Don't mess with Mr. Fiskers. He's not declawed.
I have never met CBSSports.com writer Gregg Doyel, although if I did, I'm sure he would punch me in the face because I am a generally happy person. Doyel likes controversy. He likes to stir the pot. And when there is no controversy around and no pots to be stirred, he creates one.
You may remember him as the yahoo who accosted Coach Pete following Byron Hout's non-suspension. Or you might remember him from an episode of Cops. Either way, the least likable writer in college football has a bone to pick with the Broncos, which means that Bronco Nation has a bone to pick with him. Join us after the jump for a send-up to his latest affront on journalism.
Fisking is a point-by-point criticism that highlights perceived errors, or disputes the analysis in a statement, article, or essay. Mr. Fiskers is OBNUG's fisking cat. He has hyperthyroidism.
Greg Doyel was saddled with the task of presenting a reasoned perspective on why Boise State and Cincinnati might not be the best choices for a BCS title game berth. His response? A four-year-old's tantrum of unprofessionalism that leaves the reader feeling that taking this side of the argument was so far beneath Doyel that it was a waste of his wit and ingenuity to make a polite argument.
Yay for journalism!
This is not okay, so I have commissioned Mr. Fiskers, OBNUG's fisking cat, to help me set Doyel straight on where he went wrong and where he went over the line. Let's begin.
This argument is so easy, it feels like I'm taking candy from a baby. Which I am.
A spot in the BCS title game is the candy.
Boise State is the baby. So is Cincinnati.
Nothing screams respected journalist like opening a story with one sentence paragraphs. The tension! The release. The tension! The release.
And no, Mr. Fiskers, you are not caught in a Gregg Doyel Freudian dreamscape where schools are actually babies and mythical championships taste like Snickers with Almonds. At least I don't think you are. A couple more one sentence paragraphs should clear that up.
And I'm supposed to feel good about taking the title game away from Boise State and Cincinnati? I don't feel good -- I feel bored.
Speaking as a reader of this column, that makes two of us!
This position is so obvious that it's beneath me, but Dodd and Freeman have their little charity cases, so someone has to play the big bad corporate bully and rain on the underdog parade. That someone is me.
"Me is that someone"?
What's that, Mr. Fiskers? Yes, Doyel does perfectly fit the part of big, bad corporate bully, raining on the parades of underdogs. Oh? You brought some examples of Doyel in other believable roles? Well let's see them.
Uncle Buck. Nice.
Clifford. Yep, I'll buy that one.
Any Matthew McConaughey movie. Touche.
Facts of Life. Foreshadowing; I like it.
Spongebob. Nailed it.
Those examples are great, but what I'm more concerned about is why Doyel's CBSSports editor thought it was a good idea to to rehash a subject that everyone else and their mothers already weighed in on last week. Does the CBSSports.com staff have access to a time machine? Can I borrow it and go back to before I knew this article existed?
Do I believe Boise State and Cincinnati are good college football teams? Sure. They're good, and they're treated as such by being ranked in the top 10. That should be enough for both programs, but as the season rolls along and the victories pile up, it won't be. Unless there are two dominant and undefeated BCS programs -- say, 13-0 Florida after the SEC title game and 13-0 Texas after the Big 12 title game -- bleeding hearts will clamor for 13-0 Boise State and/or 12-0 Cincinnati in the BCS title game at the Rose Bowl.
OK, Doyel. Mr. Fiskers has a couple problems with this paragraph.
First, what makes you think that being in the top 10 is considered good enough for both programs? As part of Division I-A, I would assume that each school wishes for an equal chance at competing at the very top of its classification and not just being ranked in the Top Ten. A BCS bowl is great, but it is not exactly equitable.
Second, last time Mr. Fiskers checked, Cincinnati was a BCS program and Boise State was considered by many to be Pac-10 caliber. We're not talking about a one-and-done Hawaii here. If being a "bleeding heart" means rewarding teams for doing everything that is asked of them, then get that electrocardiogram over here on Mr. Fiskers because we've got a bleeder.
Which is nonsense. And arguing that they don't belong in the BCS title game -- even if they're the last two undefeated teams in college football -- is like arguing against other fanciful positions like the "East Coast bias" or "Allen Iverson's leadership." It's a waste of time, intellect and common sense. What am I supposed to argue against next? The existence of unicorns?
So what Doyle is saying is the thought of a team outside of the non automatic qualifying conference or a Big East champion making it to the national championship game is as absurd as the idea of the existence of a mythological creature that looks like a horse with a horn on its forehead? It may be a waste of Doyel's time, intellect and common sense to steal valuable verbiage from his Mad Lib hobby for this article, but the bigger surprise to this point would be that Doyel has time, intellect, and common sense.
Also, is Doyel saying that East Coast bias doesn't exist? Mr. Fiskers, can you tell me where Doyel is from?
Florida. That's what I thought.
Boise State and Cincinnati -- I prefer "Boisinnati" -- are 5-0, and if that's enough for you to believe in them as legitimate BCS busters, then you're wasting your time online.
I'm sorry, Mr. Fiskers fell asleep during that part. Can you repeat it? I thought you said that if anyone believes that Boise State and Cincinnati can be BCS busters at 5-0 then that person should not be on the Internet. Does that include email? Yahoo.com? LOLcats?
Also, as mentioned above, Cincinnati plays in an automatic-qualifying conference, so they cannot be a BCS buster.
You should be digging up your backyard for oil or doing a stakeout for Bigfoot. Clearly you have an enormous imagination if you believe in Boisinnati just because Boisinnati is 5-0, but that's not how I roll. I'm not into make-believe -- I'm into facts.
Facts like Cincinnati is a BCS buster?
Also, isn't being 5-0 a fact? Or how about Cincinnati and Boise State being two of only 13 teams in the country that are undefeated? Fact? Here's one: Virginia Tech has one loss and is ahead of all but four of those teams. Can I believe in Virginia Tech based on that fact? How about this: Boise State and Cincinnati are the fifth and sixth best undefeated teams according to the polls, ahead of schools from the Big XII and SEC. Is that enough to believe in them? It is a fact after all.
Mr. Fiskers has a fact that you might enjoy: Fancy Feast is now allergen free. Says so on the label. Fact.
So if you're going to stick around, try to keep up.
Oh thank goodness. Back to the one sentence paragraphs. I was getting complacent.
To get to 5-0, Boise State has beaten five teams whose combined record is 7-16.
Cincinnati has beaten five teams whose combined record is 8-15.
Hey, Gregg Doyel, Mr. Fiskers just spent three minutes online at CBSSports.com and found these other facts that you might enjoy.
- Florida is 4-0 and has defeated four teams with a combined record of 9-10.
- LSU is 5-0 and has defeated five teams with a combined record of 11-13.
- Iowa is 5-0 and has defeated five teams with a combined record of 15-8. Does that mean that the Hawkeyes should be the No. 1 team in the country? If you're going to base your entire argument on opponents' record, then you have to apply it in context to the rest of the Top 25.
We're done with this argument, and I've won, but I'll continue. What the hell.
I hope Doyel is continuing with facts, but only those facts that support his thesis, which I believe is "unicorns don't exist because there's an East Coast bias."
Boisinnati's only claim to fame after 10 combined games is a mastery of the Beaver State. Boise State beat Oregon 19-8. Cincinnati beat Oregon State 28-18. Looking for other big wins for Boisinnati?
I was actually looking for big wins for Florida, but I can put that down for a sec. Wasn't getting anywhere with it anyway.
There aren't any big wins. And as the season unfolds, there won't be any big wins. Wins over Oregon and Oregon State are as good as it gets. That's like running for president of the United States on the platform that "I always return my library books on time."
Fact. That is exactly what it is like.
Also, I'm not sure if this is a fact or not, but Cincinnati plays No. 23 South Florida next Thursday. Probably not a big game. Sorry for bringing it up.
Each team's second-best win? Cincinnati beat Rutgers. Boise beat Bowling Green. The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce must be quivering with excitement.
Mr. Fiskers seems to recall a relatively big win for Boise State coming on the road at Fresno on a Friday-night, nationally-televised showcase. But he has hyperthyroidism, so it might have been the meds. Continue. Please.
Both teams defeated a I-AA opponent. Both teams beat Miami, but not the one from Florida. Both teams beat FSU, but again, not the one from Florida. Fresno State outgained Cincinnati by nearly 100 yards and held the ball for 44 of 60 minutes in a 28-20 loss. Against Boise, Fresno State was within a touchdown in the fourth quarter before falling 51-34.
So, Boise State and Cincinnati need to schedule more games against opponents from Florida? The road to the BCS title game runs through Florida, apparently. That's the road Ohio State takes every year.
And would beating Florida State at this point really be that much better than beating Fresno State or Rutgers?
And Fresno State is 1-3.
This is new: a one fragment paragraph.
Maybe Freeman and Dodd are defending the wrong underdog. Maybe they should be defending Fresno State.
You're right, Mr. Fiskers. This doesn't even make sense. Making fun of the debate you are trying to win does not bode well for credibility and it adds nothing to the value of this article. Dodd and Freeman should be defending Fresno because the Bulldogs are 1-3 and played close with Cincinnati and BSU? Seriously? Doyel has lost the scent of his own story; fortunately Mr. Fiskers knows what it smells like because he had explosive diarrhea once.
I'm still finding it hard to believe they want Boisinnati in the BCS title game. Look, the BCS system isn't fair for a non-BCS team like Boise State or one from an undermanned BCS league like Cincinnati's Big East Conference. The deck is stacked against teams like Boisinnati, and I'll concede that point: The system sucks and college football needs a playoff -- but using Boisinnati as the stick of dynamite to blow up the BCS title game would be unfair to whichever deserving team was left out.
Then who does Doyel propose blows up the BCS? 5-0 TCU? One-loss BYU? Mr. Fiskers, any thoughts?
Ha. Nice try.
Besides, the system isn't my problem.
Boisinnati's candidacy for the biggest college football game of the season is my problem, and having to defend the corporate BCS offends me.
Call me crazy, but it seems to me when you are forced to write about things you deem to be beneath yourself, you write about something much more worthy - yourself. Right, Mr. Fiskers? Reading this column, I've learned more about Doyel and how to use personal pronouns in sentences than I have about Boisinnati. For instance, Doyel does not believe unicorns can exist so long as Allen Iverson is their leader.
Other than Tiger Woods, who I want to see win every tournament he enters, I'm not a front-runner. I like upsets and the little guy, as long as the little guy isn't runty Bobby Petrino, but enough is enough.
Fact. Gregg Doyel likes underdogs except in one entire sport and when it involves people he deems "runty." Mr. Fiskers. Therefore, Boise State and Cincinnati do not deserve to be considered for a BCS title game.
Boisinnati in the BCS title game? Come on. Life isn't a Rocky movie. In real life, Rocky gets KTFO.
Note: except in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl, the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, and the 2009 Sugar Bowl.
Also in real life, any team good enough to navigate an SEC or Big 12 schedule with just one or two losses would be good enough to play Boisinnati's schedule and go 12-0. And they'd look a lot better than Boisinnati looked on Saturday. Boise State was beating UC Davis just 27-16 in the fourth quarter, and UC Davis is a 1-3 team from Division I-AA. Cincinnati was beating Miami-Ohio just 23-13 late in the third quarter, and not only does Miami-Ohio have an 0-5 record, it lost to Kentucky earlier this season 42-0.
I thought Doyel specifically told us that we weren't supposed to be into make-believe and playing the "what if" game. Look back through your notes and tell me if we've been over this already, Mr. Fiskers.
What? No notes? OK. Regardless, asking the reader to now assume what might happen if teams just happened to play in a different conference is ludicrous. While we're at it, can we also imagine what Boise State would do if they weren't in a better conference? It's either facts or fiction. You can't have both.
I don't wonder if Cincinnati could beat a BCS title contender. I wonder if Cincinnati could beat Kentucky.
Fact: Gregg Doyel wonders if Cincinnati could beat Kentucky. Therefore, Cincinnati does not deserve consideration for a BCS title game.
Boise fans don't have such doubts. They forever will cling to the 2007 Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma, when their team used three late trick plays to stun the Sooners. Never mind that "three trick plays" is tantamount to "fluke victory." Nope, that game gives Boise State fans all the proof they need that their little team belongs with the big boys.
Mr. Fiskers, no! Put down that Chinese throwing star! He didn't mean it!
Doyel obviously did not pay attention to that 2007 Fiesta Bowl game, like the three quarters that Boise State dominated. Nope, it fits the column easier if he lumps it in with "fluky victories."
Meanwhile, Boise State plays little kids all year long, taking candy from babies until BSU is 12-0 and suddenly screaming to be treated like an adult.
You're right, Mr. Fiskers. The candy from babies line is the one Doyel used for his open. We are in the presence of a proverbial Mike Lupica.
No can do, Boise State. And no can do for you, too, Cincinnati.
But buck up, Boisinnati -- you'll always have the state of Oregon.
And you can have Oregon's state motto: "We love dreamers."
Fact: Oregon's state motto is "She Flies With Her Own Wings."
Bottom line: Boise State does not play as tough of a schedule as other teams in college football. As such, they will probably not end up playing in the national championship game even if they go undefeated. Those points are pretty obvious. Doyel's mistake was taking an assignment that had an obvious conclusion and turning it into a preening, arrogant, me-first show of put-downs and exaggerations. If you have to do the assignment, put some thought into it and present a fresh angle from a writing perspective that is not jerkwad. Mr. Fiskers will be watching you, Gregg Doyel. Don't make him break out the red pen again.