Richard Daybell – Novels, stories and short humor
I haven’t followed college football that much lately. The last actual game I attended was back in 2005. It was in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with the University of Alabama (or ‘Bama as they call it so the football players can spell the name) hosting Utah State, We were there for friends Joel and Barbara’s wedding. The game was part of the celebration. It was also Homecoming weekend and Utah State was the sacrificial Homecoming lamb, a team which ‘Bama could humiliate to keep alumni happy and contributing (seems all schools do this).
In the past, I had always enjoyed seeing Utah State being humiliated, when Utah (University of) was doing the humiliating. But it was my home state, and I felt bound to cheer for the losers – albeit softly, not wanting to upset my hosts and 80,000 well lubricated and worked up ‘Bama fans.
A few years later in 2009, Alabama would face off with Utah (or ‘Ta as they would probably call it). Utah was unbeaten and ranked seventh in the country. Alabama was fourth with one loss. (Where’s the justice, you say?) They were selected to play in the Sugar Bowl under the BCS (Beyond Comprehension System) mystery formula. The Alabama coach complained loudly that his team shouldn’t have to face a nonBCS (Bona fide Crazy Selection) school. Well, the game was played – in Tuscaloosa – and Utah thumped Alabama. It was a fine day.
Although this BCS (Bizarre Competition Scenario) thing is confusing, football itself is pretty straightforward and easy to understand. Two teams each try to move a pointy ball from one end of a field to the other, bumping into as many players as they can.
However, today schools are getting pretty fickle about who they want to bump into, changing their conference affiliations like a Facebook junkie changes friends. Talk about muddying the waters. The Big Ten will soon have 14 teams instead of 12, they haven’t had 10 since 1990. On the other hand, the Big 12 has ten teams. Notre Dame, which was in South Bend, Indiana, last time I checked, is joining the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Big East is taking in Houston, Boise State and San Diego – yes, that San Diego, the one out on the west coast. And out there the Pac (as in Pacific)12 has added Utah and Colorado from up in the Rocky Mountains (possibly insurance against rising ocean levels).
Alabama, however, has been in the Southeastern Conference since it was formed in 1932. And ‘Bama will be playing in the championship game. ‘Ta, alas, will be staying home this year.