Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tuesday 01/02 A.M. Quickie:
Boise State! Best! Ending! Ever?!

Fiesta!!! Boise State pulled off the most entertaining finish EVER to a bowl game, thanks to the dramatic trick plays -- (1) the hook-and-ladder to tie the game in the final seconds of regulation (on 4th-and-18 from midfield!); (2) the wacky, hike-to-RB formation to score a TD in OT, (3) the gutsy, do-a-double-take 2-point conversion to win and...oh, right... (4) the post-game marriage proposal live on national TV.

(Click here or scroll down to see my full post on this all-time amazing game. And here's a link to the best video clip I could find that contained all the plays.)

Where will the unbeaten Broncos finish in the final rankings? I'd put them at No. 3, behind Ohio State and Florida. (Don't even THINK of ranking USC ahead of them. Hint: Compare each team's performance against Oregon State.)

So much for Michigan's worthiness to play in the BCS title game. I look forward to NOT hearing from Michigan fans for at least another 6 months.

USC is No. 1... in '07? USC's big win is very similar to Ohio State's big win over Notre Dame last year in the Fiesta Bowl:

It sets up the Trojans as everyone's team to beat next season. (Without Dwayne Jarrett? Hmm. BTW, he is SICK.)

Nick Saban to Alabama? You can't criticize Bama for not going big – and you couldn't criticize Saban for taking the job. If he accepts, it's a coup for Bama that eclipses the previous month's coaching-search folly. If he declines, the program is effed.

Cards fire Green. Who's next? I've read re-tread Mike Sherman is interviewing, along with Ron Rivera, Norm Chow and Jim Caldwell. If I wanted to focus on offense, I'd hire Chow. If I wanted to focus on defense, I'd hire Rivera. Neither is a bad pick, and both would increase the NFL's pathetic number of minority head coaches.

Falcons fire Mora. Who's next? I read that Blank and McKay will be sure to ask any candidates how they plan to use Vick. Uhh... ya think?! (If they didn't ask Mora that question, maybe McKay should've been fired.)

Bill Cowher done in Pittsburgh? The players think so. The smartest bloggers and analysts think so. It doesn't take a genius to understand he's better off taking a year off, enhancing his rep on TV, then taking the big money in 2008 from, say, Dan Snyder.

Knight 880: Unbreakable record? Of the Top 2 contenders to do it – Coach K won't last long enough before retirement, and Billy Donovan won't last long enough before jumping to the NBA. Plus, it's a moving target: It's not like Knight is retiring any time soon.

NBA back to the leather ball: It returned last night. Keep an eye on whether players struggle with the transition wedged right into the middle of a season. I sort of doubt it.

AI vs. Sixers tonight: I have to believe that Philly fans are too drunk on the Eagles' success to truly care.

College hoops: OK, OK, I believe – After watching UCLA dismantle a very good Washington team, UCLA *is* the No. 1 team in college hoops. I'd still rank Florida over UNC at No. 2, if only because the Gators crushed Ohio State, where the Heels only eked out a win over OSU.

Condolences to family, friends and fans of Broncos CB Darrent Williams. What a horrible story.

-- D.S.


Anonymous said...

It cracks me up how emotions get the best of some of you people out there…and, yes, I am talking specifically about you Michigan/Big Ten homers(this comes from some of the comments on the bowl wrap up last night). Somehow, Michigan getting their ass kicked in the Rose Bowl makes Florida worse? Now Ohio State is going to win 50-3? What is that? I don’t draw any major conclusions from any bowl game that isn’t the championship game, but that Rose Bowl certainly didn’t support the notion that Michigan deserved to be in the title game. And rest assured, Florida is NOT going to give up 50 to the Buckeyes. The most they have given up all year is 27(Auburn) and 28(Arkansas), both games including at least one defensive and/or special teams touchdown by the other team. Ohio State has not seen a defense like Florida’s all year, including that “vaunted” Michigan squad. The only conclusion I have drawn is that Lloyd Carr is slowly morphing into John Cooper.

USC may enter next year at #1, but that is only because of the slurping machine that is ESPN/ABC, with their USC/Big Ten biases. Florida will be the best team next year…the talent level there is staggering, just not talked about.

Christian Thoma said...

Are there any LSU fans here? I'm curious how LSU fans think about Saban possibly going to Alabama.

Anonymous said...

So after reading about how "the whole season is a playoff" and how "on the field results mean everything", you think a two loss Florida should be ranked AHEAD of 13-0 Boise State if they lose next week?! Did you see the SEC teams play yesterday? At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if ND beat out LSU.

Christian Thoma said...

At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if ND beat out LSU.

Whoa, let's not go nuts here.

Christian Thoma said...

dude has no chance of making it in the NBA just like his mentor Rick Pitino

Just because he has no chance to make it doesn't mean he's not going to try.

Brian in Oxford said...

Anyone seen the "AM Jump" on espn page 2 yet?

Talk about slappin' it to Dan....we'll see if it's actually any good first, of course....

Anonymous said...


so you are telling me florida's offense is worse than michigans? even if it is "not quite as good", michigan still put up 38 on the buckeyes. tressel is an excellent big game coach, but he hasn't won all the big games. if he did he would have more than 1 national championship in 6 years. i am not predicting a florida win...but the fact that everyone gives them no chance is mind boggling. do we learn nothing from history? like the underdog in the bcs title game is 6-2 alltime?

Christian Thoma said...

Anyone seen the "AM Jump" on espn page 2 yet?

Talk about slappin' it to Dan....we'll see if it's actually any good first, of course....

Outlook not so good. DJ Gallo is one of those people who thinks he's funnier than he really is, and he uses the same jokes over and over again.

Of course, the same is true with Dan, but at least Dan ran a wicked morning chat.

Christian Thoma said...


Tressel does win all the big games. He's won every BCS bowl game he's played in (3 for 3 so far). He's beaten Michigan every year except 1, and that was the post-national championship year after they lost a lot of starters.

Yes, they lost versus Texas last year, but that was because he was still platooning Zwick with Smith.

But I think the most important thing, and the one I keep bringing up, is that Tressel has already been one of those BCS underdogs that has won. He knows that the overwhelming favorite can falter. He has real time experience with that phenomenom. He's too good of a coach to let the Buckeyes suffer a letdown.

Therefore, Florida's only hope is with talent. And they just don't have it.

Brian in Oxford said...

oh, and holy shit, I'm in 4th freakin' place in the pool?!

The heroin sheik said...

What a great evening and night of football. The Rose bowl silenced all those haters in michigan (thank god) and the Fiesta is by far the second best bowl game I have ever seen. IF I weren't such a gator fan it would have been number one but a National title blowout against your archrival is pretty tough to top. Even my fiancee who isn't much of a football fan was glued to the TV. OF course for most of the game she thought I was actually watching the gators. I think the hook and ladder might have taken the top spot in the greatest play ever. Sure the cal stanford 5 lateral play was amazing but it didn't have the ramifications that the play last night had.

Congrats to bobby knight he is cool in my book.

The AM jump on espn is pretty weak.

Christian Thoma said...

BTW, I think everybody is spending waaaay too much time discussing who should finish 2nd or 3rd. I mean, does anybody honestly care? Who's going to remember?

Anonymous said...

chrth -

so bobby bowden(2000), bon stoops(2003) and pete carroll(2005) should bow down to tessel because they had never been underdogs in the title game before and therefore were not privy to the wisdom of coach sweater vest and could not avoid the upset? these buckeye players were not around in 2002. if and when the florida defense gets a pick 6 or the like, buckeye buttholes will pucker no matter who the coach is. as lou holtz would say, "these are 18, 19, 20 year old kids" coaching is important...execution is key. even senator tressel will tell you that. by the way, platooning zwick and smith was a coaching decision that cost him a "big game". do you have an answer for the penn state game last year. oh...but he has won all of them.

Christian Thoma said...


You have me confused with a Notre Dame fan. I don't think my coach is the greatest coach who has ever lived. There are plenty of coaches who are equal or better than him.

That said, he's smart. Sometimes too smart for his own good (Zwick/Smith platoon being an example), but smart nonetheless. I'm hoping he learned the lesson from the Michigan game and doesn't go conservative when staked to a strong league.

And the Penn State game wasn't a big game, they were already virtually eliminated from the championship. If every game of the season is a big game, then there's no such thing as a coach who wins big games because nobody goes undefeated year in/year out. Using USC as an example: the Oregon State game wasn't a big game (granted, maybe they should've treated it like one), the UCLA game was.

As I've stated several times on this board before, the only way to make up a talent gap is through coaching (or a shitload of luck). There is a talent gap between tOSU and UF. Does this mean tOSU can't lose? No. But if they do lose, it ain't going to be about coaching. That's my point.

CMFost said...

Happy New Year Everyone.

The Am Jumps sucks they should of just kept going on witht he quickie.

Boise State should be #2 if Ohio State Beats Florida and #3 if Florida Beats Ohio State.

Did anyone have a worse weekend then the Denver Broncos, I feel sorry for all the players and staff.

Personally I am more excited for the NFL playoffs this weekend the the BCS Fraud Championship Game. Can;t wait to see LJ run all over the colts, the Pats beat up on the Jets, the Seahawks end Bill Parcells coaching career and show what a fraud Romo is, and the Eagles to keep the run going by beating Eli and the Giants.

TJ said...

OK, Dan, you've got to tell us at some point why ESPN got rid of you... and then spent 4 months giving the Quickie an ESPN The Magazine makeover and assigning a new writer. I mean, Jesus--that's a little harsh.

Big D said...

@ chrth:

"I think everybody is spending waaaay too much time discussing who should finish 2nd or 3rd. I mean, does anybody honestly care? Who's going to remember?"

I agree, that most of the country isn't going to care who finishes #2, assuming tOSU wins next Monday.

Except for the people in the North Mid-West. If Boise St. finishes #2, not only is that a major coup for all non-BCS conference teams, it immediately lends creedence to those teams, and positions Boise St. as one of those "up and coming" teams to boost their recruiting potential.

By the way - although my body is telling me different today, I will never regret watching that Fiesta Bowl start to finish. Re-freakin'-diculous.

Anonymous said...


Don't forget Choice seemed to like knowing when he was getting the ball handed to him too. I never thought Bennett would be that good. I did like the announcers mentioning that Gailey should have made the switch midseason.

TJ said...

My hunch of what the voters would actually do...

if OSU wins: OSU, LSU, USC, BSU, Louisville, Michigan, UF

if UF wins: UF, OSU, LSU, USC, BSU, Louisville, Mich.

TJ said...

Shit, i totally forgot Wisconsin... just ignore me.

Anonymous said...

chrth -

just one last comment. the penn state game was HUGE last year. osu still could win the big ten and had outside shot at bcs title game. so there are 2 "big games" that tressel lost. whether or not tressel gets outcoached by urban meyer is not the point. and the talent gap is not the point. if talent was the only indicator, the most talented team would win every year. it is how the team plays. coaching em up can only take you so far. its how the players react to adversity, execute the plays, make the right adjustments on the field, etc. i give you boise state as a great example. where a "player" gave the coach the play for the winning 2 point conversion. stoops wasn't outcoached.

Christian Thoma said...


I understand. I just don't know why you're assuming tOSU players (most of whom performed exceedingly well here just last year) will clam up while Florida players will come out like champs. I don't see it happening.

CMFost said...

I know this is a little off topic but can some one tell me why the Saturday Night NFL game is the craptastic Seahawks vs Cowboys game. Is this the man love for all things Romo playing out? We know it is not about ratings since the Pats/Jets or Giants/Eagles would get much better ratings based on having the #1 TV market involved.

Christian Thoma said...

Actually, cmfost, Saturday night games usually get the worst ratings (worst night on TV). That's probably why they put it there.

Anonymous said...

chrth -

i just leave it as a possibility that it may happen. it is mainly a reaction to how so many people just assume osu will dominate the gators. i realize it is mostly anti-shanoff sentiment so i guess i should take it all with a grain of salt

Anonymous said...

1) the record will be passed by coach k, this regretfully being said by a unc student, but its true, he's the youngest and he won't stop winning at least 20-25 a year. good article on espn (forde maybe?) about how it will be hard to catch him because so few coaches are hired in their 20's. maybe ol' roy will chase him down.

2) the AM Jump is pretty lame, i prefer news in the morning, not a comedy page. dan always did a good job cracking some jokes, but it seems like gallo's whole point is the jokes, well, when isn't it i guess.

Big D said...

Two things:

First - here's the Fiesta Bowl's final 1:31, in all its glory.


Second, it needs to be mentioned. Thom Brennaman did one hell of a job calling the end of this game. Didn't get preachy, didn't try to downplay the game, certainly captured the excitement.

I can't express how happy I am that Joe Buck was not on this game.

EPorvaznik said...


I think pootie's referring to the PSU-OSU game from '05, aka the year JoePa forgot to pay off the Ann Arbor refs. That game also featured Zwick/Smith platooning and though the Nittany defense ultimately held Smith in check, still think he was brought in too late in the game to be a factor.

Lord now help me as I have actually defended Ohio State/Jim T. Gotta be the Youngstown State thing.

CMFost said...

Chrth, except for when it came to the playoffs they always tried to put the best match up on the Saturday Prime Time telecast. I actually thin the Cowboys/Seahwaks game is the worst match up and Seattle is probably going to win by 2 TD's+

Unknown said...

especially when Ohio St. seems to be one team that just doesn't clam up or get shaky.
Troy Smith is the quarterback I would bet the most on to not throw a pick-6, btw.
Florida can beat Ohio State, but it will have to do it straight up.

I wonder if seeing all the trick plays work for BSU make Meyer want to try more himself.

Christian Thoma said...


Hmm, I don't know then. Maybe because both teams stumbled into the playoffs they figure it'll be a close one? Seattle 7, Dallas 6? (that's turnovers, not points)

Unknown said...

So...if a player called the play for boise st. on the 2 pt...does that mean Stoops was outcoached by a 19-yo kid?

Unknown said...

I don't get the "lack of minority coaches in the NFL" comment. The NFL has plenty of minority coaches. College football is a different story.
Off the top of my head,
Dungy, Edwards, Lovie Smith, Dennis Green and Art Shell. African Americans are about 10% of the population and over 15% of the current coaches.

In Div. IA NCAA football there are only about two black head coaches and that is out of 120+ teams. That is a real issue. The NFL is fine.

Big D said...

Uh, cycledan:

Dennis Green just got canned. Art Shell is about to. That drops your numbers to 3 of 32.

Personally, I hate the idea of being forced to interview a minority candidate just because of the color of their skin. I believe you interview the best people for the job, the people you believe to be the most qualified.

Putting people into a quota is just like saying "you were the best minority we could hire. You might not be the best, but at least we can trot you out in front of the camera and look like we're trying to make a difference."

Drives me nuts. And yes, I fully realize I'm saying this as a Caucasian Male in America - not exactly a dying breed.

CMFost said...

Just for the fun of it I just wrote my playoffs preview for this weekends games. Check it out and let me know what you think.


Christian Thoma said...

On minority coaches:

I am hoping beyond hope that this is the year Norm Chow is interviewed for an open position, is the only minority candidate, and Jesse Jackson complains because the team didn't interview any minorities. I am dying for this to happen.

CMFost said...

I think Norm Chow would be a great fit for Arizona especially with Leinart there. I also think that if there was any chance for Pete Carroll to leave USC it might be to go to a young and potentially growing into a top team like Arizona as long as they gave him complete control over the team.

CMFost said...

Also don't be surprised if the Giants job opens up and Charlie Weis leave Notre Dame for that opening.

Mega said...

I too am sick of the entire "minority coach" speak in the NFL. The NFL is doing just fine. They should look at college football instead. Its the ultimate "good ole boy" system.

Yet another reason why the NFL is better then college.

Anonymous said...

Hey Shanoff, what do you think about this "A.M. Jump" they're doing on Page 2 now. Nice how they canned you, ripped off your Quickie and gave it a new name.

Stay classy ESPN.

marcomarco said...

I think we should sign up DJ Gallo for a large variety of porn emails.

Lame quickie ripoff with a facelift.

Unknown said...

lame rip-off of a bill simmons joke, Marco.


On the minority coach deal, it's not about hiring more..it's about interviewing more. teams zero in on a coach (usually a white re-tread who probably stunk at his last job) and don't seriously consider anyone else.
I do agree that it is about hiring the person who is best for that job, but if people aren't being interviewed, how do you know they aren't the best one for the job?

I do agree College is the bigger problem.

marcomarco said...

not intentionally, but whatever.

Mikepcfl said...

I checked out that AM Jump and it pretty much sucks. I didnt even laugh once while reading it and there were no real insightful comments. I did see a Brett Favre slam, so maybe Dan is still contributing to ESPN!

Anonymous said...

Who did Ohio State beat? A bad Texas team? A bad Michigan team? A really bad Iowa team? Now that Michigan has lost, they need to beat Florida for legitimacy.

If Ohio State loses, Boise State should be #1.

#2 should matter. It will give Boise St. national exposure, make it harder for the BCS to screw them over next year and if there's any idea of "best team" or "second best team" outside of the ludicrous bowl system, then we need to give them the accolades they deserve. I can accept that an undefeated Boise St. can't pass an undefeated Ohio State on the basis of schedule (they didn't really try to schedule anyone tough). But I can't accept that an undefeated Boise St. is worse than any one-loss team, because there's no evidence of that.

"The only thing I can figure is the $$$, in which case I'd root against him even more. If he takes the money from BAMA, I hope he pays for it with losing teams."

Everyone whines about athletes and coaches "betraying" them for money, but no one turns down promotions or raises. If Saban gets more money, good for him, he should try to make as much as he can for his family and favorite charities. And if he spends it on hookers on a yacht or a cocaine habit or barry bonds' record-breaking baseball, feel free to call him an idiot or worse. But just criticizing a guy for legally making money is hypocritical.

TJ said...

Who did Ohio State beat? A bad Texas team? A bad Michigan team? A really bad Iowa team? Now that Michigan has lost, they need to beat Florida for legitimacy.

Wait, what? This is really sarcasm and I just totally misread it, right?

Anonymous said...

I couldn't understand the fuss over the AM Jump, but:

I HATE the AM Jump. I think what DJ writes is mediocre, but...

How hard is it to make a blog? Why can't ESPN.com get this right? It's only the most popular daily news format, you know?

Why a special Page 2 page without any decent writers, PLUS a special Bill Simmons page that is clear as mud PLUS a new AM Jump page? Just make a blog and people will love you. Blogs have the recent post at the top, we can link easily, we can comment, we can browse archives.

And they could have done this 4 months ago, and they could have continued a chat with the loose change in their lobby couches and they use espn.go.com even though no one in the entire world knows what go.com is... I'm getting depressed. They're incompetent and they're too top-heavy to know it.

More evidence that ESPN is suffering, and the sharks are circling: Fox, NFL Network, AOL, blogosphere, Yahoo, CSTV, Versus. Whether it was Dan's choice or not, this blog was a great idea. Eventually ESPN will be all online, and they're clearly too old to wrap their head around that.

Big D said...


"why can't they just use a blog?"

The things that make blogs great are the same thing that make them terrifying to mainstream media - no editors.

That, plus we can all post whatever we want without any fear of retribution.

For example - I'm starting a rumor that Lovie Smith is seriously considering starting Kyle Orton in the Bears' first playoff game. I have "sources" that have confirmed this to me as a definate possibility.

Now, if I'm wrong, I just shrug it off. If ESPN makes this mistake, there are ten million Bears' fans shrieking at them.

And two Bears' players in fear for their professional lives.

Anonymous said...

Troy, it's an overreaction, not sarcasm.

If Ohio St. loses, they look really bad now that Michigan was embarassed. Their strength of schedule is killed now, because they've basically beat a Texas team that was embarrassed and a Michigan team that was embarassed. So why are they good? Because people say they are? That's not good enough for a one loss team.

They need the championship game win. Their entire season was based on the Big 10 and Texas myths.

Big D said...

@ ma4tt:

Nicely played.

Anonymous said...

"And two Bears' players in fear for their professional lives. "

So what would be different...?

This raises a good question. If the Bears just eliminated their quarterback position, could they really do worse?

Natsfan74 said...

It's amazing how people can simultaneously bash a bad Texas Team and so openly praise that excellent Boise State team that beat a flawed Oklahoma team that a bad Texas team crushed months ago when Adrian Peterson was completely healthy. If Texas is not a quality win, then what is beating Oklahoma?

The game last night was great and I am glad that I stayed up to watch the whole thing. But let's not get carried away by the spectacular ending. Boise State won the turnover battle 4-2, scored 14 points off of turnovers and picked off a poorly thrown ball to a wide-open receiver in the end zone before blowing a 28-10 lead. Oklahoma played about as poorly as any team did yesterday and still came back to take 2 leads at the end of the game. Oklahoma blew a game it should have won easily. So let's not coronate BSU yet...

Christian Thoma said...

Is everyone forgetting that Penn State beat Tennessee? Penn State isn't a quality win for Ohio State now?

Anonymous said...

a 16 team playoff would end these useless(but valid) arguments. enough said

Sean said...

The SEC has looked HORRIBLE in the bowl games. Make sure you don't mention that Dan. It might look bad for "your" Florida team. You wife's-team-bandwagoning clown.

Anonymous said...

"It's amazing how people can simultaneously bash a bad Texas Team and so openly praise that excellent Boise State team that beat a flawed Oklahoma team that a bad Texas team crushed months ago when Adrian Peterson was completely healthy. If Texas is not a quality win, then what is beating Oklahoma?"

Those "people" are ... me! I thought college was about the record and the regular season. If Boise State finishes undefeated, then they have a better body of work. Boise State won their last game, and it's not their fault that the team's name was Oklahoma instead of USC or Ohio State. They've also been a good team for about 5 years, so it's not like this one season could be a fluke.

If you're undefeated, you should be champion, and if the BCS can't get that right, then there is no real winner in college.

Christian Thoma said...

Have you guys (and gals) seen ESPN's E-Ticket yet Link

Good stuff

Christian Thoma said...

Here's why a playoff would suck for Boise State:

Let's say a 16-team playoff. How many people here think Boise State could beat 4 top tier schools in succession?

Now, let me modify it slightly: How many people here think Ohio State could've beaten 4 top tier schools in succession four years ago?

If Boise State or the national champ Buckeyes have to go through a playoff, they finish the season with a loss. Instead, because of the BCS, Boise State gets a crapload of money, the ability to finish their season in dramatic fashion, and the comfort of knowing they can get this kind of support:
6) Does Boise State deserve a shot at Ohio State for the national championship?
81.0% Yes, they are the only other unbeaten and showed they belong in that game
19.0% No, the BCS system worked fine and Florida is more deserving than Boise State

With a playoff, they'd have none of that.

Anonymous said...

Of course you'll root against Saban if you want, but it's silly.

The E-Ticket was very cool. I didn't live it, so it's very cool to read about it. That poor quarterback is hilarious. And I can't believe the Miami players find ways to embarrass themselves decades later. Does Miami even have classes? Is it strictly a diploma-by-mail type thing?

BobbyStompy said...

Thanks for UCLA props, Dan!

That made my day.

eirishis said...

I gotta say, Dan - I used to nail you on the Instant History stuff when you were still with the WWL (and I was still with Sports Media Watch) ... but I couldn't agree more with your assessment of the Fiesta Bowl. Just a stunning game to watch - and what most people aren't talking about is that it was a darn good game before the 4th quarter as well. Great open field tackling, solid defense from both teams, a few big play highlights ... that might be the most fun I've had watching two teams I don't care about.

Anonymous said...

Michigan homer here. Michigan had a terrible start, due mysteriously to their offensive line and not so mysteriously to their secondary, end of story. They're better than that, but they're not better than USC.

But as long as we're taunting others, what about the SEC-Big Ten matchups, Dan? Both Big Ten teams underdogs, both winners. SEC dominance was refuted yesterday, too. If Notre Dame beats LSU (even though it won't happen) I don't ever want to hear a peep again about the depth of the SEC (even though it won't happen).

Anonymous said...

i have said this before on a few occasions, but it bears repeating today. the bowl games have NOTHING to do with how good or bad a conference really is. there are so many variables - injuries, motivation, suspensions, coaches with an eye toward "next year", disappointment, long layoff, academis problems, etc. that you just cannot zero in on how good a particular conferencr is. the only game that matters is the championship game. as great as the fiesta bowl was, as great as texas tech comeback was, etc., they are all games played in a vaccum by teams wishing they were someplace else. again, a playoff would solve these problems and also get a better indication of strength of conference. so bashing dan is convenient right now...just doesn't make much sense.

Anonymous said...

rafael hits the coach-race thing on the head perfectly. It is not racist to hire the best coach for the job. It is totally racist not to interview and consider minority coaches. But it's not just racist; it is also favoritist, illogical, unfair, and potentially detrimental to your team.

And don't talk about quotas for the players: every player is evaluated and hired based on merit. Coaching spots are totally not evaluated this way, and that is what should change.

rukrusher said...

I watched that Fiesta Bowl and could not get to sleep for another hour I was so amped about that ending. I was even composing my own column on "Why we watch sports" and why the Bowl games are still fun, the rain in Jersey kept me home watching football all day and I was ready to call it a night but I stayed to the end, wondering which of my freinds I could call without pissing off everyone's wife or wake up the kids.

Anonymous said...


You're right about most bowl games. Normally, you have two teams that are roughly equal in talent, where the spread is like a field goal or something.

BUT, when a ten point underdog wins, it's a little disingenuous to say that the underdog's victory was meaningless. When two teams get on the field, they both want to win badly.

Big D said...

@ rukrusher:

Same deal. Game ended just before 1AM, I lay in bed untuil about 2:30AM replaying the game in my head, wondering how the hell a "big-game" program like Oklahoma could get beaten by a play that doesn't work in High School, let alone college.

Of course, I was doing all this thinking with a huge grin on my face, because that was probably the best 25 minutes for 3 minutes worth of football that I've ever seen.

Finally fell asleep at about 3AM. Alarm clock went off at 6AM. And I wasn't even tired.

Of course, I'm dragging right now... Looks like there's an afternoon Dunkin' Donuts Coffee pit stop in my near future.

Kevin said...

Not to burst your bubble, Dan, but it looks like you've been officially replaced at ESPN.com:


Brian in Oxford said...

I can't wait to see Dan's reaction to the AM Jump....I'd have to guess he's met Gallo before at some sort of WWL cocktail party.

Anonymous said...

jo fer -

i stand by my opinion that bowl games prove nothing. and if both lsu and florida win i will not all of sudden champion the sec. i believe the sec is the best conference in football based on tangible regular season games that have meaning. i think the big 10 is a close second this year. my theory that meaningless bowl games don't prove a conference's strength was first presented in this blog before the bowl games started. it has nothing to do with being a homer. now, if there was a playoff, where a big 10-sec matchup meant advance or go home, then you have something. so the title game, in my opinion, will only show the strength of the top of both conferences.

Anonymous said...


If the general public thinks that Tennessee is more than a touchdown favorite against Penn State, and PSU wins, you are saying that the perception of PSU won't change? How about Kentucky beating Clemson?

This is the thing: when a team is expected by writers, and in Vegas, to lose by, let's say seven points, and they lose by seven points, that changes nothing. But, when expectations are not met, you're a fool not to change your beliefs. Why? Because those beliefs have been proven wrong. There are flukes, then there are trends.

You're right to say that single games don't matter, but trends do. I think that most people, even non-homers, thought that the SEC would win not just in the upper-tier games, but down to the bottom, because of the perception that they were "deeper" than anyone else. I'll admit that I was a little worried about unranked Big Ten versus ranked SEC matchups. Well, in games that mattered--Jan. 1 games--they didn't win. If Florida wins, and you have OSU and Michigan losing, it will shake yet another conception that we have about the teams this year.

You're making statements, but not arguments.

TJ said...

If Boise State finishes undefeated, then they have a better body of work.

That is nuts. That's the kind of thinking that gives the high school kid with the 4.0 who took 15 PE classes the valedictorian over the kid with the 3.9 who took 10 AP classes.

TJ said...

So did anyone see the poll on ESPN.com that asked: "If UF beats OSU, who should be the national champion: UF, Boise St, or USC?" USC?!? Really?! The people at the WWL have officially lost their collective little minds.

Unknown said...

is USC starting to get a bit of the ol' Notre Dame treatment?

EPorvaznik said...

With admitted, but at least I think objective, bias (wink), I barely put the Big 10/11 ahead of the SEC if for no other reason their teams play football the way it was occasionally meant to be played: in the freezing cold.

Yeah, great E-Ticket column, too. Just what I needed on the 20th anniversary, a reminder that my parents bought me tickets to a Ratt/Poison show that night, a time when I didn't have my priorities straight enough. Eh, if nothing else, I hooked up that night...

BLUE said...

I agree with the bowl games don't give you a true evaluation of a conference. The WAC is 3-1 and the one loss was by 1 point. Does that make them the best conference? No....the truth is bowl games are not like a regular season or even a playoff game. Teams have weeks off to prepare which means they can come out flat, or devise crazy schemes to confuse their opponents. On a week to week basis you just can't do that in conference. Which makes the fact that Oklahoma got beat on trick plays that they should have had scouted all the more sweeter.

EPorvaznik said...

>>I think Herbie looking so down has been one of my favorite moments of the bowl season.>>

Letting Herbstreit sit at the big boy's table on ABC has apparently affected his formerly more objective self. Maybe it's me, but I think he'd do best to distance himself from Musberger's presence and influence ASAP. Then again, I'm of the belief that the world would be a lot happier if Mucasbrain was limited to ESPN-only game coverage.

EPorvaznik said...

>>he should have retired after CBS lost the rights to the NBA.>>

Ha, good one! We'll always have Kevin Nealon's great hands-to-the-eyes while saying, "On Ceeee-B-S" impersonation, too.

Christian Thoma said...

THAT WAS BULLSHIT! How the hell did the booth think the knee wasn't down?!?

I'm watching the rest of this game under protest.

Christian Thoma said...

Ok, I've calmed down, and am willing to concede the possibility that maybe the ball was slightly coming loose, and thus they weren't able to reverse the call due to indisputable evidence.