Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Go Gators

There's revenge, and then there's revenge - and then there's admitting you're wrong.

I remember feeling, like the rest of my state, that Michigan was screwed out of a rematch shot with number-one ranked Ohio State when Florida moved up into the number-two spot.

But now? Well, after the Rose Bowl, and tonight's championship game, maybe we were all wrong. Wrong about Michigan, about Ohio State, about the Big Ten in general - who only won two bowl games this season.

I still feel that 40-50 days off affects a team in ways I can't even begin to imagine. It's the spring semester at most schools now, and they're still thinking football. It's basketball season, you dummies.

But then part of me feels like OSU fell short of the Real Deal. They beat Texas, sure, but barely surved their encounter with Michigan. Then the break.

Then the Break.

Against high-flying offenses and constant pressure from the defensive line, the Big Ten's Big Boys fell apart.

Since Michigan didn't play, I didn't have a favorite in tonight's game. But I will say I rooted for the Gators, out of fairness and underdog-ness and spiteful glee at the prospect of that neo-robot Troy Smith getting shoved into the turf.

There's something about those SEC colors, too. The bright orange and royal blue stood in stark contrast to the midwest's own drab colors. We don't dress brightly here in the North, especially now that the snow is finally falling. In Florida, you need bright colors to stand out from all those beaches and swamps and howling hurricane winds.

Speaking of Hurricanes: I propose the Midwest/Florida Bowl - something where some team from the Sunshine State and some other team from the Rust Belt go head-to-head on some rain-drenched Pacific Northwest field. We'll play at Washington State. They don't need their field. Boise State can show us how things are done.

This marks the first time I've paid more attention to the NCAA than the NFL, and I'm so glad I did.

Now we wait until late August, when the marching bands warm up their instruments, the cheerleaders stretch in the late summer sunlight, and students paint themselves in orange and maize and scarlet and cheer on the last vestiges of the War Between the States.

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