Blog Entry

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Posted on: December 5, 2011 7:17 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 7:41 pm
 

The Sugar Bowl was actively seeking a trade of BCS teams with the Fiesta Bowl had Oklahoma beaten Oklahoma State, Sugar CEO Paul Hoolahan told CBSSports.com on Monday.

Hoolahan said he was in contact with Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas about working the deal that would have brought Oklahoma to New Orleans in exchange for Oklahoma State. That would have relieved Oklahoma from so-called “Fiesta Fatigue” by taking the Sooners had they lost Saturday to Oklahoma State. Per BCS procedure, the Sugar would actually had to take Oklahoma State with the first overall pick then wait until the selection procedure was over before working the trade for the Sooners.

Oklahoma has been in the Fiesta Bowl three of the last five years. The Sooners have played in New Orleans once since 1972. That was the 2003 BCS title game against LSU. The trade, of course, was predicated on LSU and Alabama remaining 1-2 in the BCS. It is allowable per the BCS contract. 

The Sugar ended up with Michigan and Virginia Tech.

“I was working with Neinas throughout the week prior to selections on a possible Oklahoma trade …” Hoolahan said. “We had that greased and ready to go.”

“A lot of time was spent looking at that,” he added. “A lot of time was spent looking at similar situations regarding Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech’s name didn’t come in out of the blue.”

A second source from the Fiesta Bowl confirmed the trade talks. Neinas did not immediately return a call for comment. Because it lost both LSU and Alabama as SEC anchors, the Sugar had the first and third picks in the BCS process. Michigan was the first pick.

While the trade talk doesn’t directly address the reason why Kansas State was left out of the Sugar Bowl, it does begin to explain the Sugar Bowl’s thinking. It needed a so-called “anchor” team to pair with a second participant. Michigan became a worthy choice and the potential trade was off when Oklahoma State beat the Sooners.

The Wolverines return to New Orleans for the first time since 1984. If there are less than 10 automatic BCS qualifiers, teams ranked in the top 14 of the final BCS standings that have won at least nine games are eligible for at-large selection. That explains the leeway BCS bowls have in creating their best matchup. 

An Oklahoma win in Bedlam likely would have put a second Big 12 team (Oklahoma State) in the BCS.  

While ticket sales didn’t figure to be issue in either of the possible games involving Michigan -- Michigan-Virginia Tech or Michigan-Kansas State – there are always television considerations. It could have been that Virginia Tech was a slightly better TV draw.

Virginia Tech itself is suffering from its own “Orange Bowl Fatigue” having been to South Florida as the ACC champion three out of the last four years. Still, the college football world wanted to know Monday why Virginia Tech made it over the more accomplished and higher-ranked Wildcats.

The two-loss Hokies come to New Orleans fresh off a four-touchdown beatdown from Clemson in the ACC title game. Virginia Tech beat one team (Georgia Tech) ranked at the time in the top 20. Its own coach, Frank Beamer, barely voted the Hokies within BCS at-large eligibility on his coaches’ poll ballot at No. 13. At-large teams in the top 14 are considered.

Meanwhile, Kansas State is ranked higher (No. 8, BCS) guided by a national coach of the year candidate in Bill Snyder.

Without getting into specifics, Hoolahan said it was  a matter of familiarity with Tech. “A fond relationship,” he called it. The Sugar contributed $250,000 to the school after the tragic shootings in 2007. This is the third time since 2000 and fourth time since 1995 the Hokies have been to New Orleans.

The Sugar Bowl doesn’t have a large volunteer base (125) which could also play into the decision. Compare that to the Fiesta Bowl which claims a volunteer base of close to 3,000. The Sugar is double-hosting in this BCS rotation, responsible for two BCS games within seven days.

With SEC powerhouses LSU and Alabama in the championship game, it could be one of the biggest and busiest weeks ever for the Sugar Bowl infrastructure. Anything to make the job easier – i.e. selecting a known commodity in Virginia Tech – could help.

Hoolahan called it inviting a “long-time friend and partner.”

The Sugar could also feel it is owed the freedom to make such a pick. Since 2008, it has hosted non-BCS schools Hawaii and Utah as well as the Big East’s Cincinnati. Essentially, the Sugar Bowl may feel it shouldn’t be criticized when it has taken teams with ticket and TV draw issues in recent years.

Those are lingering consequences of the BCS that will start to be dealt with when the commissioners meet next Jan. 10 in New Orleans.

Comments
bleedmaizenblue
Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:42 pm
This comment has been removed.

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bleedmaizenblue
Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:40 pm
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Since: Feb 2, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 8:37 pm
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Hoolahan called it inviting a “long-time friend and partner.”


Oh no, the BCS and bowl committee officials are not corrupt.  Not at all.



Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 8:18 pm
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

I think its funny to see the Michigan fans so arrogant because MSU has one more loss on their record. First of all they played 1 extra game than Michigan did because they werent good enough to play Wis. Not only did MSU play one more game they were able to because they beat Michigan correct? Im simply saying dont be so arrogant because had you beat MSU and got to play Wis you would have that loss on your record. Lets make it clear while we are at it....Michigan got the BCS bid because they didnt have to play in that game vs Wis and they travel better. Not to much to brag about if you ask me. Getting to go to a BCS game by default not by just being the better team. MSU proved they were the better team by beating Michigan. Next year they would be better off not going to the Big 10 title game and waiting on Michigan to lose so they may get the BCS bid.

Just a thought and no matter how you spin it. IT IS WHAT IT IS....Michigan vs VT in the WHO TRAVELS BETTER BOWL! 




Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:36 pm
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Well I guess that's where we'll just have to agree to disagree. I'd rather lose to a solid unranked team by 8 points on the road than lose at home to a ranked team by 41 points.





Since: Dec 6, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Hoolahan said, and I quote..."VT longtime friend and partner" and donated 250k to VT.  no choice but to pick them over a much better Kansas State team



Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:29 pm
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

I'll give you that one.  We had a bad half against the #14 team.  I'll still take that versus losing to an unranked team.



Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:24 pm
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Poor Michigan State fans.... still rationalizing.



Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:24 pm
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Poor Michigan State fans.... still rationalizing.



Since: Dec 18, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:21 pm
 

Hey Sparty Fans

If you are bitter about UM going to a BCS game while you didn't, let's remember that two of those "unquality" wins were against teams that absolutely took you apart.  (ND, Nebraska)

We lost less games, the rankings are what they are, we are ranked higher, we travel better, and will generate more money.  Love it or hate it, those are the facts.  See you and your dirty team in the Big House next year.



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