Man discovers 1942 Rose Bowl trophy in garbage

by Travis Normand

After seeing how most schools treat their college football trophies and artifacts, I am not shocked by this news at all.  Even I have found college football trophies in the trash.

N.C. man discovers 1942 Rose Bowl trophy in garbage

Yahoo Sports Minute

Discovering a Rose Bowl trophy is one thing. But coming across a 1942 Rose Bowl trophy — a relic from the only time “The Granddaddy of Them All” wasn’t played in Pasadena, Calif. — is something different altogether. But according to a report by ABC 11 news in Raleigh, N.C., that’s exactly what happened to one lucky man.

The junk collector — who wished to remain anonymous — stumbled upon the piece of college football history four months ago while sifting through trash. The 1942 Rose Bowl between Duke and Oregon State was moved to Durham, N.C. due to a government ban on all large public gatherings on the West Coast of the United States in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack. The Beavers beat the Blue Devils 20-16 at Duke’s home stadium in front of 56,000 fans (some of which sat on borrowed bleachers from nearby University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill).

Even coaches on the losing side received hardware. The recovered item appears to have been originally awarded to then-Blue Devils backfield coach Eddie Cameron — the same Eddie Cameron who has an Indoor Stadium named after him.

The man plans to let Duke have the first chance to buy the trophy. After that, he says it will go to the highest bidder.

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The Greatest Comeback That Never Was

The quarterfinals of the 1994 Texas State Championship is considered by many to be the greatest football game ever. Two undefeated high school teams came together at Texas Stadium and the winner would go on to win the state title.

Why are players, coaches and broadcasters still haunted by this game 20 years later?

Special thanks to Denny Garver, Eddy Clinton and the Plano East and John Tyler players and coaches for their cooperation with this project.

Link: BleacherReport.com

Maryland’s Unsportsmanlike Conduct (Updated Nov. 3, 2014)

by Travis Normand

Today, Maryland defeated Penn State, 20-19.  However, before the game, Maryland’s team captains refused to shake hands with Penn State’s team captains.  I have watched a lot of college football in my life and I have never seen such a blatant act of unsportsmanlike conduct.  It is my understanding that Maryland was flagged for this stunt, and I truly hope that was the case.

I won’t rehash the specifics of the incident, as you can read about it on ESPN.com, ESPN.com (Big 10 Blog), SI.com, and BleacherReport.com (video).

Photo from ESPN.com

**Update:  Nov. 3, 2014 – The Big 10 Conference has fined Maryland $10K for its pre-game behavior.  You can read more about this fine / punishment at Yahoo Sports and / or SI.com.  You can also read the Big 10’s official press release about this punishment at Big10.org (and I have also posted it below).

According to the press release, the conference did not specifically punish Maryland for the failure to shake hands prior to the game.  However, it did call the behavior “exceptionally regrettable.”

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Playoff Pundit: Auburn wins first playoff game!

CFBP - 86Kby Travis Normand

With Auburn ranked No. 3 and Ole Miss No. 4 in the first playoff poll, their game tonight was the first head-to-head match-up between two playoff bound teams.  In other words, their game was essentially a playoff game, as I can only imagine that the winner would still be considered for one of the four playoff spots (the loser would have two losses, as both teams already had one loss entering the game).

Auburn ended up defeating Ole Miss, 35-31.  It was a close game, so it will be interesting to see what the playoff committee does with Ole Miss in terms of how far down the rankings they move them.  On the other hand, No. 2 Florida State struggled Thursday night against No. 25 Louisville and No. 1 Mississippi State struggled against Arkansas, so it will be interesting to see if the top three get shuffled.

Finally, No. 5 Oregon won their game against Stanford, 45-16.  With No. 6 Alabama having a bye-week and No. 7 TCU winning 31-30 over No. 20 West Virginia, I can only imagine that Oregon will assume No. 4 playoff spot/rank.

Understanding the CFB Playoff (Part 2)

by Travis Normand

For those of you who want to understand all of the idiosyncrasies of the playoff selection process, I would like to recommend two readings for you.  Consider this your recommended reading list in your “Playoff 101″ course.

  1. Selection Committee Protocol:  How to select the four best teams to compete for the college football national championship (Adopted unanimously by the BCS Group – June 20, 2012).  – Posted here: http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/selection-committee-protocol
  2. Selection Committee FAQs - Posted here: http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/selection-committee-faqs

CFB Playoff Rankings: The First Week

by Travis Normand

Yesterday, (28 Oct. 2014), the college football playoff committee released its first rankings for the 2014 season.  You can see the rankings in PDF format HERE, or on their website HERE.

In the past, during the BCS era, I would make weekly observations of the BCS poll as it was released.  I am going to try and do the same with the playoff poll.

Upon seeing the first playoff rankings, I was surprised to see Ole Miss (7-1) at number four.  I have no problem with Ole Miss in the number four slot, but I thought their loss at LSU this past Saturday night would have put them further down the list.  After all, LSU (7-2) comes in at 19 in this initial ranking.

If you are thinking that only the winner of the Ole Miss – Mississippi State game will get a playoff spot, think again!

Mississippi State (7-0) is ranked number one, and is scheduled to play Ole Miss on November 29.   If these two schools meet with only one loss between them and still ranked in the top four of the playoff rankings, it will be interesting to see what happens if Ole Miss defeats Mississippi State.  I mention this because if Ole Miss’ loss to LSU isn’t enough to knock them out of the top four, then logic would dictate that a Mississippi State loss to number four Ole Miss shouldn’t be enough to knock Mississippi State out of the top four either.  (In this scenario, it would be Mississippi State’s first loss on the season, and losing to number four Ole Miss would be a better loss than losing to LSU).

While this is the first ranking of the season (and first ranking ever), there is a lot that could happen between now and Nov. 29.  However, if this Mississippi scenario were to play out, it would be a good indicator for judging the playoff committee’s consistency in terms of ranking teams.

Takeaway after one week of rankings:

While many probably didn’t expect to see Ole Miss in the top four after their loss to LSU, it is apparent that the selection committee isn’t going to “punish” teams for a loss like the AP and Coaches’ Poll usually do.  For example, before their loss to LSU, Ole Miss was ranked No. 3 in both the AP and Coaches’ Poll.  However, after their loss, Ole Miss dropped to No. 7 and No. 9, respectively.  Despite these No. 7 and 9 rankings, Ole Miss debuted at No. 4 in the playoff poll.