“For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes – not that you won or lost – but how you played the game”………………Grantland Rice
“For 350 years we have been taught that reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man. Football’s place is to add a patina of character, a deference to the rules, and a respect for authority”………………Red Smith
As another season draws to a close, we once again quote the two greatest sportswriters of the past 100 years to help remind us why we love sporting competition in general and this game, specifically. There is just nothing like football in America………….amateur football. The pageantry. The fierce loyalty. Those High School Friday Nights and college campus Saturday afternoons across the land burn longer lasting memories and lessons into our psyche than any Sunday NFL game ever will.
It has been a fun trip through our 29th Edition, and thanks to a perfect final week your humble AP finished the season at 98-34 (74.24% accuracy). The seasons pass more swiftly now and seem to end more suddenly, leaving us to wait through winter, spring, and well into the dog days of summer, when fall practice finally arrives, and we can again crank up the excitement and chatter in anticipation of another season unfolding. May it ever be so.
Before we move from the buffet of the regular season to the dessert of the bowls, we have a bit of business to complete, our annual awards. The 2019 winners are:
- Coach of the Year: P. J. Fleck
- Overachiever of the Year (team): App State
- Bust of the Year (team): Texas
- Worst Uniforms (home or away): Michigan State’s neon/lime green monstrosity
- Most Annoying TV Talking Head: an actual tie: Gary Danielson and Paul Finebaum
Now off to the shop out back we go for one final time. We fire up everything in the joint, pulling out all the stops; even found a long lost Carnac the Magnificent Envelope in the bottom of the tool box. Holding it up to our forehead here is what we see……………….
- PENN STATE – 30
- MEMPHIS – 21
- FLORIDA – 26 (much closer than most folks would have guessed)
- VIRGINIA – 21
- OREGON – 33 (the Ducks are too quick for the slow-footed Badgers)
- WISCONSIN – 24
- BAYLOR – 42
- GEORGIA – 28
- LSU – 30 (less scoring than the pundits expect)
- OKLAHOMA – 21
- CLEMSON – 42
- OHIO STATE – 34
- VA TECH – 21
- KENTUCKY – 17
- UTAH – 27
- TEXAS – 13
- INDIANA – 28
- TENNESSEE – 20
- WAKE FOREST – 40 (I don’t see Dantonio lasting longer than one more season)
- MICHIGAN STATE – 28
And that will wrap it up for the year.
Merry Christmas to all of you, your families, and all those you hold dear. Sandy (a/k/a The Missus) and I will get to see our peeps soon, and our hope is that you will, too.
I, also, hope to see all of you next season.