Ah, the inherent sadness Orange Bowl.The Sugar Bowl got Tim Tebow's last game (and maybe Urban Meyer's). The Fiesta Bowl got the BCS-buster duo darlings of Boise State and TCU (and still not bad game). The Rose Bowl had a not too bad Ohio State-Oregon match-up. The Orange Bowl? It got a rock. As usual.Honestly, was anybody really dying to see Iowa take on Georgia Tech? Sure, both school would probably take whatever they could, especially Iowa, who kind of slipped into the BCS sideways. But really, is there anything that looks on paper to be more unappetising?It's pretty much par for the course for the Orange Bowl. For a bowl game set in what is one of the coolest places in America, it always turns out lame. The Orange Bowl should be like this.Instead, it's more like this:See the disconnect here? The Orange Bowl should be reflecting the sizzle of Miami's nightlife. Instead, it's looks more and more like the place old people from North come to retire. Not really what the Chamber of Commerce is looking for. Especially after the economic meltdown.Granted all the BCS bowls show their age at times. But the other three bowls are still hot little cougars as opposed to the Orange. The Fiesta may be the feistiest of the bunch. The Sugar Bowl, well its had a rough few years, but it manages to clean up well and hold itself together with a quiet, dignified grace. The Rose Bowl? Well, it's kind of like Jane Fonda. You disagree with what she does most of the time, but you have to give it to her that she handles herself well and still looks good.The Orange Bowl, on the other hand, constantly shows its age and can't help but remind you that it's become the ugly sister of the family. It went from the decrepit Orange Bowl to (sigh) Land Shark Stadium (why, Jimmy Buffett? Why couldn't you have just called it Margaritaville Stadium?). At least it won't have a baseball diamond in the middle of the field this time of year.There are times that the thought of kicking the Orange Bowl out of the BCS might not be a bad idea. Even with its location, it seems to be the lesser of the BCS bowls.
This is Joker Phillips, who upon the retirement of Rich Brooks has takes the reins as head coach of the Kentucky football program. Although he has done an admirable job aiding Brooks in rebuilding the Wildcats football program, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about Joker Phillips.Is he a picker?Is he a grinner?Is he a lover?Is he a sinner?Does he play his music in the sun?He's a Joker, but is he a smoker?Is he a midnight toker?Does he get his lovin' on the run?Does he really like your pieces and wants to shake your tree?Most importantly, has he ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?(via Sports Illustrated)
Monday night will bring the Fiesta Bowl showdown nobody wanted to see. Undefeated perennial non-BSC conference teams Boise St. and TCU will face each other in what's basically a boobie prize from the BCS this year. The sad truth is that this might be the best of the BCS bowl games this year.Nobody was really looking for a Boise St./TCU match-up, especially since TCU beat Boise last year in the Poinsettia Bowl last year. Many fans want to see these "BCS Busters" actually face off against a BCS school. Instead, the BCS pulled this little stunt, and elsewhere giving fans the "greatness" of the snuff film known as Florida and Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl, and Georgia Tech and Iowa in the Orange Bowl. Insert either TCU or Boise in the places of Cincinnati and Iowa, and you'd get a more interesting match-up. Either school would certainly put up a bigger fight against Florida than the Brian Kelly-less Bearcats did.If anything, this year's Fiesta Bowl shows college football's fatal flaw on display: its unwillingness to evolve to the changing times. Whether you can tell it or not the ancien regime is slowly changing. Look at a list of the "100 Largest Colleges and Universities" and you will see a lot of traditional NCAA football powerhouses like Texas and Florida. But you will also see a more than a few schools like the University of Central Florida, BYU, Utah, and yes, Texas Tech (sorry, but it couldn't be helped). Who's not on the list? Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Alabama.Regionally, the states in the Mountain West and WAC are growing faster than many Big East or Big 10 states. Utah is the second fastest growing state in the Union, just in front of Texas. Michigan's at the bottom with a -0.33 percent loss.The BCS was created to preserve the ancien regime. It ignores the changing reality of America and college football. That level of hubris is what's going to make it harder to respect the BCS as a legitimate entity in the future.
Probably the most annoying thing about the Mike Leach mess is the reactions of his supporters. They've basically made Adam James and his father, ESPN analyst Craig James, into their whipping boys. Adam James in particular is getting his manhood called into questioned.Adam James may turn out to be a bit of a brat, but the bigger brats are the Leach Supporters who are using the younger James as the target of their protests over their fallen idol's firing. This includes booing him as he entered and exited the field while surrounded by "body guards." Or selling shirts on e-bay that say "Real men aren't afraid of the dark."The level of maturity in Leach's supporters has to be called into question. Blindly accepting Leach's side of the story shows severe lack of critical thinking skills. It's obvious many of them have not considered whether in a time where concussions are a big enough mainstream issue to warrant Congressional hearings if Leach's treatment of James was a logical move.It looks harder and harder if Adam James is going to be able to continue attending Texas Tech in this environment (much less play football there). Leach's supporters have shown a lack of maturity in handling the issue logically as oppose to going after the James family like the rowdy, reckless kinds of pirates that Mike Leach likes.(via Dr. Saturday)
You might not know it from the around the clock Mike Leach coverage, but there is another college team in Texas that's playing a bowl game soon. You know, the one from Austin? The one playing for the BCS championship? Remember them?Well is seems that even Mack Brown is getting dragged into this mess. Someone had to go and ask Brown about his thoughts of the James-in-the-Box mess. "I hate it for Mike, and I hate it for Texas Tech, and I hate it for college football," Brown said in response to a question after arriving in southern California for the Citi BCS National Championship Game against Alabama. "It's a game about kids. When we get administrators talking about things other than kids and coaches talking about things other than kids, it takes away from what it's supposed to be about. ... It's a tough thing." The fact that the Leach mess is drowning out the BCS title game is probably another reason why we need a playoff system.(via Dallas Morning News)
And now the Shirts With Random Triangles choice for Texas Tech head football coach: East Carolina's Skip Holtz. Even if ECU lost the Liberty Bowl, Holtz showed why he's looked as being an up and coming coach.Holtz oddly enough personifies both sides of the Mike Leach/Adam James controversy. On one hand, he's a coach of a team nicknamed the Pirates. 'Nuff said. On the other, he's the son of an ESPN analyst whose involvement with college football was touched by controversy (Under the Tarnished Dome, anyone?)Texas Tech has the coach that personifies all that is Texas Tech football at the moment. Which is probably why they'll look somewhere else for a coach.(via Rivals.com)
It looks like the 2009 Season had one more kick in the pants for Georgia. Oklahoma State, the team that began Georgia's annus horribils was beaten by Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl. The humiliation is complete. Mark Richt can hang his head in shame that Houston Nutt could do something he wasn't able to do.(via Rivals.com)
In case you missed it, here's the Texas Tech commercial that ran during the Alamo Bowl:And this electrical shed is Adam James classroom:
It looks like Craig James is still scheduled as part of the announcing team for the Alamo Bowl. This is despite James' part of the controversy about Mike Leach's handling of his son Adam. If anything he's become as much a part of the story as either Leach or Adam James has.This should be good enough reason for ESPN to remove Craig James from the announcer's booth. It was probably not a great idea to have him there in the first place as Adam is (still) a Red Raider.But now the elder James has become such a part of this controversy that he might become a distraction, albeit a profitable one for ESPN.Which brings up the probable reason ESPN has let it's journalistic integrity (quit snickering) slide in this situation. The Alamo Bowl is a lower-tier game which was bound to get lower-tier ratings (especially considering there's a UFC PPV on tonight starting an hour in to the game). This was going to be a bad enough bowl after the mass suspensions at Michigan State. But with the Leach/Adam James debacle, ratings are bound to get a boost. Craig James in the booth would obviously be a plus in that area, where it might have not been before.Which is why James should be yanked out of the booth. He is too involved with this story and it might show up in how he calls the game. His involvement is so big enough that the phrase "helicopter dad" has gained more traction in the English language than it did at the start of the week. And it's going to be pretty darn impossible not to acknowledge what went on this week in the first place. If anything, he should be replaced in the booth, and then moved to the halftime show for an interview and comments on what Mike Leach had to say Friday on ESPN.It seems obvious ESPN is bound to benefit from the controversy. A bowl game that would have gone under the radar if it weren't for the Leach/James family blowup is going to get more notice than it should.
"It's All Over But the Crying"*Yes, barring a recovery even his Tebowness isn't Tebow enough to accomplish, this game is done. Cincinnati fans are quietly (or not so quietly) cursing Brian Kelly's name at the moment and wishing he would perform what Neal Boortz calls "an impossible act." Meanwhile Tebow relishes in what may be the last meaningful football game of his life (what, you consider Jacksonville Jaguars game meaningful?). And Urban Meyer prepares for his Farve-esque leave of absence.Y'know what I regret about this game. Coming up with the brilliant idea of the "Predict What Biblical Verse Tebow Would Put In His Eyeblack" game. I can't argue with Ephesians 2:8-10, but I was kind of hoping for Matthew 28:16-20.*(Yeah, kinda lame. I was looking for the Georgia Satellites' "All Over But the Crying." But dangit! YouTube didn't have it.)
It looks like Lane Kiffin isn't the only Vols coach to have some of his players in trouble with the law. Some of Bruce Pearl's charges are facing charges of their own. The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that four members of the men's basketball team (starter Tyler Smith, occasional starter Cameron Tatum, and back-ups Brian Williams and Melvin Goin) "are facing misdemeanor weapon and drug charges" after what is being called a "traffic stop." No word on what drugs are involved, but it sounds like it was something other than corn from a jar.(via Knoxville News-Sentinel)
Terence Moore's ability to say something stupid has no bounds. This time, he defends the likes of Mike Leach, Mark Mangino, and other "real" football coaches. "Real" football coaches meaning those who went to the Darkseid School of Management."Still, no matter what really is the deal here surrounding Leach's treatment of wide receiver Adam James earlier this month and even before that, this applies: if you're anything close to an old-school college football coach these days, you might consider joining the Marines or something."Apparently Moore didn't get the message. The Marines are looking for a few good men. Not control freaks with authority problems. Big difference there.Same with the Army. Ever hear the phrase "Duty, Honor, Country," Terence? Do you see the word "self" or "ego" in there? No. Are "self" and "ego" the words that come to mind thinking about Mike Leach? Yes.Anybody who has actually paid attention to Leach's relationship with his Texas Tech superiors knows that Adam James was being used more as an excuse to fire him than an actual response of disgust. Leach's main offense was putting him interests over the school's interests.Many of these "Real" coaches are the same way. They basically want to be Master of the Universe at their school. Only their He-Man Schtick comes more off like Skeletor. And when they've taken the school for all they could, they jump for the next job the first chance they get. (Hi, Brian Kelly!).Moore waxes poetically on Mark Mangino too. lamenting of how Mangino was let go because of "several Kansas players who claimed Mangino whipped folks to death with his tongue."Dang, Mangino must be a mutant if his tongue can do this:That's a pretty powerful tongue to cause damage like that. Actually, that's allegedly the hand of a player than Mangino made "bear-crawl " across a hot astro-turf covered field. That's the result of burns the player is supposed to have received.Look, here's the real reason the "real coaches" are endangered. It's because they want to have absolute control over their program. They expect AD's to rubber-stamp their every decision and look the other way at their misdeeds and probably NCAA violations. That philosophy is out of vogue at a time were fans and corporate sponsors expect the programs they support to be clean inside and out. Not just whitewashed tombs.And by the way, Moore. Nice cheap shot at the military there. It it rough, yes. But there is a code of conduct of what can and can't be done to recruits. Just remember those in the Armed Forces are doing a job you apparently had too much of a yellow streak down your back to do. Or maybe you just didn't want somebody yelling in your face like you want Mike Leach and Mark Mangino to do. Moore, you're a hypocrite.(via Fanhouse, KU Sports.com)
Pat Knight decides to have a little bit of a cussing session at the end the post-game interview following a 90-75 beatdown from New Mexico.Like father, like son? Think about it.Not quite up to dad's greatness, or Mike Leach's "fat little girlfriends" line. But 'tis enough, 'twill serve.(via The Sporting Blog)
It looks like Mark Richt's long, tedious search for Willie Martinez's replacement as defense coordinator will continue into the new year. Yet another candidate, John Chavis is staying put at LSU. It's seriously looking like the reality TV idea is looking like Richt's best chance to save face right now. That or to just go ahead and give the job to Rodney Garner, even though Richt says he's not up for it.(via Athens Banner-Herald)
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