Which is different than considering myself an astute observer of the technicalities of the game. Way different. I watch as a fan, not a guy who claims to know the Xs & Os.
Which was reinforced last night, as I watched most of Florida State’s exciting W on ESPN News. Which is where Matt Millen, Chris Spielman, Kevin Sumlin, Paul Chryst and Steve Addazio broke down the action and strategy in exacting detail in the Film Room.
It was as illuminating as it was fascinating. The latter three are still coaching, at Texas A & M, Pitt and Boston College respectively. Millen, who talked less than the others and was kind of a moderator, and Spielman, who was the most loquacious, do color for The World Wide Leader.
What became patently obvious was how much more these fellows see during the game than Seedy K does in the stands, press box or recliner. Immediately they’ll observe which lineman missed a block, or made a good one. Or, which LB missed an assignment, or looped through untouched on a stunt. Or, which receiver cut off a route too soon.
When I say they immediately see those things, that’s exactly what happens. Frankly, I was flabbergasted at how much greater knowledge and quick perspective they have. Often I got lost in their technical jargon, which was like a first language to them.
Spielman and Sumlin appeared the most astute to me. Chryst added very little, and, frankly, I’m glad he’s not coaching my team.
What also became obvious, as I switched back and forth between those guys and Brent & Herbie in the booth, is that Kirk Herbstreit, as much shit as we give him, knows his stuff. He was picking up the same subtleties as the panel on the other channel.
All in all, it was a pretty nifty move on ESPN’s part to provide such access.
* * * * *
It was refreshing that a team not a member of the South Eastern Conference won the title for the first time since, well, Reconstruction.
More than that, it was healthy for all of the Pigskin Planet that a school outside the state of Alabama prevailed. For the first time, seemingly, since the Eisenhower administration.1
Back and forth. Four scores in the last four minutes. Heisman Trophy winner leading his team to victory in the last minute. What more do you want?
This and that Longhorn W over the Trojans in this “title” game, back before the SEC streak commenced, made up for all the boring “championship” game smackdowns. And the obnoxious gloating emanating from the southeastern part of the U.S. in the aftermaths.2
* * * * *
In case you’re wondering, my dumbfounding lucky prognosticatory streak continued, even after I had Joey The Vig’s Bowl Pool sewn up after Vandy’s W on Saturday. I had Arkansas State and Auburn. Both plus the points.
Seventeen out of the last 18 correct. Against the spread.
Lady Luck been promenading by my side.
It ain’t DiMaggio. But it ain’t bad.
* * * * *
Anticipating your last question, no, I haven’t a clue who U of L’s next football coach is going to be?
Or whom Tom Jurich is considering?
My gut tells me it will not be Bobby Petrino, despite his coaching talents. Though he’s a proven commodity as a coach. As well as a proven commodity off the field.
My hunch is that Jurich will find somebody fresh.
— Seedy K