Since I am in the midst of a debate with Sunday Morning Quarterback over what may be the most divisive issue in college football, this seemed like an opportune time to trot out the latest edition of "Can We All Agree?"
Because so many thorny questions force conscientious college football fans into opposing camps, it is useful to examine some potential points of contention to identify red herrings, false dichotomies, and non-issues, thereby finding common ground in at least some areas of possible dispute.
In quick-hit fashion, therefore, I ask for unanimous consent upon the following matters, as to which it seems to me that no genuine controversy exists. Can we all agree . . .
. . . that a four-day suspension is no suspension at all? South Carolina recruit Stephen Garcia was suspended on Monday, but his punishment was lifted on Thursday. It seems Steve Spurrier has once again gone into the excuse-making business.
Pat Dye, on the other hand, thought Coach Spurrier came down way too hard on the young man, believing as he did that a two-day suspension would have sufficed.
. . . that the forces of political correctness have an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone? It'd be simple, really. They could just bury Chief Illiniwek somewhere in the area of Cal's stadium. You do not want to get me started on this silliness. . . .
. . . that even a bad show by Aaron Sorkin is better than a good show by most of the rest of the T.V. writers on the planet? O.K., "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" isn't "The West Wing." It isn't even "Sports Night." I promise you it's better than anything else N.B.C. could line up to put in that time slot.
I knew the show was doomed when we lost Doug to "30 Rock" instead.
. . . that Jim Delany is the most hypocritical conference commissioner in intercollegiate athletics? First, he said the Big Ten wouldn't recruit athletes with S.E.C. speed because they're not academically qualified . . . even though the Big Ten and the S.E.C. went head-to-head in competition for numerous recruits and the S.E.C. isn't doing any worse by its players than the Big Ten (although these data are not without their detractors). Now, the longstanding bastion of amateurism and purity is looking at reshuffling the schedule to be more competitive. Not to pick on Michigan or anything, but let's not forget that the Wolverines were playing 12-game schedules as early as 1892 and 13-game schedules as early as 1905. The Maize and Blue also opened three straight seasons with double-headers, playing both Albion and Mt. Union on September 28, 1929, facing Denison and Eastern Michigan each on September 27, 1930, and defeating Central State Teachers College and Eastern Michigan back-to-back on October 3, 1931. The Big Ten needs to lose this pretense of moral superiority.
. . . that some misdeeds ought not to be punished too severely because the wrongdoer clearly was too stupid to have intended any harm? Reportedly, a Southern California hockey player dropped trou and mooned the crowd at a road game at B.Y.U., earning himself an ejection and a ticket for misdemeanor lewdness in the process. Having had to defend something similarly stupid a year ago, I can sympathize with Trojan fans' embarrassment, but, in the kid's defense, it's a pretty good bet that the definition of public lewdness is a whole lot harsher in Utah than it is in Los Angeles.
. . . that it'd be really cool if some bowl matchups were arranged based upon the bloggers who cover the respective teams? Wouldn't it be great if Notre Dame and Southern Miss squared off in the postseason so that we could see The Blue-Gray Sky and Sunday Morning Quarterback bombard one another with dizzying statistical minutiae? Wouldn't you love to see a Michigan-U.C.L.A. Rose Bowl for the first time since the 1982 season just so Bruins Nation and MGoBlog could mix it up a little? Wouldn't a Louisville-Utah clash in a bowl game be made intriguing simply by virtue of Card Chronicle's and Block U's competing claims that each of theirs was the more undeservedly disrespected team?
Insert obligatory Rodney Dangerfield reference here.
Am I out on my own on those issues or can we come to a consensus on some of that? Talk to me, people!