Posted on: May 7, 2009 11:04 am
Tennessee's newest football signee claims he had interest from 27 schools until they found out his criminal past.
My question is, how did it even get to that stage? It's shameful that apparently 27 schools got to the recruiting stage of Hood. Any reasonable effort to check his background would have produced his sordid past. One recruiting site said among the schools recruiting Hood were Florida State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, UCLA and Stanford. Stanford?
How many of those schools stayed on Hood after they found out about him? Here is evidence that Hood had at least two offers as long ago as 14 months.
This kind of reminds me of the case of Colt Brennan. The Hawaii quarterback served one week in jail after being convicted of burglary and felony trespassing while at Colorado. Brennan was able to reshape his life and become a Heisman contender.
But once again, felony trespassing is a loooong way from sexual assault. We can only hope that Hood makes Tennessee proud. I still say that UT doesn't need Hood given its recent past, its controversial present and its reputation in the future. Yes, give the kid a scholarship -- somewhere else.
I'm wondering how many kids are dying to attend UT but can't for financial reasons. I want Hood to tell them why he deserves the scholly more because he plays a mean defensive line.
• The Gallup Poll apparently has discussed the coaches in the coaches poll completely hide their ballots.
This came consultation with Gallup by the American Football Coaches Association.
If it happens, welcome back to the stone age. Gallup seems to think that there would be less pressure on coaches if the public didn't know how they voted, or even their identity. Currently, the 61 coaches release their ballots at the end of the regular season. At least we know who the 61 voters are. Now, even that shred of info might be hidden.
So let's recap: The national championship might be decided by 61 anonymous men who may or may not be actually voting, may or may not be voting their friends (or themselves) unethically high (or low) and who, no matter how this turns out, will continue to line their pockets with BCS bowl money based on their poll.
Where do we sign up?
Posted on: April 24, 2009 1:20 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 1:34 pm
Leftovers from this week's West Coast swing ...
BCS commissioners might soon have to consider penalizing one of its own. One of the issues that emerged from the recent consolidation of the two USC cases, is a possible lack of institution control violation. Both former basketball star O.J. Mayo and former Heisman winner Reggie Bush are alleged to have taken improper benefits.
The combining of the cases streamlines things and makes it more likely that one or both of the programs could be forced to forfeit or "vacate" games. In the case of USC football, that could include a pair of Pac-10 championships in 2004 and 2005 as well as the 2004 national championship.
That could put the BCS commissioners in the uncomfortable spot of having to remove that national title. Because the NCAA doesn't stage a championship in I-A football, a forfeit would affect Pete Carroll's victory total, Pac-10 titles, the NCAA football records book and the USC media guide. It would be up to the commissioners to actually take away the title.
That isn't going to happen. The commissioners don't want to get into the business of penalizing their own. But it does raise another question: Because a BCS title is essentially immune from NCAA sanctions, does that ratchet up the incentive to cheat to get one?
It's looking more and more like Bush acted on his own. But if a booster (or group of boosters) or even a school decided to cheat its way to a title, really, what are the disincentives? Florida State has its panties in a bunch because it wants to protect Bobby Bowden's victory total. Other than that, the biggest drawback to forfeits/vacates is embarrassment.
Especially when the upside is a possible national championship that can't be taken away.
• Incoming Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott made an appearance at the BCS meetings in Pasadena. One of the subjects being tossed around in the rumor mill is a network that would be a joint venture between the ACC and Pac-10.
While those are two disparate conferences at opposite ends of the country, they do share some of the same problems -- lack of exposure in football. Scott has poo-pooed nothing so far. It will be interested to see how far Pac-10 presidents want to go in terms of expansion and television.
The Ocean Network (Pacific/Atlantic, get it?) could feature early ACC games at 11:30 a.m. ET (beating the Big Ten by half an hour for the first major-college games of the day) followed by a featured Pac-10 game at 3:30 p.m. ET. (12:30 p.m. PT).
Don't worry so much about game quality. Some of those early Big Ten games are dogs but they get good ratings because fans just want to see football as soon as possible on Saturday. A Wake Forest-Maryland game at 11:30 a.m. wouldn't be as distasteful as you might think.
As for that 3:30 p.m. window? The Pac-10 has to do something to get its games out of Saturday late night. While USC gathers most of the attention and ratings for the conference, you better believe that other conference members would welcome an afternoon time slot.
• Couldn't resist thinking of this while in L.A.: One school (USC) was staging a quarterback battle, while across town they're having a pillow fight (UCLA).
The spring opened with coach Rick Neuheisel opening the competition to replace/challenge Kevin Craft who threw 20 interceptions last year. Redshirt freshman Kevin Prince is the clear leader going into Saturday's spring game. Craft has fallen to third.
That brings us to the curious case of Chris Forcier. Sensing his future in Westwood wasn't assured, the brother of Michigan's Tate Forcier sought his release to transfer. One problem, once given his release, Forcier found no takers for him to play quarterback.
He did what any red-blooded disgruntled signal-caller would do, he stayed and switched to receiver. His prospects, if there are any left, are even worse at that position. To say that he is buried on the depth chart would be an insult to cemetery residents.
"Certainly you take your hat off [to him] for being willing to do things to help the team," Neuheisel told the Los Angeles Times. "But you can't just reward the great effort and slow down the team to create playing time, if it is not merited."
• How good is Washington's Steve Sarkisian? It seems that he was Nick Saban's first choice to be Alabama's offensive coordinator a couple of years ago.
• My new favorite quarterback, Navy's Ricky Dobbs, weighs in with his latest blog.
Ramblin' Ricky is upset after the spring game, talks about his dance moves and signs for the president -- five times.
• BCS coordinator John Swofford when he was quoted in an AP story that the commissioners would consider using a human committee to select teams in the future. Not true, according to a BCS official. Swofford was asked if he would consider parts of the Mountain West Conference eight-playoff proposal. He said, yes, using the human committee as an example.
I can't imagine the commissioners would come close to using a human committee. If you thought the polls and computers had flaws, think of the inherent biases that would come with humans picking the teams. Anyway, the point is that you can't unring the bell. Media are latching onto Swofford's comment ...
The Mountain West Conference is far from claiming victory after its proposal for sweeping changes to the current system of choosing a college football champion was pretty much swept under the rug at the Bowl Championship Series meetings in Pasadena, Calif., earlier this week.
But the league that is not one of the automatic qualifying conferences in the BCS did get in some jabs -- about 90 minutes' worth -- on Tuesday.
BCS coordinator John Swofford, in return, threw a bone to the conference that includes Utah and BYU.
The Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner said the BCS could adopt parts of the MWC's playoff plan. Specifically, he told The Associated Press that although the group is not likely to do away with its present system, the MWC's idea of forming a committee to pick the qualifying teams, rather than relying on computers and human polls, seemed to have some merit.
"A selection committee? Yes," Swofford said after the meetings concluded on Wednesday.
Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson flew back to league offices in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Thursday but was not granting interview requests, a league spokesperson said.
Thompson had to be upbeat, however, seeing as how he spoke before the meetings about his wish of just getting the proposal on the table for discussion, which happened. Thompson is well aware that change won't happen soon.
The issue now moves to presidents of universities, Swofford said, noting that BCS commissioners will meet again in June (in Colorado Springs, coincidentally) to discuss the matter further.
But the pressure has been turned up, and not just by the conference itself and other conferences that feel left out of the most lucrative bowls.
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff of Utah has launched an investigation into whether the BCS violates federal antitrust laws and Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah has pushed for the BCS situation to be on the agenda of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.
Swofford said after the meetings that BCS commissioners did not feel they were on shaky legal ground.
Utah's football team went undefeated last season, but was not chosen to play in the BCS title game that featured a pair of teams with at least one loss.
Posted on: March 22, 2009 7:54 pm
His name is Lazar Hayward and he just took the place of Tyus Edney in the minds of Missouri fans.
In perhaps the most exciting finish to a tournament game to date, Marquette's Hayward stepped over the line while inbounding the ball against Missouri with his team trailing by two with 5.5 seconds left.
Marquette looked like it had completed a furious comeback from 16 down in the first half by taking a late lead, but Missouri's Kim English came off the bench to sink two free throws with 5.5 left. Guard J.T. Tiller had been fouled on the play but was too injured to shoot. Marquette was forced to foul, Missouri went ahead by four and that was that.
Who is Tyus Edney? He's the UCLA guard who beat Missouri in the same city (Boise) 14 years ago with an end-to-end rush. It looked like something similar was going to happen again as Hayward tried to inbound. Missouri was pressing in the backcourt but, just like 14 years ago, it failed to put a man on the ball. It didn't matter. Hayward didn't have a man open, hesitated, and let his right foot step over the line.
Missouri will take it as it heads to Glendale, Ariz. to play a Sweet 16 game. That West Regional final still shapes up to be UConn vs. Memphis, but Purdue and Missouri will have something to say about that. See you there.
Posted on: February 11, 2009 1:04 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2009 4:06 pm
The feeling seems to be that Mike Leach will let the deadline expire for signing a new contract on Tuesday. I wrote about the situation on Wednesday.
That leaves him only two years left on a deal that is paid him $1.75 million in 2008, eighth-highest in the Big 12. More important, Texas Tech could be assured that Leach would be on his way out. Allowing him to walk after the 2010 season would not only hurt recruiting but probably distract Leach who would be looking for a new job.
That's not to say a new agreement couldn't be worked out at some future date, but giving a sitting coach a deadline to sign a deal is unique.
Here is a copy of what is believed to be Leach's current contract.
• A look at the 2009 Pac-10 non-conference schedule: (Thanks to the San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner who rounded up the skeds)
Once again the Pac-10 is showing it isn't shy about playing out of conference. The league plays few I-AA opponents and is willing (maybe because of its geography) to travel to play high-profile opponents.
Best 2009 Pac-10 non-conference games:
1. USC at Ohio State, Sept. 12 -- Game of the Century No. 1,317. Will this be Terrelle Pryor's coming out party?
2. Utah at Oregon, Sept. 19 -- By this point in the schedule the Ducks will have played Boise, Purdue and Utah. Three BCS league opponents. Combined record from 2008: 29-9. Please, stop the madness. Even if the Ducks win all three, what condition will they be in for the Pac-10 schedule?
3. USC at Notre Dame, Oct. 17 -- Seven in a row and counting for the Trojans ...
4. Oregon at Boise State, Sept. 5 -- Can't understand why Oregon (and Oregon State) keep playing the Broncos. In this case, the loser might be out of a BCS bowl.
5. UCLA at Tennessee, Sept. 12 -- Rick Neuheisel won't be leading any postgame pep rallies in Neyland. When was the last time the Bruins and Vols were each this desperate for a quarterback?
6. Arizona State at Georgia, Sept. 26 -- The Devils were embarrassed by the Bulldogs last season in the middle of a six-game losing streak. In this return game, both teams are rebuilding.
7. Cincinnati at Oregon State, Sept. 19 -- Jacquizz Rodgers vs. the defending Big East champions.
8. LSU at Washington, Sept. 5 -- What is the Washington AD smoking? That brutal non-con schedule helped get Tyrone Willingham fired. Steve Sarkisian starts his career against an SEC monster.
9. Notre Dame at Stanford, Nov. 28 -- Irish season finale. Will it be Charlie Weis' finale?
10. Kansas State at UCLA, Sept. 19 -- Wait, Bill Snyder is actually getting on a plane to play a non-con road game?
11. Arizona at Iowa, Sept. 19 -- The Wildcats are on the rise but Iowa still start the season ranked despite the loss of tailback Shonn Greene.
12. Stanford at Wake Forest, Sept. 12 -- The I.Q. Bowl. Jim Harbaugh's scheduling instincts have to be questioned. His team is starting with consecutive roadies to Pullman (Washington State) and Winston-Salem.
13. Cal at Minnesota, Sept. 19 -- Gophers have almost everyone back in this season that will be a referendum on Tim Brewster's future. (started 7-1, finished 0-5). Hope the Bears have a secondary. Adam Decker could be a preseason All-American.
14. Maryland at Cal, Sept. 5 -- Plenty of revenge motive here for the Bears. Cal was down 28-6 after three quarters last season at Maryland before waking up. After winning nine in '08, the Bears have set their sights higher.
It is the responsibility of this space to keep alive the printed word whenever possible. To that end, let me recommend two excellent, recently-released books.
"KU Basketball Vault, The History Of The Jayhawks," is a unique look at one the most decorated programs in hoops by veteran college basketball scribe Ken Davis. Unique? When was the last time you got souvenirs with your coffee table book?
"Big Boy Rules, America's Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq" will change your entire view of the war, the government and human nature. Steve Fainaru of the Washington Post provides a deeply personal look at the Bush travesty that is the Iraq war. Steve is a Pulitzer Prize winner who was a former colleague at the Kansas City Star.
I know, I know. I can hear you. That's as close as I'll ever get to a Pulitzer.
Posted on: February 6, 2009 11:22 am
Edited on: February 6, 2009 5:14 pm
Dear Pat Summitt:
Please excuse Lane Kiffin for, in some small way, taking away from your accomplishment.
It was a night to celebrate a career milestone. Instead, some of us were distracted by Senor Smoke's flaming of Urban Meyer. You didn't deserve that.
Pat, just to remind everyone: You've won 1,000 games. The Laner has called out Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer and is 0-0 as a college coach.
• Let's hope Ka'lial Glaud takes his classes more seriously than he takes his college choice.
Heads, stay in bed, tails, go to history lecture?
Don't laugh. Glaud signed a letter of intent with Rutgers this week because the Scarlet Knights came up tails when he flipped a coin. It was down to West Virginia and Rutgers. Glaud was conflicted so he went Harvey Two Face. The three-star linebacker from Atco (N.J.) Winslow Township raises some interesting possibilities for future coin flips.
Heads, go to the post-game party; tails, study?
Heads, drive the booster's Escalade; tails, keep driving your beat-up '88 Corolla?
Heads, Heinken; tails, Natty Light?
Heads, start a fight outside a bar at 3 a.m.; tails, study?
• I want Dre Kirkpatrick to fail. Maybe that's too harsh. I want what Dre Kirkpatrick represents to die off.
The nation's No. 1 defensive back committed to Alabama on Wednesday, but it was the way he did that turned the stomach. In front of a supportive hometown crowd, before cameras televising the vent live, Kirkpatrick played out the time-worn practice of putting on his new school's hat to announce his decision.
But it was the way he did it that turned the stomach. Kirkpatrick baited the crowd. Created some theater. "Ya'll ready?, he asked, then pulled a gym bag out from underneath a table. From inside the bag came a plastic bag and finally a red velvet box.
Sufficiently teased, the crowd yelled its approval as Dre pulled out the Alabama cap. His left arm in a sling (the result of a recent shoulder operation), Kirkpatrick then told his audience, "I'm not afraid of Julio Jones," referring to the Tide's freshman All-American receiver.
Somebody give me a barf bag. Kirkpatrick is the latest embodiment of the sense of entitlement some of these recruits get. Kirkpatrick is recovering from surgery, hasn't even enrolled -- much less taken the field -- and has called out a future teammate.
Why do I get the feeling this kid is going to crash and burn, spectacularly, in T-town?
• High school powerhouse Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas took care of one side of the ball. Now what can coach George Smith do on the other side? Smith's program produced an incredible 11 players who signed letters of intent this week. Raiders populated rosters from Ohio State to Notre Dame to the Ivy League. The Raiders were the nation's No. 1 prep team in 2008.
• A fine story by Ken Gordon of the Columbus Dispatch describing "The Pryor Effect". It seems there is a quarterback who was willing to commit knowing he'd have to wait at least two years behind Terrelle Pryor.
• UCLA not only finished in the top 10 nationally, it sent a message down the 110.
Posted on: January 26, 2009 2:50 pm
I'm not one to chase my tail on recruiting but the news from Hawaii on Monday was surprising.
Linebacker Manti Teo has eliminated BYU from his list of finalists saying he was "too comfortable" with the school. Teo has several relatives in the Salt Lake City/Provo area. BYU had been the odds-on favorite because Teo had told all recruiters that he intendede to take his LDS mission when he turned 19. BYU, obviously, is experienced at that sort of thing.
His recruitment is turning into one of the better stories of the season. Teo, a devout Mormon, has narrowed his choices to a private catholic institution (Notre Dame), another private school (USC) and a state school (UCLA). The two California schools almost make sense. Almost. Notre Dame is completely out of the box. I checked around and it looks like Notre Dame may have never had a Mormon player on its roster. There is a small LDS population in South Bend, Ind. and St. Joseph County.
However, ND types think Teo can play right away. Charlie Weis has been to the islands at least twice recruiting the kid. Teo is probably one of the reasons Notre Dame chose to play in the Hawaii Bowl.
The kid is supposed to announce his choice next week, maybe on signing day. Stay tuned.
Posted on: December 10, 2008 12:44 am
My Heisman ballot:
1. Tim Tebow
I can't give you a quantitative reason why Tebow is my No. 1. His numbers are down from '07. However, after watching him lead that fourth-quarter comeback against Alabama, it's more of a feel, an emotional reaction.
I go back to Sept. 27 when Tebow basically called his shot after the Ole Miss loss and then delivered! Nine wins in a row. Go back and at the quotes from that day. Tebow as Babe Ruth pointing his bad toward the Wrigley Field bleachers.
Until Saturday, Bradford was my guy. I had started hyping him for Heisman back when he was a freshman. How many players ever have led the country in pass efficiency two years in a row?
It's hard to vote Colt McCoy third when he took a team with a mediocre offensive line and led it in passing and rushing. The point is, I can't slide a piece of paper between the three of them.
The voters: John Adams, Knoxville News Sentinel; Tony Barnhart, CBS; Mark Blaudschun, Boston Globe; Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman; B.G. Brooks, Rocky Mountain News; Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Brian Davis, Dallas Morning News; Mike DeArmond, Kansas City Star; Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com; Michael DiRocco, Florida Times-Union; Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle; Scott Ferrell, Shreveport Times; Anthony Gimino, Tucson Citizen; Herb Gould, Chicago-Sun Times; Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune; Mike Griffith, Knoxville New Sentinel; Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune; Matt Hayes, Sporting News; Tommy Hicks, Mobile Press-Register; Ron Higgins, Memphis Commercial Appeal; Mark Janssen, Manhattan Mercury; Todd Jones, Columbus Dispatch; Blair Kerkhoff, Kansas City Star; Ted Lewis, New Orleans Times-Picayune; Mike Lopresti, Gannett Newspapers; Tom Luicci, Newark Star-Ledger; Ray Melick, Birmingham News; Rodney McKissic, Buffalo News; Brett McMurphy, Tampa Tribune.
(Two voters did not want their names used)
The rest of the national awards, etc.
There's a difference between the Heisman winner and MVP. McCoy did more with less. Texas wouldn't be in the conversation without him.
Best quarterback: Bradford
This is getting confusing so let's just drop it.
Best running back: Shonn Greene, Iowa
The nation's No. 2 rusher came on in the second half of the season to surpass Michigan State's Javon Ringer and UConn's Donald Brown as the most consistent ground force in the nation.
Best receiver: Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
This was tough. I recently shifted away from Missouri's Chase Coffman who was too injured at the end of the season to back up a spectacular first eight games of the season.
The 6-foot-6 inch Gresham gets opens, is hard to tackle and has speed. Need anything else?
Best offensive lineman: Andre Smith, Alabama.
He is what coaches look for when they recruit left tackles. A case can be made for Smith, the likely Outland Trophy winner, being Bama's MVP. Without him protecting John Parker Wilson and carving out holes for Glen Coffee, the Tide don't start 12-0.
Defensive player of the year: Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
From a troubled beginning, this voracious tackler became the foundation for one of the best statistical defenses in history.
Best defensive lineman: Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
Ask BYU's Max Hall what he thinks of the nation's sacks leader In their October matchup, Hughes sacked Hall three times.
Best defensive back: Eric Berry, Tennessee.
Lane Kiffin should be at Berry's house right now making sure he's happy, comfortable and ready to take 20 snaps a game on offense.
Best special teams player: Kevin Huber, P, Cincinnati
You won't find many other All-Americans on the best Cincinnati team in history that won 11 games and the Big East. We'll give it to Huber who bombed 20 punts more than 50 yards and dropped 20 punts inside the 20.
Remember when Cincinnati used to be a basketball school?
Freshman of the year: Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State
How did he get from Texas to Corvallis?
Coach of the year: Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
Staff of the year: Penn State
The Broyles Award is doing a disservice to Penn State. The honor goes to the assistant coach of the year. Not only were there no Penn State assistants among the finalists, the Broyles folks didn't do the right thing and pick the entire Penn State staff.
With JoePa ailing, his staff basically took over and led the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten title. Big ups to defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, defensive line coach Larry Johnson and quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno. They were the glue.
Biggest disappointments: Georgia, Notre Dame, South Florida, West Virginia, Michigan, Tennessee, the ACC, the Pac-10.
Biggest surprises: Oregon State, Ball State, Alabama, Buffalo, East Carolina, Rice, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech.
Sometimes you just live right: Charlie Weis almost got run out of town after a 6-6 season. His reward? A trip to the Hawaii where he can continue to recruit linebacker Manti Te'o.
Don't give me any of this stuff about a dead period. Te'o will be a captive audience as the Irish take over Oahu.
Best games: Texas 45, Oklahoma 35, Oct. 11 in Dallas.
The winner usually wins the Big 12 South and competes for the national championship. Right? Right?
Texas Tech 39, Texas 33, Nov. 1 in Lubbock.
Not to pick on the Horns here but the reason they are playing Ohio State instead of Florida is Crabtree's game-winning catch with one second left.
UCLA 27, Tennessee 24 (OT) Sept. 1 in the Rose Bowl.
Tennessee's defense held UCLA's Kevin Craft to only four interceptions in the first half. Then, in his best performance of a long, long season, Craft rallied the Bruins in the second half.
Rick Neuheisel led a post-game pep rally.
Florida 31, Alabama 20, Dec. 6 at the SEC championship game.
The BCS was smiling as the closest thing to a national semifinal was played out in front of the largest Georgia Dome crowd in history.
Whine of the year: Pete Carroll and USC
You lost to a team you weren't supposed to (Oregon State). You paid for it in the polls. Deal with it. Maybe the difference between that and Florida losing to Ole Miss? Urban Meyer has made a habit lately of winning the big ones <em>and</em> the little ones.
Six teams ranked No. 1 during the season (the most since 1984)
Alabama arriving a year early (at least) under Nick Saban
Utah, TCU and BYU making a huge statement by the Mountain West: The BCS doesn't belong to the six power conferences.
Notre Dame's collapse from 4-1 and Weis barely hanging on for another year.
Oregon State beating USC and chasing its first Rose Bowl in 44 years.
Coaches in waiting.
Coaches waiting in line ("resigning" in the middle of a season).
The end of a Bowden (Tommy).
The continuation of a Bowden (Bobby).
The longing of a Bowden (Terry, to get back in the game).
Nate Davis' gloves.
Jay Jacobs' "shock" over Tommy Tuberville's "resignation."
Tennessee goes from old school to youngest coach in the country.
The (sad) state of Washington. (Combined records of the Huskies and Cougars, 2-22).
Big 12 quarterbacks.
Big 12 offenses.
Big 12 top 10 games each week.
The Big 12 surpassing the SEC, if only for a moment, as the best conference in the country.
The tie in the Big 12 South.
The cry that followed.
The high road.
Running it up.
Calling off the dogs.
"To me that's a little ridiculous," Bradford said.
That's a good way to end it, for now.
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Ball State, Buffalo, BYU, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Gerogia Tech, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Pac-10, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rice, South Florida, TCU, Tennessee, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah, West Virginia, West Virginia
Posted on: December 8, 2008 7:38 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2008 11:22 am
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.
--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)
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
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 8 West Virginia
Regular season national champion: Ohio State
No. 1 Florida vs. No. 8 Oklahoma
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.
Tags: Alabama, Arizona Cardinals, Auburn, Baylor, Boise State, Buffalo, Colorado, Florida, Florida state, Georgia, Iowa State, Kansas, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York Giants, North Carolina, North Texas, Ohio State, Oregon, Rutgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas-El Paso, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin