Blog Entry

Random thoughts on a football Saturday

Posted on: November 30, 2008 12:55 pm

It is only beginning to rain frogs in college football. That's what is known in the bible as a plague. In a coaching sense, put on your hard hats. Here come the croakers.

A plague of job losses has barely started. Three more coaches lost their jobs on Saturday -- game day for goodness sake! -- after sub-par showings. The most significant was Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom, less than a year removed from being the SEC coach of the year.

It's not going to stop there. Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick made cryptic and confusing statements about evaluating Charlie Weis after another embarrassing loss to USC. It seems to everyone who cares that Weis' job is definitely on the line but the coach talked of getting on the recruiting trail on Sunday. Meanwhile, his boss said the two might not talk for another week when Weis returns to South Bend.

News flash: Swarbrick will have little, if any, input into the situation. He has been on the job less than five months. He is a businessman, mostly. A lawyer, once the head of a string of internet-based radio stations. His bachelor's degree from ND in economics qualifies him to read Weis' contract, not go searching for someone to sign a new deal.

Notre Dame president Fr. John Jenkins and the trustees will make the call. It was Jenkins who gave Weis his 10-year contract after seven games. It is Jenkins who has been suspiciously quiet during this recent downturn.

If you want a couple of names, this is a blog so I'll just fire away. A former Notre Dame assistant called me out of the blue last week and mentioned Lou Holtz coming in to save the day with son Skip as a coach-in-waiting. That doesn't sound was wacky as it first reads. Lou could reunite ND Nation, recruit a little bit and seamlessly hand the program over to his son. If you haven't noticed, Holtz' East Carolina is playing for the Conference USA this week.

Urban Meyer's name will come up but in a very complicated way. Florida's coach has mentioned that Notre Dame was his dream job. Was. That was four years ago, though, when he was being courted by both schools.

One side of me says that if Meyer wins his second national championship in three years, there is not much more he can accomplish in Gainesville. The other, more sensible, side of me says that Meyer is just as likely to be a lifer at Florida. He's got resources, money, love, players and will be able to compete for a national championship every year for the foreseeable future.

The other short timer might be Auburn's Tommy Tuberville. There are only a handful of coaches better than him, but minds change fast on The Plains especially when the result of the Alabama game is involved. Getting shut out by the Tide might not save Tubs even after six consecutive Bama victories.

The Auburn trustees better be careful what they wish for. I was told the majority of them are in favor of dumping Tuberville but that wouldn't be wise. Their best coach is under contract. They're taking a risk if they get rid of him.

 Notre Dame could do worse than go after Boston College's Jeff Jagodzinski. The second-year Eagles' coach has BC in the ACC title game for the second consecutive year. He coaches as the second-most influential Catholic football school in the country. Like Weis, he has NFL experience. Unlike Weis in 2005, he has head coaching experience.

 The argument about the best conference in 2008 should be over. The Big 12 goes into the week with four teams in the top 20 of the BCS, two in the top three. The tiebreaker for me is simple: The Big 12's third-best team is Texas Tech, 11-1. The SEC's third-best team is Georgia? Ole Miss? Georgia just gave up 400 rushing yards to Georgia Tech.

Ole Miss had the league's best conference win (at Florida) but lost four games overall.

And don't talk to me about quality of competition. Georgia was the preseason No. 1. LSU was the defending national champion. Those schools combined to lose eight games.

 Players of the day on Saturday: Kansas' Todd Reesing turned in one of the guttiest performances of the season completing 31 of 57 against Missouri in the Border War. His game-winning touchdown pass to Kerry Meier with 27 seconds left capped an admirable career.

Georgia Tech's Roddy Jones ran for 214 yards against befuddled Georgia in helping break the Dawgs seven-game winning streak in the series.

 Heisman watch: 1, Sam Bradford, Oklahoma; 2, Colt McCoy, Texas; 3, Tim Tebow, Florida. The deadline for ballots is a week from Wednesday.

 I'm waiting for the Black Coaches Association to go nuts anytime soon. Kansas State dismissed Ron Prince and then re-hired Bill Snyder. There is no tangible evidence that K-State interviewed anyone else, much less an African-American.

After Croom's departure, the number of African-American coaches in I-A is down to three. The pressure will be tremendous -- as it should be -- for the Mississippi State to replace the first black head football coach in the SEC with another African-American.

Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong would be perfect as would Buffalo's Turner Gill.

 Just what the hell is Mike Leach talking about? He wanted the Big 12 South tie broken by graduation rates? Of course he does. After getting blown out by Oklahoma, one grabs onto any piece of hope one can.

Here's Leach after his team had to rally to beat Baylor to stay in a three-way tie it is not really in:

"I think they should break the three-way tie based on a graduation rate," he said after the game. "I think the Big 12 conference should have an executive session tonight. And I think when they do that they will find out that no one's more deserving than the Red Raiders to win the Big 12 South."

Texas Tech leads the Big 12 and is believed to be No. 2 among currently ranked top 25 schools with a 79 percent graduate rate. Texas is at 50 percent. Oklahoma is at 46 percent.

Oh boy.

 Oklahoma could be the first team since 1904 (and the third team ever) to score 700 points in a season. With 61 points on Saturday, OU now has 640 points with two games remaining -- Big 12 championship and bowl game.

The only teams to score 700 in a season were Minnesota in 1904 (725 points in 13 games) and Harvard in 1886 (765 points in 14 games) in 1886. Hawaii set the modern record last season with 656 points (46.9 points in 14 games).

 Consider this when turning in your Heisman ballot. Coming into Saturday's game Bradford had missed the equivalent of 1.24 games because he was removed early in blowouts. Against Texas Tech, he took his final snap with 13:54 left.



Category: NCAAF

Since: Nov 8, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2008 5:51 pm

Random thoughts on a football Saturday

You obviously don't know Mike Leach. Do you not know how off the wall he is? In all of the politicking by UT and OU he threw in some humor.....and a subtle shot at the other schools that TTU has a good football program....and they graduate their players. If you thought he was serious then you rally don't know much about him.

Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2008 7:24 pm

Random thoughts on a football Sunday while we're on random thoughts...I am currently watching the Broncos/Jets game and listening to Rich Gannon's biased take on every play.  Undoubtedly, nearly everyone can appreciate Farve's talent and skill, he's superior.  But the Broncos are playing like the skilled pros they are.  I realize Gannon is probably still tweaked over the many times Denver thrashed the Raiders; however, I am wondering if we could get some professionalism in play.  Would like to ask him to step up and let history be history.  Get over it already.

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