Updated Feb. 17
Gather 'round children. Got a project for everyone.
This is a chance for you to really make a difference, instead of just ripping yours truly. CBS SportsLine.com is interested in finding the nation's best walk-on. A guy who is not on scholarship or has earned one during his college career, doesn't matter.
We're in the process of gathering information for a project later in the year. If you've got someone in mind, please let us know. E-mail me at this space. The more, the better. We're stockpiling talent just like The Bear used to do.
Please provide as much information as you can so we can verify these humans' existence.
Meanwhile, here are your rants starting with the highly controversial best football-basketball schools story of last week ...
That list is laughable. How in the world can you not have West Virginia in your Top 5? They finished 11-1 with a Sugar Bowl win in football and are currently ranked No. 9 and No. 10 in the basketball AP and coaches polls.
Sam I Am:
I'll say this once: As I stated in the column, the list is a moving target. It can literally change BY DAY. Yes, West Virginia is top 10 in football and basketball RIGHT NOW. But before Pittsnogle and crew broke out last year, the Mountaineers had been a combined 14 games under .500 in the previous six seasons.
True, Rich Rodriguez has turned things around but I can't seem to recall all those Big East titles West Virginia won in football.
This list in general was about long-term commitment to both sports, fan interest AND current success. Remember, those are loose parameters meant to generate discussion.
Plus, it's no diss to leave West Virginia out of the top football-basketball schools. A few years ago (2001-2002 to be exact) the school wouldn't have been in the discussion. Football was 3-8 and basketball was 8-20.
But check with me next week. Things might change.
Louisville?? Not in football, they are still a long way from being a football winner. Shouldn't be in the top 25 of your list.
Louisville absolutely deserves to be in the list. Johnny Unitas? Fiesta Bowl? Five of the last six seasons with at least nine victories?
Not exactly Denny Crum territory, but it will do.
From: Kent Starr
Congrats Dennis for having the huevos to give Memphis and more specifically (athletic director) RC Johnson the recognition they deserve for not only turning around basketball and returning it to a level it should have never left, but for bring in Tommy West and turning around a football program that most believed was a lost cause. I am sure you will hear a lot of grumbles about calling us the 13th SEC school, though -- those guys are terrified of us. Give us BCS money, and we'd be dangerous!
Tennessee looks down its nose at Memphis, as does the rest of the SEC. But as long as West keeps pulling recruits like DeAngelo Williams, the Tigers will be a factor.
From: Tom Burns
Why isn't Kentucky on your football/basketball duo list? Oh yeah, the 'Cats suck at football AND basketball. Please find Tubby an NBA job.
Don't ask me, talk to Doyel. You might get your wish. Gregg is THAT influential.
Don't be a Notre Dame hater Dennis. "ND want to be like BC" ... hahahaha, you should go on Letterman ... you are too funny. As far as the basketball team goes ... yeah they are 1-8 in the Big East, but the team grade point average is 3.0.
Guess what? BC has the GPAs AND the jocks!
My good friend and I have had this debate for years. No school is great in both sports for a period of more than five years. We have always tried to find teams. Texas is real close right now but look at history, it just doesn't happen.
What do you think? Help us find a school that has been good at both for a period of 10 years, you cannot do it. Even look at the teams on there, besides Texas, no one has two teams with a legit shot to win it all. Great article, though.
Good point. It's hard to find a school that has been good in both sports for a decade. Notre Dame ebbs and flows. So does USC (in football) and UCLA (in basketball).
It's really difficult to commit the resources to both money-making sports. Plus, you've got to get a bit lucky hiring coaches in both sports who a) are successful and b) if they are, stick around awhile.
From: John Lynch
Can't believe you didn't include Michigan. One year of bad football and a rising b-ball program who will make the tourney. GA Tech?!? LOL. Get it together.
I recall a little thing called NCAA probation in basketball that knocked Michigan off this list.
N.C. State football? Check the stats, the only team that plays football in Carolina is the Tar Heels. We beat State two years in a row and won the basketball national championship.
State plays cupcakes in football and gets easy wins. Some day people, especially sports writers, will wake up and pay attention instead of just reading box scores.
N.C. State consistently fields better basketball AND football teams (combined) than Carolina. Don't even try to come at me with Carolina football.
Please, Dennis, please, don't ever assume that Jerry Falwell speaks for or represents anywhere close to a majority of evangelical Christians (Lord knows, Falwell, Liberty thinking big in football, Feb. 9).
Many of us are horribly embarrassed by the things he does and says. He may be the veritable Pope for slice of Christiandom, but it is a small slice all told.
Rev. John Jenkins at Notre Dame would certainly welcome your contributions.
Dennis, Your column on Liberty U. football is fascinating, yet disturbing. I have worked in higher education admissions for the better part of the past decade, and I have attended many college programs alongside Liberty representatives.
For Rev. Falwell to claim that Liberty is a selective university is appalling. The minimum GPA for acceptance is 2.0 and the SAT required is 800! If only 4,000 of 19,000 applicants will gain acceptance, then I would hate to see the ones they turn down.
Go get 'em on the football field, Jerry, but please do not claim to be anything more than lower tier university on a quest to grow your enrollment and rake in dollars for your cause.
In other words, Liberty pretty much fits the I-A profile.
D: I hope you don't mind me calling you D? Or maybe I should say DD? Anyway, I saw your Falwell story and the only thing that struck me as strange was that you took an unnecessary shot at Notre Dame.
Since when did the CFA become Notre Dame's responsibility. The last time I checked, we lived in a free-market society. Notre Dame got a chance for the B.B.D. (Bigger Better Deal), and we took it. That's life and it's how the game is played. Now friends of mine have said that you hate Notre Dame. I have not noticed that. But ...
Gee, and I thought Notre Dame was about the education of the mind and soul. Wow, you learn something new every day.
I live in Lynchburg, Va. ... and sports is all Jerry cares about ... his quote about taking it to another level ... pure BS. My mom worked in the accounting office when they were spending a $1 million on tennis balls ... oh, and go get his Sports Illustrated interview from the early '90s with football team in a big circle and his proclamation that Liberty would have 50,000 students by 2000 and be beating Notre Dame by the same time ... they cant even beat VMI, much less a good I-AA team!!
Matthew, Luke and John's homey:
Sounds like someone is turning water into whine.
From: David Keeling
Dennis, no one seems to be able to figure out what is happening with Vidal Hazleton, the WR from Virginia ... he committed and tried to send an LOI to USC, but was rebuked by his father. It was reported USC coaches were to get in contact with Vidal and his family to discuss things.
Hazelton's dad wants him to consider Penn State. Vidal visited State College this week. Still no word, but I've got to think his talents would be put to better use at USC than Penn State. But that's just me.
From: Jerry Prater
The absolute best way to shorten games is to reduce the number and length of commercial timeouts (Notebook: Rules changes won't shorten growing games, Monday). The rule change is great, but they should limit the number of challenges a coach can have in any game to three.
Preaching to the Jerry:
Wait a minute, you're saying the world doesn't need to see another World Series of Poker promo?
From: Drew Irvin
Dennis, please help, for once someone in the media is saying the right thing about the length of games. I pay for a ticket to the game. Why should I get less football because the networks need more commercials?
It's absolutely ridiculous to change the rules of a sport to facilitate advertising. Why don't they just charge more for less? Do they think for a minute that Budweiser won't pick up the tab?
I would settle for someone picking up my tab for Budweisers.