Back Nine: Meyer says ‘just enjoy' Tebow
Published: Monday, December 12, 2011 at 11:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 12, 2011 at 11:14 p.m.
The Back Nine comes at you after an amazing weekend that included my first public appearance playing the guitar on stage. Thanks to County Road for including me at the Brindise Christmas Bonfire. Fortunately, I don't think anyone could hear how many chords I messed up on “Brown-Eyed Girl.”
10. My wife walked into the room Sunday during one of those awful NFL pre-game shows and they were talking about Tim Tebow. “You mean Tebow is a big deal? Duh, NFL, we tried to tell you,” she said. Yeah, we did. Another amazing Tebow comeback made it worth watching another boring 3½ quarters. What Tebow is doing reminds me of (and I'm dating myself here) the 1970 season of the late George Blanda. He came off the bench in five straight games at the age of 43 to rally the Raiders to four wins and a tie, not only with his arm but with his field goals.
It must be getting boring for the Denver writers to have to write the same story week after week. Welcome to the club. I can't tell you how many times I went to a Florida game with the intention of not writing about Timmy again only to write about him because he did something amazing. What is puzzling to me is how Denver almost seems to be play-calling not to be effective on offense until the fourth quarter. And how defenses go away from what they've been doing once it becomes Tebow Time.
11Nobody is enjoying Tebow's run more than his former coach. “Isn't it great?” said Urban Meyer. “He did it in high school, he did it in college and now he's doing it in the NFL. What more do you want? The thing about Tim is he makes the people around him better. It's the essence of football. It doesn't matter what style of offense you run. It's a team sport.” Meyer said he is amazed that there are still anti-Tebites out there. “They just don't want to buy in,” he said. “Even John Elway. It doesn't matter if you brought him in if you're Elway or the general manager. Who cares? Just enjoy it.” By the way, for all of the people who were convinced Meyer bought a house in Columbus weeks or months ago, Meyer told me he is living in a hotel and will do so until after Signing Day. Then, he and Shelley will look for a home.
12. While Meyer's hiring at Ohio State has been heralded as a great move, there are some that have taken place that are downright baffling. There will be at least 24 new head coaches when college football kicks off next season and we're still waiting on schools such as Penn State and Arizona State (after the Sun Devils yanked their offer to June Jones at the last minute). But the consensus is that Charlie Weis to Kansas and Jim Mora Jr. to UCLA make the least sense. UCLA was turned down by so many coaches that it was so desperate it hired a guy whose only college experience was as a graduate assistant at Washington. But Kansas was about to pull the trigger and hire Gus Malzahn before Weis wowed Kansas AD Sheahon Zenger in his interview. There are two faces to Weis, the guy who can be interesting and personable and the guy who is unapproachable. Some of it can be blamed on a hip problem that has Weis in tremendous pain.
13. College sports continues to be inflicted with black eyes. The latest was the ugly brawl late in the Xavier-Cincinnati basketball game. Yancey Gates, who threw a vicious punch that literally gave Kenny Frease a black eye, was suspended for six games. “If my players don't act the right way they will never play another game at Cincinnati,” said Bearcats coach Mick Cronin after the game. So, you mean from now on, right coach? Because there is no way a six-game suspension — only one of them a Big East game — comes close to being a legitimate punishment. At least the school had Gates deliver a public apology Monday.
14. I voted for Robert Griffin III, so I was happy to see him win the Heisman Trophy. But I wonder if it would be better to wait another week before allowing people to vote. Don't you think Trent Richardson and Andrew Luck were hurt in the voting because they didn't play the previous week while RGIII was lighting up a very good Texas defense? The 20 percent of voters who sent their ballots in before last Saturday's games had Luck in the lead. My point is that if all the games are played and then we sit back and take some time to think about the bodies of work I'm not sure if the vote would be different, but it would be less reactionary. Of course, the Heisman will always be presented when ESPN says it will be presented.
15. I know it's way too early to even look it up but I did anyway. Jerry Palm has Florida as a No. 7 seed in Columbus in his Bracketology. Florida's RPI is not great (61st) and the SEC still doesn't have the depth from top to bottom. But Palm has six SEC teams in the tournament. So the league has that going for it. Hey, it's not the Pac-12, which has two wins so far against RPI Top-50 teams.
16. Yes, I am fired up about college basketball. If you watched the Kentucky-Indiana game you should be fired up, too. That atmosphere is a good example of why a playoff system doesn't diminish regular-season games no matter how much the BCS people want to tell you it does. And it looks more and more like this football season is going to push college football closer to the Plus-One format. Yeah for me. Another game to watch. (By the way, look for my blog at Gatorsports.com where I rank this year's bowl games.)
17. The Tweet of the Week (and why did Twitter have to change to make it more difficult to use?) comes from my pal Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution — “Nice to see that the leader of the NFC East is bowl eligible.” The Giants and Cowboys are tied at 7-6 atop the division. Every other NFC division leader is at least 10-3. But it sure made for entertaining TV Sunday night watching Eli Manning rally the G-men.
18. The Back Nine is certainly in the Christmas spirit after the annual visit to the mall Sunday. These are my three favorite Christmas songs. Feel free to download — “Christmas All Over Again” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon and for the old school in you “O Holy Night” by Luciano Pavarotti.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.