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

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 1:26 am
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

  And it's NOLA, not KSU, that's a 16-hour drive from the campus of Kansas State, of course.



Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 1:23 am
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Where I wrote "Purdue" in my last, I should have wrote "Penn State".



Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 1:20 am
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Superomaha wrote: "They are all 7-5 because the big 12 was actually pretty tough this year and they beat each other up.  Take the bias out of the polls and look at the computer rankings to see which leagues are tough. Even in the BCS final, the big 12 had 3,8,12,14 and 24 (average 11).   The B1g had 10,13,17,20 and 22 (avg 16) and you played 2 of those 5 and won one of the 5, plus you lost to Iowa. KSU played all 4 and beat two of them." Let's delve into those figures a bit. First, throw out KSU's and UM's own rankings. Averages narrow, Big12=13 and B1G=17. Next, consider the averages of those opponents you segregated out. KSU lost to teams with an average finish of 8.5 and beat teams with an average finish of 18. UM lost to #17 and beat #20. Then again, let's ask some REAL experts, the fellows who more or less work for the guys with the bent noses. I chose Bryan Power at COVER.COM for the seemingly fair reason that his power rankings came up first when I googled for a professional tout. He's got OKST #4, OU #10, Baylor #17 and UT #23. Similarly, he has UW #7, MSU #12, and NEB #20. Purdue he ain't got, but he DOES have Notre Dame, which Michigan beat, at #22, so I'm substituting. (Michigan DOES play them every year now, plus it's all but inevitable that they'll join the B1G at some point; they're still a bit cheesed that their offer to join was politely declined back in the day.) KSU he has #19 and UM #14, but we'll leave aside the mere opinion of a professional oddsmaker, in favor of the amateurs, about that. (Cough-cough.) KSU lost to an average of #7 and beat an average of #20. UM lost to #12 and beat an average of #21. Now, that looks reasonably even to me, my friend. What's uneven is the reliability of the two schools in generating revenues for the host community and ratings for the network. Michigan wins hands down, because they travel well EVERYWHERE, whereas Kansas State only does so reliably within a day's drive from home; KSU grads and fans outside of Kansas mostly live in the southern plains and the front range. KSU is a 16-hour drive from campus. Michigan, on the other hand, has grads and fans EVERYWHERE. (When I, a mere fan, was living in Houston in the early 1980's, UM played UCLA in the Bluebonnet Bowl in the Houston Astrodome. The sponsors were ecstatic about ticket sales and, then as now, the Bruins didn't and don't travel at all well. (Southern Californians can't even be bothered to support their own NFL team, much less go anywhere else but New York City.) I and my neighbors, recent graduates all, got together and bought a 20-some seat block. I don't think there were more than one or two UM alums in our group, but we had eager buyers from Virginia and New York and Cleveland, Ohio. Hey, we bother. We care. Just as do Va Tech fans, which is why the Sugar Bowl Committee, and the NOLA business interests that they represent, do so love them some Hokies. (It's not like falling on their swords a few years back by picking Hawaii did them much good. Rainbow Warriors can't even be bothered to fill one of the smallest venues with some of the cheapest ticket prices in D-I. They've got to get straight with the networks and the local tourist industry sometime, or the Sugar Bowl will go the way of the Cotton Bowl after King Cotton became Big Oil's and Big Banking's and the Fortune 1000's court jester.



Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 1:07 am
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

The BCS is NOT, nor was it ever, intended to place the top 10 (or 8, back until a few years ago) teams in their 5 (or 4) games. 



Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:12 am
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

biscoff wrote: "Boise State and Kansas State are both FAR WORTHIER than M and VT.  VT got blown out last year by Stanford and they were the Champs.  Michigan is all about money.  Big alumni bases...what a great criteria for selection.  VT has a "fond relationship".  I wonder if that translate a pay off!  This guy Hoolahan should be investigated.  I'm not a fan of any of the teams involved but the Sugar Bowl selections are a JOKE." Precisely for whom do you imagine Houlahan works, dude? Bowl committees are ad-hoc, (ideally) self-sustaining civic organizations. They were created--and are perpetuated--to meet any of a variety of felt needs. Usually this did and does mean some combination of tourist industry and civic promotion. Getting butts into seats and dollars into cash registers is why there ARE bowl games at all. Now that TV rights fees (which mostly flow to the schools) have become a crucial part of the equation, the bowl committees need also look to the networks' future willingness to fork over the cheddar, so they must also try to get good ratings. In short, these guys don't work for you or "the fans" or some big-nosed bunch of Congressmen or journalists. They work for their own interests, which seems only fair. That, I'm guessing, is what YOU do. If not, then you're maybe as big a fool as you come off. (Nothing personal intended, believe it or not. You've got millions or tens of millions of people for company. The truly amazing thing is that a majority of them are almost certainly sympathetic to the Tea Party. Which makes their and your impulses here so peculiar, those being decidedly communistic.)



Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:05 am
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

They are all 7-5 because the big 12 was actually pretty tough this year and they beat each other up.  Take the bias out of the polls and look at the computer rankings to see which leagues are tough. Even in the BCS final, the big 12 had 3,8,12,14 and 24 (average 11).   The B1g had 10,13,17,20 and 22 (avg 16) and you played 2 of those 5 and won one of the 5, plus you lost to Iowa. KSU played all 4 and beat two of them.



Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:56 pm
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Call'in BS on the Sugar
The most corrupt state in the nation,,, well Illinois possibly excluded,,,  and they say it is 'familiarity'..... ahhh stop trying to blow smoke up our a$$ Sugar Bowl 



Since: Sep 23, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:40 pm
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Michigan is indeed a worthy participant in the Sugar Bowl.... if you live in "The Matrix"!



Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:14 pm
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

VT has 0 wins against BCS Top 25 opponents.


LoL.


That's why it is still 11-2. 



Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:12 pm
 

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

UM has a soft schedule and lose to IOWA of the world

VT is a joke playing in a joke of a conference 

Sugar bowl execs have to be real stupid to think than UM-VT will generate higher ratings than say a UM-KSU

Who is interested in watching VT get smoked once again by a mediocre UM ?

 


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