Daily Archives: June 17, 2009

Kiffin watch: we’re live blogging… and loving every minute of it.

God help us all.

WordPress and Cover It Live don’t completely mesh, for reasons which I have absolutely no ability to explain to you, so you’ll have to click on the link below to watch the great debate, which starts at 8:00 PM.


Of course, feel free to add your comments, which you can do in the usual place, or in the Cover It Live window once things get going.  I think.



Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, The Blogosphere

Does Tim Tebow approve of Huntley Johnson?

Deadspin has the life-of-the-office-party story of the Gators’ go-to attorney, as documented in

… the lawsuit brought in 2000 by Johnson’s secretary, Pamela Thigpen, in which she accused her boss of foul language, sexual innuendo and physical assault. Thigpen won a judgment of more than $1 million in a civil trial, and the verdict was upheld on appeal…

Now I understand how Johnson is good at establishing rapport with his clients.  And why he needs the business.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators...

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

The Boise State Broncos, that’s who.

… Boise State likely will be more aggressive in pursuing “guarantee” football games — one-time road games against powerhouse programs for which the Broncos are paid handsomely. Athletic director Gene Bleymaier has sprinkled those into his schedule sparingly in the past but recognizes them as an easy way to increase revenue in tight times. The Broncos have openings in 2010 and 2011 that could be filled by that type of game.

And contrary to the laws of economics at work in the universe Senator Hatch’s brain inhabits, there’s a very simple reason for that, one that has nothing to do with the BCS.  Just listen to BSU AD Gene Bleymaier:

“Right now, I’d go where I can make the most money,” he said. “If I can play at home and make that much money, then I’m going to play at home. But it’s difficult to make that much money in our stadium size. … I’ve tried to avoid those (guarantee games). Now they’re much more of a reality going forward.”  [Emphasis added.]

The bonus here is that the move should strengthen Boise State’s strength of schedule numbers.  All the Broncos have to do now is win some of those games.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

Orrin Hatch has time on his hands.

The Senator from Utah took the time to answer some questions posed by the staff at RealClearSports about his continued interest in D-1 football’s postseason (h/t The Wiz of Odds).  In case you might be wondering if there would be any surprises in the interview, the first question – not the answer – should dispel that thought:

RCS: Most college football fans wouldn’t know it, but you may represent the best hope to reform the nearly universally detested BCS. Other than the President, you have been the most prominent and outspoken BCS opponent in Washington. In fact, you’ve previously held hearings about the BCS and you’re on the record calling the BCS “Un-American.”

But, although loathed, the BCS is the status quo, has some powerful support and has proven resilient. Practically speaking, what can Congress do bring about BCS reform?

There’s a guy who’s got a future as a Fox News producer.

Anyway, here are a few choice snippets from Sen. Hatch.

First, on his misunderstanding of the underlying economics of college football:

… My biggest concern with the BCS is that it creates inherent disadvantages for those conferences that don’t receive automatic bids. Nearly half of all the teams in college football are left to share relatively small amounts of BCS revenue, while the teams from the six automatic bid conferences each have a share in a much larger pot, even if they don’t win a single game…

No, the BCS doesn’t create the disadvantages; it merely amplifies them.  The BCS isn’t the reason San Diego State can’t get a stadium lease signed and it isn’t the cause as to why the WAC doesn’t have the same TV contract the SEC does.  In college football, the money flows where the attention goes.

Next, once again, we’ve got college football turning ostensibly conservative pols into flaming – dare I say it? – socialists.

… When you look at it, a lot of schools depend on the revenue from their football programs to keep all their athletic programs running, or to pay even for some of their academic programs. So for all those things, on the outside looking in on the BCS, which once again is nearly half of all the teams in Division I, the problems with the system extend well beyond the football field. So, as you can see, this is not some itty-bitty problem, this is a pretty important set of issues we’re raising here. I would hope that, given the size of these disparities, the DoJ and the FTC wouldn’t shy away from these issues.

Share the wealth, baby!  And if you won’t, well…

RCS: Your colleague, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa has made a point in the past that if these schools and sports programs are run like businesses then they should be treated like businesses and not non-profits. Thereby they’d lose their tax-exempt status.

Is threatening to take away tax-exempt status an option for BCS reform legislation?

Sen. Hatch: Not as far as I’m concerned. I don’t want to do that. But, in the end, that is one option at Congress’s disposal…

Then, we get a dose of Orrin Hatch, the reluctant warrior.

… Look, I’m not itching to get the Senate involved in the regulation of college football. And, like I said, I would also rather not see the matter addressed in the courts, or by the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. There are people right now with the power to reform the BCS system, and it’s always been my hope that they’ll do so without government involvement…

Which is why he strongly opposes Congressional hearings… oh, wait.

He does have a villain for us.

… All of us have been raised in America seeing the elite have advantages that others don’t have. We’re kind of used to it. But when it comes to something like collegiate football, and you clearly have about 50% of these teams not treated fairly; that’s taking elitism too far.

I know what the break down is. One team has a vote. Just one team in this country: Notre Dame. That’s a great team, a great school, and has seriously had great teams all these years. But that’s not right. I don’t care what anybody says…

There goes the Catholic vote.

The most revealing part comes from Hatch riffing off of Andy Staples’ observation that “Swofford couldn’t decide whether the BCS exists for financial or competitive reasons.”  Except that wasn’t the problem – it was Swofford’s questioners who couldn’t pose that issue coherently.  Swofford was simply left to deal with the fumbling around.

All of which is perfectly illustrated in this quote from Hatch.

… You know this isn’t just Utah that’s being treated unfairly. You can go to Boise State and ask them — they were undefeated at the end of the regular season last year. In fact, both Boise State and Texas Christian finished higher than two teams with automatic bids last season. Yet two teams with multiple losses were able to qualify for a lucrative BCS game, even though they were ranked lower in the BCS’s own poll. In addition to Utah last year, other teams in recent years, including Boise State and Hawaii, have gone undefeated, but were left out of the national title picture.

We all know that college sports in general are big on tradition. There are schools that have winning traditions, and there are teams that are always going to be favored in the media and even among fans, like Notre Dame. We’ve all been raised with that, and I think most people accept that.

But there’s another tradition: The Cinderella story. The team that defies the odds, and despite its humble location and unknown roster, plays its way into National prominence. Now we see that in NCAA Basketball Tournament all the time. The BCS, more or less, makes it impossible for these Cinderella teams to contend for the National Championship. I think that takes a real good aspect of the game away. I’m serious. I think this is important.

What is he after here for the non-BCS conference schools?  A share of the pot, or a shot at the title?  In 2007, Hawai’i got the former and didn’t deserve the latter.  Was that really unfair?  Or does it simply not appeal to Hatch’s personal sensitivities about how a postseason should be formatted?

And as much as he tries to keep the homeboy out of the interview – “You know this isn’t just Utah that’s being treated unfairly”, my ass – he lets his slip show in the end.

RCS: Alright Senator, last question. Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, and Colt McCoy are all returning to school this year. Which one of them will win the Heisman – or do you have a dark horse candidate in mind?

Sen. Hatch: Well, let me just say this: I think you better watch Max Hall at BYU.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Political Wankery

Wednesday morning buffet

The pickings are a little slim today… still feeling the effects of no Dawgbone linkage.

  • The Laner isn’t the only SEC newbie head coach with needs and a plan.
  • Clay Travis presents a lengthy explanation about why he believes Notre Dame will soon be ready to rush into the arms of the Big Ten.  I’m not sure I buy that, but he makes a compelling case that Charlie Weis had better start delivering real soon, though.
  • This hardly seems like a fair trade:  Dawgbone goes on hiatus and Stewart Mandel is due back this month from his.
  • Another great, over the top post about the BCS at Coaches Hot Seat Blog.  (That’s “great” in the sense of entertaining, in case you were wondering.)
  • This is about as good a tirade about the hypocrisy of the NCAA’s stance – or more accurately, stances – on early departures for the pros as I’ve read.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Charlie Weis Is A Big Fat..., Gene Chizik Is The Chiznit, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, The Blogosphere, The NCAA

Kiffin watch: don’t say we didn’t warn ‘ya.

Today’s public service announcement, via Team Speed Kills:

The Great Lane Kiffin Debate. Permit C&F to lead off with a completely self-promotional item today, particularly since there isn’t much real “news” in the SEC right now. Tonight, barring some sort of significant techincal glitch, Team Speed Kills will partner with Rocky Top TalkRoll Bama Roll and Get the Picture to present the Great Lane Kiffin Debate, a live-blogging discussion of the past, present and future for Lane Kiffin at Tennessee.

The event will begin at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT. Again, if all goes as planned, you’ll be able to participate in the debate through comments — in a moderated fashion — here at Team Speed Kills, while guests to the other sites can do the same there.

We have as many people as might have been offended by Kiffin as is possible to do and have the dicsussion make sense — your humble correspondent will represent the gas-pumping South Carolinians, Year2 will carry the banner of cheating Florida Gators, Todd of Roll Bama Roll will refuse to thank Lance Thompson for coming up with his Alabama-based arguments and Blutarsky’s grandmother will insist he take up Georgia’s banner. And we’ll have two Tennessee fans to take up for Lane Kiffin.

And I got through that whole thing without once writing “Boy Wonder.”

Aw, crap.

The likelihood of embarrassment for me here is considerable.  And that’s just in terms of whether I can figure out how to use the blogging software.  Be merciful, people.

We will try to avoid committing any secondary violations during the discussion, but I hope we don’t have to check our nicknames at the (virtual) door.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, The Blogosphere

Greatest third down conversion evah

There’s a great post over at EDSBS about the worst offensive series in the history of offensive series – and, yeah, when you wind up fourth and sixty one, that’s a pretty good indication of awfulness – that got me wondering what the longest successful third down conversion in college football might be.

That in turn reminded me about one of my favorite single plays ever, Miami’s conversion of a third and forty three deep in its own territory against Granny Holtz’ Fighting Irish in ’89.

Can anyone think of a deeper hole that a team dug itself out of (conversion by penalty doesn’t count)?  Especially in a big game like that one?


Filed under College Football