberville was smart, though, to acknowledge what happened – even if it happened after denying there was anything to see during the postgame interview. With what has happened in Lubbock recently – between Mike Leach, Bob Knight and Billy Gillispie – Tech has an image problem. Tuberville had never shown anything like what happened on Saturday, but he must be cautious considering the circumstance. The Big 12 is currently investigating the incident. Tuberville probably will not lose his job – more thanks to an 8-3 record than anything else – but could face a one-game suspension from the league. Speaking of poor coaching behavior, Mike Leach finds himself in hot water in Year 1 at Washington State. The pirate-obsessed bad boy of college coaching has spent plenty of time in recent weeks badmouthing his new team. Star WR Marquess Wilson took offense to Leach’s belittlement and general attitude, ultimately choosing to leave the team. Leach denies any wrongdoing, but he could be in serious trouble already. Not only has his team been an on-field disappointment – even providing dreadful Colorado with its lone win this season – but Leach cannot afford any more off-field player issues. You might recall he was fired at Texas Tech for his insane treatment of a player who suffered a concussion. With Southern Mississippi falling to 0-10 last week, this seems like a good time to talk about how good former Golden Eagles and current North Carolina coach Larry Fedora must be. Then you see that his Tar Heels surrendered 380 rushing yards in their 68-50 home loss to Georgia Tech and that urge is tempered. Fedora is, no doubt, a great coach. He will attract some interest this offseason a la Todd Graham bolting for Arizona State after one year at Pittsburgh. Games like the one Saturday against the Yellow Jackets might scare the heck out of prospective fan bases Fedora could coach in 2013, though. The dream of the undefeated Big East champion died Saturday when Syracuse beat down No. 11 Louisville, 45-26. The Orange is now one win away from bowl eligibility, which would seemingly mean coach Doug Marrone would be safe this offseason. The Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl will remain as “contract bowls” for the new four-team playoff format. Three more bowls will join as “host bowls.” The leading candidates, as reported by ESPN.com, are the Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Chick-fil-A Bowl. Also of note, at least one team from the Big East, Conference USA, Mountain West, WAC, Sun Belt or MAC will receive an invite to one of the six bowl games each year. This might be the best year in the history of the MAC. Ohio, Kent State, Northern Illinois, Ball State and Toledo have all proven themselves as solid teams. Furthermore, the decision to play nationally televised games on any night has allowed college football fans who would otherwise ignore the league the opportunity to watch them. That is one marketing plan that has paid great dividends and is now being mimicked to a greater extent by the Sun Belt. – Luke Alexander
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel’s family trademarking “Johnny Football”

Texas A&M redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel is a giant killer after the Aggies defeated top-ranked Alabama. And now comes word that there’s a move to trademark Manziel’s nickname, “Johnny Football.” “Texas A&M is working in concert with the Manziel family to trademark the nickname,” said Shane Hinckley, who is assistant vice president of business development...

Johnny Manziel Enters Heisman Conversation – Who Is The Current Frontrunner?

A headline in a Dallas paper leading up to Saturday’s Texas A&M-Alabama game proclaimed the following regarding Aggies QB Johnny Manziel: ‘Johnny Manziel’s chances of winning the Heisman – Not good, unless he beats Alabama…’ Well, Johnny Manziel – just beat Alabama. Hello!!! Johnny Manziel celebrates with teammates after he led Texas A&M to a stunning victory...

Texas A&M, Johnny Manziel's family are trying to trademark "Johnny Football."

Is you're planning to make your next million off of Texas A&M starting quarterback Johnny Manziel's hideous nickname you may already be out of luck. The school is working with the Manziel family to trademark "Johnny Football," and block any unauthorized use of what is the only nickname whiter than "Matty Ice." "Texas A&M is working in...

Johnny Manziel’s family, Texas A&M trying to trademark “Johnny Football”

His name is Johnny Manziel, but you might know him better as “Johnny Football.”  At least, that’s what he, his family and Texas A&M prefer it that way.  The family/school combination is pursuing a trademark for the boyish nickname that is sweeping the college football nation by storm. Manziel, the redshirt freshman starting quarterback from Texas A&M, has led the...

'Johnny Football' Manhanziels The Crimson Tide

If freshman QB Johnny Manziel can take over a game against Alabama, then South Carolina's head coach Steve Spurrier needs to apologize to the NFL for his comments about Bama beating an NFL team.Texas A&M found a weakness in Alabama's defense. Their no-huddle hurry up offense made Alabama look disoriented. I've never seen Alabama's defensive coordinator,...

Heisman Watch: Klein with strong lead, Manziel soars to two

With just a few weeks left, Collin Klein has a strong lead in the Heisman race and will have to seriously underachieve over his last two games to lose it. The Wildcats' quarterback is being recognized for his leadership skills as well as his impressive output. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said, “They respond to him, not only by what he does, but also what he addresses...

'Bama still sits atop SEC Power Rankings

Alabama's perfect season came to an end at the hands of Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. Was it enough to end the Crimson Tide's run atop this poll? Here are this week's SEC Power Rankings: 1. Alabama (9-1, 6-1) The mighty have fallen, which damages the SEC's chances for its seventh straight national title. Alabama couldn't deflate Johnny Football and didn&...

SEC Honor Roll: Week 11

When Johnny Manziel was done with No. 1 Alabama, finishingoff the top-ranked Crimson Tide by taking a knee, he handed off his helmet andthe game ball to a team manager. The manager then handed to a coach for safekeeping. When asked what the plans for the balland helmet were, the coach simply replied, We just want to hang on to them. Though the message was bland, it rangloud and...

Manziel Trademarking "Johnny Football"

In an apparent effort to go from nationally loved (not counting you, Alabama) to nationally hated in a shorter timespan than Steve McNair and Tiger Woods combined, Johnny Manziel, his family, and Texas A&M have begun working with the Aggies licensing program to trademark the nickname "Johnny Football." Since Manziel can't profit in any way from the trademark and...

SEC Football Power Rankings Week 12: Johnny Manziel Unstoppable

By now, even the most staunch supporter has to admit that the contest just didn't go their way.Despite a dominance in the south, in the end, it just wasn't enough. All the excuses and finger pointing means little as the results were strongly in the outsider's favor.Despite the final tally, those of us who witnessed the battle know the final margin felt like a lot more...

SEC news: Derek Dooley's fate, Johnny Manziel's silence, Jeff Driskel's injury, and more.

Covering Dixie Like Mildew. This just in... Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley still hasn't been fired yet. (The Knoxville News Sentinel)  Baseball metaphor for college football of the day.  Derek Dooley's replacement at Tennessee has to be a  home run. Because Joel Hollingsworth said so. (Rocky Top Talk) Johnny Manziel is quiet. Too quiet. Pat Dooley...

What SEC Needs To Make It Seven In A Row

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE Follow @Dan Vasta and like Gridiron Grit on Facebook The Southeastern Conference is considered by yours truly as the best conference in overall talent and entertainment regardless of the sport. To have six teams ranked in the latest BCS Standings is absurd since the domination is never ending. The talent we see on Sunday’s reflects upon what we...

W. Carolina-Alabama Preview

Now it's out of Alabama's hands. The fourth-ranked Crimson Tide have not only lost that aura of invincibility that seemed to surround Nick Saban's team through eight games and the final two minutes against LSU, but surrendered control of their fate in the national title derby. No. 9 Texas A&M made sure of that with Johnny Manziel's dazzling performance and a...

Saturday Afternoon Tailgate: A Weekly Look At College Football

What is there to say about Johnny Football that hasn't been said already this weekend?Here's my take. Johnny Manziel is fun. Brett Favre fun. And good. I can't imagine he'll ever be a great pro quarterback but who cares. We still have three more years of him at Texas A&M, plus a few more Saturdays this season. And by the way, Manziel had the game of his life...
College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.