The biggest stones in college football today belong to Evan Spencer, who plays receiver for Ohio State and who just got his name written on wipeboards across the Midwest today. ESPN.com reported the lad said, in reference to top- and second-ranked Alabama and Florida State, "I'm a little biased. I think we'd wipe the field with both of them."
We must only assume the brash Mr. Spencer, who has 21 receptions this year, meant "either" of them, but nevertheless, the gauntlet has been thrown. Lest he forget what cometh before the fall, he should have a look back at Oregon's past week. If you come to kill the king, you'd better not miss, and if you say "We Want Bama" you'd better not swoon at Stanford. Wanting Bama is like making a wish as you blow out the candles: Voice it aloud and you might switch to a collision-course with Clemson instead.
Spencer might be crazy like a fox, goading writers and coaches to imagine a comeuppance when Alabama secondary gets him in the open field. There's oodles of football left to play, but it's looking like a two-team race this year. The BCS standings have Alabama and Florida State firmly at 1-2, with Ohio State at 3. The Buckeyes do not control their own destiny. They need one of the juggernauts ahead of them to trip (Auburn and Missouri are positioned to set up a Buckeyes-Seminoles attempted field-wiping session). This is shaping up to be a paint-by-numbers final month of the season. No one outside of Spencer's dorm believes what he said, and only a few more than that expect he'll get a chance to prove it. Still, the Buckeyes are in fine position, considering. The BCS is awfully good, though not perfect, at rewarding undefeated major-conference teams with a shot at the national title.
Starting next season, when we go to this four-team playoff, a group of heavies will sit in a room and determine who fits. And this is where I'm hoping Spencer's brand of braggadocio will become the norm. This season, with the dominoes so rigidly in place, it's idle boasting. But what of there's next year, and beyond, when we eventually get eight and then 16 teams. Then, bring on the chatterboxes. Strength of schedule, yes. Convincing wins, sure. Top-notch shit-talk? Well, if you're on the committee and you've got a final, subjective slot to award, and you can hand it to, say, a one-loss Big XII team or an undefeated Boise State or whatever, who do you pick? The one whose players say, We believe we've played as well as anyone in the country or some other tapioca platitude? Or do you lift the velvet rope for the players who say We would wipe the field with either of the top so-called teams in the country? Will we see politesse or passion rewarded?
Fortune favors the bold, and I like athletes who spout off, so I'm rather hoping Spencer gets a chance to make good on his prediction. But then, I like watching Ohio State lose, preferably via blowout, so, again, I hope the Buckeyes get the Crimson Tide or the Seminoles. Either of them.
Urban Meyer: Ohio State is No. 2 [ESPN.com]
Photo credit of Spencer: Getty