The 2012 college football regular season is now officially over. No more games, no more awards, no more controversy over BCS rankings–at least not for now.
We are now into the more definitive part of the season. Championships will be decided with a playoff format at the FCS, Division 2 and Division 3 level.
The BCS will give us a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game in Notre Dame against Alabama in Miami on January 7th and everyone else can argue about why they might have been better. If Notre Dame wins, case closed, although you might hear some chirping from the fans of 12-0 Ohio State. But the Buckeyes are on NCAA probation and will not play in a bowl game this season. They might finish No. 2 in the AP poll if there are some upsets in the other bowl games.
Notre Dame will be regarded as one of the biggest surprises in many years simply because the Irish were not ranked when the season began, which is just another reason why the first rankings should not be released until Oct. 1. But that is an argument for another day.
A freshman won the Heisman for the first time ever, beating a player who was a strong candidate to become the first defensive (non-special teams) player to ever win the Heisman.
Texas A&M quarterback came into his freshman season with a school imposed gag order and a nickname of Johnny Football.”
He left New York this weekend, after a season in which he produced a Southeastern Conference record of 4,600 yards in total offense, running and passing for 43 TDS. He was also the first freshman to throw for more than 3,000 yards and rush for more than a 1,000 yards
He also left New York this weekend with a new nickname. “Johnny Heisman,”. Manti Te’o, Notre Dame’s All American linebacker, will have to settle for a second place finish and a chance to help his team win a national championship.
Texas A&M, which followed new football coach Kevin Sumlin’s edict of not allowing freshman to be interviewed during the season, reacted to Manziel’s honor in a low-key fashion.
A billboard will soon be up in New York’s Times Square, toasting “Johnny Heisman”. An ad which reads: “They call him Johnny Heisman. The 12th Man stands a little taller today as we congratulate Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel, winner of the 2012 Heisman Trophy.”
Full page ads will appear in Monday’s editions of the New York Times and USA Today as well as papers throughout the country.
Like I said, low-key.
All of this is part of the mystique of college football. It is certainly better than the nonsense of conference realignment which again oozed into the regular season in the past several weeks with the Big Ten adding Rutgers and Maryland and the ACC reacting quickly by taking Louisville from the Big East. We won’t even try to begin to explain the additions and subtractions in the Big East.
Overall, however, the regular season was filled with a vault full of highlight moments, including Manziel’s rise, the drama of watching Notre Dame squeeze by week by week to the top of the rankings, the fall of USC and pre-season Heisman Trophy favorite, quarterback Matt Barkley, the scoring outburst throughout the country.
A quick look at the Associated Press pre-season poll had some flops-USC No. 1, Michigan No. 8, Akansas No. 10, West Virginia No. 11. All flopped
Alabama, the defending national champion, started the season ranked No. 2 (behind USC) and ended the regular season in the same spot.
Now we are into the bowl season. The BCS will conduct two more rounds of games and then it will fade into the history books when a 4-team playoff begins following the 2014 season.
It will be mostly good, a few “WTF” moments and some controversy over the quality of the 4 teams deciding who will be national champion and of the merits about teams 5,6,7.
But it will work itself out.
Those are debates for future times, teams and players. Right now, the news of the day is simple: the 2012 college football regular season is over.
© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.