Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Could the Big Ten just stay on its own network all the time?

Texas performance in beating Ohio State last night continues to indicate that the incredible Big 12 offensive numbers don't seem to be translating to games against other conferences. It doesn't prove Oklahoma's offense won't be every bit the monster they were during the season, but there's mounting evidence to indicate inflation has been at work here. Meanwhile, the Big Ten has lost six consecutive BCS bowls and is 9-20 overall in bowls the last four years. Can't wait for Commissioner Jim Delany's latest excuse making open letter!

Watching Fox's broadcast of the BCS games, I have to ask again: who hired these announcers and why are they still employed themselves? There are approximately six dozen people who regularly call play by play of college football games for various TV networks, some of which are Fox properties. Is there some reason none of them could be allowed to broadcast the Fiesta Bowl instead of former San Diego Padres TV voice Matt Vasgersian? His smug performance last night added nothing and at times detracted from the broadcast. Kenny Albert and Darryl Johnston on the Sugar Bowl, the ghost of Pat Summerall and a fifth rate NFL analyst doing the Cotton Bowl - this is apparently what Fox thinks college fans deserve. The games can't get to ESPN soon enough.

With Florida on the national stage, the question of why Charlie Strong isn't a head coach by now is being asked again. Peter Kerasotis concludes the answer is racism. Perhaps that plays a part, but I don't believe that to be the only answer. Strong is an excellent coach, and he should be getting more looks. Part of the reason is because he isn't willing to take part in anything he suspects is a "token" interview. The problem with that approach is that it deprives you of the opportunity to meet people who might be able to hire you at a different time, even if they can't/aren't ready to right then. Athletic department employees tend to move around quite a bit - maybe someone you meet while interviewing for one gig is the next AD at a Big 12 school who could call you for the job there. I know for a fact that Charlie's agent has tried to get him to do more interviews and he's refused to do so. As I've previously noted, Charlie also needs to do more media interviews to boost his profile and get more comfortable with the public presence required from the "face" of a program. If UCF opens up in the next year or two, as I suspect it will, I think Charlie will have his job. It'll be a good launching spot for him.

Cam Newton is transferring to a junior college and will make up his mind where to go from there. After the laptop incident, it's definitely best for him to be somewhere other than UF. If Tebow comes back this won't be much of an issue - Brantley had passed Newton on the depth chart and Meyer's staff has QB commitments already for each of the next two classes.

Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Morrissey calls for the Bulls to get rid of Joakim Noah. It doesn't appear to be for any specific infraction as much as a desire by Morrissey to send a message to immature players in their locker room. Noah's numbers aren't great and he talks a lot, so dump him. I still think Noah can play, but it hasn't looked for a while now like Chicago is going to be the right place for him. If they want to take Morrissey's advice, then please send him over to the Cetics for a draft pick. I'd be willing to take our chances.

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