BCS Bowl System Is a Load of B.S.

Isn’t the holiday season grand? People slipping in and out of a gravy-induced coma, gathering around the television to watch the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys try to figure out the rules of football, and the annual exchange of gift receipts. That just leaves time to harp on the process of sending college teams to prestigious bowl games. The succinctly titled B-C-S. The mere mention of the three-lettered acronym nearly had President Obama dispatching the National Guard to Bill Hancock’s house. The controversy stirs up more vitriol than an old ladies’ pinochle showdown. Give me a ‘B’!

It seems like every year around this time, the same old debate is stirred up in towns whose major attractions are a Walmart and “The World’s Largest (something).” A Senator from Utah was so miffed that he threatened an anti-trust lawsuit against the Behemoth-CS. Well, you better batten down the Orrin Hatch, because here we go again. People in Eugene, Auburn, and Fort Worth wait with baited breath since, let’s face it, there really isn’t much else to do in those places.

There was a time when the Rose Bowl stood as college football’s version of winning the Publisher’s Clearing House (without having to subscribe to all those crummy magazines). Collegians played off for the right to go to Pasadena or there would be no postseason. But, then came the Orange and Sugar Bowls helping to feed the carb-crazed college football scene, with the Cotton Bowl soon after. Some 75 years later, the Granddaddy has had so many illegitimate children he’s beginning to make Shawn Kemp look like Father of the Year. Every corporate entity is represented in this bastion of amateurism (that’s what they tell us, at least). There is something called a Beef O’Brady’s Bowl (just sounds fattening), an Insight Bowl (which ironically provides no insight into entertainment), a Liberty Bowl (played in the city that gave birth to freedom… Memphis, Tennessee?), and there’s a bowl that’s a message, The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (a Pac-10, WAC matchup will accomplish this by causing one to lose their appetite).

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TCU Joins BCS Automatic Qualifier Big East But Not Defined by BCS?

You may still be getting used to the idea of a school from Fort Worth, Texas being part of a Big East of anything as am I. That’s right, Texas Christian University will now join the likes of UConn (from Connecticut), Pitt (from Pennsylvania), Providence (from Rhode Island), and Syracuse (from New York) in the same conference. Nevermind the idea of geographical differences between TCU and everyone else, what I don’t understand is the comments from athletic director Chris Del Conte.

At one point during his speech made on Monday, Del Conte said “Having BCS automatic-qualifying status was a priority for our football program and a great reward for the success we’ve had the last decade.” At another point Del Conte mentioned that “The BCS does not define TCU. TCU defines the BCS as evidenced by our football program but the academic institutions that we’re going to be associated with.”

Got it? So this move was done so that TCU could be more appropriately aligned with academic institutions on its level. You know, those notable bastions of academia like Louisville and West Virginia. So if TCU is moving its school and all its sports teams to the Big East, all so the football team becomes a part of an automatic qualifier conference, then how is the school not defined by the BCS? Someone ‘splain that to me, because we see right through you, Del Conte.

Report: Jon Gruden to Coach Miami Hurricanes Football

It’s been almost two years since Jon Gruden was fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following a 9-7 season in 2008. Not long after the surprising move was made by the Bucs, Gruden was hired by ESPN to provide commentary on Monday Night Football. He’s spent his time speaking glowingly about players, slipping secret handshakes while waiting for the right coaching opportunity to come along.

Chucky reportedly talked with the Cowboys after Wade Phillips was let go, but nothing serious happened. Apparently he has been interested in the Miami job since Larry Coker was fired, and now numerous people are reporting that Jon Gruden will be the next coach of the Canes.

Lake Lewis Jr. reported on twitter that Gruden will be the next Miami coach for the price of about $3 million per season. Compensation issues seemed to be the difference between the sides — Gruden could easily command around $4 million per season in the NFL and reportedly did not want to take a paycut to coach at Miami. $3 million per season seems like a cut, but it would also make him extremely well paid as a college coach.

Gruden has always crossed me as an excellent coach. He took Oakland’s passing game to astronomical levels and turned Rich Gannon into a Pro Bowler and MVP (Gannon won MVP in Gruden’s first year at TB). He won the Super Bowl his first year at Tampa Bay, and won the NFC South two other times. Despite the lack of quarterback consistency, Gruden seemed to always have the Bucs competitive. He made the most of Brad Johnson, Chris Simms, Brian Griese, Bruce Gradkowski, and Jeff Garcia — not exactly a collection of franchise quarterbacks.

OPINION: Miami is “not a marquee program

If Gruden has indeed accepted the job at Miami, the big question is how he’ll fit in as a college coach. He coached in the pros from 1992-2008 and hasn’t dealt with recruiting and boosters for two decades. He has a huge name and an outstanding offensive reputation, so drawing local playmakers to The U should not be a problem. If you want to know what the real problem might be, read this.

Over 9,000 Boise State Fans Supporting Kyle Brotzman in Facebook Group

My old colleague at Sporting News Radio, Tim Brando, used to say that the best thing about college football is the fans, and the worst thing about college football is also the fans. Never has there been a better example of that maxim than the treatment of Kyle Brotzman.

Brotzman is Boise State’s kicker who missed a short field goal at the end of regulation at Nevada and another field goal in overtime that helped result in Boise State’s only loss of the season. The missed field goals weren’t Boise State’s only mistakes in the game, but they were the most prominent and high profile, and they played a major role in the Broncos missing out on a chance to reach the National Championship Game. While I thought Brotzman would become the loneliest person in Idaho, the Broncos fans have shocked me with their outstanding display of community and support.

In a matter of a day, over 9,000 people joined “The Bronco Nation Loves Kyle Brotzman” Facebook Group. The page has been filled with positive comments from fans who all want Brotzman to feel their support. This is quite the divergence from the typical treatment of kickers who have cost their teams with missed kicks. Here’s what it says in the group’s description:

“Boise State’s Kyle Brotzman is the all-time leading scorer for Bronco Football. A walk-on in 2006 and a local Idaho boy from Meridian High School, Kyle has been a key part of the Broncos’ success during an incredible four-year run. In the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, Kyle was at the center of the most memorable play, “The Riddler,” in which he took a snap on a fake punt on 4th down and threw a pass to Kyle Efaw, setting up the touchdown that would win the game for the Broncos.

True Bronco fans love Kyle and appreciate all that he has brought to this incredible team and program. Thanks, Kyle. We can’t wait to cheer for you and your team in your final two games. GO BRONCOS !!!”

That is a model display of support and understanding that I really did not expect to see. Hopefully this will help Broztman get past the difficult time in his life where his self-esteem is undoubtedly low. And you know what, I now hold Boise State fans in the highest regard. I already knew they were fervent supporters of the team, but now I know they place compassion above winning in their value system. They have it right.

UPDATE: Over 20,000 people have joined the group as of 2:00pm PT 11/29/10

Airplane Banner Called Randy Shannon’s Firing at Miami (Picture)

Randy Shannon was fired as head coach of the Miami Hurricanes football program Saturday evening following the team’s loss to South Florida. While Shannon is a fine man and a good recruiter, the move was necessary for the program to get back to powerhouse levels. Many Canes fans shared the same feelings about the program, but one particular fan decided to share his thoughts by flying an airplane banner around the stadium Saturday, as I learned from SbB Live via The Palm Beach Post. Here’s a picture of the banner:

“4 Years 0 ACC Titles Lots of Excuses Fire Shannon” is what the banner said. It was put pretty bluntly but tells some of the story of the program recently. I wouldn’t have gone out there and had an airplane banner fly around calling for Shannon’s head (I only would have written that here on the site).

Pic via Paul Station

New BCS Bowl Game Projections: Arkansas, Stanford, UConn Now in

While a loss by Boise State and wins by Oregon and Auburn have made the National Championship Game projection more clear, other results from Saturday have altered the BCS bowl game scenarios. Since our last BCS bowl game projections, one-loss LSU fell to Arkansas, Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State, Pitt dropped to West Virginia, and of course Boise State was knocked off. Here’s what the current BCS bowl games projections are:

National Championship Game: Oregon vs. Auburn
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. TCU
Sugar Bowl: Arkansas vs. Ohio State
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. UConn
Fiesta Bowl: Nebraska vs. Stanford

Oregon needs to beat Oregon State Saturday at Corvallis to reach the Championship Game and Auburn needs to beat South Carolina in Atlanta to join them in Glendale, Arizona. If either team loses, 12-0 TCU will likely replace them in the title game. If both teams lose, we could wind up with a Stanford-TCU National Championship Game, imagine that!

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Mark May: Miami ‘Is Not a Marquee Program,’ Not Playing for Championships

Media commentators often say crazy, off-the-wall things just to get attention and rile up fan bases. If that was ESPN analyst Mark May’s objective on Saturday night, he certainly succeeded, but at the cost of his credibility.

Maybe he was just assigned to defend Randy Shannon, who was fired Saturday as Miami’s head coach, but May’s position was absurd. On College Football Final, May said “I think for the Miami administration their expectations are too high right now. Randy Shannon was brought in to right the ship, to be a disciplinarian, to make sure that these kids stay out of trouble, and to turn the program around. That’s exactly what he did. This is the 4th year of his administration. This is the third bowl game in the fourth year he’s been there.

Yes, they’re not playing for national championships, but look at the Miami situation — they don’t have great facilities, they’re playing in a stadium 20 miles away, in a 73,000 seat stadium, they only have 27,000 fans on average in the stadium. So when you look at the entire situation, this is not a marquee program. This is not 2001. This is not 2002. This is 2010. … the fans think they are better than they are.”

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