Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thursday 01/04 A.M. Quickie:
Notre Dame Even Worse Than You Thought

Notre Dame blown out by LSU in Sugar Bowl: Here's what was confirmed last night:

(1) Notre Dame was the most overrated team in the country this season.

(And after last night, LSU might have made a case as the No. 3 team in the country, a hell of a debate between LSU, USC and Boise.*)

(2) Brady Quinn was the most overrated QB in the country this season.

(And after last night, LSU QB JaMarcus Russell might have leap-frogged Quinn on everyone's draft board. Hell, Russell might have played himself into the Raiders No. 1 draft spot. Or maybe the Lions at No. 2.)

(3) Charlie Weis has a better chance of winning an NFL title coaching the Giants than he does winning a BCS title coaching the Irish.

(And after last night, Weis might re-think his opposition to an NFL return. BTW, check out this pre-game post about Weis' overratedness.)

* - As I said on Tuesday: You simply can't rank USC ahead of Boise, because of the "Oregon State Factor." My head says to rank LSU ahead of Boise, but I can't stop thinking those rascally Broncos would find a way to beat LSU, too. The way I see it: (3) Boise St. (4) LSU (5) USC. That's not a dis of USC. LSU is that good.

More on today's biggest storylines:

Saban to Bama: See yesterday's post. I repeat: It's harder to consistently be BCS-eligible in the SEC (Conf. champ or BCS at-large a la LSU) than it is to consistently make the playoffs in the NFL.

Simply put: The SEC offers, at most, two BCS chances out of 12. The AFC offers 6 playoff chances out of 16, including a possible 3 chances out of 4 from a single division. Given those factors, the SEC's top-heaviness is tougher to overcome than the NFL's parity crunch.

Meanwhile, I just can't get behind all the outrage -- sincere or knee-jerk columnist b.s. -- about Saban bolting or about him saying one thing and doing another. That's the nature of the coaching game, and – as fans – at one time or another we've all benefited and we've all been stung. It's hard to get too worked up. I try to see it from the point of view of, say, a Dolphins fan: If Saban was willing to go, did you really want him anyway?

Bill Cowher to the Dolphins? Sounds like wishful thinking out of South Florida. But wouldn't that be an awesome 180 by Huizenga?

More NFL Coaching: I predict – without evidence, as usual – that the next Cards coach will be Ron Rivera.

Vince Young named Offensive Rookie of the Year: What an amazing story, particularly considering the pre-draft Wonderlic scandal. How wild that it turns out the Texans didn't screw up by passing on Reggie Bush, but by passing on hometown hero VY. Is he already the NFL's most popular player? Do you know anyone who DOESN'T like/respect/enjoy Young?

NBA: Gilbert Arenas is my hero. 32-footer at the buzzer to carry the Wiz over the Bucks, 108-105. More: Pat Riley takes leave of absence to deal with health issues. Yeah, but like Shaq, he'll be back just in time for the playoffs. The Heat aren't worth paying attention to until then.

College Hoops: Wait, is Clemson for real? They win their ACC opener at FSU to remain unbeaten on the season. (I might put more weight on that than others because I watched FSU beat Florida earlier this season, so I'm tainted by that.) Meanwhile, Air Force wins again. I said it in my "What's Hot, What's Not" List for 2007: AFA is this year's George Mason. (Damn! Quickie curse!)

BCS title game ramp-up: I'll obviously have a LOT more on this as we get closer to day-of-game, but let me point this out:

You can dislike Florida but still REALLY like that the Florida president, Bernie Machen, is being so vocal about pushing for a CFB playoff. Check this out.

Best story of the day: McGwire 70th HR ball juiced! A research company gave a CT scan to McGwire's 70th home run ball and found out... THE BALL WAS JUICED. Link here. ROFLMAO.

Why is Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson still merely considering a jump to the NFL? He's a contender for No. 1 overall pick and a lock for the Top 3. (Can you imagine if the Lions took him at No. 2? Actually, yes. Yes, I can. Vividly. In fact, the upset would be if they DIDN'T draft him.)

Add this to the Mike Tice Follies File: He would love to be the next college football coach at Minnesota. The only problem? He doesn't have a college degree. That explains a lot.

Sports announcer Jim Lampley doesn't just call boxing – he gets arrested for investigation of domestic violence. The "Boxing After Dark" jokes will be tasteless, but fair.

More Sugar: Great point made by newbie ESPN CFB analyst Robert Smith on why Notre Dame keeps getting hammered in bowl games. Let me re-state it in my own words: Their brand is writing checks their talent can't cash. BCS bowls pick Notre Dame because of the TV ratings and national interest, but – talent-wise – they are overmatched against other BCS teams. This Notre Dame team would have had trouble against second-tier bowl teams, let alone an unquestionable Top 5 team like LSU.

Last thing: Bloggie Awards, Cont'd. (Flex Your Power!) Did you see yesterday's post on the Bloggie Awards nominations? Did you catch my shameless self-promotion? More importantly, have you joined in for the grassroots campaign of the year... to get this blog nominated as "Best Sports Blog." As far as I'm concerned, you readers and commenters deserve it, too. Here's the link to the entry form and here's a link to yesterday's original post. Thanks for the support... and the tolerance for my asking about it!

-- D.S.


RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Quinn overrated this season? Brady Quinn is one of the most overrated quarterbacks EVER! PERIOD. He never won a big game. What an embarrassment.

The BCS needs to once again amend the rules about Notre Dame getting an at large bid. They once again showed last night that they did not deserve to be in that game.

How bad did Notre Dame suck last night? They couldn't even take advantage of the TERRIBLE referees. Ex: LSU intercepts the ball. The refs (obviously paid off by ND) overrule the play. Instead of scoring a TD, ND throws an interception 2 plays later. Instead of taking advantage of Rhema McKnight pulling down an LSU player, Quinn throws an INT a few plays later. Notre Dame couldn't even with the refs giving them the game!

Brian in Oxford said...

I gotta agree on ND not being able to cash those checks. They might want to go to the Emerald Bowl just for an easy win for once....heck, they play Navy for the same reason, don't they?

Pats fan....watched Vince Young last weekend and also was just totally impressed by his coolness factor. The skyhook pass that shoulda been caught for a TD alone!

Dan, is there a prize for winning your readers group in the bowlmania? Thought I'd jinx myself by asking....

No bowls tonight? what to do....

Does George Foreman come by Lampley's house to deliver commentary?

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Florida players think their speed will overwhelm Ohio State. I would hope that Meyer works fast to knock that silliness out of his players' heads.
Their speed, ON PAR with OSU's, will only get them to the ball carrier faster...where they will then get knocked on their ass.
Miami in 2002 was considered the fastest, best team in the land by far. The best quote I remmeber is UM center, Romberg, saying that noone he'd seen, including his own team, was faster than the OSU front 4.
OSU has not gotten slower in 5 years.

Anyways... Weis thinks Quinn will be a top 3 QB in the NFL in 3 years. He also thought the Tennessee defense was better last year than OSU's.

Dan, are you updating your rankings as games are played? (which is why OSu and FLA are 1 and 2?) Because after the polls, Boise St. should be at #2. National title loser at #3. Then Wisconsin. Then the rest of the 2 loss wonders.

CMFost said...

I am going to get ripped for this but Vince Young is not that good. His defense and special teams was the real reason they where in games or had a chance to win. Vince Young looked like he will win some games with his legs but will never be able to win if he has to spend time in the pocket and actually throw the ball.

Anonymous said...

I can't say that it's a good idea for any coach to say he's considering other offers during the season. It makes him look bad, but his job is to win games, not be 100% consistent with reporters.

Let's lay off the Irish for on nanosecond. Let Weis recruit "his kind of players" for the next couple of years and see if they're still honking bowl games.

Unknown said...

'his kind of players'?? The elite coaches win with their players...and other people's players.
Is he going to get a better QB than the Great Brady Quinn? Better WRs than McKnight and Samardjiza (holy crap, did i spell that right!?)? Better and tougher safeties than Zbikowski?
I thought Willingham was an excellent recruiter?

Mike Tice doesn't have a college degree? Well, Bill Gates doesn't have one either right? Mike Tice would be a bit of a dumbass with or without a degree. However, as a leader and developer of young men, most who are at college for an education, it wouldn't be right for him to be coaching college without being able to appreciate the college education.

nep1293 said...

I didn't think Notre Dame was that terrible. They could of gotten blown out a lot sooner when it was a quick 14-0, they showed some guts but were just overmatched. I was impressed with how they ran against LSU. Still they don't deserve BCS game, although ths year I don't know who was more deserving (excluding Wisconsin).

I love Jamarcus Russells talent, but I think he will be a Ryan Leaf in the pros. He makes too many boneheaded plays. He makes me nervous when I'm rooting for LSU and he makes me nervous when I'm rooting for whoever LSU is playing. I guess he could go either way. Talent wise though he is amazing

If you justify ranking Florida ahead of UNC in hoops based on the "Ohio St" factor then you better use that thinking across the board. Boise should be now worse than 3, and I say If Ohio St blows out Florida Boise should be #2. It would mean more to Boise than to any other school, I say reward them for a great year

Anonymous said...

Re: CJ contemplating, not declaring.

Because his mom has her PhD, IIRC, so education is a priority in his family.
Because he's doing research that could help improve sanitation in underdeveloped areas.
Because he doesn't want to play for Oakland or Detroit.

All that said, I think he'll declare, unless Gailey can show him the Gator Bowl film of Bennett's potential over and over and over from now until draft day.

Anonymous said...

All Vince Young does is not suck balls as much as Kerry "The Vampire" Collins. Vince didn't do much to win those games as he did not to totally lose them. Hopefully he learns to throw better than Vick.

LSU is pretty good, but beating Notre Dame so soundly isn't something worth bragging about. As much as I despise ND, they need to join the Big 10 and play that schedule. Independents are so 20th century. And don't feed me the tradition garbage. Penn State, Miami, and Florida State all joined conferences.

Big D said...

@ cmfost:

Not necesarily a rip-job here, but...

"Vince Young is not that good."

I'll admit - he's not a top 5 QB yet. But he does have a certain knack for putting his team in position to win games and not making the big mistakes.

"His defense and special teams was the real reason they where (sic) in games or had a chance to win."

Yup. The Titans' defense certainly caused some big turnovers or held opposing teams in check long enough for the offense to battle back. Hell, the defense won the second Jacksonville game by themselves.

And the Special Teams were responsible for the game-winning kicks in a few games.

But Young needed to manage the team well enough to put them in position to win those games.

Kind of the same argument from 2001/02 with Tom Brady - he wasn't flashy with his stats, and never looked like he could take a game over. But when all was said and done, he put his team in position to win.

Remember, the only stats that matter are Wins & Losses.

Anonymous said...

"Let's lay off the Irish for on nanosecond. Let Weis recruit "his kind of players" for the next couple of years and see if they're still honking bowl games."

i think the point is that they are showed such favoritism by being allowed in the bcs when they do not belong. they should have to start playing by everybody else's rules and, if they earn it, then they can go play in the bcs games. if charlie weiss can recruit and coach well enough to put top level teams on the field, i don't think anyone would have a problem with them playing an lsu. last night they were so ridiculously overmatched - and yet they rake in 14 million bucks. that's why so many people hate notre dame

MP said...

Dan, please comment further.

"Charlie Weis has a better chance of winning an NFL title coaching the Giants than he does winning a BCS title coaching the Irish."

I'm sorry, WHAT?! Please explain to me how a guy who is doing mediocre as a head coach at the college level is going to do excellent at the pro level.

Actually, let me back up for a second here. I think it IS too early to judge Weis, being that he is playing with some of Ty's guys and has had little chance at recruiting thus far. He might be able to turn Notre Dame into a DESERVING powerhouse again, and then, he might not be able to do that.

Point is, he needs time. Be that as it may, I'd like to exactly why he would be a better head coach in the pros if he hasn't shown what he can do as a head coach in college.

Anonymous said...

Ouch on the Leaf comparison with Russell...but that is something to think about.

Not a fan of ND, but let Weis have a chance to coach his recruits picked for his system. Callahan at NU looks now to be getting his players up to Lincoln and his offense has started to come around.

jhawkjjm said...

Gotta love the ND haters. This team was overrated yes. But their problems all year long have been 1) defense and 2) weak offensive line play. No QB is going to do anything when the offensive line isn't playing well. Isn't that why the great Peyton Manning threw his oline under the bus last year when Pittsburgh beat Indy in the playoffs? Also, when you're defense is weak and you have to play catch-up all game, play calling becomes predictable and its easy for the opposing defense to constantly apply pressure on the QB.

But as a ND person, yes they were overrated and didn't deserve to be in the BCS. But they weren't the only team to start the year off ranked so high and not live up to expectations. You can't argue much about last years BCS team because they had a valid arguement to be there. This year was a different story.

And yes there is a difference between Willingham and Weis. Willingham in his 10 win season did it with defense and special teams, his offenses were inept and painful to watch. Those defenses were Bob Davies'. At least right now with Weis there's hope for improvement. With Willingham it was the opposite.

jhawkjjm said...

Notre Dame will not join the Big 10 people. IF they join any conference it will be the Big East because that's where all their other teams are.

Christian Thoma said...

I've been on the "Notre Dame is overrated" bandwagon all season long. And now that I've once again been validated, I have an announcement to make:

I resolve to stop hating Notre Dame. Notre Dame wants you to be emotional about them, whether you hate or love them. I resolve to no longer play that game. From now on, I will be MEH to Notre Dame.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

NDYanksFan...where are you? That's what I thought.

Natsfan74 said...

I think Russell and Quinn are both good quarterbacks with "high upside" potential in the NFL, but the best quarterback in college football right now is Colt Brennan. I still think his stats are way overblown because of the type of offense he plays in. But, having seen him in person, I couldn't be more impressed with any college quarterback I have seen in a long time. He has a strong arm, is very accurate, and he makes excellent reads.

Maybe Hawaii will get their wish and all of this Russell/ Quinn comparison for 1-2 in the draft will get him to stay around another year. Then his 60 touchdown passes will be as unbreakable of a record as LdT's scoring record this year. But I suspect that the actual talent evaluators will rank Brennan highly, in spite of what the rest of us think about Russell....

Anonymous said...

I'll get the ball rolling for old times' sake.

Stud: JaMarcus
Dud: BCS Voters for over-ranking ND AGAIN.
Stud: Willingham looks better every year.
Stud: Arenas
Duds: Miami
Studs: New Orleans football fans are livin' large this year.

It's easier to win in the SEC in terms of actual coaching, because you only have to prepare for about 5 games a year. And since the Dolphins were in the AFC East with lil' Bill, it's way easier to win in the SEC.

I think the Raiders are better off drafting an O-lineman and then getting Leftwich in the offseason.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

What's the difference between Notre Dame football and Princess Diana?

Notre Dame gets killed AFTER they come out of the tunnel.

I figure it's ok to tell Princess Di jokes now...enough time as surpassed.

Anonymous said...

Notre Dame may be overrated, but who else should have played in this game? ND was the best ranked BCS team available left. The only other teams that might have been in that spot were teams like WVU, Rutgers, or Virginia Tech. I know the BCS ranking includes the biased Poll rankings, but ND was ranked better than those teams in the (supposedly unbiased) computer rankings too.

Anonymous said...

I think Dans' comment about Weis and the Giants is a good one.

All the pieces are there in NY, they just need a decent coach to keep them healthy and manage their egos. This is something Weis could do, since he handles the ND boosters so well and he's from the Belicheck lineage.

Anonymous said...

"Notre Dame may be overrated, but who else should have played in this game?"

Wisconsin(stupid rule allowing only 2 teams from a conference)

Arkansas(2nd in SEC...over LSU, even though they lost to them)

Auburn(beat LSU)

Teams that would be favored over Notre Dame: Virginia Tech, Rutgers, West Virginia

Is that enough teams?

CMFost said...

@ futurelegend
your quote
"I think someone should ask Merril if he watched VY lead that 21 point comeback against the G-Men. I would like to know why Merril seems to have it out for VY."

Did you watch that game? VY lead the team on one drive that had to go more then 45 yards to bring the team back.

The TD to bring the score to 21-7 was started with good field position on the Giants 45 after an interception by the defense

The second TD making the score 21-14 was set up by a punt return giving the Titans the ball on the Giants 36

The third TD to make it 21-21 was the only drive in the comeback that had to go the length of the field.

And the winning field goal was set up by another Interception and the Titans move the ball 18 yards after that to kick the winning field goal.

Unknown said...

yep, forgot about Louisville. Forgot about the entire Orange Bowl actually.

VY had a great 2/3rds of a season. Relatively speaking when compared to most 1st year QBs.
But I would always lean towards players who have an impact all season long.
On that note, did any rookies have an impact all season long? Yes. I don't know if he got votes, but Mangold from the Jets would have been my pick.

Jack Kidd said...

Dan - I just wanted to say that I am ashamed to still be an ESPN Page 2 that they have replaced the Quickie with the (pitiful) A.M. Jump. Not only is it a blatant rip-off of your column, but the writing/layout/humor is not even close.

I voted for you, will spread the word...and hope that you win!


Anonymous said...

twa -

bowl games do not indicate the strength of a conference. i have said that before on here and laid out my reasons. that is why the SEC SEC, etc. post was made in jest, after last night's LSU pasting of ND. if you want to keep on believing that the big 10 was better this year, go right ahead

CMFost said...

As for rookies who made an impact for the whole season.

you would have to look at:
Maroney - other then the 2 games he missed due to injury

I am not sure how you vote VY the worst rated Starting QB in the NFL the ROY over any of those players it is a joke.

It going to be the same joke if they give Brees the MVP over LdT.

So far the only thing the AP voters got right was the comeback player of the year going to Pennington. And why is that write when people say Brees should won that award, well let see what was Brees coming back from, off season shoulder surgery after he played all 16 games the year before.

Gary said...

Vince Young is either a bigger Michael Vick, a smaller Kordell Stewart, a more mobile Byron Leftwitch, a poor-man's Randall Cunningham, gritty like Steve McNair, a talented version of Akili Smith, doesn't have Donovan McNabb's arm, is significantly better than Aaron Brooks, is a non-cocaine addicted Quincy Carter, less-injury prone Duante Cullpepper, a darker Charlie Batch, a younger Warren Moon, has one less Super Bowl than Doug Williams...

Did I forget anyone?

CMFost said...

Just for the hell of it.

My ROY Ballot if I had a vote
1. Jones-Drew
2. Colston
3. Addai
4. Bush
5. Maroney

My MVP Ballot
1. LdT
2. Brees
3. Brady
4. Manning
5. Urlacher

CMFost said...


LT + TDs + 14-2 = MVP
When the star of the NFL's best team wins the rushing title and smashes the TD record, the MVP becomes an easy choice. LaDainian Tomlinson ran away with the award today, getting 44 of the 50 first-place votes.

CMFost said...

Final MVP vote tally

LdT - 44
Brees - 4
Manning - 2

Gary said...

come on, no comment on the Vince Young comparisons...that was guys need to lighten up, I always laugh when people can't see past skin color when comparing an athletes career to someone else. (see Adam Morrision NBA)

chipp said...

VY has a G-R-E-A-T coach: Fisher is top 3. That bodes well for his future. No matter what happened this year, the next 2 should be the indicators if he'll become an accurate QB. Almost all of the (typically thought of) great QBs struggled with a 50-something completion percentage in their first year playing (as did VY). The greats usually picked it up in their second year (I actually did a bit of research!) and third year. However, the only thing that will raise VY to that status is the coach and team. Every "great" QB has had an amazing team to support him. We'll see.

Notre Dame has always been favored, but it wasn't always that bad since they held themselves to higher standards (academically). Now that Weis is "bending" those standards, Notre Dame needs to be held to the same selection criteria as everyone else. When you lose 9 straight bowls games it is a sign that you are perennially overrated.

chipp said...

Gary: I think people are still in shock over the Princess Di comment: still trying to figure out how to respond.

Big D said...

I'll be happy to respond:


See, it's funny, because it didn't happen to me.

Gary said...

Yeah, I was thrown off by that comment...

that joke was lamer than FDR's legs...What too soon?

Brian in Oxford said...

a less-world-traveled Rohan Davey?
that was pretty funny....

and why AREN'T any black players ever compared to Larry Bird?

Big D said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Big D said...

This is a shame...

Simmons will be crushed

Big D said...

Hey... helps if I include the link.

I'm a dumbass. I freely admit that.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Bid D, was that link cut-off?

Anonymous said...

VY won the award because he has "it."

By now, I believe "it" means "media mancrush."

VY = Favre + Vick

RevScottDeMangeMD said...


What do Pink Floyd and Dale Earnhardt have in common?

Their last hit was The Wall.

ssssssssssssss...too soon on that one too?

Jen said...

We've been wondering about you, manningham!

EPorvaznik said...

>>Notre Dame will not join the Big 10 people. IF they join any conference it will be the Big East because that's where all their other teams are. >>

Ummm, based on that logic, isn't that a little like saying Penn State should have joined the Big East instead...or was it the Atlantic-10 at the time?

During the recent down years in Happy Valley (sigh), I did some wishful hypothesizing about what that might have been like and discovered that the student populations at the Big East schools are a quarter of what a good portion of the Big 10/11. Pardon the obvious on my delayed-reaction part, but that's gotta factor in somehow. Insert Penn State grad joke here: _____.

Oh, yeah, those exclusive NBC contracts make Touchdown Jesus real happy, too, fo' sho'.

jhawkjjm said...

Take this for what its worth, but running a search on "penn state big east" shows that Penn State applied and was rejected from the Big East in 82... probably why they joined the Big 10.

And I really doubt that Big 10 would consider adding another football team because that would give them the magic 12 and thus they MIGHT be forced to have a conference championship game and split into divisions. I say might because I know you need 12 for a title game, but don't know if its true that if you have 12 you must have a title game.

Big D said...

@ solomonrex:

No, it's all there. Unfortunately, stupid Blogger doesn't auto line-break a link.

Here it is

Big D said...

Wow, the ultimate insult. Being told that "You make Eli Manning look good..."

I think VY is going to get it. Eventually. Let's remember guys - he's got 13 career starts under his belt and is all of 23 years old. Let's give him another season or two before we jump off the bandwagon.

It's not like Mike Vick, who has had six years as a starter (five, if you discount the injury season) and still hasn't put it all together.

Unknown said...

What's up with Manningham dropping balls left and right vs USC? awful.

The odds are against VY panning out because MOST quarterbacks don't pan out.
Really, if his last name wasn't "Manning" would any of you project him to be in the League in 3 years?

Unknown said...

ESPN's Todd McShay picks Florida to win the game because the 50-day layoff will affect Ohio State and they will be unprepared for Florida's speed.


So a long layoff only affects one team? And McShay is a believer of the myth that all the speed is in the South?
So annoying for 'experts' to fall into silly beliefs like that.

Ohio State 28
Florida 27

(T. Smith leads OSU to a last minute touchdown at the end of game)

Big D said...

@ bottlerocket: (and anyone else who's interested)

My fantasy QB picks would be Brady & Hasslebeck. Both look to advance, both should put up good numbers.

As for thoughts on this week's games, well, I'd love to write them here, but then you'd have no reason to click over to my page later tonight, now would you? :)

(Shameless plug Alert! Shameless Plug Alert!)

jhawkjjm said...

I really hope the officials in the BCS title game are better than the ones for the Sugar Bowl. I'd hate for one team to get screwed out of a championship because of awful officiating. (See OSU over Miami)

Now everyone sees what I had to put up watching in the Big 12 this year.

As for VY, he'll be fine. I don't see many people complaining this year about Philip Rivers and his unorthodox delivery.

CMFost said...

I am going to do a shameless plug for my crappy blog. Yeah that will really get you to read it but I did put out my playoff predicitions for the first round yesterday.

CMFost said...

since it is playoff fantasy you need to pick a QB at least to start who will play this weekend. And I would go with Hasselbeck due to the Cowboys poor pass coverage followed by Brady as a second choice and then Manning Third only because I Peyton is going to be playing from behind and will have to throw a lot.

Big D said...

Wouldn't touch Manning. Either Manning.

If the Chiefs run at will, Peyton might only have six or seven possessions to work with.

And Eli, well, Eli's Eli. That's all you really need to know.

Anonymous said...

I'm an ex-B'ham resident and wanted to pass along a sample of the insanity that is college football in the state of Alabama.

The same board of trustess governs both UAT (The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa) and UAB (University of Alabama in Birmingham). As it so happens, both schools were conducting head coaching searches (one was a bit less advertised than the other). However, a couple of weeks ago, the UAB search committee had zeroed in on Jimbo Fisher (a hot commoditiy that has been on several head coaching search lists). This was creating quite a bit of buzz about UAB football in B'ham. They had a tentative deal in place for $600,000 annually with two local B'ham businessmen pledging half of this amount. The searching committe had to cancel the plane trip to Baton Rouge for the final negotiations because the board of trutees nixed the deal due to 'fiscal concerns' with the amount of the contract.

Note that UAB has Mike Davis as a basketball coach (Ex-UAT player) and he is payed $600,000 annually without, to my knowledge, any boosters covering any portion of his salary.

UAB then hires Neil Callaway as the head coach at $365,000 per year with performance incentives. Again, to my knowledge, no booster is covering any protion of this salary. Neil Callawy is an ex-UAT player and assistant under the very late Bear Bryant. Callaway was the offensive coordinator at UGA. However, at UGA the head coach calls the offensive plays. So does Callaway at least coach the 'skill' players? No, he is the offensive line coach.

He also happens to have a recent DUI on his record. The board of trustees dumped Mike Price after he got drunk and made a bad decision, but it seems that they had short term memory loss on Callaway's account.

How did Neil Callaway get this job? It just so happens that the board of trustees is predominatly UAT alums with one Paul Bryant, Jr. the lead dog. It was all about who you know.

There is nothing about this that doesn't stink. UAB was generating buzz with a 'name' (for a smaller school anyway) candidate and the trustees put a damper on it and then hired a good old boy that will keep them where they belong (mediocore in Conference USA).

They passed it off as fiscal responsiblity, then bascially paid another candidate more money out the University's pocket. Two weeks later they approve $4 million per year to Nick Saban to coach blessed UAT.

Sorry about the long post, but I had to create an account just to get that off my chest. One other thing to note is that UAB is the main bread winner for the universities under the Alabama board of trustees control. UAB is a medical school with great facilities (think Dr. Andrews performing Tommy John surgerys).

CMFost said...

bottlerocket, If that is the case go with Jeff Garcia, he will be consistent and he will probably playing every round until at least the NFC Championship game

Anonymous said...

What I find so amusing about all the Saban critics (hello E** writers and analysts) is that so many of us have been in that changing jobs scenario where we our sh*tting our pants to leave our comfy post for uncharted waters (and often more money).

Tell me those writers who used to make a paycheck worthy of a bus boy at Denny's for their passion to report cannot empathize with Saban. He was a premier college coach, he wants to be in the college atmosphere again, so let him follow his passion.

Who cares what he tells you a month ago? The big criticism would be if he left 'Bama to make an NFL return (note: no NFL owner would take the risk anyway now).

CMFost said...

even though this will not happen how do you think Bledsoe will feel if the Cowboys go on to win the Super Bowl. I think we would have a new phrase for the dicitionary

Bledsoed - To be replaced as the starting QB and have your team win the Super Bowl because of it.

Jared said...

Vince Young is the ROY? Did I miss something? His QB rating was 66.7, and he threw 13 INTs to 12 TDs. You win as a team and lose as a team, VY does not deserve such credit with such terrible numbers.

Unknown said...

On ESPN...a story on HOF polling. The shocker? More people would vote for Barry Bonds than for Mark McGuire right now.


Unknown said...

Ouch Jhawkjim...
I know that everyone only ever remembers the last bad call, but that OSU - Miami title game did not involve a team that got screwed. Officials made calls they thought were right. The game came down to two calls (why the first is never remembered, i don't know)
-Chris Gamble catches a pass inbounds on 3rd down. Refs call it incomplete (out of bounds). OSU punts, good Miami return leads to tying FG.
-4th down pass to Gamble in endzone, contact between Miami CB and Gamble. The flag comes in 3 seconds after play ends. Ohio State gets ball at two and gets tying field goal.

If the first play had been correct, OSU would have been able to run the clock down. So no OT.
They balanced out....especially since both calls only led to the teams TYING.
In the 2nd OT, Miami got the ball on the 2 yard line after a shady PI call in the endzone as well. Difference? They couldn't get 2 yards in 4 plays.

Anyways, the nature of Florida and Ohio State, I think the skill of both teams will make the refs an afterthought.

chipp said...

Garcia gives the Iggles the best chance for success: he doesn't kill drives with poor throws. McNabb would consistently send fliers over open receivers on 3rd-and-3. McNabb has a career 58.2% completion rate: Garcia has 60.9%. McNabb's only season at over 60% was TO's full season in PHI. However, Garcia's stats with TO in SF: 61.4% 23TD/11INT 312RU-YD/4TD avg. McNabb with TO in PHI: 61.9% 23TD/8INT 137RU-YD/2TD avg.

Unknown said...

Good Call Rafael. The Jet's Mangold should have been mentioned in the NFL ROY voting but they only give first place votes out. I think they should rank their top 3 or 5 players so that some guys who won't win can still get honorable mention. The voting can be found at

CMFost said...

Actually Garcia ia a free agent at the end of the season, So a Super bowl win means big bucks for him.

Kevin said...

What the hell is wrong with you, Dan? You keep bringing up the "Oregon State Factor" to explain why Boise should be ranked ahead of USC...but they had another common opponent, Oklahoma. USC easily beat the Sooners, but Boise had to go to OT. So common opponents really can't determine which team is better.

eirishis said...
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eirishis said...

Four points in return:

1) Brady Quinn is not so much overrated as imprecisely rated. He makes good throwing decisions (rarely does he throw to the wrong receiver), but his passes aren't the most accurate. Also, it's difficult to gauge what he would look like with a real offensive line, since Notre Dame's is terrible. Overall, I'd put him behind Brennan, Russell, and even Smith as NFL prospects. But that doesn't mean he's awful.

2) The BCS is designed to create interesting (and profitable) matchups. Notre Dame meets both criteria. Until there is a playoff, ND will get invited anytime they qualify because bowls make money off of them. And who can blame them? Anyone who saw the empty seats at the Orange Bowl understands the bowl organizers' point of view. Let's all move on.

3) For good reading on how Weis is doing pretty darn well with the talent left in the well, do some reading at the Blue Gray Sky. Suffice it to say, Willingham's recruiting didn't exactly leave the cupboards full, especially at both lines and in the secondary. Which is why ND's six losses over the last two years have come when teams have burned us deep on offense and blitzed consistently on defense. You can only work with what you have. Thus, I don't think we can really evaluate whether or not Weis can win the big one at ND until we see his recruits play. For now, we know he can at least get to 9-10 wins with someone else's players.

4) Considering that it lost to, arguably, three of the top five teams of the country ... let's not all go pissing out pants about how terrible ND is. Remember that they beat ACC runner-up GT on the road (who oft-praised West Virginia could only beat by a field goal on a neutral field), and pounded underrated Penn State at home. They will fall to around #15 ... and you know what, that's probably about right.

whocares said...

ken in starkvegas,

I currently live in Birmingham, and am an Auburn fan/grad, so please do not mistkae what I say for agreeing with Alabama shelling out that kind of money for a football coach. But there are several points in your post that are way off base.

First of all, yes, UAB and UAT are both run by the same Board of Trustees, but that has little bearing on the hiring practices of both. UAB must show fiscal responsibility when hiring a coach because it is a program that has been hemoraging money for the last several years. They are averaging around 15K per game in attendance and dont have the means to waste serious money on a coach. Alabama packs out a 90K seat stadium for 8 home games a year so they can afford the $4 mil for $aban.

Also, the UAB Hospital System is a not-for-profit organization therefore the monies that they generate must be put back into research and facilities for the hospitals, not to paying coaches at UAT- or UAB for that matter.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a scandal on those baseballs. I think this could be bigger than steroids, because it comes from the top if it's true.

ND will never join a conference until they lose that NBC contract AND start being ranked appropriately. Why? Not less money--fewer BCS games (ok, and less money). They'd never make the BCS cut in a normal conference. ND fans can argue that they are at times underrated by us fans, but they are totally overrated by the people in power.

Brady Quinn can't be picked first. Seriously--can anyone picture him in a Raiders uniform? I can picture him losing twelve games in a Lions uniform, though.

Re: Mike Tice. Sounds like reality show time!

Anonymous said...


If UAB could get a coach that won ballgames, then the community would support it (ie come to the games). Everybody loves a winner. Hell, Troy is getting more attendance located in the boonies than UAB gets in B'ham because they win ballgames.

The 'fiscal concerns' were bogus as Jimbo Fisher's contract with the booster pledges was going to cost the University system less money out of pocket than the coach they hired.

The comment on who generates money back to the school's budget underscores the problem with representation on the board of trustees. I think most public schools are non-profit organizations.

Most of my rant is ripped from content in Kevin Scarbinsky's articles in The Birmingham News following the coaching search fiasco.

TJ said...

OK, this Robert Smith guy is exactly right. This Notre Dame team, from a talent standpoint, had "Gator Bowl" written all over it. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. I attended a Gator Bowl a few years ago where ND was barely competitive--at least this team is better then that. But yes, their branding puts them in better games than their talent would have them earn, and so they'll keep losing until: (1) that ND mystique goes away or (2) until they actually get National Championship caliber again.

In other words--it'll be a long time before ND wins another bowl in anything other than a big upset.

amr said...

Yes, USC whooped OU and BSU needed overtime to beat OU, but they were different OUs.

USC >> OreU.
BSU > OklU > OreU.
But OreU+Refs > OklU.
OSU > OreU.

Beavers are better than Ducks, but what about Platypi?

Unknown said...


d_helms32 said...

How can you say that Weis stands no chance of winning a title at Notre Dame? He hasn't even had his recruits come in yet. He went in there with Willingham's players and did what Ty could only do one year, and that is win. In a few years Notre Dame will be competing once again. Everybody just wants an excuse to hate on them.

Dan Shanoff said...

This was a phenomenal day of Comments, everyone. I appreciate this extension of the conversation more than you know. I enjoyed every single one. What I like most is that we can disagree, but you've gotta bring your sound reasoning to back it up. I'm sorry I only posted once today, but I'll try to make up for it tomorrow. -- Dan

Anonymous said...

Can we please stop saying...
Team A beat Team B. Team B beat Team C. Therefore Team A will beat Team C.

This is not math, and therefore not an accurate indicator of whose best. By this logic Notre Dame is better than USC because Notre Dame beat UCLA and USC lost to them. We all saw that USC is better than Notre Dame.

nep1293 said...

I'm pretty sure the only concern with Tomlinson was the TCU thing.

I remember seeing this game years ago and was convinced LT would be awesome.

seriously...406 yards???? That's playstation or xbox not real life.

nep1293 said...

hmm, link didn't show up

nep1293 said...

damn... oh well

the rest is


Big D said...
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Big D said...

@ futurelegendvinceyoung:

Just imagine if the Cards had grabbed LdtT over Davis... Obviously, Vick was going to Atlanta (hell, they basically traded the top 2 2006 MVP finalists for him), and Cleveland was destined to blow their draft choice.

What's even more impressive... of the top five teams in that draft, three have won their division at least once since - the other two have combined for exactly one season of more than six wins (Cleveland - 9-7 in 2002).

Talk about parity...

P.S. Bill Cowher Resigns... Whizzenhunt or Whipple in '07?

Unknown said...

I thought LdT's size was an issue too?
one of those lame "can he handle the rigors of the NFL" reasons for marking him down.

I'd prefer Grimm for my Steelers.

Anonymous said...

Not quite true Bid D.. They traded the #1 Pick (M. Vick) and got in return a #3 pick (CB-Tay Cody Fl. State) a #2 pick in 2002 (Reche Caldwell) and Tim Dwight. They took Brees with their own second round pick in 2001.

Either way it worked out much better for the Chargers

Anonymous said...

Whoops, obviously they got the #5 pick and took LT as well

Big D said...

good point b_washington, but if they had taken Vick, they obviously wouldn't have had a need for Brees. Therefore, by trading away the right to take Vick #1 and instead grabbing LdT, they also ensured than with their next pick, they would still need a QB i.e. Drew Brees.

It's kind of roundabout thinking, but no one ever accused me of being a great thinker.

CMFost said...
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CMFost said...
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CMFost said...
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Anonymous said...

New Whitlock on AOL:

By the way, if you think that link is a pain, try finding his commentary by visiting first. It shouldn't be this hard!