Daily Archives: May 28, 2009

The Pac-10 wants more cupcakes on the menu.

One of the best things the Pac-10 has going for it is the round-robin schedule – every school in the conference plays every other school in the conference, so you know who your champ is without a championship game, no muss, no bother (unless there’s a three-way tie for first).  It’s clean, it results in the conference typically having a strong strength of schedule rating and it cuts down on having to spend money lining up non-conference opponents.

So, naturally, there’s talk about discontinuing it.

In an informal poll conducted by the Pac-10 blog, conference coaches voted 6-4 in favor of ending round-robin conference scheduling and reverting back to an eight-game slate, which was how things were before a 12th game was added in 2006.

That’s about how a straw poll went in May during the Pac-10 meetings in Phoenix, and feelings were strong enough against the nine-game conference schedule that the athletic directors will review the issue during their June meetings in San Francisco.

The vote mostly split like the current conference standings, with the top-half teams favoring nine games and the bottom half teams wanting to go back to eight.

There’s a good reason for that. Nine conference games insures five conference teams will lose an extra game every season, which could be the difference between earning bowl eligibility or not.

There’s your Exhibit “A” for why there are too many bowl games.

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Filed under Pac-12 Football

One more thought on the Coaches’ Poll revision, and a shameless plug

It’s not the homer voting that’s likely to be abused with the anonymous balloting, it’s the opposite.  Just ask the OBC.

… As for Spurrier, the former Florida coach recalled the 1995 season when one voter dropped the Gators to 13th on his final ballot after Nebraska beat Florida 62-24 in the Fiesta Bowl for the national championship.

That allowed Tennessee to finish ahead of Florida at No. 2 in the final poll, despite the fact the Vols had lost to Florida 62-37 that season.

“Yeah, I don’t know who that (voter) was,” Spurrier said. “Tennessee snuck in second, didn’t they, in one poll?”

What a coincidence.

Anyway, honorable outliers like Mark Richt aside, the appearance of conflicts of interest are going to plague the CP’s perception by the public.  Which is why the AFCA ought to ditch the current format and go in another direction.

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Filed under College Football

Kiffin watch: I just don’t get it.

Today, I’ve got a non-snarky post about Tennessee and Lane Kiffin – no nicknames, just a few sincere questions.

I keep reading quotes like these -

From Andy Staples:

Without playing a down, Kiffin has made Tennessee the most talked-about program in the country. For a guy who must scour the country to populate a program to compete with the juggernauts at Alabama, Florida, Georgia and LSU, publicity is crucial.

And from Dennis Dodd:

“He’s playing you guys perfect,” Tennessee hoops coach Bruce Pearl said of Kiffin.

Pearl is the guy who advised Kiffin that it’s good to be hated. That means you’re doing something right in the SEC.

“My goal was to be the least popular coach in the SEC in a year,” Pearl said. “He managed to do it in a week.”

- and I have to confess that I feel like I’m missing something here.  What is it about the Tennessee program that requires its head coach to behave in the way that Kiffin has in order to succeed?  Or is this simply an exercise in after the fact justification?

I mean, is this really what Mike Hamilton had in mind when he made the hire?

… But Kiffin understands he’s essentially in the entertainment business. Like the WWE wrestler who realizes he’ll make a bigger splash as a heel than as a babyface, Kiffin considers his words and their consequences to be occupational hazards.

“Do I love everything that I had to do to get us to this point? No. I don’t,” he said. “But my job is not to love everything that I do. My job is to do the best thing for our university and the best thing for our people.”

If Kiffin’s telling the truth there – and who knows at this point, given the “gas pumping” and Pahokee fiascoes – that comes across as incredibly cynical.  If he wins (games, not recruiting rankings), no doubt Vol fans will be thrilled, but what will they be left with if he doesn’t grab a few titles?

It’s not just this scorched earth approach to achieving notoriety, but also that whole thing about promoting the program as an NFL pipeline that strikes me as questionable.  It all seems calculated to devalue a justifiably proud program’s tradition.

I know, I know, I’m coming at this from the perspective of an outsider who’s a fan of a rival program, so my opinion doesn’t mean much.  But there’s one thing I keep wondering.  If this is such a great approach to resurrecting a national powerhouse, how come the first guy to think of it is a 33-year old whose prior stop as a head coach was a miserable failure?

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Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Out of the coaching clinic pan, into the fire?

Meet Mark Richt and Urban Meyer, lobbyists.

… Georgia is pushing for a change in a Southeastern Conference regulation that restricts assistant football coaches from attending coaching clinics in their home states unless the coach is a speaker. Georgia Tech isn’t prohibited from attending such clinics because the Atlantic Coast Conference doesn’t have a similar rule.

“Any time there’s a function, especially a gathering of high school coaches, we want the same access of everybody else in the country and everybody else in our state, especially,” Richt said Tuesday at the league’s spring meeting. “We don’t want to have a function going on in our state and our rivals can go and we can’t. That’s not good at all. That doesn’t help the Southeastern Conference. It doesn’t help Georgia.”

Florida coach Urban Meyer has the same issue with the ACC’s Florida State.

“You hate to have an ACC school get there and an SEC school can’t,” Meyer said.

Doc Saturday looks at the recruiting ratings and finds the whole effort worthy of mockery

I’d hate to see what the numbers would look like if the SEC — and Georgia, in particular — was actually on equal footing in this thing.

… but in Richt’s defense, I think he’s motivated by something more mundane than the rankings.  To Paul Johnson’s credit, he’s gotten far more aggressive with regard to in state recruiting that the Chanster ever was.  Richt seems concerned – and maybe a little irritated – about having to explain over and over again to high school coaches about an arcane conference rule that keeps his guys away.

“It happens enough to where it could be an issue,” Richt said. “All the high school coaches, they don’t know our rules and they don’t probably care about our rules. All they know is they go to a function and everybody in the ACC is there. Georgia Tech is there and Georgia’s not. That’s not a good thing.”

Bruce Feldman touches on the subject (although he provides contrary information as to the ACC’s position) as it relates to something UCLA’s coaching staff is doing, and notes a reason for the prohibition:

… One of the biggest challenges for Rick Neuheisel is getting more Los Angeles kids interested in attending UCLA. This past weekend, the Bruins took a big step in that direction. James Washington, a former UCLA great at safety and two-time Super Bowl winner with Dallas, staged a free football camp for more than 500 Southern California kids on Saturday at Los Angeles Southwest College. Neuheisel and his staff coached the four-hour Back to Basics clinic, now in its third year and operated by Washington’s Shelter 37 foundation, Brian Dohn reports:

“For UCLA, most of the kids from our area don’t know anything about them, unless you see them on TV,” said Henry Washington, who coached James Washington at Los Angeles Jordan High. “This is huge for the kids to come out here and rub elbows with UCLA’s coaching staff. Rick Neuheisel, I really applaud him for bringing all of his fellows out here.

“Our inner-city kids, when it comes to UCLA, they just know nothing about them. [USC coach] Pete Carroll does a great job in the inner city. Any top inner city really leans toward USC.”

Great idea, right? No doubt, but don’t get hung up wondering whether your favorite school could stage similar camps. It might be against your conference’s rules. The SEC and ACC do not allow such off-campus camps because, as one school official explained, it would prompt every member school to scramble and set up its own roving camps just so it could recruit kids. These conferences are scared of that.

I wonder if Richt and Meyer have considered that.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

Thursday morning buffet

Grab a plate before the line gets too long.

  • The Independence Bowl, once sponsored by a yard tool known as a “Weed Eater”, now tries its luck being sponsored by a multi-vitamin.  Glamor resides in Shreveport, Louisiana.
  • And from the same article, we learn that Junior can’t count:  “Three of them [SEC coaches] have won national championships.” Actually, it’s four, but that’s so in the past, it really doesn’t matter now.
  • Mike Slive threatens to fine SEC coaches who won’t “play nice”.
  • Florida 51, Tennessee 6.  You heard it here first.
  • Oh, and in case you were wondering, Tennessee-Florida will be CBS’ SEC TV opener.  Big surprise, there.
  • Mark Richt, dean of SEC coaches.
  • Anybody looking for a contemporary in the Greater Chicago area?  Bueller?  Bueller?

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Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, SEC Football, Uncategorized