Daily Archives: December 12, 2009

Playoffs as chicken soup for the college football fan’s soul

There’s a BCS post up at The Wiz of Odds that I’m half-in and half-out with.  I can only marvel along with the Wiz as the BCS surrounds itself with former Bush administration communication hacks like Ari Fleischer and Trent Duffy.

On the other hand, I don’t get his logic behind questioning the Fiesta Bowl matchup (and in his defense, he’s far from alone in expressing that).

Instead of having David vs. Goliath matchups involving say, Boise State-Iowa and TCU-Georgia Tech, the BCS decided to go for a David vs. David matchup of the Horned Frogs and Broncos.

This, of course, was a way to sidestep controversy should the Davids beat the Goliaths.

What controversy?  Who’s the David here anyway?  Boise and TCU are both higher ranked than Georgia Tech and Iowa. The Fiesta is a better matchup than the alternatives he’s proposing.  And, as we’ve been reminded plenty of times in the debate, it’s not like mid-majors haven’t won BCS games before.  So what’s to be gained exactly by swapping the players around like that?

If we’re going to play the controversy game, what should we expect to hear from people if the Fiesta turns out to be a disappointing draw (something I don’t expect, at least on television, by the way)?  Part of me thinks this is what much of the complaining is about, that the BCS is calling the “fairness” bluff made by people like Orrin Hatch.  To me, that misses the point about what an opportunity this can be for the mid-majors.  If the Fiesta winds up being a great game that draws well, I suspect it will catapult the winner into serious consideration for a national title shot next season.  And that will be great.

But that’s not the strangest point made in his post.  This is:

… The Florida-Cincinnati matchup in the Sugar Bowl lost its luster Thursday when Brian Kelly decided to become Notre Dame’s coach. He won’t be around for the bowl, meaning he values his new gig more than coaching an undefeated team in a lousy BCS game.

One has to wonder if Kelly would have coached the Bearcats if they were playing in the BCS title game.

I’m not sure if the argument there is whether Cinci got screwed with its Sugar Bowl invite, or that if there were playoffs, coaches wouldn’t leave their programs in the lurch during the postseason.  The former’s a matter of opinion, of course (I think TCU’s better than Cincinnati, if we’re going down that road), but the latter point I don’t get at all.  Does anyone really think that an upwardly mobile coach like Brian Kelly, who gets offered the best job of his life, refuses to take it so he can get ready to play a, say, number fourteen seed in a sixteen-team tournament?  (That’s not to say he might not ask for a delay, but Notre Dame’s not a place that’s going to wait for an answer.)

Like I said, maybe I misunderstand his point, but it really seems like sometimes people see a playoff as being the solution to everything.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, The Blogosphere

Does the media hate the University of Tennessee?

I mean, it’s gotta be about hatin’, right?

First, you’ve got ol’ Andy Staples stepping up after a UT recruit at Byrnes High School had this to say to Rivals:

“It had to have been coaches from other schools that turned Tennessee in,” Willis told the site. “They probably got jealous when they saw the girls at the game. We did nothing wrong and neither did the girls. They stayed in a hotel alone and didn’t even have anything to do with us besides watching us play…”

Oh no, they di’int.  And Andy’s got the photo to prove it.

Tennessee football recruits Corey Miller (80) and Brandon Willis pose with Tennessee recruiting hostesses Dahra Johnson (left) and Lacey Earps after a game at Byrnes High in Duncan, S.C., on Sept. 25. Courtesy Andy Staples/SI.com

The best part is that Staples had no idea that the photo had any significance until almost three months after he took it, when the New York Times broke the story.

Meanwhile, that mean old librul Gray Lady is at it again, with a report of yet another recruiting investigation going on.

… Hamilton said in a telephone interview that the SEC was looking into the actions of a Tennessee recruiting intern, Steve Rubio, who flew to South Florida with Coach Lane Kiffin recently and visited the athletic powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale.

Under N.C.A.A. rules, Rubio, who graduated from Aquinas and volunteered there, is not allowed to recruit off the Tennessee campus. Hamilton said the concern was whether Rubio did recruiting work and contacted players while he was at the high school.

There’s also some salacious business the Times reports about that isn’t part of an official investigation.

Also on Friday, Keith Easterwood, a veteran summer basketball coach, said that on a visit last year with his son, a football recruit, he had to ask a hostess to stop brushing her breasts against both him and his son.

He recalled saying, “Young lady, if you don’t stop doing that, we’ve got a problem.”

Easterwood said that he took a group of basketball players to a Western Kentucky football game at Tennessee this year, and that the presence of the hostesses had his players “literally reduced to blubbering idiots.”

“I’ve been up there five times, four for football and one basketball visit,” Easterwood said. “My observation is that this is a very organized operation. These girls have obviously been groomed. There’s a lot of eye contact and touching.”

Hubba hubba!  You wonder if this stuff is going to collapse under its own weight at some point in time.  In the short-term, it’s still a win for Junior, though.  At the end of the article, the Times quotes Kiffin’s boss describing the Laner as “successful yet controversial“.  And they spelled his name correctly, too.

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Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Recruiting