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Utah WR DeVonte Christopher Begins Trash Talk of Boise State on Twitter

Boise State had the biggest disappointment of any team this college football season. Instead of going undefeated and playing in a BCS Bowl Game (possibly the Rose Bowl?), they lost to Nevada on two missed kicks and wound up in the lowly Las Vegas Bowl. (And don’t even try to argue that point, Broncos fans — I’ve been there). Well if Boise State was planning on sleep-walking through the game because they were disappointed, you can thank Utah for waking them up.

Utes wide receiver DeVonte’ Christopher unleashed a little trash talk on his twitter, writing “I can’t wait to get out here wit these Boise State or should I say Girlse State they a bunch of cheerleaders…lol.”

I’m guessing he must have seen some of the Boise State players around town or at events promoting their Wednesday game and became charged up. The Boise State-Utah game has nothing on the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, and they didn’t even need this barb to fire up the fans. Boise State has the biggest name amongst teams playing the first week of bowl season and the question isn’t whether or not they’re going to win, but whether they can cover the hefty 15-point spread. Let ‘em rip on Wednesday, cowgirls!

Ralph Friedgen Fired Because of Business, Not Performance

On Saturday we passed along the news that Maryland and football coach Ralph Friedgen had agreed on a buyout and that Mike Leach was the leading candidate to replace him as head football coach. The news was confirmed Monday when it was officially announced that Ralph would be fired after the team’s December 29th bowl game. As much as we respect what Mike Leach did at Texas Tech, Maryland is not a big-time program and the reality is it will be hard to outperform Friedgen.

Ralph led the Terps to seven bowl games in 10 years and five 8-win or more seasons. After a disappointing 2-10 year last season, he turned in an 8-4 year this season. In 2001, he led the Terps to their first double-digit win season since 1976, and actually accomplished the feat three straight years. So not only will I argue that Friedgen did a wonderful job at Maryland, but I’ll also say that it will be difficult to do much better than he did.

Given all that information, why did Maryland make a change? It’s pretty clear that the reason is not performance-related. In fact, athletic director Kevin Anderson confirmed the move is “a strategic business decision.” What the heck does that mean? College football teams are in the business of winning, and Friedgen won somewhere it’s not easy to win, so what did he do wrong?

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Louisville-Southern Miss Fight at Beach Bash, Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Just Got Real

What better way to draw some interest to a meaningless game like the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl than adding a little boxing press conference spice? That’s exactly what happened on Sunday in St. Petersburg at the Beach Bash which was supposed to be a fun event for Louisville and Southern Miss leading up to their bowl game on Tuesday.

Players nearly got into a brawl at the Beach Bash which had to be called early. It actually seems like the Louisville players were more to blame:

“Someone said something disrespectful, did a little jawing after the dance contest… it’s all good,” said Louisville linebacker Dexter Heyman. It’s “just a little too close to game time, ya know?”.

“They started talking trash about us being in Conference USA, [that] we can’t dance… it was stupid. We’ll do our talking on the field,” uttered one Golden Eagle who refused to be identified. “A friendly dance competition and they take it all serious? It’s ridiculous.”

I can just picture these guys pounding their chests, arguing over whose Dougie was doper, and then a brawl broke out. They do realize they’re Louisville and Southern Miss, right? They do realize nobody takes either of them seriously, right? And they do realize they’re playing in a little something called the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, right? OK, just checking, wouldn’t want them actually taking things seriously because it’s not like their game actually matters.

And if you want to know what things looked like at the Beach Bash, here’s a video:

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Maryland Agrees to Buyout with Ralph Friedgen, Targeting Mike Leach

Mike Leach desperately wants to coach college football again. His reputation took a huge hit after a concussion scandal that occurred when he was the head coach at Texas Tech.  Donald Trump thinks Leach deserves another shot, as evidence by the letter he sent the president of the University of Miami.  It looks like Leach may finally get his chance.

According to InsideMDSports.com, University of Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen has verbally agreed to let the university buy out his contract, meaning he will not return in 2011.  Maryland is said to be very interested in hiring Leach to be its next head coach and plans on moving quickly to bring him in.

Leach would be a great hire for Maryland.  He compiled an 84-43 record at Texas Tech from 2000-2009 and is one of the best known offensive minds out there.  Leach was fired as a result of accusations that he mistreated his players, not because he was an ineffective coach.  Bringing in Leach would allow Maryland to sign a big-time coach to lead a program that has not yet reached its potential.

Friedgen had the Terps headed in the right direction, but Leach could do better.  With the likes of Miami, Florida State, and Virginia Tech in the ACC, Maryland would do well to bring in a coach who knows how to put points on the board.  Assuming the player mistreatment accusations don’t effect Leach’s ability to recruit, he should be able to bring in some of the top offensive high school prospects based on his history with Texas Tech.  If he’s interested in the job — which he should be considering there aren’t many offers out there for his services — Maryland should act quickly and bring Leach on board.

College Football TV Ratings Down Everywhere But Versus, ESPN

In a year where it seems like more and more people are watching sports on TV and ratings records are continuously being set, it’s surprising to learn that the ratings on most college football TV networks were down for the season. According to Sports Business Daily, ESPN’s average viewership was up 3.2% while Versus was up a whopping 27.6%. CBS, which airs SEC games, had the highest average viewership, but they were down 0.7%. ESPN2 was down 5.1%, ABC was down 8.6%, and NBC was down 15% thanks largely to a lack of interest in Notre Dame football.

The most viewed college football game of the year was the Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama which had 12.5 million viewers. The second most watched game was the SEC Championship between Auburn and South Carolina which was watched by slightly more than 10 million people. In all, six of the top 10 rated games were SEC contests, helping explain where they get the money to pay all their players. A few other interesting items of note — the Virginia Tech-Boise State game to open up the season was a huge success and the third most watched game of the year. Also, holidays are great — both the Iron Bowl and Oregon-Arizona were in the top 10 most watched games, and both took place the day after Thanksgiving.

I know I was watching many of these games this year but it looks like many sports fans were missing out. Why do you think that is the case? Were you watching? Is your interest in college football down? Were we lacking interesting teams, compelling stories, outstanding players?

All in all, I do think it was a down year in college football — the most interesting story was Cam Newton because he was great, and because he was investigated. It seems like there was a lack of star power this year and it didn’t help that many traditional powers had down years. And maybe another explanation comes from LBS correspondent Reyes who said once you get spoiled with the NFL, the level of play in college just isn’t good enough. What do you think?

Mark Cuban Wants College Football Playoff, But BCS Is Still Good Solution

I know I’m in the minority here, but I’m actually someone who supports the BCS. Sure, my ideal college football postseason would be a four-team playoff between the top four teams based on an average of the polls, but that is unlikely. People always want more and more teams to be involved in the postseason, and my four-team playoff would quickly become 16 teams, and eventually 32 if we’re not careful. Anyway, Mark Cuban made some waves when he said he wants to develop a college football playoff system that will oppose the BCS.

Cuban’s idea is to have a 12 or 16 team playoff where homefield advantage for the higher seeded teams helps keep the regular season relevant. He wants to offer schools money to play in his playoff each year and is willing to mustang up the cash that makes the BCS so enticing for school presidents. I’m against a 12 or 16 team playoff for a number of reasons.

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Pac-10, Big East, Big Ten Conference Movement Makes No Sense

Conference jumping. It’s the latest trend hitting the world of college sports. Perhaps it will one day become an official Olympic sport, featuring slightly more polyester pants than golf and certainly less coordination and nose plugs than synchronized swimming. Showing no respect for traditional conference alignments, or 5th grade geography teachers for that matter, colleges are switching league affiliations from coast to coast on Boise taters and Texas State toast. Quite possibly, U-Haul may want to begin sponsoring bowls at this rate.

Remember the good ol’ days when the Big Ten actually had that many teams and the folks at the Big East actually owned a compass? Well those times are as outdated as Bear Bryant’s houndstooth hat. Today, universities have begun to mislead a generation of youths. If Lewis and Clark had only possessed foresight they might have been able to smell the salts of the Pacific-10 at around Boulder or Salt Lake City and done a 180 instead of schlepping all the way up the Oregon coast. Sacagawea would not have minded. In fact, she might have been able to show Larry Scott that Utah is not on the Pacific.

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