I’m a huge sports fan. I tune in for events that the average American would never waste their time on. I enjoy strange sports action like Wednesday night MAC football, Carling Cup soccer action from England, hell, I’ve even been known to dabble in rugby and cricket, because why not? I guess what I’m saying is that when I tell you I watch (and enjoy) far too much sports on television, I hope you believe me. It’s with that thought in mind that I reveal this next information. I turned off the national championship game last night. It was unbearable; the single worst sporting event of the past twelve months, all apologies to the Butler-UConn national championship game. With a whole fourth quarter to go I said to hell with it and played my new copy of NHL ’12, where I’m quite certain I racked up more goals than either of those two teams scored points.
Alabama is technically the national champion this morning. They probably are the most dominant defense ever assembled on a college football field. They definitely dictated the action last night. But tell me why they deserve to win an undisputed claim at the national championship? They played a cookie-cutter regular season schedule, boasting only two wins worth mentioning (Penn State and Arkansas). And for those who are delusioned by the alleged “dominance” of the SEC, I would be willing to vehemently argue with you that they were maybe the the third best conference this season (the Big 12 was by far the best, with the Big Ten giving the SEC a run for second place). Wins over Ole Miss and Vanderbilt don’t fool me. Even Florida isn’t worth bringing up at this point. And in the ultimate irony of all, Alabama actually lost to this same LSU squad just a couple of weeks ago. On their home turf. In the ugliest game of all time, at least until last night’s disaster. But they’re definitely national champions now, this game being a total difference maker.
What disappoints me the most is that I know for a fact Oklahoma State, Stanford, and maybe even those Boise State Broncos could have given Alabama a better game last night than LSU. Football is first and foremost about personnel. Coaching can go a long way, as Saban demonstrates on a yearly basis with his defenses, but the most important thing is always the athletes on the field. Oklahoma State might have just an average defense, but their offense contained one of the most athletic receiving corps in the history of college football. When you throw in that their spread offense was born to temper and pick apart the blitz-happy offenses of an Alabama, there’s simply no way you could convince me they couldn’t have hung at least a couple touchdowns on the Tide. Brandon Weeden would have sat back with one and three-step drops all day, dinking and dunking an overwhelmed Alabama defense that surely never faced an offense anywhere close to as talented as the Cowboys.
Stanford definitely would have given them a run for their money. Apparently the SEC has made an executive decision that quarterbacks are not a necessity. Cam Newton literally won a national championship and SEC title by himself last year, just because the conference was so completely shocked by the notion of a great quarterback. Are you telling me Andrew Luck couldn’t have thrown at least a pair of touchdowns against the Tide? Most especially with those tight end-heavy formations the Cardinal have become so famous for in these last couple years? Throw in that Stanford’s ultra-talented offensive line easily would have handled that ‘Bama front four, and well, you see why I have serious questions about the legitimacy of their national title claim.
College football has some big decisions to make in the coming weeks and this game was complete evidence of that fact. What’s sad is they’ll make only minor changes and call the system 100% fixed. But it’s not. So, you say you want a four-team playoff? How does an annual contest between two SEC teams, a Pac-12, and a Big Ten team sound?! That’s how it’s going to be. The three most powerful (and intelligent) men in college football are the respective commissioners of those conferences. It’s no coincidence that they’re also the wealthiest and the only ones never mentioned in possible realignments that could break up their respective conferences. And there’s no way they’re just going to cede that position of power. There will be no sudden, world-altering breakthrough whereby the Boise States of the world suddenly get a chance to show they can hang with the big boys. It’s going to be the same story, the same discrimination, the same joke. College football has always been built on self-preservation. The puppet masters are merely going to disguise the controlling mechanism.
I guess I just simply don’t understand it. And I’m sure any SEC fan out there would be the first to bring up this point. I’ll argue it anyway. Tell me how a sport that touts the sacred nature of the regular season is willing to hand its national title to a team that couldn’t even win its conference? Tell me how a team that couldn’t even beat a divisional rival in the regular season suddenly has the right to claim a national championship after one measly “title” game? You can’t. It’s impossible.
There is no way to solve the hypocrisies and discrepancies of college footballand in the most infuriating aspect of all, that’s exactly the way the people in power want it.
Generation Y, where I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually looking forward to a week of Tebow hype after that game last night. NFL is king!
I’m totally not bitter about the hosing of TCU by the BCS, I swear. From Flickr.com:
Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Dec. 17th, 2 p.m. EST, ESPN
Temple vs. Wyoming
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Dec. 17th, 5:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
Ohio vs. Utah State
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Dec. 17th, 9 p.m. EST, ESPN
San Diego State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl, Dec. 20th, 8 p.m. EST, ESPN
Florida International vs. Marshall
S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, Dec. 21st, 8 p.m. EST, ESPN
(18) TCU vs. Louisiana Tech
MAACO Las Vegas Bowl, Dec. 22nd, 8 p.m. EST, ESPN
Arizona State vs. (7) Boise State
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Dec. 24th, 8 p.m. EST, ESPN
Nevada vs. (21) Southern Miss
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl, Dec. 26th, 5 p.m. EST, ESPN2
Missouri vs. North Carolina
Little Caesars Bowl, Dec. 27th, 4:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
Western Michigan vs. Purdue
Belk Bowl, Dec. 27th, 8 p.m. EST, ESPN
Louisville vs. NC State
Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman, Dec. 28th, 4:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
Toledo vs. Air Force
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, Dec. 28th, 8 p.m. EST, ESPN
California vs. (24) Texas
Champs Sports Bowl, Dec. 29th, 5:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
Florida State vs. Notre Dame
Valero Alamo Bowl, Dec. 29th, 9 p.m. EST, ESPN
Washington vs. (12) Baylor
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Dec. 30th, Noon EST, ESPN
BYU vs. Tulsa
New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Dec. 30th, 3:20 p.m. EST, ESPN
Rutgers vs. Iowa State
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Dec. 30th, 6:40 p.m. EST, ESPN
Mississippi State vs. Wake Forest
Insight Bowl, Dec. 30th, 10 p.m. EST, ESPN
Iowa vs. (14) Oklahoma
Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl, Dec. 31st, Noon EST, ESPN
Texas A&M vs. Northwestern
Hyundai Sun Bowl, Dec. 31st, 2 p.m. EST, CBS
Georgia Tech vs. Utah
AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Dec. 31st, 3:30 p.m. EST, ABC
Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt
Kraft Fight Hunger, Dec. 31st, 3:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
Illinois vs. UCLA
Chick-fil-A Bowl, Dec. 31st, 7:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
Virginia vs. (25) Auburn
TicketCity Bowl, Jan. 2nd, Noon EST, ESPNU
(19) Houston vs. (22) Penn State
Outback Bowl, Jan. 2nd, 1 p.m. EST, ABC
(17) Michigan State vs. (16) Georgia
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 2nd, 1 p.m. EST, ESPN
(20) Nebraska vs. (9) South Carolina
Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl, Jan. 2nd, 1 p.m. EST, ESPN2
Ohio State vs. Florida
Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio, Jan. 2nd, 5 p.m. EST, ESPN
(10) Wisconsin vs. (5) Oregon
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 2nd, 8:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
(4) Stanford vs. (3) Oklahoma State
Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 3rd, 8:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
(13) Michigan vs. (11) Virginia Tech
Discover Orange Bowl, Jan. 4th, 8:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
(23) West Virginia vs. (15) Clemson
AT&T Cotton Bowl, Jan. 6th, 8 p.m. EST, FOX
(8) Kansas State vs. (6) Arkansas
BBVA Compass Bowl, Jan. 7th, 1 p.m. EST, ESPN
SMU vs. Pittsburgh
GoDaddy.com Bowl, Jan. 8th, 9 p.m. EST, ESPN
Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois
Allstate BCS National Championship Game, Jan. 9th, 8:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
(1) LSU vs. (2) Alabama
Incredibly well done.
He’s making baby steps. Check out this latest idea, from SI:
When the NCAA posted its list of proposed new legislation earlier this month, proposal 2011-78 got most of the attention. It involved the legality of cream cheese and other assorted bagel spreads. Everyone ignored proposal 2011-87, which might be the best idea of the bunch.
Proposal 2011-87 suggests that the NCAA should allow four teams from leagues that don’t play conference championship games to play a pair of invitational games. It’s not a playoff. It’s not an alternative to the BCS. It’s only a chance for teams to play a 13th regular-season game that could make for excellent December viewing.
Using the conference alignments from last season and the final regular-season BCS rankings, the invitational games could have matched Stanford and Ohio State or Michigan State and Boise State. Using the current conference alignments and last year’s final BCS rankings, one invitational game could have given us a rematch of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl between Oklahoma and Boise State, except this time in Norman.
The proposal might have received more attention had it revealed the identity of the man behind it: Mark Cuban. The billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks made headlines in December and January with a series of blog posts (see them here, here and here) that solicited opinions for a way to replace the BCS with a playoff. Between then and now, that idea morphed into a concept that would require the passage of proposal 2011-87.
I am down.
And it’s for exactly the reasons you would think. Remember how one of the committee members I told you about yesterday had received a free cruise from the Orange Bowl? It turns out another one of these “investigators” let the Fiesta Bowl pay his resort golf habit. The committee is basically sticking the finger to the American public and the IRS, daring them to come after them. Check out this remarkable arrogance, from the Arizona Republic (still doing the damn thang):
A top official of the Bowl Championship Series softened his stance Wednesday on expelling the Fiesta Bowl amid disclosure that he and other members of a BCS task force accepted gifts from the Fiesta and Orange bowls.
Bill Hancock, executive director of the coalition of college football’s top bowls, said in an interview that discussion of eliminating the Fiesta Bowl from the BCS was “way premature.” He called it “irresponsible” for media to speculate which bowls, if any, would replace the Fiesta Bowl in the four-bowl BCS.
Earlier, in reaction to an internal Fiesta Bowl report detailing misconduct by bowl executives, Hancock had told The Arizona Republic that “the BCS group takes this matter very seriously and will consider whether they (Fiesta Bowl) keep a BCS bowl game, and we will consider other appropriate sanctions.”
The BCS created the task force Tuesday to examine a 276-page report by Fiesta Bowl investigators detailing a culture of excessive spending on Fiesta Bowl employees, politicians and business associates. The BCS will review the report and decide whether and how to punish the Fiesta Bowl.
Its seven-member task force includes a member who for years let the Fiesta Bowl pay for his golf at a resort, and another who took a free Caribbean trip last year from the Orange Bowl, The Republic has learned.
In addition, Hancock said Wednesday that for at least five years, while attending Fiesta Frolic, he let the Fiesta Bowl cover his golf tab and accepted free gifts from Nike.
The Frolic is an annual, multiday spring gathering the bowl stages for college-football officials at a Phoenix resort.
Hancock called the Frolic, which costs the Fiesta Bowl several hundred thousand dollars a year, a “remarkable business opportunity” for college-football executives to network. However, the Fiesta Bowl Special Committee’s investigative report noted that it recently changed its name to Fiesta Bowl Spring College Football Seminars at the request of attendees “to make the event sound like less of a ‘boondoggle.’ “
Sweet Jesus. The IRS and DOJ are watching this, right? They’re going to go after a couple baseball players for taking some silly little steroid pills but they’re going to let these assholes in orange blazers compeltely neglect the tax code and hide behind their not-for-profit status?
Jesus this day gets better and better. Dan Wetzel for Yahoo! Sports has been on the forefront of taking down the BCS’s hypocrisies for years, even publishing a book about it all this past season. To add to the NCAA’s embarrassment this morning, Wetzel dropped this bomb on them too! There are big things going on, so glad Wetzel was able to join in on the party with another strategically aimed dagger to the NCAA’s heart. From Yahoo! Sports:
The Bowl Championship Series is so troubled by the graft exposed in Tuesday’s Fiesta Bowl corruption report that it appointed a special “task force.” Among the members is an athletics director who accepted a free Caribbean cruise from the Orange Bowl just last summer.
Yes, there’s nothing like having a guy – in this case, Southern Mississippi’s Richard Giannini – who takes lavish gifts from one bowl game to judge another bowl game for giving out lavish gifts.
The obvious news from Tuesday’s 276-page Fiesta Bowl report is that longtime CEO John Junker was fired and is in major legal trouble, in part because of the eye-popping way his bowl game was run – $1,200 strip-joint bills tend to generate news interest. The real issue is that the BCS is doing what the Fiesta Bowl originally tried to do: conduct a shallow investigation and hope the party is allowed to rage on.
As a person who follows sports news religiously, I can freely attest that I have never witnessed anything like has happened today. The NCAA is getting completely hammered from all angles and it’s like the journalism community today decided to fight back against the collective NCAA bully by bodyslamming them the way that fat kid did a couple weeks ago in the now famous video.
Anxious to see where this goes.
Good for the Arizona Republic for doing the damn thang on the Fiesta Bowl and exposing the hypocrisy of the BCS system. I’ll give you the short details and a preview in here but this is another MUST READ report this morning and couldn’t have been timed any better with March Madness, the PBS report, and the HBO special tonight. This particular investigation found that officials for the Fiesta Bowl seriously abused their non-profit status by using funds from the bowl to spend excessively (including strip club runs and lavish personal birthday parties), reimburse political donations (a big no no for non-profits), and several contract irregularities (huge deals were made that seemed to be cash payoffs to various individuals and organizations with close relations to the bowl and its employees). From the Arizona Republic:
An investigation by the Fiesta Bowl has found evidence of potentially illegal employee conduct and spending irregularities that could jeopardize the bowl’s non-profit status and prestigious role in college football’s national-championship series.
As a result of the five-month internal probe released Tuesday, the bowl fired its longtime public face, CEO John Junker, and accepted the resignations of two other top bowl officers.
The 276-page report, commissioned by a Fiesta Bowl Special Committee in October, details a culture of excessive spending on bowl employees, politicians and business associates despite rules barring the bowl from using its money to benefit individuals; a system of campaign contributions that could run afoul of state and federal campaign laws; and accounts of efforts by bowl staffers to mislead government investigators.
Junker declined comment. However, his lawyer said the Fiesta Bowl had posted the report on its website before it had given a copy to Junker, and that Junker would not comment until reviewing the report in detail.
The big sham of college football right now is that all of the bowls do stuff like this and that’s the biggest reason we can’t get a damn playoff implemented. There’s too many rich dudes who get to become the CEO of the “insert coporate sponsor here” Bowl and then get paid $800,000 to wear a funny colored blazer once a year. This could be a tipping point towards eliminating the BCS.
That or the Cotton Bowl is about to enter the BCS rotation.
The evidence, via Deadspin…
I got a kick out of this.
Turns out it’s not the first time he’s dropped the line in a broadcast either. Deadspin via Awful Announcing…
Should he have been ejected? Answer: yes.
Play till the whistle!
And it’s pretty much just as bad as you’d expect. It essentially reveals why these guys in blazers don’t want the current BCS/bowl system to collapse. They’re making a killing for essentially doing nothing but showing up, going to banquets/parties/the bowl game, and dressing up in horrific outfits. From AOL Fanhouse:
The Sports Business Journal obtained the salary information from Internal Revenue Service Form 990s and Form 990-PFs financial statements of the 23 bowls for 2008-09 or 2009-10 fiscal years that are considered by the IRS as non-profit organizations. The other 12 bowl games are privately owned, including seven by ESPN Regional Television (New Mexico, St. Petersburg, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Texas, Armed Forces and BBVA Compass bowls), and financial data for those bowls is not available.
Of the 23 bowls with available financial data, the Discover Orange and Chick-fil-A bowls each have three bowl employees earning at least $200,000.
The combined salary of the top two paid Sugar Bowl employees — Hoolahan and associate executive director — exceeds $1 million — $1.043 million to be exact.
Before Monday’s BCS title game, the Football Bowl Association (FBA) announced bowl attendance had increased 0.83 percent compared to last season and trumpeted the bowl system.
“Each year, thousands of student-athletes take part in a spectacular bowl game as well as many community-service activities organized by our bowls,” said Tina Kunzer-Murphy, chairman of the FBA. “Bowl week truly is a multi-day celebration and America’s bowl tradition is something worth keeping.”
Cotton Bowl president Rick Baker, who earns nearly $425,000 annually, has said “a playoff system would ruin the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.”
It also might cost some bowl executives their hundred thousand dollar salaries, as well.
Big Bowl Bucks
The annual salaries of each bowl’s CEO/president/executive director along with any other bowl employees who earn more than $200,000 a year. Salary information obtained by the Sports Business Journal.
$808,032 Jim McVay, Outback
$645,386 Paul Hoolahan, Sugar
$504,444 Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A
$419,873 Rick Baker, Cotton
$419,045 Derrick Fox, Alamo
$415,118 John Junker, Fiesta/Insight
$377,475 Gary Cavalli, Kraft Fight Hunger
$357,722 Eric Poms, Orange
$277,929 John Dorger, Rose
$261,496 Bruce Binkowski, Holiday/Poinsettia
$242,584 Steve Hogan, Capital One/Champs
$236,594 Scott Ramsey, Music City
$200,599, Kevin McDonald, Humanitarian
$166,088 Bernie Olivas, Sun
$110,217 Missy Setters, Independence
$90,000 Mike Gottfried, GoDaddy.com
$37,500 Stephen Beck, Military
Bowl officials who are not their respective bowls’ highest paid employee, yet make more than $200,000
$398,023 Jeff Hundley, Sugar
$256,588 Marty MacInnis, Cotton
$234,559 Robert Hollis, Chick-fil-A
$219,932 Natalie Aguilar-Wisneski, Fiesta/Insight
$210,013 David Epps, Chick-fil-A
$203,245 Christina Francis, Orange
$200,381 Brian Park, Orange