SMC football dynasty holds as Corsairs lose division bowl
Santa Monica College’s 2014 football season came to end this past Saturday, as the Corsairs fell to the Southwestern College Jaguars 40-23 in the American Division Championship Bowl.
SMC fought valiantly, and even took the lead early in the third quarter going up 23-21 behind Steven Hamm’s 182 yards passing, and two touchdowns.
But from that point on, the Jaguars scored three unanswered touchdowns, and never looked back.
However, mutliple scoring plays were called back on questionable unnecessary roughing calls. When asked about the officiating, Lindheim replied, “It’s never about the referees.”
On a total of three instances, Corsairs recovered the ball and made it to their end zone after two fumbles from the SWC Jaguars, only one of which survived to be posted on the scoreboard.
However, running back coach Jermaine Brown of SWC confessed, “The same game in a different stadium would have undergone extensive use of Instant Replay on multiple plays, and could have dramatically changed the result of the game.”
The “Bucs” did not help themselves however, going 9-23 on third downs, throwing three interceptions and allowing four sacks.
The corsairs did not seem to be properly focused as they were flagged 12 times, giving away 144 yards
Forging the victory for Southwestern was running back Diego Rodriguez, who rushed for 132 yards, and four touchdowns.
Rushing for four touchdowns says a lot, especially going up against a defense as revered as SMC’s. But what also says a lot is the fact that the Corsairs were able to make it such a good game so late into the match up, especially with Southwestern being from an upper division.
At the end of the day, SMC’s bowl game was just an attempt at icing on their conference championship cake.
Lindheim reflected on how casually SWC received their trophy and announced to everyone, “I want one those. We’ve made our way here four years in a row and there’s no reason we can’t get one next year.”
Even though Southwestern proved too tough to handle, no one can take away the Corsairs four consecutive conference championships.
Not only are the Corsairs smack in the middle of a dynasty with their conference championship reign, they are still in possession of their conference win streak which currently stands at 27.
In college football, players come and go, but the one thing that remains constant is the coaching. It comes as no surprise that SMC’s historic run coincides with the hiring of head coach Gifford Lindheim. Since the Corsairs put coach Lindheim at the helm, they are 4-0 in conference championships, and have not lost a conference game in over three years.
In those three years, the Corsairs have never failed to win less then seven games, yet they still do not have their elusive bowl win.
The young ‘ball coach coach has built a system to last, who’s keystone is a dominating defensive machine. Over the three years, 2012-2014, that the California Community College Athletic Association has stats available, the Corsairs allowed an average of 385.9 yard per game and have always been in the top half of state in the category. In 2013 the team were fourth in the state in defensive touchdowns with six and were 14 in the state in sacks this year.
Though the foundation of this Corsair run is the defense, this year the edifice of pain was adorned by an offense finally able to keep up. This year the “Bucs” lead the state in scoring and were second in the state in points per game, averaging a hair under 6.5 touchdowns per game.
Such wild success begs the question, how much longer can the Corsairs hope to keep their prized coach? In an atmosphere like college football where success is the fastest way up the ladder, it should come as no surprise to anyone if a big time school comes knocking one day and tries to snatch away the architect of SMC’s championship era.
The Southeastern Conference has already come knocking for Corsairs stars on the field, it is only a matter of time before they come for the mind behind the success.
Building a championship culture attracts a lot of attention, especially from players in the division, around the country, and even around the world. Not only have the Corsairs been able to stock their team with division one transfers, but they have also taken in division rivals trying to get better exposure. Their reach even goes as far as Western Europe, where countries are starting to establish American football clubs.
One reason SMC has so many players coming to them, is the reputation they’ve developed for turning out division one and two prospects. Season after season, the Corsairs send off players all over the country, and it has not gone unnoticed.
If the Corsairs don’t stray from their proven system of team building, it should be no surprise if they push their conference championship streak to an unprecedented five straight.
At that point, the only ones complaining would be the long list of conference rivals who will definitely be spending the off season doing everything they can to stop SMC from dominating the conference for a solid half decade.
But until that 2015 season comes along, the Corsairs fans only have one thing to do; lay back and bask in the glory of a dynasty, which sports fans know is as rare of an occurrence as one can ask for.