First things first. I’ll stipulate up front that I am no expert on college football. I’m just a fan who likes to cheer for my favorite teams.
The Oregon Ducks currently are my favorite team and they did not disappoint this big-time fan with a 59-20 demolition of the Florida State Seminoles. The Ducks are Rose Bowl champs for the second time in four years.
It’s a huge deal. Now they’ll await the winner of the next football playoff semifinal game between Alabama and Ohio State. I have zero preference in that game.
I think the most stunning thing said tonight by the ESPN announcing crew came late in the game when Kirk Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback, accused FSU of quitting. He said it twice after the Ducks went up 52-20.
I know that Herbstreit is an expert on football. Again, I am not. I’m betting that once the fellow’s statement finds its way to FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher’s ears that the coach and the announcer are going to have a few four-letter words.
It’s hard for me to put myself in the minds and hearts of dedicated athletes who’ve just been blown apart by a superior foe on the field. Did the Seminoles quit? Did they lie down and give up? Or was that defensive unit just plain exhausted after trying — mostly in vain — to stop the Oregon offense led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota.
It might be that Florida State simply had nothing left.
Do I pity the Seminoles? Hardly. It’s tough to feel sympathy for a team in which 75 percent of its members walk off the field after a game without congratulating the winners, which the FSU players did tonight after the Ducks put that serious beat-down on them. You need to win and lose with class.
Still, to call them quitters? That’s a very tough thing to say. Kirk Herbstreit had better be ready to defend himself.
But … what the heck. My team won tonight — huge! One more game is left to play.