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UCLA Football Mathematics

May the dream come true. This week, UCLA football has the opportunity to make up for the mistake made five years ago. Hire The Mooch, and all will be forgiven and forgotten. Please let the dream come true.

That’s Why Paterno Is Still Coaching

He’s a cheap date. Err coach. Apparently he wasn’t joking when he said he doesn’t pay attention to the money he earns. Unlike some of the hot shot coaches around the country making multi-millions — the Sabans, Tressels, Stoops, Meyers of the world, Joe Pa is content just scraping by. The Patriot-News reports that Paterno’s making just over $500,000 in salary this year — $512,664 to be exact.

While that number seems small for a big-name coach, and it is, Paterno could be pulling more from sponsorship deals, and/or media work. Still, it isn’t exactly a whole lot. Recently the Pac-10 football coach salaries were revealed. At its base level, Joe Pa would be 9th in salary out of the 10 coaches. That’s pretty low. I’m guessing his assistants and coordinators, who also carry most of the actual coaching load, get paid a good amount. So in case you were wondering why Paterno hasn’t been fired, aside from his reputation and legacy at Penn St., it’s probably because he’s not costing them a whole lot anyway. I guess we’re bringing new meaning to the term “figurehead.”

Lou Holtz Blames the Internet

Former college football coach and current analyst Lou Holtz was a guest on Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Tuesday. Erik Kuselias, who was filling in for Greeny, was ranting about all the college football coaches that resigned were fired the past few weeks. As Kuselias said, and I agree, some of the coaches probably didn’t deserve to be replaced because they did a pretty good job. When Holtz was asked specifically about Arkansas getting rid of Houston Nutt, he answered with a broad generalization:

Kuselias: What do you think about the expectations at a place like Arkansas versus what they’re getting from a coach like Houston Nutt?

Holtz: Well the coaching profession has changed in this respect. It’s no longer just the sportswriters you deal with — you get the internet. The thing about the internet, they can put any rumors there, don’t have to sign the correct name, don’t have to hold an element of truth, not held accountable for. Consequently, there’s just a bunch of things that goes against you.

You know, as hard as it is to be a college football coach, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to be a blogger. You got analysts and prominent media members out there bashing you left and right, creating a constant struggle. They can make blanket statements, don’t have to suffer backlash, don’t have to cite any specific examples, and not get held accountable for them. Until now.

I understand the point Lou was trying to make, but he said it with such contempt that the message got lost amidst the general attack on the internet. Had he said that the internet has allowed passionate fans to prominently voice their opinions, contributing to the overall feeling of impatience towards coaches, I would’ve probably agreed. But the way he said it makes him out to be a crotchety old man who’s too good to use a “damn computer.” Maybe avoiding generalizations of that nature is advised in the future. And it’s comments like these that help explain why Holtz is out of the coaching profession.

UCLA Completes Four Passes, Beats Oregon, Dorrell Lives, Rose Bowl Alive

A few weeks ago, I thought Dorrell had lived his last life. Apparently this cat has twenty of them. Somehow or another, the Bruins beat Oregon, eliminating the Ducks from Rose Bowl contention. UCLA completed four — count em — just four passes in the ballgame. Yikes. Luckily for UCLA, Oregon was in similar quarterback hell, alternating between second, third, and fourth stringers. So what does this all mean? In this effed up world of college football, the Bruins are still alive in the Pac-10 race. They beat USC (yes, I’m laughing to myself), while Arizona knocks off Arizona State, and they’re in the Rose Bowl. Of course, give me a 95 mph fastball and I’m in the majors, you feel?

If UCLA could win a game in which they only completed four passes, why couldn’t they do the same thing against Notre Dame? Maybe Dorrell and the Bruins’ staff wasn’t sharp enough to figure out on the fly that they should just run the ball with a fourth string quarterback rather than let them throw passes and get picked (as Mike Bellotti did). So UCLA will likely finish 6-6, ruining at least one season in the process. Callahan, Morriss, Orgeron, Carr, and Franchione are gone amongst others. Will Dorrell join the group? I think and hope so. The numbers speak for themselves. But I’ll be darned if this guy hasn’t put fans on one hell of a roller coaster ride. And damn, he sure does have far too many lives.

Dog Bites Auburn DB Jerraud Powers During Iron Bowl

The game may have been under the radar for the national scene, but it was as important as ever in Alabama — Nick Saban’s first taste of the Iron Bowl. Sadly for Saban, the Crimson Tide lost 17-10. On the other side of the ball, Auburn sophomore defensive back Jerraud Powers had a pick in the first half, helping his Tigers get the victory. In addition to gaining bragging rights from the win, Powers ended up with quite the battle scar:

After successfully defending a long pass during the fourth quarter, Powers was bitten on his left hand by a police dog stationed beyond the end zone. The sophomore celebrated by mimicking the referee’s signal for an incomplete pass, which the dog interpreted as an aggressive act.

“I saw blood coming out of my glove. I started panicking,” Powers said. ” I was looking toward the sidelines and I was screaming, ‘The dog bit me,’ the next three plays. When I went into the training room I was like: Do I need a rabies shot? Then I thought about it and it is a federal dog. I’m sure he’s the cleanest dog in America. I’ll be sure to wash it out real good.”

I guess the dog was a Bama fan. Sigh. I’m just waiting for Bevo to ram some horns up an opposing linebacker’s ass. Now then we’d be talking.

Eric Cartman Introduces the CU Buffs

This is actually something that has irked me lately. I can’t stand some of the introductions they give on TV. Why should Jonathan Papelbon introduce the BC players? Does he even know any of them? Has he ever watched any of their games? If the introducer has to look off camera and read off a teleprompter to find the player’s names, then he probably shouldn’t be introducing them. But when ABC gets creative and has Eric Cartman introduce Colorado’s players, then we’re getting somewhere. Witness:

Thanks to commenter Nick, via Awful Announcing and The Postmen. And yes, Boulder has a lot of hippies.

Kansas vs. Missouri for the National Title Game?

There are some things in college football I just can’t get down with. This would be one of them. When it comes to the national title picture, I’m a snob; I want to see big-time programs and dominant teams. I don’t like seeing teams luck out because their conference was weak and they played an easy non-conference schedule. Which brings us to the upcoming Kansas/Missouri game this weekend. The thought that the winner of this game could have a one-way ticket to the title game in New Orleans makes me just a wee bit uneasy.

Take the Kansas Jayhawks for instance. They played perennial powerhouses Central Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana, Toledo, and Florida International to pad their record at 4-0 to start the year. Nice little confidence-booster type games that made their players feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Missou at least took on Illinois on the road non-conference, but their schedule was hardly daunting. Oh yeah, and they’ve also already lost once to Oklahoma.

Should Kansas win this weekend and make it into the title game by winning the Big 12 conference championship game, I won’t say that they haven’t earned their way in — at that point they will have. I’m just disappointed that it will have sent the wrong message, that scheduling cupcakes is in your best interest once again. We’ve come a long way since the mid-90s to get past that point. Now I have nothing left but to hope that the winner this weekend loses to the Big 12 South champion in the conference title game. Kansas or Missouri playing for a national title? I just can’t fathom it.