I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but I didn’t think there was any way the Rose Bowl could have lived up to the hype. About the only two things going on in the world were, at least according to ABC, Ohio State’s A.J. Hawk dating Brady Quinn’s sister (who looked more like Quinn’s mom) and Texas playing Southern Cal. But I’ve heard that last part before. In fact, exactly a year ago, I was hearing how the BCS was providing the best matchup in the history of the current system – Oklahoma versus the Trojans. Well that worked out about as well as Max Martin and Matt Gutierrez playing here at Michigan.
But remarkably, this year’s title game was different, and we can all thank Vince Young. It was a fitting end to a college football season that was as entertaining as any in recent years. Let’s take a look back down memory lane:
The year started off with a bang – and a little foreshadowing. Michigan struggled with Northern Illinois, Oklahoma lost to TCU and Tennessee barely put lowly UAB away. Even though hindsight may be 20/20, the first weekend ended up providing a glimpse of how much those usually solid programs would struggle in 2005.
But that second weekend of games also started what would be an incredibly unusual, and at times hilarious, season for Miami. The Hurricanes fell to rival Florida State even though Drew Weatherford threw like a right-handed 10-year-old girl does left-handed. But this was just the tip of the iceberg. It reeled off five straight wins before the best and most entertaining sports story of the year, even topping the Vikings’ boat scandal – the Seventh Floor Crew.
This rap probably spawned more jokes in about three days than anything else this year, and that includes Tom Cruise on Oprah. I mean, I probably had at least five 30-minute conversations about what T-Good, Marvelous and all the fellas did. So even though T-Good (linebacker Tavares Gooden) had absolutely no flow, his priceless lyrics made up for it. And he had more University of Miami fathers wondering what dorm their daughters were in than there are pebbles of sand on Miami Beach.
But the biggest question my friends and I wondered was, What about the boyfriends? What about the guys who had girlfriends within four floors of this place? Obviously, I could go on for pages, but there’s much more to talk about from this season.
Even though off-the-field stuff is fun, we follow college football for what happens during the games, and Oct. 15 is the perfect example.
Michigan had an undefeated Penn State coming to the Big House, but that was far overshadowed by the monumental matchup between Southern Cal (see a trend?) and Notre Dame. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really excited when Chad Henne and the rest of the Wolverines’ offense marched down the field. In fact, as Henne’s pass zipped into Mario Manningham’s arms, I jumped so high, I think I could’ve dunked on an 11-foot hoop.
While the Michigan players ran around celebrating, I quickly thought about something else, What was going on in South Bend? I called my dad to see what happened. And when he told me about the end of the game (the fourth-and-nine Matt Leinart pass and then the “Bush Push”), I realized that the matchup lived up to its much-ballyhooed hype. Yet that same day, when a number of other heart-stopping games occurred, Minnesota lost to rival Wisconsin on a blocked punt with 90 seconds to go, and Michigan State fell to Ohio State most likely because of an end of the half gaffe on a field goal attempt.
That’s the thing about this season. Sure, Michigan failed to meet expectations (and that really sucks, I’m not sugarcoating it), but for fans of college football as a whole, this season was ridiculously entertaining.
There was a Heisman race that had at least three players who could claim the trophy. There was the emergence of one of the most dazzling running backs in the last 50 years of football. A plethora of other storylines kept ESPN’s unending line of crappy talk program shows running – Charlie Weis and a dying child’s wish, Michigan State proving they can’t handle any kind of positive expectations, Sun Belt officials showing they shouldn’t be allowed to officiate a family’s Thanksgiving Day flag football game, Joe Paterno confirming that he’s not completely done yet, and, of course, the aforementioned Seventh Floor Crew.
All of these stories concluded with Young and his “Vince Vibe” strutting into the endzone, winning the national title and a ton of football fans waiting in anticipation for next September. Me, I’m waiting for the latest Miami football team release to embarrass the school.
– Leinart’s too pretty to make it in the NFL because he’s definitely no Tom Brady. If you want to analyze more of the Seventh Floor Crew with Matt, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.