With the BCS champion crowned, we can finally turn our attention to another tournament rife with competition, speculation and the creeping sense that the whole thing may be just a bit rigged. We can turn our attention, in other words, to awards season.
But maybe we shouldn't close the book on the college football campaign just yet. As we survey the results of the bowl games just ended, some parallels emerge between several football programs and the movies making their bid for Oscar gold.
The strategists behind "The Hurt Locker," after all, would doubtless find solidarity in Boise State, a fan favorite that pulled out all the tricks and did everything asked of it only to never quite gain sufficient respect.
Colt McCoy and the Texas Longhorns, meanwhile, might see a kindred spirit in Lee Daniels' "Precious," a preseason favorite dinged a little too much by the injurious performance of the man directing its attack.
"Up" could find itself feeling like Cincinnati, floating high for so long only to see its hopes at a big prize sharply deflated. Urban Meyer's Florida Gators would match nicely with a certain Jason Reitman drama, what with the fate of its leading man up in the air.
And where would the season be without the college football analogue to "The Lovely Bones," the USC Trojans: a strong ensemble that came into the year with a rich pedigree and even richer hopes only to fade quickly and unremarkably? The Pete behind each can't move on fast enough.
But when the dust settles and all the trophies are handed out, the biggest one may go to "Avatar," just as it did to to Alabama. Both are large-scale efforts years in the making, with a man at the helm who has a tradition of winning and just a smidge of self-seriousness. Fortunately, they don't douse you with Gatorade at the Kodak Theatre.
Both the Oscars and the BCS are endlessly improving on (or at least changing) their systems. That's fine. But NCAA, whatever you contemplate for next year, please don't double your end-of-season contenders. We have enough trouble agreeing on the winners as it is. Having a computer decide the Oscars, on the other hand ...
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: "The Hurt Locker." Credit: Summit Entertainment
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