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: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:51 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

...and Miami had 3 players suspended as well.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:39 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

 They played and beat Miami in the Orange Bowl, one week after Miami worked Ohio State in Columbus.

Miami beat OSU in Miami, not Columbus, and that was before Dan Herron and DeVier Posey were reinstated for OSU.     &

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:33 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Miami, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Missouri???

Since when did beating a bunch of 7-5 and 6-6 teams become something to brag about?

K-State had 1 quality win this year, and it was by 1 point. 

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:26 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

'Fiesta Fatigue'

Talk about the dumbest thing I've heard since....the invention of the BCS

Can you imagine the Pac-12 champion or Big Ten champion trading to another BCS bowl game because of 'Rose fatigue' ? Was that what USC was suffering from at the end of their reign last decade? Puh..leeeese.

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:13 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

KeepItRed and BIG Ten,
I was responding to big ten's comment specifically...
"At least Michigan beat some quality teams." 

Arguments like his are based on the false notion that teams in the BIG are better than those in the Big 12.  Ask the computers and most experts and they will tell you otherwise.
If we use the polls as our guide for determining quality teams then Michigan has 1 quality win against Nebraska and 6 wins against the weak bottom half of the BIG.   Also, if you want to argue OOC, K-State did play at Miami and only has 3 OOC games because of the 9 game conference schedule.  

I think Michigan was selected not on merit but because of their tradition.  On paper K-State is the more deserving team otherwise they would not be ranked ahead of Michigan or VT, but the bowls are obviously about business and tradition sells. I get that, I don't like it but I get it.   

Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:08 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Dear Lord.....All I want for Christmas is a Playoff system...This BCS crap is a hugh joke and will never bring a true champion until a playoff system is in place 

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:08 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

big ten, you should do a little research before you ask who they played.  They played and beat Miami in the Orange Bowl, one week after Miami worked Ohio State in Columbus. That was one of the three OOC games for KSU this year.  We also played and beat Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Missouri and Texas Tech who were all ranked at one time this year as was Miami.  We played 8 ranked teams and had one bad half.  Who was your big victory, Nebraska? Really? 

Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:43 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

Wrongway- you missed my point entirely!!
My last statement was that Michigan was no less deserving then any of "the other medicore teams".
I'm including Michigan as one of those teams.

I too have no problem with K-State-only pointing out that depsite their ranking the separation between K-State and Michigan is so insiginificant that it is meaningless.

 At least Michigan scheduled and beat some decent teams out of their conference inclduing ND and San Diego State? Again no problem with K-State but once again who did they play?  Only point here is to demonstrate that we can argue all day about what is or is not important for these picks. Its all quite absurd. There is no correct answer. It is the BCS.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:04 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

It is about time that everyone in here starts to realize how the BCS and NCAA works.  They want 12 team Conferences that play conference championship games.  Do you need proof of this?  It is as obvious as the noses on your faces.  The 4 AQ Conferences that play conference championship games all have two teams playing in BCS Bowl games.  The 2 AQ conferences that do NOT have Conference Championship games only have ONE team playing in BCS games.  It is obvious that Kansas State was snubbed by the Sugar Bowl and that is one of the reasons why.  Oklahoma State was also snubbed by the BCS.  The Big 12 had better stop listening to Texas and cry baby Mack Brown and expand back to 12 teams and start playing a Conference Championship game again.  Just look at what happened to the Pac 10 before they expanded.  See USC in 2003, Cal in 2004, and Oregon in 2005.

Since: May 15, 2007
Posted on: December 5, 2011 8:57 pm

Sugar-Fiesta were talking OU-OSU trade

To wrongway, if that's your arguement against Michigan, please tell me who K-State has victories over. I see a victory over one ranked team (a squeaker against Baylor vs Michigan completely housing Nebraska) and an embarassment against Oklahoma. Don't get me wrong, I would have liked to see K-State playing Michigan in the Sugar, and I have nothing against them. But putting them up on this pedestal is just ridiculous. At the end of the day, the way the BCS works revolves around the $$. Everyone knows it, he!! they basically admit it. What you cannot argue is that Michigan fans will be at the Sugar bowl in droves, and lighting up the ratings boards. Unfortunately it's the world we live in, and I would think someone who knows as much about college football as you would understand that.

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