Daily Archives: December 7, 2006

What he said…

CBS’ Gary Danielson has taken some heat lately from Michigan fans about his politicking during the SECCG broadcast for Florida to appear in the BCS title game.

In response, Danielson appeared on a Detroit radio station and let loose with a broadside against ESPN and ABC that is a delight to read if you’ve grown tired of the network’s overblown coverage – and influence, too – of the sport. It’s too long to reprint here, but you can see it at this thread on a Gamecock message board. It’s a classic.

Here’s a taste:

“… Michigan and Ohio State didn’t mind having the Sports Reporters [stumping for them]. ESPN and ABC had that clock running for over a month [for the OSU – Michigan game] while the rest of the country fumed about that. But the first time somebody says something about somebody else, oh, my, the whining starts. My drum was banging for college football. Now we finally got to a game here because of circumstances where everybody had to stand up and say, ‘you mean there’s another team besides Michigan Ohio State, Notre Dame and USC out there?’ I think it’s laughable, totally laughable that people think they know who the best two teams are. I know football pretty good, and I think I know how to watch film pretty well. If I don’t know who the best two teams are, I don’t see how anybody else can do it.”

On other factors that went into his thinking: “I look at it that the rest of the country really didn’t give anybody else a chance except Michigan and Ohio State for a while. Then once they looked at USC, ESPN and ABC jumped on a new bandwagon. Bob Davie was on the front page of USA TODAY saying, “I watched college football all year, and I know the two best teams are Michigan and Ohio State. Then that horse gets a little tired and they go to USC and watch and go, ‘you know? Now that I look at it, I think USC is the second best team in the country.’ Then when USC loses they go, ‘what do we do now?’ And I think the rest of the country is out there saying, ‘who anointed Michigan, Ohio State, USC and Notre Dame to run all of college football?’

Preach on, brother. I can’t stand ESPN, either…

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Media Punditry/Foibles

Pardon me while I snicker.

As a group, I’m sure that most college presidents are smart, wonderful people with the proper perspective on academics. But as CEOs of their athletic programs, I wouldn’t let most of them out of my sight. Owners of major league baseball teams have a better track record than these guys do recently.

Look at the farce going on at Alabama right now. Or the inevitable round of coaches using the hiring process to squeeze out more in salaries or facilities. Honestly, though, none of this should be begrudged in a free market; nobody is holding a gun to any college president’s head. And who’s to say, given the level of performance and profitability that he’s taken his program to, that someone like Mark Richt isn’t worth every penny he gets?

Enter Myles Brand:

… During a session at the annual Street & Smith’s Intercollegiate Athletics Forum here, Brand and other panelists were asked what they thought would be the most important story to follow in the upcoming year.

“Coaches’ contracts,” said Brand, who added “agents have the upper hand” now and schools may need outside help negotiating these deals. Antitrust laws bar the NCAA from setting salary limits.

Those pesky antitrust laws! Don’t you just know what the NCAA wishes it could do right now…

By the way, here’s what has Mr. Brand and others of his ilk so concerned:

SALARY DATABASE: See what NCAA football coaches make

I wonder how much of this stems from basic jealousy. It sure would be interesting to see a chart comparing college football coaches’ salaries at D-1 schools with college presidents’ salaries.

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UPDATE: Wonder what Mr. Brand thinks of this offer.

 

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Filed under College Football, The NCAA

Building a better mousetrap

I don’t know anyone who’s asserted that the present system for determining a (mythical) national champ is flawless.

As I picked some holes in many of the playoff proposals I’ve seen, it seems only fair to suggest some improvements to what we’ve got at present. Here are three things that I believe would make us college football fans happier:

1. Terminate the coaches’ poll. It’s ironic to me that the writers’ poll was eliminated a few years ago over a perceived conflict of interest (journalists shouldn’t be a part of the story they’re covering), yet the coaches, who have a much greater potential conflict than the writers ever had, keep chugging along. Check out this year’s final ballots from the coaches and see if there aren’t a few votes that you don’t find somewhat questionable. Tressel’s abstention hints at the problem. Add in Spurrier’s flippancy:

… South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, who coached the Gators to the ’96 national championship, moved Florida past Michigan in the coaches’ poll.

His reasoning?

“Heck, I’m a Gator,” he said. “I went there. So I had a lot of reason to vote for them right there. It just appeared they’re 12-1, the other team is 11-1, I guess that’s about it.”

and you’re left with the conclusion that there’s got to be a better way to skin this cat. Whether it’s this or some other group of wise men that is substituted, the current poll should go.

2. No more preseason polls. The “settle it on the field” crowd has a valid criticism here, in my opinion. It’s wrong to be setting a baseline before a single snap in a real game has been taken. You can make an argument, as Tuberville did, that it hurt Auburn’s chances to play for the MNC in 2004. I don’t see a problem with waiting until the first week of October to release the first polls so that actual performance is more properly factored in. (Although I guess that means Spurrier’s practice of wasting a top 25 vote on Duke will come to an end.)

3. More flexibility, please. It doesn’t take a genius to see what would reduce the controversy in years like this or 2004: come up with a way for the second and third teams, or second, third and fourth teams to play so that in the end we all feel that the teams in the final mix got their shot. With the fifth BCS game and the week between the bowls and the title game, the structure is in place to handle this. How hard would it be to come up with a formula that would let Florida and Michigan play each other in one of the BCS bowl games and then have the winner play Ohio State a week later in the title game? Or in ’04, to have arranged for USC, Oklahoma, Auburn and a fourth team (Utah, maybe?) to play in two of the BCS bowl games and have the winners face off a week later in the title game? Of course, in seasons like 2005, there wouldn’t be a need to tweak the system, as we got the #1 versus #2 matchup going in. This just doesn’t seem like an insurmountable problem, although it would call for some cooperation from the bowls – and possibly the networks – to make it work. It sure would seem to cut down on a lot of the drama.

I’ll leave it up to someone else to figure out a solution for the year when all of the major conference champs go undefeated, or the top 13 teams all have identical records.

I don’t suggest that these proposals make things perfect, but at least they’re a start on making things better. Feel free to add any comments you may have on your own BCS tweaks…

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs