Friday, December 07, 2007

Ugly Uniform of the Day

I have been accused of playing favorites with ugly uniforms. Yes, I have been known to throw schools and teams under the bus that I don't like. However, today, I am forced to attack a school and program that I love.

The University of Oklahoma men's basketball team came out in these gray uniforms on Wednesday night against the University of Tulsa. This is a fashion no-no. The Sooners' colors are crimson and cream. They wear white in place of cream. Gray is not their color. The Sooners looked like Ohio State. Now I wish they could recruit like Ohio State, as the Buckeyes rode two NBA lottery picks to the national championship game last year. However, gray is a no-no. Gray is the color of the Confederate army and Ohio State. It is not the color of the Sooners.

Sooners, stick to crimson and cream. Please. For all of us.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

College Football & The Battle Of The Bands

This was posted on one of the West Virginia fan boards. Division I football teams are compared with musical acts.

I cannot claim credit or blame for this. I do not claim to be a music junkie. However, this is pretty funny.

BOSTON COLLEGE: VAN HALEN----- They were good in the 80's. Good, not great. Commercial appeal (Doug Flutie, Pepsi commercials)
CLEMSON: FLEETWOOD MAC----- Pretty solid. They were maybe the best for one year (Fleetwood Mac- "Rumours", Clemson '80). Inbreeding prevalent.
DUKE: MENUDO----- Worst of the worst. Soft.
FLORIDA STATE: BEASTIE BOYS----- Very strong in the 90's. Good for over 20 years. Tougher than Florida, not as tough as Miami.
GEORGIA TECH: OTIS REDDING----- Very good for a long time. Not unbeatable. Southern and old school.
MARYLAND: OASIS----- Had a couple of really good years about 5 to 10 years ago. Probably not as good as they think they are.
MIAMI: NWA----- Very dominant from the 80's on. Full of superstars. Very tough.
NORTH CAROLINA AND NORTH CAROLINA STATE: HALL AND OATES----- Weren't they good once? Were they? Which one's Hall? Which one's Oates?
VIRGINIA: BUSH----- Probably better than they think they are. Still middle of the road.
VIRGINIA TECH: U2----- Very good for a long while. Maybe slightly overrated.
WAKE FOREST: MATCHBOX TWENTY----- Fairly new to the scene. Not flashy. Non-descript. Among the better teams, but not great. Somewhat soft.
FLORIDA: NIRVANA----- Fairly dominant. Strongest from the 90's on. Not as street as Florida State or Miami.
SOUTH CAROLINA: FOO-FIGHTERS----- Pretty good. Not incredible. Steve Spurrier (Dave Groel) went from Florida (Nirvana) to South Carolina (Foo-Fighters).
GEORGIA: JOHNNY CASH----- Very good. Country western style. Good for a long time. Kind of tough.
KENTUCKY: RASCAL FLATTS----- A new power. Very country.
TENNESSEE: THE EAGLES----- Always in the top mix. Overrated.
VANDERBILT: CREED----- Religious. Maybe you thought they were good for a minute, but not really.
ALABAMA: ELVIS PRESLEY----- The southern king of the 20th century.
AUBURN: JAMES BROWN----- A slightly wilder Elvis (Alabama).
OLE MISS: RAY CHARLES----- Very dominant in the 50's and 60's. Similar region.
MISSISSIPPI STATE: ACE OF BASE----- Kind of a joke. Hit their peak in the 90's, but kind of a laugher now.
ARKANSAS: LYNYRD SKYNYRD----- Both are southern through and through. Pretty equal talent levels. Every now and then had great hits.
LSU: WU-TANG CLAN----- Dominant. Deep, fast, and tough.
CONNECTICUT: MARROON FIVE----- Have been winning some games and awards lately. An up and comer. No one you would be terrified of.
SYRACUSE: BUDDY HOLLY----- Last dominant year, 1959. The Orange's last title, Holly's last plane ride.
RUTGERS: TOMMY TUTONE----- They toil in mediocrity, with the exception of one smash hit. Let's all say it together....8-6-7-5309.
PITTSBURGH: CREEDENCE CLEARWATER----- Both very strong in the 70's. Star players. Hit songs. Fairly similar talent level.
WEST VIRGINIA: 50 CENT----- A new power. A little crazy. Dangerous.
SOUTH FLORIDA: KANYE WEST----- A new power. Not quite as crazy as WVU, but beat them this year, just like Kanye's record sales.
CINCINNATI: MARKY MARK----- They think they're pretty tough. Not much of a history because it's not their best sport (for Marky Mark it's acting).
LOUISVILLE: TOBY KEITH----- Very popular in their neck of the woods. Were very strong, but maybe tailing off a little. Country.
PENN STATE: PINK FLOYD----- Very strong for a long time. Like to party.
OHIO STATE: THE WHO----- Most think they're among the best. Some think they're a little boring.
MICHIGAN: LED ZEPPELIN----- Extensive catalog. Great history. Top level.
MICHIGAN STATE: AEROSMITH----- Definitely not on Led Zeppelin's level. Started out great, then fizzle out at the end.
INDIANA: THREE DOG NIGHT----- Not on the same level as most of their league. A few hits scattered about. Maybe even a little humorous.
PURDUE: BOB SEGER----- Not many pay them much attention, but they're pretty good at what they do. Again, a little boring.
ILLINOIS: HANK WILLIAMS SR.----- Dominant in the late 40's.
NORTHWESTERN: THE MONKEES----- Actors. Had a couple of good years, but definitely not the Beatles.
NOTRE DAME: THE BEATLES----- Most famous. Most hits. Supremely dominant.
IOWA: PAUL SIMON----- Pretty good for a long time, sort of folksy.
IOWA STATE: ART GARFUNKEL----- Not on Paul Simon's (Iowa) level. Plus they were split apart....Big 10/ Big 12.
WISCONSIN: SMASHING PUMPKINS----- Strongest from the 90's on. Lots of talent.
MINNESOTA: CROSBY, STILLS, NASH----- Ran a 3-headed monster running back. Used to be pretty solid.
NEBRASKA: PEARL JAM----- Very dominant in the 90's. One of the best of their time period. Faded quickly.
KANSAS STATE: STONE TEMPLE PILOTS----- Also very good in the 90's. Not quite as big as Nebraska.
KANSAS: KANSAS------ May be just a one hit wonder...because after all, all we are is "dust in the wind" .
MISSOURI: THE KILLERS----- A new powerhouse possibly.
COLORADO: THE POLICE----- The best there was for a couple of years.
OKLAHOMA: BOB DYLAN----- An all-time great. Classic. A little folksy.
OKLAHOMA STATE: JONI MITCHELL----- Not on Bob Dylan's level. Still the folk thing.
TULSA: WALLFLOWERS----- Bob Dylan's son.
TEXAS: METALLICA----- Best in their genre. Fast, explosive, obsessed.
TEXAS A&M: DEF LEPPARD----- Not as good as Metallica, but similar.
TEXAS TECH: IRON MAIDEN----- Sometimes faster, crazier, and more explosive than Metallica (Texas)...but not as good a band.
BAYLOR: SLAYER----- Morbid joke....The thing Baylor is most famous for.
TCU: POISON----- Horned frogs are poisonous. Maybe had a better year or two than Metallica.
SMU: MEGADETH----- They got the mega-death penalty.
HOUSTON: WINGER----- They wing the ball around a lot (i.e. David Klingler). Run n' gun style.
UTEP: TWISTED SISTER----- A UT sister campus in the middle of nowhere.
NORTH TEXAS: QUIET RIOT----- One of the lesser talents of heavy metal Texas. Plus Quiet Riot and Mean Green both rhyme.
RICE: RATT----- It has 4 letters and begins with "R". Plus it fits our theme.
WASHINGTON: SOUNDGARDEN----- They're both from the same area. Pretty equal talent level. Strong in the 90's.
WASHINGTON STATE: MUDHONEY----- Not on Soundgarden's level. Same general genre.
OREGON: ALICE IN CHAINS----- Underrated. Very strong 90's until present. Same general region.
OREGON STATE: SCREAMING TREES----- There are beautiful trees in Oregon. People smoke a lot of tree in Oregon. Similar popularity and talent.
STANFORD: RADIOHEAD----- Cerebral. Emotional. A good team overall. Artsy area.
CALIFORNIA: COLDPLAY----- Same region. Maybe a little bigger than Radiohead right now.
USC: ROLLING STONES----- One of the best of the best.
UCLA: THE DOORS----- Los Angeles. Famous. Not quite the level of the Stones.
ARIZONA: STEELY DAN----- I didn't know they still played.
ARIZONA STATE: MOTLEY CRUE----- Wild, like to party a lot. Hang out with hot girls.
ARMY: FRANK SINATRA----- Dominant in the mid-1900's. Very classy. Past their day.
NAVY: DEAN MARTIN----- Also dominant in the mid-1900's. Maybe a better voice than Sinatra, even though Sinatra had a slight lead.
AIR FORCE: HARRY CONNICK JR.----- Wants to be like Army and Navy used to be, but didn't quite get there. They were better in the 80's and 90's.
EAST CAROLINA: HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH----- Fun-loving. Kind of ridiculous. Had a few big years, but not very good.
MEMPHIS: THE SPINNERS----- Not on the same level as the Eagles (Tennessee), but with more soul. Plus, it's more of a basketball school, so they probably have a "rubberband man" or two.
TULANE: COUNTING CROWS----- Similar talent level. Everybody usually knows the lead singer (QB), but nobody knows the rest of the team.
UTAH: LIFEHOUSE----- Not quite as religious as BYU, but still religious. Decent squad with some hits.
BYU: THE OSMONDS----- This is just funny.
UTAH STATE: HANSEN----- May be even funnier.
NEW MEXICO: JANIS JOPLIN----- Sort of weird and dirty. Kind of "out there", but sometimes put out things you really like.
NEW MEXICO STATE: YOKO ONO----- Less talented than Joplin (New Mex.). Uglier than Joplin (New Mex.). Somebody must be a fan, but I'm certainly not.
SOUTHERN MISS: BOBBY MCFERRIN----- Kind of a joke. Had one all-time hit (Brett Favre).
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL: 2 LIVE CREW----- Like to fight a lot. Not very good at what they do, and probably care more about parties and women anyway.
FLORIDA ATLANTIC: LIL' WAYNE----- Still kind of new. Might be good, might not.
UAB: GETO BOYS----- Probably want to be like Miami (NWA) or LSU (Wu-Tang), but not on their level. Lots of gangstas though.
WYOMING: KID ROCK----- I'm a cowboy, baby. Kinda scraggly. Weird uniforms.
COLORADO STATE: JACK JOHNSON----- Some fairly new hits. At times sound really good, other times you forget they exist.
TEMPLE: CLAY AIKEN----- Beyond pathetic.
UNLV AND NEVADA: ROBERT GOULET AND ENGLEBERT HUMPERDINCK----- Everyone knows who they are, but nobody knows anything that they've ever done.
SAN DIEGO STATE: JIMMY BUFFETT----- Tropical. Laid back. Pretty similar talent levels.
BOISE STATE: NICKELBACK----- Put out a ton of hits recently. You keep thinking that their gonna go away, but they keep putting out hits.
HAWAII: PHISH----- Weird, gimmicky. Way "out there". Their fans are half-naked, but not necessarily in good shape.
FRESNO STATE: SUGAR RAY----- West coast. Everyone knows the lead singer (QB such as David Carr). Mediocre.
SAN JOSE STATE: NO DOUBT----- West coast. Everyone knows the lead singer (QB), but a little more feminine (Jeff Garcia) than Fresno. Mediocre.
MARSHALL: SUBLIME----- A major tragedy struck them on their way to the top.
KENT STATE: BLIND MELON----- Lesser tragedy. Lesser band.
TOLEDO: GOOD CHARLOTTE----- Very strong about 5 years ago, but never got incredibly popular. Now they are easily forgotten.
BALL STATE: FALL OUT BOY----- Same genre as Good Charlotte, maybe hotter now. (Ball St. beat Navy on the road and almost beat Nebraska on the road.)
NORTHERN ILLINOIS: SUM 41----- Again, same genre. Had a few great hits (beating MD, had Michael "the Burner" Turner). But again, that was a few years ago.
AKRON, OHIO, BOWLING GREEN: CHRISTINA AGUILERA, JESSICA SIMPSON, MANDY MOORE----- Nobody really knows who's better from year to year. Nobody really cares.
WESTERN MICHIGAN, EASTERN MICHIGAN, CENTRAL MICHIGAN: BACKSTREET BOYS, NSYNC, 98 DEGREES------ They're all the same damn thing. Oh they're not? Then explain the differences to me.
MIAMI OF OHIO: NEW FOUND GLORY----- Same genre as Good Charlotte, etc., but they have a new found glory, because nobody would know who they are either if it wasn't for Roethlisberger.
TROY: LINKIN PARK----- They dominate their genre (Sun Belt Conference). Fairly new, nobody knows how good they could end up being.
IDAHO: GWAR----- They're weird. They're terrible. And nobody even cares about them.
LOUISIANA-MONROE: BANANARAMA----- Similar talent level.
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE: THE BANGLES----- Again, similar talent level, with maybe a few more hits than Bananarama (La.-Monroe).
LOUISIANA TECH: THE GO-GO'S----- A few more hits than the Bangles (La.-Lafayette).
WESTERN KENTUCKY: DAVID HASSELHOFF----- One of the worst. Not even their best sport (Hasselhoff's acting), but not very good at either one. Huge in Germany.
ARKANSAS STATE: NELSON----- Just horrible on so many levels.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE: THE AVERAGE WHITE BAND----- No explanation necessary

NFL Picks, Week 14

More early picks, as there is an NFL Network game on Thursday night...

Last week: 10-6
Season: 127-57

Dallas at Detroit: The hot Cowboys visit the cold Lions. Dallas is 11-1 and on a collision course with home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Detroit has lost four in a row. However, the Lions seem to always beat the Cowboys when they play in the Motor City. But, the Lions haven't run into Tony Romo. The Romo Empire continues to grow. Pick: Dallas

Chicago at Washington: The Thursday night NFL Network game features two teams on the brink of playoff elimination. The Bears have been improving after an awful start. The Redskins have had an awful 10 days in dealing with the murder of safety Sean Taylor. The Redskins lost a game on Sunday, went to Taylor's funeral on Monday, and are playing on Thursday. There will be nothing left in their tank. Pick: Chicago

Miami at Buffalo: The Dolphins are 0-12 with little hope for a win in their last four games. The Bills are a halfway decent team. This is also a warm weather team going into cold weather in December. Good luck with all that. Pick: Buffalo

Oakland at Green Bay: Packers have a chance to bounce back against the Raiders. Look out for Oakland, as they have won two in a row. They haven't played the Packers in Green Bay, though. Pick: Green Bay

Tampa Bay at Houston: Bucs have clinched the NFC South. Texans are inconsistent and injury-prone. Flip a coin. Pick: Tampa Bay

Carolina at Jacksonville: Jags lost a close one last week in Indy, but return home to play the mediocre Panthers. Pick: Jacksonville

St. Louis at Cincinnati: Rams are having serious quarterback issues, and are forced to start 3rd team quarterback Brock Berlin this week. Bengals shouldn't be as bad as their record. Pick: Cincinnati

New York Giants at Philadelphia: Giants stole victory from the jaws of defeat last week in Chicago. Eagles are playing for their lives this week. Pick: Philly

San Diego at Tennessee: The Chargers seem to have underachieved this season, but they can clinch the AFC West with a win and a Denver loss. The Titans are like a yo-yo: up and down. This is in Music City, so go with the home team. Pick: Tennessee

Minnesota at San Francisco: The Vikings are rolling behind RBs Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. The 49ers have won two games against the Cardinals and one game against the rest of the league. Pick: Minnesota

Arizona at Seattle: Seahawks can put a hammerlock on the NFC West with a win here. Cardinals are pretty good, but not quite good enough to get over the hump. Seahawks are getting ready for the playoffs. Pick: Seattle

Pittsburgh at New England: Game of the week. Steelers are one of the better teams in the league and are capable of ending the Patriots' undefeated season. The Patriots know that, and will play better than in the last two weeks. Pick: New England

Kansas City at Denver: Lots of mediocrity on display here. Go with the home team. Pick: Denver

Cleveland at New York Jets: The Browns are on course with the playoffs, in spite of last week's loss at Arizona. The Jets return to earth after crushing the Dolphins last week. Pick: Cleveland

Indianapolis at Baltimore: The old Baltimore team returns to Crab City to face the Ravens. The Ravens are frustrated after a heartbreaking loss to New England. It will be hard for them to get up for two games in a row, especially facing the team that knocked them out of last year's playoffs. Pick: Indy

New Orleans at Atlanta: Yuck. This is a big rivalry, no matter how good or bad the teams are. These teams have been bad a lot more than they've been good. This year, neither team is very special. The Saints have more talent. Pick: New Orleans

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

It Makes Too Much Sense

As has been written earlier in this blog, a college football playoff is the best way to both determine a legitimate national champion and to generate the maximum amount of revenue. Imagine, as the first round of a national championship playoff could be this week. First round games could be played on home fields to maximize revenue. It would be a 16 team bracket, and every conference champion would get an automatic bid. The five best teams to not win their conference would receive an at-large bid. This week’s pairings would be as follows (ratings taken from the final BCS ratings):

#16 Florida Atlantic at #1 Ohio State
#9 West Virginia at #8 Kansas

#12 Florida at #4 Oklahoma
#13 BYU at #5 Georgia
(Florida and Georgia played in the regular season, and would not be allowed to play in the first round of a playoff)

#11 Arizona State at #6 Missouri
#14 UCF at #3 Virginia Tech

#10 Hawaii at #7 USC
#15 Central Michigan at #2 LSU

The first two rounds would be played on the home field of the higher-seeded team in order to maximize revenue and to reward higher-ranked teams. The semi-finals would be held as a doubleheader at a neutral site, in a Final Four-type atmosphere. The national championship game would be held at another neutral site, awarded via a bidding process similar to that of the NCAA basketball tournament.

What about the bowls? There would still be room for bowls. For instance, Penn State and Texas A&M could still meet in the Alamo Bowl. Cities would have the option of keeping their bowls or placing themselves in the bidding for the championship rounds.

This is a treasure chest of money waiting to be earned. Oh, yeah, a champion would be crowned, also.

Monday, December 03, 2007

NFL Highway, Week 13

Another week on the NFL highway brought a lot of expected results. The good teams are quickly separating themselves from the bad. A lot of teams still have slight post-season hopes, while others play out the string for the remaining four weeks of the season. A rundown of this week in the National Football League:

In the Thursday night NFL Network game, the Cowboys and Packers met in the week’s best matchup. The Cowboys outscored the Packers, 34-24, as Brett Favre was knocked out in the second quarter with an elbow injury. He was playing like dog doo-doo at the time. Aaron Rodgers came in and played better. Favre should be back next week. The Cowboys are in the driver’s seat for home field advantage throughout the rest of the playoffs. Tony Romo threw four more touchdown passes for Dallas.

The Carolina Panthers used a big defensive effort to handle the San Francisco 49ers, 31-14. The Panthers had six sacks and an interception return for a touchdown. Not many fantasy owners out there had the Carolina defense and the corresponding points they produced. The Niners are terrible.

The Indianapolis Colts proved that they are still the top dog in the AFC South division, earning a season sweep over the Jacksonville Jaguars, 28-25. Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes for the Colts. The Colts plan to keep winning and hope that the Patriots somehow stumble three times. Yeah, right.

When all else fails, give the ball to LaDainian Tomlinson. The TCU-ex carried the ball for 177 yards and two touchdowns as the San Diego Chargers rolled over the Kansas City Chiefs, 24-10. The Chargers are starting to finally take control of the AFC West at 7-5. The Chiefs are slipping back to their expected output at 4-8.

Poor Miami. The Dolphins are awful. They blew their best chance for a win this season with an ugly 40-17 loss to the New York Jets. The Jets dressed up once again as the New York Titans, wearing throwback uniforms to honor their original incarnation in the AFL. The Dolphins are on a collision course with 0-16.

There are two running backs once again in Minnesota, and they are starting to develop a quarterback. Tarvaris Jackson was 18-for-24 and threw for 204 yards, and RBs Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor both scored to help the Vikings to a 42-10 blowout of the Detroit Lions. The Lions are fast becoming the same old Lions we’ve known for years, losing their third game in a row. The Vikings are becoming dangerous.

The Seattle Seahawks are establishing themselves as the third best team in the NFC. The Hawks went into Philadelphia and clipped the wings of the Eagles, 28-24. The Eagles find themselves at 5-7 and in danger of missing the playoffs for the second time in three years.

Two bad teams met on Sunday in St. Louis. The Rams showed themselves to be a lot better than the woeful Falcons, winning 28-16. Both teams will be players in the early rounds of next year’s draft. Both teams are now 3-9.

The Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans met on Sunday in Nashville. That means the Titans got another win, getting their sixth consecutive win over the Texans, 28-20. The Texans lost QB Matt Schaub to injury in the first quarter. The Texans are improving, but are not even close to being over the hump in the AFC.

Heavy hearts were on display Sunday in Washington, as the Redskins and Buffalo Bills honored slain Redskins safety Sean Taylor before the game. The Bills had a safety early in the game which proved to be the difference in a 17-16 win. The Redskins flew as a team to Miami for Taylor’s funeral today, then flew back to D.C. to prepare for a Thursday game with the Bears. Tough week.

Two unpredictable teams met Sunday in the desert. Kurt Warner led the Arizona Cardinals to a win over the resurgent Cleveland Browns, 27-21. The Cardinals still have an outside shot at the playoffs, while the Browns have a very good chance to make the AFC playoffs.

Break up the Raiders! Oakland earned their second win in a row, defeating the mercurial Denver Broncos, 34-20. Some weeks, the Broncos look like the ’72 Dolphins. Other weeks, they look like the ’07 Dolphins. Go figure.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers clinched the NFC South division, riding the arm of backup quarterback Luke McCown to a 27-23 road win over the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are in serious danger of missing the playoffs.

Somehow, the New York Giants uglied their way to a 21-16 win over the Chicago Bears. The Bears led for most of the game before the G-men scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to win the game. New York finds themselves at 8-4, while Chicago sits at 5-7 and in serious danger of missing the playoffs one year after making it to the Super Bowl.

In Pittsburgh, the Steelers flexed their muscle, putting the Cincinnati Bengals away, 24-10. The Bengals have serious problems. They have a ton of talent at the skill positions, but are unable to do much on the defensive side of the ball.

For the second week in a row, the New England Patriots got a scare. The Baltimore Ravens had a great chance to win on Monday night, but fell victim to a Patriots comeback and could not recover. The Patriots won, 27-24. New England needs four more wins to become the first team to finish the season 16-0.

The Obligatory Anti-BCS Rant

This season was the best in the history of college football. There was no dominant team. Every week brought upsets and unpredictability. Thirteen teams ranked in the top 5 were subsequently beaten by unranked teams. There was never a dull moment.

This awesome regular season is about to be followed by a dud of a post-season. That post-season structure is called the bowl system. Instead of qualifying for a playoff, big-time college football teams subject themselves to the whims of computer geeks, coaches, retired coaches, and Chamber of Commerce guys in setting up their post-season. The result is one really big game, four big-name, high-paying games, and a bunch of meaningless exhibitions created to fill hotel rooms in the winter season.

One can argue that the lack of a playoff legitimizes the regular season, and makes every week and every game important. The current structure is like survival football, only a team can lose, fall, and climb back up in the standings if enough other teams lose. This season has resembled a big game of musical chairs, only teams are allowed to re-enter the circle. LSU has been #1 twice this season, lost, and still made the championship game.

The BCS was created to put #1 and #2 in the same bowl game, to preserve big-time bowl games, and to channel a ton of money into six major conferences. The system has served its purpose too well. The major conferences have seized control of big-time college football. The bowls have survived, in spite of thrilling matchups like last year’s Orange Bowl between Louisville and Wake Forest. What the BCS system really tells us, though, is that it’s more important to have controversy and make a whole ton of money for a handful of schools than to crown a legitimate national champion like every other collegiate sport.

A 16-team playoff would generate more money for all the schools, including those in BCS conferences. The biggest difference, though, is that the money would be controlled and distributed by the NCAA instead of the individual conferences. I have to admit that I cringe at the thought of the NCAA controlling that much more money and structure. The current administration of the NCAA lets off the biggest stench of academic elitism in its promotion and operation of college athletics. That’s what happens when you have an organization run by pointy-headed university presidents. If I have to choose between college athletic directors and college presidents, give me the A.D.’s any time. The A.D.’s are a lot more in touch with reality.

The purposes of college athletics are two-fold: to provide an opportunity for students to receive an education, and to promote the university among the general public. Fundraising is an outgrowth of both of those. A college football playoff would only enhance those purposes and help to provide more opportunities for athletes. Imagine how many more women’s and men’s sports a school could add with the extra money generated by a playoff.

The BCS is a barely-legal cartel. Remove the C, and you have the smell of the current college football post-season.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Deed Is Done

Let the weeping and gnashing of teeth begin…

The final BCS ratings are out, and the BCS bowls have made their selections. As befitting the nature of this most psychotic of seasons, these selections are controversial. Some comments on the choices made by the Chamber of Commerce guys in the loud blazers..

BCS National Championship Game, New Orleans
Ohio State vs. LSU
It’s tough to argue with this one. Ohio State moved up four spots in the rankings without playing the last two weeks, and find themselves as the #1 team in the nation. LSU plays on its home field away from home in the Superdome. Buckeye fans normally take over a bowl city, no matter how far from Ohio it is. Now, they have to deal with New Orleans and a date with the home team, LSU. Look for the Superdome to be filled with 75,000 drunk Cajuns. Ask OU how that went the last time there was a national championship game in the Superdome. This matchup will be as good as any. TOSU is 0-8 against SEC teams in bowls. It will be a tall order for them in the Big Easy.

Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
USC vs. Illinois
After Ohio State qualified for the national championship game, the Rose Bowl had the first pick of at-large teams. The Rose Bowl people had a chance to take Georgia or any number of teams, but are so married to the Big Ten that they took 9-3 Illinois. Illinois isn’t bad, but they’re not elite bowl-caliber. This won’t be pretty. USC will spank Illinois. USC is back in their home away from home in Pasadena.

Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
Virginia Tech vs. Kansas
The Hokies are #3 in the BCS composite rankings, and are champions of the ACC. The Orange Bowl made a controversial pick by choosing Kansas. The Jayhawks have had a great season, finishing 11-1. Problem is, Missouri was better, beating the Jayhawks head-to-head, finishing 11-2 (with both losses to Oklahoma), winning the Big 12 North, and finishing higher in the BCS rankings. KU will have a great bowl trip until game time.

Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, Arizona
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia
OU returns to the scene of last year’s debacle against Boise State. The Mountaineers find themselves here after blowing a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make the national championship game. There will be a lot of points scored in this game. It will be well worth watching.

Sugar Bowl, New Orleans
Georgia vs. Hawaii
Georgia finished 10-2, but did not get a chance to play LSU for the SEC championship, since they lost to Tennessee. They are playing as well as anyone in the country right now. The Hawaii Warriors represent the hopes of the islands as well as the little guys of college football. This will be a good game.

Coming: my true thoughts on the BCS and a playoff system as it relates to this season.

Who's #1? Who's #2?

College football is a big mess. I'd use more colorful language to describe it, but I'm offended by profanity, so I won't use it.

When the Ohio State Buckeyes walked off the field two weeks ago at the Big House in Ann Arbor, they had won a Big Ten championship, and figured to be going to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for the first time in a long time. The Buckeyes have been making a habit of going to the Fiesta Bowl and/or the national championship game. But, something weird happened on the way to the travel agent. A lot of teams have lost in the last two weeks. And, The Ohio State University will once again find themselves in the national championship game. The Buckeyes beat every team in Northeast Ohio (Akron, Kent State, and Youngstown State). They would have beaten Cleveland State if CSU had a football team. The Bucks then ran through a weak Big Ten, only stumbling against the Fighting Ron Zooks, aka the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Who else has a case to be in the spot opposing the Buckeyes in New Orleans? Here are a few teams:

LSU: The Tigers survived the SEC and claimed the conference championship. Their only two losses were in triple overtime, at Kentucky and at home to Arkansas. They defeated ACC champion Virginia Tech by 41 points. The Tigers have now been voted #2 by the AP and coaches polls. The coaches poll will be used as part of the BCS formula. LSU is an odds-on favorite to be the second team at their home-away-from home in New Orleans for the national championship game.

Oklahoma: My Sooners won their fifth Big 12 championship this decade by dispatching of the formerly #1 Missouri Tigers, 38-17. The Sooners are really good when they're on, but I can't make a case for them over LSU. They had a brain fart in the fourth quarter at Colorado, costing them a win. They later fell apart for three quarters at Texas Tech as QB Sam Bradford suffered a concussion. OU would be dangerous in a playoff, but will have to settle for a trip to the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.

Georgia: The Bulldogs are the hottest team in the country, having not lost since October 6. They are 10-2, losing the SEC East on a tiebreaker to Tennessee. UGa would also be dangerous in a playoff. But, it's hard to make a case for a team that didn't win its conference.

USC: The Trojans are healthy again, and dangerous. SC is 10-2, losing to a healthy Oregon in Eugene and suffering an inexplicable upset loss to Stanford at home. A team that loses to Stanford should not be playing in the national championship game. The Trojans will have to settle for a trip to the Rose Bowl and the opportunity to pound the Fighting Illini.

Kansas: The Jayhawks have only one loss, a 34-28 loss to archrival Missouri. However, they benefited from a super-weak non-conference schedule and the most favorable Big 12 schedule, getting to play the three weakest teams from the Big 12 South and missing the three best South teams (OU, Texas, Texas Tech). Interestingly, KU will probably win by losing last week's Missouri game, as their 11-1 record will get them into a BCS bowl game.

Missouri: The Tigers will get hosed. The Tigers have only lost to one team, Oklahoma. They lost to the Sooners twice, including a tail-whipping on Saturday night. They will be penalized for beating Kansas to earn the opportunity for the rematch with Oklahoma, as they are now 11-2. Mizzou proved on the field that they are better than Kansas, but will have to settle for Breakfast In Dallas at the Cotton Bowl.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies are 10-2 and are the best team in a weak ACC. Had they not blown a lead in their first game with Boston College, they could very well be the #2 team in the nation. Instead, the Hokies will have to settle for a trip to South Beach.

Hawaii: Why not? The way this season has been, they'd put up as good of a game as anyone. They're undefeated, though playing in a suspect conference. The Warriors' best non-conference win was against a Washington team that finished last in the Pac 10. Still, Hawaii should be in a BCS bowl when the pairings are released Sunday night.