Tag:St. Louis Cardinals
Posted on: December 8, 2008 7:38 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2008 11:22 am

Random thoughts on a football Monday

Colt McCoy is the Heisman leader in the prestigious Rocky Mountain News poll. Yours truly voted in it this season.

 Nagurski Award (best defensive player) went to a Big 12 player? Texas' Brian Orakpo was sixth in sacks and 11th in tackles for loss. Okaaay ....


CBSSports.com's All-America team (including our defensive player of the year) will be released on Friday.

 Once again, one person didn't vote in the Harris poll. That made it three times this season someone was missing from the 114-person panel.

 Eighteen coaches voted for their own school in the coaches poll. The individual ballots were released  Monday in USA Today. There were some interesting results.

--Oregon's Mike Bellotti voted for Cal (No. 25) but Cal coach Mike Tedford did not.

--North Carolina finished with six points in the coaches poll. Two of them came from coach Butch Davis who voted the Tar Heels No. 24.

--Mike Leach voted Oklahoma No. 1, Texas Tech No. 2 and Texas No. 5. No. 5? That at least equaled the lowest ranking of the Longhorns among the 61 voters.

--Nebraska got all of five points in the poll. Four of them came from coach Bo Pelini who slotted his Huskers No. 21.

--Most overrated team by a coach: Missouri. Gary Pinkel had his Tigers at No. 18. They barely stayed in both polls.

--Three five-loss teams finished with votes -- Kansas, Rutgers and Buffalo.

 Here are the combined top five of the seven Big 12 coaches who voted in the coaches poll. This is an issue, of course, because Texas finished .01816 of a point out of the BCS title game.


1. Oklahoma (five first-place votes)
2. Texas (1)
3. Florida (1)
4. Alabama
5. USC

The seven are: Art Briles, Baylor; Mack Brown, Texas; Dan Hawkins, Colorado; Mike Leach, Texas Tech; Gary Pinkel, Missouri; Gene Chizik, Iowa State; Bo Pelini, Nebraska. Only Chizik and Mack Brown had Texas ahead of Oklahoma on their ballots. Briles, Hawkins, Leach, Pinkel and Pelini voted Oklahoma No. 1.

Four coaches voted Texas No. 1 in the coaches poll. Amazingly, one of them wasn't Mack Brown: Chizik, Todd Dodge, North Texas; Rick Neuhiesel, UCLA; Mike Price, Texas-El Paso.

Chizik worked for Brown. Dodge played at Texas. Price played Texas this year was grateful for the Horns coming and filling his stadium. Neuheisel is the head scratcher but a lot of stuff The Rickster does causes us to scratch our heads.

 How my BIG playoff would have looked in 2006 and 2007:



Regular season national champion: Ohio State
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. USC

Playoff bracket

No. 1 LSU vs. No. 8 West Virginia
No. 4 Georgia vs. No. 5 Missouri
No. 2 Virginia Tech vs. No. 7 Kansas
No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 6 USC


Regular season national champion: Ohio State
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. USC

Playoff bracket

No. 1 Florida vs. No. 8 Oklahoma
No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 5 Wisconsin
No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 7 Auburn
No. 3 LSU vs. No. 6 Boise State

 The old lady next to us offered us a drink, she was guzzling gin out of a thermos. That much I remember from the last time the Cardinals won a division. Back in 1975 they were the St. Louis Cardinals and I was just out of high school.


Friend Jack Scanlan and I somehow scored tickets in the bleachers at old Busch Stadium to what was then the biggest football game in The Loo's history.  On a cold, cold day, Jackie Smith caught a touchdown pass and the Cardinals of Jim Hart, Terry Metcalf and Mel Gray beat the Giants 14-6.

It was a bigger deal then than it was today in Arizona. The Cardinals migrated from Chicago in 1960 and spent 27 mostly-frustrating seasons in my hometown. I still follow the Cards enough to know that the Bidwells are still the Bidwells.  Cheap and clueless.

Good on ya to Arizona, though. The city deserves a team to fit that magnificent stadium.

And, no, take the old lady up on her offer. I was only 18, besides I'm a vodka man.

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