Posted on: April 10, 2008 12:49 am
Edited on: April 10, 2008 1:22 am

CFB national notes

Trying to sort out college football while wondering if Doyel scares small children sporting that dead beaver on his head ...

 Just wondering if Bill Self accepts that crazy/sick/monster money from Oklahoma State, what it does to the football side.


While $3 million is the new $2 million, college football has only one $4 million man in Alabama's Nick Saban. Does Oklahoma State's impending offer possibly cross sports and raise the bar for everyone. I'm told that hoops coaches around the country are hoping Self takes the money from OSU for obvious reasons. It would help everyone.

 Oregon offensive coordinator Chip Kelly added this nugget on how hard it is to evaluate talent: "All of us have only three weeks in December and three weeks in January (actually parts of November and February too for in-person contact). It's such a restrictive calendar, how are you evaluating someone that you're going to invest $150,000 in (in scholarship money) when all you have is bad high school film."


 Fresno's Pat Hill wasn't as upset as I thought when I called. Kansas State recently pulled out of a game to host the Bulldogs in September. It's almost unheard of do something like that less than six months until the beginning of the season. It was a heck of a message K-State coach Ron Prince was sending his players: We aren't good enough to beat a third-place team from the WAC in our own stadium.


"What can you say? It irritates me. (But) it worked out good for us," Hill said.

Thanks to a chance meeting with Greg Schiano at a Nike event, Hill started to find a replacement. A cable network getting involved and Fresno found Rutgers to replace K-State, in what will be one of the better early-season non-conference games. K-State picked up Montana State, an automatic W, to replace Fresno. Prince might be feeling some pressure to produce after sinking to 5-7 last season and lost the AD who hired him. Tim Weiser recently went to the Big 12 as a deputy commissioner.

Hill is used to such schedule shenanigans. His program long ago became too good for most I-A powers to play in non-conference games -- on the road or at home. Fresno is 12-14 against BCS-conference teams this decade but that's only half the point. Hill's anyone-anytime-anywhere philosophy means the Bulldogs have played an average of 3.25 BCS-conference schools each season since 2000.

Coming off a 9-4 season with 16 starters returning, Fresno arguably has the best chance of any non-BCS program to make it to a BCS bowl. The schedule gives them a chance. The season kicks off on Labor Day night at Rutgers. Wisconsin comes to Fresno on Sept. 13 before the Bulldogs visit UCLA on Sept. 27.

Hill has done himself no favors by battling some of the teams for which his team is supposed to roll over. USC had to fight to wire to win 50-42 in 2005 at the Coliseum. Fresno started 8-0 in 2001 beating Colorado, Oregon State and Wisconsin. Since 2004, Kansas State has lost twice to Fresno, including last season's 45-29 thrashing.

"If we were playing a real weak schedule, it would be a lot easier," said Hill who is entering his 12th season. "That's our niche, though. Not many West Coast teams are going home-and-home with us, and we're not going to play a bunch of I-AA games."

It's a Catch-22. Hill would have a better chance of going undefeated if he played an easier schedule, but that would make it harder to get a high BCS ranking. Playing a tough schedule gets the Bulldogs attention and a ranking, if they win. That's a big if.

Playing a weak schedule worked for WAC rival Hawaii last season. The difference was the Warriors at least were ranked going in (No. 23 preseason in AP).

"Lose and we just fall off the map," Hill said. "We just hate it."

 Notre Dame recently issued a tersely-worded e-mail to media covering the Irish. It basically warns media to stay away from recruits while they're on campus. Fair enough. Interviewing or photographing recruits while they are on campus can land a program in NCAA hot water.


Where ND stepped over the line is this passage: " ... any attempt by you or your staff members to contact ... any prospective student-athlete while they are in the South Bend area for the purpose of visiting our campus may be cause for sanctions ..."

Let's see, would that include a certain publicity-hound quarterback who called his own press conference "in the South Bend area" (College Football Hall of Fame, actually) to announce his commitment? We're talking about Jimmy Clausen who  sought the attention two years ago, coming to the press conference with an ESPN camera crew in tow.

ND has overstepped its authority with that last passage. On campus, we understand the concerns. Other than that, we can call recruits, we can call their parents, we can drive to their houses to interview them. We can talk to them when they come to campus -- just not on campus. Remember, these are recruits, public figures, not the property of Notre Dame.

If the school wants to keep us from interviewing the Jimmy Clausens of the world, tell the Jimmy Clausens to stop seeking the limelight.

 The play calling will stay in the family but Steve Spurrier is ready to delegate duties. http://www.charleston.net/news/2008


 A former big-time recruit at San Diego State is facing murder charges.



 This Joe Paterno contract situation might come to an end soon. One resolution being talked about is that JoePa goes on a year-by-year contract. Paterno doesn't seem to be concerned about the recruited repercussions. His current contract expires after this season.


 What kind of country club was being run at Michigan previous to Rich Rodriguez? Part of the reason given by offensive lineman Justin Boren for leaving the team is that linemen had to run to the line out of the huddle. 




Posted on: April 8, 2008 9:23 am

Rock Chalk Nation fantasy

Mark and Mike Komosa were stuck in traffic somewhere near Fort Worth on Tuesday morning.

The Flying Komosa brothers are a lot like their dad. They're never down. They could chat up an orange highway cone, so you can understand that the two KU students from Kansas City didn't really need a car 8 1/2 hours after their Jayhawks won the national championship.

They were indeed flying.

In reality, they were driving back from a trip that they will tell their grandchildren about 50 years from now. Twelve hours there from Lawrence to San Antonio on Friday. Twelve hours back after the national championship game, hoping to get back in time for a 3 p.m. players' celebration back in Lawrence. Classes were cancelled which is a good thing because Mike had a speech due.

For one weekend they lived the ultimate Jayhawk fan's fantasy. They won Final Four tickets in the student lottery and decided on the spot -- Animal-House style -- that a roadie was in order. How often do you get to see your school in, and win, a Final Four?

They crashed at the house of a friend of their dad's. They had a free-throw shooting contest with the young son of their weekend landlord who whacked them with a stick to ruin their concentration. Hey, maybe it carried over to Memphis' free-throw shooting.

Mostly, they smiled. All weekend.

It's no surprise that Mark and Mike were partying on the Riverwalk on Monday night when a friend got a call. Come on over to the Hilton, the caller said, you're invited to the players' VIP party. Understand that Mark is a friend of Kansas forward Sasha Kaun. The perfect night just got better.

They got their picture taken with the national championship trophy. A limited English vocabulary didn't get in the way of Olga Kaun, Sasha's Kaun.

"Guys," she said in her Russian accent, "We champions."

"She was so happy," Mark said. "She couldn't stop hugging Sasha."

The Brothers Komosa glanced over in one corner and saw Bill Self chatting with Larry Brown, two generations of Kansas national champion coaches. Into the conversation came R.C. Buford, Self's best friend, former KU assistant and GM of the San Antonio Spurs.

"It was really cool seeing the players around the people they love," Mark said.

It was like being backstage at the Oscars, except that that award ceremony is held every year. This one comes once in a generation, maybe. It had been 20 years since Kansas raised the trophy. This victory might have been every more dramatic than 1988. Danny (Manning) and the Miracles became Mario (Chalmers) and the Miracles when that epic three fell to force the game to overtime.

Chalmers -- a kid from Alaska -- threw one in from somewhere over the rainbow. Memphis? On its way down a Yellow Bricked Road.

Even Roy Williams wearing a Jayhawk sticker and cheering for Kansas, couldn't steal the moment. (Doesn't this guy get it? At that moment two schools were hating him).

I'm surrounded by Jayhawks every day, living in the Kansas county (Johnson) where a large portion of alums end up settling. LIke the rest of us in the Golden Ghetto, they drive their SUVs and sip their Starbucks. Unlike the rest of us, they whisper this secret language to each other that begins with the words, "Rock Chalk ..." Sure, they're annoying at times. But so are Ohio State and Alabama fans. When your life surrounds chasing a championship, you need to get a life.

But this was their moment, one that felt good to us outsiders too because of people like the Komosas. It was the same feeling I had when my Cardinals won the World Series two years ago. Times like these sustain you. Children yet unborn will hear the story of Monday night. Then they will become fans too. Their Mario, their Miracles await somewhere in the future.

Until then, drive safe guys, and remember -- the cones don't talk back.


Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 3, 2008 11:05 am
Edited on: April 3, 2008 6:07 pm

Off to San Antonio, a couple of things on my mind

This was going to be all basketball-related until Ryan Perrilloux decided to go knucklehead again this week. This is from the student newspaper at LSU about an alleged altercation at a Baton Rouge restaurant ...

Another employee at Kona Grill confirmed Wednesday (April 2) that Ryan Perrilloux was involved in a verbal altercation at the restaurant, saying the junior quarterback called a server "Osama."

The employee agreed to speak to The Daily Reveille under the condition of anonymity and said the incident occurred Sunday around 10 p.m.

Another Kona Grill server, Drew Watson, said he knew "all about the incident" but "already agreed to management not to comment."

Perrilloux entered the restaurant with an unidentified former LSU football player and three employees from Crazy Horse Cabaret, the anonymous employee said.

He said the group sat in the cocktail area and began drinking. Perrilloux, the employee said, began yelling obscenities and racial slurs to their server.

After some time, the employee said the server spoke to a manager and asked him to address the rowdy group.

The employee said a manager asked the group to leave, and after the manager threatened to call the police, the group left.

The employee said a manager e-mailed the LSU Athletic Department and said he would not serve any more LSU players until he received a formal apology from Perrilloux.

Kona Grill allegedly received phone calls from LSU coach Les Miles, an assistant athletic director and Perrilloux apologizing for the incident, employees said.

Watson is not the server who spoke about the incident nor the server who was harassed.

LSU Sports Information Director Michael Bonnette said no such incident occurred at Kona Grill.

"We don't have anything to say," Bonnette said.

The Daily Reveille contacted Assistant General Manager Scott Aldridge on Tuesday evening, and he said he did not have a comment regarding the incident.

"I've been receiving a lot of calls about that and would like to stop receiving calls at the restaurant," Aldridge said.

The Advocate reported Wednesday that Aldridge said "Perrilloux was at the restaurant Sunday evening but didn't cause a scene."

Casey Hicks, public information director for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, said the Sheriff's Office was not called out Sunday evening to Kona Grill.

Perrilloux's suspension from the football team was lifted this past week, and he was expected to return to practice Monday.

WJBO reported Tuesday that Perrilloux "will not be participating in Spring practice at all this year" because of "an incident at a local restaurant over the weekend."

Our favorite suspended quarterback appears to be done for the spring which is kind of a big deal considering the spring game is on Saturday. Link

I'm told the fact that Perrilloux will miss the rest of spring isn't related to the alleged restaurant incident, but stay tuned.

 When will people (meaning you, Doyel) get off the Tyler Hansbrough train?

I'm not here to trash the kid. He's really, really good. But to continually harp on his "effort" and his "trying real hard" makes me sick. To say Hansy tries harder than everyone else is an insult to everyone else. Does he play harder than Kevin Love? No. Does he play harder than Derrick Rose? No. The point is, those guys aren't exactly slackers.

Let's go ahead and assume that most players give maximum effort. Hansbrough just happens to have bulging eyes that makes him popular with the Sam Peckinpah crowd. Let's not confuse talent with effort. Hansbrough has both but he's not the most competitive mammal on the planet.

Try taking a dead mouse away from a wolverine. I don't know why I wrote that, I'm just passionate about the subject.

Mike Freeman's America-loves-a-tough-white-guy column  is still the defining word on the issue.

  A colleague this week asked me to rank the top 10 college basketball programs at this moment. Came up with this. 1. North Carolina 2. UCLA 3. Kentucky 4. Duke 5. Kansas 6. Louisville 7. Florida 8. Georgetown 9. Texas 10. Memphis

That was before Indiana hired Tom Crean. So let's wait and see if the Hoosiers can claw their back into the at-this-moment top 10.

  Joe Paterno doesn't need a contract? Careful, Joe, you might get what you wish for. 
Posted on: March 20, 2008 8:34 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2008 8:43 pm

Live from Omaha...

Just as I expected, Omaha is cool. The arena here, the Qwest Center, is still fairly new. It has great sight lines and, most of all, it's clean.

I was at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. While everyone has to go to the Garden once in their lives, it ain't much to look at. It's more about the people in the arena. My 11-year-old's ears were scorching when he heard a couple of f-bombs after a bad Rangers power play.

While we're on the subject, don't ever go to NY's St. Patricks' Day parade unless you're drunk. It makes it a lot easier when you're trapped in a crowd and feel like you're about to be smothered. 

Tuesday as a dream: Lunch with Rutgers SID Jason Baum at Cafe 31 across the street from the Garden. A short tour of the new CBS College Sports Television studios at Chelsea Piers. Then, the Rangers. All with my best buddy and wing man, Jack.

Back to Omaha: The media hotel is so close you don't have to go outside to cover this sucker. There's a covered bridge from the hotel to the arena. Even the cops are cool which, if you remember my trashing of the Ohio State Nazis a few years back, is key.

 To the basketball: Boring, isn't it? In the day session here, Kansas blasted Portland State (expected) and UNLV ripped Kent State (not so expected). Props to Kent State which did the MAC proud by scoring 10 first-half points. That ties the NCAA tournament record.

Someone, please give us an upset.

 With UCLA still to go on Thursday, No. 1 seeds are 93-0 against No. 16s all-time.

"I love being a No. 1 seed," Kansas' Bill Self said. "But I will tell you this: It is going to happen some time (a No. 1 losing). And when it does, it's going to be the forever highlight that you're always reminded of."

 The L.A. media is here in Omaha, which looks kind of weird. The last time that happened was ... September, actually, when USC played at Nebraska.

 Sighting: NCAA selection committee Mike Slive who has to be one of the hardest working men in show business. He was in Indianapolis with the committee on Friday when the tornado hit his tournament in Atlanta. He was up until 4:30 a.m. working with his staff on moving the games to Georgia Tech. Then he had to be up bright and early continue his selection duties.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com