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Urban Meyer steps down at Florida, why did he leave and who replaces him?

Urban Meyer announced today that he will leave Florida after their bowl game on New Year’s Day due to health problems. Meyer made this announcement after the 2009 season, but changed his mind after a day and just took a leave of absence. His six seasons in Gainesville resulted in 2 national championships and a 64-15 record that will improve with a win against Penn State.

There is little reason to believe that Meyer doesn’t have health problems as he has coached for the past 25 years in a profession that demands so much time that you lose sleep, eat poorly, and in a lot of cases, don’t work out enough to balance out his personal health. These are things that Meyer will need to take care of before he takes a step back into the coaching arena. Bill Parcells stepped down 20 years ago from the Giants citing health problems and said that he would never coach again. Three years later, Parcells left the television booth for the moribund New England Patriots. After coaching two more teams and running the Dolphins, Parcells still waffles on his football future.

Last year, Meyer’s departure would have coincided with Tim Tebow’s graduation after one of the greatest college football careers ever. Meyer would have left as a Gator icon and with a tremendous mystique surrounding his, then five years at Florida. Now, after a 7-5 regular season, Meyer’s legacy isn’t as pristine, especially with one-time Gator Cameron Newton having the kind of success this season at SEC rival Auburn as Tebow ever had at Florida and Alabama’s Nick Saban has taken over as the Alpha Dog of head coaches in the SEC. That beating the Tide gave the Gators back in October had to weigh on Meyer.

But this won’t affect the demand for Meyer once he decides that he’s ready to reenter coaching, at the college or pro level. Meyer will always be remembered fondly by Gator Nation as long as he doesn’t take another college job after leaving Florida. This means Meyer will most likely go to the NFL in a year or two after recharging his batteries and adjusting his lifestyle to better suit the demands of the coaching profession. Where to? Who knows, but wherever he goes in the NFL, the rumors of a Tebow and Meyer reunion will be sure to follow. In the meantime, look for Meyer to possibly hook up with an NFL team in a consulting/front office type role to keep him involved in the game before taking an NFL job. He’s spent time with Bill Belichick in the past and don’t be surprised if he spends a lot of time next summer at the Patriots training camp learning more about the NFL game.

Who are the contenders to replace Meyer?

Dan Mullen, Head Coach, Mississippi State:

Mullen is in his second season at Mississippi State after coming over from Florida where he was the offensive coordinator. Mullen has been pretty good in his two seasons in Starkville, but would not only listen to the Gators, he probably would accept the job if offered. Unless Athletic Director Jeremy Foley is looking for a big name (i.e. Mike Shanahan or another NFL type), Mullen has to be considered the favorite.

Chris Peterson, Head Coach, Boise State:

Peterson has been incredible during his five years as head coach in Boise. What is there left for Peterson to accomplish there? The BCS will most likely continue to exclude schools like Boise State from the possibility of playing for a national championship and there aren’t many jobs out there that can legitimately say that they’re actually better than Boise State right now. Peterson might face the same choice that Urban Meyer faced six years ago when he chose to leave potential BCS-busting Utah to go rejuvenate the Gator program. If Peterson feels that the Broncos can eventually play for a national championship, he would most likely stay. But if he doesn’t feel that way, he might decide to go for a championship in Gainesville or at another historically top college team (Michigan?).

Bob Stoops, Head Coach, Oklahoma:

This seems to be a stretch, despite going to OU from Florida. If he leaves Norman, it’s most likely to the NFL. Oklahoma doesn’t take a backseat to anybody in college football as far as history goes and there isn’t a season where the Sooners aren’t talked about as a championship contender.

Brian Schottenheimer, Offensive Coordinator, New York Jets:

Here’s a possible dark horse candidate as Brian S. is doing a very good job with Mark Sanchez with the Jets and is a Gator alum as he backed up Danny Wuerffel in the 90’s. The next step for an NFL offensive coordinator is a head coaching job, so this wouldn’t be a huge leap. The key for Schottenheimer would be surrounding himself with a lot of college coaches who are used to the recruiting grind, regulations and have the contacts needed to get the best players.

Jon Gruden, Talking Head, ESPN:

Can we stop the Gruden to college rumors, please? He’s obviously made lots of friends at the Worldwide Leader as he shows up on every college/pro coaching search list, despite the poor fits. ‘

The guess here is Mullen gets the job and probably won’t coach the Bulldogs in their New Year’s Day bowl game against Michigan. The bold choice, from this perspective, would be Chris Peterson and his incredible offensive coaching creativity. Both choices would be solid and could lead the Gators back to the championship.

BCS Playoff Plan for an alternative reality

December 6, 2010 3 comments

Like everybody else, I have my own college football playoff plan. My plan involves using the current system that is in place, namely, the BCS standings. But my system would include 16 teams and include all 11 conference champions. That would leave 5 additional “at-large” selections that would be based on the final BCS standings. For those of you who think the SEC is the best conference, you’ll get to see the same two teams going to BCS bowls and LSU. Big Ten fans would get Michigan State and everybody would get Boise State. This 16 team playoff would begin the two weeks following Thanksgiving weekend. That would require all conferences to have their champion crowned a week early. This can be done by starting the season a week earlier, or eliminating the 12th game on the schedule. Because of the money involved with the 12th game, let’s assume the season starts a week before Labor Day.

Here’s how the playoff would work. The first round would be played on the home field of the higher seeded team this upcoming weekend and the matchups would be adjustable in the case of two conference teams meeting for the second time. For instance, if Arkansas and LSU were 8 and 9 seeds, the 7 and 10 matchup would switch with them to make a 7 vs. 9 and 8 vs. 10. For this season the matchups would be:

#1 Auburn vs. #16 Florida International

#2 Oregon vs. #15 Miami (OH)

#3 Texas Christian vs. #14 Connecticut

#4 Stanford vs. #13 Central Florida

#5 Wisconsin vs. #12 Virginia Tech

#6 Ohio State vs. #11 Boise State

#7 Oklahoma vs. #10 LSU

#8 Arkansas vs. #9 Michigan State

Those are the first round matchups, and for illustration purposes, let’s assume that all of the higher seeded teams win.

Now is where my playoff plan differs from most, if not all others. The eight winning teams would fill-in the four BCS bowl games and the eight losing schools would be free to play in a season ending bowl game as well. This means that the bowl system would remain intact. The teams would be re-seeded at this point, but the historical bowl tie-ins would apply when possible. That means the Rose Bowl would have the Pac-10 against the Big Ten and the Sugar Bowl would have the SEC team. Since there are two Big Ten schools remaining, the lower seeded team would matchup with highest seeded Rose Bowl qualifier, Oregon. All of the bowls would be played on New Year’s Day. Here is how the bowls would matchup:

Sugar Bowl

#1 Auburn vs. #8 Arkansas

Rose Bowl

#2 Oregon vs. #6 Ohio State

Orange Bowl

#3 TCU vs. #7 Oklahoma

Fiesta Bowl

#4 Stanford vs. #5 Wisconsin

Using this year’s calendar the winners would then move on, re-seeding in the case of an upset, to play on the next Saturday with at least 7 days off between. This upcoming year would be January 8, 2011. If New Year’s Day fell on, say, a Monday, the next round would be played a week from the next Saturday, 12 days later. This round would be played in two neutral locations such as the Georgia Dome or Jerry’s World. Assuming the higher seeded teams win, the match-ups would be this:

Semi-Final Round

#1 Auburn vs. #4 Stanford

#2 Oregon vs. #3 TCU

The championship game could be played at the current location according to the BCS championship game rotation. This game would be played on the Saturday or Sunday night two weeks following the semi-final round. This year that would be January 22nd or 23rd. Assuming the higher seeded teams win, the matchup would be the same as the BCS championship game to be played on January 10th. Unlike the BCS schedule, my plan would not involve any games during the week, except for the New Year’s Day bowl games.

My plan, while not perfect, would give 14 more teams a chance at the championship. How many more games than the current system would be needed? Eleven. Only eleven more games total. The date for the opening round games is early because this system is integrating the bowls and there needs to be time for bowls to prepare for their games without interference from the playoff system.

Why have all 11 conference champions? Well, it provides a nice reward for those teams at the top, like Auburn and Oregon this season, by matching them up with a lesser opponent. But it gives all of the FBS schools that chance to dream about the impossible. Nobody at Miami (OH) ever even dreams about a national championship. This system would provide just a little bit of that false hope. And when it comes to college sports, isn’t that false hope what drives March Madness? Just eleven more games to get a true champion. What do you say, NCAA?

Week 14 College Football Weekend Recap

Thoughts on this weekend’s play as I root for something to happen that bust up the BCS National Championship…

1. Oregon beat Oregon State 37-20: The Ducks finished the job yesterday and completed an undefeated regular season by winning the Civil War game against the Beavers. The only undetermined thing for the Ducks is where LaMichael James finishes in the Heisman voting.

2. Auburn beat South Carolina 56-17: Where was the Mercy Rule? This actually could have been worse which tells you how mediocre the Gamecocks are, but also how good Auburn and Cam Newton is. Newton will be confirmed as the best player in college football next Saturday unless something comes up about his recruitment before then. That national championship, while not the one I wanted, is going to be fantastic and the scoring should be early and often.

3. TCU was idle.

4. Stanford was idle.

5. Wisconsin was idle.

6. Ohio State was idle.

7. Arkansas was idle.

8. Michigan State was idle, but Coach Mark D’Antonio was not. He was out campaigning for a BCS bowl berth with a legitimate argument that they beat Wisconsin and Ohio State did not. It would be interesting if Ohio State was given the shaft because of that and E. Gordon Gee’s comments about the non-BCS qualifying schools.

9. Oklahoma beat Nebraska 23-20: The Sooners came back from 17-0 down in the first half and beat their longtime rivals in the last Big 12 championship game. That puts Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl against, most likely, the Big East champion UConn. The early line is Oklahoma minus 35.

10. LSU was idle.

Other notables:

11. Boise State beat Utah State 50-14: The Broncos completed their season at 11-1 which included the best out of conference win in all of college football against Virginia Tech. Could they beat another top team? Nobody will ever know because the corrupt BCS system will keep the Broncos out and we’ll have to watch the entitled programs of the SEC and Big Ten in the top bowl games. Boise State will be playing an unranked opponent with a .500 record or from a mediocre conference. My alternative playoff solution will be unveiled later today.

Virginia Tech beat Florida State 44-33: Tech goes to the Orange Bowl after beating the Seminoles. The Hokies haven’t lost since their first week of the season. That first week consisted of two games and torpedoed any chance of competing for a national championship. You can be sure that the Hokies won’t be scheduling 2 games in a five day period ever again.

UConn beat South Florida 19-16: The Huskies head to their first BCS bowl game after beating South Florida on a last second field goal. Ten years after moving their program to the top level, UConn wins their first major conference championship. I don’t know about anybody else, but I can’t wait for that natural rivalry between TCU and UConn to develop. Heck, they both have a “U” and a “C” in their names to fight over. UConn will probably face Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

Miami (OH) beat Northern Illinois 26-21: The MAC championship goes to Miami after their last minute comeback win over the Huskies. Although their first round game will be tough, Miami should be able to compete with Oregon for about a quarter. Oh, that’s not happening. Sorry. Miami heads to a bowl game that you will only care about if you’re doing a pool.

In another note, the Sisters of the Poor Conference (WAC) had their fourth place team, Fresno State, beat their Big Ten opponent Illinois on Friday night. No comment out of Columbus after that game.

If I had a Heisman ballot, it would look like this:

1. Cameron Newton QB Auburn

2. Kellen Moore QB Boise State

3. LaMichael James RB Oregon

That’s the final College Football Weekly Recap of the season. My alternative, playoff based solution to determining the national championship will be unveiled on Monday.

Cam Newton “Knew Nothing”, will play in SEC championship on Saturday

December 2, 2010 3 comments

Go War Eagle!

Sergeant Schultz Newton is eligible to play for Auburn on Saturday. Why? Because he “knew nothing”. If you haven’t read about this, here it is. With Auburn’s BCS championship game hopes riding on Saturday’s SEC championship game, the NCAA says that even though they have evidence of Cam Newton’s father, Cecil, asking middleman Kenny Rogers for at least $180,000 in order for Cam Newton to play football at Mississippi State.

Like many others who have followed this story, I’m confused. Why? The NCAA bylaw 12.3 discusses the issue of agents. The following bylaws under 12.3 apply in this situation:

12.3 USE OF AGENTS

12.3.1 General Rule. An individual shall be ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if he or she ever has agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation in that sport. Further, an agency contract not specifically limited in writing to a sport or particular sports shall be deemed applicable to all sports, and the individual shall be ineligible to participate in any sport.

12.3.1.1 Representation for Future Negotiations. An individual shall be ineligible per Bylaw 12.3.1 if he or she enters into a verbal or written agreement with an agent for representation in future professional sports negotiations that are to take place after the individual has completed his or her eligibility in that sport.

12.3.1.2 Benefits from Prospective Agents. An individual shall be ineligible per Bylaw 12.3.1 if he or she (or his or her relatives or friends) accepts transportation or other benefits from: (Revised: 1/14/97)

(a) Any person who represents any individual in the marketing of his or her athletics ability. The receipt of such expenses constitutes compensation based on athletics skill and is an extra benefit not available to the student body in general; or

(b) An agent, even if the agent has indicated that he or she has no interest in representing the student-athlete in the marketing of his or her athletics ability or reputation and does not represent individuals in the student-athlete’s sport. (Adopted: 1/14/97)

The NCAA declared today that although Cecil Newton was shaking down prospective institutions of higher learning, through a third party (Rogers), that because Cam had “no knowledge” of this taking place, he is still eligible. So that’s what the North Carolina players did wrong. They didn’t utilize their parents to do the dirty work while they innocently stood by and didn’t reap any benefits. Ok, I believe now that nothing happened here.

But that’s the problem. We know that something happened here. But because of the archaic NCAA rules and regulations that are designed to suppress the rewards for their “student-athletes” while signing multi-billion dollar television deals with the networks, any instance of an employee, excuse me, student-athlete, wait, parent of a student-athlete trying to give their family a little extra to help their family get by, typically results in that student-athlete losing eligibility, paying back compensation, or both. This is patently un-American and ridiculous. If an engineering student at Auburn invented something and received a patent for that invention, they would reap the financial benefits despite their “student-student” status.

I’ve already laid out my plan for integrating agents and potential endorsements into the mix for these collegiate athletes who are sometimes exploited without representation by these institutions of higher learning. I know my plan isn’t perfect, but the status quo is abysmally one-sided towards the universities and the coaches. It’s going to take a high profile situation to initiate the discussion about this topic in order to get a better system. Hopefully that becomes the good that comes out of this chaotic situation.

Week 13 College Football Weekend Recap

November 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Thoughts on this weekend’s play as I root for TCU to bust up the BCS National Championship. Where have you gone Boise State?

1. Oregon beat Arizona 48-29: The Ducks continued their onslaught of Pac 10 competition. Even when an opponent can slow them down in one half, the Ducks come storming back and this week they scored 34 points in the second half. It’s tough to win when you give up 389 yards on the ground, which is what Arizona did. LaMichael James is fading in his bid for the Heisman Trophy, but it looks like he might get the national championship. All that’s left for the Ducks is the Oregon State Beavers in the “Civil War” game. TCU beat the Beavers in September, and would love to see the Beavers end their season with a win.

2. Auburn beat Alabama 28-27: What a great comeback by the presumptive Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton and the Tigers! They looked like road kill midway when Mark Ingram broke that long run that ended with him fumbling out of the end zone. Auburn was without two defensive starters who were suspended for the first half for fighting in their last game against Georgia. Their defense looked completely different when they returned in the second half. The Auburn defense forced two turnovers and two field goals in the red zone which provided the difference in the final score. The mark of a good team is to win despite the other team playing better. That’s what happened on Friday in Tuscaloosa. The only on-field barrier to Auburn playing in the BCS national championship is South Carolina next Saturday in the SEC championship game in Atlanta. Off the field, who knows if, or how many more Cam Newton stories will surface as they get closer to a championship.

3. TCU beat New Mexico 66-17: The Horned Frogs completed their perfect regular season by rolling the Lobos. This game was relatively close at halftime before the Frogs outscored the Lobos 35-0 in the second half. A loss by either Oregon or Alabama should get TCU their dream shot at the title. Otherwise, they most likely play Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl in what should be an explosive matchup.

4. Boise State lost to Nevada 34-31: A shocker in Reno! Kicker Kyle Brotzman missed two chip shot field goals at the end of regulation and in overtime giving the Wolfpack the upset. The loss to Nevada will definitely keep the Broncos out of the BCS championship discussion and will probably keep them out of a BCS bowl game. Hello Humanitarian Bowl. What a joke this system is. Hey Ohio State President Gee, if your school had the courage to schedule the Broncos, they would show you what a dynamic, exciting offense is all about. Boise State still has the best out of conference win at the BCS level this season in their win over Virginia Tech. Maybe the Fiesta Bowl takes a chance on the two-time Fiesta Bowl champion? Oh, they need to beat Utah State next week first.

5. LSU lost to Arkansas 31-23: Arkansas’ quarterback Ryan Mallett dropped by from his own 20 with 6 seconds remaining in the first half and threw a strike to Cobi Hamilton at midfield and Hamilton broke a few tackles and made a few more defenders miss as he ran the remaining 50 yards for an 80 yard touchdown pass to end the first half. That was the difference in a close game that was close throughout. Presumably, Arkansas would jump over LSU for a BCS slot and go to the Sugar Bowl if Auburn wins next week. Not so fast, my friend as Lee Corso would bellow. Remember that the Sugar Bowl is in New Orleans and LSU is the home team. They both have the same 10-2 record and there will be a lot of local pressure on the Sugar Bowl to invite Les Miles’ team.

6. Stanford beat Oregon State 38-0: Stanford continues to roll and has really only played one bad half this season. Stanford can claim an automatic BCS bowl game by finishing in the top 4 of the BCS standings. If they do this, the rumor is that they will head to Miami and the Orange Bowl. They got two teams in front of them who lost, but, will they hold of Wisconsin in the standings?

7. Wisconsin beat Northwestern 70-23: The Wildcats aren’t great, but they did win 7 games. The Badgers are a beast and you kind of pine for the old days when the Pac 10 and Big Ten winner would meet in Pasadena before the BCS. The only way we see Oregon and Wisconsin matchup in Pasadena is if the Ducks lose next week. Otherwise, it’s most likely TCU. A wildcard would be Stanford if Auburn lost and TCU went to the championship game. The Rose Bowl would undoubtedly want that Big Ten/Pac 10 matchup if given the chance.

8. Ohio State beat Michigan 37-7: Rich Rodriguez went 0-3 against The Ohio State University and will probably not get another chance. The Buckeyes took control in the second quarter and were never challenged after that. Ohio State is rumored to be the choice for the Sugar Bowl as long as the standings don’t turn upside down and send the Buckeyes to Pasadena.

9. Oklahoma State lost to Oklahoma 47-41: What a wild 4th quarter in the Bedlam game. Forty combined points made for an exciting finish. Oklahoma finally went on the road and got a good win against the Cowboys. That sets up the final Big 12 title game next week. There’s a 99% chance that it will be the classic Big 8 rival game between Nebraska and Oklahoma. They should have Barry Switzer and Tom Osborne for the pregame coin toss. The winner will go to a BCS bowl game, probably the Fiesta, while the loser will miss out.

10. Michigan State beat Penn State 28-22: Sparty completed their best regular season in 20 years as they tied for the Big Ten title. Despite that, they not only miss out on the Rose Bowl, they will miss out on the BCS altogether. I’d bet if you got coach D’Antonio under the truth serum, he’d beg for a playoff system. The Spartans head to Florida, Tampa or Orlando, to face an SEC team.

Other BCS Notes:

Virginia Tech will face Florida State in the ACC title game after NC State lost to Maryland. Virginia Tech became the first team to go undefeated in ACC play since Florida State in 2000.

The Big East stinks and they’ll be probably be providing an unranked team to the Fiesta Bowl, especially if it’s UConn. This just goes to show that college football is not a meritocracy, but a bureaucratic mess. Right now, 7-4 UConn is in first place and just has to win next week at South Florida. Second place West Virginia will finish at 9-3 if they win and goes to the Fiesta if UConn loses. That’s what the BCS needs to happen to save face.

South Carolina will play Auburn in the SEC championship game. They only go to a BCS bowl game with a win.

After next week’s bowl selection, I will be unveiling my alternative playoff system to the BCS that isn’t perfect, but provides a much better, and fairer, system to determine the national champion.

You can find all of the information used to compute the BCS rankings below, please direct your hate mail to the owners of these computer rankings:

BCS selection procedures

BCS Poll

Components (not including AP Poll)

Harris Interactive Poll

Anderson & Hester

Richard Billingsley

Colley Matrix

Kenneth Massey

Jeff Sagarin

Peter Wolfe

These are the hated components that replace the potential on-field playoff that the great sport deserves.

Week 12 College Football Weekend Recap

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Thoughts on this weekend’s play as I root for the BCS busting TCU-Boise State National Championship matchup.

1. Oregon was idle: The Ducks have two more games remaining before the bowl selections come out. They’ve got Arizona on Friday and Oregon State a week later on Saturday. The Ducks looked invincible until last week, when Cal might have shown how to play the Ducks. LaMichael James is in the second place race for the Heisman, which might become first if Cam Newton becomes ineligible in the next two weeks.

2. Auburn was idle: The Iron Bowl with Alabama comes on Friday. The Newton story is the wildcard with the Tigers. If he is found to be ineligible during the next few weeks, Auburn’s season would be over and conference rival LSU would most likely benefit by replacing them in the BCS championship. If nothing happens, then South Carolina would provide the last obstacle to the Tigers playing in the BCS championship game.

3. TCU was idle: TCU fell after last week’s close call with San Diego State and Utah’s complete no-show at Notre Dame. They’ve got a bad New Mexico team this week to complete their undefeated regular season.

4. Boise State beat Fresno State 51-0: It’s hard to look more dominate than the Broncos did on Friday night. Everything was clicking and Boise looked like the best team in the country. Hopefully all of the voters were watching and agree. Their computer ranking should improve slightly after that game as well since Fresno is an above average team. They should go by TCU either in today’s standings or after next week. For those of you who don’t believe in Boise State, they have, without a doubt, the best out of conference win in college football with their win over Virginia Tech in the opener. Nobody in the SEC has anything close to that. Kellam Moore is in that race with LaMichael James and Andrew Luck for 2nd place in the Heisman as well. He’ll get a chance to showcase his talent again on ESPN on Friday night against Nevada. The following week they play Utah State to complete their regular season.

 5. LSU beat Mississippi 43-36: LSU hung on against a lesser opponent again. If you’re looking for a dominating performance, don’t go to Baton Rouge. The Tigers haven’t been overly impressive this season, but they just win. And they’ve won enough to position themselves to replace Auburn if Newton were to be declared ineligible at some point. Otherwise, a win over Arkansas next weekend will likely send them to the Sugar Bowl. If everything continues as is, I’m rooting for a Boise State-LSU Sugar Bowl. That would be a fun game to watch.

6. Stanford beat Cal 48-14: The Cardinal win the “Big Game” this year. Andrew Luck continues to impress and his coach, Jim Harbaugh, is likely to follow him to the NFL after the season if you believe what the NFL “insiders” are saying. Stanford might be the odd team out of the BCS bowl race. They’re not a traditional power with enormous state university alumni bases. So in the eyes of these bowl games, “they don’t travel well”. This means that they won’t bring tens of thousands of fans to whichever bowl game they go to. Before then, Stanford has to get by enigmatic Oregon State, who seems to be in the middle of everything this season with 4 of the top 6 teams in the country on their schedule.

7. Wisconsin beat Michigan 48-28: The Badgers continue to roll and they look like they might be the best one loss team in the country. Although they didn’t get to 83 points this week, they almost got to 50 against the Wolverines. They will head to the Rose Bowl if they beat Northwestern and Ohio State beats Michigan or Penn State beats Michigan State.

8. Nebraska lost to Texas A&M 9-6: Hopefully that’s it for an overrated Cornhuskers team. A&M might be finally back after years being down.  They have a chance to get to 9-3 with a win on Thursday against Texas. That’s not good for Mack Brown. He’ll be on the hot seat, believe it or not, because of this. Nebraska is a year away from being a contender, but this season helped them get used to being a top 10 team and carrying the bull’s-eye that comes with it. Nebraska will still get to the Big 12 title game with a win against Colorado on Friday.

9. Ohio State beat Iowa 20-17: Ohio State just wins. Every year under Jim Tressel looks the same. Eleven wins and a tough loss that keeps them out of the title game. Ohio State needs Northwestern to beat Wisconsin to go back to Pasadena. Otherwise, they’ll be in the hunt for an at-large bid to one of the other BCS bowl games.

10. Oklahoma State beat Kansas 48-14: The Cowboys continue to roll and are in the driver’s seat to play in their first Big 12 championship game. To get there, they need to win the “Bedlam” game against Oklahoma on Saturday night. The best news for the Pokes is that their coach, who would normally be up for a bigger job after his success, is an alum who won’t be going anywhere. The future looks good in Stillwater.

Other BCS Notes:

Virginia Tech will face North Carolina State in the ACC title game if the Wolfpack can beat Maryland next weekend. Virginia Tech is a win away from becoming the first team to go undefeated in ACC play since Florida State in 2000.

The Big East stinks and they’ll be probably be providing an unranked team to the Fiesta Bowl. Just plain awful and there’s still talk that either Boise State or TCU will not even be selected to a BCS bowl. How is that justified? This just goes to show that college football is not a meritocracy, but a bureaucratic mess. Right now, 6-4 Pittsburgh is in first place. Second place West Virginia could actually finish at 9-3 if they win out. That’s what the BCS needs to happen to save face.

Other teams looking at a possible BCS bowl berth:

Michigan State at 10-1 is in a 3 team race for the Rose Bowl. If they win and cross state rival Michigan upsets Ohio State, then the Spartans go to Pasadena. Otherwise, they are probably going to miss out on the BCS and head to Florida for their New Year’s Day game.

Alabama has Auburn this week and a win against Auburn can put them in a position to get an at-large berth.

Arkansas has LSU on Saturday with an outside shot at getting into a BCS game if they win that game and Auburn wins out.

Oklahoma heads into the “Bedlam” game with a good chance at going to the Big 12 championship game with a win over their in-state rivals. The higher ranked BCS team goes in the case of a three way tie.

Missouri needs help from Colorado in their game against Nebraska to go to the Big 12 championship game.

South Carolina will play Auburn in the SEC championship game. They only go to a BCS bowl game with a win. Their season finale against Clemson will have no bearing on that.

You can find all of the information used to compute the BCS rankings below, please direct your hate mail to the owners of these computer rankings:

BCS selection procedures

BCS Poll

Components (not including AP Poll)

Harris Interactive Poll

Anderson & Hester

Richard Billingsley

Colley Matrix

Kenneth Massey

Jeff Sagarin

Peter Wolfe

These are the hated components that replace the potential on-field playoff that the great sport deserves.

SEC suspends Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Bruce Pearl, who admitted to having a recruit to his home for a cookout in 2008, was suspended for the first 8 games of conference play by SEC commissioner Mike Slive. Slive was given the authority as commissioner to suspend coaches who violate rules in May. Since the SEC is considered the wild west of college athletics (see Newton, Cam), expect Slive to be a busy man in the coming months and years.

I think this is a good start in terms of going after the coaches and programs that are breaking the rules. However, in the midst of the Cam Newton investigation at Auburn, Slive’s timing is dubious, at best. Is this heavy handed suspension of Pearl for league games only, being used as a diversion to convince the NCAA that Slive has control over his conference? Only a week ago, Slive put the ball in Auburn’s court to determine Cam Newton’s eligibility. Perhaps the potential of great publicity and a financial windfall for a BCS national championship played a role here for Slive?

Bruce Pearl provides the perfect piñata for the commissioner to take a whack at with his new stick. Pearl isn’t the most politically correct coach in the NCAA and his history over 20 years ago of diming out Lou Henson’s staff at Illinois for recruiting irregularities left him without many coaching options for a long time. An ‘ol boy network guy like Slive can demonstrate full control over his member institutions while at the same time getting some payback for his cronies. Pearl isn’t liked by a lot of the people in the college basketball world for what he did 20 years ago and like the Mafia, when somebody turns informant, it doesn’t take long for a contract to be put out.

The curious part of this is that Slive didn’t touch Pearl for out of conference games. This enables the Volunteers to be at full strength for the out of conference schedule which will inevitably help the rest of the conference in the computer ratings, assuming that Tennessee does well as usual. Another decision that appears to be in the best interest of the rest of the conference. Look, Pearl is not innocent by any means here, but he hasn’t covered anything up and has been out in front of this ever since the investigation began. That’s at least more than anybody at Auburn is doing right now.

When is Slive going to hold the SEC football coaches at Florida and Georgia accountable for the weekly arrests that seem to be happening with those school’s football teams? When Slive starts taking action against those coaches who are showing “lack of institutional control” with their law breaking players, then I’ll take Slive more seriously.