I’m not lying when I say this, but I fell asleep during the national title game on Monday.
It was that boring.
The snoozefest was only the type of game that a defensive coordinator or a football-loving person from the 1940s could enjoy. This game was better played on a grainy reel with the picture played on the wall and a bleary-eyed coach breaking it down. Ugh.
National title games are supposed to be exciting. This game was the equivalent of a pitcher’s duel with a bunch of errors.
Whether Alabama and LSU were the best two teams in the nation or not, a title game needs drama. The drama was whether LSU would cross the 50 or not. Yawn.
Give Brent Musberger credit, though, at least he didn’t pull a Kevin Harlan and get caught on camera saying how bored he was.
SEC, if this is representative of your type of exciting big game, you can keep it. What a title game – in any sport – needs is excitement, gut-wrenching coaching decisions, a couple of big plays and a player who elevates above the rest.
Sadly, looking back, there had only been one BCS title game that has had all of those factors. And I was there for it.
January 4, 2006. Rose Bowl. Texas 41, USC 38.
Excitement? With 79 combined points, including 32 in the final quarter, and five lead changes, plus one of the greatest game-winning drives in college history, yeah I’d say there was some excitement.
Coaches decisions? The only reason Vince Young was able to play Superman in the final moments is because Pete Carroll went for it on 4th-and-2 only to see LenDale White get stuffed. Go for it? Punt? Run a different play? What would you have done?
Big plays? Yes. With Reggie Bush, Matt Lienart and Dwayne Jarrett, USC had all kinds of big plays – even when Bush tried to lateral the ball to a teammate after gaining 35 yards. Then, of course, there was Vince Young who combined for 476 yards of offense. The game set a ridiculous number of offensive records.
Finally, was there a player who became a star? Of course. As I wrote for the Dallas Morning News that day, “Vince Young is a Manimal.” He was a man amongst boys. He single-handedly won that game. He converted a 3rd-and-12 early on that drive, had a 17-yard pass for a first down, then dove into the end zone after an eight-yard run to clinch the game. No doubt he was an animal.
The best part of Monday’s sleeper? That LSU was held scoreless. That was the only high drama. No one wants to watch a field goal fest. How boring was each team’s offense?
Why do we watch football? To be entertained. We want to see big plays and a scoreboard lit up.
Especially in a title game.