Posted on: March 20, 2010 4:24 pm
Just when Big Ten expansion rumours were starting to quiet down, whistling in from the heartland of the nation comes this gem:
Radio host Steve Daece in Des Moines, Iowa quotes "sources in the Michigan athletic department" believing that Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Boston College are likely to be announced as winners of the Big Ten Beauty Pageant in 2-3 months. Posters in Iowa have on the one hand alleged that Daece's source is the guy who drives the Little Debby Snacks truck to cafeteria and on the other hand lauded Daece as an accurate prognosticator. So anyone's guess on the validity of this one is, well, valid.
So let's look at this premise. 1. Notre Dame. Duh! Yes the Big Ten will be happy to open its doors to the Golden Domers despite being spurned in the past. Rumours from the Big Ten indicate that ND will have to do the courting this time. This is like that hot chick that shot you down has to give you a sign that she's interested now. So if ND looks coyly at the Big Ten and smiles, they're in.
2. Rutgers. Yes I can hear the wailing and gnashing of elitist teeth already. No Texas? Uh, no. But the Big Ten deserves better. Yes and I deserve to retire right now to a life of playing golf, drinking good bourbon, and doing whatever the hell I feel like. Ain't gonna happen. Let me spell it out. The Big Ten Network wants to make more money. They want the NY/NJ television sets. A lot of them. Sorry Michigan, Penn State and whatever other Big Ten school that has at least one alumnus in NYC, you're just not getting it done. Furthermore, the duo of Rutgers and Notre Dame on the BTN is a pretty good argument to get it on the basic tier. And maybe, just maybe the BTN can get a bump in Philadelphia rates (4th largest DMA) with Rutgers in the fold as well. So despite many Big Ten fans' belief that Rutgers isn't worthy of the Big Ten, the fact remains that the Big Ten Network isn't worthy of getting on the basic tier in the NY/NJ area without them. Deal with it.
3. Boston College. Now this one to me is a stretch. Yes, you traditionophiles, BC has it, they have a rivalry with ND, they've had success in football having made it to the ACC championship twice. But if you talk to the ACC, you kinda get the impression that they're not that happy with new member Boston College. Well at least their bowl partners anyway, that try to shun the Eagles every year because of their poor fan support. The fact is, even the ACC Championship draws poorly when BC's in it. BC wasn't in the original "5 team report" bandied about in the Chicago Tribune. Add in that BC's 44,500 seat Alumi Stadium would be the smallest in the Big Ten and BC looks like a questionable choice. How about Boston TV sets? Boston has the 6th largest DMA, better than any Big Ten home city with the exception of Chicago (Northwestern). The TV argument is there along with adding another state to the Big Ten footprint. Will BC really increase the pie of the Big Ten Network enough to justify its addition? I don't have the answer but from what I read, BC has been somewhat of a disappointment in the ACC TV wise. Could it change if they're playing Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State instead of Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Georgia Tech? My guess would be yes.
How about Notre Dame's coattails? Suppose ND says we'll only join if we can bring BC with us. Now why Notre Dame would do this other than that they're both private Catholic schools is beyond my comprehension. In fact Notre Dame apparently got rather tired of being beaten by Boston College on the football field and has not renewed the series. Notre Dame doesn't need to bring rivals to the Big Ten, it already has plenty.
If Notre Dame is campaigning for BC's admission, it would explain why the Eagles are being mentioned now while being omitted from the "Report of Five." The idea of the Big Ten's two eastern outposts located in the DMA of over 10% of the nations total number of TV sets does have some allure to it. You would think that the Fighting Irish would have a few fans in New York and Boston as well. If the trend is toward superconferences, the Big Ten would pluck some prime real estate in the NYC, Philadelphia, and Boston areas if it does pull this off. Who knows, maybe the ACC would be happy to swap out BC and swap in a West Virginia, that actually has rivalries with Maryland and Virginia Tech? Well it passes the giggle test anyway.
Posted on: September 3, 2008 7:08 pm
Discarding stealth in all forms, Barbarian tribes (aka non-BCS schools) began their all-out attack on the Holy BCS Empire by burning and pillaging their way to four huge victories in week one.
East Carolina Plunders Virginia Tech 27-22. This had to be sweet for the Pirates, living just over the border from "civilized" ACC land. They just stormed the mountain passes and took it to Virginia Tech. ECU befuddled Tech's anemic offense and scratched out enough points on their own to seal the win. The deciding play? ECU ripped the Beamerball sword from V Tech and thrust it through their heart with a blocked punt for a TD with less than two minutes remaining. The game was close throughout. No fluke here folks. The Pirates bested the Hokies in rushing and passing yardage and time of posession. They even threw away two fumbles, gave up 60 more yards in penalties and messed up an extra point that Tech returned for 2 points. Next up for the marauding Pirates? The Kingdom of West Virginia invades the Pirates' Greenville hideout this weekend. Better bring more than muskets Mountaineers. It'll take some heavy guns to dislodge the scourge of North Carolina.
Utah Tomahawks Michigan 25-23. Sweeping down out of the Mountain West Conference like the Mongol tribes of old, the Utes blazed to a 25-10 lead and then hung on for the win. Michigan's new offense had teething problems as expected. But the Wolverines defense also succumbed to the Utes' air attack, led by QB Brian Johnson who was 21-34-1 for 305 yards. Both teams treated the ground as if it was teeming with rattlesnakes and gained only 36 yards apiece. Kicker Louie Sakoda added to the number of airborne footballs with field goals of 28, 41, 43, and 53 yards. Sakoda also showed that barbarians can be eloquent on occasion by stating, "Non-BCS teams should get a shot at a championship every year." Utah Coach Kyle Whittingham noted, "It shouldn't have been as close as it was." Next up for the Utes? UNLV. Start running now Rebels. You'll need all the head start you can get.
Bowling Green Ambushes Pitt 27-17. ambush n.: a trap in which concealed persons lie in wait to attack by suprise. Pitt was 24-0 against MAC teams at home. Surprise! Not any more. The Falcons held Panther RB LeSean McCoy to 71 yards rushing and used some razzle-dazzle such as WR Freddie Barnes hitting Jimmy Scheidler with a 5 yd. TD pass. Pitt was also a generous host, serving up three fumbles and an interception. So despite dominating statistically, Pitt came up short on the scoreboard. Falcons coach Gregg Brandon showed that barbarians can be honest as well. "We're not supposed to beat those people." said Brandon. Well Gregg, the times they are a-changing!
Fresno State Goes Transcontinental on Rutgers 24-7. Fresno flew from California on a charter plane so small, it had to stop in Kansas to refuel. All seats were taken, and they arrived in New Jersey the Sunday before the Monday 4:00 pm game. So the fact that Rutgers stuffed their offense the first half makes sense. Apparently a fire and brimstone speech Coach Pat Hill in the locker room woke up the Bulldogs who outscored Rutgers by 17 after halftime. Solid run defense and rushing offense got the job done for Fresno who converted a 3rd and 23 inside the Rutgers 5 to keep a drive going after Rutgers closed to 10-7 in the fourth quarter. Two missed field goals and Rutgers' decision to go for it on 4th and goal at the 3 yard line also loomed large in the result. RB Ryan Matthews ran for 163 yards, mostly after the half. It's no fun having barbarians come into your house and rip out your heart. Trust me, I know. Next target for this barbarian pack of wolves? The Badgers of Wisconsin make the trip to Fresno on September 13th. Beware Wisconsin. I know badgers are vicious but these dogs attack in packs.
Posted on: July 13, 2008 2:08 pm
Well the preseason edition of The Best Damn Poll in the Land has hit the Internet. Without sounding overly self-congratulatory for the small part I played in it, I thought it was pretty good. Kudos to the Greek as the driving force and poll-master. I was especially pleased that two barbarians were listed. If you didn't know, barbarians are those non-BCS schools that have the audacity to appear in polls and upset the pre-ordained order of the Bowl Championship Series. My positition has always been that these teams get short shrift from the media and coaches and are openly conspired against by the BCS schools to be kept out of the end of the year bowl money give-aways. But IMHO, just like the original barbarians storming and eventually sacking Rome, these non-BCS schools will eventually win out and get a playoff so they have a fair shot at a true national championship.
So in addition to my obvious Rutgers/Big East bias which I will try to keep under control, I plan on doing my best to see that these "non-tradtional" schools get a fair shot in the poll. So here's a brief overview of this year's Huns, Vandals, Visigoths, and Franks. I'll try to do updates on the teams that appear in the TBDPITL or on the "Receiving Votes" list.
1. Fresno State - Frankly I didn't know a lot about them until Kansas St. turned yellow and dropped them from their schedule. Apparently the Wildcats don't like getting stomped by a WAC team. So Rutgers got them for their opener on Labor Day this year. After doing a little research on the Bulldogs, I am scared, big time. Veteran quarterback, solid running game, and a defense that has been described as "chippy." What that translates to in my book, is a defense that causes problems and beats people. Coach Pat Hill's motto is any team, any place. After Rutgers, they play Wisconsin at home. I'm calling an upset here Badger Ballers, be ready. Dangerous, dangerous, dangerous team. If they beat Rutgers, Wiscy, and UCLA this year, expect to see them in the top 10, maybe top 5.
2. BYU - Really happy to see them at #16. They just missed in my poll. Two straight 11-1 seasons but you hear nothing about them from the media. Well you're hear about them from me. QB Max Hall almost hit 4,000 yards last year with 26 TD's. Freshman of the year RB Harvey Unga ran for 1,227 yards and 44 catches for 655 yards. 17 total TD's. Defense hurt by graduation. Games against Washington and UCLA could put them on the radar. My pick for the Mountain West this year.
3. Utah - A major obstacle on BYU's path. The Moutain West crown will be decided by BYU at Utah this year. Solid O-line, if senior QB Brian Johnson cuts down on ints, he's a force, and offense has a 1,200 yard rusher in Darrell Mack. Defense was 18th in the nation and has a veteran secondary. The Utes will be looking to upset Rich Rod and Michigan in the opener, and could do it.
4. East Carolina - I've been politicking to get them into the Big East. Love this team and their football tradition. Last year beat barbarian hero Boise State in the Humanitarian Bowl. UCF may be the trendy pick for Conference USA. I like the Pirates. Skip Holtz' two QB rotation causes problems. Defense needs to improve over last year.
5. Boise State - Everyone's non-BCS hero due to their monumental victory over Oklahoma two years ago. Ian Johnson's still there and is a force at RB. QB controversy needs to be resolved, and replacing he who blocks out the sun, Ryan Clady will be difficult. Defense looks solid. If Fresno State wants to be the big dog in the WAC, this is the team who presently carries around the big bone. Expect Hawaii to fall off the radar this year.
6. Troy - The real Trojans. Sorry USC but you really should be the Southern Californians. How do you like this OOC schedule: LSU, Ohio St., and Oklahoma St. Why do our pollsters like them? Well they stayed within 10 of Georgia last year for one. Good receivers but breaking in new QB and RB.
So there they are, this year's favorite Barbarians according The Best Damn Poll in the Land. Rape, Pilllage, and Plunder boys. Every time you knock off a BCS team, you get us that much closer to a national playoff.
Posted on: March 28, 2008 4:51 pm
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