Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mike Slive - still as effective as a lawn gnome. A rich lawn gnome, but a lawn gnome

The SEC took the easy way out and reprimanded Lane Kiffin again yesterday while putting out the word that should he act out again he might be suspended. He already should have been - questioning a call out of frustration is one thing, but claiming you made coaching decisions during a game based on fear of cheating referees is to put the conference on the level with WWE. Mike Slive should have suspended Kiffin for a game, hit him with a severe fine or both. No one in Knoxville seems bothered that Kiffin's version of the helmet rule isn't, you know, accurate. Of course considering the newspaper's columnist incorrectly thinks a suspended Kiffin could call the plays via cel phone I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Stephen Colbert's concept of "truthiness" seems to be in effect up there right now when it comes to the football program.

Fifteen quarterbacks were named as semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien Award, which goes to the country's best quarterback. Tim Tebow made the list, the only SEC QB to do so. Something is wrong when the SEC can't muster enough quality QB play to do better on this list than the MAC or MWC. The last two years no one has emerged as another high quality college quarterback except for Jevan Snead for a few weeks last year. Not appearing on the list: FSU's Christian Ponder, which is unfortunate because his individual performance on a bad team certainly merits it. Since none of the SEC quarterbacks but Tebow have stood out enough to make the final 15 for their award, it shouldn't surprise anyone too much that only AJ Green made the cut as one of the ten Biletnikoff semifinalists for the top receiver award. Guys from Bowling Green, San Diego State and Syracuse all apparently are doing as well at WR as the whole SEC.

The Knight Commission, now in its 20th year of refusing to acknowledge reality when it comes to college athletics (although I think technically they have a different mission statement), is concerned schools are spending too much on sports. No kidding, guys. Welcome to the 2000s. The system of college sports is a goofy one that's evolved over time. No one in their right mind would propose something like it if it didn't already exist. It does though, and there's huge interest from fanbases that only grows each year. All this lofty talk from the Knight Commission about cutting costs sounds really nice, but what's going to happen when one of the commission members has a coach who wins an unexpected conference title and bowl game? Will they pay market value to keep them, or smile and wish them well if they ask for more than the school president's salary? You know the answer, so do I, and so do they. It sure feels good to talk about getting serious about reining in athletics, though! Especially in Miami as opposed to say, a Chicago airport Fairfield Inn - that tropical climate really clears the head!

One of the weirder scores from the recent college football weekend was Texas A&M dominating Texas Tech. Mike Leach, coach of Texas Tech, feels he knows part of the reason his players weren't mentally sharp for that game: their fat little girlfriends. Presumably most of the players were dating these same girls the week before when Tech thumped Nebraska, but apparently they became dumber about football in the ensuing week. Leach discusses more interesting and daring things than any other college football coach, but this was not smart.

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