The Bigger They Are......

Oklahoma vs. Alabama College Football

The Bigger They Are......

Does anyone else get any satisfaction from watching the big dogs go down in a big game?  Everyone loves an underdog, as the adage goes.  This particular bowl season we have been graced with incredible David-versus-Goliath theatre on the football field.

In just the last four nights we saw lower seeded teams beat their much-hyped, talent-laden opponents.  Clemson won a wild game against Ohio State in the Orange Bowl, Oklahoma outplayed a great Alabama team, and in perhaps the biggest surprise, Central Florida took it to Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl.  All of these teams are good.  All have had great seasons.  Let’s be honest with ourselves here.  Baylor has a bit more of a winning tradition than the Knights of Central Florida.  Oklahoma, who willed themselves to 10 wins after a rash of injuries and some quarterback questions, was not expected to keep the game close with the Crimson Tide.  Clemson is perhaps the least surprising of these lower-ranked teams to win.  Still, Ohio State had only lost one game in two seasons going into the Orange Bowl.  They played in their conference championship game a few short weeks ago.  Clemson cannot say the same thing.  Naturally, Ohio State was expected to hoist the trophy.  The Tigers had other ideas.

For fans – shall I say for fans who enjoy an underdog story and love parity – this is the best case scenario for any bowl season.  Not only are the BCS games great games this year, the lowly Central Florida’s are proving they belong on the same field with offensive juggernauts like Baylor.  All year long we hear about how great six or eight particular teams are.  They are shoved down our throats and thrust into our living rooms in primetime.  The media hype oversaturates us by mid-October with undefeated talk and buzz words like “unstoppable” and “balanced” trying to convince us that teams like Alabama are as close to a dynasty as we have had in the last two decades.  Watching them lose is gratifying.  I get so sick of hearing analysts talk about how great they are that a losing effort is exhilarating to me as a viewer. 

I do not root for any of these teams on a regular basis.  It is easy for me to enjoy these fabulous upsets since I have no emotional stake in the game.  I imagine that the fans of the big boy football programs cannot themselves imagine losing to such inferior competition!  They have been spoiled by success.  More power to them.  I have not, and therefore revel in the glory of major upsets.  It is why I will continue to watch college football. 

These games have been phenomenal.  High-flying, high-scoring and, best of all, unexpected.  Ohio State is a great team, and Urban Meyer is one of the best coaches in the country.  Guess what?  Sammy Watkins is still running against that defense.  Baylor scores 70 points a game.  Blake Bortles, who has assuredly skyrocketed up draft boards, beat them at their own game by hanging 52 points on the Bears.  Redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Knight totally outplayed two-time national champion AJ McCarron with 348 yards and four touchdowns.  Alabama could not believe it.  How could the mighty Crimson Tide ever lose two games in a row?  By the magic of bowl season.