You know what the biggest difference between the SEC and the Big Ten is? The SEC has its share of assholes, but at least they’re not insufferably pompous about it.
Daily Archives: July 29, 2011
Man, this Joe Posnanski post is so good. First, because of the questions he asks,
Ask yourself this: What would happen if tomorrow every single player on the Auburn football team quit and re-formed as a professional team called the Birmingham Bandits. Who would go to their games? Anyone? How much would those talented young men get paid?
Ask yourself this: Say the first, second and third All-America Teams in college football tomorrow went into the NFL. They just left. How many fewer fans would the college games draw? How many fewer people would watch Texas and Tennessee and Iowa?
Ask yourself this: Why do we care about college football? We know that the skill level in college football is vastly inferior to the skill level of NFL teams. Heck many Heisman Trophy winners are not even NFL prospects. Yet, by the millions, we watch. We cheer. We buy. We rejoice. We gripe. We wear. We eat. We live it. Many of us even argue that we PREFER the quality and style of college to pro, we LIKE watching those games more. But is it the quality and style we prefer or is it passion, youth, exuberance and that we feel closer to the game?
And, then, by the way he answers them.
No, college athletics is not ABOUT the players. College athletics is FOR the players, but that’s a different thing, and that’s a distinction we don’t often make. College football only works on this grand scale, I believe, because it’s about the colleges. The alumni connect to it. The people in the town connect to it. The people in the state connect to it. People are proud of their connection to the University of South Carolina and Clemson, they are inspired by Alabama and Auburn, Penn State and Notre Dame and Stanford, they identify themselves through Missouri and Wisconsin and Florida and Texas A&M. The players matter because they chose those schools, they play for those schools, they win for those schools and they lose for those schools too. Everyone, of course, wants them to be the best players available, and some are willing to cheat the current system to get those players. But soon the players move on, and the love affair continues, just as strong, just as vital. The CONNECTION is what drives college football.
I really don’t want to get in the way of what he writes (make sure you read the whole thing), except to say this: YES.
A new head coach I’ve been most impressed with is Vandy’s James Franklin. Stepping in and trying to revive a moribund program in the nation’s toughest conference ain’t easy in the best of times, and Vanderbilt’s 2010 season was anything but that. Still, at least in the short run, Franklin has struck me as being up to the task. He’s done some clever promoting (the walk-on videos I’ve posted are a good example of that), brought some needed energy to the program and, most importantly, recruited on a level I never thought the program was capable of achieving.
Which makes this a pretty sad bit of news.
The hiring of football Coach James Franklin and a hard marketing push have not translated to increased season-ticket sales at Vanderbilt.
About 11,000 season tickets have been sold, approximately 1,500 off last year’s pace.
That is despite an intensified focus on marketing, which will increase over the next month.
I’m not a Vandy fan, and I still find that depressing. Not that I expect sellouts overnight, or fail to remember that the fan base did get a little excited during Vanderbilt’s bowl season. But to see ticket sales drop below the level of the Robbie Caldwell season? Sheesh.
Interesting quote from Oregon assistant coach and former Nebraska starting quarterback Scott Frost about offensive philosophy:
“The big thing is this: It helps greatly when an offense has a definite mentality to it. It helps greatly when you have a defined personality and set of standards. When I was at Nebraska, our calling card was we were a tough, physical team. Everybody knew it. We knew it. We were proud of it. We embodied it. We embraced it. We loved the fact that we were going to try to completely beat up a defense. Nobody wanted to play us because of the physical nature of our team.
At Oregon, to a man, everybody on our team has bought into the fact that we’re going to play fast, we’re going to wear you out, and we’re going to attack you. There’s absolutely no hesitation. I think when you have that kind of personality as a unit, offense or defense, and everybody knows the common goal and mission, then I think it’s really easy to get everybody on the same page and be successful. When people don’t know exactly what they want to do, they struggle.
It’s easy to point to that and say that’s what’s missing at Georgia, because… well, because that’s what’s missing at Georgia. But here’s what I’m wondering: in the abstract, if you were to ask Richt and Bobo what they want the personality of their offense to reflect, what do you think they’d say? And what would you like them to say?