Points Over Pints: Alabama's Consistency Is Getting Boring
by Joe Jenkins
Nov 18, 2013 12:38 AM EST
This Week’s Beer Old Familiar Barleywine. In Back to the Future Part II, old Biff Tannen muses that “there’s something very familiar” about the hoverboard chase between Marty McFly and Griff Tannen. Biff is an idiot. It’s more than familiar; it’s virtually the exact same thing that happened to him in 1955 when he slammed into the manure truck. But if Biff is an idiot, so am I. It took 12 weeks of college football for me to realize that there’s something very familiar about all of this. Think about it: In 2012, Alabama was by far the most dominant team in the country, The Heisman favorite was a true freshman that’s setting college football on fire and Ohio State went undefeated, but didn’t play in the BCS Championship game. Is any of this sounding familiar to you? It should since it’s pretty much we’re witnessing this year. Because of this, we’ll be enjoying Old Familiar, an American Barleywine brewed at Carolina Brewery in Chapel Hill, N.C. Go ahead and top off your pint. We’ve got plenty to talk about. The First Sips Alabama only beat Mississippi State by 13 points on Saturday. This is what the college football world has come to: Alabama only winning by two scores is news. We do know that Alabama is going to lose at some point; we’re just not sure when that will be. In the meantime, the Crimson Tide’s sustained dominance is becoming a burden for college football fans outside of Tuscaloosa. Alabama’s seat at the head of the table is well-earned, but it’s becoming downright boring and the television ratings bear it out. Last year’s BCS championship had a slightly higher rating than the 2011 game, but had nearly 1 million fewer viewers than the 2010 championship game between Auburn and Oregon and fell well short of the USC, Texas classic in 2006. Once last year’s game against Notre Dame became a foregone conclusion, viewership fell off a cliff. Alabama may be one of the most popular teams in the country, but a third consecutive trip to the BCS championship game is a recipe for some of the lowest ratings the game has ever had. Mid-Pint Musings • He won’t ever win it, but Ed Orgeron deserves serious consideration for coach of the year after turning USC around following the Lane Kiffin debacle. Since taking over, the Trojans are 5-1, including a 20-17 win over Stanford that officially put Cardinal BCS dreams on ice. • Anybody that was worried about off-the-field distractions derailing Florida State’s run for the BCS championship are breathing easier today. Even with an investigation into an alleged sexual assault looming, Jameis Winston had as many incomplete passes as he did touchdowns (two) in a 59-3 win over Syracuse. • Georgia QB Aaron Murray is still a big-game quarterback and the Auburn loss does nothing to change that. Murray engineered three fourth-quarter scoring drives to give UGA a short-lived lead over the Tigers. Murray couldn’t be on the field to save his team when Auburn cashed in on a fluke 73-yard touchdown. • Where’s the love for the American Athletic Conference? There have been plenty of complaints about the quality of teams in the conference, but it boasts two teams ranked ahead of the ACC's third (No. 25 Duke). • Wisconsin’s James White is playing well enough to get an invite to the Downtown Athletic Club. He has run for 484 yards and five touchdowns in his last three games. The Last Gulp We’re getting pretty low on our Old Familiar so it’s high time we raise our glasses to a coach who did all he could to keep his team from winning. Illinois didn’t stand much of a chance against Ohio State on Saturday, but there the Illini were, down just two touchdowns in the third quarter with the ball deep in their own territory. A helmet malfunction forced quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase to sit out on a critical third-and-long. Instead of running a draw play and conceding the series, head coach Tim Beckman allowed Reilly O'Toole to attempt a pass. O’Toole fumbled in the end zone, resulting in a safety. Beckman decided the best course of action after this was to pick a fight with offensive coordinator Bill Cubit. A lot of things have gone into Illinois' horrible season, but coaches that make bad decisions and can’t get on the same page is probably the largest. So here’s to you, coaches Beckman and Cubit. Your team doesn’t need any help losing games this year, but that hasn’t stopped you from chipping in, anyway. Cheers. The O’Duls “What’s the Friggin’ Point?” Award The race for worst team in the country kept all five contestants this week. Connecticut, Georgia State, Hawaii, Southern Miss and Miami (OH) just refuse to beat a team this season. There have only been 11 winless seasons in the last 10 years.