Coveted prizes up for grabs

Philip Consuegra

Well fans, the college football gods are beginning to appear, and not a minute too late. They have already handed down a firing and are already conferencing on their Heisman Trophy picks. As always, the Oracle has some mighty thoughts to share with you.

The Oracle will begin with the most coveted prize in all of college football (and no, I don’t mean the head coaching job at Colorado). I’m talking about the Heisman Trophy. Here are some of the players who have managed to reach the top of the Oracle’s list.

A freshman comes to mind right off the bat. I know what you’re thinking – “Oracle, could it be true? A freshman may win the Heisman?” Yes, it is true.

Adrian Peterson, a wee freshman at the University of Oklahoma, has dazzled the college football gods all season long. Rushing for over 1,000 yards in his first seven games has got to impress some, and I am no different. And it’s not like these teams are cakewalks – they play in the Big XII. He rushed for 225 yards against Texas, which is hard to do against any team, especially fifth-ranked Texas.

The two games that will decide it for this young man are coming up. On October 30th the Sooners take on Oklahoma State, which is always a donnybrook for Oklahoma, and Texas A&M on November 6th. It looks grim for our youngster as Texas A&M has one of the best rushing defenses in the NCAA and both games will be played on the road.

An elder statesman also comes to mind, and the only factor that works against this gentleman is his schedule. Matt Leinart of USC has also wowed the gods, but as much, thanks to his team’s awful excuse for a schedule. True, Arizona State was a solid competitor for the Trojans, but they handled them very easily. Other than that game and one against Cal, which was a near miss, USC’s schedule just isn’t that impressive. Maybe Leinart can pull a Carson Palmer and win the Heisman thanks to a slaughtering of Notre Dame in the last weeks of the season. Either way, with tough games coming up for Adrian Peterson, barring a huge problem, Leinart may be the frontrunner.

Now let’s turn our attention to the second most coveted prize in college football right now: the coaching job in Gainesville, Florida. This is a job that virtually no one wants, thanks to the spoiling of Florida fans by our friend, the ol’ ball coach, Steve Spurrier. If you’re not taking my word for it, just ask Ron Zook. The college football gods never liked him, and I don’t know why. He really is a nice guy.

Folks, if you’re not a Florida fan, this week was not good to you. This week, in fact, may have been a travesty. Unless, of course, you’re a Georgia fan. Or if you played Florida in your home stadium within the past two seasons. Ron Zook is out in Florida, and there are so many reasons why. So what went wrong in the Zook dynasty? It may be a little easier and shorter to tell you what went right.

First, Zook was hated by the Gator faithful. was a popular site for disgruntled Florida athletic donors who didn’t know how to cope with life in the A.S. – After Spurrier – era. If you mention Ron Zook to Florida fan, they’d maul you like a hungry bear attacks a honeycomb. They’d love talking about Ron Zook and how much they despised him. Now, finally, they’ve gotten their wish. He’s been fired.

Second, Zook couldn’t win in the state of Florida. He is a combined 0-5 against Miami and Florida State. In the Swamp, that’s just plain unacceptable. The only bright spot is an undefeated record against Georgia, which is always played in Jacksonville. I suppose ruining Georgia’s season every year was not good enough.

So, who is in line to replace the mighty Zook at Florida? Well, early speculation is, of course, the ol’ ball coach himself, Steve Spurrier. On Tuesday, Spurrier was given 24 hours to contact Florida and seek a way out of unemployment. No matter what happens, the Gator Nation will not rest until the ballcoach is at least contacted by Athletic Director Jeremy Foley.

Another top pick around the college football world is exiled Washington coach Rick Neuheisel. If you all remember, Washington fired Neuheisel and he filed for wrongful dismissal. He may fit well in the Florida program because of his love for big-play offense.

Finally, everyone seems to think Bob Stoops may be interested. I got news for you. He’s not. He’s fine in Oklahoma. He has everything he wants and needs, especially job security. He turned down Florida the first time the job opened, why would he go now?

I’ve had so much pressure to pick a game of the week, so here it goes. The Oracle will satisfy you with two picks, one from the Big XII and one from the SEC. The first is always entertaining: Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State. The second is also equally as enjoyable: Georgia vs. Florida.

Go and watch the potential Heisman winner and then watch the embattled Zook fight for his, well, dignity.