Around College Football
Thanks for Coming, Big 10
In just a span of a few hours, the hopes and dreams of the Big 10 to be a major factor in the first-ever College Football Playoff were basically dashed. Michigan State at Oregon, Michigan at Notre Dame, and Ohio State hosting Virginia Tech — 0-for-3 this past Saturday. While Michigan was not really expected to contend in the conference, both Spartie and the Buckeyes had sights set on being one of the four teams in the playoff. Of course any of them can bounce back and win the conference, but the lack of signature wins will hurt them. And Wisconsin, we’re looking at you as well from last week’s blown game vs. LSU. Can someone else step up in the Big 10? Nebraska? It took taking a screen pass to the house with under a minute remaining to down McNeese State on Saturday. I still think the best candidate is Michigan State, but they’ll need to run the table and hope that very few teams have zero losses.
Meanwhile, in Blacksburg
Virginia Tech’s big win in Columbus triggered some partying in a college town. Who knew? The Blacksburg Fire Dept twitter reported some interesting activity early Sunday morning — 1:24 am: rubbish fire, 1:53 am: fire alarm at Lane Stadium, 2:09 am: vehicle fire, 2:11 am: couch on fire, and 2:21 am: dumpster fire. One note – that dumpster fire was confirmed to be reported at 510 Jackson Street in Blacksburg, not behind Urban Meyer’s house.
Beatdown in Austin
Longhorn players vowed that this year’s match-up with BYU would be different than last year. They were right; it was worse. BYU’s 41-7 victory in Austin was a head-scratcher in so many ways. Football often comes down to the personnel on the field, but coaching is huge as well. You can’t tell me that Texas’ roster on defense is this bad. Head coach Charlie Strong has a tremendous track record as a defensive coach, but Saturday’s effort won’t help that. BYU didn’t run for 500+ yards like last year in Provo, but this was just plain bad. Down 6-0 after two quarters, the Horns gave up 28 consecutive points to start the second half.
“It’s an embarrassment,” Strong said after the game. “An embarrassment to this program and an embarrassment to the university.”
We’re not arguing, Charlie. But maybe you should concentrate in putting the “T” back in tackling before focusing on toughness.
Maybe Grover can help with your film work this week:
Conflict of Interest
When was the last time you saw a school athletic director in a heated debate with officials on the sidelines during a game? Can’t recall one? How about an AD that was also on the College Football Playoff selection committee? Well, now we’ve seen it.
USC AD Pat Haden left the press box in the middle of the Trojans’ win at Stanford to voice his frustration with the officials on several calls and ultimately an unsportsmanlike conduct call against his head coach, Steve Sarkisian.
There were no rules broken in the situation, and certainly Haden has a right to make his case for his coach and team. But it’s still a perception issue, one that doesn’t do the committee any favors. Then again, I would have loved to see Condoleezza Rice disputing a pass interference call against Stanford in that same game. You know, entertainment value.
I hate cupcakes, I really do. With all due respect to those teams, I would love to do away with them. Games, not snack cakes. Baylor played Northwestern State, Texas A&M played Lamar, Alabama played Florida Atlantic, Florida State hosted the Citadel, LSU brought in Sam Houston. The list goes on.
I realize that’s “how it’s done” because there is no pre-season in college football but how about a different idea – host these types of games as a scrimmage about 10-14 days before the opener? You’d still get the fans to come and make some money. Why wouldn’t TV jump all over them for football content in mid-August? With the SEC, Pac-12 and Big 10 Networks, they would LOVE the programming.
Title sponsors for these games? That’s easy – call Hostess, Tasty Cakes and Dolly Madison. It’s all about the paycheck anyway. Concessions would be a no-brainer.