Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/7/12

As the bowl season comes to a close, it’s crazy to think the season is already over.   Kind of sad, really, thinking of Monday’s game, then the NFL playoffs, then all the baseball and basketball we have to endure before hearing the words ‘two-a-days’ or ‘Football Preseason Rankings’.  Until then, I’m making a conscious effort to become a smarter football fan by analyzing what I’ve seen this year.

Nothing Is Promised – Andrew Luck.  Andrew Luck.  Andrew Luck.  All we heard about with regards to the Heisman race from the beginning of the season and 98% through it was that the trophy basically had the Stanford Quarterbacks name already engraved on it.  But as ESPN’s college football analyst Lee Corso would say, “Aw, F#@k It!”  No, wait, the other famous quote, “Not so fast my friends!” 

Out of nowhere (and by nowhere, I mean nowhere:  BAYLOR) came RGIII, with his unmatched abilities and Superman socks, he emerged, shocking the nation and swiping the trophy.  Both should have promising NFL careers, and the Heisman Trophy race will soon rival their endorsement competition in closeness (RGIII, sure to end up on an Under Armor Billboard near you, Luck and his constant 5 o’clock shadow making him a sure-thing pitchman for Gillette).

Next year’s preseason favorite, Monte Ball, only to lose it in the final week to the Kicker from Boise State.

Let’s Call Them the Kinda Big Ten – The ‘Big’ Ten (or as I like to call them, the MAC with money) has had a rough two years in the bowl system (7-10 including Nebraska in 2011) and this statistic is clouded with the near victories by the Spartans and Wolverines.  And Illinois beat UCLA, which doesn’t really count.  The conference has to get better with Michigan’s program winning a bowl a year ahead of schedule (a game against Virginia Tech, with all its balls dropped, players going the wrong direction and penalties, it was like watching my third-grade daughter’s basketball game) and Urban Meyer coming to help, but this will take some time to get over.  The Big Ten is quite thankful for the ACC’s woes this year.  Both conferences seem ready for basketball season.

You Can’t Polish a Turd – If someone who had never witnessed a college football game had tuned in to the Rose Bowl Monday night, they would have thought Nike University’s mascot would be something badass, like The Crushers or The Rockets.  No matter how impressive their helmets were, they are still the Oregon Ducks.

Ducks, in case you thought that was a type-o.

That’s about as intimidating as the Oregon Accountants.  And the way their defense played, allowing Wisconsin to score into the high thirties, they looked nothing short of fowl.   They won the game, but their defense should have walked home…or at least should not have been allowed to ride one of Phil Knight’s private jets home.  They should just call themselves the Oregon Swooshes.

The Tide is High – Alabama should win the National Championship Monday night in Louisiana, and frankly, they should have won the first time they played LSU in Tuscaloosa earlier in 2011.  When the BCS Title game kicks off, neither team will have forgotten about the handful of field goals missed by Bama that should have sealed the win and how LSU still needed overtime to claim the game.  The talent match-up is a coin flip, and both teams have obviously been tested by each other and the rest of the SEC, the best conference in football.  But unlike most of the BCS games this season, defense will play a huge part in deciding which team gets the sparkly, quite breakable ball.  And for the second time in three years, the Crimson Tide will win the BCS National Championship.  Why?  The defensive schemes of Nick Saban.   I know you want to argue with me (I even argue with myself about this, I don’t care for the guy either) but ask yourself this:  Who scares you more when they have 40+ days to prepare to face a team they’ve already played?  Nick Saban, or the guy who eats grass and wears the hat that’s too small?  Roll Tide! 
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