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 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.


Since: Mar 1, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:12 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Stop using the ranking at the time of that game, as that is completely meaningless. Look at where OU is ranked now.
Totally agree! You don't get to make your conference schedule. You shouldn't get any credit for berating a winning team who is 1-0 if that team finished at 1-10.  Thus Michigan's claim that it beat teams with winning records OSU 6-5, Illinois Purdue  etc. is meaningless. They all finished at 6-6. Michigan beat 1(one) Big Ten team with a winning record and lost to eery other one it played.  It's body of work does not merit a BCS game.

Since: Oct 28, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:44 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

University of Michigan = Notre Dame

Both schools are living in the past. 

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:18 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Except that OU wasn't a top ten team. Stop using the ranking at the time of that game, as that is completely meaningless. Look at where OU is ranked now.

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:59 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

You keep harping on the OU game, which was 6 points at the half.  KSU fell behind and had to play out of character in the second half to try and get back in the game.  It didn't go well. No excuses,  a loss is loss.  But I can stomach a second half blowout loss to a top 10 team vs losing to an unranked team anyday. KSU was on the goal line for the tieing score as time expired against #3 OSU, so your Iowa rationalization just doesn't fly.   Even if there are bonus points for losing close, KSU would still have a better season than MU.

Since: Dec 6, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:56 pm

Join the BCS Boycott on Facebook!

Here's a link to the event.


Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:53 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Now compare that to KSU losing to Oklahoma in Manhattan by FIVE TOUCHDOWNS. I'm sorry, but that loss was much worse, regardless of OU's ranking.

My question to you here is whats the diffrence in KSU losing to OU by five touchdowns any different than VT losing by a combined 48 points in the two arse whippins they got from Clemson?  Are you saying its worse to get beat once by five touchdowns or lose twice by three touchdowns? I think Michigan deserves to be there because they had a strong schedule and good record. VT should not they proved that when they made that horrible schedule that my local high school team could compete with. Then losing not once but twice to the only good team on it. This VT team is the only problem I have with the BCS the others are deserving but VT no way I could even be convinced!

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:46 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

The Sugar Bowl can select anyone they want - they're absolutely safe this year in selecting as they were able to get the payoff of Alabama into the NC Game.    Lord knows they search hard enough for Patsy's to play SEC teams and unfortunately, it blows up on them from time to time.  

Ohio St 31 Ark 26 (yes, Ohio St finally beat an SEC team in a bowl!)
Fla 51 Cincy 24 (Big Least, not really responsible for this horrendous pick)
Utah 31  Bama 17  (too funny if not for the sheer arrogance of the SEC)
Geo 41 Hawaii 10  (Again, stuck with a crappy pick, at least Georgia made them pay)
LSU 41 Notre Dame 14  (money money money - and at this time, who wasn't beating Notre Dame in BCS Bowls?)
West Virginia 38  Georgia 35  (Valiant effort by Georgia to play in the 4th Qtr - but way too late)
      -oh, and the Big East should STILL be kissing WV's butt for saving their AQ status because the rest of the conference hasn't done diddley nor squat.

Auburn 16  Va Tech 13  (and people were asking - is this really the team we were feeling bad for being left out of the NC Game?  Maybe we were right to let USC have a year off so they wouldn't have to beat down Auburn 3 years in a row...)

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:36 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

So what this article is saying is...VT made it over Kansas State because of a tragedy that happened in 2007 and it has a bigger TV draw? This is BS and if it takes a school shooting to get a bid in the BCS something is so wrong here. I dont think anyone would doubt that KSU would murder VT and I find it to be repulsive this is what we are baseing bids on! VT had a cupcake schedule and the only team worth mentioning they played beat them down twice. This will be a blowout and a game not even worth putting on TV. I can tell you no person in my household will tune in for the simple fact that they dont deserve to be there. Im not saying WVU has a case either but they did at least win a share of the BE which isnt any worse than the ACC I dont care what anyone says. The ACC has no reason to deny the fact that while evryone points to the BE being the worst the truth is it was the ACC. I would have been fine with them giving the BE BCS bid to another deserving team like KSU or Boise but like I said it should be VT who is playing in any other bowl than a BCS one. They dont deserve it and quite frankly I would be pissed if I were KSU and boycott this crap!!

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:25 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Michigan = FAIL..

Jimmy22 = Ohio State fan= sore loser

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:22 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Interesting analysis.  Nowhere in your evaluation did I see your loss to Iowa? So you lost to average of 12 PLUS Iowa (ranking somewhere way outside the top 25) and beat 20 and 22.  KSU still has better numbers.  Let's look at the oddsmakers analysis of KSU this year: KSU was a dog in 8 of their last 10 and covered all but the OU game.  Won all but OSU and OU.  Does Bryan Power really know who should win?

Instead of just looking at rankings, you should also look at the margins of wins/defeats. If KSU could have at least kept it close again OU, then they would probably be in a BCS game. People tend to remember when you get blown out that badly on your home field.
There's no excuse for UM losing to Iowa this year, but it was extremely close, with Iowa needing a goal-line stand in the final seconds to win by a TD in Iowa City.  It was also somewhat controversial, with UM apparantly getting a TD pass that was ruled out of bounds.

Now compare that to KSU losing to Oklahoma in Manhattan by FIVE TOUCHDOWNS. I'm sorry, but that loss was much worse, regardless of OU's ranking.


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