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Jonathan’s Journal
December 20, 2001

Everybody has now had a chacne to calm down about the BCS fiasco. We’ve heard everyone’s opinion, probably more than any of us wanted to. But everybody has one, and they can all prove why Nebraska or Colorado or Oregon should be in the Rose Bowl to take on the Miami Hurricanes. But finally the bowls are beginning. In this period of off-time (and why such a long layoff between the end of the season and the bowls?!?), we’ve even had a chance to catch up on a little college hoops. But if you haven’t just yet, don’t fret. Vitale is as hyped up as ever. No need to worry about that guy. He really has a passion for the game, and it shows and makes for good entertainment.


HUSKERS AND DUCKS AND BUFFS, OH MY!

The Rose Bowl has been set, but not everyone agrees with the matchup the BCS computers have given. Miami is in for sure, but Nebraska is the team many people have a problem with. Should Colorado or Oregon be in? Possibly. Colorado is the Big XII Champion, arguably the toughest conference in college football this season. They lost only one conference game, to Texas by 30-something points. They also lost their season opener to Fresno State by a slim margin. Oregon finished the season with one loss, a home defeat to Stanford.

So who do I think should be in? Personally, I think we’ve got the right team in the Rose Bowl. Yeah, Nebraska was third in their conference, but they aren’t as bad as that sounds. The differnence in third and a possible first place finish for the Huskers is one loss, although it was a big one. But it wasn’t any bigger than Colorado’s loss to Texas. Colorado lost two games, and I don’t think you can let them go with two losses while so many other teams who only lost one game are sitting at home on January 3. Oregon lost only one game, but they won several games by a very slim margin. Their only loss was also by a slim margin though. But, a win is a win and a loss is a loss. Throughout the season, Nebraska was the most consistent team, easily putting away their opponents by the middle of the fourth quarter. They also played a tougher schedule than did the Ducks of Oregon. Besides, shouldn’t the Heisman Trophy winner be in the National Championship Game anyway?


FIESTA, FIESTA!!

So the two teams who feel they were left out now get to play each other to see who’s the best of the not-quite-good-enough. This should be an awesome game. Joey Harrington, QB of the Ducks, always keeps Oregon in the game. They are never out of it and usually have a shot to win it at the end. On the other side, the Buffaloes of Colorado are playing as good as any football team in the country. Not only are they good enough to beat the other team and the refs, as they saying goes, they were also good enough to beat their own coach in the Big XII Championship Game. With Colorado having a commanding lead, coach Gary Barnett tried a fake punt on fourth down. Texas intercepted the pass and took it all the way back for a TD and bringing UT right back into the game. Coach later admitted it was stupid and thanked his players for bailing him out. If Colorado comes out and plays as they say they will, taking out their frustration on Oreogn, they’ll win this game. If they’re upset and frustrated and not concentrating, Oregon is definitely good enough to beat them and will. I’d go with Barnett’s Buffs.


TOP DOGS

It’s that time of year when all the individual awards go out to the nation’s top players, right before the Sears Trophy is taken home by college football’s number one team. So here’s a look at my own opinionated All-American team for 2001:

OFFENSE
POSPLAYERTEAM
QB
Eric Crouch
Nebraska
RB
Travis Stephens
Tennessee
RB
Clinton Portis
Miami
WR
Josh Reed
LSU
WR
Ashley Lelie
Hawaii
TE
Jeremy Shockey
Miami
OL
Toniu Fonoti
Nebraska
OL
Bryant McKinnie
Miami
OL
Joaquin Gonzalez
Miami
OL
Mike Pearson
Florida
OL
LeCharles Bentley
Ohio State
K
Damon Duval
Auburn
A-P
Antwaan Randle El
Indiana

DEFENSE
POSPLAYERTEAM
DL
Dwight Freeney
Syracuse
DL
Wendell Bryant
Wisconsin
DL
Julius Peppers
North Carolina
DL
Alan Harper
Fresno State
LB
Rocky Calmus
Oklahoma
LB
E.J. Henderson
Maryland
LB
LeVar Fisher
NC State
DB
Ed Reed
Miami
DB
Quentin Jammer
Texas
DB
Roy Williams
Oklahoma
DB
Lito Sheppard
Florida
P
Brooks Barnard
Maryland
Coach
Ralph Friedgen
Maryland

In case you’re wondering, here’s how I would rate the top three offensive and defensive players of the 2001 season: Offense: (1) Josh Reed, LSU...(2) Eric Crouch, Nebraska...(3) Antwaan Randle El, Indiana -- Defense: (1) Ed Reed, Miami...(2) Roy Williams, Oklahoma...(3) E.J. Henderson, Maryland.


THE IRISH ISSUE

Everyone is worried about what Notre Dame is going to do following the George O’Leary debacle. Well, everyone but me. Honestly, I don’t care. As long as they keep playing that schedule, they’ll never crack the top 10 again. So that’s that.....


HOOP IT UP

We’ve finally gotten to some of those really good non-conference games on the schedule. Iowa/Missouri was a decent upset. But the Kentucky/Duke game just a night or two ago was a real classic. Both teams showed an effort as if this was March in a game that is pre-conference schedule. In case you don’t know, the Dukies won it in OT by three points over Tubby Smith’s Wildcats. Along with Duke who was number one in both polls coming into the game, there are some other teams out there who have looked impressive. Maryland is 8-1 to start the season and ranked number two. Kansas is ranked third but they always seem to slip up come NCAA Tourney time. The Gators of Florida look as if they could make a run as well. There are still some undefeated teams out there, most notably Duke, Virginia, Oklahoma State, Boston College, Marquette, Miami, and Mississippi State. The conference seasons begin in about a week and a half. This is when the real tests for each of these teams will begin. By the way, if you saw that Kentucky/Duke game, you heard DickyV loud and clear. Doesn’t the guy ever get tired of talking and ending every other sentence with “BABY!!”? I guess not. Anyway, he’s really fun to watch/listen to as long as you don’t let him get on your nerves.


‘TIS THE SEASON

I just wanted to take a second to wish each and every one of you a happy, safe, fun Christmas. Be thankful for what you have, and remember the reason for the season! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!



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