Daily Archives: May 12, 2009

They’ll always have Athens.

Is it just me, or is there something strangely appropriate about these two stories appearing next to each other at the AJ-C sports website?

Seriously, congrats to Coach Donnan.


Filed under Georgia Football

Kiffin watch: Pahokee HS declares war.

Or at least its principal does:

What does Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin need to do to fully make amends in Pahokee?

Hop on a plane, Principal Ariel Alejo said Monday.

Three months after Kiffin insulted the school and community while talking to Tennessee boosters, a new controversy was sparked last week.

Tennessee assistant coach Eddie Gran, who helped swing star receiver Nu’Keese Richardson from Florida to the Volunteers, arrived at Pahokee’s campus last week to offer junior Antonio Ford a scholarship

… Upset that Kiffin has yet to directly apologize to the school and the community for implying they are inept, Alejo told Gran no one from Tennessee is permitted on school grounds until Kiffin satisfies that demand.

Now understand that Junior has made amends with the coach.  It’s just that Principal Alejo wants his pound of flesh, too.

“Coach Kiffin publicly apologized to Blaze Thompson … but I’m still waiting, and the community is as well,” Alejo said. “It’s what I think he owes the community of Pahokee and what he owes this school. His comments were made public, so now he needs to go publicly and retract those comments.”

Alejo suggested Kiffin fly down and attend tonight’s city commission session or the school’s Student Advisory Council meeting May 19.

“If I were him, I would consider (going),” Alejo said. “If it was me, that’s what I would do.”

Pope added, “He needs to come face the people.”

By the way, did I mention where Alejo attended college?

One blog points out that Alejo is a Gator grad and perhaps has an agenda, since Richardson chose the Vols over the Gators.

Nice.  Although before you start feeling sorry for the Laner about how this continues to escalate, you might want to read this quote.

… Pope’s written complaint to Tennessee Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek cited an article in the Gainesville Sun that quoted Kiffin as saying, “For those of you who haven’t been to Pahokee, there ain’t much going on. You take that hour drive up from South Florida, there ain’t a gas station that works. Nobody’s got enough money to even have shoes or a shirt on.”

What is it with Junior and gas stations anyway?



Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

When lawyers get macho – the case for the MWC and marketing

Does everyone in the state of Utah have a chip on his/her shoulder about the BCS?  Now we’re getting attitude from the president of the University of Utah, Michael K. Young:

… The MWC is pushing the revenue issue, which Thompson testified is “grossly inequitable,” even more than the competition aspect. The BCS defense is basically that the television rights fees — ESPN has agreed to a $500 million contract for the bowl games of 2011-14 — would be unaffected without the MWC’s involvement, but would suffer greatly without the Southeastern Conference, for example.

That’s what John Swofford, the Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner who’s taking his turn as the BCS coordinator, meant when he testified that the system “represents the marketplace.”

When the Fiesta Bowl chose Ohio State over higher-ranked Utah (and Boise State) to oppose Texas in January, that was further evidence of how the traditional, name-brand schools drive BCS matchups and TV ratings. In turn, Young seized on Swofford’s “marketplace” defense, saying, “I’m a lawyer; give me that case in a heartbeat.”

And do what with it, pray tell?

As a refresher, here are the 2008 NCAA D-1  football attendance figures.  The Mountain West ranked as follows:

  • 27 – BYU
  • 54 – Utah
  • 62 – Air Force
  • 77 – TCU
  • 78 – New Mexico
  • 80 – UNLV
  • 82 – San Diego State
  • 87 – Wyoming
  • 88 – Colorado State

Only one team in a BCS conference had a worse attendance showing than Colorado State – Duke.

Let’s talk about TV ratings for a second.  In 2008, the MountainWest Sports Network had a banner year.

Over 13 weeks the network carried 30 games in 2008 an aggregate of 870,000 cable and satellite households tuning in…

Compare that with:

  • ABC’s Saturday Night Football – The 13 Saturday night telecasts on ABC averaged a 4.9 rating and 5,651,000 households.”
  • Overall ABC coverage – Overall, coverage on ABC averaged a 4.0 rating and 4,598,000 households.”
  • ESPN’s numbers – “ESPN averaged 1,931,000 households and 2.0 rating for all its games during the 2008 season.”

… and you can see that the MWC has a ways to go.  Hell, College Game Day outdrew the MWC’s network last season.  So did Notre Dame, for that matter.

And look at the top games on TV last year.

… ESPN on ABC notched the highest-rated regular season game this year with the Texas Tech 39-33 victory over then-No. 1 ranked Texas during Week 10. The primetime game tallied a 7.5 rating with 8,589,711 households watching, making it the network’s fifth-most viewed regular-season college football game ever (and the seventh-highest rated ever). USC’s victory over Ohio State in the third week of the season produced the second highest rated game of the season, 6.9, with 7,858,991 households tuning in to ABC, and the Texas Tech – Oklahoma game during Week 13 came in third with a 6.6 rating and 7,550,967 households enjoying the game also on ABC.

That’s nine to ten times the size of the Mtn.’s average audience.  Sure, that’s not a totally fair comparison, but let’s also remember the size of the TV markets that Texas Tech and Oklahoma are in and compare those to the size of those for San Diego State and UNLV.

But skip all of that if you’d like and take a look at this exciting announcement.

BOISE, Idaho –

The Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl today announced that its strong television ratings from its 2008 game have helped secure an optimal position in ESPN’s Bowl Week for 2009 – the exclusive prime time lead-in time slot on Dec. 30, 2009.

For the third successive year, Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl will be aired on ESPN. Teams from the Western Athletic Conference and the Mountain West Conference will square off in the 13th-annual bowl game at Bronco Stadium on the campus of Boise State University.

Kickoff on Dec. 30 is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. MT – just ahead of the start of prime time programming on the East Coast. The game will air in an exclusive time-slot for college football bowl games and will be followed by the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl from San Diego.

“With three teams rated in the nation’s top 13 in the final national rankings of last season, the Western Athletic Conference and Mountain West Conference are creating new fans and outstanding buzz all across the country,” said Kevin McDonald, executive director of the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl.

Can you feel the buzz?  The premier WAC-MWC postseason matchup:  it’s a bowl game sponsored by a truck stop (that the ACC bailed from for the  prestigious GMAC Bowl, by the way)!  It’s got a TV lead in slot!  Only two days before New Year’s!

If that doesn’t sum up the disparity that Swofford refers to, I don’t know what does.

I’m curious where Mr. Young got his law degree.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

Tuesday morning buffet

What looks good to you this morning?

  • Herbstreit really goes out on a limb with a Tennessee prediction:  “I will make a prediction right now that 2009 will be a tough year for [Lane Kiffin] to get welcomed into the conference.” ‘Ya think?  Insight like that is why Herbie gets paid the big bucks.
  • You want more proof that Knoxville brings out teh stoopid?  How about this keen observation by John Adams concerning the fact that UT’s lost eleven kids off the roster since Junior rode into town:  “Mainstream Vol Nation shouldn’t be alarmed. In fact, it would have more cause for concern if the Vols hadn’t lost players.” Yeah, that’s it – up is down, black is white, dog is cat.  It’s all good.  By the way, John, there are those who would argue that “Mainstream Vol Nation” is an oxymoron.
  • This is a nice piece on Mark Richt’s attention to the non-football issues that go along with being a head coach these days.
  • After reading this post-spring practice summary on Oklahoma State and its own problems on the defensive line, I’m taking the under on total sacks in Georgia’s opener.
  • Ray Keller gets shot down on his attempt to revive his lawsuit against the NCAA.  For some reason, this stuff is beginning to remind me of the Japanese soldiers they found twenty years after the end of WWII who thought the war was still going on.
  • The Quad Countdown on #112 Iowa State is more interesting in its in passing comments about Gene Chizik than anything else.
  • Add Tulsa’s Todd Graham to the list of BCS whiners.
  • While we’re on the subject of the BCS, this editorial starts out all guns blazing on government action… and then kinda runs out of ammo when it gets to Utah AG Mark Shurtleff.
  • Oops – add one more dumb observation about Tennessee to the list. “… the defense has nowhere to go but up.” I guess technically that would be true if only four schools played defense last year.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, The NCAA

APR: Maybe not all it’s cracked up to be.

How else to explain this passage from Bruce Feldman’s blog?

… As I wrote the other day, the APR system has some quirks in it and critics point out it’s more about keeping players eligible than necessarily making sure they graduate. With that, I noticed something interesting when I saw colleague Tim Griffin’s post about the APR rankings in the Big 12. Oklahoma is actually tops at 952. Texas Tech is 10th at 935. This is almost the opposite of what you’d expect knowing that Tech’s graduation rate was 79 percent while OU’s was 46 percent. (Get full graduation rates here.) [Emphasis added.]

Well, there’s this.

… An ACC administrator I asked Thursday pointed to the APR. “This isn’t going to stop kids from not graduating,” he said. “It’s just a way for the NCAA to make themselves look good. You can have juniors leave early for the NFL and then, if they make an NFL roster, you can still be a 2-for-2 (on the APR point system), but that doesn’t mean you’re graduating.”

Gaming the system.  Remember – that’s something coaches are supposed to be good at.  It’s part of the job description.


Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA