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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Let's Talk Championships

Maybe waiting around until after the Super Bowl will help disguise the fact that I'm tragically late in talking about the BCS Championship? No?

In all seriousness, I'm here to talk BCS, a month later (ICYMI, a recent addition is part of what has waylaid me) though I may include a bit about the Super Bowl and the Honda Battle of the Bands as well.

So way back in January, they played a little game in college football's perfect venue to end a certain imperfect system that'll give way to another. If I were the bandwagon sort, I'd have every reason to claim FSU - after all, since graduation, I've been to just as many FSU games as USF ones, but instead I'll just fall back and be glad they won, especially for my FSU alumni friends.

ESPN may have outdone themselves with the megacast. I'm sure it comes as a surprise to no one that I loved the availability of the halftime show, though I hear a couple of folks got jobbed by ESPN Classic. The Worldwide Leader mentioned that halftime performances would be available on ESPN Classic, and while they were, they maintained the commercial breaks the other channels took. Luckily, I watched on ESPN3 and caught both shows, uninterrupted in their entirety. And while I'm confident they could have done a better job with the coverage, the spider cam was a decent view.

Yes, FSU ended the SEC's BCS reign, but that should come of little comfort. After all, at least some folks living vicariously through the SEC chant are really simply reliving the Civil War and touting the South's football superiority. A championship heading to Tallahassee is functionally no different than one headed to Tuscaloosa, Gainesville, or Auburn. In fact, a few sobering facts for us Yankees: Ohio State is the only consensus northern school to have won a BCS championship. Only three others - Nebraska, Oregon, and Notre Dame - have competed for one. So while the Seminoles' victory took the championship out of the hands of one conference, it didn't change the geographical picture a bit.

In other championship news: The Super Bowl was one of the most boring I can recall, in just about every aspect, the blowout score and lackluster commercials being the most obvious. Even Bruno Mars' halftime show, while expertly performed, lacked the spectacle typically associated with a Super Bowl halftime show. And while I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers, they may have been better served to decline rather than serve as an undercard and be invited only to perform one of their earlier singles from two decades ago.

Finally, Honda: Not only was A&T the champion via fan voting, but an expert panel on the Marching Podcast had them of the consensus #1 as well. Of note was the fact that the Blue and Gold Marching Machine switched their style up, giving us a bit of corps style culminating in a Cadets-style company front. Meanwhile, the discussion also addressed the fact that Bethune-Cookman, while talented as always, put forth a predictable performance that just seemed to be going through the motions. This made me think a few things: First, BCU is no longer penciling in a Honda appearance in January; they're writing it in pen. After all, the Marching Wildcats were on their 4th straight trip this year and have to all but three in the event's 12 year history. The trip from Daytona to Atlanta may seem less an honor and more business as usual. Secondly, with their archrival, the FAMU Marching 100, in a weakened state following their suspension, might some of the fire be lacking from the Wildcats? Whatever the reason, they didn't get the strongest marks. In a pretty solid second place, though, were the Marching Maroon and White of Alabama A&M. They'll meet up with the Blue and Gold Marching Machine in Orlando this coming season - the two are the participants in the 2014 MEAC/SWAC Challenge.
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