Cavalcade of Whimsy
Sept. 27, 2011
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- Part 2. The Ten Big
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180 days since Stanley McClover's claims
against Auburn, Ohio State, Michigan State, and LSU
with no repercussions.
Sorry if this column sucks, it's not my fault … the replay official thought it was good, and the Big East later issued a statement saying it sucked.
"Now, you listen to me! I want trading reopened right now. Get those brokers back in here! Turn those machines back on! Turn those machines back on!" … No, no, no, no, no. Toledo, you didn't beat Syracuse because Ross Krautman's extra point was ruled good even though it went wide. Rocket athletic director Mike O'Brien, stop asking for something your football team didn't earn.
Just like The Tuck Game, the "pass interference" penalty on Miami at the end of the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, and the gag by the replay official in the 2006 Oklahoma loss to Oregon, the team that got hosed still had a chance to win the game after the controversial call.
Unless the mistake came on the final, final, final play, like if Syracuse was down by one or two points and a missed field goal was called good as time ran out, then it was still up to Toledo to keep playing. Missed calls happen several times a game in every game. This was simply a bit more egregious.
Oakland had a chance to D up and stop New England in the classic 2002 Divisional Playoff game, and Adam Vinitieri still had to make the greatest kick in NFL history to force overtime. Miami could've stopped Ohio State and could've won in overtime, and Oklahoma could've played defense instead of gagging on the late touchdown pass against the Ducks.
But in the Toledo-Syracuse case, the Rockets have even less of a beef.
In case you missed the set up, Syracuse scored a touchdown to go up by two with just over two minutes to play. Krautman's extra point attempt went wide, it was ruled good, and replay officials botched the call and ruled it good. Toledo stormed back, got a 20-yard field goal to force overtime, and then lost in OT. The Big East later came out and said the officials missed the call, and now Toledo is whining and the MAC is acting like the world won't be able to overcome the great tragedy that'll plague our nation for generations to come.
You can't assume that everything would've played out as it did if the extra point was ruled no good. Maybe Syracuse dials up the pressure a bit more and takes a few more chances on defense if it was up two instead of three. Maybe Toledo is a tad bit more conservative and the 20-yard field goal attempt becomes a 30-yard try. Maybe the crows is a bit louder and more desperate and Toledo commits a penalty. If-then doesn't work here.
Even with the missed call, Toledo could've come up with a touchdown in regulation rather than settling for overtime, and it certainly didn't have to get the horrible throw into the end zone by Austin Dantin in the extra session that got picked off.
It was a bad call and a bad situation, but Toledo, you lost. Play better next time.
"Tina, you don't have a forehead,
you got a eight-head."
… There's no truth to the rumor that men all over America are asking their barber for the Dana Holgorsen, the male equivalent to the Kate Gosselin. Of course, it's the reverse Gosselin. There's way too much business being conducted in the front and way too much of a party going on in the back.
"And who do you think he's handling?
He pushes people away before they
have a chance to leave him. And for
20 years he's been alone because of
that. And if you try to push him
into this, it's going to be the same
thing all over again. And I'm not
going to let that happen to him!"
… Remember back a few weeks ago when Texas A&M was "rejected" by the SEC? Everyone had a nice laugh and A&M had egg on its face, but as we know now, it wasn't a rejection as much as it was a delay.
It's the exact same case with the Pac-12's "rejection" of Texas and Oklahoma.
Get this right, everyone. The Pac-12 didn't "reject" Texas; it saved face. Texas wasn't going to give up any of its Longhorn Network money and it was going to stay put after the Pac-12 demanded a piece of the pie. The Pac-12, however, did "reject" Oklahoma with Texas out of the equation, but that's for now, and the Big 12 had better recognize that this isn't over and OU still might bolt.
What happened last week was a chance for the Pac-12 to take a breath and see what all the options were without the pressure of being under the gun. It was a move to see if there was any wiggle room on the negotiations, but the Pac-12 needs to act fast because interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas is going to try to lock everyone down with something iron clad so this all goes away. That's not going to be easy.
How did the pitch to keep Texas A&M go? Exactly.
Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Baylor, you need to keep on looking and you need to keep your head on a swivel. Keep your options open. Don't just settle because you think Neinas has a handle on things, because the Pac-12 types could change their minds in a heartbeat if they decide they really do want Texas.
"We don't need no education/We don't need no thought control"… Neinas and the Big 12 are sitting at the wobbly kids table with the magazine under one leg. With Texas A&M gone, Neinas stated first and foremost that he's looking for a good football program from outside of the state of Texas – sorry, TCU – with geography being a main part of the equation. That leaves two viable options, BYU and/or Boise State, and in the high stakes world of conference realignment, that's not going to get it done.
BYU might have a national fan base, but it's not going to add too much to any upcoming TV deal, and Boise State, despite all the success, does nothing for the TV markets. Big 12, the SEC just danced with your date, it might pluck Missouri for the asking, and your grand plan might be BYU or Boise State? That's not even a lateral move.
And then there's the other part of the equation that's getting totally ignored – academics. Neinas at least has to pay lip service to the idea of adding a top-quality research institution, and he's not even pretending to do that.
Some parts of the Pac-12 supposedly have a problem with bringing in Oklahoma State and Texas Tech as piggybacks because of their academic reputations – even though, to paraphrase the line, when strippers say they're working their way through college, they're probably talking about Arizona State – and Missouri, for example, wants the Big Ten because of the upgrade in prestige for the university as a whole. Neinas has to address that this is more than a sports story; the people at the top who make the decisions care about the school more than the football program.
But it's really not quite as bad as a Mike Leach non-conference slate … And now come the sacrifices to the Texas A&M schedule after it bolts next year for the SEC. The Aggie faithful aren't going to want to stop playing Texas, so will that mean the rivalry with Texas Tech goes away? The two programs started playing in 1932 when Tech was in the Border conference, and A&M came up with a 7-0. It was Tech's only loss over the first 11 games, beating Panhandle State, SMU, Austin, Arizona, New Mexico Highlands, Colorado Mines, Notre Dame's B team, Trinity, Baylor, and New Mexico by a total score of 370 to 15 before closing out the season with a 13-12 loss to Hardin-Simmons.
"Of course. But I really wanna leave my mark this time, you know, uh. I
wanna walk away from the Yankees with people saying 'Wow! Now that guy got
canned!'" … Bravo, Mr. Locksley. Bravo (while doing a slow, rhythmic clap)
There have been more disastrous coaching tenures in college football history, and there have been more spectacular flameouts, but Mike Locksley's tenure at New Mexico is up there. It had a little something for everyone.
Locksley was supposed to change around a Lobo program that got stale under Rocky Long. A top-shelf recruiter who had a pipeline to the Washington D.C.-Baltimore area, he helped get the talent at Illinois to go to the Rose Bowl and came to Albuquerque ready to bring in the players needed to make a huge splash.
During Locksley's time there was 1) a sex discrimination lawsuit, 2) an age discrimination suit, 3) a suspension for hitting an assistant, 4) a recruit, who of course was named Joshua Butts, getting arrested for a DWI and driving without a license while allegedly driving Locksley's car, and 5) a football program so miserable – going 2-26 under Locksley's watch - that it might keep the Mountain West from getting an automatic BCS bid.
Short of leaving the toilet seat up, not recycling, and being interested in the new season of Hung, there isn't much else he could've done to make things worse.
Worst of all, unlike Hoke, Rodriguez was one time seen wearing red … For all of Brady Hoke's talk about limiting the number of times he was going to let Denard Robinson run, after three games No. 16 has 71 carries for 552 yards and five touchdowns while completing 49% of his passes for 624 yards and six touchdowns with six picks. Last year over four games he carried the ball 79 times, missing half of a game against Bowling Green hurt, for 688 yards and six scores while completing 71% of his passes with four touchdown passes with a pick.
Hoke is the change the program needed, but would Michigan be 4-0 right now with Rich Rodriguez at the helm?
The program spent a few years building to this point, and 2011 is supposed to be when it all comes together. RichRod built this.
Remember, Michigan went 5-0 to start last season and went 4-0 in 2009. What Rodriguez couldn't do was get by Michigan State, and while Hoke's team should cruise past Minnesota and should get by Northwestern, the real work begins on October 15th in East Lansing.
If they could make a movie about stats with Brad Pitt, then maybe Paul Sovino could play Hoke in something about this … I don't know why the NCAA not counting the Western Michigan-Michigan stats bothers me so much. It's probably the inconsistency of the ruling and the way it skews all the national statistics.
The NCAA allowed Michigan to keep the win after the opening day game was called in the third quarter because of lightning, but the stats were wiped off the books because three quarters weren't completed. Right now, Denard Robinson leads the nation in rushing averaging 168.67 yards per game, but that doesn't count the eight carry, 46-yard effort against the Broncos. WMU sixth-year senior Jordan White has caught 31 passes for 376 yards and three scores this year according to the NCAA, but really, he has 43 grabs for 495 yards and the three touchdowns. He's leading the nation in catches with USC's Robert Woods two behind with 31 catches, and he's second in the nation in total receiving yards ranking just behind Cal's Keenan Allen and his 498 yards, but not according to the stat sheet.
"Claire, I'm more afraid of bein' nothing than I am of being hurt." … If a guy named Jimmy Johnson can be a top NASCAR driver, then a guy named Clint Trickett can be a Florida State quarterback.
Also protested by the One Million Moms parent group … This week's Alex Neutz tracker, now sponsored by the latest Ben & Jerry's flavor, Schweddy Balls: The Buffalo sophomore grabbed five balls for 83 yards against Connecticut.
And I'm pushing for GameDay to come broadcast from my breakfast nook, because I can't go up the road to see the show in Madison thanks to all the Nebraska fans taking up hotel rooms within 100 miles of Camp Randall. … It's Year Three, Week Two of my open lobbying of the College Football Final show guys to give me a helmet sticker and the signed T-shirt, suitable for framing. Why do I deserve one this week? I spent half a Sunday during football season, which in my world is like an accountant taking off for five hours on April 14th, driving around so my wife could get the purse she saw in a magazine.
- Part 2. The Ten Big