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Last Words From Ol' Doc Stephenson
November 29, 2012 - Al Stephenson
The Good Doctor went 9-5 in rivalry games last weekend bringing his season numbers to 33-17. Not bad for the first time prognosticator, though he left a few questions unanswered. So I had a chance to sit down and talk with him before he left town for a warmer winter locale. Here's a snippet from our conversation.
Me: I thought you predicted that Ohio State would be the lone unbeaten team in 2012. What happened?
Ol' Doc: They still will be. Notre Dame took care of business in southern California, but they still have a national championship game to play. It will be against either Georgia or Alabama. Though I would prefer to see the Bulldogs (aren't we all a little tired of seeing the Crimson Tide) I believe Alabama will prevail once again. Either of the SEC schools are likely to topple Notre Dame giving fans of the SEC one more reason to crow. That's getting old but until somebody starts beating the SEC's best, those fans have every right to sound off.
Me: Don't you think Notre Dame can win the title game?
Ol' Doc: Sure they can, but will they? Probably not. I do think the game will be very close though.
Me: Do you think Ohio State's punishment was too severe for the crime? After all we are talking about discounted tattoos here.
Ol' Doc: They weren't punished for the tats - they got the bowl ban for the head coach not being honest - and that is OK by me. Somebody told me when the whole thing first became public that he felt the coach, the AD and the college prez probably knew the truth from the beginning. The decision to hide the information was agreed to with the coach being told if it came to light it would be his behind.
Me: Do you think that conspiracy theory is plausible?
Ol' Doc: Anything is possible in the murky waters of big time, big money college football. National championships bring in major dollars to the university. Do you think any school might sit on very minor violations of NCAA regs if it meant the possiblility of hoisting a championship banner and the riches that come with it?
Me: You're scaring me Doc. What is the chances that Kent State could end up in a BCS bowl game?
Ol' Doc: Slim, but the heart is still beating. So many things have to happen that the likelihood is very small, but it could happen. There are provisions in the BCS system that would allow a MAC team (for example) to get a bid if they are ranked higher than a team from a conference with an automatic bid. If Wisconsin beats Nebraska and Kent State ranks higher than Wisconsin they could get a bid. Same story with the Big East conference representative. Of course Kent State, who last summer played in the College World Series in baseball and is not that far removed from a Sweet 16 appearance in basketball, has to beat Northern Illinois in the MAC championship game tomorrow night to even be in a position to get a bid. All things considered, you have to be impressed with the Golden Flashes athletic program right now.
Me: Doc enjoy your winter. It's been fun following your forecasts this season.
Ol' Doc: Well of course it has. You might want to try not talking to yourself so much!
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