12.3 – Jambalya Anyone? (Clausen da man)

The BCS is a mess yet again, but as I’ve pointed out — a playoff system is no less arbitrary. The best team doesn’t always win in a playoff system and matching the perceived 1 against 2 is about as good as it gets.

Playoff systems, especially the NCAA basketball tournament, throw a lot of different variables into the mix – the most important of which is draw. If you get a bad draw match-up wise, you’re suddenly at greater risk. Back to football, if USC ended up #4 in the final rankings, OSU would arguably have the harder first game (in a four game playoff) than either Michigan or Florida. And if the matchups go the wrong way, injuries happen or lady luck intervenes, than an obvious pick like OSU might not make the final game. Yet, they were the clear number one pick for a national championship game. I’m a huge Steeler fan, but I don’t think they were the best team last year.

I think the NCAA basketball tournament is an absolute joke of a setup. There’s no way you allow almost SEVENTY teams into a tournament and don’t upset the balance of luck. One player has a bad day or a bad matchup, you get screwed by the officials or the plane is late and suddenly there’s a cinderella story. Dont’ get me wrong, it makes for good TV, but don’t kid yourself into believing that a playoff champion is any more deserving than any other. Especially in football when you consider the absurd layoff in college football before each bowl game.

OSU vs. Florida or Michigan is fine by me.

BTW, remember when I wrote that Notre Dame should have run Brady Quinn a whole lot more against USC? Cowan’s running disrupted USC’s defensive gameplan. But also, SC had just finished a stretch of Oregon, Cal and Notre Dame.

It seems obvious to me that Notre Dame is headed to the Sugar Bowl regardless of whether Michigan or Florida makes the championship game. If you’re making travel plans, that puts you at January 3rd. And don’t even start whining about your team not making the BCS… if you’re not good enough to make your case without a doubt, don’t cry to me about whether your team was top 10 or not or more “deserving.” After the top 2, bowls are about creating the best matchups… period.

It always irks me when fans complain about their team not making the NCAA basketball tournament. If you can’t solidly put your team in a field that big with a degree of comfort… you got no business complainin.

If ND does make the BCS, we will be experiencing our first year of eating a $10+ million dollar shit sandwich care of Dr. Kevin “Jumbotron” White. The lame argument that the deal was supposed to protect ND in the down years is just that. It was a deal forced down Notre Dame throats after years of letting the program whither and eroding our bargaining power while having an AD negotiate more for a future commissioner position rather than on ND’s behalf.

One more BCS game and Notre Dame will have lost the equivalent of another Gug at the negotiating table.

It’s not hard to run Notre Dame football well. Use the vast exposure and resources to continually field a winner and the Golden Goose keeps laying eggs.

Keep winning. That’s it.

Just keep the damn Goose healthy… that’s your job Dr. White.

We don’t need the Goose to shoot fireworks out of his ass, blare rowdy music or wrap himself in sponsorship banners… just don’t kill the Goose.

BTW, you wonder how good Clausen is? This good:

Clausen quiets doubters
BY ERIK BOAL, Special to the Daily News
Article Last Updated:12/02/2006 11:54:17 PM PST

Perhaps it was the ultimate sign of respect, or a sign things were already getting out of control for Harvard-Westlake of Studio City’s football team.

Less than four minutes into Saturday night’s Southern Section Northwest Division semifinal game, Oaks Christian of Westlake Village quarterback Jimmy Clausen threw his first incomplete pass and the chants of “overrated” quickly followed from the Wolverines fans.

That was after the Notre Dame-bound Clausen, the state’s career leader with 142 passing touchdowns, had already completed his first six attempts for 107 yards and two scores.

The chants continued after every one of Clausen’s five first-half incompletions, but his 279 yards and five touchdown passes in three quarters of work did plenty to silence Harvard-Westlake’s home crowd in between those rare drops or misfires, as Oaks Christian advanced to its fourth consecutive division final with a 48-14 victory at Valley College.

“It was fun. We haven’t heard that one this year,” said Clausen, who finished 24 of 29 to go over 10,300 career passing yards. “We really took that one to heart and just focused on coming out and executing and doing what we needed to do to get the win.”

The Lions(13-0), ranked second in the state by Cal-Hi Sports and No. 6 nationally by USA Today, extended their winning streak to 44 – tied for eighth all-time in state history – entering Friday’s championship game against Tri-Valley League rival Oak Park.

The Eagles (12-1), who recorded a 17-14, double-overtime victory Friday over Covina, will face three-time champion Oaks Christian in the final for the third time in four seasons. The Eagles lost to the Lions 21-16 in the 2003 Div.XI title game and 39-21 in 2004.

Oak Park, the last team to defeat the Lions, in Nov. 2003, suffered a 55-7 setback in the teams’ regular-season meeting Oct. 20.

“We’d like to face some new competition, just because we’ve played them so many times before,” said Stanford-bound receiver Sean Wiser, who caught nine passes for 81 yards. “But they’re so close and it’s a rivalry, so we know they’ll be up and we’ll be up. We’ve worked hard for four years and it’s the last time we’re going to play them, so it’s going to be exciting.”

Although Oaks Christian lost three fumbles, one recovered by Harvard-Westlake (10-3) in the end zone, the Lions showed no signs of slowing down on their way to a likely appearance in the inaugural Div. III state bowl game Dec. 16 at Home Depot Center in Carson.

Clausen connected with Wiser on three touchdown passes and Anthony Gildon on two others, giving him 12 scoring passes in three playoff games.

“I was just focused on spreading the ball around and getting it to the playmakers,” said Clausen, who led the Lions on a 10-play, 78-yard drive just before the half, finalizing the 96-second march with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Wiser to increase the lead to 35-0.

~ The Rock

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