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The Breakdown: Leftovers

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Sports editor Bryce Evans
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The anticipation always gets to me. Basically, I love every holiday – especially the ones centered around food, like, say, Thanksgiving. So, while the buildup to the bird was dramatic, coming down from such a great moment, er, meal can be a little difficult.

Really, the only time of the whole year I eat turkey – or at least a big ol’ home-cooked turkey – is on the third Thursday of November. I get a little geeked out about it.

Then, when it’s all done and mostly eaten, it’s a strange feeling knowing I have an entire year to wait for the next one. After the first six stages of grief, I finally come to acceptance.

And I start eyeballing the leftovers.

The only thing better than turkey on Thanksgiving is the turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving (or possibly in the wee hours of that Friday morning).

So, the point here is, when something great ends, make a sandwich.

I don’t mean that literally; this is just what I was thinking late Friday night, sandwich in hand, as Kyle Brotzman of Boise State shanked a couple would-be-winning kicks.

Their season was over, their dreams crushed, their lives ruined – whoops, too far, but in a sport (college football, that is) where experts clamor “every game is a playoff game,” Boise State was wiped out. The Broncos were bucked – and their national title hopes (and Cinderella story) were crumpled up and discarded along with everyone’s autographed pictures of Josh McDaniels.

You have to feel for the poor kicker, who could, by season’s end, wind up as the NCAA’s career points leader.

You also have to wonder if Boise State’s loss is showing everything that’s wrong with college football right now.

(Tangent: I’d like to take a moment here to just remind everyone of my past column about the inept intuition of preseason polls. Of the top-10 ranked teams at the beginning of the season only three remain in the top-10. None of the top-five are in the top-five. Nice work panelists. I’m so relieved that these preseason rankings have no bearing on how teams are positioned the rest of the season … oh, wait.)

Boise lost to Nevada, the 17th ranked team in the country, but is now outranked by three two-loss teams (Arkansas, Oklahoma and LSU) in the BCS standings.

A playoff system wouldn’t save the Smurfs, either, as they are now No. 11, and no proposed postseason scenario has ever included more than eight teams.

Sure, sure, I like the whole “every game is life or death” as much as the next guy, but when a team loses one game against a ranked team and is suddenly dropped from national power to nationally ignored, it feels a little, well, dead.

It’s strange – even stranger when you consider what these type of scenarios do for the sport.

Dramatic finishes, surprise champions, upsets, dominations – these are all the things that capture fans (and bring up the ratings) when their favorite teams are struggling.

By this time of year in college football, all those scenarios are eliminated.

Auburn and Oregon will play for the BCS championship if a) Auburn can beat a vastly overrated and overachieving South Carolina team that eked out a title in the (incredibly) down SEC East, and b) Oregon can beat up on in-state rival Oregon State, which will play without its best player – and isn’t all that good anyway.

I’d put money on both rolling (if gambling were legal and I had money), so where’s the excitement coming from? Do we have to wait to see our favorite 7-5 teams play in the Clorox Toilet Cleaner Bowl?

Maybe Boise’s season would still be bust if there were playoffs, maybe not.

But what we’ve learned is two-fold: Boise State’s great run is over, and the excitement for the rest of the season ended with it.

Not even a turkey sandwich can save us.

To hear more about Bryce’s obsession with sports (and food), follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SummitSportsGuy.


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