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Sports Then and Now



College Football Preview: Not So Fast Alabama 2

Posted on September 03, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Nick Saban has Alabama poised for another run, but can they repeat as champions?

After romping through an undefeated 2009 season, many experts have ordained Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide as the team to beat again in 2010. While Alabama will again be formidable, it will be hard for them to overcome the loss of most of the defensive stars that carried them past Florida and Texas and to an undefeated record a year ago.

While last season there was little question that Alabama, Texas and Florida were the undisputed best teams in college football (unless of course you are a fan of TCU and Boise State), in 2010 it may be a little harder to gauge which college teams are the cream of the crop.

Across the board, college football teams lost a plethora of talented players that must be replaced in 2010. The teams that are able to rise from the pack in 2010 will be those that have new players and former backups ready to play at the highest level.

Below is a look at the major conferences in Division I-A (Bowl Championship Subdivision): Read the rest of this entry →

BCS Dream Scenario Becomes A Nightmare 0

Posted on December 06, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Colt McCoy and Texas won the Big 12 title, but not in the overwhelming fashion that most expected.

Colt McCoy and Texas won the Big 12 title, but not in the overwhelming fashion that most expected.

Okay, technically it looks like the powers that control the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) got exactly what they desired: an undefeated champion from the SEC against an undefeated champion from the Big 12. Seemingly a dream come true. Yet, thanks to a lackluster performance by the Texas Longhorns that dream has turned into a bit of a nightmare.

The purpose of the BCS formula is simply to ensure that the two best teams in college football meet in a championship game to decide the title. After enough situations over the years when teams like Penn State (multiple times), Alabama and others finished seasons undefeated, but without even a share of a national title, this concept seemed to make sense.

However, what has become painfully clear over the last decade is that it only works when there are clearly two teams that are better than all the rest.

The formula worked to perfection following the 2005 season when an undefeated Texas squad defeated a previously undefeated USC team in a game for the ages. However, in other years when two teams have not clearly been better than the rest, the system has received great criticism.

For most of the 2009 season it appeared that the BCS formula was going to work out perfectly. Unlike recent years when the top three spots in the BCS standings often proved to be a revolving door, in 2009 the three teams ranked at the top of the BCS standings in late October were all still there heading into the conference championship weekend.

With a pair of undefeated teams in the SEC and an undefeated Texas squad in the Big 12, it seemed clear that if Texas did as expected and annihilated Nebraska, then the Longhorns would face the winner of the Alabama-Florida game for the title in another epic matchup. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

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