Saturday, January 28, 2012

Alabama Steele's Win vs Arkansas

Alabama limped into its Saturday matinee game vs Arkansas with a four game losing streak, including a loss to lowly South Carolina, and were called out by Anthony Grant in his post game comments.

The result of all that transpired led to a change in the starting line up, with Senior Jaymichael Green coming off the bench and after a sluggish start, led to an inspired effort by 'Bama against an ever improving Arkansas team.

It looks that with the last 3 meetings between the Hogs and the Tide coming right down to the wire, we are finally seeing a return to the days of the 'Bama/Arky rivalry of the early and mid '90's that produced wildly amazing finishes, high quality basketball and exciting games.

The big story for Alabama in the first half was Trevor Releford's ability to split the Arky defense and push 'Bama to a 7 point lead at the half. After some struggles early in the 2nd half, the Hogs gained a 4 point lead and seemed in control. But the inspired play of Andrew Steele, who recorded career highs in four categories, helped scrape out a much needed win for Alabama.

Steele played 29 minutes, scored 11 points and grabbed 6 boards while dishing out 6 assists. Not bad for a guy who a month ago thought his career was over due to concussions. But since Steele has returned, his play has been superb, just like it was last year. He makes winning plays, always seems to be in the right position on either end of the floor and is the added hustle piece that 'Bama seemed to be missing early in the year.

Truly a great turnaround for the Birmingham kid who followed behind the his brother Ronald Steele's legend and had to go through the whole ordeal of his brother/Mark Gottfried issues the ended one of the most exciting players in Alabama Basketball history career prematurely.

Now 'Bama has a week to fix its problems and get ready for an improved Ole Miss team next Saturday night. As stated before, Alabama's schedule is much friendlier from here on out and they probably need 7 more wins to secure an NCAA berth. 8 will make it a no doubt deal, but this team still has potential to do great things. Its a matter of will they be able to put aside the little side show shenanigans and make it work.

Remember it looked really bleak last year, but Anthony Grant stuck to his principles and everybody else joined the ship for the ride. It looks like he's having to go through the same thing again in 2012. Don't count the Tide out just yet.

Another note, any time the SEC Network decides to send Dave Baker and Kara Lawson, or Dave Neal and Kyle Macy to do a game, I suggest you turn the volume to your tv down and turn up the radio broadcast to the best play by play man in the business, Chris Stewart. Much better option as everybody already knows Stewart should be the football play by play guy too.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Its only January, but 'Bama may have wrapped up NIT Bid in Columbia...

Unlike the mole that used to be on Cindy Crawford's face, Alabama's loss to winless in the SEC South Carolina cannot be removed and is gonna stick out on its resume come Selection Sunday. Of course, thats if Alabama can somehow manage to win 8-9 of their remaining 12 SEC games, which is a big if at this point, to even make Selection Sunday matter.

The other USC outworked Alabama on the glass Wednesday night, creating 2nd and 3rd chances, coupled in with tons of unforced turnovers on offense, leading to the dismal display in Columbia.

Now the Tide, after having reached as high as #12 in the rankings, is suddenly sitting on a 4 game losing streak and an unimpressive 13-7 record. Unlike last season, when 'Bama seemed to win every close game, the Tide has faltered down the stretch against Georgetown, Kansas State, Miss State and South Carolina. They were manhandled by Dayton and Vanderbilt and could not cash in on their opportunities to win at Kentucky.

The last minute of the game was a microcosm of 'Bama's problems, from not playing for a quick two for one opportunity to then not calling a time out when the offense broke down that led to a turnover and no shot at the basket. Couple with miss using the fouls they had to give, a defensive break down that looked like Moses had parted the Seas led to a 2 point USC win.

Alabama still has the ability to good things, but right now that all looks like a very long shot. Now Arkansas comes to T-Town on Saturday as two must win home games are on the docket, and its still only January.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Symbolism of Joe Pa's death

It doesn't matter who you are, people are creatures of habit. Whether you want to admit it or not, we like having something constant in our life. Certain things that you can count on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. Certain things that no matter what trials or tribulations you may face, whatever rocks are thrown on the road to detour your path, their are certain things that are consistent that you know will be there, to give you that sense of comfort. Most times, we don't recognize what these items are until they are gone.

Joe Paterno on the Penn State sidelines is one of those constant things that people always had, no matter what was happening in the world or in one's personal life. And now he is gone.

If you grew up in south central Pennsylvania and were raised Catholic like I was in the 1980's, there are three of these things you could count on. One was that #8, Cal Ripken was going to play shortstop and bat third for the Baltimore Orioles. For 2632 consecutive games, from the time I was in 2nd grade until I finished grad school, he was always there. The second was John Paul II was going to be Pope. He is really the only Pope that an entire generation grew up with. And the third was that Joe Paterno was going to be on the sidelines on a crisp fall Saturday Afternoon in State College leading PSU out of the tunnel.

As most everyone knows, I've never been a PSU fan. If the term was around when I was growing up, I would have been known as a "hater." But that does not mean that one could not respect what Joe Paterno had accomplished, what he stood for or the type of people he produced at PSU.

No matter what one might have happening in their personal or professional lives, through natural disasters or even wars, Joe Paterno was going to be on that sideline on a Saturday. I've been out of high school 20 years and people were talking then about him retiring, but he even outlasted another generation of students and fans.

Now all of that is gone, a passing in time or a reminder of how old some of us are becoming. Much like Bear Bryant, Paterno goes out shortly after his coaching career ended, almost to the day. Two things I've seen in the last two days, that I tend to agree with. One is that Paterno probably died of a broken heart from all thats transpired the last 2 months. The other is that Joe Pa's legacy ultimately is not finished, for better or for worst. Will the 0.01% of his adult life doom the other 99.99% of his life where he did positive things? Time will bear that out...

Free Throw Parade ruins Alabama's upset chances

After being spanked by Vanderbilt on Thursday night, a game Alabama Basketball team limped into a morning tip off at Rupp Arena and battled #2 Kentucky to the final second.

In the end, 'Bama was unable to get a defensive stop that would have positioned them to tie or take the lead at any point in the final 7 minutes in Lexington. Of course, Kentucky did not make make a basket in that span, but instead waltzed to the free throw line to snuff out Alabama's upset chance. Thank you Doug Shows.

On the bright side, Alabama by far may have played one of their best games of the year, if this game had been on a neutral floor or in Tuscaloosa, 'Bama wins by double figures. But in the friendly confines of Rupp Arena, John Calipari does not lose and you have to be great, not good in all phases to beat the 'Cats there.

Other positives were that Trevor Relford and Jaymichael Green each had superb performances and Trevor Lacey continues to show why he was such a highly touted recruit. But Tony Mitchell is still MIA and unless ll the three members of the Crimson version of the Big 3 are clicking against top tier competition, its tough for Alabama to win against those ranked opponents.

Other positives is that Alabama's schedule now gets easier as every game is winnable from here on out, should the Tide duplicate there performance from yesterday. Seven home wins and 2-3 on the road will put an NCAA Berth on the table come March, but should they slip up against a South Carolina this week, then the NIT talk will begin to resurface.

Alabama does not have a bad loss this year, as Georgetown, Kansas State, Miss St and Kentucky are all ranked, Vandy should be ranked and Dayton is leading the Atlantic 10 and will be an NCAA tournament team. The Tide also has wins against a rising Wichita State and 2 ACC Teams, a Big 10 and Big 12 opponent. So 'Bama is still in good position do have a very good season.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Alabama embarrassed by Vandy at home

For the first time in SEC play, Vanderbilt showed why it was a pre season top 15 team by dismantling Alabama in Coleman Coliseum. Its the first time in the 3 years that Anthony Grant has been the head coach at Alabama, that I've actually seen an Alabama team out hustled during a game.

Alabama built an early lead followed, by a huge drought in scoring to end the first half to give the 'Dores a 7 point advantage the intermission. Vandy quickly extended the lead to 13+ and would eventually push the lead to 23. Again we weren't in Memorial Gym, it was Coleman Coliseum.

Alabama was inefficient in the game on the offensive end, showing no continuity. As things spiraled out of control, the team glue stick, Andrew Steele suffered another blow to the head and could have a possible concussion. Add into this mix the questionable officiating led by Tome Eades and Mike Stuart that led to a 29 to 10 free throw disparity, all the ingredients were there for the worst performance of the Anthony Grant era.

As for the officiiating, it did not cost Alabama the game, but it did contribute to the loss. The foul disparity hurt Alabama and it looked as if the officials were trying to bait Jaymicahel Green into a technical foul by getting right in his face after a couple of calls and non calls. Their was also an injury incident that was handled incorrectly on both ends of the floor that hurt Alabama twice. Anthony Grant received a tech and was lucky he was not ejected from the game, which I don't blame him one bit because it was bad. Mike Stuart was part of the same crew that screwed Alabama out of a win in Fayetteville last season.

Another note, the disappearance of Tony Mitchell. He looked injured last night, constatnly holding his left hip/hamstring area throughout the game, but their seems to be no mention of this from the Alabama camp. But right now, #5 is not the same player he was a few weeks back.

But now their is no rest for the weary as the Tide heads to Lexington for an 11 am tip off. Facing the two best teams in the SEC in 36 hours (thanks tv schedule makers) was no easy task before the season, but it looks more daunting even now.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Alabama dismantles LSU, start 2-0 in SEC Play

Using another solid defensive performance, Anthony Grant's hoop squad has gotten out of the gate at 2-0, which is is a great start for the Tide.

Now in the next seven days, Alabama travels to Starkville Saturday, host Vanderbilt and go to Lexington to face # 2 Kentucky in a 36 hour period at the end of the week. This will be Alabama's toughest stretch of the season, should the Tide win just one of the next three, they will be poised for another double figure win total in conference. Two wins will probably put them in contention for an SEC Title, escpecially if they should pull the rabbit out of the hat against Kentucky.

While 'Bama slipped off the national radar after losses to Georgetown, Kansas State and Dayton, it will be tough to find a team that has as three good losses as 'Bama at this point in the season. ESPN college basketball analyst Doug Gottlieb called Alabama the most under the radar team last Saturday. Now he Tide is finding more consistency from downtown, have overcome a shoulder injury to Jaymichael Green (who still doesn't look completely healthy), and have been holding opponents below 60 on a nightly basis.

They might be poised for a top 4 seed come March and a top 20 RPI if things continue on the current path.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Saban Cements Legacy & Alabama's National Title Window

Order Restored.


Hands down, Alabama out worked, out coached, out prepared, out played, out executed LSU on Monday night in the Superdome.

Jim McElwain and Kirby Smart called a masterful game on both sides of the ball as Nick Saban cemented his legacy as not only a great football coach (he already was), but now joins the conversation with the likes of a Bear Bryant, Knute Rockne, Bud Wilkinson, Tom Osborne, and a few others as a bona fide coaching legend, with his 3rd National Title in 9 years.

Alot was at stake in this game, as Les Miles seemed to be gaining the upper hand in the rivalry with Saban, the modern day Bo Schemblechler vs Woody Hayes 10 year war. But for now, its Game, Set and Match for Saban, defeating Miles in his own backyard by simply executing the perfect game.

LSU panicked, from its insistence to run some no huddle offense, to consistently trying with epic failure to run the option or its failure to give Jarret Lee a chance. And they had no answer for Alabama's multiple formations and overloads, which if AJ McCarron connects on a wheel route or a deep pass to two wide open receivers, we're looking at an 42-0 beatdown. It was that bad for LSU.

LSU has always hung its hat on being a power running team, followed by play action pass. But they made no attempt to establish this, thinking they could beat Alabama on an option game that by accident, worked its way into the first contest. LSU's game plan should have mirrored Alabama, pass on first followed by runs on 2nd and short. The LSU coaches failed to give their players the best opportunity to win the game, which is something the Tide did.

Any impartial observer who saw the first meeting in Tuscaloosa on November 5th knew that Alabama controlled the game, moved the football and the LSU could not drive the ball on the Tide. Only Alabama's failure in the kicking game made that game close. This time, it was an NCer, NO CONTEST!

So now Alabama has won a second title in three years, and are really just a Tim Tebow 4th quarter rally, a few missed kicks and 3 busted pass coverages from having played for four National Titles in 4 years or even being 54-0 over that time.

If you look over the course of college football in the past 40 years, its littered with great teams that had 5-10 year runs where they had opportunity to win multiple championships and in some cases had success and in others failed.

The 1970's saw Alabama win three national Titles and also saw them drop one title to Notre Dame. That decade helped make Paul Bryant the legend and great coach he was. 1979-1986 saw Penn State play for 4 national titles and win two, helping shape Joe Paterno's identity. 1983-1992 saw Miami rise from nothing to win 4 national titles and and be just a few plays here or there from possibly winning 6-7 in a decade. Florida State had titles in 1993 and 1999, but also lost 3 titles games to Florida in 1996, Tennessee in 1998 and Oklahoma in 2000. Nebraska cashed in on 3 titles in 4 years from 1994-1997, making Tom Osborne the coach he was. USC had a great run in the early part of the decade and now LSU and Alabama are both still seemingly in that window, which changes legacies and cements legends. Alabama and LSU both fall into that window where for the foreseeable future, both may have opportunities to win another title in the next 2-3 years.

On the other hand, teams that have been in position to win multiple titles but failed, like Pittsburgh from 1977-1982, Bob Stoops and Oklahoma 2000-04, Lou Holtz and Notre Dame 1998-1993, Tennessee and Phil Fulmer from 1998-2001, Jim Tressel and Ohio State from 2002-2007, have seemingly left some hardware on the table and are programs that have struggled or can't regain their footing in the national title perspective.

Thats why last night's game was so important to Alabama and LSU. A loss changes the perceptions of the coaches and program, atleast in the short term. Saban may never win another title, but he has 3 in 9 years while Miles is stuck at one. How different would people view these two men and programs if Saban and Miles were tied 2-2 for BCS Titles or LSU had a 3-1 advantage on the Tide the last 9 years instead of 'Bama having two in three years???

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why the national championship is more important for Alabama

Alabama must win this rematch vs LSU. Plain and simple, if not the reprecussions could be numerous.

Granted, there will be 2 billion people in India and China who don't care who wins the SEC's Super Bowl, but in America, especially the Deep South, it matters.

Alabama and LSU both struggled for consistency in the 1980's and 1990's (lone exception being Gene Stallings tenure at Alabama). LSU has always been one of the most talent rich states in the country for football players, but it wasn't until Nick Saban arrived in Baton Rouge that did LSU start to emerge as a consistent national power.

Nick Saban built the monstor that is LSU football today, winning a BCS Title in 2003. Conventional wisdom seemed to be that once Saban's player left LSU, current LSU coach Les Miles would struggle to maitin that success, whether its was through poor recruiting or bad in game decisions. When Saban returned to the SEC in 2007 at Alabama, this was expected to be magnified.

But a strange thing has happened as Alabama ascended to the top of the football world in 2009, LSU didn't go away. Les Miles sustained Saban's success at LSU. In fact, they won another title in 2007, barely escaping an undermanned Saban team in Tuscaloosa that year. But in 2008 and 2009, Alabama squaked out wins of LSU. 2010 saw the Tide posied to get back into the BCS Title pictue with a win over LSU, but Miles' gambles and decisons paid off as the Tigers pulled out a win.

This led to Novemeber's footballapalooza in Tuscaloosa in a game which Alabama seemed to control but LSU won in overtime 9-6. So if you're scoring at home, Miles now leads Saban 3-2 in the past 5 years. An LSU win Monday in New Orleans (site of LSU's two other titles in 2003 & 2007) will give Miles a 4-2 edge, his second national title and LSU's thrid in 9 years, meaning the Baton Rouge is the center of the college football universe. It also means Alabama will be staring down the barrel of 4 losses in a row to LSU by having to play in tiger Stadium in 2012.

So the balance of power in the SEC and in college football is at stake, more then just a national title game. Saban and Miles both have great legacies as coaches, but to the winner of this game goes the upper hand and it could go a long way to determining who continues to be the dominant force in the SEC.

As for predictions, I find it hard for Alabama to win this game. LSU is tough to beat in the Superdome and I picked LSU in the first game by 3 and sadly I'm leaning towards LSU in this one. But I do really like the focus that the 'Bama players seem to have this week in the Crescent City. But its hard for me to pick Alabama when they lose so much field position in the kicking game. Which means they will have to rely even more on their defense and have AJ McCarron make some plays like he did in the Florida and Auburn games on the road. 'Bama should be better prepared for Jordan Jefferson's option attack this time around and the wildcard in all of this is Jim McElwian who is headed to Colorado State. UA's offense reached new heights under him and I get the feeling he's going to come out aggressive and firing early on, much like the 2009 SEC Ttle Game.

Alabama 24 LSU 20

Also, if you have no rooting interest in this game, don't hate on Alabama for being in this game but instead you should be hoping they win. Because of what happened in Tuscaloosa on April 27th, the city doesn't even look anything close to what it did after that date. It still provides an eery feeling driving through there even now. If anything, the run by Alabama has brought some much needed diversion over the course of the year to the city and an national championship would also go towards helping the mental and economic psyche of the Tuscaloosa. Roll Tide!

Workmanlike Alabama dismantles Ga. Tech & UGa on te road.

(this will be a game by game or weekly update on Alabama basketball throughout the rest of the year)

Georgia State Champs!!!

Alabama took apart Ga. Tech and Georgia this week in Atlanta and Athens repectively. Niether game was never really in doubt, as Alabama established that they were the better team early on and took care of business.

Tuesday, Tony Mitchell showed why he will be a first round pick giving Atlanta Tide Fans their own version of the Highlight Factory at Phillips Arena. The Swainsboro Ga. native is shooting the rock better from 3 point land and has been the team's most consistent player through the first 15 games (going 12-3).

The return of Jaymicahel Green from shoulder injury helped this week and his injury might have been a blessing in disguise as it forced the group of Rodney Cooper, Trevor Lacey, Nick Jacobs an Levi Randolph to play more minutes and as a whole, Alabama is shooting the ball much better from distance.

The biggest addition in the last week has been Andrew Steele. His play has been superb since coming back from a concussion suffered last season. Steele always makes the right cut, pass, hustle play that seemed be lacking early in the year. When UGa made a run in the 2nd half to cut Alabama's lead to 4, it was Steele who was on the floor, making the correct decisions, getting putbacks and connecting on free throws. He is a more then welcomed addition back on the team.

So now with 'Bama being on the verge of going back into the top 25, they get an ever improving LSU team at home on Wednesday and travel to #15 Miss. State on Saturday. It doesn't get any easier though as 'Bama hosts Vanderbilt and Kentucky next week. If they get out of this sequence at 3-2, you could be looking at another 12 win season in SEC play because as of right now, the second half of the SEC Schedule gets easier.

What can Penn State expect in the post Joe Pa era

As an Alabama fan who has really lived through the entire highs and lows of the post Bear Bryant era (the only games I even remember watching of the Bryant era are the 1982 Penn State and Liberty Bowl games), this is provided as a public service announcement since you have to replace a legendary coach, while dealing with scandal, a divided athletic department and a fragile psyche.

You see, Alabama has had to deal with Bryant's shadow for over a quarter century. I think part of the problems during that time is the Bryant passed away less then a month after coaching his last game and thus there was never a transition period or hearing his opinion on issues over the years, that in some ways may have led to an even greater growing of his legacy.

There were family hires in Ray Perkins, Gene Stallings, Mike Dubose and Mike Shula. There were completely out of the box hirings of Bill Curry and Mike Price. There were hirings of the hot name coach in Dennis Franchione. Then we finally went to find the best coach money can buy mode and hired Nick Saban, who is 47-6 in the last 4 years with his second national title game appearance coming on Monday.

So what can you expect Penn State fans and how long will your struggles last? In no particular order, these are some of the feelings you may have in the next decade or longer an may have already experienced some of them.

1. Disappointment. This comes in many forms, from losing games to inferior competition, to having your university's name involved in scandal to wondering why you can't hire a big time coach.

There already seems to be major disappointment in some camps about the current coaching search and hire. Bottom line is with everything thats happened at PSU and the unknown thats still out there, you stood virtually no chance of getting a proven, established coach. But on the next hire (and yes, there will be a next hire) you will have a better chance of landing a hire profile, established coach.

2. Division. Its already happened with the lettermen, Lavar Arrington and many others who have been outspoken about the hiring process and who has been hired. There is also division within the athletic department and administration that even a blind referee could see.

I'm sure there will be a sense of some unity as next year nears, but that division will seep back in among the fan base at different levels with each bad loss or blown game. Some will stick behind the team and coach, others will desert knowing that the writing is on the wall and you can't win in the current situtation.

3. Stop dragging our name in the mud mode. There will be numerous times your school will be criticized by people who never came within a stone's throw of State College. They will bad mouth you time and again, you will want it to stop but it won't. This is a tough pill to swallow because you love your university and outsiders are criticizing it, but it will hang out there like the elephant in the back of the room.

And with almost certainty, when there is turmoil, the national media will always turn to one person who has experience at PSU to discuss the issues at hand, like it or not he will usually speak poorly even if all of the facts aren't there (I think for PSU it will be Matt Millen). For Alabama, Bill Curry always popped up on the radar with every coaching change, speaking about the Alabama Mafia and a brick through the window incident at every turn. It becomes a broken record, like always counting on seeing a local news story at the post office on April 15th when tax returns are due.

4. Thinking your a national power when your not mode. This one's tough, because you have tradition, but the PA announcer does not say before the game, "Due to Tradition, Penn State will start with a 17-0 lead over Northwestern" before you even kick off. But some fans and others will be in denial of how bad things are, knowing that you are closer to being an also ran program like Ole Miss or Illinois then you are of being elite like an Alabama or LSU right now. So when inexplicable losses happen or over a 5 year period you go 2-3 vs Minnesota, those things are tough to swallow.

5. Poor Recruiting days. If I could offer any advice to Coach O'Brien, forget 2012, start on 2013. This year is lost, it can't be saved. Go focus on 2013 and even 2014. Get out, make yourself seen and known throughout the entire keystone state and the northeast. You must build relationships quickly and focus down the road. Its what Saban did when he came in and Gene Chizik did the same thing. You will force the other schools to keep up or their lazy recruiting will be sniffed out and eventually you will dominate them on the field (see Phill Fulmer and Mark Richt). I bets its been light years since a PSU coach has stepped foot in over 90% of the high schools in Pennsylvania. Make it a point to have a coach visit each one, it will help you out in the long run even though we all know most of those schools will never produce a D-1 product, but you will begin the healing process for your university in doing so.

6. Inconsistency mode. For a decade, Alabama would have a losing season, then go to a bowl and year 3 win 10 games and go to a big New Year's Day game. Shula, Franchonie and Dubose all won 10 games in a season, but even an incompetent coach will eventually win 10 games because their is so much support in place that its hard not to half way win at a tradition rich school. Penn State falls into this category, so expect a 10 win season, just don't fall for the foolish contract extensions, make them prove it more then a flash in the pan win over one or two good teams at home.

7. Destruction of property mode. Could be trees, remote controls, furniture, letting out frustrating yells, cursing, slamming of hands against couch, walls or bleachers, kicking items, screaming at family members for no apparent reason, wanting to punch your rival friends out, dreading going to work on Monday. All of these can occur at the unlikeliset moment.

I hope all this helps. Your talking to an individual who sat through losses to La. Monroe, La. Tech, Central Florida, Northern Illinois, Southern Miss and has witnessed giving up first downs on 4th and 19, losing in 5 overtimes, getting ripped apart in SEC road games, losing Orange Bowls on missed extra points, getting beat by your rivals 6 and 7 times in a row.

But I also been there for the SEC titles, the rebirth and hopefully a third national title this week. So its been worth it keeping the season tickets even in the darkest of mements over the past 15 years.

So good luck PSU fans, these dark days will pass Penn State, it might just take several years or a couple of decades, but you'll get through them and come back out on top one day.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Day....Please Give it Back to me!!!!

Where did you go New Year's Day??? Why have you left me after all these years???

Please tell me this is just a Mayan made up scheme since its 2012, but where is my Rose Bowl Parade on 3 channels??? Where is the Mummer's Parade walking through the city of Brotherly Love?? Where is Keith Jackson, Brent Mussberger and Vern Lundquist at???

Instead I'm subjected to Dan Dierdorf and Greg Gumbel at a half empty Jets/Dolphins game or Joe Buck and Troy Aikman having a man crush on Cam Newton! This is not the New Year's Day we all know and love.

I understand the BCS caused alot of this, moving games to different nights and so on, but at least I had that afternoon of 3-4 dueling games prior to the Rose Bowl, flipping back and forth eating pork and sauerkraut with hot dogs, but now all I get is NFL and an emptiness wanting my youth back???

This is not the New Year's Day I've lived with for 38 years. I want the Fiesta Bowl noon kick off on NBC, the Citrus Bowl on ABC and the Cotton Bowl, bad weather and all, on CBS. Give the afternoon slot as the sun sets to the Rose Bowl and cap it off with dueling contests between the Sugar and Orange Bowls and force all men to watch one halftime show a year because the wives, girlfriends, grandmothers just loved the Orange Bowl halftime show. Where did you go, why did you disappear???

I want to see Ohio State lose to another SEC team, Dan Marino to lead Pitt to Sugar, Cotton and Fiesta Bowl games and for Joe Paterno to shut down Heisman winner Herschal Walker.

I want to see Boomer Schooner get a 15 yard penalty and cost Oklahoma a game vs Washington, Jamelle Holloway to run the wishbone, the Hurricanes to show up in Fatigues.

I want to see Deaion Sanders stuff out an Auburn rally, Pat Dye to kick a field goal and go for the tie vs Syracuse and for Bo Schemblechler to slam down his headphones.

I want to see Miami get 200 yards in penalties vs Texas in the Cotton Bowl, shoot guns off after they score a touchdown and for George Teague to strip Lamar Thomas on a play that didn't even count.

I want to see Corey Schlesinger stumble through the Orange Bowl turf to paydirt, Tommie Frazier to run through every Gator on the field and for Tom Osborne to go for two.

I want to see Northwestern to make it to Pasadena, Florida State to make their field goal vs Nebraska and Sherman Williams to dance through the Ohio State secondary.

I want to see Jamie Christenson kick the worst looking game winning field goal ever, Iowa to complete a Hail Mary and for drunk LSU fans to terrorize Notre Dame & Illinois fans in New Orleans.

I want to see Georgia comeback against Purdue, for Steve Spurrier to dominate rematches and Ron Dayne run through a Pac 10 defense.

I want those good times and memories back and new ones to be created to take their place, on New Year's Day. Where did you New Year's Day, I want you to comeback, be important again, not just any other Sunday or day on the calender. Please!!!