Daily Archives: December 11, 2007

Move over, Nick Saban.

There’s a new lying SOB in town.

Petrino called about 5:45 p.m. and resigned.

Called? Pure class.

And I don’t even like the Falcons.

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UPDATE: Dennis Dodd warns the good people of Fayetteville, Arkansas not to get too comfortable with their new head coach. My two favorite Petrino factoids from Dodd’s post:

  1. Over a four-year period at Louisville, Petrino lost an estimated 45 signees. They either never made it to campus or were kicked off the team. That’s almost half of his recruits.
  2. Petrino has proven to be a guy who is always looking for the next best thing. This is his 13th job since 1983.

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UPDATE #2:  ESPN’s Pat Forde has a few choice things to add.   My favorite part:

But Jurich did allow that he’s “not totally surprised” Petrino would move on less than a year after leaving Louisville for a $24 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

“He’s five for five,” Jurich explained.

What he meant: this is the fifth straight year Bobby Petrino has tried to get another job. Every single season he’s been a head coach, he’s ended it by pursuing something else.

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, It's Just Bidness

Size matters. Sometimes.

There’s a post up at College Football Resource where he makes the point that

… it’s possible there’s a link between a postseason tournament in a sport and its regular season being treated as nothing more than seeding? Maybe that’s why college football’s the only sport with a truly compelling regular season, hmmmm ???

Groo is skeptical about CFR’s argument.

… If the positioning and jockeying for a spot in the BCS and national title game isn’t what drives the regular season, what does? How would that be diminished by a playoff?

… In the end, I think what makes the college football regular season so compelling is that the drama and meaning of 162 baseball games, 82 NBA games, or even 30+ college basketball games is reduced down to 12 football games over just three months. One loss to a baseball team isn’t even noise. One loss – especially a conference loss – to a college football team is a serious blow. I really don’t believe that the format of the postseason would change that.

I think I’m gonna have to split the baby on this one.

The biggest problem with this whole “regular season vs. playoff” debate is that with regard to D-1 college football, we don’t know what sort of playoff format we have to analyze. Thus, if we’re limited to comparing the D-1 regular season to real world playoff structures, such as March Madness and those in the professional world, I find it hard to quibble with CFR’s argument. On the other hand, if D-1 were to adopt a four team playoff format, or even an eight team format where only conference champions were eligible, then Groo stands on much firmer ground.

Here’s why. College football is unique among the major sports (football, basketball, baseball and let’s consider hockey for yucks) in that it alone culminates in one single elimination postseason game. Baseball, hockey and pro basketball each have postseason series – several series, as a matter of fact. College basketball has a six round single elimination tourney for which the regular season sets the stage. For those sports, the primary goal of the regular season is to do well enough to get to the next level, where there’s a whole ‘nother layer of games to go through to get to a champ.

So I think Groo has it wrong when he suggests that it’s the size of the regular season that contributes to the importance of each individual regular season game. It’s the size of the postseason that matters far more.

Again, the best illustration I can make for this is the SEC East. Georgia and Florida have long been rivals, but traditionally Tennessee was not a rival to either school until the advent of the modern 12 team SEC, when it became necessary for all three schools to claw over each other to go on to the conference championship. Ask yourself how intense the Georgia-Tennessee rivalry or the Florida-Tennessee would remain in the wake of a sixteen team playoff that had room for, say, eight or ten at large berths for schools. Not convinced? How about a 32 or 64 team playoff?

A small playoff, or a playoff that is comprised only of conference winners, is far more likely to preserve the intensity of the regular season. But therein lies the rub. My quibbling over playoffs has been largely derived from a concern that historically any time a sport has adopted a playoff format, it’s never failed to enlarge the size of the postseason field. That’s one tradition I’d hate to see D-1 football follow.

By the way, I’m also not sure I agree with Groo when he asks “If the positioning and jockeying for a spot in the BCS and national title game isn’t what drives the regular season, what does?” What about conference championships and traditional rivalries, both of which matter to a far greater extent in D-1 football than in any other major sport? And, again, I think we have to ask ourselves what effect a large postseason tournament format would have on those matters.

9 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, The Blogosphere

College football and the Second Amendment

You don’t think the D-1 football regular season is meaningful?

The bowl system, as a whole, is the only postseason institution in sports that is less important than the regular season. Neutral-site meetings with alien opponents, which can be secured without winning records in some cases, don’t necessarily cultivate the same passions as annual rivalry contests.

Case in point: Lexington, S.C., November 2006.

Authorities allege that James Walker Quick, 42, bet on the outcome of the South Carolina-Clemson football game with a longtime friend, Richard Allen Johnson, 43. When Johnson apparently declined to pay up after losing the bet, Quick walked out to his truck, grabbed a hunting rifle and shot Johnson once in the chest.

Let’s be honest: When’s the last time the Outback Bowl generated such passion? I don’t care how long two buddies have been drinking; they’ll stop before they commit a felony in the name of most of these games.

Just remember:  guns don’t kill people, the regular season kills people.

2 Comments

Filed under College Football

Just who do you think Tebow is?

Tim Tebow is no Joe DiMaggio… or Dan LeFevour.

And make sure you check out the very stylish fark at Georgia Sports Blog.

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Filed under Tim Tebow: Rock Star

You’re only as smart as your personnel.

This is sort of out of the blue -  Al Borges resigns, won’t coach in Peach Bowl.

Here’s the key passage:

… Borges arrived at Auburn before the 2004 season and helped the Tigers to a 13-0 record. But the Tigers’ offense was less effective in his last three years, and this season was a particular struggle. The offense is ranked 101st nationally. The Tigers scored two or fewer touchdowns in six of their eight SEC games.

But Borges made magic out his first Auburn offense behind a senior backfield that included future first-round NFL picks in Jason Campbell, Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown. The Tigers finished 25th in the nation in total offense that year and Borges was hailed as the man who brought Auburn’s talent together. But the Tigers slipped to 37th in total offense in 2005, 76th in total offense in 2006 and heads to the Chick-fil-A Bowl ranked at the 101 mark, ahead of only 18 other teams…

It’s easy to look like a genius with three NFL first round picks in your backfield.  Sometimes those “Jimmies and Joes” do matter.

7 Comments

Filed under SEC Football