Championship Saturday

Posted: Saturday, December 01, 2007 by Travis Cody in

There is no football game, college or pro, that gives me shivers like Army vs Navy. Navy has won the last 5 games in a row and has the nation's top running game, and they will very likely dominate again today. For me, this game is about more than who wins or who loses. It is about courage, commitment, and dedication. The future for these kids includes at least 5 years in service to this country, as Navy, Marine, or Army officers. Many of them will make a career in the service.

The Army-Navy game is full of inspirational stories. This one in particular caught my attention.

Navy Senior Zerbin Singleton, future Marine Aviator and Astronaut, embodies the Corps spirit of improvise, overcome, and adapt. His mother was jailed for a parole violation when he was a child. He had to move from his home in Alaska to Georgia. At Columbia HS in Decatur he was named captain of his football team in 2002 and earned All-City Metro Team and team MVP honors. He was named to the all-county academic team twice. As a standout wrestler, he was the 2003 Georgia State Champion at 135 pounds. He was Senior Class President and National Honor Society President. His goal to attend the Naval Academy was nearly ended by a car accident. His biological father, whom he didn't meet until his senior year in high school, committed suicide a year later. He enrolled at Georgia Tech for a year, where he was told he was too small for ACC football. He was finally able to achieve his dream to attend the Naval Academy. He will graduate next spring with a 3.20 GPA in aerospace engineering and enter the Marine Corps as a future aviator, the first step in his goal to become an Astronaut.

If this doesn't inspire you, I don't know what might. Singleton's story reminds me that it doesn't matter what your circumstances are. If you have a dream, and a dedication to seeing it through, you can.

Here are the BCS Standings today:

1 Missouri (11-1) vs 9 Oklahoma (10-2)
2 West Virginia (10-1) vs Pittsburgh (4-7)
3 Ohio State (11-1) Big 10 Champion
4 Georgia (10-2)
5 Kansas (11-1)
6 Virginia Tech (10-2) vs 11 Boston College (10-2)
7 LSU (10-2) vs 14 Tennessee (9-3)
8 USC (9-2) vs UCLA (6-5)
9 Oklahoma (10-2) vs 1 Missouri (11-1)
10 Florida (9-3)

Hawaii (11-0) is ranked #12. Evidently the BCS computer hasn't figured out that no losses really is better than 3 losses.

So there are big games all over the country this Saturday.

If Hawaii beats Washington today, which is pretty likely even despite how well QB Jake Locker is playing to close out the season, the Rainbow Warriors still will not earn a spot in the BCS Championship game despite finishing 12-0. That's just the way the current system is designed. They should earn a place in the Sugar Bowl. With any luck, that exposure and the multi million dollar payday will prove that they play some damn fine football in the Aloha state. As for the Huskies, I'm already excited about next season. With a top recruiting class coming in to provide some more speed and weapons for Locker on offense, UW is re-building a strong program in the Pac 10.

LSU and Tennessee are set to duke it out for the SEC Championship. It was announced today that LSU coach Les Miles will not be heading to Michigan to take over that program. I think it was irresponsible of ESPN and other news organizations to make any statements right before a championship game, especially when they were wrong. In the brief news conference, Miles was terse as he said he was the coach of LSU, he represented LSU, and he had a championship game to coach. He basically said that he could and would always speak for himself, and if anyone had any questions about his intentions that they should have asked him when it was appropriate. Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer has been under fire most of the season, and yet he has guided his team into the SEC Championship.

Missouri can win it's first league title since 1969 when the current Big 12 Conference was known as the Big 8. They are also assured a spot in the BCS Championship game with a win. Oklahoma won the early season match up between the teams, 41-31 at home on Oct 13. It's tough to beat a team twice in one season, and the Tigers are playing outstanding football. Missouri QB Chase Daniel is a Heisman Trophy candidate.

West Virginia hopes to secure the other spot in the BCS Championship with a win against Pittsburgh in the 100th renewal of the Backyard Brawl. Being ranked #2 has been a dangerous place for five other programs this year. Oregon, USC, Cal, South Florida, and Boston College have all lost the week after they were ranked #2 in the BCS poll. Pitt faces a tough challenge, trying to contain the 1-2 speed punch of WV QB Patrick White and RB Steve Slaton.

The Pac 10 Championship has come down to UCLA vs USC many times. And it does again today in the 77th meeting between the two schools. USC can win the Pac 10 and go to the Rose Bowl. UCLA can upset that dream and amazingly can still win the Pac 10 title if there happens to be a four way tie. The Bruins can also pave the way for Arizona State to go to the Rose Bowl if ASU beats Arizona for the annual Territorial Cup, first presented in 1899.

When Oregon QB Dennis Dixon suffered a season ending knee injury, the Ducks lost the engine that drives the truck. With Dixon, Oregon was a legitimate championship contender. Without him, they are a team without an offensive identity. Oregon State relies on a hard hitting and aggressive defense to create turnovers and short fields for its average offense. This is the 111th renewal of The Civil War between the two programs. Oregon has the overall advantage at 55-45-10. The home team has won 10 straight times leading into this game. Both teams should be invited to Bowl games.

Wow. There's a lot going on today. I better start paying attention.

Later babies!


  1. Jeni says:

    Your lead-in story was an excellent choice -very good way to point out the importance of working hard and that it pays off in spades.

  1. Jeff B says:

    Your story about Singleton kind of dove tails on yesterdays post and Jimmy V's "don't give up..." motto.

    I was pulling for the Ducks today in the civil war game and it was a fairly well played one, but in the end their offense just wasn't up to the task.

    The miss communication at the end of regulation certainly didn't help either.

    Looking forward to your NFL picks for the week. It'll be tough to top last week though.

  1. In the army/navy game, they are all champions, win or lose.

  1. Travis says:

    Jeni: I thought so.

    Jeff: Yup. Determination kind of fits with my whole theme for college football this weekend.

    Sarge: You are correct.

  1. Linda says:

    You know, I honestly don't give two hoots and a holler about football but your story on Singleton was absolutely wonderful and inspiring. I wish him the best in his career and hope he fulfills his goal of becoming an astronaut. It just goes to show that if a person puts their mind to something, the things they can accomplish are amazing!

  1. Outstanding choice on the human interest part of Army/Navy.

    I can't believe my hubby's Bucks backed into the National Championship game. Whodda thunk?