I've called it "a colorless void of impatience, speculation, and hope." But it's also the best time to unpack our thoughts, and get up close and personal with the game.
Those readers who just joined us this season, might not know what to expect now that the curtain is down. I'm hear to say that this is when we do our best work. How's that? It's because we can really dig in, and get our hands dirty -- revisiting the fall that was, and uncovering what lies ahead.
As beat writers turn their attention to "lesser" sports, we're here to pick up the slack, leafing through almanacs, rewinding the tape, and spending hours surveying the conference landscape.
In other words, we're not going anywhere, and neither should you. In the words of my favorite writer:
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past..."
Here are a few quick thoughts:
- Congratulations to the University of Alabama for earning another notch on its championship belt. Last night's win gives the Crimson Tide its first title since 1992. Although its nice to see a historical brand back on top, it's a shame Colt McCoy left the game during the second series. If McCoy stays healthy, that's a different game. How apropo for a season that never really lived up to expectations.
- And by the way, would it have really killed Nick Saban to smile? Is that too much to ask?
- The final Associated Press Poll is out, and the Big Ten finishes 2009 with three teams in the Top 10 (No. 5 Ohio State, No. 7 Iowa, and No. 9 Penn State -- more than any other conference. Wisconsin's move up the ladder means Big Ten teams occupy a full 25% of the Top 16.
- I met to mention it a few days ago, but the return of star Junior defenders Cameron Heyward and Chimdi Chekwa is a major coup for Ohio State. Although Buckeye fans will miss Thad Gibson, Heyward was the real standout on this year's line -- and will anchor what is easily the most hyped defensive unit in half a decade.