VOL. 126 | NO. 240 | Friday, December 9, 2011
The Press Box
Can’t Gripe When Best Teams Reach Title Game
By DON WADE
After the final Bowl Championship Series rankings came out and Oklahoma State wasn’t invited to the national title game, the Okie sports columnist did what he had to do.
“The BCS mantra – every game counts – has been exposed …” Berry Tramel wrote in The Oklahoman. “But don’t take it personal, Cowboys. No one’s out to get you.
“The SEC cartel is out to get everyone who doesn’t play in Dixie.”
No, just everyone who loses to a 27-point underdog named Iowa State.
Top-ranked LSU is undefeated. No. 2 Alabama has been dominant, except in its 9-6 overtime loss to LSU. So it doesn’t take a cartel – or a conspiracy theory – for Oklahoma State to finish third in this race. Just common sense.
That said, I’ll grant the OSU apologist this much: The SEC and its fans do start the typical day with bacon, eggs and smugness, have a midday buffet of unbridled arrogance, and finish with all-you-can-eat obnoxiousness.
Then again, this is college football and not fifth-grade cheerleading.
When a conference wins five straight national championships – and obviously there will be a sixth for the Southeastern Conference – the bragging is accompanied by forensic evidence.
If OSU fans don’t get this, I guess I understand. They were too close to reaching the national title game to be objective about being dispatched to Phoenix and a date with No. 4 Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.
But the rest of the country, which wants to act like an all-SEC national championship game is somehow like having Walmart play Piggly Wiggly? Get over yourselves already.
Times change. The Big 12 and Big 10 aren’t what they used to be. Neither are landlines and the post office.
Of course, the “North” does not really do graciousness. I should know; I used to live there. Rather, the North leads with condescension, with the assumption that everyone in the South believes sculptures and yard ornaments are one and the same.
That’s what is so rich about these cries of injustice and SEC hubris. The starting point for Northerners always has been that they’re better, smarter and more sophisticated than anyone or anything down South.
Fine. Come Jan. 9, y’all go to the opera or the ballet.
Or for those in Oklahoma, the rodeo.
Down here in Dixie, we’ll be busy watching the national/SEC title game.
Don Wade is a native of Kansas City and a former feature writer for The Kansas City Star and sports reporter for The Commercial Appeal. His column appears weekly in The Daily News and The Memphis News.