A point-counterpoint of sorts concerning Louisville today on CBS Sportsline, which is shaping up as the most divisive partisan issue of this election season.
First, there's Dennis Dodd, who, like SMQ, thinks the resume of an undefeated Louisville would be perfectly adequate relevant to the competition to play for the mythical championship. Dodd offers no arguments SMQ would characterize as "strong," unless the reader is persuaded by "Everyone plays weak schedules `cuz Florida's playing Western Carolina this week."
Next, well, next we have Mike Freeman, who, without apparent exaggeration, predicts an 85-6 Ohio State victory among the following assessment of a hypothetical Louisville-OSU (please, undefeated Michigan, with the number one defense in the nation, don't even start) mythical championship - "or," he notes, "as Buckeyes coaches are secretly calling the potential matchup, nap time":
The caca would hit the fan.
It would be 20-0 after the first half and millions of television viewers would be falling asleep faster than Terrell Owens in a team meeting.
I can see it now. Mr. Sweater Vest, in a corner of his office somewhere, the door closed, making sure no one is around to witness what was about to happen, and then suddenly, upon contemplating the thought of his Buckeyes against the Cardinals, breaks out into a bellyaching laugh. "Please, please, I can't take it," he might whoop, "Louisville against us in the national championship game? Bwaaaaa!"
Hmm, thought-provoking. Highly relevant comparison to an NFL team. And:
But once the bright lights would flicker, and Ohio State started punching them in the mouth -- see, in the Big Ten, they, you know, tackle people -- they would begin making the football equivalent of routine throwing errors.
The pressure would swallow Louisville alive.
SMQ presumes Freeman means for consistency's sake that a literal, physical personification of pressure would rise from the turf of the South end zone and swallow the Cardinal sideline as the Buckeyes put the finishing touches on their thirteenth touchdown drive. Who could argue with that? Or with the fact that, in the Big Ten, they tackle people? That's the entire Big Ten, of course, as opposed to the weaklings that make up the entire Big East, and Ohio State gets the residual credit (and UL the demerits) for this very factual fact. West Virginia made it to 8-0 with no close games and only one opponent (now 4-1 in ACC play) allowed over 20 points by playing absolutely zero defense. Louisville is like the Detroit Tigers in that they inflate their path to the championship by beating notorious cupcakes like the New York Yankees. In four games. Clearly the Tigers were destined by every conceivable route of historical possbility to be blown out in the World Series and never should have been there; such is Louisville's unavoidable fate in the mythical championship. What is to debate? Mike Freeman needs no method.
By attempting to draw apt, fact-based comparisons to what Louisville has actually achieved on the field in relation to other contending teams to justify its appearance in a championship, rather than offering a broad and sometimes impossibly ludicrous condemnation based on arbitrary perception of what might happen from loose, undefined trends over the past few decades, SMQ sees he clearly has been betraying everything that is great about college football.
One could note, for example, that, while Ohio State has played arguably tougher opponents than Louisville in Texas, and, soon, Michigan, Louisville's collective opponents at the end of the season will have a better overall record than Ohio State's opponents by quite a few percentage points, and that the Cardinals will have played roughly twice as many bowl-eligible teams as the Buckeyes, and ask what those differences mean when comparing schedules. But Mike Freeman has shown SMQ that this point and all others like it are subserviant to predictions stemming from someone's existing and probably ignorant preconceived notions, which prove not only that Louisville won't win, but also that it doesn't even deserve a chance.
And again, do not even think of interjecting Michigan into this conversation. As if.
So, in closing, readers - Americans - on this great Election Day, SMQ offers idealistic fuel by which the Cardinals and one-loss teams everywhere may steel themselves against slings and arrows and earn voters' crucial respect, via the classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington:
But before that happens, I've got a few things I want to say to this Body. I tried to say them once before, and I got stopped colder than a mackerel. Well, I'd like to get them said this time, sir. And as a matter of fact, I'm not goin' to leave this Body until I do get them said.
Senator Paine: Mr. President, will the Senator
Senate President: Will the Senator yield?
Smith: No, sir, I'm afraid not. No, sir. I yielded the floor once before, if you can remember, and I was practically never heard of again. No, sir. And we might as well all get together on this yielding business right off the bat, now. I had some pretty good coaching last night, and I find that if I yield only for a point of order or a personal privilege that I can hold this floor almost until doomsday. In other words, I've got a piece to speak and blow hot or cold, I'm going to speak it.
And for you, you wonderful cynics, SMQ's brethren, let yourself be reminded of the futile nature of the systemic political beast by a paraphrased Robert Redford in The Candidate:
God bless America! Go Libertarians! Woooo freedom! Wait...what's that? Oh.