is a new movie which addresses the problem of uncertainty in a world
which yearns for absolutes. It’s a human condition evidenced all the
more by college football fans accentuated by the ambiguities of our BCS
system and spurred on by deep-seeded questions digging at the very core
of what makes a fan a fan.
One of the points of the movie is that “doubt” can
be just as strong of a community unifier as certainty. In the case of
the upcoming BCS championship game between the Oklahoma and Florida
Universities, two communities with huge chips on their shoulders clash
in a delirium of doubt.
One of those communities is the S.E.C. representing
the Deep South, taking pride in their football while being looked down
on by the rest of the country. The other community, Oklahoma, also uses
pride in their football as a balm to soothe dust bowl sensibilities and
Okay, let’s run through the doubts. Both teams have
quarterbacks proven to be the best in the land. Florida’s QB, Tim
Tebow, is a 245 pound behemoth, but always has his potential as a pro
prospect questioned. Oklahoma’s QB, Sam Bradford, won the Heisman and
just about every other honor a player could attain but is discredited,
at times, because his offensive line is so good. OU, with perhaps the
best college offense ever, is being questioned by SEC proponents as
being in a conference with inferior defenses. UF, with a truly dominant
defense is being questioned by the Big 12 proponents as being in a
conference with inferior offenses. Big 12 fans also point to the fact
that it’s hard to measure the relative strength of SEC teams because
they rarely play good non-conference opponents during regular season.
SEC fans counter that their teams have good bowl records, something OU
does not, having lost their previous four BCS games.
You want more questions? Two of OU’s starters are
hurt and will miss the game. UF’s offensive coordinator was hired to be
head coach at Mississippi State. OU has a lousy kicking game and even
worse kick-off special teams, something in which Florida excels. OU
fans say “Boomer-Sooner” a lot. Florida fans wear jorts. Both sets of
fans say they have no doubts and are absolutely sure their team will
prevail. Fans of college football say no matter who wins this game,
maybe the most anticipated in the last five years, the winner will
still be a mythical national champion because of a lack of a playoff
system. This game is laden in doubt.
That’s what communities relish in when they gather
together, no real true answers. And if there were, a lot of the fun
would be missing. Is Notre Dame really his coaching dream job, as Urban
Meyer, coach of Florida says? Can Bob Stoops recapture the title “Big
Game Bob” or does he have to live even longer with “Medium Game Bob”?
Can Bob Mullen, new head coach at Mississippi State, really call the
right plays and get his head in this game AND make sure his recruits at
Miss State don’t bolt? Will Sam Bradford’s broken left hand be healed
in time? Will OU’s third team middle linebacker learn the plays quickly
enough to be effective? Will Tim Tebow set up a temporary clinic in an
extra dressing room to minister at halftime to South American natives
in need of medical attention and circumcisions? Will Sam Bradford make
any type of dent in the mountain of footballs to autograph piled up
behind the bench? Will OU fans remark on how much South Beach has
changed on this, their 19th bowl trip to Miami? Will the Northern
Florida redneck fans think they’ve traveled to a different country when
they encounter the cultural diversity of Miami? Will these questions be
answered? Doubt it.