My friends and I have had an e-mail discussion for a few
weeks about this and wondered what your take would be. If all the
coaching jobs were open in college basketball and college football,
which would be the five most prestigious ones? Not the best programs,
the best coaching jobs, or, the ones that everyone would want to take
over? –Ben B.
A: Ah, the Tonight Show argument. Several years ago when Johnny Carson
announced he was retiring, there was a battle between David Letterman
and Jay Leno and their camps for who’d take over the coveted job.
Despite being offered a totally garbage deal, Letterman still
desperately wanted the gig for the prestige value. It’s the one job
every comedian grew up dreaming about having.
I also call this the “destination job” argument. These are coaching jobs
you never, ever leave from unless you’re going off to the pros.
While this is totally debatable, I think basketball is more clear-cut
than football. The number one college basketball coaching gig, without
question, seems to be North Carolina. My remaining four would be
Kentucky number two, Kansas three, UCLA four, and Duke five.
I had a harder time with the top five for football. The Notre Dame job
is the obvious number one. Remember that we’re talking about the jobs
and not the programs or the teams, I’d put Michigan two, Ohio State
three, Texas four, and USC five. The first two were no-brainers, and
because all coaches seem to come from Ohio, the Buckeye opening has to
be in there somewhere. For the fourth and fifth slots, I wouldn’t argue
if you wanted to put in Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, Nebraska,
Oklahoma or Penn State.
Do you think that Ohio State will have a very bad year this
coming season? The reason I ask is that in your last Ask CFN article you
didn't have a BCS placement for Ohio State. With their quarterback
situation being cloudy, I know it's hard to put a lot of stock in the
Buckeyes, but I'm wondering if you think they will be so bad to miss out
on a BCS Bowl Game? - The ByrdMan
A: A “very bad year” is totally relative. I’ve talked to a few Buckeye
fans who consider 2006 a “very bad year” after the way things ended, and
in a warped way, they’re sort of right. Of course, there are a scattered
few who’d say 1-11 would make for a brilliant year as long as that one
win was over Michigan.
When you’ve been spoiled by the success that tOSU fans have enjoyed
under the Jim Tressel era, it’s BCS or bust. With that said, I don’t
care if it’s Ohio State, USC, Florida or UL Monroe, if you go 10-2, even
if you don’t go to the BCS, I find it hard to call it a bad season.
The Buckeye defense alone should be enough to keep the team in the hunt
for the Big Ten title. The uniforms can show up and beat Youngstown
State, Akron, Northwestern, Kent State and even after how close last
year’s game was, Illinois. If the offense is even the slightest bit
competent, OSU should win road games at Washington and Minnesota and
handle Michigan State at home. That’s eight wins right there, or at
least eight games where OSU will be favored. I think Purdue, with that
offense, is going to be dangerous, so let’s say OSU splits in the four
tough games at Purdue, at Penn State, Wisconsin and at Michigan. That’s
10-2, not all that far-fetched, and in the BCS discussion.
I know that’s way too simplistic, but the defense really will be
fantastic, the running game should be solid, and remember, this is Ohio
State we’re talking about; they replace NFL players with other NFL
A friend of mine and I were discussing the size of the football used in
college and in the pros. He thinks the college ball is shorter and
"plumper", in addition to having white stripes around each end. I think
the only difference is the white stripe. I have been unable to locate
regulations describing the actual football (NCAA.com, NFL.com,
A: It’s actually easier to figure out on the Internet how to build a
nuclear bomb than it is to find the official dimensions of a football.
According to the good people at Wilson, the length of an NFL ball is
anywhere between 10 7/8" and 11 7/18" and the width is anywhere between
20 3/4" and 21 1/4". The NCAA football is the same length, but the width
is anywhere between 19 3/4" to 20 3/4". I don’t believe them.
I’m holding one of
each in my hands right now, and the NCAA ball feels wider, or as you’d
say, plumper. The NFL, looking for more passing, seems to have a
sleeker ball that’s easier to grip. Basically, if you can chuck a
college football, you’ll have an easier time throwing “The Duke,” but I
could be wrong if the official dimensions provided really are correct.
What is the reasoning
behind the Pac-10 schools scheduling 9 conference games and such tough
non-conference opponents? While I love the competitive spirit of the
league, the cold hard realist in me can't help but wonder if the
conference wouldn't be better off scheduling an additional home cream
puff rather than a 9th conference game or an away game at a place like
BYU or Utah. As it stands I don't think the conference is going to ever
see an at large BCS berth in the next 10 years and, unless USC can
maintain its ridiculous level of quality, they won't see a national
title game, either. – Alex
A: First of all, everyone should applaud the Pac 10 and give its teams
more respect for the way they’ve set up their schedules. Not only did it
make the right move in joining the Big East as the only leagues to crown
a true champion with everyone playing everyone else (keep those gimmicky
conference championship games to yourself), but they also aren’t afraid
to play some of the bigger boys. I have a different take than you; if
you beat the good teams, you’ll get more respect. I do see what you’re
saying and as an AD, I’d always fatten up on easy non-conference games
to prepare my program for the tough conference slate. As a fan, I say go
Every year I like find a team (especially if they've hired a new
"name" coach) that can go from mediocre to possibly very good in one
season. This year I'm following Alabama. Can Saban take the decent
talent there and, with some luck, find a way to compete for the SEC
title? – TR
A: Very good, yes, SEC title, probably not. I sort of touched on this
last week in regards to how well the schedule works out. As a team, Bama
wasn’t all that bad last year, and if there can be a little more pop to
the running game, better pressure from the defensive front, and more
close wins, a bounceback year should be expected. However, don’t expect
the Tide to be in the SEC title hunt. Second place in the West is
remotely possible, but it’ll be asking a lot of this year’s team to only
lose one game against Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, LSU and Auburn.
Nothing makes me madder than when personal fouls by each team cancel
each other out. What do you think of charging each team a time out as a
penalty in such a situation? – Mike
A: Nothing makes you madder? The situation in Darfur? People driving 47
m.p.h. in the right hand land while talking on a cell phone? How truly
awful the talent is on American Idol this season?
Unfortunately, there’s no other way to handle offsetting penalties. What
if one team doesn’t have any time outs left? What if one team has all
three and one team has one? It would be in the best interest of the team
with all three to instigate some sort of a fight to burn the other
team’s time out. The other theory thrown around was to punish each
offense 15 yards. When the team on defense got the ball back, it would
lose 15 yards and start first and 25. That wouldn’t work since the
defensive team would take that deal every time. Kill the current drive,
take your chances when your offense gets the ball back. The only other
solution would be to force each of the offending players to sit out for
the rest of that drive, but if you do that, you’d see teams trying to
instigate the star players to get them out of the game.
If all the juniors that left for the draft would have stayed for one
more year, who would have been your pick for the Heisman? How about the
National Championship? – Jacob L.
A: Heisman-wise this year, your front runners would be Adrian Peterson,
Calvin Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, JaMarcus Russell, and maybe Michael Bush
and Dwayne Jarrett. Colt Brennan, Darren McFadden, Steve Slaton, Pat
White, Mike Hart and Brian Brohm, who are each back this year, would
also be in the race.
For the national title projections, not too much would change if all the
juniors had come back. USC would still likely be number one with Jarrett
coming back, LSU would either by one or 1A with Russell returning, and
Florida would be somewhere in the top three with Jarvis Moss, Reggie
Nelson, Brandon Siler and Ryan Smith back on defense. The biggest change
would be Ohio State, who’d likely be a preseason top five, instead of
ranked around 10-15, with Antonio Pittman, Ted Ginn, and Anthony
If you’re talking about last year and your question is who would’ve been
the Heisman pick, Vince Young would’ve likely run away with the award,
Reggie Bush would’ve been second, Troy Smith third. Wisconsin’s Brian
Calhoun would’ve put up huge numbers and Minnesota’s Laurence Maroney
would’ve been in the hunt.
Texas and USC would’ve likely squared off in a national championship
rematch. Young probably would’ve gotten the Longhorns past Ohio State in
Austin, but it would’ve been an epic battle. Remember, Texas basically
lost to Kansas State and Texas A&M because Colt McCoy was hurting.
Replace McCoy with Young, and you’d have a different outcome. USC with
Bush and LenDale White in the backfield, Darnell Bing in the secondary,
and Fred Matua and Winston Justice back on the O line, would’ve been
unstoppable. Ohio State would’ve been interesting with Santonio Holmes
as a number one receiver and Donte Whitner and Ashton Youboty in the
secondary. Florida would’ve had Chad Jackson as a top target and Dee
Webb back at corner. Wisconsin would’ve been an interesting player in
the national title mix if Calhoun was back. The Michigan game, when the
Badgers couldn’t run and needed a speed back to get to the outside,
might have had a different outcome.
The BCS last year would've likely ended up being ...
- BCS Championship: USC vs. Texas
- Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. LSU
- Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Notre Dame
- Orange Bowl: Louisville vs. Wake Forest
- Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. Michigan