Friday, December 11, 2009

Two Dudes, One Post: 12/11/09

The regular season has wrapped up and somehow we've managed to pry Bill away from working on his car and getting bombed every other night at Epcot to submit his first post of December. That's right, the alleged "lightweight champion of hip hop" is back. I know, I know, the ladies have already grabbed their paper bags in an attempt to fight hyperventilation. One last Two Dudes, One Post before bowl season. GIDDYUP.

1. This year's regular season comes to a close with five teams undefeated. Is this season the perfect proof that it's finally time for a playoff? Do the three teams that went undefeated and don't have a shot at the title have legitimate beef?

Mattare: No, I don't think this situation is any sort of impetus. This happens every so often (see: 2003 Auburn) but I still don't believe we should move to a playoff. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love the debates that happen every year and the fact that every single game as the season winds down is an absolute must-win. If we had a eight or even a four team playoff then it wouldn't have mattered all that much who won the Florida-Bama game because the loser would still have a great shot at the national championship--maybe even over the team they beat in the SEC Championship. I know I may be in the minority but I like the bowl system. It's not without flaw (there are too many bowls, too many terrible matchups when there could be entertaining ones with some flexibility, and the unforgivable shift away from January 1st being the premier day), but I think it beats the alternative of a playoff. Eight teams? Four teams? A plus-one model? There are just too many variables to take into account if you attempt to make everyone happy. The current system provides college football with something unique, do-or-die regular season--and I'm all for it.

The only team I see with a truly legitimate beef this year is TCU, who played a tougher schedule than Texas and took care of business in big way each time they played a high profile opponent. I have absolutely no idea how Texas is only a four point underdog against the Tide--I think they're going to get squashed. Cincinnati deserves a ton of credit and could make a good argument as well (they went to Corvallis and beat Oregon State), but they also lack a head coach right now (wait, let it set in...wait for it...waaaait for it...there it is...sorry I'm not sorry Bearcat fans). The Bearcats have a much stronger case than Boise State, but just not quite up to TCU's level.

Bill: I think it is. What do these teams have to play for? Cincinnati is in a BCS conference just like Alabama. Is there an unwritten rule that the SEC is greater than the Big East (I know it is, not the point)? What confuses me now most is the creation of the BCS in the first place. This is no different than just having the coaches and press vote on the best teams each year, it's no more objective. Now we just have some bogus conference hierarchy and computers telling us who the best is. I'm shifting my stance on this slightly: the only logical solution from here is to have a playoff featuring the winner of EVERY conference, conference tiers have to go. A playoff between Big Six winners and two non BCS teams isn't good enough, because eventually there will be 3 non BCS undefeated. So then what?

2. The Heisman will be handed out this Saturday. What's your final ballot look like?

1. Toby Gerhart, RB...He was the best running back in the country who showed up the biggest over the second half of the season (223 and 3TD's against Oregon, 178 and 3TD's against USC, 205 and 3TD's against Notre Dame).
2. Mark Ingram, RB...He made the Tide go against tough SEC defenses, but he has less yards on the ground (1542 vs 1736) and less TD's than Gerhart (18 vs 26).
3. CJ Spiller, RB...Electrifying player who did everything for the Tigers. I feel like he isn't getting his due propers for the phenomenal year he had.
4. Ndamakung Suh, DT...Dominant defensive force and in a year like this who knows, maybe he can steal it...but I just can't put him above the top three.
5. Golden Tate, WR...Call it a homer pick, I don't care. He's got a ridiculous highlight reel, 93 catches, 1496 receiving yards, 7.4 average yards per carry, and 18 total touchdowns. The guy was awesome this year.

1. CJ Spiller, RB - Doesn't have the numbers of a Gerhart, but who would you rather have on your team? Spiller breaks games wide open, he has that Peterson like athleticism where you can tell he's going to be faster than everyone even when he reaches the NFL.
2. Mark Ingram, RB - The same Gerhart comparison carries here, and he's a premier weapon on a team going to the national championship and he showed up big in the conference championship.
3. Toby Gerhart, RB - Definitely still in the conversation with 26 touchdowns this year, and might end up winning it because he had such a good second half of the year. Only knock on him is that he didn't have a huge game without getting the ball 20 or more times. I think there is a long list of D1 running backs that can get 223 yards on 38 carries against Oregon.
4. Big Suh, DT - I only saw this man play in the Big 12 title game and that's really enough for me. Texas could prove to be the best team in the country and they had no idea what to do with this guy.
5. Golden Tate, WR - I hate that my list looks exactly like yours but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't impressed every time I saw him play. The bad news is, how many games do they win without him this year???? 4????

3. There are five undefeated teams and a lot of good stories. If you're handing out the coach of the year award who is it going to?

Mattare: Chip Kelly from Oregon. The only thing that could've made the start to his coaching career worse was if someone would've died in the postgame mini-melee. Somehow he steadied the ship and led the Ducks back to the Rose Bowl for the first time in fifteen seasons. The way in which he handled the Blount situation was brilliant--he immediately diffused the situation then very slowly integrated him back in by the end of the year. Kelly made good on his promise to make LaGarrette Blount earn his way back on to the team and help him emerge from the odeal as a better man. Tip of the cap to you Chip Kelly, you were the 2009 coach of the year on and off the field.

Bill: Nick Saban. Back to back undefeated regular seasons and a BCS title game bid this year. He even had a slumping quarterback in the middle of the season and managed to keep the ship steady.

4. In the spirit of the awards season, dish out the hardware for your team: Offensive MVP, Defensive MVP, Freshman of the Year, Biggest Disappointment, Most Underrated Contributor, and someone that's under the radar now that you're looking to step up next year.

Offensive MVP - Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate...It's just impossible for me to separate the duo. They were both one of the best in school history at their respective positions, the most prolific offensive pair of all-time.
Defensive MVP - Kyle McCarthy...One of the sole bright spots on the defensive side of the ball. He was one of the few who consistently made tackles and was the only one we could count on to come up with a huge play with the game on the line (see: Michigan, Michigan State, Boston College).
Freshman of the Year - Manti Te'o...We knew during the first month of the season that he was the real deal. He is a physical specimen with fantastic instincts and closing ability that's unlike anything we've seen at Notre Dame in the past two decades. He has the tools to be an all-time great.
Biggest Disappointment - Harrison Smith...There were very high expectations for Hayseed when he switched to safety, but the move was a complete and utter failure to say the least. It was borderline flabbergasting how such a great athlete and a former all-state safety was so inept in the secondary.
Underrated Contributor - Eric Olsen...I realize he was voted lineman of the year at the banquet, but Olsen deserves all the credit in the world for switching positions and never missing a beat. He was the anchor of a much improved line and we'll miss him dearly next year.
The 2010 Leap - Kapron Lewis-Moore...I was impressed with his progress as a redshirt freshman. He's still growing into his body and learning the position, but he's a great athlete and surprisingly sturdy against the run. The talent dearth on the defensive line isn't as bad as people make it out to be. While it's definitely lagging behind almost every other position on team (specifically DT is lagging), there are some pretty good pieces for BK to work with.

Offensive MVP - Daryll Clark...He set school records for season passing yards and touchdowns this season with a scaled back game plan. He deserves credit for managing 10 wins with young receivers and a young line.
Defensive MVP - Jared Odrick...Double teamed all year and anchored a line that only gave up 94 yds/g on the ground.
Freshman of the Year - Stephon Morris...Saw significant time in all 12 games for us this year and will likely have a starting CB spot next year as a true sophomore.
Biggest Disappointment - The Iowa game...This team was very predictable from the start, all speculated areas of concern turned out to be a real concern. We beat every team we should, except Iowa. Seeing them and us more throughout the year I really feel like we should've had that. At home? Revenge game?
Underrated Contributor - Dennis Landolt...Despite a down year for the offensive line he held down the left tackle spot all year.
2010 Leap - Gerald Hodges...This kid has the physical tools to be great, but this is very wishful thinking because I'm nominating him for this in the hopes that he beats out Astorino for the starting free safety spot next year.

5. Let's take a look forward to the bowl season. What BCS bowl are you looking forward to most and why? How bout non-BCS bowl?

BCS Bowl - Boise State vs TCU (Fiesta)...This is a fantastic coaching matchup between Petersen and Patterson. I think TCU is the better team but I also feel like Petersen will pull out every stop. Last year they met in the bowl game and the game was decided by a single point. I'm hoping for something along those lines this year.
Non-BCS Bowl - Virginia Tech vs Tennessee (Peach)...I don't know why but I just feel like this could be a helluva game. Tennessee showed some flashes of being a very good team this year (with a potentially nasty defense) while Hokie running back Ryan Williams has already established himself as one of the top ten backs in the country as a freshman.

BCS Bowl - Boise St and TCU...Everyone, including me enjoys watching Boise in bowl games, but TCU's D might steal the show.
Non BCS Bowl - C'mon, PSU vs. LSU...Two teams with good defenses that get shut down by other teams with good defenses. Awesome!


Bill: How long you think Tiger's been rollin' like this?

Mattare: You're the one who lives down the street from him, you tell me. I just can't wait until Minnie Mouse comes out and says Tiger made a pass.

Mattare: Barry Alvarez says the Big 10 is looking hard for a 12th team so they can have a conference title game. Who's your pick to fill out the league?

Bill: PITT. They're our implicit rival and we never play them. Don't know why but I hate them.

Bill: Watching the FX series The League right now. Do you have a favorite character? (You should).

Mattare: Whoever the dude is that does Shiva Blasts, followed by Ruxom who has AAA Premium so his car can be towed home from the bar when he's hammered.

Mattare: Speaking of tasteless TV...please share with our readers your thoughts on the most-ground breaking show of our generation Jersey Shore.

Bill: These are especially terrible people and I won't miss an episode from here out. My favorite is Pauly D.

Bill: How many years before Brian Kelly gets fired?

Mattare: Seven years after JoePa dies. Or the day after one of your raps appears on a Billboard chart. Whichever comes last.

Mattare: Last one, how nervous/fearful are you about Notre Dame's imminent and inevitable Return to Glory?

Bill: As nervous as I would be if Bob challenged me to fight in the Octagon.


  1. Insightful, interesting, and very funny. Yous guys' banter is quality stuff.

  2. We don't get bombed at Epcot. That would be inappropriate. We get bombed with Tiger at Blue Martini and slay his leftovers.