Monday, January 10, 2011

Ten Thoughts on the BS Championship Game

  1. No, that wasn't a typo.
  2. In 2008, Oklahoma entered the game hailed for their fast pace offense. They ran 70 plays compared to Florida's 74, and lost the game 24-14.
  3. In 2010, Oregon's fast break offense ran 74 plays to Auburn's 85.
  4. You know you're old realize former NFL QB Jeff Blake has a son playing WR for Auburn as a sophomore. And Blake left East Carolina in 1992, four years after I used up my undergraduate eligibility at Oklahoma.
  5. Oregon's fast paced offense finished the year averaging 78.84 plays per game. They would have been fourth in the Big 12, behind Oklahoma (86.5), Texas Tech (81.1) and Texas A&M (79.5). Not so fast, my friend.
  6. Cam Newton will return to Auburn for his senior year. It's an uncapped year in the SEC in 2011, and there's too much uncertainty in the NFL labor agreement.
  7. I'm wondering if Cecil tithed the money paid to him by Auburn.
  8. Nick Dyer is a heckuva back.
  9. Great shirt I found today while following tweets of Frosh WR Kenny Stills
  10. My theory on why the S-E-C keeps winning championship games. They are more physical up front than other conferences, and have speed to boot. Other conferences have focused on the speed, but don't have the depth in the lines to handle the physical strength throughout the game.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Great Pirate - Unemployed

So, Maryland has passed on hiring Mike Leach. I think it's going to be tough for the Great Pirate to find a HC job at a major college, for these reasons:

  1. He's suing his last employer for wrongful termination. That flag is at least yellow, probably orange and dare I say red in some circles. As I heard Doug Gottleib say, "it's easy to hire Mike Leach, but how to you get rid of him?"
  2. He's suing ESPN, the most powerful media presence in college sports.
  3. His last employer fired him for "continuos acts of insubordination".
  4. Leach somehow developed such a contentious relationship with his bosses at TT that they fired the winningest coach in school history who was also graduating his players.
  5. For the last few years, he's dabbled in other opportunities. No one was offering him a ticket out of Lubbock before items 1 through 4.
  6. Leach just wants to coach. He doesn't want to be the CEO type and manage a staff and rub shoulders with university officials and boosters. He just wants to design devious offensive game plans and win football games. He's very good at these last two.
  7. There's video of Leach allegedly putting a player in a storage shed. Leach does not seem remorseful about it at all. As much as I figure Lil James is a punk and deserved it, the stuffy shirt academic snobs can't comprehend this. Those same types must sign off on his hiring.
  8. As much as schools are supposed to be about developing the student athlete, graduating students and winning football games, that's not all there is to it. Today's coach also heas to be a) media friendly; b) respectful to boosters; c) cooperative with university administrators. From what I understand, Leach is 0-3 on these last items.
  9. In the real world, you're more likely to be fired for being a pain in the butt than you are for being incompetent. Leach has become an example of that in the coaching world. Most people aren't inclined to hire someone they expect to have problems getting along with, much les perhaps being sued. 
  10. If you think I'm wrong, consider this: There are 66 schools in BCS automatic qualifying conferences. Of those 66, 39 have hired coaches since the end of the 2007 seasons. Two schools have done it twice. I believe that Leach was either looking at or using other job opportunities as negotiating tactics since at least 2007. I believe that's one of the reasons TT administrators grew frustrated with him. Anyway, out of those 41 hiring opportunities, none hired Mike Leach.
Here's your list of the AQ teams that have changed coaches since the beginning of the 08 season...


2. Florida State
3. Maryland
4. Duke
5. Georgia Tech
6. Miami
7. Virginia
8. Indiana
9. Michigan (2x)
10. Minnesota
11. Purdue
12. Colorado
13. Iowa State
14. Kansas
15. Kansas State
16. Nebraska
17. Baylor
18. Texas A&M
19. Cincinnati
20. Connecticut
21. Louisville
22. Pittsburgh
23. South Florida
24. Syracuse
25. West Virginia
26. Oregon
27. Southern Cal
28. UCLA
29. Washington
30. Washington State
31. Florida
32. Kentucky
33. Tennessee
34. Vanderbilt (2x)
35. Arkansas
36. Auburn
37. Mississippi
38. Mississippi State
39. Texas Tech

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ten Things I think you think I think about the Fiesta Bowl

  1. First of all, I'm relieved the Sooners won. I thought the Sooners got a no-win bowl assignment. Win, and you were expected to. Lose, and it's "Here we go again...". Obviously, winning and being taken for granted is better than the alternative.
  2. The Sooners had last won a game in the state of Arizona on Christmas Day, 1976, when they defeated Wyoming 41-7. Since then, they'd lost in 1983 Fiesta Bowl, a 1989 trip to Tucson to play Arizona (first loss of Gary Gibbs HC career), 1994 Copper Bowl (Gary Gibbs last game as HC), 2007 Fiesta Bowl and 2008 Fiesta Bowl.
  3. The Sooners did NOT get the "can't win a bowl game" monkey off their back. They played an inferior opponent. Their opponent was 3-4 at one point in the season, and lost to Michigan, Temple, Rutgers and Louisville. Furthermore, their coach was apparently poised to leave for Maryland.
  4. One of my thoughts earlier this year, when the Sooners were playing poorly, is that I didn't want them to win the Big 12 championship and end up getting drilled in a BCS bowl game. I still believe the Sooners don't match up well against the SEC, Big 10, Pac 10 or Mountain West champions this year. Had we played any of those, I think we would have lost. Sorry, I just can't look through the crimson colored glasses and declare victory on those prospective contests this year.
  5. I am very thankful that ESPN now carries the BCS series. Their coverage is INFINITELY better than the teams that Fox mashes together. The camera work is better, and the personnel are better (even Matt Millen is an improvement over Charles Johnson). I was initailly exasperated that they didn't know anything about Ronnell Lewis' injury, but later they showed why. Fox would have been too busy showing band shots to ever figure it out. I'm praying for a full recovery for Lewis. Reports on Sunday say he should recover, but it's always scary to see someone strapped to one of those boards.
  6. I was concerned that UConn's football team would take out the frustration of the women's basketball team losing their win streak on the Sooners. Fortunately, we were able to avoid that.
  7. I continue to have a love-hate relationship with Landry Jones. He's maddeningly erratic. Not consistently erratic, but manages to make really bad throws at the worst times it seems. Yes, I'm aware he threw for 429 yards. He gets more reps than anyone. For the year, Landry's 7.6 yards per attempt ranked him 33rd in the country, right behind Baylor's Robert Griffin III and Ohio's Boo Jackson. Landry threw 617 passes this year. Think of any chuck and duck offense you can in college football. June Jones SMU squad? Kyle Padron threw 508 passes. Brandon Weeden executing Dana Holgorson's pass happy offense? 511 passes. Hawaii? Their QB, Bryant Moniz, threw 62 fewer passes.
  8. Cameron Kenney really came on at the end of the year. Kenney finished his two year career in Norman with 55 catches for 812 yards. 19 of those catches and 360 yards came in the last three games of his career.
  9. The Sooners KR team continues to suck. I reallly don't think it's been the same since Jonathan Hayes left after the 2002 season to coach TEs for the Cincinnati Bengals.
  10. Ryan Broyles had a special season. The 1622 receiving yards he tallied this season would have been the 11th best CAREER  in Sooner history. The 131 receptions this year would be the 10th best career total, as would the 14 TDs. That being said, the one salient point Matt Millen made last night was that Ryan hasn't shown top level speed, and the LB chasing him down on the punt was evidence of that. Hopefully he'll come back for a senior year and work on that, but I can't begrudge a guy for chasing the money, if it's available.

The Big East's Winning Bowl Record

During last night's Fiesta Bowl game, Sean McDonough and Matt Millen (how is he still employed in football?) went on and on about the Big East's winning record in bowl games since 2005. So, I looked it up. Let's go to the data:

  1. With the BBVA Compass Bowl game still yet to play, the Big East is 20-11 since the 2005 season in bowl games.
  2. The Big East is 11-11 against AQ conferences and 9-0 against CUSA and MAC schools. They own those conferences.
  3. Of course, the Big East is basically the former cream of the crop of those conferences anyway.
  4. The New Era Pinstripe Bowl matches the 4th best Big East team against the 7th best Big 12 team.
  5. The Big East sent their #2 team against the ACC #3 team through the latter half of the decade.
  6. The Meineke Car Care Bowl pits the #3 Big East team against the #5 ACC team. In past years, it was the #6 ACC team.
  7. The Pinstripe Bowl bumped the International bowl from the Big East lineup. It previously matched the #4 Big East team against the #3 MAC team.
  8. The PapaJohns bowl, now the BBVA Compass Bowl, pits the #5 Big East team against the #9 SEC team. .
  9. The St Petersburg Bowl game pits the #6 Big East team against the #4 Conference USA team.
  10. Basically, the Big East is so lightly regarded in terms of bowls that they are almost always playing a team that is lower in the peer group conference pecking order. The exception is the MAC and CUSA matchups.