This is typically the time of year where I write some dirge-like post on how we're going to miss college football so much and how we're now going to have to mindlessly wander through the arduous desert that is the college football offseason. I would typically include some image of a barren wasteland, one which represents the NCAA football free months of February through August - one like this.
But not this time. I'm glad this past football season is over. Like a horrible movie you'd wind up watching for some graduate-level sociology class ("Sexual Identity in Post-Industrial Canada" or some other useless gibberish), I stuck around to the bitter, nonsensical end - but only because I felt as if I had to, and not particularly because I wanted to.
As I sat, sunk into a corner of my couch donned in my bloggeur uniform*, watching every minute of Alabama's absolute dismantling of LSU in front of a half-horrified Superdome crowd, I couldn't, in any form, muster up much excitement - not even for the sport of football itself. I knew that, whatever I saw, I wouldn't particularly enjoy its outcome or the process by which said outcome were to come about.
But I don't blame that on the fact that yet another SEC West team not named Ole Miss would be celebrating significant success in a sport - any sport. I blame that on the fact that this past football season was potentially the least memorable or interesting we've observed in a long, long while.
To be succinct, the 2011-12 football season sucked. A lot. And I highly doubt its successors will ever be able to outdo it. No doubt there were some high points to this season here and there. RGIII worked wonders at Baylor and came virtually out of nowhere to win a Heisman Trophy. Wisconsin's Montee Ball tied Barry Sander's long-standing rushing touchdowns record. Big performances by Trent Richardson, Denard Robinson, Justin Blackmon, Andrew Luck, and others provided plenty of Sportscenter highlights fodder.
But ultimately, this season will be remembered as the season that saw the demise of Joe Paterno, both as a coach and in the public eye, and the season which marked the beginning of the end of the BCS system as we know it. The former was a tragic, shocking, disgusting end to one of the most distinguished careers in all of coaching; the latter is an inevitability. Unfortunately for the collective memory of the college football watching populace, 2011 will be remembered by it's two biggest controversies, and not by the few moments which actually provided us with good, entertaining football.
With Alabama, a team which wasn't even the winner of its own conference division, playing and defeating a team, to which it had previously lost, in the BCS National Championship Game only served as yet another reminder to the inefficient, chaotic, and somewhat arbitrary system of conferences and bowls we've enjoyed in college football for a few generations now. Even in spite of the difficulty of accepting a national champion that wasn't even its own conference's champion, though, could anyone reasonably argue that LSU and Alabama were somehow not the two best football teams in America this year? Could anyone reasonably argue that some other team would have served as a worthy opponent to either LSU or Alabama?
Oregon? Wisconsin? Oklahoma State? Boise State? All boasted resumes which were less impressive than Alabama's, despite their being champions of their respective conferences. But, even then, the national outcry over a national championship game coming down to a rematch of an annual regular season occurence will be enough to implement a pseudo-tournament of sorts to determine future champions.
And to Oregon, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma State, why did you have to do shit like lose to USC, Ohio State, and Iowa State (Iowa fuckin' State) before demanding what you saw as your just desserts? Honestly, now, because you couldn't take care of some of the easier opponents on your schedule (Oregon's loss to USC aside - they were a great team this year, probation aside) we have to hear a bunch of Alabama fans stammer on about "WE GOT FOURTEEN", even though they know damn well that a good chunk of those fourteen titles are dubious distinctions at best, and as if the more legitimate claim of nine national championships is somehow not good enough - a phenomenon which speaks to the general gluttony of the Alabama fan base, as best evidenced by the houndstooth painted Hoverrounds peppered throughout the Yellowhammer State's Dollar General stores.
Then there's the whole matter of Houston Nutt damn near delibeately sabotaging the Ole Miss football program through a highly coordinated effort of not-giving-a-flying-two-shits-worth-of-a-fuck and "sipping tea with Diana" or whatever nonsense he blathered our way a few months ago. When considering just how awful the Rebels were this year, it makes it nearly impossible for those of us who, against our own self-interests, continue to wear the red and blue of Ole Miss every autumn Saturday, I can't truly fathom any way I could have found this past football season all that enjoyable, nor can I muster up the courage to enthuse myself over the future.
In short, the 2011-12 college football season has jaded me, a lot. I just don't get so excited about college football anymore. It's beautiful, unique, and potentially a lot of fun to experience; it's also corrupt, flawed, and the odds-on favorite to lead towards my early death.
I know it won't take much for me to get over this. Signing Day, practice reports, and even a smooth, slow sip of Maker's Mark out of a red, disposable drinking vessell will, again, get me excited for college football. But, until then, bring on
basketball baseball season.
*A dirty bathrobe