College Football

Past Buzzes

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

It is very difficult to have one elite team for a university. Having that in multiple sports typically does not happen, especially for football and men’s basketball. I want to revisit 1990, a great year for Georgia Tech.

The basketball team for the 1989-90 season had a great year. They were led by coach Bobby Cremins. They were led by a talented trio of players nicknamed “Lethal Weapon 3”. That consisted of ACC Player of the Year Dennis Scott, National Freshman of the Year Kenny Anderson and Brian Oliver.

They had some big wins during the regular season against ranked teams including No. 18 Pitt, No. 17 NC State, No. 15 Louisville and No. 20 Clemson. They also demolished No. 25 North Carolina, 102 – 75.

During the regular season they were swept by Duke and Virginia. In the ACC Tournament they beat both teams and NC State for the third time to win the conference tournament.

They advanced to the Final Four in Denver. On the way there they beat Michigan State in the Sweet Sixteen. The Spartans were Big Ten champs and the top seed in the region. They were ranked third nationally and led by junior Steve Smith.

In the Final Four they lost to UNLV, 90 – 81. The Running Rebels went on to win the national championship. Tech finished the season 28 – 7.

In the fall of 1990, the football team had a historic undefeated season. They were led by head coach Bobby Ross and quarterback Shawn Jones. For the season the Yellow Jackets offense scored 379 points while the defense allowed 186 points.

Jones passed for 2,008 yards, 13 touchdowns and he had 6 rushing touchdowns. William Bell led the team in rushing with 891 yards, 5 touchdowns and averaged 5.5 yards per carry.

On defense they were led by All-American defensive back Ken Swilling. He had 5 interceptions that season. He is said to have predicted an undefeated season before it started, supposedly based on a dream. Safety Willie Clay was second on the team with three picks.

The Yellow Jackets started the season with a home win against NC State. They beat ranked teams like No. 25 South Carolina, No. 15 Clemson and No. 1 Virginia. The game against UVA was nationally televised.

The tie happened at North Carolina, 13 -13. Overtime was not added to FBS football until the 1995-96 bowl season.

They also beat archrival Georgia 40 – 23 in Athens. They went to the Citrus Bowl and played No. 19 Nebraska. Going into the game the Cornhuskers were 9 – 2. The Yellow Jackets won big, 45 -21.

They finished the season 11-0-1 and No. 1 in the Coaches Poll. Colorado was the top team in the AP Poll and they were 11-1-1. I’m not sure how the Buffalos were voted No. 1 since they had a loss.

They also had a game against Missouri where they were given a fifth down. That led to them scoring a touchdown on the last play to win the game 33 -31.

They also have a common opponent, Nebraska. Colorado beat Nebraska 27 – 12.

“A lot of special things happened that season,’’ said Ross said. It was a great accomplishment by a lot of people. We started all the way at the bottom three years before that and went all the way to the top.’’

1990 was an amazing year for Georgia Tech that will never be duplicated.

Future of College Football Playoff

kenBy: Kenneth Harrison Jr. news services

We’re in year three of the College Football Playoffs and the four teams were announced to play for the National Title. I don’t have a problem with the teams that were picked but it made me stop and think about the selection process.

Some analysts point to Washington (12-1) and say a team with two loses like Penn State or Michigan is more deserving because they played a tougher non-conference schedule. I disagree but I think things should be more uniformed across college football to leave everyone with an equal playing field.

The first major change should require all Power 5 conferences to play an equal amount of conference games. For instance, the Pac 12, Big Ten and Big 12 all play nine conference games. Two leagues with fourteen members, the ACC and SEC play eight conference games. It was proposed two years ago that the SEC might add an additional conference game and it was overwhelmingly shot down.

“This has been a thoughtful and deliberative process that has resulted in maintaining the current format and adds a provision that will bolster our collective annual non-conference schedule,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said. “Critical to maintaining this format is the non-conference opponent factor which gives us the added strength-of-schedule we were seeking while allowing continued scheduling flexibility for institutional preferences, and acknowledges that many of our institutions already play these opponents.”

That’s a very interesting comment because what actually happens is a lot of teams backload their schedule with a cupcake opponent. Half of the league did that in the second to last week of the season. Several played FCS opponents: Alabama played Chattanooga, Auburn played Alabama A&M, South Carolina played Western Carolina and Kentucky played Austin Peay. Some played weak FBS opponents, for instance Georgia played Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas A&M played Texas-San Antonio. These are all basically glorified scrimmages before the season finale.

I also think since there are only four playoff spots we should rethink having five major conferences since they don’t all play by the same rules. I think the Big 12 should not be considered a Power conference anymore. They are the only conference that does not play a conference championship game since the league has had less than the required twelve teams after the 2010 season.

I think they enjoy not having to play the conference championship game for a couple of reasons. The first thing is since they only have ten teams they divide revenue amongst those universities. If they add members that will decrease the amount of money each school receives.

It’s also easier for a team to play one less game and stay in the hunt for a national championship. They have had a few teams in contention for the national title until they lost the Big 12 championship. In 1996 No. 3 Nebraska (10-1) lost to Texas. In 1998 No. 2 Kansas State (11-0) lost to Texas A&M and in 2003 No. 1 Oklahoma (12-0) got blown out by Kansas State.

I think they have been taking the easy way out by not expanding and they should be punished for that. Maybe the American Athletic Conference should become a Power 5 conference to replace them.