Well, if you look back to my pre-season predictions you will see I thought it would be Nebraska vs Oregon in the national championship. I got half of that prediction right. Oregon will be playing in the game vs Auburn (a team that really surprised everyone this year)… in what should be a great game, with a lot of offense. Now, you may be wondering why I picked Oregon. A lot of people had them in their top 10, maybe just outside of it. They lost their starting QB Jeremiah Massoli to off season issues and being kicked off the team, and also lost their starting TE to the NFL, but outside of that, they retained everyone from last year’s Rose Bowl team. They brought back their entire defense. They brought back nearly all the pieces from their explosive offense. And that is why I thought they would get to where they are today. Playing for a shot at the national championship.
So what happened to Nebraska? Well, in my humble opinion (yes, I am a Nebraska fan so you can criticize me on this one if you want, but I also find it to be factual) Nebraska beat themselves in every loss this season. They lost by a total of 13 points. Two 3 point losses, and a 7 point loss. The first loss was to Texas, and looking back, is inexcusable (Texas didn’t even reach a bowl game). The combination of 3 players dropped 4 sure fire touchdowns that led to a total of 3 points in that game. Instead of a 20-13 final score, the game would look more like a 38-20 Husker win. We all know about the Texas A&M game by now… the huskers set a school record with 16 penalties for 165 free yards for A&M… (deserved or not), a team with 16 penalties will not win the game. And they only lost 9-6. That brings us to the Oklahoma game. After a great 17-0 start, the offense stopped clicking. Martinez threw an INT in the end zone on a third down play while ahead 17-7. Taking a sack or throwing the ball away would result in a 20-7 lead. Instead, OU gets the ball and scores 3 points off that turn over 17-10. Nebraska fumbled deep in their own territory on the next series, leading to an OU touchdown on the next play to tie the game up at 17-17 just before half time. In the second half, with the game tied at 20, Nebraska was down in FG range yet again, and then came a bad snap in the shot gun, OU jumps on it and goes down to get the final 3 points of the game. 23-20 OU wins. In conclusion to this paragraph, take what you will from it, but Nebraska beat themselves. In my opinion, Nebraska was the better team in all 3 of those games, despite the scoreboard. If they played a re-match with those teams, I think Nebraska would win the re-match in a second chance, given the opportunity. Obviously, that can’t happen and they are 10-3 and going to the Holiday Bowl. However, if you look closely at those games, you would see that my prediction was not as far off as it may seem.
However, even if Nebraska, Oregon, and Auburn had all gone undefeated, I feel like Nebraska or Oregon would have been left out of the game, so it’s probably better it happened this way to save me some anger. I think Auburn will eventually have to forfeit games from this season (just type in Cam Newton scandal on google if you have been hiding under a rock)… so I really hope Oregon just goes out and pounds them. I think it will be a high scoring game, but a close one, and I see Oregon coming away with a win, in something like a 34-30 type game.
Overall, I think this college football season has been an enjoyable one up to this point. Lots of GREAT games coming down to the wire and some in deciding conference championships, etc… There are only a few things I didn’t really like and that’s Cam Newton still being eligible and a few bowl game match ups being messed up (Mainly, Washington/Nebraska re-match after Nebraska won the first meeting in September 56-21, and UCONN being in the Fiesta Bowl)… But it has been fun and I look forward to the bowl season.
What are your thoughts on what was said above and the college football season in general?