Thursday, December 3, 2009

Week 13: End of NCAA Fantasy Season, and the end of an era

The season is over, and I reign supreme! I won my league’s finals by a score of 194-109, with UAB QB Joe Webb leading the way with nearly 25% of this week’s points. Webb put up 47FPts, throwing for over 320yds and 3TDs (1Int), and rushing for over 130yds and a score. This performance places Webb as the second best collegiate fantasy performer for 2009 behind his week 13 opponent, Case Keenum.

Both Dexter McCluster (82yds rushing, 63yds receiving, 1TD) and Lance Dunbar (126yds rushing, 25 receiving, 1TD) pulled in 20FPts, while Danario Alexander and Golden Tate each had over 200yds receiving and over 30FPts (per player). Based on the fact that most of my players rank in the top-5 of their respective positions in fantasy scoring, I would have to say this season went real well.

And now that my season is over, I can sit back and just watch the remaining weeks of NCAA football, without yelling at the screen when 2-10 North Texas plays 3-8 Arkansas State, or some other normally-meaningless match-up. Even though we are in the home stretch of the 2009 season, with the bowl season rapidly approaching (New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 19) and conference championships this weekend (ahem.....#1 UF vs. #2 Bama.....ahem), there is still a lot of great football to be played. And watched.

On another note, as I am sure you are all well aware, Florida State University Head Coach and living-legend, Bobby Bowden, announced his retirement this week. Coach Bowden started coaching at FSU 34 years ago in 1976. That was nearly a decade before I was even thought of, making me a part of a generation that has never known NCAA football without the football diety. Although I can’t remember the beginning of his 14 years of consecutive top-5 finishes (1987), I feel lucky that I had the opportunity to remember the 1999 National Championship, the loss in 2000, and everything that transpired afterward.

I'm not saying I enjoyed the loss in 2000, or the unmitigated disaster that is Jeff Bowden, or a 6-6 record this season, I'm saying I was lucky to be able to experience a football culture (read: religion) who's undisputed leader was the coach at my school. I attended FSU from 2002-2006, so I had the pleasure of watching Coach Bowden at work (albeit 30 yards downfield from the action). I watched the stained glass window in Doak Campbell Stadium being pieced together to depict Bobby overlooking the field that bears his name. (That window is one of the 5 largest stained-glass windows in the United States.) I saw the 10-ft tall statue being erected. I saw him beat Miami. And Florida. And I am thankful for all of this.

It will be tough for all football lovers to imagine the Florida State sidelines without Coach Bowden but as with much in life, all good things must come to an end. Yes, very cliché…but very true. In the past 2 days, there has been so much said about Bowden, his career, his retirement, and the circumstances surrounding all of them, that there isn’t much left to say other than: “Thank you, Bobby.”

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