off-season question: where and when did the custom of giving helmet
stickers for outstanding plays originate? I recall having heard that
Ohio State started with their buckeye stickers in 1968, but I don't know
about any other teams.
A: You’ve got it right, although there are always going to be others who
claim to have started the honor, OSU get the official nod. Woody Hayes
started the tradition in 1968 given mostly for big plays or top
performances. It’s changed a bit over time to where Jim Tressel now
gives them for a variety of merits and reasons.
What would it take for a school like West Virginia,
Louisville, Michigan State, or Purdue, to turn the corner and become an
elite school like Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC, or Oklahoma?
Could it be done in ten years on the field? If a good school finished in
top 5 for 10 years running, with 2 national championships, do they gain
elite status like FSU did under Bowden? What would it take? – DH
Who out there has the potential to be a new superpower like a
Michigan or USC? Not LSU or someone who’s already great. I’m talking
about a bit of a sleeper. Also, what’s makes a really, really good
program and an elite one? - GL
A: What would it take to become a
superpower? Oh, several decades of winning at a high level, and even
that doesn’t assure anything. Just over forty years ago, Minnesota got
the same respect Michigan or USC gets now, but it couldn’t stay at a
high level going downhill after winning the 1962 Rose Bowl.
Being considered among the elite of the elite depends on the timing. Is
Alabama still considered a superpower? It’s been to one BCS-level game
since winning the 1992 national title, but it’s still had a ridiculous
amount of success.
How about Wisconsin? Three Rose Bowls within the last 15 years, a
boatload of other good bowl wins, and a ton of national exposure, but
there hasn’t even been a sniff of a national title. Would UW then be
considered a superpower if it won the national title this year? How
about Kansas State when it was really rolling under Bill Snyder?
Colorado, until recently, could’ve been put into the superpower category
for year-in-and-year-out success. So could Washington. It takes
something truly special to be Teflon and win, win, and win some more
throughout the ages. Michigan football will never be truly awful for a
long stretch. USC will never have more than a few losing seasons in a
row. Ohio State won’t ever be a last place program. They’re just too
To be a Florida State and break into the old boys club, a program has to
be in the national title hunt for about a decade, win at least one, and
be really, really, really good for about 25 years. To get there, it
needs a great recruiting base, a big enough school to eventually get the
support for the facilities needed to compete at a top level, and a whole
bunch of luck. Keeping a superstar head coach around for a generation,
like at West Virginia if Rich Rodriguez decides to never leave, would
My sleeper to eventually get to superpower status is South Florida. It
has the most fertile recruiting base to work with, a coach in Jim
Leavitt who loves to be there and appears to have no interest in any
other gig, plays in a relatively big market (Tampa-St. Petersburg) at a
school with a huge student population and alumni base, is in a good
league, and appears to be just on the verge of turning a corner into
conference championship status. Check back in 10-to-15 years and see how
it all worked out.
Rank the bowls, after the BCS championship game, in order of
prestige, conference matchups, and overall importance. Feel free to
leave out the bottom half. -TheHiddenImam
A: The standard answer for the top non-BCS
game is the Cotton Bowl, but my number one would probably by the Capital
One Bowl. After the name changes, it certainly doesn’t have any
prestige, but as far as conference matchups and overall importance,
getting the number two Big Ten team and the second or third best SEC
team is always going to be good. The Cotton Bowl, with the SEC’s second
or third best option and the Big 12’s second or third best option is
either No. 1A or the second best of the bunch.
3. Chick-fil-A Bowl - ACC No. 2 vs. SEC
4. Outback Bowl – Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC
5. Holiday Bowl – Pac 10 No. 2 vs. Big 12 No. 3
6. Gator Bowl – Notre Dame, Big 12 or Big East vs. ACC No. 3
7. Alamo Bowl – Big 12 vs. Big Ten
8. Sun Bowl – Big 12 or Big East vs. Pac 10 No. 3
9. Champs Sports Bowl – Big Ten No. 4 of 5 vs. ACC No. 4
10. Liberty Bowl – Conference USA No. 1 vs. SEC No. 6
Time to face it: Ohio State would be the
3rd or 4th best team in the SEC. Michigan would be the 4th or 5th best
team in the SEC.
I almost felt sorry for Kirk "Big 10" Herbstreit after
Florida pounded Ohio State. And USC pounded Michigan. Didn't he say
that Ohio State and Michigan were the 2 best teams in America? Didn't
so many so-called football experts say Ohio State and Michigan were the
two best teams in America? Weren't so many people upset that Florida
somehow jumped Michigan after they won the SEC Title game? I think that
FINALLY folks have come to see what we already knew: The SEC is HEAD
AND SHOULDERS above any other conference. The Big 10 winner would be
the 3rd or 4th best team in the SEC EVERY SINGLE YEAR.
SEC speed dominates.
A: Or, Ohio State got fat and lazy with all the time off and got its
butt whupped by a tremendous team that was disrespected and
Isn’t it funny that no one seemed to say anything about how slow the Big
Ten was when the Buckeyes beat Miami for the 2002 national title (and
I’d love to hear some SEC fan call that Hurricane team slow)? Isn’t it
funny how the sad, slow Big Ten just so happened to beat supposedly
too-fast teams like Tennessee and Arkansas in bowl games?
No one’s denying that the SEC year-in-and-year-out is the best
conference in America, or at least second in the years when someone else
is stronger. And no one can reasonably argue that the Big Ten didn’t
stink last season, but there’s a huge, HUGE difference between a
disrespected, superior-coached Florida team getting jacked up for the
national title and what it did throughout last year.
Remember, Florida won five games by a touchdown or less, and was less
than amazing against a few mediocre teams. There’s a reason, at the
time, no one was doing jumping jacks over the Gators getting into the
Look at the schedule. Ohio State would’ve beaten Southern Miss, UCF,
Kentucky, Alabama, Vanderbilt, and Western Carolina without breathing
hard. If it was good enough to win at Texas with ease, it was good
enough to have beaten Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia and Florida State. I
think LSU would’ve beaten the Buckeyes, and at the end of the day, they
likely would’ve finished 12-1 beating Arkansas in the SEC title game …
just like Florida.
That Ohio State team was overrated throughout last year, and history
will probably underrate it after the title game loss, but to say the Big
Ten champion would be third or fourth in the SEC every year is just
Where would Appalachian State rank if they were included in
the CFN 119?
A: If you’re talking about last season, it would’ve probably ranked
around 90. It lost 23-10 to NC State in the season opener and didn’t
play any other D-I teams, but with that offense, it probably could’ve
beaten most Sun Belt teams and the weaker of the non-BCS squads. If
you’re asking about the upcoming season, we’ll know right off the bat
opening up against Michigan. With the big losses on both lines, it would
probably get a preseason ranking of about 95.
You have to remember the key difference between D-I and D-IAA: depth.
More scholarships means more restaurant-quality athletes to stockpile
and develop, and while the best of the best D-IAAers could certainly be
more than just competitive in the D-I non-BCS leagues, getting through
the grind of a long season would always be an issue.
With all the excitement around the opening week of March Madness,
would college football be better served to buck all the traditions and
start the postseason a week or two after the season ends? Not
necessarily a playoff, just starting the bowl season earlier. Either
that, or spread the season out more (for all teams) so that it doesn't
end until the second or third week of December. When the CBB brackets
are announced there is only three days until games start. With CFB we
have to wait a month and the attention goes elsewhere. I hate that the
season ends at Thanksgiving and there are very few quality games until
after Christmas. – TD
A: Traditionally, some college presidents have been against December
games because the first few weeks of month are finals time, but that
doesn’t seem to affect college basketball at all. I don’t mind the time
off since it allows teams to rest up, heal, and regroup, but I do think
the lag time is way too long for the Big Ten, who often goes five-to-six
weeks between the end of its year and the January 1 bowls. Bowl season
gets a bad rap, but I like the lead up to the big games. I just wish the
national title game would be moved back to around the third or fourth of
Can we all just admit that the college basketball system is better
because of March Madness? There’s just no better time of year. There’s
nothing like seeing the little guy get his shot against the big boys.
Don’t you agree? – BP
A: Uh, no. Everyone loves March Madness, but it’s a gimmick. I’ll always
argue that college football actually comes closer to crowning a true
champion, since college basketball all but throws out the regular season
and any meaning it might have. As far as the tournament, I seem to be
the only person in America who hates the quirky upsets. You say George
Mason, I say there’s an ugly blowout just around the corner. In my
world, I want the Elite Eight to be all ones and twos, and I hate it
when everyone gets all excited about the late rounds being full of top
seeds. If you like it so much, then do it right and cut the tournament
down to 16 teams.
Why don't big-time programs take a look at successful small college
coaches more often? Let's look at the evidence: Jim Tressel came from
Youngstown State and has taken Ohio State to 3 BCS bowls and won a
national championship. Rich Rodriguez started out at Salem and
Glenville State and has taken West Virginia to 4 straight New Years Day
bowls. On the other side, Dave Wannstedt coached in the NFL but hasn't
even been to a bowl game after taking over a Pitt program coming off a
BCS bowl, Al Groh has pretty much been a bust at UVA, and hiring
coordinators away from the big boys didn't exactly turn out well for
Syracuse (Greg Robinson from Texas), and Arizona (Mike Stoops). – WP
A: It requires a big-time sell job. If you’re an athletic director and
your football program needs a shot in the arm, you usually want to make
a big splash. If you take an unknown, there’s less of a honeymoon period
and everyone’s putting their necks on the line. If you take a big name
and he doesn’t work out, heck, at least you went after the hot guy. For
example, Minnesota will have a lot to answer for if Tim Brewster stinks,
while if Nick Saban can’t get the job done at Alabama, the fan base will
likely blame Saban, not the administrators who went for the home run.
Remember, Tressel was a big-time winner at YSU. Rodriguez was a favorite
son at West Virginia and one of the hottest assistants around after
serving as Tommy Bowden’s offensive coordinator for several years; they
were hardly unknowns in the coaching community. For the other coaches
you mentioned, wait and see on Wannstedt. He’s brought in some monster
recruiting classes and has the potential to turn it around in a hurry.
Groh has hardly been a bust at Virginia, and Stoops and Robinson, well,
let’s just say they need a big season.
After Ike Whitaker wins the QB job (now that he has his act together)
do you see Va. Tech playing for the National Title considering their
defense should be better than last year? Even if they lose @LSU they
should run the table after that, but i see them winning a low scoring
game in Baton Rouge. – Wilkerson
A: On paper, yes, even an early season loss to LSU still might mean a
shot at the national title, but this is Virginia Tech. There’s always
going to be one or two total meltdowns a season to screw everything up.
The defense will be among the three best in America, and as long as
Branden Ore is healthy, the running game will be fantastic. I wouldn’t
completely rule out Sean Glennon handling the quarterback job quite yet,
but Whitaker will probably be the main man early on. I love this Tech
team, but I like LSU even more, especially in Death Valley.