Football, Deerhunting and Some Law

Justice Scalia is in Lubbock tonight for a talk at Texas Tech, after spending the weekend deer hunting on a nearby ranch with prominent plaintiffs lawyer Mark Lanier. Tony Mauro has the details here.

Scalia, of course, is a dynamic and charismatic speaker, but I wonder if the folks in Lubbock are really all that focused on the law, what with the big game against Oklahoma looming large this Saturday. Is this some seriously bad timing for a lecture, or what?

It’s a must win for the #2 Red Raiders if they want to keep alive their improbable dream season—which now has them on course to play for the National Championship in Miami (assuming, of course, they beat #5 Oklahoma and get past Missouri in the Big 12 title game).

I am not even going to write which team they may be playing in Miami, being a deeply superstitious fan who still hasn’t recovered from OT in Death Valley.

Scalia, though, isn’t the biggest college football fan, so my guess is he’ll stick to deer hunting and away from practice. But I will say this: It’s a good thing for Oklahoma’s sake that someone like the Chief Justice isn’t in Lubbock this week.

Roberts, a big Notre Dame fan, was in South Bend for a speech in September, and he talked with the team on the eve of their big game against Michigan. It was the anniversary of 9/11, and he spoke of sacrifice and freedom.

The Irish won 35-17. A victory to be proud of.

You can’t say the same thing for one of Auburn’s wins over Alabama a few years ago. Auburn tried the inspirational approach with the team, but being Auburn, they ended up with an impostor who had made up some tale about sacrifice in the war. Alas, the inaccurate inspirational was enough for Auburn to beat Tide, though an asterisk really belongs by the score of that game. 

But I digress. Back to Texas Tech-Oklahoma. The person who should be hoping for an inspired Sooners team is Barack Obama. He’s calling for a college football playoff, and a Texas Tech loss could really help his cause.

I suppose Obama could always say a playoff is important to interstate commerce and urge Congress to pass a law requiring one. But it's a better approach to hope for a Sooners win and let the brewing controversy over the #2 spot make the case for him.

If Texas Tech loses to Oklahoma, we'll have a huge mess in the Big 12 South, and the prospect of a half dozen teams (USC/Penn State/Oklahoma/Texas/TT/Utah, among them) screaming they deserve to play for the National Championship.

If he wants a playoff, maybe the President-elect should get on a plane to Norman, after getting some tips from the Chief Justice on inspiring a team.

Then, after Oklahoma beats Texas Tech, they both can head to Tuscaloosa. They can punish Auburn for the fable it used to steal a game, while ensuring the BCS controversy stays focused on the #2 spot, not the team that's #1.

I’m sure the University of Alabama would be happy to schedule a lecture—right after they go to football practice.

Roll Tide.

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