Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Wednesday 01/03 A.M. Quickie:
Boise, Bama, Brohm, Brady, AI, More

Boise State, The Morning After Morning After: Everyone keeps saying that Boise State's win proves the need for a playoff. I actually think it proves how hard a playoff field would be to create:

Let's say it was an 8-team field, with 6 of the slots filled by the BCS conference champs (no reasonable playoff scenario exists without that condition).

How could you justify picking Boise State over BOTH Michigan (ranked No. 3 in the final regular-season BCS poll) AND LSU (ranked No. 4)?

(Unless one of the two remaining "at-large" scenarios is an automatic bid to the top-rated non-BCS team -- not a bad idea, but poses a ton of problems when the top-rated non-BCS team isn't, say, unbeaten, like Boise State was. What happens when the top-ranked non-BCS team is a one-loss dud ranked in the high teens or low 20s?)

Plus, you're simply naive if you think that a glamorous (if overrated) Notre Dame team ranked in the vicinity of the highest-rated non-BCS team would be snubbed, even in favor of a Cinderella like Boise State. It's just not reasonable.

The other complicating factor is trying to transpose the current bowl lineup onto a playoff format: Even if Boise State was in the playoff field, why in the world would they be matched up with Oklahoma in a "quarterfinal" bowl game? Wouldn't Boise State be, at best, the No. 7 or No. 8 seed? That would earn them a quarterfinal with either Ohio State or Florida, both superior to Oklahoma.

You can appreciate the amazingness of Boise State's Fiesta Bowl win – it's thrilling ending(s), it's wild trick plays – and still recognize it doesn't solve anything related to CFB's playoff problem.

More on today's biggest storylines:

Nick Saban: Bolt to Bama or stay in Miami? Let's assume the money is equal, what would YOU do if you were him?

Argument to stay in NFL: Already reached the pinnacle of CFB. NFL jobs are harder to get (and better to have). Winning big consistently in the SEC is way harder than making the playoffs in the AFC.

Argument to go back to college: Total control that he'll never have in the NFL. He would instantly become one of the Top 3 coaches in college football. Though he'll never be the highest-paid coach in the NFL; it's a hell of a thing to be the highest-paid coach in college football.

Orange Bowl: Louisville ends Wake Forest's dream season. Wake can't catch a break. Even as they finally emerge from Rutgers' shadow as THE Cinderella of the CFB season, they are eclipsed by Boise State, the Team Everyone Can't Stop Talking About. And then they lose to Louisville in an unremarkable game. (The unintended consequence of Boise State's win over Oklahoma: ALL games are unremarkable by comparison.)

Big questions: (1) Is L'ville QB Brian Brohm going pro? (2) Was Wake's success this season a fluke or is it sustainable?

Tonight's Bowlin': Sugar! LSU vs. Notre Dame. It's very possible that LSU is the REAL 2nd-best team in the country. And, much like Michigan and USC, they'll get a chance to beat up on an overrated Irish team to prove their claim.

Top Sugar Subplots: (1) Can a big game out of LSU QB JaMarcus Russell vault him over Brady Quinn as an NFL draft prospect? (2) Is this Charlie Weis' last game as ND coach?

NBA: AI ejected in return to Philly. But he gave his old fans a perfect snapshot of his tenure there: (1) 30 points. (2) 10/24 FGs. (3) Griping about management. (4) Loss for his team. (Meanwhile, Ron-Ron Artest had a career-high 39 in a Kings W over the Knicks.)

MLB Hot Stove: Big Unit to D'backs. Reportedly, it's going to happen before the end of the week. The biggest impact? With Johnson's $16 million off the payroll, the Yankees can simply and easily slide it right over to... Roger Clemens.

NFL: Matt Millen says "I'll never quit." How nice for him, because it seems that the Lions ownership will never fire him. William Clay Ford is retaining Millen – despite overwhelming fan protest (for years) – and he still has four years left on his contract. I'll repeat what I said on Monday morning: No NFL fan currently suffers like the Lions fan.

DeMeco Ryans wins AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after leading all NFL players in solo tackles. Given that he was a 2nd-round choice -- and that the Texans used their first overall choice on defensive player Mario Williams -- do you think they now regret not using that pick on Reggie Bush or Vince Young? I'm sure the fans do.

College Hoops: Greg Oden has career-high 21 in Ohio State win over Indiana in Big Ten opener for OSU's Fab Frosh. Why do I think that this won't be Oden's last "career-high" game?

Remember the Dead Schembechlers? They have changed their name. The band is now called "Bastard Sons of Woody." I like that they maintained the integrity of using college football references.

Do you live in New York City? If you're looking for a good time tonight, go check out the Varsity Letters Reading Series, hosted by Carl Bialik of the Wall Street Journal's excellent Daily Fix and Gelf Magazine, recently named one of the top sports media of the year by (Want to get on the Varsity Letters mailing list and always be kept updated on the latest events? Email Carl at For all the info, click here.

-- D.S.


TJ said...

Dan, giving them some shot is better than giving them no shot at all.

What happens when the top-ranked non-BCS team is a one-loss dud ranked in the high teens or low 20s

Um, then we have a system similar to the one Utah used to crash the party. If the mid major finishes as high as Utah or Boise St, then he's in.

How could you justify picking Boise State over BOTH Michigan (ranked No. 3 in the final regular-season BCS poll) AND LSU (ranked No. 4)

Well, LSU definitely doesn't get a shot in the current system, so a new system that also doesn't get them a shot isn't any worse for them. And I think LSU, with 2 losses, has no claim for a shot.

That would earn them a quarterfinal with either Ohio State or Florida, both superior to Oklahoma.

What kind of point is that? You want to give them a shot at the national title, but you want to coddle them by only letting them play the lesser contenders as to... what, not hurt their little mid-major feelings? I'm confused. You can't give them a title shot without expecting them to play OSU or UF.

Ed Chavis said...

Wow... I just clicked over to, and it looks like they've replaced Dan's Quickie with D.J. Gallo's "A.M. Jump". The title drew me in, and when I clicked on it, a big powder blue logo showed up (think San Diego Chargers powder blue), with garish orange and green scattered around the page. I like D.J.'s columns, but there's no content in this "new" feature. There's even a big box at the bottom of the page of stuff that isn't real, probably some leftovers from

You've been replaced by a girlie-maan, Danno.

CMFost said...

Except for the fact I think Saban sees the writing on the wall that this team will not be a Super Bowl Contender for a while. Let's not forget that I believe the defense is one of the oldest in the leagues and will probably be going downhill over the next couple of years, he has major question at QB, his running back is good but not one that can be counted on. So if he can go to Alabama with complete control and make the same or better money he should take the job and run.

Big D said...

Re: Saban

Can't use the argument "assuming the money is the same", then say it's a hell of a thing to be the highest paid college coach.

Even if the yearly salaries were the same, the guarantee of $40M from Alabama makes it a much more lucrative position.

The problem is, if Saban goes back to the college game, it will be a long time (if ever) before he gets another NFL offer. Teams will stay away for fear of him flip-flopping back to the college game and leaving them hanging out to dry.

And Charlie Weis only leaves Notre Dame under one condition - whichever NFL team hires him has already coaxed Scott Pioli away from the Patriots to co-run their operation.

The Giants could fit this bill - they will need a new GM and probably a new head coach after this week. Otherwise, Weis stays at ND until the next "greatest offer" comes along.

Christian Thoma said...

I'll say the same thing I said yesterday: Boise State could not beat 3 or 4 elite teams in succession (and to prove I'm not being anti-mid major -- Ohio State couldn't have done it either in 2002). Does anyone honestly think Boise State could beat Oklahoma, USC, and Ohio State in three successive weekends? Aren't we talking about a team who had to come back versus the national powerhouse known as San Jose St.?

This isn't college basketball or professional football. This isn't a balanced playing field. There are no roster limits, and there are no limitations to expenditures.
Go to a playoff system, and you'll never see a Georgia Tech national championship again.

Unknown said...

I don't think conference champs should get auto-bids.
Just go with BCS top 8.
That would only work if the human polls weren't as influential in the bcs though...bitter sportswriters and graduate assistants would stick to the little guys and rank them 9th every year.

CMFost said...

I think the only real playoff senario that works is the one they use in every other division of college football and that is a 16 team playoff.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone so scared of using the same setup as the rest of college football?

16 teams. 8 auto-bids. 8 selected by committee.

After the first week, no one (other than those with connections) will care about teams #17-20. Just like March Madness.

And the NCAA will make millions.

Anonymous said...

And as for the Texans. As a fan, I didn't care that they selected Williams over Bush or Young, but I'm in the minority (read: not a UT zombie). Any one of the top five would have been fine with me.

But Ryans has made a bunch of teams look bad in allowing him to slip to the second round.

It's amazing what happens when you have a competent GM and personnel team. If the Giants sign Casserly as their GM, the teams drafting behind them should sent thank-you notes to New York immediately.

Anonymous said...

I think Nick Saban is better off leaving Miami for Alabama for one reason.

Miami is not in nor will they be in a position to suceed for quite sometime, and if he fails for say another 2 seasons he will be likely to be fired anyway and the chances of another NFL job at that time is slim.

With Alabama he is getting long term commitment and the ability to crate a winner from the bottom up.

Anonymous said...

i agree that a 16 team playoff would be the way to go. slight correction - division 3 has a 32 team playoff, the other divisions have a 16 team playoff

Christian Thoma said...

With Alabama he is getting long term commitment and the ability to crate a winner from the bottom up.

Like Shula did?

Anonymous said...

OF COURSE Boise St. could beat all those other teams, just look at the NFL. All those gutless conservative coaches would get shell-shocked by their play-calling and execution. Boise St. can beat ANYBODY right now.

They're the Patriots of the CFB.

As for Millen, I have a new theory. I think he joined the UAW union, so Ford can't fire him!

Anonymous said...

Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick arent leaving New England. ALl the other 31 other NFL teams can dream all they want but theres no way these two leave a team where they have such a great working relationship with the ownership not to mention near god like status with the fans.

Anonymous said...

Mike Shula is no Nick Saban

Christian Thoma said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Casserly had little input in the 2006 draft as he was on the way out (the only thing he really did was help evaluate the existing roster). Kubiak and his team made the warroom decisions.

The result was the Texans best overall draft in franchise history. Casserly blew every 2nd and 3rd round pick the first four years.

Christian Thoma said...

Mike Shula is no Nick Saban

They'll have a lot in common when Saban is tossed to the curb after 3 seasons.

I'll also add that Saban won't reach the level of success that Shula did in 2005. Am I the only one who remembers that Alabama was 10-2 last year?

Mega said...

Jason said:
"And screw Notre Dame. They're behind the times and need to join a conference. They don't deserve exceptions...they are not above the game of college football."

Unfortunetly, their fans think they are above everyone else, therefore they are entitled to the exceptions.

Unknown said...

Big East vs. ACC

After the ACC made their move to become the dominant football conference on the East Coast by taking BC, Va Tech and Miami, they have decidely fallen behind the BE. The BE champ just beat the ACC champ along with being an overall 4-0 in bowl games with far greater dominance in the polls.

Interesting how a couple of years ago pundits were calling for BE elimination from the automatic BCS bids.

Unknown said...

Nick Mangold - NFL offensive rookie of the year.

Replacing Kevin Mawae, calling the offensive blocking and leading the Cinderella Jets to the playoffs is all he has done - oh yeah, he also has played phenomenally well.

Voters will show some real balls if they will vote for an offensive lineman but of course it will never happen. I am hoping for 2nd or 3rd place in the voting.

Bear said...


I'll also add that Saban won't reach the level of success that Shula did in 2005. Am I the only one who remembers that Alabama was 10-2 last year?

Yeah, Bama was 10-2 last year, but did you follow them? Talent, not coaching, carried them all year. Once Prothro went down, they hardly could score a TD. Their D won many close games (13-10 vs Ole Miss, 6-3 vs TN).

Mike Shula was an bad game coach. I think Saban could do better.

Jen said...

ma4tt~ I agree. If he was such a "God-fearing Christian" he wouldn't be lying when asked about the Bama job and meetings. I read his responses and wanted to puke.

Honest Christians also don't care about how much money they earn.

NOT starting the religious battle!!!!! I just wanted to vent about what bullshit I think his answers were the other day. Just be honest when asked about something that the whole sports nation is already aware of.

Unknown said...

Pioli and Belichick wont leave because they have near god=like status with fans? Or iron-clad job security?

Um..don't coaches like that move often? (ie: saban-LSU, cowher-Pittsburgh, spurrier-Florida, etc. etc.)
New challenges are always good.

Brian in Oxford said...

Would OSU accept an invitation to play Boise State? I mean, if they are given the title by beating UF, why would they feel the need to defend it one MORE time against Boise?

Then you get football-as-boxing....folks lining up for their chance at the champ.

The one good thing about ND not being in a conference, sorta, is that they at least can hand-pick all 12 games on their schedule. (Feel free to insert Army, Navy, cracks here....)

I wonder how Saban jumping to Alabama would compare with Pitino going to Louisville....seems like LSU could feel double-crossed. Although it's not like Saban could get the LSU job back (pending tonight's game maybe?)

Unknown said...

Jen - If you're going to be such a stickler with the lying and Christian thing...well, damn...then "God-Fearing Christians" don't exist!!!

Saban if the man owes any of you anything at all. He's pondering the decision. That is all.
He'll be at Bama next year and LSU will be unhappy.

Big D said...

And Saban's gone...

jhawkjjm said...

Div 2 has a 24 team playoff, 4 brackets of 6 with the top 2 teams in each getting a bye the first week.

I'd prefer the 24 to the 16 as it lets more teams in, but at the same time gives a bye week to the top 8 teams. The 8 could be determined using the BCS.

Christian Thoma said...

Guys, the problem at Alabama is institutional. Saban isn't going to solve that. He'll stick around for 3 8-5 seasons and then go somewhere else.

BTW, I spoke with the diehard LSU fan in my office. Her and her husband believe that Saban is a traitor and will rue (RUE!) the day he went to Alabama.

TJ said...

I just can't understand why anyone would want to coach at Alabama. What a nightmare job. "Here: go beat LSU, Auburn, and Georgia every year, do it right away, and never stop doing it. Ever." The only reason I can see why Saban would want the Bama job is that he probably wasn't safe for more than another year or two in Miami, and for Bama he should get at least... 3.

Anonymous said...

God, I hate Nick Saban so much right now.

TJ said...

I just can't read the Daily Quickie 2.0. I'm trying, but it just makes me want to click over to SportsNation and join in on the Morning Quickie. The DQ 2.0 just seems incomplete without an MQ to go with it.

So until ESPN comes up with a companion chat (I'm betting they'll call it the "Jumpstart"), the DQ 2.0 is dead to me. And even with a MQ 2.0, it won't be the same...

Anonymous said...

Nick Saban has accepted Alabama's offer and he has informed Miami that he is leaving.

Anonymous said...

Saban is so slimey. Lying to recruits, parents, media when leaving LSU (just look at "The Blind Side") to lying all over again.

How can any future recruit and parent even let this guy in their house. Who knows what lies he will have regarding playing time and if he is even staying there.

What a sleaze.

marcomarco said...

Good call ma4tt.

If the money is the same for Saban, there's no way he goes back to Alabama. I mean... think about it. If you're sitting on $8-10 million a year, do you want to spend that money in Tuscaloosa or Miami?

Christian Thoma said...

What ma4tt didn't realize is that the cost of living is much lower in Tuscaloosa, so the $40 million will go farther.

Anonymous said...

Why is he a traitor? He needs to make money for himself and his family, and there's no one involved in that sport that would do differently.

He tried the NFL for two years. It isn't as if he said, "I'd like to try coaching in the NFL" and then went directly to Alabama. He got a dream job and went for it.

I'd like all of you to try being consistent with everything you say when there are millions of people watching and your agent is letting you know about huge salary increases. Really.

Is there anyone here who would turn down millions because of something they said previously? Is there anyone here whose wife would let them...!?

marcomarco said...


Is DJ Gallo ripping off your strikethru style an insult or a tribute?

Can't do em here it seems:
Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is not allowed: strike

marcomarco said...

here: Welcome to the AM Jump

Unknown said...

Again, coaches leave every season. Why Saban is more of a sleaze than say...Urban Meyer or Les beyond me.

LSU was not a premium program before Saban got there. Saban made them an elite program..and they still aren't "premium". The NFL will ALWAYS be there. If he wins at Bama for 3-4 years, the NFL will come back.
However, Saban probably won't go from Bama to any other college job. For better or worse, Bama is considered one of those premier programs (Ohio State, USC, Notre Dame, Michigan and maybe 1 or 2) are the others. So there isn't much room for Saban to improve upon as far as prestige and money goes.

Huizenga isn't exactly a model owner, so I wouldn't want to work for him either.

Christian Thoma said...

I think the fact that Saban is going to Alabama is the issue; if Saban went to Michigan State, LSU fans would be a little upset but not spiteful.

CMFost said...

Ok, I will say it for the second day in a row, the AM Jump sucks. It makes me wonder what Dan did that was so bad that he no longer is doing the DQ on ESPN.

Anonymous said...

AM Jump is awful. I'm not sure Dan did anything, because no one is suing anyone and at this point, that's pretty unusual for

I'd say it's awful, it took too long, they don't _get_ blogging and they don't have any talent, despite having a campus that rivals Ohio State's.

I thought Dan did the logical thing: start a blog and get money that way. Cut out the middleman, but I don't see any ads, and since he almost switched blog companies I don't think they're paying him.

I don't get it, I guess. And I don't know why Simmons hasn't done this.

Christian Thoma said...

Dan doesn't get any money from blogger.

I'm guessing, but I think that this is what Dan is doing:
1) Writing a book. He's hinted at that before.
2) Maintaining the quickie fan base via his blog in the hopes that he'll have a built-in audience for his book.
3) Parlay book success into new writing job.

Just a guess.

Anonymous said...

lets start a letter writing campaign with to get Dan a job there :-D

Christian Thoma said...

Not if it costs McEntegart his job. I like his work.

Sean said...

Props to Cycledan for recognizing the Big East's DOMINANCE in bowl games. I'm tired of hearing how the ACC is the tougher football conference with Miami, Va Tech and BC joining. Looks like that theory is shot!!

Jen said...

rafael~ I was using ma4tt's quote with the "God-fearing" and Saban was asked about the Bama job and said something to the effect of "I don't know what you're talking about". That doesn't sound like 'pondering' it sounds like 'denial'. I don't expect crap from him.

If my son was being recruited by him, I would say "thanks, but no thanks."

Christian Thoma said...


This is the only sentence Dan could write about it:

"Who's Steve Yzerman?"

Jen said...

Dan-no mention of Britney and Matt Leinert flirting at a party and Brynn not being too happy!? Your blog is where I catch this kind of info!! ha