Fiu's Cavalcade of
Whimsy ... Part 1
Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances
What's your beef? ... Fire
2006 Season |
- Week 11
Part Two This Week
Big Things You Need To Know
If this column
sucks, it’s not my fault … I thought I’d use a little gamesmanship against Pete Carroll
by tacking on meaningless points late in a blowout loss. He called a
timeout to ice my column, so I decided to go for the touchdown. Unlike
Stanford, I misfired.
is based on deception..." Sun Tzu says, If your enemy is superior, evade
him, if angry, irritate him, if equally matched, fight... if not, split
and reevaluate.” …
Oh, that’s right, Jim
Harbaugh. Poke the bear, poke the bear.
You don’t need Sun Tzu or Bud Fox to know that if you’re Stanford, you
don’t tick off USC. You genuflect at the altar and fly under the radar.
USC doesn’t lose when it’s focused and fired up, and now, after Harbaugh
and Carroll have become the Maggie Simpson and the unibrow baby of Pac
10 coaching rivalries, Stanford will now be a “focus” game for the
Does it take beating the Trojans to get them pumped up? No, otherwise
USC would’ve been focused against Oregon State. It takes something
extra. UCLA was able to rile things up after coming close to beating
USC, the eventual national champion, in a 29-24 battle in 2004. The
Bruins started popping off and got whacked 66-19 the following year.
Mark it down: A long as Harbaugh is coaching Stanford and Carroll is at
USC, expect the need for more late tack-on scores from the Cardinal.
Great Moments In Sports Gambling History … With all the attention
paid by the investment community to the debacle at the end of the
Pittsburgh Steeler – San Diego Charger game, the end of the USC –
Stanford game was swept under the rug.
“This means something to (Harbaugh’s) team and players,” said the
announcer. Uh-huh, and to a gaming public that was either horrified or
elated like getting a Red Rider on Christmas morning at Harbaugh’s
decision to try for a meaningless touchdown at the end of the USC game.
Down 45-17 with the spread at -22.5, the Cardinal came up with a
touchdown to beat the number. And you thought your GM stock was having a
Three words: “Bonds on Bonds”… ESPN appears to be on the verge of
getting the rights for the BCS games for 2011 and beyond. Meanwhile, the
network has ponied up $2.5 billion for the rights to televise the SEC
games other than the one CBS will snag for its game of the week. That
means ESPN will be the equivalent of the SEC Network during football
As if the $55 million a year the SEC will be getting from the deal isn’t
enough, let’s just say it’ll be in the Boo-Ya’s best interest if the
league just so happens to be promoted all the time when it comes
to lobbying efforts to get an SEC team into the national title. Also, be
prepared for any and all critical thought when it comes to BCS
discussion to be gone from the Worldwide Leader, and for any hint of the
P-word, be it for an eight-team tourney or a plus-one format, to be
squashed like Harold Reynolds.
Oh, hi Head. I’d like to introduce you to Ass. Ass, Head. … In
response to Barack Obama’s appeal-to-the-masses call for a college
football playoff, BCS head honcho John Swofford released a statement
containing this all-timer of a whopper.
"… For now, our constituencies, and I know (Obama) understands
constituencies, have settled on the current BCS system, which the
majority believe is the best system yet to determine a national champion
while also maintaining the college football regular season as the best
and most meaningful in sports. …"
John, honey, you can’t do that. If you want to defend the bowl system
that’s one thing. If you want to roll about the importance of the
regular season, that’s great. But you can’t open up your fly and throw a
whiz on the 99% of the college football world that’s not happy with this
system. I’ll defend you if you want to defend the system, it’s far
better than the old poll ‘n’ boll style, but you can’t say it’s what the
fans, players, or coaches want.
The statement showed that the BCSers 1) don’t get it, don’t care, and
aren’t even trying, and 2) are the enemy.
I’ll keep writing this column after column to hammer it home. Eight
teams. Six BCS conference champions, the top non-BCS conference
champion, one wild card, one integrity of the regular season fully
intact. John, that’s what your constituencies want. More to the point,
that’s what your president is asking of you.
But no one pulls off Blue Steel like Pelini … You want to
dog the BCS system, go for it. I’m about four days away from officially
being sick of all the whining, but the frustrations are fair. However,
when it comes to deciding the Big 12 South champion this year if there’s
a three-way tie, don’t blame the BCS for being the deciding factor. What
do you want? The stalemate has to be broken somehow. Would you be
happier with a coin flip? A Zoolander walk off between Mack
Brown, Bob Stoops and Mike Leach?
On a slight tangent, the personal belief that you must win your
conference title to play in the national championship will be relaxed
this year. If, say, Texas gets left out and Missouri beats Oklahoma for
the Big 12 title, I have no issue with the Longhorns playing the SEC
champion for the national title.
Newsweek reported that the Election Night euphoria is expected
to produce a baby boom nine months from Nov. 4. In other news, the
hospitals are expected to be clear nine months after Nov. 15 after
continuous sightings of a wet Charlie Weis during the win over Navy
… Well isn’t that convenient of ole Chuck Weis. Now you want to
take over the offense when Navy and Syracuse are on the schedule. Where
were you for Pitt and Boston College?
To all Irish lovers and haters (they’re often one in the same, even if
they don’t realize it), what did you expect this year? Notre Dame is
going to a bowl game, likely a decent one. The franchise quarterback is
in place for the next two years, the baby-young receiving corps has the
potential to be special, and the defense is light years better than it
was even during the BCS years under Weis.
The offensive line was among the most inept in college football last
season, allowing 58 sacks, and this year it has given up 14 in 10 games.
The offense isn’t Texas Tech, but after finishing dead last in America
averaging 242 yards per game, and 16.4 points, it’s averaging 372 yards
and 24.6 points per outing. The team is improving, and it’s still young
with most of the key parts coming back, with the big exception of safety
David Bruton and LB Maurice Crum.
Next year has to be the year. If Weis doesn’t have the Irish in a
position to be in the discussion for the BCS, then it’ll be time for a
serious hot seat. But until then, a little bit of credit has to be given
to Weis (even if it’s through clenched teeth) and the coaching staff for
coming up with a major overall improvement from last year.
“Hey, you wanna hear the
most annoying sound
in the world? Braaaahahahhhhhhhhhhh!” …
Be warned before you read
this; it’ll put you in a grouchy mood for about nine minutes. No, not
the High School Musical 3: Senior Year soundtrack or Arianna
If Oregon State beats Arizona and Oregon, and if Penn State beats
Michigan State, your 2009 BCS season will kick off with a rematch of the
September 6th 45-14 Nittany Lion beatdown of the Beavers.
Maybe that Winter Classic game between the Blackhawks and Red Wings
really isn’t that bad an option.
However, all is fine if handled by the announcing team of Big Jim McBob
and Billy Sol Hurok … I have no problem with Oregon State going to
the Rose Bowl, new blood in the mix is always a good thing, but I just
don’t want to see a rematch with Penn State. As the Grand Poobah of all
things college football, I get to come up with the five games and
matchups, within the confines of the system (my powers only extend so
far), that America would most like to see. I’m not saying this is fair;
I’m saying this would be the most fun and would generate the biggest
buzz. As far as the conference champions, I shall make it so for the Big
East and ACC choices.
- BCS Championship: Florida vs. Oklahoma
- Rose Bowl: Penn State vs. USC
- Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Ohio State
- Fiesta Bowl: Texas Tech (someone from the South has to be left out)
- Orange Bowl: West Virginia vs. Miami
“I was young. I needed the work.” … One of the most important things
to keep an eye on over the final few weeks of the season will be the
development of LSU QB Jarrett Lee. Thrown into the full-time role after
Andrew Hatch had problems from a concussion, Lee has been, well, spotty.
He has thrown 15 interceptions on the year, going just one game without
tossing a pick, and he has been hidden by the coaching staff at times,
thrown under the bus at others, and given the keys to the car in crunch
time in key games. He seems like he has the skills to grow into a good
SEC passer, but will he be the guy to revolve the program around for the
next three years? LSU has some major rebuilding to do next year, and for
a place that can go into every season shooting for the national title,
it’ll be interesting to see how the coaching staff handles this.
“These people are peasants. They are too ignorant to vote. Hear me. l am
your new president. From this day on, the official language of San
Marcos will be Swedish. Silence!” … Alright, fans. You really want
to do this right? You really want take ownership of your program while
giving a head coach an honest, fair shot? Take a cue from the recent
presidential election. The fans are given a few options for a head coach
and it’s put to a vote. The winner gets a four-year term. There are no
term limits here; if you like the guy, you keep voting him in. My tongue
is only half in my cheek here. The coach would have stability, the fans
have no one to blame but themselves if their guy stinks, and a
recruiting class would know where it stands from the start.
“If anybody, but you, returns this ball to me, you'll wish you'de never
been born.” … A little tip for the Michigan coaches: Make the
players walk around campus for the next nine months holding a football
at all times The Program style. Only Army has lost more fumbles
than the Wolverines, and the Knights have the excuse of trying to figure
out the timing of the option.
And if you’re on offense, go deep the play after … Not to go all
Bill Maher here, but to all the players who kneel in prayer whenever a
player is down and the ambulance comes out, keep that moment in mind for
the rest of the game going forward and in your thoughts for the
following week. God isn’t the one making the helmet-to-helmet kill
shots. That’s on you, sport.
Ranger: “There are over 200 active geysers in Yellowstone Park alone.
Old Faithful here is one of the largest. During an eruption the water
can reach as high as 200 feet!”
Butthead: “So?” … Full body hugs and a carafe of strawberry warm
fuzzies to Vanderbilt for getting bowl eligible. However, that shows how
much the SEC sucks this year. In a normal season, the Dores aren’t
beating South Carolina and Auburn and they’re not going 5-3 in
conference play, like they’ll probably do after facing a hapless
Random Acts of Nutty … Provocative musings and tidbits to make every
woman want you and every man want to be you (or vice versa) a.k.a.
things I didn’t feel like writing bigger blurbs for.
- Is making a catch when trapping the ball on your helmet really that
big a deal? Kansas WR Dezmon Briscoe made a great grab against Texas as
he took the bobbled ball and pinned it against his helmet while falling
down; the highlight types on every station went wild. I sort of thought
the Dez Bryant one-handed catch and run on the move for a score against
Colorado was more impressive. And by the way, the escape and throw by
Eli in the Super Bowl was more amazing than the David Tyree catch.
- Most interesting fun stat of the week part one: Utah converted
13-of-14 third down chances against San Diego State.
- No, Jimmie Johnson isn’t a “modern day icon.” Bring up the name
without the spelling to 1,000 sports fans and 914 will say he’s the
former head coach and current Fox NFL studio man.
- Most interesting fun stat of the week part two: UCF beat Marshall even
though QB Rob Calabrese completed 4-of-17 passes for 29 yards and a
touchdown. I’m sure this wasn’t even close to an NCAA record for
combined passing futility, but the 11-of-46, 113-yard, two touchdown,
two interception performances by the two passing games wasn’t a thing of
- I’m not picking the upset, but watch out for Cal Poly out of the FCS
against Wisconsin this week. The Badgers are known for taking the foot
off the gas in layup games, while the Mustangs, who beat San Diego State
to open the season, lead the FCS in total offense and scoring. They have
the third best running game, averaging 304 yards per game, and is No. 1
in passing efficiency. The defense is second in the nation among FCS
teams in sacks.
- Very quietly this year in the loaded Big 12 has been a great season
from Nebraska QB Joe Ganz. The steady senior has thrown for 3,103 yards
and 21 touchdowns with 10 interceptions, and he has rushed for 248 yards
and five scores. Speaking of under the radar …The
10 Big Things You Need
“I hearby designate Graham Harrell, Texas Tech as my
First Choice to receive the Heisman Memorial Trophy awarded to the most
outstanding college football player in the United States for 2008. To
the best of my knowledge he conforms to the rules governing this vote.”
My Second Choice Is: Colt McCoy, Texas
My Third Choice Is: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (although Iowa’s Shonn
Greene is hovering)
“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.
2-1 for the second week in a row?! These are heady times helped by a
gift of the Lock Of The Millennium Notre Dame -3 over Navy pick. I’m up
to 14-21-1 overall.
I press on by taking the three games I’m sure of … 1) Washington -7.5
over Washington State, 2) Oklahoma -6.5 over Texas Tech, 3) South
Florida -3 over Connecticut
Last Week: 1) Central Michigan +3 over Northern Illinois (WIN), 2)
Notre Dame -3 over Navy (WIN), 3) Georgia -8 over Auburn (LOSS)
Sorry this column sucked, but it wasn’t my fault … Jon Gruden just
turned down my advances to take over the column. Oops, now Randy Edsall
isn’t interested, either. Maybe Skip Holtz will grab the gig.
- Part Two This Week
Big Things You Need To Know