There’s this house a few doors down from you. It looks like most of the other houses on your street but it’s the backyard that sets it apart. In the backyard there’s a regulation size basketball court. This court is the home to some pretty intense games. Talented guys from all over town play here and they go hard. If you’ve succeeded on this court, you’ve really done something.
But there’s one catch.
The woman who owns the house made the basketball court for her son, TJ. And he’s pretty good. This creates a few problems however. The first is that young TJ is not nearly as good as his mother thinks that he is. The second problem is that TJ is only eight years old—far younger than the high school and college-aged kids who normally play there.
And that leads us to the final, most important problem.
TJ has to play. Mom reminds everyone of this every hour on the hour. So, right in the middle of a heated battle between some guys who play for the high school team and a couple of guys who play college ball, TJ’s mom brings thing to a screeching halt when she demands that her son get in the game. A few guys get mad and leave. Most stay and try to tough it out with the young lad.
TJ continually turns the ball over. He has grown used to shooting on a six-foot goal and is lost now that they’ve been raised to regulation size. He routinely gets hit in the face with the ball and the game has to be stopped while everyone waits for him to quit crying.
TJ is a good eight-year-old basketball player but he’s just not ready to play with the big boys. Everyone, even TJ’s mother, can see it. But no one ever says anything. They just keep letting TJ get in the game and messing everything up.
Notre Dame is sort of like TJ.
During the days leading up to Notre Dame’s showdown with Clemson, expert analysts kept expressing their shock that Clemson was so heavily favored over the Irish. This should serve as further proof that you need to be careful what analysts you listen to. I’m sure that these same experts will be shocked to discover that Leah Remini and Tom Cruise won’t be doing a movie together anytime soon.
The first game of the college football playoffs was over before it ever even started. However, since Notre Dame sort of hung with Clemson for most of the first quarter, the Irish will be ranked number one in the pre-season poll. Why? Because Rudy.
While I was watching Dabo and Trevor Lawrence embarrass Notre Dame, I kept wondering what fans of the Irish would be telling themselves as they left the game midway through the second quarter, boarded their private jets, and headed back to New York City. I’m sure that somewhere in there, an old familiar phrase was uttered.
“Well, we just didn’t play our best game.”
But Notre Dame did play their best game. The problem for them is that they just weren’t fortunate enough to be playing Ball State or Pitt on that particular day. And while Notre Dame was just glad to be there, the rest of America was stuck watching a lousy football game. But none of us were shocked. This is what happens when Notre Dame backs their way into a major game like this. Only this time, the Irish didn’t have the common decency to have a player on their team with an invisible girlfriend.
You’re not likely to hear it from the expert analysts on ESPN and you certainly want hear it from the New York and Chicago elites but Notre Dame represents everything that is wrong with college football. If they want to quit embarrassing themselves in big games and, in turn, ruining a great sport, they should join a conference. Not so fast, UCF fan. I mean a legitimate conference.
Before I make a few bold predictions, let’s hand out a couple of end of the year awards.
The Alphabet Award
Wisconsin – for always having a player with way, way too few vowels in his name.
“Greggr Szbzck with a gain of three on the carry.”
The Company Award
Fox broadcasters – for working hard to sell their terrible bowl games
“If you like hard-hitting action, you’re going to love the Piggly Wiggly Bowl here from the former home of the Montreal Expos where Indiana and their explosive wing-T offense will face off against the Western Idaho Dumptrucks and their vaunted 6-2 defense.”
And now for the bold predictions.
Georgia 38, Texas 17
LSU 31, UCF 3
Clemson 42, Alabama 35
The Auburn Men’s Basketball Team 41, TJ 98
Trust me, I’m never wrong on these things.
Until next week, happy footballing!