Saturday, November 18, 2006

Rivalry Saturday

Well, this is it, the most important Saturday of the year-this year it will likely decide the national championship. In a bizarre twist on the ordinary custom, the winner of today's game will play in Tempe for the National Championship-we don't know what will happen to the loser for sure, but the odds are that the loser will go to the Rose Bowl. Ahh the oddities of the BCS-as if the Rose Bowl is a consolation prize. That has to be the best consolation prize in the history of college football.

The winner of the showdown in Columbus will be number one, but who will be two? Could it be the loser in a close game today? Could it be USC? It very well could be-but we have to wait and see if Southern Cal beats Cal today, by no means a certainty, and then SoCal must beat Notre Dame-if Notre Dame wins out against SoCal, they could be number two and play the winner of the Ohio State-Michigan game for the national title since both Louisville and West Virginia have lost and their schedules are not otherwise strong enough to find their way to Number Two (the same is true in the end, I believe, with Rutgers).

Let me take a moment to pay tribute to a rival coach and a great man-Bo Schembechler, who passed on to his eternal reward yesterday. I always thought that Bo coached the wrong team, but I always had great respect for the man as a coach and a person. Schembechler was not only head coach at Michigan and along with Woody Hayes, coached as part of one of the greatest coaching rivalries in the history of the game, but was also a former assistant at Ohio State under-Woody Hayes. Bo was by all accounts a class act, and his presence will be sorely missed by everyone who knows, understands, and loves college football. His name will be remembered in years to come with names like Bryant, Neyland, Paterno, Robinson, and his mentor and rival Woody Hayes as one of the greatest coaches in the history of American football, and the college football world is all the poorer today because of Bo Schembechler's passing.

I have to wonder how Schembechler's death will affect both the Michigan football team as well as Ohio State, as Schembechler had ties to both schools and was known and loved in both quarters. You have to believe that if Woody and Bo can coach against each other from on high, they are doing it today.

Tennessee will beat Vandy by 14 in Nashville.



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