Last night the University of Miami beat the living crap out of one of my favorite college teams Texas A&M. The final score looked respectable, but it wasn't. A&M never had a chance from the beginning. It's not that A&M is a bad team, they're far from it. They can beat the hell out of any team physically with a power option running game spearheaded by a gutty leader at QB and 2 workhorse RB's. Well, any team besides USC, LSU, Oklahoma, Florida, and West Virginia, but I'm getting off topic.
The reason Miami won convincingly was because of the atmosphere. Miami is not a great team by any stretch of the imagination. This is a throwaway season; new coach, season following an absolute debacle of a 2006 campaign, talent drain as the Florida rota moves to Gainesville. But if you can get a stadium atmosphere like that, ANY college team would win. Think about it for a second. These aren't polished professional players. These are super athletic kids who get overly excited and feed off momentum. The reason that most college players struggle with the transition to the NFL is because they get ahead of themselves and fly around without staying disciplined which vets take nasty advantage of.
Last night was the epitome of the atmosphere winning. Miami has no business beating a top 25 team even with Kenny Phillips playing like Ronnie Lott. It doesn't change the fact that Kyle Wright is still playing QB and their o-line blows men. But if you get everyone in the building screaming and yelling and giving the players their full support, the players play way above their heads. It's a great thing to see. It's what makes college football, while less quality a product, a more enjoyable one. There's charisma and soul, something undescribable, and that was in full display at the OB last night.
Think about the hardest tests for college football teams. It's always the road games in hostile environments. Some examples that come quickly to mind (I'm not a fan of research) are Michigan losing in Autzen Stadium against Oregon, Oregon State beating USC, Penn State beating Ohio State, Florida losing to Auburn, Texas losing to Texas A&M, Texas losing to Kansas State, Texas, you know what, Texas sucks without some VY jelly. The most dangerous thing is an animal backed into a corner. When an underdog is backed into it's own corner with their fans screaming and supporting, the underdog has nothing to lose and the big favorite is a little shocked when they're the enemy. Last night was a great example of that. Fuck Pro Player Stadium, Donna Shalala and anyone who green-lighted the move away from the OB.