Sunday, August 15, 2010

CBS and the SEC

Mike Aresco, CBS’s suit in charge of college football, is apprehensive and vexed. Formally, he has the title of Executive Vice President, Programming - CBS Sports. What gives this grizzled veteran of ESPN and CBS Sports excessive gastric burn? CBS, after all, owns THE premium pick of games from THE perennial preeminent conference in all of college football (SEC) each week to choose from, sometimes two picks for programming. One doesn’t rise to that level of responsibility without always fretting over ratings. When Mike Aresco looks at the horizon of the landscape that is quickly approaching, he’s come to the realization that this is a Tebow-less SEC, and suits like him are paid to wear glasses, have an arched brow and look and be worried.
"It is going to be different. You don't have (Tim) Tebow now," Aresco said. "That's something you notice immediately. Some of the numbers Tebow was responsible for. You can't underestimate star power in television. Even if we do well in ratings, maybe they'll be slightly lower. I guess it's a question of expectations. You want people to have reasonable expectations. Obviously, the very beginning of the season will go a long way toward what kind of season we'll have."
OMG – Oh my Gosh! A Tebow-less SEC! Can it survive? Will it endure? The man who negotiated the historic 15 year deal with the SEC is now worried that there won’t be a ROI.
What the city slicker from NYC doesn’t get, is that the SEC was all the rage before Tebow, and will be a huge, smash hit going forward. People pay premiums for premium quality. Here is some data to help ease his mind.

The SEC is 6-0 all time in the BCS National Championship Game (since 1998). Officially now, the combined National Championship wins of the other (5) conferences, does not equal the win total alone of the SEC. Of course, the last (4) in a row have gone to the SEC. So Mr. Aresco, the story line is trying to figure out which TEAM from the SEC will be placed into the game. I can assure you that the SEC will show up. Mr. Aresco, having served the WWL you ought to know how to hawk the hype. All of that theater is compacted in 8 weeks worth of conference games for each school, over a short 3 months period to heighten the tension. Also Mr. Aresco, the beauty of college football is its evolving nature, not cause for trepidation or sense of apprehension. New stars emerge as the old ones move out. (See Next Tebow). Like tidal waves, it has happened that way for ions and ions. Celebrate it. The rest of the league does.
Still need more hard facts Mr. Aresco? It’s not just a one trick pony league. Since 2001 the SEC has finished with at least two schools in the top six of the final USA Today Coaches Poll, SEVEN out of the last NINE years; FIVE of last SIX; FOUR in a row, including three years where they had THREE teams in TOP 10. HALF, a full half of the league (6 teams) has had at least one top 10 season in that span: Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, LSU and Georgia. From that list, two have won multiple championships; two have won one and the other two didn’t win a title. However, in both of those cases, those teams make an arguable case that they were playing the best ball of anybody at the end of the season: Auburn – undefeated and UGA – got squeezed out of the NC game, both ended with the number 2 position in the poll. In fact the 2007 in which UGA finished 2nd, the SEC teams emerged with the top two spots. All six teams have not only been in the top six, but each has also either finished the year being 1 or 2. All time in the BCS era SEC has beaten Big 12 (3 – OU twice & TX), the Big 10 (2 – TOSU both) and ACC once (FSU). The dominance is growing; during the last four years the average victory margin was almost 17 points, 3 scores (16.8 pts); none trailed in the 2nd half. So prior to Tebow era in the SEC there was good football played; while the GPOOE graced us with his presence there was good football, and with most teams in the top 25 (6), including two of the top three teams the outlook for the SEC remains very bright, or in Mr. Slive words the “Golden Era” of SEC football continues.
It is depth of the league that makes the SEC is the best. Since 2001 all 12 teams have went bowling. Maybe other conferences can say that as well; I haven’t researched it, but here is the kicker and why SEC “bottom feeders” aren’t Weak Sisters University. During the last four years traditional “2nd division teams” of Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi and Arkansas have knocked off a team that has finished in the top six of the polls. Additionally those teams that have been in the top six have gone 39-1 out of conference with 7 dominating BCS bowl wins, but managed a loss to a wannabe in league play. That’s dominance; that’s depth; that’s the pinnacle.

Mr. Aresco, take a page off the big brother notebook and market teams: helmets, logo’s and jersey more than faces and you’ll be just fine. Add in the pageantry, coaches, tradition and rival aspect and you have a superior product to big brother. People want to be connected with a winner. In college football that winner is a TEAM from the SEC – that IS THE star. Mr. Aresco, what you are missing is summed up by the immortal words of Erk Russell: BIG TEAM; little me – not Tim Tebow.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fulmer Cup Standngs - What does it mean?

It' not a Regresson of Means, but it's close.....I've been doing 2 a days behind the scene.

Heard it once; heard it a thousand times. Mark Richt is on the hot seat for not winning enough, and eventually the rhetoric, argument, comes around to CMR teams play un-sound football because his teams are un-sound, undisciplined off the field. Rather than letting that float nebulously in the blogosphere and on talk radio, I decided to test that theory.

My central question was there a link between negative off field incidents, “distractions”, and undisciplined performance on the field. I decided to use Fulmer Cup (FC) points as my measure for off field incidents, my dependent variable, and I decided to test many independent variables against it. Most frequently mentioned variables for poor performance on the field variables are penalties and turnovers. I decided to test, both rank and value, for: penalty yards, penalties per game, interceptions, fumbles, turnovers and turnover margin (takes into account defense playing ‘sound’ and causing turnovers). Also, this means squadoosh if it isn’t backed up with wins. So I also measured wins ranking, winning percentage and actual win number. A total of 15 independent variables were considered.

Also, I was also studying if any thing could be extrapolated to CMR lead UGA teams. One could also argue that turnover margin, both rank and value are measureable variables for “aggression”, something that critics point to as lacking from CMR teams in general and specifically after Brian Vangorder left.

The key statistical tool used was a Pearson r test. A Pearson r test determines if there is a relationship between variables. It doesn’t determine causal effect. An analogy might be that umbrella use is higher on rainy days than sunny days, but umbrella use didn’t cause the rain. Since the dependent variable is off the field in nature; there is no basis to say scientifically there is a causal effect to on field activity, but you can measure if there is a link and whether or not that link rises to a level of scientific significance.

A Pearson r test is an index scale. The values range from -1 to +1. The closer to 0.000 the result is means that no relation exists. “Girl, I don’t even know who you are.” A value of +/- 0.500 means that there is statistical significance. A negative value means that there is an inverse action occurring. As one variable rises the other variable is decreasing. Think of a negative value like a seesaw. On the other hand, a positive value is somewhat a misnomer than the name implies. It is more like a swing, when one variable rises the other one does as well; when one variable decreases the other variable decreases, not that all values are increasing all the time.

A marriage analogy might help explain what type of relationship a Pearson r test is measuring. A value of -1 is like War of the Roses. The 2 variables are at constant odds with one another. A reaction by one has the opposite effect on the other variable. A value of +1 is like On Golden Pond. The 2 variables are soul mates. Again, -0.5 means one party has a divorce lawyer, but not hostile, and +0.5 mean the 2 are officially “an item”; a significant other.

I used the SAS Wiki page , presumably EDSBS supported page, to download my FC historical data. (I did write to one of the EDSBS authors to try to get first hand data, but I got no response, and used what I had.) I used the NCAA website to download my football statistics.

Within each year, the main stratification was 2 groups: Teams with FC points opposed to all teams. I also studied what was happening within the FC teams. That is “Was there an effect going on to how lawless the team was?” If a team has one point compared to 20 points for example, does that matter?

To provide uniformity through out the years, I threw out W. Kentucky, comparing not only apples to apples, but Granny Smith to Granny Smith. That gave each year an “n” of 119 or N = 476. Only 2006 had less than 49 teams in the FC group – so “good” subgroup size. Those values were n 09 fc = 49, n 08 fc = 57, n 07 fc = 55 and n 06 fc =34. Each year was studied independently and then assimilated all data by each variable, aggregate, and examined that effect.
Also inherent to wins rank (vs. winning percentage and win value) and turnover margin rank (vs. turnover margin), these 2 variables are inversely related already, meaning for all other statistics the lower the rank the lower absolute value. Example interceptions, the lower the rank the lower number of passes picked. With wins rank and turnover margin rank, the lower the rank the higher the value. Example a turnover margin rank of 1 might have a value of +2.0, meaning two extra possessions per game, and of course win rank o1 likely means you have 13 or 14 wins. The Pearson r test is measuring the inverse of the inverse in these 2 situations.

Additionally just to get a macro perspective, I used averages for FC teams versus the teams without points in a given season in addition too the Pearson r test.

There were 3 independent variables which had a relationship link trending all the same way for all years and the aggregate total. Those 3 were: wins, penalty yards rank and total turnover rank. These were the most consistent variable predictors. The FC subgroup averaged at least (1) win more per season than teams that didn’t have any FC points and that trend was also true in aggregate tally as well. Penalty yards rank, for the FC subgroup only, had a negative index trend for all periods, favorable; meaning that more FC points the LESS penalty yards rank and vice versa. Also means that FC subgroup doesn’t play undisciplined football in terms of being measure by penalty yards rankings. In fact the opposite was true – more FC points the better rank. Finally, turnover rank, for both groups – with FC points and overall, had a positive link trend for all periods, unfavorable; meaning the more FC points MORE turnovers. With a fairly large N, but short sample timeframe – 4 seasons, in the end 2 variables that could be propitiously linked to FC points are wins and turnovers. All other variables revealed mix, inconsistent results.

None of the variables rose to the level of being scientifically significant, +/- 0.5, for any year, any variable, nor for any stratification. However, anecdotally the eventually BCS National Champion has had off field issues in the off season and was on the FC watch list each year that the FC award has been in place.

Each year that UGA had double digits in FC points produced a 10 win season. Is that a good omen with 17 points going into this season? Also of note the year in which CMR team had no FC points UGA’s win tally was 8 compared to his historical 10 win season and the lowest in CMR era. Unfavorably, UGA is within 2 points of over taking the lead from Florida for All Time FC points in the SEC, and 6 points for All Time Overall lead. Currently, UGA is tied with Minnesota this year for first. The AD situation could be a tiebreaker that leads to the hardware.

Also for UGA, separating them out as an independent sample group, they average 7.25 points worth of infractions per season; 3 DUI’s and a speeding ticket worth. Also after doing a Pearson r test on all variables (UGA alone), all came back as statistically significant, except penalty yards and penalties per game, both rank and value (11 of 15). BUT this dangerous interpretation given the sample size of only 4 values, you need more samples to be valid. Nevertheless, Winning percentage had a Pearson r value of 0.820, and Turnover margin had a value of 0.595 for example. Again, meaning that as FC points went up so did their values. Since BVG left after the 2006, it is difficulty to judge his impact alone on the FC point standings. As far as more generalized ‘aggression’ since 2007 UGA Turnover margin has gone from 0.69 to -0.23 to -1.23 in raw score. Certainly some evidence of playing a “softer defense”, but how much could have JC’s interceptions also played into that value?

There is 5 years worth of data for FC and 4 years worth of data for seasons played. The 5th year of FC data is still incomplete and there is still a season of football to go. There have been 8 teams to make the FC list, each and every year, up until this year. ‘Bama is in danger of falling off the consecutive year list. Up until now half of the 8 have been SEC schools: FL, ‘Bama, Arkansas, and S. Carolina. Three of past 4 years NC have came from that consecutive years list – thanks to the first (2) schools from that list. ‘Bama won the FC Trophy the year before they won the NC.

Teams on the All Time list by conference: SEC – all teams (Vandy 3 of 5), Big 10 – all teams (3 of Top 10 all time; NW 3 of 5 years, as well as incoming Nebraska and that would make 4 of Top 10), Pac 10 – all except AZ St (surprise somewhat) and Stanford, ACC – all except Wake Forest and Maryland (again surprise and Miami only had 4 points aggregately), Big 12 – all except Baylor and Big East – all teams. The SEC does have a 50 point lead over 2nd place Big 10. Winners of the FC Trophy have come from 3 of the Big 6 conferences: Big 10 (Illinois), SEC (‘Bama) and Big East (S. Fla). CUSA is also on the board (We are the Thundering Terds Marshall). The Big 6 conferences have a total of 5 teams that are Lilly White all 5 years.

Speaking of being FC list virgins – never a point, collectively they win 43% of their games, a median season of 5-7 aggregately; worse than the 6 win season if failed to make the FC list in a given year. Outside the above mentioned teams, another mild surprise was the amount of Texas teams on that list: Rice, Baylor, N. TX, SMU and Houston. Given the historical significance, context, of off field trouble in the state that list was surprising large (~22% of the remaining teams from 1 state). Only 3 teams have managed be above .500 each year while maintaining a pristine off field record: C. Mich., Navy and the above mention Houston (Kevin Sumlin era). There were additional handful of teams that managed a .500 records aggregately, headlined by Wake Forest and ASU. There were 2 teams that were de-flowered this past off season Buffalo and Tulsa.

Given that NC have FC points, if I am a coach I’d rather be on the watch list than off it. Given the fact the FC point team win more, I’d rather be on it. The axiom about you don’t want a DE in the church choir holds some merit – Reggie White excluded.

Some questions that didn’t get answered would be “Given that fact that most Big 6 conference schools are on the list, would the results be identical if one stratified the teams that way versus by FC point teams or would the results be similar based on budget size of the program?” Will these trends continue? Will Kevin Sumlin’s name appear more often for elite jobs as a guy who wins and maintains a “clean” program, and oh by way runs a “sexy offense” that’s attractive for skilled, speed kids and who is black?

Besides X and O, besides recruiting, besides booster relations, a good coach will know how to manage off field distractions to yield positive results, because generally good teams face each year.

…. Good news for Oklahoma (on list this year) and bad news for ‘Bama (off, but still time), and UGA can look forward to another 10 win season and possible NC next year (like ‘Bama) if history repeats itself.
PS If you would like the excel files of my research, email me  Also for those that blog, any tips on displaying excel sheets and or graphs would be head hurts from banging it trying to display some of the results.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Only in college football

Only in college football does it make sense that the Big 10 has 12 members and the Big 12 has 10 schools and neither conference wants to change their name.
Only in college football does no one care about the emotional toil put on die hard fans since December, not to mention Dan Beebe.
Only in college football does a conference split because 1 member is too powerful, breakup, and then come back together with MORE power and money going to that same 1 school and everyone is happy.
Only in college football where the same vulnerabilities exist, especially in the Big East and everyone thinks that the landscape is saved.
Only in college football is unequal synonymous with fair. Well other places have it too, but it’s blindly glaring in college football.
Only in college football can a school gets slapped with sanctions trying to influence games and outcomes, but networks and a group of influential people are lauded when they commit the same act with even deeper pockets.
Only in college football do you have to be a Top 15 team preseason to have a chance to win the title, even then you may not still have a chance. And all 120 teams except 2 are joyous!!!! The Cincinnati Reds have a chance to win the World Series.
Only in college football with the current bowl system which everyone complains about and wants to change, is so fortified that a 4 Ton bunker busting bomb isn’t taking it out. Certainly a miniscule Pac-16 missile crisis doesn’t even shake it.
Only in college football where the math of a 4 mega super conferences leading to a Plus 1 model seems so illogical to the decision makers. One game guys C’mon.
Only in college football does passion flow so deep…. Now I have an understanding of Oklahoma’s & TAMU’s thought process, I love this game and I’ll go back to her no matter how she treats me!


More Mascot name changes on the way….
Boomer Sooner becomes Boomer Ben Dover
Reveille becomes Lap Dog
Missouri Tigers becomes the Pussycats
The Yellow Raiders
Baylor Cuddly Teddy Bears
Kansas Walk away Hawks
Pistol Pete becomes Yosemite Sam
K-St, Iowa St who cares…anyone stands up with a spine and it doesn’t happen

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The SEC was a winner?

Big 10 members do earn more than the SEC. There is some question as to exactly by how much - high of $25M per to $19.7M compared to SEC $17.1M, but which will likely grow as BTN expands & debt service due to start up cost is reduced.

ESPN overpaid for ACC & now they are in the same subdivision as the SEC.

ESPN in the name of maximizing BCS value and Bowl Week overpaid dramatically for a weaken Big12-2 (Suits & bean counters made the decision for Gene Stallings who folded like a rented card table) with top members earning more than the SEC schools.

Pac-10 members are still going to get a HUGE increase from their new TV deal with Fox. Those talks are looming, who by the way is going to have a ton of moola after loosing out on ACC & Big 12-2 which will not bear on Kevin Weiberg's (ex-Big 12 commish, ex-BTN start up guy, now deputy commish of Pac-10) conscientious at all, likely resulting in at least the top members earning more than the SEC, if not all institutions (payouts on a disparaging basis like Big12-2).

Thereby allowing the SEC's value (comparing brands - market value premium & comparing conference competition in that market) to take a significant hit under the guise of "let's be Cool" going thru this process. Slive and the SEC have zero leverage for 4 more years (opt -out clause kicks in TV deals). Even though the weakest conference just got their contract torn up and renegotiated for boo coo riches!!! Aren't the real winners of this expansion round those with leverage going forward? And in at least the near term SEC comes up short -everyone else is gaining ground if not surpassed the SEC. That's a reason for celebration? Yeah, the landscape was saved, yeepie! Peace, hold hands and join in kumbaya, kumbaya.

But meanwhile back on the ranch the SEC is struggling for a 4th place ribbon in revenues - all in the name of "We're bad; we don't need to move!" What about opportunity cost? The cost of missed opportunities and missed revenue streams, while playing paddy cake - wait and see on the sidelines. That's what you call leadership from a commissioner? Status quo Slive struck out on this round of expansion, more so than Larry Scott! At least Larry Scott wasn't afraid to fail.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Shrapnel fallout to consider….

If Texas does take the plunge to Pac-10, this will be a major power coo for the UT-Austin President. Fact: UTA Pres is a Berkley alumnus. His political ties are back in CA. He wants to see his ole buds more often & joining the Pac-10 will allow him to do just that. Chummy isn’t it? He has initiated the academic superiority talking point that has been falsely repeated a thousand times. (Which conference had the lowest APR this last measurement period of the BCS Big Six conferences? Big 12. Who’s most famous alumnus during the past quarter of a century scored a SEVEN on his Wonderlic – also ticketed for Assault & Battery at a strip club recently? UT and VY and his fine undergraduate education. Who has a lower APR than ‘Bama, LSU, KY, Florida, UGA and Vandy – HALF of the SEC? UT. There’s a tall glass of shut up juice – take a slow swig, no take a big gulp). No way DeLoss Dodds will enjoy annual meetings more at Haight-Ashbury Park over Hoover, AL. That doesn’t make sense on a number of levels for the Texas athletic director to agree to that. Just as with the academic argument, why not join the preeminent athletic conference to face the best, to be the best? If this is a SOLEY a departmental move, why not do what is in the best interest of that department? No matter how much money the department can print, a good department will want to print more. Joining the Pac-10 shuts down UT-TV before it’s launched, walking away from $3M per yr left on the table. No he’s getting punked just like Vince Dooley did when Michael Adams came to UGA, except this is more subtle, sinister because Dodds doesn’t recognize that his chain is getting yanked by Bill Powers. And apparently this is sitting well with UTA fans who aren’t in an up roar either, because they see this as an easier path to the NC game.

I haven’t seen this much evasion since the OJ chase. Texas, thru Dan Bebee, issues an ultimatum to Colorado and Nebraska, because they (UTA) don’t won’t to be seen as the school that breaks up the Big 12. Now Bebee, umm UTA, still having one foot on the Titanic trying to bail water, is forcing TAMU to wear the moniker as ‘the school that breaks up the conference’, when all of this was started by UTA. Remember UTA had the “Tech” problem joining the Big 10, when Gordon Gee from OSU called. Are they coming, staying or going? Dunno, but what is clear is that Mack Brown, DeLoss Dodds and Bill Powers are getting splinters from riding that wooden fence so hard. Texas started all of this and now when it comes nut cutting time, they are acting just like the iconic logo – bunch of woosies.

Behind the scenes is a guy name Kevin Weiberg. He’s had interesting 3 year career. Until 2007 he was the Big 12 commissioner, before Bebee, and then he leaves to be the point person for BTN start up. Larry Scott gets hired in the Pac-10 and convinced Kevin to be Deputy Commissioner and do the same thing for Pac-10. Thus Weiberg is driving the bus on who to pick off in the Big 12 for the Pac-10. He is using his Fox Sports contacts which owns 49% of BTN. After Fox got spurned by ACC, which meant Fox had money in reserves, the Pac-10 TV deal started to heat up. Mr. Weiberg is the man in the center of this circle jerk.

If they stay as the new Big 10, UTA is seen as the hero when they been nothing but Machiavellian thru out this process. Bill Powers will get atta-boy from the state legislature (more funding and power). By Gawd it’s a win/win situation for them! I just can’t see why Oklahoma wants to be tied so close to those shenanigans. For TAMU, I can’t imagine 115 years of this chaos and cow chips. ...or for the next 100

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bama vs So Cal n NC2A infractions

Generally I’m glad that the NC2A came down hard on So Cal. Yet I got issues with some of the findings.

The Trojan infractions report centered around 2 players, but the Alabama book buy back scandal had 201 athletes getting improper benefits. 2 compared to 201umm? Both were “Repeat Violators”. I still find it unfathomable that ‘Bama didn’t get stuck with same moniker that USC did – “Lack of institutional control”, as a 4th time “Repeat Violator”. One school gets a slap on the wrist; the other one was slapped down. Did the one with 2 players having violations get let off the easiest? – NO!!! Why?

On the surface, there are a couple of easy things to cite. Apparently ‘Bama showed contrition and was apologetic. “Why – I just can’t believe such thing was going on around here! You know that bookstore manager should have had paying more attention, but that’s all been changed now.” All words spoken with finest sugar sweet Southern drawl anyone could muster, but said with not one ounce of sincerity behind them. It’s a Southern thing. Conceited, arrogant, cold were adjectives used to describe USC’s stance in meetings with committee members. Also apparently the Crompton dialect didn’t work well either on the bow-tie group coming from HQ. So the manner in which you treat people with authority matters -duh.

As cited in the infraction report, the two at So. Cal were “high profile”. They were “one and done” and high draft picks guys. But wait a minute; I thought that the NC2A considered what is the best for all student-athletes. Why is there the disparity? In the world of NC2A aren’t all student-athletes equal? Doesn’t the Samford Javelin thrower (my nephew) have to abide by the same rules as John Wall? So if there’s a violation, why two different set of consequences. What does the ruling say to ALL the 201 athletes at Tuscaloosa? You guys were chop liver, even though you are playing for a D1 (SEC) school in football, basketball -14 different teams as I recall. I would be highly insulted if I were one of them. I would be knocking on Mal Moore’s door demanding he call the NC2A back down, for justice.

Speaking of the Alabama AD, his demise after this occurred were false and USC AD Mike Garrett has lasted 4 days longer than was expected. Did Mal give Mike the playbook on “How to be a complete Idiot, but survive scandal!” Seriously why is Mike taking up room air in the office? He is ultimately responsible for the 2 highest profile sports, the 2 most revenue producing sports and landing them on NC2A sanctions – 1 almost got the death penalty.

As stated before this whole notion of ‘vacating’ (forfeiting in non politically correct terms) is a bunch of garbage. It is a big heap, if it is suppose to act as a deterrent. Oh now the game that I watched where USC waxed OU by 35 points didn’t happen? And OU gets their dignity back in process of vacating? (Now Boomer Sooner wants to be in league when they are 0 for a lifetime against that team? I don’t get it.) Tubs’ gets a shot a the national title? Sorry AU fans – I hate it for you, really – but no. USC was the best team that year in college football, a report, 6 years later can’t undo that fact, even though Reggie’s Mom went to that and every other game courtesy of a wannabe agent.

Also was there a conspiracy between USC and NC2A, if it had to go hard on them do it when Pac-10 is planning on becoming Pac-16 and every major outlet is more worried where TX will go? A prefect dog wagging story in the world of college football if you will. Nobody cares that Reggie Bush got $250,000 worth of goods and services to attend USC. (No, I didn’t add up each proven allegation, but it is that high and you know it at least regardless if proven)

Just wish that the NC2A wouldn’t have lost their religion of couple of years earlier – it was there in the spotlight, in the corner. I think Mike Mills and Peter Buck can make a song with that line.
...but they just might get the opportunity for revival with the alleged illegal recruiting contact of Dillon Baxter

Thursday, June 10, 2010

End Game

People, People please stop with the “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” rhetoric. Was the SEC “broke” when they expanded to 12 teams to get to a SEC CG? – No. It was about OPPORTUNITY that existed then. NOW it’s about opportunity to go next level for the conference. Standing pat – playing wait and see ain’t getting it done. I fear that Commissioner Slive is ALLOWING an opportunity to float right bye.

You expand for 2 reasons: FB - to remain king and TV, trickle down dollars. Given that criteria, anything short of the SEC not getting TAMU, U TX, UM and FSU is a FAILURE! Adding those 4 as a group would make the SEC have the best TV markets in a geographic region in combination with THE BEST FB on the planet!!! I regret to believe 1 for 4, maybe 2 will happen – this ain’t baseball; it’s a ZERO sum game. Allowing Pac-10 to siphon off Big 12 South, Slive allowed the SEC power to be diminished. Slive ALLOWED Jim Delany (knucklehead) to out maneuver the SEC. Slive got a $2M bonus and sat around being phat and happy.

Now is the time to go all in w the best deal, salvage some face. Does the SEC have the Nuts (poker term people) as the entire do nothing proponents led us believe? UF will block Miami, because Slive hasn’t shown any stones in this process. Is Missouri or Maryland in play for SEC to capture eyeballs? Sloppy Seconds! FB- plzzzzzzzzzzzzzz? Any combination of GT, Clempson, VA T, UNC, VA add $17M (per team) in value? Does any of that group add to the SEC FB resume? Maybe VA Tech

Thanks to all Curmudgeons out there – the SEC is in 3rd place on the revenue track in danger of getting lapped – all while holding is best brand baton. As far as the FB crown goes is Slive going to be forced to remove it and place it on the head of Larry Scott – a girly tennis guy? You realize this locks the Rose Bowl up 4ever, blocking any further movement of Plus one, BCS consolidation, and playoff talk – shut down. The Rose Bowl just got 100 times more powerful! They are going to say we’ve got 2 of 3 best conference champions playing in OUR GAME, EVERY YEAR- no need to change and as a matter of fact we’re going back to the old system to make sure that we get that match up. The other champion is irrelevant in our world. With no other champion to play, THE SEC champion is ODD MAN out in that scenario!! FOR THE NEXT CENTURY!!!!!!!!! Thanks Slive – Thanks Curmudgeons! Thanks – We don’t Need TO people. Thanks Pres. Adams for all your leadership effort! SEC, UGA fate just got gloomier!

Wake up people! HELLO Big 12!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The SEC response should be

Mike Slive is doing his best knucklehead Jim Delany impersonation. UGA President Adams is showing EXACTLY why he was bypass for the ultimate leadership position in college sports.
“I’ve said this before and when asked I’ve advised the commissioner: I think we’re in the driver’s seat on these kinds of issues,” Adams said Thursday in a hallway of the Sandestin Hilton. “I don’t think we have to necessarily respond to anybody.”
Evading leadership is not the SEC way, especially when it comes to matters involving football. Sitting around watching what everyone else does before making a decision is more for politicians. As any guy knows from playground scuffles, as any good military general knows, as any good coach knows, - The guy who strikes the hardest 1st wins and its' bad policy to play defense from your heels (just ask Willie- w his read & react D). Why not be “1st strike Mike” - why support a different policy? Expansion is GOING TO HAPPEN! Why not shape the landscape versus being molded by events or at the very best having fewer options?

Slive is letting another golden opportunity slip thru his fingers by not pursuing Texas harder, and he’s letting Larry Scott (Pac-10 commissioner) out flank him. If Larry Scott pulls off enough of a coalition to make his bean counters happy for a new TV deal, each Pac 10 member could be earning north of $20M. Oh by the way, if that does happen that means that the SEC will be in 3rd place in terms of revenue for each university – FOR THE NEXT 14 YEARS! Again this apparently sits well with Adams adding “Ratings are good, ESPN’s happy, we’re happy, and obviously the money is good.” Adams shows his true cloth by believing that good enough (3rd place) equates with greatness! As Slive reminded folks in Phoenix last month the SEC is supposed to be THE Preeminent athletic conference, but as the longer this expansion talk goes, as the paradigm shifts from rumor and speculation to credible reports and reality, the less I’m convinced that Slive is actively pursuing the mission – he’s denied it at every available instances. Or if he is trying to follow it, he’s trailing badly in the race after the first corner loosing to a knucklehead and a tennis enthusiast – not another football mind.

Can Slive pull another rabbit out of his hat? Yes. There are some signs that Larry Scoot maybe biting more than he can chew. Both DeLoss Dobbs (Texas AD) and Bill Byrne (TAMU AD) have both gone on the record about travel concerns. Apparently the TAMU WBB played in Pullman; disembarked from the plane in College Station @ 6 am and were back for class @ 8 am. And if it is ALL about the student athletes- well then? But could there be 20M reasons why a Pac-10 “East”, with essentially Big 12 South and both AZ schools, wouldn’t work??? Culturally, historic tradition and values would also have to be more in lined with the SEC. Notice I left off competitive reason for Texas. A conference and national title dream would come far easier playing a 2 game season OU, then USC for the right to go. However, in my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have ever imagine that DeLoss Dobbs would prefer traveling to Ashbury Park over Hoover, Ala. for a summit, but then the pursuit of money does a lot of different things to people.

There’s also the risk assumed by adopting the wait and see course action that the SEC will get the rep of feeding off “sloppy seconds”. Say TAMU (travel) and OU (just tried of the TX superiority attitude – want nothing else to do with the Horns.) do join the SEC in the end. Great, Slive just picked up what another didn’t want or need, yippee! Let’s hold a news conference! Then the SEC adds FSU and Clemson to make the sides even. What has that done other than increase the denominator to divide by? The SEC has no south FL presence, no state dominance in TX, already had SC and whole state of OK has fewer eyeballs than Roswell. That adds little that the suits in Bristol would want to shred the contract up.

Larry Scott just opened the tops of the silos; rocket fuel is being added; topped of with a nuclear war head. Slive needs to strike in order not become as relevant as Kansas or the ACC in this discussion. Adams, just please be quiet. Slive show some leadership, get some stones!

"Don't be afraid to fail. The greatest failure of all is failure to act when action is needed. Use the information that you've acquired in the past through the experiences you've had and act with self-control — but act."

John Wooden Global Leadership Award ceremony (May 21, 2009).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


(Reaction to a story that a soccer league is implementing a new forfeiture rule for scoring too often.)

Once again competitive kickball, which is oxy moronic to start with, shows why it is so popular in the evil empire. The curmudgeon rules now in place for college football are going to led us all down this same slippery slope. I'm telling you. Up four scores, by rule the QB and center have to switch places. Gawd forbid go up five scores and you friggen loose?!?! I for one say this evil tyranny must be stopped at the border.

I am an old school guy. I say that if it was good enough in WWII; then by Gawd it is good enough now. Did America get flagged for fifteen yards (and retreat) when the 6 Marines face planted The Stars and Stripes on top of the highest hill on the island of Iwo Jima? No! Did the Japanese feel dis’? Probably! Did it matter? Heck No! The Marines still shouted HOORAH afterwards! It was celebrated! It became iconic on the cover of Life. For all the old farts who are against a little shakin', history teaches some chest pounding, fist thrusting, and yes even dancing is a good thang! Plus it is a heck of a lot better than the alternative under the misdirected attempt, guise at sportsmanship.

Only by standing together we will stop the advancement of THE incredibly annoying hum emanating from the thousands of plastic horns that you'll hear during the next 45 days of the World Cup (And you thought that cowbells in Stark Vegas were headache producing - jeez). And standing together we can kick these curmudgeon rules slipping into Gawd's “Beautiful” Sport to the curb!....Or by 2013 when your team goes up three scores your QB will have to throw passes with his nondominant hand under the premise of being fair.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

This day – Memorial Day is a time for remembrance. It is a day to reflect back on the greatness of men who have fallen. It is about honoring the foot soldiers, who advanced the cause. When connecting this day with college football, Pat Tillman the war hero and former Arizona State Sun Devil are justifiably inseparable. On Friday afternoon it was announced that Tillman would headline this year’s class going into the College Football Hall of Fame (CFHOF); however, there is one name, a warrior as well, was left out of the parade – Erk Russell.

Nothing seems to bury a story than releasing it on a Friday afternoon. Do it on a three day holiday – it really gets dug a grave. Do it the first weekend of summer – it is deep six. Yet, the CFHOF did exactly that when it announce the next class of inductees. Even more impertinent, Coach Russell’s name did not appear, again.

Something is outrageously wrong with the process. A year ago, Jim Donnan had his induction to the College Football HOF. His accomplishments are well noted: Asst @ OU under Barry Switzer for 5 yrs, winning a NC @ Marshall, later coaching UGA and having a overall record of 104 – 40 (.722), as head coach. Stellar accomplishments in his own right but make no mistake he went in based on his record at the D1-AA level. Now compare that record against Erk Russell. 17 years as an Asst. @ UGA, he created a stingy defense. In 192 games he had 27 shutouts, kept opponents to less than (17) 135 times, and only 18 times had 28 or more points scored on him (that’s a quarter in the Big 12). He revived a dormant program at GA SO. At first they were a club team, then D-II, then D1-AA (FCS). After he moved up to D1-AA, he had a .825 winning percentage (70-14), winning 3 – not just 1 – National Championships. A year after he retired, Mike Sewak (now OL coach @ GT), won another NC – with his players. Overall, he was 83-22-1 (.788) which trumps the ex-Thundering Terd Herd coach. Coach Russell was named Coach of the DECADE in 1989 by USA Today, for the 4 National Titles he help deliver (’80 UGA & ’85,’86, ’89 GA SO).

This year Barry Alvarez and Gene Stallings were selected as the Head Coaches to go in. Again their total accomplishments while notable are in sum less than what Erk Russell did – longest tenured HC at Wisconsin with back to back Rose Bowl victories in the late ‘90 and a Junction City Boy after a brief stint – a 6 year run - led Alabama to winning 1 national title. Again Erk Russell’s .788 winning percentage easily out distances their respective winning percentages of .605 and .556 and a four to one ratio set the pace for national titles.

The CFHOF used to have a criteria that coach must have 100 or more victories to be considered, thus Erk Russell is ineligible to enter in as HC; there was no provision made for assistant coaches to enter. With the selection of Gene Stallings that ceiling has been broken, who only had 89 total victories (and a loosing record at TAMU). Coach Russell could coach circles around Donnan, Alvarez, and Stallings – give each of them a clinic.  IF the CFHOF is supposed to represent greatness- not just longevity, nor brief spurts of excellence; then Coach Russell should have been at the head table, ahead of the line. A highway named after him that runs thru Hopeulikit, GA is nice, but Coach Russell is more fitting for enshrinement. Posthumously, there ought to be another victory cigar lit in South Bend.

Well maybe after the CFHOF gets moved to Atlanta, we can finally lay to rest this story – with the honor its’ owed…. GATA RIP

Trees, Mailboxes and Poles

With EA sports announcing that Gus Johnson will be the new voice on Madden 11, The Sporting News Today – The Sporting Blog asked a deep question: “Who would you want to do commentary for your life?” They broke it down into major life events.

Some of the choices were dead on ringers – Vin Scully @ Graduation; Gus Johnson @ Prom (Although as a father of 2 girls I’m not liking “rise and fire” as much as I use too.). And taking Bill Raftery to Winn Dixie for some “Onions!” was spot on. I’ve got to disagree on Keith Jackson doing a birth announcement. The last thing I want to hear is that “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuumble!!! or a Whoa Nelly! (Don’t know if that’s good or bad in the delivery room.) And sure don’t want to hear, regarding my daughter, that she’s “a debutante from Alllaaaaaabama.”. I gotta pick Larry Munson. “Get the picture the doc all deck out in green scrubs…she’s prone going left to right across your dial…Hunker down just 1 more time…..Do you realize how crazy its’ going be tonight ….I still can’t believe what I just saw!” over Al Michaels “Do you believe in miracles?!!?” For the honeymoon I need a substitute there as well. I need to go with either Dan Patrick referring to my wife as she’s “EN Fuego…can’t stop her---only hope is to contain her” or that Spanish soccer announcer delivering a well timed “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL.”! And definitely Jim Nantz over Mike Lange at my funeral: he delivers enthusiasm even in his golfer voice.

Paul Tagliabue, former NFL commissioner turned consultant, sees the way where the Big East can survive.

Two things wrong with his theory.
1) Doesn’t ESPN eventually run out of money? I mean the ACC just got a mega new deal; they owe $3B to the SEC; the Big 12, Pac-10 and NOW the Big East wants more. I know that ESPN lost the bid for March Madness, but jeez they couldn’t have had that much in reserves to make everyone happy.

2) Paul is trying copy the ACC playbook. Package both Hoops and Pigskin together. His problem is that Basketball in the Little Least is much more dominating (over football) than the ACC. Football in the ACC does have the traditional national powers FSU, Miami, VA Tech and somehow Boston College seems to pull off a yearly Top 20 season. Add in the mix for the ACC that GT and UNC are on an uptick in football, along side Clemson’s inconsistency, and you have a foundation for a solid league. With Big East football flashes in the pan, WVU hasn’t been relevant since Bobby Bowden or Major Harris roamed Morgantown. Sure Rich-Rod tried but again not a since he bolted for Meeeeeeeechigan. Louisville flash in the pan with Bobby P’s prolific O. Cincy will be a flash now that Brian Kelly is at ND. S. Fla where are they since rising to #2 in the nation – with a new HC! Also working against Paul T. is that NOBODY watches Providence vs Seton Hall on Tuesday night in late January. It might be very compelling game, but it’s not moving the meter the way it once did. Additionally, conference tournaments are becoming less valuable as expansion of the NCAA tournament continues. So from a leverage standpoint, Paul T. has zilch – air ball!

Over signing – who really cares? All must get down to 85 scholarships for football. Coaches over sign because kids haven’t qualified and the Coaches are CYA themselves with this shotgun approach thinking surely if we sign 38, 25 will make it and then they aren’t scrambling around to fill out a roster with quality talent. Who’s bent out of shape? Big 10. But anecdotally, they tend to “Gray shirt” more players. OSU had a starting QB before Terrell Pryor that was a Gray shirt. Isn’t that really achieving the same goal for protecting a roster by “over signing”?
How can you earn $60M and go broke?

Knicks' Eddy Curry [is] he's behind in loan payments… Supreme Court Justice Jane Solomon ordered Curry to pay $75,000 a month plus interest on his $570,000 personal loan from Allstar Capital, according to the New York Daily News. Curry took out the loan in 2008 at 85% interest, a rate that's legal to charge only in Nevada, according to the Daily News.
Take out a loan with a friggen 85% interest rate is how!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Academics of Expansion

Everywhere you turn in college sports one is confronted by the fact that Big 10 is holding the rest of us hostage with their expansion waffling. They are trying on every shoe in the department store looking for the “right fit” Inevitably the talk shifts, after football and footprint, to “academics”. The subject becomes the Big 10 scholarly superiority and how all Big 10 institutions are members of AAU – THE Association of American Universities, spoken through the nasal passage which is pointed northward.

Membership allows presidents to exchange their neckties for ascots and a bow tie, exchanging their shorty for a phat stogie. Alliance allows a university to go from being a great place for higher learning to academic aficionado. Faster than Keith Jackson can yell “Whoa Nelly!”, translated for our esteemed fellows’ means au contraire, I wish to raise a couple of points. First in terms of being academically elite, not even all Ivy League institutions are members of your little club. Second, the school that you are just salivating and bed wetting over to join you (ND) is not a member. Gawd knows how well they are thought of in terms of being a traditional power and tough curriculum. They share with the mere mortals the same song every waking breathe. The Big 10 points out that association with them and THE AAU brings in truck bed load of cash. No, it really doesn’t scream superiority, but it does say that you are connected to some slick politicians who pile on the pork – slicker than the Louisiana coast line.

Most of the Big 10 comes from the same seed or acorn where the SEC brethren originated. They have a foundation of being a land grant universities, agriculture and teacher colleges. (Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa….) They both have grown doing scientific research in myriad of areas of study. Every school has the same microscope posed scene played back in the self promoting video during a telecast. Furthermore, no matter how many times Michigan touts itself as “The Harvard of the Midwest” doesn’t make true, not once in any era!

I get so daggum sick and tired of that hoity toity attitude, I could just spit. Here a cup of shut-up juice, actually a 64 ounce Big Gulp glass for the Big 10. Your champ for the decade – THE Ohio State – try on a 0 for 10 for size. How does that feel?

Take a spin on that during the next meeting of your golden guild.

St. Timmy

I got told of about this article in the May 17th issue of  Americian Thinker. Since my Twitter username is Gawdsport, I simply had to weigh in on the topic that Tim Tebow is getting a bad rep in the press due to his beliefs.

For full disclosure, I consider myself an Evangelical Christian. Evangelical in the spirit that I hope that by words and deeds that I lead a life that will pique the interest of those around me, and that I have issued invitations to “hang out” or “come with” me after forming close relationships assured that any answer will be all right, I do agree with the author that most of the media is left leaning, but so are most college educated people. I disagree with the notion that is categorically bad and that most reporters can’t be objective. For the record, I voted John McCain. As a DAWG, it is with enormous displeasure to say anything positive about, to come to the aid, of ANY gator.

I reject this article on several fronts. Primarily, on the overall arching theme that Tim Tebow’s Christianity, character and life choices are a determent and vilified in/ by the media, I completely disagree. How else could a 3rd round talent be chosen in the 1st? It was because people were saying, writing and reporting nice things about Tebow. By several pundits you heard “he’ll be successful at the next level because of his leadership abilities.” Never mind that he will more than likely be another footnote in the long line of Quarterbacks who won the Heisman trophy, but have done squadoosh on the NFL field. Another fav cliché thrown out the air waves was “he’s a hard worker.” Unless you are named JaMarcus Russell, EVERBODY studies film, prepares for and works extremely hard. Players drop out of the first round because of off field issues and rumor (Brian Cushing and steroid use at USC, which turned out to be true) and the inverse is also true. A player can be a safe pick because he has no off field trouble and can “be the face of the team”. The positive press, by and large, is EXACTLY the reason that you saw the rise in Tebow stock and he was the 25th pick in the draft; it wasn’t due to talent.

Some of Stuart Schwartz points raised are against reporters that he has distain for rather than beefing up and supporting his central thesis. A prime example of this is when begins his rant against Tony Kornheiser.
Witness Tony Kornheiser, popular ESPN commentator and long-time Washington Post columnist, who often starts his cable show, "PTI," with a leering remark about having sex. In his early sixties with a scraggly beard and balding head, Kornheiser has the on-air presence of the creepy uncle you shoo away from the kids on family picnics...and he has just finished a suspension for making sexist remarks on air about a female colleague.
In terms of ideology Tony and Stuart are fairly close, which probably baffles Stuart. Tony was railing against females flaunting themselves, inappropriately dressed, on NATIONAL TV. Which if one was to poll Stuart on, I am most certain that he opposes as well. Should female anchors on TV wear shirts open to the navel, short skirts with 4” heeled red leather boots to the knee? Where’s the Disney wholesomeness it that picture? Plus, this adds nothing to his argument that Tim is singled out by the national media for his beliefs. This is his bias.

As a Dr. – Dr. Schwartz, a published professor of media marketing at Liberty University, I was disappointed in that anecdotal evidence that he uses through out the essay. He uses the Ben Roethlisberger as an example, from beginning to end as an illustration of the double standard that exists in the way players with beliefs (Tim Tebow) are treated as opposed to those (implied antithesis) without beliefs. This is a point that is never clarified through out the piece: Tim is picked on for beliefs as opposed to ____ are not? Players who are in trouble with the law? Diva’s? Players who don’t believe? Players who believe but don’t profess? All the above? No one else, but Tim? Again in terms of full disclosure and that coverage I was highly critical of ESPN not reporting on this Milledgeville story sooner than waiting 48 hours to do so. First, I have never meet Ben; I never have heard that he was agnostic, professing or practicing. I do know that there wasn’t enough EVIDENCE to secure an indictment by the District Attorney in that case, and that threshold is very low proof standard. I do know that’s Ben’s judgment was severely questioned: “If he shows that poor of judgment off the field, how can he show good judgment and lead his team on the field?” Additionally many reporters called for, which he got a ban from the NFL. So by in large, I don’t think that Ben skated by the national sports media. Also from a “Christian” viewpoint, he uses the Mike Vick saga incorrectly. As reported by Tony Dungy, Mike is a new man going from “Bad Newz” kennels to reaffirming his beliefs in the Good News. My faith tells me that turn-a-round events should be more celebration than continued harping over the original sin. My GOD is one of second chances; third, fourth, fifth and sixth for me personally. Redemption.

From the St. Timmy references to being question about his sex life at SEC media day to ridicule for his missionary work, yes Tim Tebow has faced unflattering articles, unwarranted criticism and out-of-bounds questioning. But this is reactionary due to the overwhelming, at times nauseating amounts of, positive press that was occurring – not an onslaught of negative and the press was piling on. It was Tyler Hansbrough –esque. It was GPOOE™ (Greatest Player of our Era) admiration from the vast portion of the media looking for an easy story line to hook readers and listeners. It was lazy reporting that finally led to a backlash that is depicted in Dr. Schwartz’s article. As portrayed no one can be that good. No it isn’t Tim’s fault, nor is it society’s fault when people make bad choices as Dr. Schwartz correctly points out. Can you find those articles that he cites? Yes. Some are taken out of context from my viewpoint. That “St. Timmy” comment was first referenced to how well above the standard QB Tim was playing, a compliment and went uncited. How many more thousands, hundred of thousands, of articles are in a positive light about Tim Tebow? I wished that Dr. Schwartz would have been more empirical and complete in the Lexis-Nexis search before drawing his conclusion.

Even Dr. Schwartz had to admit Tim Tebow’s popularity was not damaged by these few, handful of, negative articles. He cited correctly that Tim has the best selling rookie jersey. Not only is it best selling, but #2 isn’t within shouting distance. This adds further proof on my position that either the articles cited weren’t taken seriously by the reader or if the media “out to get you and tear you down” bias does exists it has failed to find root by mainstream (clear thinking) people. And the alternative I suggest is: this is true because the public is bombarded with positive articles about GPOOE™.

I believe that humility and selfless acts are commendable. I too don’t like family or faith being mocked and in those incidents where attacks occurred, it was wrong. But the linkage between Tim and critics JUST BEACAUSE of his Christianity is just egregious and just erroneous. The vast majority of the pre-draft reporting either only pointed out mechanical error in his throwing motion or was supportive in his efforts to change – it was football related or his “intangibles” would help him. Tim is not the only player picked on by the press. All players face scrutiny, speculation and are subjected to analysis for a host of reasons, year around; to claim otherwise is crying wolf and makes you sound whimpy. Yes, Jeff Pearlman, blog boob heads, et. al were vindictive about his Christianity, but those of Dr Schwartz elk need to recognize that Tim is no longer at N.H.S (Nease High); this is now the N-F-L, brother……. Wear big boy panties to play big boy football.

Question: How does Sarah Palin fit into a sport story again?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In or Out of Bounds?

I have a slightly different take on the Dez Bryant inappropriate questioning during the team interview with the Dolphins by Jeff Ireland. To recap briefly, Jeff Ireland ask Dez whose mom has had legal issues, was she a prostitute?

For everyday standard operating procedure at normal places of employment this FAR EXCEEDS the bounds of good taste, managerial decorum and skirts on the fringe of being legal. But the NFL is a boorish and brutal business. You know every Corner in the league is going to be taking shots at him about relationship with Deon, suspended by the NCAA AND Yes some fellas are going to pop off about his mom.

If the intent is to determine if Dez is going to blow up, cost the team yards and maybe a game because of some smash talk; if the intent was to see what it takes to get this WR on tilt off focus, then yes it was a legitimate question albeit lacking professional standards. In that case Team reprimand and punishment will suffice. But if the intent is from a Napoleon wanttabe aka short man complex, to put another big shot down; if the intent was worse -Jim Crow-esque, then Roger Goodell must act because this goes beyond “protecting the NFL shield” to being bad for business and the GM needing help.
Update: Jeff Ireland released a statement apologizing. Also I heard Ryan Stewart (2LiveStews) say that in the mid '90's @ the combined he was asked if he ever did the dirty deed with an animal. WOW!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Character Counts???

Tony Barnhart makes a point that character counts – millions for some. Tim Tebow lacking 1st round talent chosen, yet Carlos Dunlap having Top 10 talent gets left out of proceedings last Thursday.

Yes, you can find points where that axiom holds true, but if the theory was completely valid wouldn’t have Colt McCoy gone ahead of Jimmy Clausen and the bad teammate rumors? Why is Arrelious Benn, diva poster child, (WR – the fightin’ Zooker’s) selected almost 50 picks ahead of Andre Roberts or Armanti Edwards, who went back to back in the draft - representing the So-Con and the first two skilled players to go from D1-AA? Why does Colin Peek (TE – Alabama) go completely undrafted, behind 20 others’ selected at the same position? Why does Scott Sicko, also a TE, end up not one of the 255 tapped and is going to pursue a Master’s in pol-sci @ UNH? (Yes, he showed character for sticking to his goals and beliefs.) And the biggest hole in the theory, why did Myron Rolle, a Rhodes Scholar in Oxford England, slip to the 3rd Day; 6th Round (207); behind 15 others safeties (16th out of 19)? Could maybe somebody thought that the guys lacking character had MORE TALENT than the “works hard, excellent character” guys?

Why I’m writing a blog, avocationally? Maybe there is just not a lot of demand for a C/3B with a weak arm, lacks power, defense needs work, timed with a sun dial, whiffs on a good deuce and has difficulty catching up to hard inside pitch. Applying Barnhart’s idiom, the Hustle Award, I got at the Tates Locke (hired the General & later Asst. GM Blazers) Basketball Camp combined with the Who’s Who in High School and support of mission trips should have gotten me picked up near round 59 in the MLB draft.

Update: Sicko changes heart.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

More Expansion

Earth Day...just in time to save the landscape....

There was a glass of cold water thrown to the face of the expansion talk yesterday from Scottsdale, AZ by Jim Delany when he said that there WOULD NOT be an accelerated time table for expansion. Meaning that an announcement on which teams the Big 10 will select would NOT come this summer like many predicated, but keeping the 12 to 18 months timetable. By my calendar that means December at the earliest. Close the roofs on the silos FOR THE MOMEMT. However, Mike Slive did issue a warning from the UN:
“I won’t sit back and just ignore what is going on around me,” Slive said. “We will be thinking ahead so we are prepared to do whatever we need to do.” “If there’s going to be a significant shift in the conference paradigm, the SEC will be strategic and thoughtful to make sure that it maintains its position as one of the nation’s preeminent conferences,” Slive said. (Pete Thamel NY Times)
Meaning the SEC might pan something own its’ own which was my main point yesterday.

After discussion with a reader, I felt as my point was misconstrued. No way should the SEC expand “just to keep with the Jones’” The SEC should do WHATEVER is necessary to stay the preeminent conference. I translate to mean as having the biggest war chest AND the best product. Clearly the SEC has the best football conference as Slive artfully remained folks at the meeting; it’s four in a row.

However, to my point yesterday every year the SEC waits TO DO SOMETHING it LOOSES, by a multiplier of $5M for each institution and will grow! Supremacy, Conference Supremacy can’t remain with that kind of shortfall. Therefore, Mike Slive MUST ACT NOW – over the summer meetings– to keep the SEC at the TOP!

They got a bit of a break as Jim Delany, to use a coaching (leadership) analogy, “couldn’t coach his team way out of a wet paper bag.” He couldn’t pull together the right coalition to pull this off – right now. But this is just a temporary standoff. Its still is going to happen with or with ND. The Big East and Big 12 will still come up on the wrong side of the ledger. No matter how many consults Jim Marinatto hires. (The Big East hired Paul Taglibue, ex-NFL commish, as a consult for this project.)

Lead the way, Mike Slive, just like the conference has done for the last generation. First Strike, Mike!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


4/ 20 used to just be an underground holiday to honor the memory of some California High school students who would meet at that time after class to celebrate the joys of cannabis. The folks at the prestigious AAU (Association of American Universities) started their annual meeting Tuesday. Least we should forget all 11 conference commissioners are meeting this week in Scottsdale, AZ. Why link these events? All of the Big 10 institutions are members of AAU, thus all Big 10 Presidents will be there at one place; thus the speculation that there will be side bars with tons of smoke bellowing out; presidents emerging delirious and Jim Delany and Jack Swarbrick ND’s athletic director will be in the same spot and either might, after a toke or two, tip his hand.

Ole Sweater Vest said on the topic of expansion this week “It’s inevitable.” A few weeks ago, Jack Swarbrick said there could be a landscape that would force ND to join the Big 10. Let’s not forget that in all other sports ND is a member of the Big East; then to make this work, the power grab of getting ND into the Big 10, the elimination of the Big East as a viable and attractive option is a must; sorry Mountaineer fans. So priority #1 in Jim Delany’s plan is to take The Big East out if the picture. The Big 10 is going to bombard and raid the Big East to take away eyeballs and dollars to the point that ND comes to the conclusion that the Big East is no longer an attractive league for its’ for secondary sports. The lynch pin to conference break up is stripping away the cohesive glue - football. Because the football league for the Big East is relatively small (8), just the addition of a couple of teams is necessary to accomplish that task. (Plus, it is revenue generating additional markets for you; it’s a win/win, except for the causalities of Cincinnati, WVU and leftovers not picked.) You can say that it is a great basketball league and it is, but still the conference cachet (and cash) is because of football; otherwise it is one step above the A-10 conference – not BCS Big 6 conference. For ND playing the “got to remain Independent” card until the bitter end, see the new Big East emerging with CUSA members, and there is no way that ND is sharing a dime or afflation with Memphis or Southern Miss even for its’ secondary sports. Comes across as a bit hoity toity, but it is a reality. In summary Delany sees TO GET football (ND), it has to TAKE football away (from Big East) and it’s a zero sum game. ND will be coerced enough with higher pay outs that it joins – volunteered sort of, after all it’s bizznes’.

So in terms of fish food, to land the whale takes some sort of consortium of Rutgers, Pitt, UConn and Syracuse. All teams aren’t necessary to accomplish the mission; two of the four are a minimum; three of the four maybe in play. Also as the bomber bays open, you know that WVU and Louisville are starting to make phone calls to the Mike Silve and anyone else that will listen, “Hey pick us up!” only furthers the likelihood that the Big East is in shambles with just the threat. Say the Big 10 goes with two universities to land ND; that takes the league to 14, but 16 teams makes the conference more balanced.
Second on the agenda is to increase revenue (this will also be attractive to ND). Because of markets and legends of fans this makes the not much publicized Nebraska a real option (a cut just below Texas as far as national appeal goes) very attractive. Nebraska makes selling of BTN nationwide easier. As well as securing the Kansas City/ St Louis markets, and long rumored likely candidate, Missouri a viable player. Missouri makes sense on many fronts. Missouri is a member of AAU and is likely to be partaking in the side bars. Missouri has ‘natural’ rivalries with some Big 10 schools. It has markets for Delany; it has customers for BTN and Fox News Corporation, who owns 49% of BTN. If there is a shoe in for expansion, it’s the Tigers.

One point, that I had a hard time understanding, but now am clear on is that I thought expansion meant fewer dollars for each institution. No, because of BTN and the proceeds gained from it. First, BTN will be able to charge higher advertising rates in general because of expanded markets. Second, live events offer premium rates more so than infomercials or Bo vs. Woody re-runs. With basketball BTN could offer 2 games every night. Triple headers of football games could be offered. Third, there will subscription fees generated. Right now for BTN, there is a roughly 25% conversion rate between potential subscribers and actually getting BTN. BTN is still mainly on 2nd tier programming. One, they hope expansion will drive BTN down to basic channels (fees per all subscribers) and two, if not, convert a higher percentage. Can you imagine NOT getting a ND game? Catholics would be screaming at local cable providers; then end up paying for 2nd tier programming. Either way moola rolls into Jim Delany’s world. Expansion equals ESPN3 E$PN4, instead of behind CBS College sports channel and potentially maybe on par with ESPN2.

The decision markers are Jim Delany and the university presidents; however, do not under estimate Fox (and their associated advertising agencies) power and influence in this expansion. For Fox, 49 cents on every dollar isn’t spilt umpteen ways. I have read that this deal could conservatively be worth $200,000,000 to Fox’s bottom line. While CBS, CNN, ABC news all are loosing fistfuls of money Fox news would be making gobs of it. That’s enough money to keep Geraldo on the air a very long time - way more than I am comfortable with.

While the Big 10 has been making the headlines, Joe Pa let us know last week that the Pac 10 was making its own waves behind the scenes and wanting to expand to divisional play as well. First, likely candidate that I see is Colorado. They are on par academically (easy sell to Presidents) and they bring in the Denver market. The other team would be either Utah or Boise St, if jumping just to divisional play. Boise would be pressing the flesh hard, but I suspect the nod would go to Utah for the Salt Lake market. If they go to all the way to 16 teams, I could see BYU, TCU (for a Texas footprint – Dallas market; the Long Horns already said no a couple years ago) and (this is thinking out of the box, for a “national appeal” to the conference & “the reason to expand is football”) Oklahoma, as well as the other team not chosen for 12th team expansion. For the Pac 10, I see value in 12 (championship game), but less for 16. I see 16 teams splitting not increasing revenue, like the Big 10. They have no TV deal/ network – although many are syndicated on local Fox Sport channels programming already, a very loose affiliation. Also, you can forget about San Jose, Fresno St, San Diego St – stay classy - joining. That make sense geographically, but Pac 10 sees those schools as UGA sees Kennesaw St joining the SEC – over grown commuter/ JC schools.

If I am either Dan Beebe, Big 12 commissioner, or John Marinatto, who has been on the job less than a year after succeeding Mike Tranghese as Big East commissioner, I am quaking in my boots right now. The silo tops are open, and nukes to the college landscape are getting rocket fuel and aimed directly at you. Does the ACC finish off what it started in seven years ago, completely dismantle the Big East and go to 16 teams with sloppy seconds?

It has been nearly a generation since the SEC expanded. For nearly 20 years the SEC has been the preeminent athletic conference, the benchmark that Roy Kramer envisioned. However, now a $5 Million gap, per year, exists between each Big 10 and SEC institution (and growing if expansion takes place). Obviously, the first school and call go to Austin, TX, but what if Texas says no. They value the Red River Rivalry or they demand a disparate share – a higher percentage of revenues, like they have in their Big 12 deal, which Mike Silve would have to say No to; otherwise, he has a tempest breaking out in Tuscaloosa, Gainesville, Baton Rogue, Knoxville and Athens. What if Texas says they are going to make the Big 12 work with OU, by picking up Arkansas and ? What if the Prom Queen says yes, but have to double date with the less attractive step-sister (TAMU)? What does Mike Silve do to increase revenues by $136 Million dollars per year? (16 teams raking in $22M – $352M and 12 team hauling $18M -$216M----Just to MATCH Big 10 payouts and status/ membership or a $48M variance if remaining @ 12). SEC TV is already in Dallas and Houston. It just signed a $3 BILLION dollar contract with CBS & ESPN last year. Could the contract be re-done for SEC doubleheader on Saturday’s for CBS? Does the SEC have a $1 surcharge on all tickets sold to go to home office for later re-distribution? How does Alabama feel about money raised going to Auburn?

Can any combination of teams bring up the SEC’s value that much - $136M per yr? Again Texas, helps. It helps a lot. Could they, would they go single? IF you add UT and TAMU to go to 14, then don’t you HAVE TO go to 16 for balance? Does the SEC try to pick 2 more “old Big 12” teams OU and ??? What impact on secondary sports schedules does “Going West” do to the travel budget? Would targeting WVU add enough of a Mid-Atlantic/ parts of PA presence for the SEC to consider? Ditto Va Tech. Would Miami and FSU sign up? Miami and Donna Shalala has in previous comments indicated that Miami is too good for the SEC – academically and her preference is to keep the ACC strong, but would $22M per year change her mind. FSU has said No thanks previously. Clemson makes geographical and sports sense but does it bring bucks to the negotiating table? What does Louisville offer that Kentucky doesn’t already bring? Ditto Cincinnati. USF or UCF look like attractive candidates for the SEC – really? Does a UNC leave the ACC – doubt it? Break up Basketball along Tobacco Road? IF there is a 16 team conference does it go to a 7 divisional -1 other cross division game (to keep rivals alive AU/ UGA; Tenn/ Bama) – 4 non-conference games schedule format for football, to keep teams that want 8 home games happy? Is that 1 cross division game fixed or does it rotate? Or do you mandate a 7 -4 – 1 schedule, flip flopping the other 4 teams the following year? That gives a more competitive argument. That only allows for 7 home dates max and virtually eliminates out of conference rival games (GA/GT; Clemson/ S.Car). Would that eliminate neutral site games to be assured 7 home dates???? (Jax?)

Just for fun say Texas, TAMU (west), FSU and Miami (east) all join w 7-4-1 format.
UGA schedule could be Tenn, FL, S. Car., Kentucky, FSU, Miami, Vandy, AU, MSU, Ark, and Texas. Costal Carolina for Homecoming
The following yr it could be Tenn, FL, S. Car., Kentucky, FSU, Miami, Vandy, Bama, Ole Miss, LSU and TAMU. W. Kentucky for Homecoming.
3rd year flip the sites of 1st year, replace homecoming opponent.
4th year flip the sites of 2nd year, replace homecoming opponent.
Brutal for anyone, any year – no one would go undefeated, but great football. A 2 Loss Divisional champ is highly probable. Have the ties breaks down to the 10th degree. This format probably not enacted but fun to look. More realistic is something along the line of the 7-1-4 format.

I don’t know which way the SEC moves, but if any part of the Big 10 coo is successful; the SEC will be forced to act. Although it could be argued that the $5M gap is already evidence that his plan is working. But I ask why not take the aggressive route and make the proactive strike before shrapnel hits the league?...Bombs Awayyyyy

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What shall we do? - in the wake of the Mett incident

In light of the Zach Mettenberger incident, David Hale asked “I'd also be curious, if you think Richt has failed in his role as head coach, mentor or disciplinarian, what would you suggest he could have done differently?”

David asks what else could be done by the CMR? If CMR is guilty I ask, then isn’t UGA guilty for not having the structure in place? I digress:
Otter: Point of parliamentary procedure!
Hoover: Don't screw around, they're serious this time!
Otter: Take it easy, I'm pre-law.
Boon: I thought you were pre-med.
Otter: What's the difference?
Otter: Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests - we did. [winks at Dean Wormer] But you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but I for one am not going to stand here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!
Coming back around to the seriousness of the situation and real life circumstance of what could have been enhanced. Let me go big picture.

What if…. What if, there was not a Geology 101 (Rocks for Jocks) but Sociology, are whatever department, Life skills class 101 for all scholarship players to take freshman year, first class to sign up for? Go over getting a valid drivers license – producing it gets 10 points. Review driving rules and regulations – what to do maintain it, DUI prevention. Go over social media – what to do and not do. Go over social scenarios including dating and approaching women, members if the opposite sex, people for encounters. Go over alcohol awareness, drug awareness and steroids. Go over check book finance and personal budgeting. Go over media relations basics. Produce a paper on mistakes of other athletes. Final grade withheld until graduation or transfer or drafted or booted out. It is an application class.

For players, one & done- three & done- and other’s, with a true ambition and talent on becoming a professional in their sports offer up an entire major. Course selection could include:
How to select an agent and marketing yourself
How not to blow $87 Million dollars and file for bankruptcy
More in-depth media relations
How to come across well in formal settings: team interviews and public speaking
Investments: Stock market, real estate & other places to grow money
Foundations and civic organization - What makes a good one to give back
How to judge marketing deals and endorsements
Board Room relations
How to handle groupies, hangers and other people after your $$$.
Pitfalls of Guns & Airport Security
Pitfalls of Guns, T&A clubs, drugs and 3 a.m. – nothing good comes with that combo.
Speaking of combo’s - Nutrition
Wonderlic Prep

Yes, I had a little fun with the titles of the offerings, but no I am completely serious. I know that the academic elite would go wonkers, but this is a new day. No, this isn’t taking down a university to a technical school level. Just as many discoveries, academic studies didn’t exist 20 years ago and a few might get a sophomoric chuckle in some circles (the professor honored at the game for the advancement of, uber importance, the fruit fly); this field would be avant-garde to the era which those students find themselves. You already have available a Sports Management and Golf Management degrees being offered some online. I would vehemently argue the proposed major would be more enriching than to take six random courses (and with the last three being withdrawals because the athlete thinks “don’t need it”). As much investment that the schools have, I think a professor delivering a class to keep the good name of the university intact AND too keep good people, for the most part, out of trouble, AND that they would learn like skills is a wise and needed investment.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Crickets are chirping at night; Birds are singing during the day; Coconut oils proliferates the senses; Pollen coats my car window. Ahhh Spring has sprung I say! Pardon me, as I snort up thru my nostrils.

Spring is a time for re-birth, a new beginning. For Christians last week was the most important week of the year. Passion plays, Palm (passion) Sunday, the excitement of Easter morning are examples of this energy. As a college football fan, in particular a UGA fan, the most important week in MY CALENDAR starts this weekend!

A quick recap the UGA 09/10 sports year (stats thru Mundy Thursday)

  • Football: .500 in conference; 3rd in the East; had the most “L’s” in the CMR era (5)
  • MBB: 5-11 in conference; 5th in the East; 11th overall (out of 12); no post season
  • WBB: struggling to be .500 in conference (9-7); blown out by 40 points in Sweet 16.
  • Hardball: 1 conference “W”; Team ERA over the age of my youngest daughter who’s in the 4th grade!!! - Ugggg. 6 games under .500
  • Gym DAWGS: Finished 3rd in SEC championships; clearly knocked off the balance beam pedal stool as THE Program.
  • M&W Golf: Both teams ranked, but each behind 3 other SEC teams, and Men are behind Tech!
  • M&W Swimming and Diving: M-4th; W-3rd
  • M&W Tennis: Both 2nd in conference & division – due to overall record
  • M&W Indoor Track: both 5th
  • W Competitive Kickball (aka Soccer): 3rd
  • Softball: #8 in polls; however 3rd in SEC East
  • Volleyball: 8-12 in conference; 5th in Conference
  • Equestrian: Awwburn knocked DAWGS of their high horse in Southern Championship.
I see mediocrity scattered throughout the entire athletic department. I see no national prominence in anything, no SEC Hardware. I see no WILL to win. Recently, I caught an interview with Geno Auriemma, and the reporter question the UConn WBB coach if he was worried when they trailed at the half in the title game. He said “This team desires, ABOVE ALL else, to WIN the game we’re playing on ANY given night; tonight was NO EXCEPTION.” Could be coach speak 101? Could it be a belief system that translated onto the court? I do know that I haven’t seen that belief manifested onto a field or court or arena this year for UGA sports. …. I haven’t seen PASSION.

Hopefully that changes STARTING SATURDAY! A return to the Golden Era starts by players who play like they give a damn between the hedges. As legendary coach Erk Russell would say, I want to see “A Bad Case of THE WANTS!” So long as no UGA QB doesn’t have a UT Nick Stephens stats line from his last scrimmage (2 for 9; 6 yds), I don’t care about numbers.

Like it not Football drives both the cash and credence, confidence of the entire athletic department….and my calendar.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cinderella Cheapens Champion

Yes my bracket is busted. No I’m not harping on about handing over a HAMILTON to someone else in a pool. (Winning gets boring.) I love Selection Sunday and filling out a sheet. I take pride in prognosticating that Xavier and Butler were going to make it to the Sweet 16. (And on 1 of my many sheets in the Tournament Challenge, I had Ohio St meeting Kentucky and Kentucky winning)

Don’t get me wrong, even though I had, like most, Kansas as my pick TWIA, I found myself rooting for Ali Farkhmanesh (Man, he is got some Onions as Bill Raftery would exclaim. Maybe he has a pair of Onions) and going both bonkers and admiring Omar Samhan (‘Nova had NO answer for the high pick ‘n roll initiated by him. BTW ‘Nova was my other team in the finals.) That was great theater and tv. It was great to bring along the causal fan or the guy who’s just only interested in winning a pool.

But by definition, a Cinderella team caused an upset, a better team lost. That’s the rub. The best teams won’t be playing to bring out the highest level from an opponent, creating the best performance. Cinderella cheapens the Champion’s worthiness.

The fan in me wants a Final Four of Xavier, Northern Iowa, Cornell and St. Mary’s. The competitor in me wants Ohio State, Syracuse, Kentucky and Duke to meet in Indianapolis. Don’t know what will happen tonight and going forward through the weekend, but I do know that college football is better.

Why is CFB better than Hoops Hysteria?
  • 5) 92,500 is better than 20,000 (max – Have you seen those fans disguised as empty seats in the 1st Round)
  • 4) Marching band over Pep Band. The Peon band counts time, passes the sound and seasons along for the Spring Game.
  • 2) For all the intensity, I never heard about a loud arena causing seismograph needles to move. I have for stadiums
  • 1) You just can’t beat a good tailgate.

On the Seventh Day, G-d created a day meant for rest, leisure AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL! He showed IT favor calling it GAWD’S SPORT!.....
In Basketball, Noaln Richardson’s called his style of play 40 minutes of hell for the opponent.

Myer's Meltdown

March 13th Quote Headline in the Orlando Sentinel “Urban Meyer at Orlando Function: ‘I feel good and I’m ready to go.’” What a difference nearly 2 weeks make.

This starts Tuesday of this week and continues thru Wednesday practice. The full context is that Deonte Thompson makes a quote to a reporter after practice, Jeremy Flower, of the OS, writes it up, the story appears in print Wednesday. Coach Myer confronts the reporter later that same day at practice and now another OS reporter Mike Bianchi makes his assessment coming in the Thursday’s edition of that fish wrap.

And here’s the original quote from Thompson in which he compared new Florida quarterback John Brantley with the iconic Tim Tebow. You be the judge.

“Things are going to get better here in the future,” Thompson said. “Any receiver would be happy. You have a guy like (John) Brantley throwing the ball, spreading it around to everybody. … You never know with Tim. You can bolt, you think he’s running but he’ll come up and pass it to you. You just have to be ready at all times. With Brantley, everything’s with rhythm, time. You know what I mean, a real quarterback.”

A real quarterback. That was the part of the quote a lot of bloggers, including myself, picked up on. But if Meyer bothered to read (sic.. the story) – which obviously he didn’t — he would realize that both of us pointed out that Thompson might have just worded his quote wrong. Instead of implying that Brantley is a “real quarterback” and Tebow isn’t, Thompson probably meant to say Brantley is a more conventional dropback passer and Tebow isn’t.

At any rate, Thompson was quoted correctly and reasonable people can interpret the quote however they want.

And that’s why Meyer, drama queen that he is, was totally unreasonable and wrong to threaten Fowler and the Orlando Sentinel with banishment from UF —or even perhaps a physical beatdown. Watch it here

Remember, Urban, WWTD — What Would Timmy Do?

Certainly not this …

“You’re a bad guy, man. You’re a bad guy,” Meyer said, pointing a finger at Fowler’s face. “If that (Thompson) was my son, we’d be going at it right now. … You’ll be out of practice — you understand that? — if you do that again. I told you five years ago: Don’t mess with our players. Don’t do it. You did it. You do it one more time and the Orlando Sentinel’s not welcome here ever again. Is that clear?”

This is almost like when Meyer said former UF quarterbacking great Shane Matthews (although he never mentioned him by name) was not welcome at UF.

Gee, Urban, I thought you were just the coach of the Gators. Who knew you were the king of the Gators – able to banish alumni and media from the program by power of royal decree?


And Meyer had the audacity to call a reporter “a bad guy?” Really? Seriously?

I always thought a bad guy was someone who breaks the law or commits crimes. You know, like many of the recruits Meyer has brought onto UF’s campus – recruits who been arrested nearly 30 times since the coach arrived five years ago.

And if Meyer was so upset about Thompson’s quote being blown out of proportion, why did Meyer bring even more national attention to it by unprofessionally accosting a reporter? What Meyer should have done Wednesday after practice is call all of UF’s beat reporters together and explain how Deonte Thompson is a young player who perhaps misspoke and maybe sometimes the media should remember that and give a player the benefit of the doubt.

Of course for Meyer to take that approach would require him to build a relationship with the state media – something he hasn’t bothered to do since he took over five years ago.

At the very least, Deonte Thompson’s message was this: He believes Brantley will be a better quarterback for UF wide receivers than Tebow was.

And you know what? He’s probably right.

But just like everything else involving Tebow – from his throwing mechanics to his TV commercials to his autograph signing sessions to his post-game pledges – Thompson’s quote took on a life of its own and was blown way out of proportion.

Apparently Urban needs more time away. What happens when Corch Meyer looses 3 games this year?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I am just saying

I hate to play the SEC got dissed card, but I will. Of the Big 6 conferences ONLY 1 Conference didn’t get BOTH teams that played in the hoops tourney finals into the Men’s NCAA field – THE SEC.

On the eye test---- did Miss St play as well or better than GA Tech or The Golden Arches (Have you ever noticed the “M’s painted on their staircases in their coliseum?), umm Gophers down the stretch? Of course taking the # 2 team to double overtime was a statement that they belonged in the field.

So why is MSU left with a consolation prize? I know RPI was weak, but they SCHEDULED UCLA; they can’t help that the Bruins were lousy & played in a horrific PAC-10 this year. It is important to note that Miss St trounced ‘em by nearly 20 points, in THE John Wooden Classic, at Pauley Pavilion back in December.

As I lay the scenario out remember two tidbits: 1) Dan Guerrero was the NCAA Selection Chairman AND the Athletic Director of ….drum roll….UCLA. 2) Recall the name of Renardo Sidney.

Renardo Sidney, Jr is a PF (6-10 250) that is originally from MS, left to go play AAU BB w Reebok in LA, went to Fairfax High School basketball factory. Coming out it is down to UCLA or USC. He commits to play at SoCal. There was a teensey weensy little problem @ USC, regarding Men’s Hoops – AJ Mayo and Tim Floyd scandal is breaking out; and BY APPEARENCES it seems more stuffed shoe boxes were being delivered to Renardo Sidney, Sr. who was living in a $1.6M home off a AAU BB HC salary (b4 mentioned team that Jr was playing on- Sound vaguely familiar, cough, Reggie Bush???). The NCAA had cleared Sidney to play for SoCal. Pops and son reconsider and decide to move back home. Rick Stansbury and MSU step in and show the love, by all accounts without the extra beenies and boxes. He signs a LOI w MSU; however the NCAA doesn’t clear him academically this time. The final ruling is that Renardo Sidney is forced to sit out this year while – AFTER ALREADY BEEN CLEARD ONE TIME THRU THE NCAA’S OWN CLEARINGHOUSE!

Fast Forward to this past Sunday, Minn and Miss St are left on the Bubble. Now by all accounts you have 2 under performing teams both reached the conference finals, both had to have long runs in the tournament, both did. One lost by 20; the other took a #1 seed team to double overtime. The team that looked WORSE, by a wide range, got IN- huh???!!??

I am just saying that Dan Guerrero had a couple of LARGE motivations to look for the negative reasons as to why to exclude MSU (vs include ‘em in the dance). One, he gets a measure of payback on a public, professional level from MSU for showing the Bruins up pre-Christmas at Coach Wooden’s Holiday party (UCLA played 3 other non conference teams that got in – lost to all also, but by MUCH smaller margins; Butler by 2; Kansas by 12 and ND by 11) and on a private, personal, professional (pardon the pun) level of payback at Renardo Sidney for originally choosing SoCal and NOT CHOOSING UCLA –TWICE, with one anonymous vote in favor of Minn. Second, surely no other team under consideration has fought the NCAA harder than MSU this year, to get Renardo Sidney cleared. Some of the back and forth has been “chippy”. There was no way on Gawds Green Earth that MSU was going to get rewarded by that same body. There are no emails of course to prove the allegation, but YOU KNOW that was whispered in Dan Guerrero’s ear somewhere in a hallway, and the message was clearly received, as evidenced by the results.

That scenario is all speculation and conjecture without any solid evidence that Renardo Jr or Sr received any payment from USC or Reebok or booster, that Dan Guerrero acted in any other way but with the highest degree of ethics as Chairman, or that any NCAA official(s) pressured, coerced the committee in any way to vote in favor or against any team. Nor did the NCAA provide the committee with any non biased statistic that would naturally lead to a conclusion ---- Just don’t leave common sense at home on the way out the door.

It is not like MSU was a #7 seed or #4 in the other division, no they were the # 1 seed in the West. What happened to all the pinhead's palaver that once Kentucky is relevant again that will make the entire SEC significant? What is concrete, what is real, is that once again the SEC, the South gets the snubbed again! Minn.--Cheese ‘n Rice. Utah St---Jeez.

As Dickie V would say, I’m going Bananas, Baby with a capital B!! And I don’t even like the other DAWG!


Sidebar topics: It is a National Championship Tournament and neither should be in the field. Trim not expand ----AAU BB and recruiting the most disturbing influence, facet, relationship that the NCAA has. ---The NCAA has an incestuous fascination, this bro-mance, this love fest with USC and Alabama. Really, I don’t get it. ……….OBTW Fairfax High appears to be more opulent than the Fairfax Inn in Leesburg, GA. The Inn however, according to new signage has just added internet service. I can’t imagine the hotel David Hale stayed at without service while covering the tournament.