Fiu's Cavalcade of
Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances
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2006 Season | Preseason
Part Two |
Week 9 |
Week 10 |
Week 11, Part 1 |
Week 11, Part 2 |
If this column sucks, it’s not my
fault … like Alabama football
after losing to UL Monroe, and like America after the 9/11 and Pearl
Harbor attacks, the “catastrophic event” of a column had to rebound. As
you’ll see, like the Tide against Auburn, it didn’t.
“Oh, I see. This is all part of the theme, right? Sure. And you're just
stage actors pretending to be filthy drunkards. Bravo. Bravo, everyone.
Long live the theater.” … (to the 2007 college football season so
far). Clap, clap, clap (make the clap faster) clap, clap, clap, clap
(get out of chair while wildly applauding) clap, clap, clap, CLAP, CLAP,
CLAP (whistling and hooting in appreciation) CLAP, CLAP, CLAP.
If you haven’t had fun this season, and if you haven’t woken up every
Saturday morning excited about the Christmas present of games about to
be unwrapped, then I, and a vat of Paxil, can’t help you.
The equivalent of camping outside a Best Buy on Thanksgiving night to be
the first in the store Friday morning to buy a Walkman … It’s not
that Texas A&M hired Mike Sherman, he might turn out to be solid, but
it’s that it had to happen RIGHT NOW. At the very least, couldn’t there
have been more of a search? It didn’t need to be done as Dennis
Franchione was turning in his key to the executive bathroom. Confused
Aggie fans are right in wanting to see just who might have been
available after the bowls are over.
“I'm so scared! Oh no, the Germans are coming after me. They're so big
and strong! Oh, protect me from the Germans! The Germans.” …
There’s no truth to the rumor that Bob Stoops
and Mack Brown spent Monday afternoon frantically padding their
résumé on Monster.com after their deepest, darkest fears have come true:
The Shermanator is in College Station.
“A deja vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they
change something.” … Isn’t it great? We finally get to end the
speculation and see Oklahoma actually have to play Missouri … uh, oh
yeah. Well, the debates can finally stop as Virginia Tech and Boston
College will settle it on the field after … what? Oh, that’s right. At
least the Conference USA title game should be interesting to see what
Kevin Smith and the UCF offense can do against Tulsa and it’s porous …
really? 44-23 Knights? So what, exactly, is the reason behind playing
these three conference championship games if these they already played
Will Coach Michigan For Food … So, Michigan fans, you still want Les
Miles? He has one of the three most talented teams in America, along
with USC and Oklahoma, and couldn’t get the job done at home against a
mediocre Arkansas team. Michigan doesn’t know anything about having
loaded teams that can’t come through in crunch time, does it? (cough,
cough) Bill Frieder (cough, cough).
Now that Mike Sherman is off the board … I’ve got the ideal Michigan
head coach: Dennis Franchione. Oh sure, he might not do much in
conference play and might lead the program to a consistent fourth place
finish in the league very year, but at least the guy knows how to win a
But I’m still most afraid of the Viva Viagra guys … The ads from a
four-day college football weekend pop quiz
1) Who’s creepier, Burt Reynolds, fresh from his stint at Madame
Tussauds Wax Museum, in the Dell ad, or the little girl obsessed with
the mirrors that supposedly make a TV better?
2) What brand of TV has those mirrors, and do you remotely care enough
to make you want to buy that TV.
3) Beyonce in the DirecTV “Upgrade” ad or the woman at the end of the
electric razor ad with the guy with a medicine cabinet full of his own
What's 4,000 yards between friends? … I just filled out my ballot
for the Doak Walker Award voting Darren McFadden 1, Ray Rice 2, Mike
Hart 3. Those were my only three choices. I guarantee you will never
again see a year when two, 2,000-yard backs couldn’t even make the Doak
Walker list of finalists. I’m not saying UCF’s Kevin Smith and Tulane’s
Matt Forte are the most talented backs in America, but Smith might end
his 2007 season with 2,500 rushing yards and Forte finished up with
2,127 yards and 23 touchdowns. Even if they were on the ballot I’d still
vote McFadden first, but Forte has rushed for 402 more yards than the
Arkansas star with eight more touchdowns, and Smith has run for 439 more
yards and ten more scores. I don’t care if you’re playing in the Sun
Belt, if you’re putting up the numbers these two did, more credit is
"The peanut is
neither a pea nor a nut. Discuss."…
1) Now that Fresno State is
44th in the latest BCS rankings and Florida State is 45th, who’s the
real FSU? 2) If it’s the University of Missouri and the University of
Kansas, then why are they called MU and KU respectively?
“So, that's it then, hmm? Just like a young man coming in for a quickie.
I feel so unsatisfied.” … If it’s Missouri and West Virginia for the
national title, fine. I don’t need one of the preseason big names like
Ohio State, USC or LSU to be in it. Not this season. However, if ever
there was a year in need of a playoff, this is it.
On the morning of January 8th, are you going to be completely sold on
your national champion? We can still have all the drama we’ve had all
season long if a playoff is almost only limited to conference champions.
Put in the six BCS champions, the highest ranked independent or non-BCS
champion, and leave one at-large slot open for the highest ranked team
left on the board. I firmly believe that you shouldn’t play for the
national title if you can’t win your conference, but I’ll concede just a
little to the hottest-team theorists out there.
Think about how great this would be:
- Missouri/Oklahoma winner vs. Hawaii
- West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech/Boston College winner
- Ohio State vs. LSU/Tennessee winner
- USC vs. Georgia
The regular season would still mean absolutely everything, and there’d
be no room for any whining or complaining because every BCS team will
have had a shot, you’re giving one little guy a chance, and you’re
acknowledging one other team that was fantastic at the end of the year
because it jelled or got healthy.
But don’t be banking on ol’ No. 5 to be “bringing the wood” for anyone
but the Miami Dolphins … Not to get ahead of ourselves, but the 2008
Heisman race should be out of this world. Assume the front-runners will
be: Florida QB Tim Tebow, Missouri QB Chase Daniel, Ohio State RB Chris
Wells, West Virginia QB Pat White, Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell,
Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford, Texas QB Colt McCoy, Texas Tech WR Michael
Crabtree, Boise State RB Ian Johnson, Wisconsin RB P.J. Hill, Kansas QB
Todd Reesing, and USC QB Mitch Mustain or Mark Sanchez. Now imagine what
the race will be like if Darren McFadden, Steve Slaton, Rashard
Mendenhall, Jonathan Stewart, Jamaal Charles, Felix Jones, Ray Rice
and/or Kevin Smith don’t bolt early for the big league.
Chris Myers will be following Colt Brennan at the end to see if he
proposes to some cheerleader … There’s no argument when it comes to
Hawaii and the BCS. Remember, we’re not talking about the national title
or a playoff here; we’re talking about a glorified exhibition game. If
Hawaii goes 12-0, then it should absolutely without question have one of
the BCS spots (which it’ll automatically get by finishing in the top
Of course, it helps when you play almost no one outside of your own
conference … You want to know why alumni, fans and administrations
have no more patience and want to crank things up to 11 at the soonest
possible moment? Missouri and Kansas. Those two took a few years to get
to a national title level, but they did it. If they could ascend to the
heights they did this season, then you can understand why Nebraska and
Texas A&M was so itchy to try to capture the same sort of magic.
Maybe the wealthy alumni of the rest of the SEC can pool their money to
buyout Meyer’s contract … Notice all those Florida seniors kissing
their parents on Senior Day? No? That’s because there weren’t that many.
There won’t be the mass exit of underclassmen to the NFL like there was
last year, so hopefully you enjoyed this 9-3 Gator season because it’s
not happening again for a while. Of course, fans in Athens are saying
the same thing about their Dawgs, too.
Would Missouri be Hillary or Rudy? … Be honest. You’re fine with the
presidential candidates, but if it weren’t for the rules and
restrictions, you’d rather see Bill Clinton vs. Arnold Schwarzenegger
for the big prize. You’re fine with the likelihood of West Virginia and
Missouri, but if it weren’t for the rules and restrictions, you’d rather
see LSU play USC for the big prize.
“That's great to give something back like that. I'd love to find time
to do volunteer work. Just the other day I saw this golden retriever
that-- He had like a gimp, and he couldn't really-- It made me feel
terrible. I wish there was something I could do.”
The NCAA needs to put in a rule against
going for two when a team is embarrassingly behind. Texas Southern, down
59-6, trying for a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter
against Houston made me feel all sad inside.
This is the worst-looking game I ever saw. You watch a game like this,
I’ll be you get a free bowl of soup. … If Oregon vs. UCLA wasn’t the
worst college football game played in the last decade, I want to see
what was. I sat through Gigli from start to finish just to see
how bad a movie could be. If you didn’t see the Ducks and Bruins, you
have to try to find a copy of the game somewhere just so you can say you
saw it. In the 16-0 UCLA win, the two teams combined for 22 first downs,
368 yards of total offense, 22 punts and six turnovers. Oregon was five
of 22 on third down conversions, while UCLA was two of 17. The signature
of this tour-de-force was the passing from both sides with Oregon
completing 11 of 39 passes for 105 yards and three interceptions, and
UCLA completing four of 17 passes for 64 yards and two interceptions.
Trust me, the game was even worse than the stats.
The C.O.W. airing of the
grievances followed by the feats of strength
More coaching openings will pop up over
the next several days, Colorado State is a sure-thing, but for right
now, here are the 12 key openings and the overviews of their situations.
Prestige Factor: Stepping-stone job
Ideal Candidate Would Have … success at the D-I level as a top-notch
offensive coordinator or with an exciting offense that could work
anywhere. Previous success at some level in Texas is a must.
They Should Think About … Rice head coach David Bailiff
The Skinny: The program has never been able to overcome the 1987
death penalty brought on by the sins of the heyday, but the team is in
good enough shape for someone to step in right away and succeed in
Conference USA play. Former head man Phil Bennett didn’t have much
success, but this was supposed to be a big year with the building blocks
he put in place.
11. Northern Illinois
Prestige Factor: A destination for an older head coach, a
stepping-stone for a younger one
Ideal Candidate Would Have … a media-savvy older coach with name
recognition and good energy. Being able to own the greater Chicago area
is a must.
They Should Think About … Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo
The Skinny: The stability of Joe Novak for 12 seasons turned the
program into a bit of a MAC power that couldn’t get over the hump. The
potential is there to make this the MAC’s premier program by getting the
huge Chicago alumni base fired up and generating a buzz with a coach
who’s not afraid to work the media 24/7. While the Huskies will likely
go young, they should take a cue from the immediate success Ohio had
with Frank Solich and get a bit of a proven commodity. Injuries killed
the team this season; the team can win it all next year.
10. Southern Miss
Prestige Factor: Decent. The chance is there for a young head
coach to up his stock in a hurry.
Ideal Candidate Would Have … fresh ideas. After 14 extremely
successful seasons under Jeff Bower, the tradition of great defense
isn’t going anywhere. Someone who can upgrade the offensive profile
would be nice.
They Should Think About … Tulsa offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn
The Skinny: With a reputation for wanting to play anyone,
anywhere and any time, USM wasn’t afraid to take on the big boys under
Bower, and that’s a tradition that must continue. It’s not like the
program went into the tank under Bower; it’s still more than good enough
to win the Conference USA title right now. However, for all the success,
a little bit of new blood won’t be a bad thing.
Prestige Factor: None. It’s considered one of the toughest
jobs in America.
Ideal Candidate Would Have … a quirk. Duke will never be able to get
the talents to win the ACC title on skill, but an offensive wizard who
can run the spread to near-perfection would throw a scare into the rest
of the league. Remember, the program was good back when Steve Spurrier’s
offense was rolling.
They Should Think About … Appalachian State head coach Jerry
The Skinny: If Wake Forest can win an ACC title and if Northwestern
can be a consistent competitor in the Big Ten, then Duke can follow the
same blueprint. This isn’t an ideal job for a young coach looking to
make some noise right away, but getting an established D-IAA star or a
decent coordinator (think Al Golden moving from Virginia to Temple)
could change things around in a year or two.
Prestige Factor: None. A coach can make a big name for
himself with the slightest bit of success.
Ideal Candidate Would Have … in-roads in Texas. Baylor is a
different type of Big 12 school because of its private status. The coach
has to come up with a big-time offensive idea, like Guy Morriss tried to
do with the Texas Tech passing attack, only with more success.
They Should Think About … North Texas head coach Todd Dodge
The Skinny: As far as the tough job openings go, this is far more
difficult than Duke because the rest of the South is so nasty. Oklahoma
and Texas will be in the national title discussion every year, Oklahoma
State/T. Boone U. is improving, and Texas Tech and Texas A&M will always
be bowl bound. Forget about the defense. Some alumni might like the idea
of Mike Singletary, but the Bears need an effective offense that can
outbomb teams on the right day. Trying to get in defensive struggles
against Oklahoma and Texas won’t work. Houston’s Art Briles will likely
get the gig.
7. Washington State
Prestige Factor: Medium to low. Only Stanford is a tougher
Pac 10 situation.
Ideal Candidate Would Have … the offensive wizard tag. You have to
be able to put up consistent points on the board in the Pac 10, and
Wazzu has been successful when it’s been able to crank up the offense on
everyone. Defense, schmefense; this is the Pac 10.
They Should Think About … Boise State head coach Chris Petersen
The Skinny: The early talk is about Mike Price coming back to his
old stomping grounds, but take a look at how his UTEP teams went into
the tank in crunch time during his reign. The program doesn’t have the
fan base or the overall cache of the other Pac 10 teams, but the right
coach can win there right away. Bill Doba wasn’t bad, but he managed to
be on the wrong side of seemingly every close game.
6. Ole Miss
Prestige Factor: Not as much as Ole Miss thinks it has.
Ideal Candidate Would Have Had … the ability to win right now,
but with a realistic eye on building for the future. Even though the
program needs time to turn things around, forget
about any sort of a five-year building plan under Houston Nutt. As the administration has
shown with David Cutcliffe and Ed Orgeron, win now or die.
They Should’ve Thought About … Baltimore Ravens assistant coach Rick
The Skinny: Orgeron actually had the right idea and the right
plan in place building from the lines out, and now it'll be up to Nutt
to provide some stability and some instant pop after his tumultuous
stint at Arkansas. Despite going winless in SEC
play, there were enough close losses and enough competitive performances
to hope for a relatively quick turnaround under the former Arkansas head
man, but it this simply a case of going through someone else's trash? Getting to a bowl in the next
two years is a must, as is beating Mississippi State.
5. Georgia Tech
Prestige Factor: Better than you might think. It’s a solid
job that opening that’ll attract its share of big names. In a big city
with an administration that wants to crank things up to another level
right now, Tech should be able to have its pick of several big-time
Ideal Candidate Would Have … the media savvy to win over Atlanta.
Georgia is the top dog in the state, even in Atlanta, so it’ll require a
charismatic head man who can sell the program as more than just a
They Should Think About … UCF head coach George O’Leary
The Skinny: No, Tech isn’t going to go rehire O’Leary. Florida State
offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher and Auburn defensive coordinator Will
Muschamp are the likely front-runners, but don’t rule out a shocker of a
name being thrown into the mix before all is said and done. Going the
pro route actually worked a bit with Gailey, and Tech might at least
consider throwing a feeler phone call to Oakland Raider head man Lane
Kiffin or Atlanta head coach Bobby Petrino.
4. Texas A&M
Prestige Factor: Not remotely close to as high as Aggie fans
think it is.
Ideal Candidate Would Have Had … more of a “wow’ factor. Mike
Sherman has a nice résumé and should certainly be able to step in and
get the Aggies to bowl games every year, but he’s not going to force
Oklahoma or Texas to close up shop.
They Should’ve Thought About … North Carolina head coach Butch Davis
The Skinny: Sherman certainly knows the program and is part of the
Aggie family, but is he really the guy to take the program to that next
level it’s been dying to get to for several years? As disappointing and
embarrassing as the Dennis Franchione era became, he beat Texas over the
last two years. Sherman can be great right away, but he has to come up
with wins over the Longhorns right away.
Prestige Factor: Relatively high. Depending on who you
believe, this is a powder keg of a program ready to blow up, or Houston
Nutt basically maxed it out in a nasty SEC West. The next head coach
will be walking into an extremely interesting situation.
Ideal Candidate Would Have … a mega-name. In a conference full of
heavyweight head men, the Hogs need someone who won’t blink at the idea
of game-planning against Nick Saban and Urban Meyer.
They Should Think About … North Carolina head coach Butch Davis
The Skinny: Watch out for this to be Alabama-lite. Arkansas will
make a run after several monster names, including a few from the NFL,
only to be rebuffed like Bama was last year, although on a much less
public scale, before getting a high-powered coordinator like Florida
State offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher.
Prestige Factor: Obviously great, but this isn’t a job for a
big-name coach who’ll want to make the program his. The bigger problem
will be the unattainable expectations. Husker fans want to be in the
national title hunt every year, but the mid-1990s are long gone and in
the new Big 12 world, programs like Missouri and Kansas have become
Ideal Candidate Would Have … the ability to function in Tom
Osborne’s shadow. Nebraska wants a head coach with Husker ties, but it
can’t be at the expense of getting the top candidate possible.
They Should Think About … Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez
The Skinny: It might not have worked, but former athletic director
Steve Pederson was right the program needed a fresh coat of paint … to a
point. The offense actually worked under Callahan, but the defense went
bye-bye, and at a place like Nebraska, that’s inexcusable. It’ll either
be LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini or Buffalo head man, and former
Husker great, Turner Gill, but Pelini might want to hang around Baton
Rouge to see if he could potentially step into a much, much better
situation if Les Miles bolts for Ann Arbor.
Prestige Factor: The leader and the best. Along with Notre Dame
football and North Carolina basketball, it’s the premier job in college
Ideal Candidate Would Have … the ability to not be starry-eyed
when it comes to the Michigan tradition. Urban Meyer was able to blow
off the Steve Spurrier factor and make Florida his from the start.
Michigan’s new head man can’t get bogged down by trying to play to the
crowd. Basically, the program needs a stone-cold killer, a rainmaker who can
step in and make everyone do a collective “yeeeeesh.”
They Should Think About … Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops
The Skinny: Michigan can get almost any college coach it wants
outside of Meyer, Nick Saban, Charlie Weis, Jim Tressel and Pete
Carroll. The job is that big. I’m not joking when it comes to pursuing
Stoops, a former Iowa player who would fit perfectly into the Big Ten,
while scaring the bejeebers out of Ohio State. Oklahoma is big; Michigan
is bigger. Les Miles is the name at the top of everyone’s list, but
don’t be shocked if Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is in the running late
in the game.
Nuggets for the upcoming week, now made with white meat, at
participating restaurants …
- The college version of overtime is head-and-shoulders better than
the NFL version, but it needs to be tweaked. The drives should start on
the 35 instead of the 25 and teams should have to go for two after
touchdowns from the start instead of after the second overtime.
- Note to the Rose Bowl: you don’t have to take a Big Ten team if it’s
not the champion. The Big Ten – Pac 10 thing only really matters if you
get the best teams from each league. If you lose Ohio State to the BCS
Championship, take Georgia.
- It's not like a normal free kick, the opposing team needs to have
possession first, but couldn’t Kansas have gone for an onside kick
after the safety late in the Missouri loss? As crazy as this sounds, if
you remember the situation, I thought the safety was actually a plus for
KU because it moved the ball out a little bit.
- The most interesting game you didn’t pay attention to last weekend was
Tulsa’s win over Rice. Owl QB Chase Clement accounted for 601 yards of
total offense as Rice hung 700 on the Golden Hurricane. With Tulsa’s
porous defense, the Conference USA title game will be a shootout.
- Tim Tebow is the obvious First Team All-SEC quarterback, but a little
love has to go to Tennessee’s Erik Ainge. He put up a whale of a year
with a slew of no-name receivers compared to last year’s group.
C.O.W. shameless gimmick item … The weekly five
Overrated/Underrated aspects of the world
ads ... Underrated: Fast Food Nation
2) Overrated: Fat Joe Montana in the NFL Network ads … Underrated:
Fat Jim Kelly in the ESPN ads
3) Overrated: Playing your stars on special teams ... Underrated:
Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray
4) Overrated: Several top job openings ... Underrated: Checking out the
contract situation after beating Alabama for a sixth time in a row
Virginia Tech at No.
LSU at No. 7 despite
beating the Hokies 48-7.
My Heisman ballot this week will be … I'm holding
the ballot in my hand. "I hearby designate Tim Tebow, Florida, As my
First Choice to receive the Heisman Memorial Trophy, awarded to the most
outstanding college football player in the United State for 2007. To the
best of my knowledge, he conforms to the rules governing this vote."
My Second Choice is: Chase Daniel, Missouri
My Third Choice is: Pat White, West Virginia
If White or Daniel lose this weekend, I'll put Darren McFadden in the
“You know I'm born to lose, and gambling's for fools/But that's the way
I like it baby, I don't wanna live forever” … The three lines this
week that appear to be a tad off. (1-2 again. I'm really not this bad if
you look at my overall picks for the site, but if actually care about
this segment, all you're worried about is consistency one way or the
other, and that's me … 12-24-1 overall.) … 1) Washington +14.5
over Hawaii, 2) Florida Atlantic +15.5 over Troy, 3) Army +14 over Navy
Sorry this column sucked, but it wasn’t my fault … I had everything
right there for the taking needing just a home win over an average team
and a win in a championship game to be in the championship, and then
Darren McFadden had other ideas.