Tag Archive: College Football Playoff


Remember the Oakland Raiders and their “Commitment to Excellence”?

The Silver and Black catch-phrase was quietly buried along with its originator, Al Davis.

Is it time, actually past time, for the Pac-12 Conference to drop its divorced-from-reality tag: “Conference of Champions”?

Consider that only 35,000 (assuming you believe the “announced” official attendance) bothered to show up for the conference football “championship” game this past November 30. The game was an absolute non-factor in deciding which four teams made the College Football Playoff (CFP).

Why would any conference commissioner hold its football championship game on a gridlocked Friday night in a pro-football Mecca, while the real Power Five conferences play their championship games on Saturday?

The literal oceans of empty seats in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara sent an unmistakable signal to the sports world: If Pac-12 fans don’t care, why should you? What ya think Pac-12 boss Larry Scott?

Weigh that only two times has the Pac-12 qualified its teams for the College Football Playoff (i.e., Oregon in 2014 and Washington in 2016) out of a potential 20 spots over five years.

In bowl games, the conference is 4-12 in the past two years: 1-8, 2017-18; 3-4 2018-19.

The last time a Pac-12 team won the national title in football: USC in 2004.

The last time a Pac-12 team won the national title in men’s basketball: Arizona in the previous century,1997.

The last time a Pac-12 team won the national title in women’s basketball: Stanford, ditto for the 20th century, 1992.

The conference is fond of championing its NCAA Director’s Cup standings as tantamount to “athletic success,” most notably Stanford, UCLA, USC, Cal and Oregon. Does anyone really care about college sports outside of the aforementioned football, men’s and women’s basketball?

Yes, Oregon State is the current champion in baseball. Oregon won its seventh track-and-field championship in 2015 … but other than piling up Director’s Cup points, do these championships really matter to the sports public?

From Love to The Embarcadero

In 2009, the Pac-12 presidents hired Larry Scott away from the women’s tennis circuit (where love means nothing) to run the conference, which was falling behind the other Power Five conferences (i.e., SEC, ACC, Big 10, Big 12).

To Scott’s credit, he took the lead in creating the Pac-12 Network. He also brought in the Denver and Salt Lake City media markets into the fold with the expansion of the 10-school contiguous state balanced conference to include non-contiguous Colorado and Utah.

The aforementioned conference championship game was added to the mix, but for some reason Scott and his lieutenants can’t seem the figure out the Levi’s Stadium dog just won’t hunt after five tries.

When was the only time the conference championship ever sold out? The first game in 2011 held at the venue of the team with the best record, Oregon’s Autzen Stadium. Why not persist in awarding the championship game to the team with the best record?

Sure beats an empty tarped stadium with an “announced” crowd of 35,134 on a Friday night.

The conference’s men’s basketball tournament is held in Las Vegas. There are zero Pac-12 teams in Nevada. Are gambling tables and shows with lots of skin, the secret to drawing fans to watch the conference’s best?

John Canzano of the struggling Portland Oregonian penned a four-piece mammoth series essentially asking if the Pac-12 is getting the bang for its buck. The conferences pays Scott $4.8 million per annum and devotes $6.9 million yearly for its offices near the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco.

Pac-12 members receive $31 million annually from the conference. By contrast, SEC members receive $41 million and the Big 10 universities garner $37 million from their respective conferences.

Certainly geography is not Scott’s fault, but it still must be his concern. The majority of Pac-12 members are situated three hours west of Bristol, Connecticut, the home of ESECPN. What Almost DailyBrett does not understand is the surrender implied in “Pac-12 After Dark.”

In order to provide ESPN and Fox with late evening “sports programming” for insomniacs in the Eastern and Central time zones, our fans and teams must sometimes wait until 7:45 pm to kick-off or tip-off our games. The alternative is 11 am kickoffs, fostering 8 am tailgates. Pass the orange juice.

Hey Larry instead of the networks deciding the times of our games, let’s team with Pac-12 presidents and athletic directors in courageously insisting the majority of our games be held between 12:30 pm and 5 pm local time for our fans on Saturdays.

As for the tagline: “Conference of Champions,” let’s shelve/deep six it until Pac-12 teams once again actually win some real championships.

https://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/john_canzano/index.ssf/2018/11/pac-12-larry-scott-leftout-part1.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/pac-12-after-midnight/

 

 

“I’m in favor of progress; it’s change I don’t like” – Mark Twain

The College Football Playoff is change; it’s not progress.

 

Instead it has become a shameless vehicle for ESECPN to proclaim the winner of a four-team playoff among the SEC, ACC and maybe the Big-12 as the “national” champion.

If Alabama doesn’t even capture its own division, let alone play and win the Southern Eastern Conference championship … macht nichts … then just place Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff anyway!

What’s the purpose of conference championships?

USC wins the Pac-12 title on a Friday night. Who cares? It’s what happens on the next day that matters.

Ohio State wins the Big 10 title the next day, easily beating previously undefeated Wisconsin. That achievement should matter, until it doesn’t matter.

We all knew when there are five “Power” conferences, and only four playoff slots, one champion would be the odd man out, and not invited to the party.

But two conference champions not being selected to pave the way for two SEC teams to be anointed for the playoff … that’s highway robbery and every other metaphor of outrage that applies.

Clint Eastwood as “Dirty Harry” once opined that opinions are similar to sphincters, everyone has one.

With this introduction here are the dispassionate thoughts from an admitted Pac-12 supporter (i.e., USC undergrad, Oregon post-grad), the author of Almost DailyBrett:

If the Pac-12 is annually dismissed by the Pharisees at ESECPN, and our champion, USC at 11-2, is not even taken seriously for the College Football Playoff …

… And this year, the Big Ten champion, Ohio State 11-2, is also summarily deemed unworthy of the College Football Playoff, then let’s do something radical:

Go back to the good ole days.

The Pac-12 and the Big Ten champions play in The Granddaddy of Them All®, the Rose Bowl.

Yep, let’s celebrate a classic rematch of USC vs. Ohio State playing each other on New Year’s Day.

That’s way it was, and that’s how it should be.

The Granddaddy of Them All®

Oklahoma vs. Georgia in the Rose Bowl, gag me with the proverbial spoon.

The Sooner Schooner being paraded down Colorado Blvd., while UGA does his business in the bushes? Give me a break.

With the BSC followed by the College Football Playoff, we can now conclude college football has taken a huge step backwards.

Consider when Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota and Oregon blew out Florida State 59-20, ending the Seminoles 30-game winning streak and holding the 2015 Rose Bowl Trophy.

Was that a reason for passionate celebration for the Pac-12 champion? Well no, because there was another game.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rose Bowl is the game. The author of Almost DailyBrett grew up 20 minutes away from Pasadena. Didn’t want to meet my maker without the Ducks once playing in the Rose Bowl, let alone winning it.

The College Football Playoff Doesn’t Work

We all know now the College Football Playoff doesn’t work.

Expanding it to eight games, just means more slots for SEC and ACC teams.

The Pac-12 and Big Ten should pull out of this monstrosity.

January 2, 2012; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks running back De’Anthony Thomas (6) runs the ball against the Wisconsin Badgers during the second half during the 2012 Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The two conferences should reestablish their exclusive with the Tournament of Roses, having their respective champions play on New Year’s Day.

If ESECPN wants to televise a “playoff” featuring the best-and-the-brightest of teams from the former Confederate States, go for it. Just pour some moonshine and scream “Go Bama, Go!”

Whattya think Rece “Bama” Davis? Concur Jesse “Gator” Palmer? Ditto David “Between the Hedges” Pollack?

For me, it’s time to go back to the Rose Bowl.

USC should be playing Ohio State in the historic Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California, not in the Cotton Bowl in Arlington Texas on December 29.

The playoff change did not work.

It’s progress to go back to the Rose Bowl.

http://www.azquotes.com/author/14883-Mark_Twain/tag/change

https://www.tournamentofroses.com/rose-bowl

It was the agony of defeat … over and over again.

All throughout the garbage-time fourth quarter in South Bend, the voyeuristic NBC cameras kept focusing on the deadpan face of an obviously hurting 20-year-old college student.

He was anything Saturday but “So Good, So Cool, So Cal.”

The Associated Press pointed out that USC has already turned over the ball 19 times in eight games, emphasizing that 16 of these were committed by quarterback Sam Darnold.

There will be no all-expense-paid trip to New York in December.

Someone else will receive the Heisman.

There will be better days for Sam Darnold, maybe this coming weekend in Tempe.

He will celebrate his 21st birthday next June 5.

As a college professor, who once roamed the sidelines as a student football manager for both USC and Oregon in the mid-1970s, Almost DailyBrett must ask:

Are pre-season Heisman Trophy hype campaigns launched by university athletic departments/sports information offices in the best interest of a college-student/athlete, who is not old enough to legally order a beer?

Is the young stud ready for the plethora of writers, camera lenses, microphones and fawning stories? The media is absolutely superb at building up a celebrity; the beast is even better at crashing the new hero down to earth and stomping on him.

Some may contend these premature campaigns draw national media attention that carries over to the season and may lead to holding up the most famous stiff-arm in all of sports.

USC athletes need extra media attention in the second largest television market in the country?

Almost DailyBrett wonders whether more times than naught these athletic departments are setting up these young people, students at their school – most not ready for the limelight – for failure by the jury-judge-executioner media (e.g., MSESPN).

Believe it or not, these kids have to go to school, attend classes, submit papers, work on projects and take exams (okay, maybe not the University of North Carolina basketball team).

Your author knows as much as any other writer, how a mere university cannot control the Fourth Estate. If the folks in Bristol, Connecticut or Sports Illustrated wish to build up their list of Heisman candidates before the season starts, who is going to stop them?

Cats are easier to herd.

Halloween and The First CFP Rankings

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee will not release its rankings for the real contenders for the sport’s four playoff spots until Halloween, safely past the mid-point of the season.

If the NCAA is “wise” enough to put off the hoopla surrounding who could be playing in the first semifinal at the Rose Bowl and the second in the New Orleans Superdome, then why can’t this august body put a kibosh on overactive athletic departments, exploiting underage students?

Many say: “Where are the parents?” Almost DailyBrett asks: “Where are the university presidents?”

It doesn’t matter whether a student seeking the NFL degree attends a heavily covered traditional power (e.g., USC Heisman campaign for Sam Darnold and Matt Barkley) or less heavily covered sometimes power (e.g., Oregon with the Joey Harrington Times Square billboard and Marcus Mariota), the respective athletic departments/sports information departments need to remember the football team represents the university … not the other away around.

Football is a team sport. Yes, everyone knows a quarterback is the most equal-of-the-equals and has the best chance of holding up the Heisman hardware, but the trophy is not presented on a Southern California beach in August.

The 12+-week season is a grind. This year’s team may not be the same as last year’s team. Conferences abound with college towns and trap games. College football is much more unpredictable than the brand played by the National Field-Goal League (NFL).

Sam Darnold is talented, but clearly does not have the hogs in the offensive line or the skill players beside him. The Trojans are good, maybe the best in the Pac-12, in a down year for the conference. The league will not send a team to the playoff unless there is dog-eat-dog chaos in the other conferences.

Hopefully, Darnold’s parents will be wise enough to steer him to return to USC for another year. He needs the time to work on his game, hit the books and earn a degree in communications. There may even be a Heisman Trophy and the NFL dollars in his happier future.

Wonder if the USC Athletic Department/Sports Information Office can dial back the P.T. Barnum/Donald Trump hype and let a good college kid be a good college kid?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Darnold

http://www.espn.com/college-football/undefined

http://www.latimes.com/sports/usc/la-sp-usc-notre-dame-20171021-story.html

http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/news/college-football-playoff-rankings-2017-2018-release-date-schedule-cfp-selection-day-committee-national-championship/t22jkpo01wej1j8dzmr925m28

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/should-matt-barkley-be-canonized/

https://247sports.com/college/usc/Article/Sam-Darnold-says-Irish-were-a-little-too-much-to-handle-109296081

 

 

 

 

Believe it or not, college football finally got it right.

Now let’s not screw it up.National Championship - Oregon v Ohio State

Think of it this way, there have been three eras in college football: The Bowl Era; the BCS and for the first time this past season, the College Football Playoff.

Using these three systems, only one would have produced the Ohio State Buckeyes as the national champion even though they would have played Oregon in the terminal bowl under each of the trio of regimes.

The other “champions” would have been Florida State (bowl system) and Alabama (BSC).

The Bowl Era

As a young tadpole, the author of Almost DailyBrett remembers spending virtually all of New Year’s Day watching the bowls.

As a football manager of the USC Trojans in 1976, we lost one damn game, our opener against Missouri at the LA Coliseum. That loss cost us dearly. We were contractually tied into the Rose Bowl. We beat Michigan. We ended up No. 2 in all the land.

Pitt with Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett went to the Sugar Bowl and ended the season, No. 1 and undefeated. We never had a chance to play them.

Using this very same bowl system, Florida State as the ACC champion would have gone to the Orange Bowl. Alabama as the ESECPN champ would been dispatched to the Sugar Bowl. Oregon and Ohio State would have played in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the Rose Bowl.

If Florida State prevailed in the Orange Bowl, regardless of the opponent, the Seminoles would have been the national champion because of its perfect season and an unbeaten streak of 30-straight. There is zero doubt about this conclusion because everyone else had at least one loss.

Reality check time: This is the same Florida State team that survived a series of close calls against basketball schools only to be literally destroyed by Oregon 59-20 in the Rose Bowl (e.g. first playoff semifinal) as the Ducks feasted on five Florida State turnovers.GTY 460965378 S SPO FBC USA CA

So much for Florida State as the national champion, and its 29-game winning streak.

The BSC Era

In order to solve the automatic bowl tie-in conundrum, the college football gods came up with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).

Reflecting back on the unfortunate BSC era, the idea was to create a non-subjective human/computer ranking system that would disregard bowl tie-ins and conceivably send the best two teams in all the land to the BCS Championship Game.

Besides triggering coast-to-coast controversy, the flawed subjective system paved the way for sanity to ensue in the form of a four-team playoff.

If the BSC still existed this past season, is there any doubt that Florida State and Alabama (e.g., the two semifinal losers) would have played in the Championship Game? And the winner most likely would have been Alabama, making everyone at ESECPN (e.g., Rece “Alabama” Davis, Jesse “Florida” Palmer, David “Georgia” Pollack, Lee “Florida State” Corso …) real happy.

The two playoff finalists (e.g., the teams that handily beat Alabama and Florida State respectively) would have played in the Rose Bowl. Translated: the result of the Ohio State vs. Oregon Rose Bowl would have been irrelevant in determining the national champion.

Thankfully: The Playoff Era

Ohio State would have been locked into the Rose Bowl under the auspices of the bowl era. Under the BSC, the Buckeyes would have been relegated to the Rose Bowl because the college football Pharisees would have selected undefeated Florida State and ESECPN champ Alabama.

In neither case would Ohio State be able to compete for the national title even though the Buckeyes have now proved they are the best team in the land.

The college football playoff provided the backdrop for Ohio State to play for and win the national title. Baylor and TCU may be upset about being left out of the dance, but doing the Texas two-step … there is no way the Bears or Horned Frogs would have beaten the Buckeyes.

There are some who may clamor for an eight-team playoff or a 16-team playoff, a 32-team playoff, a 64-team playoff, a 128-team playoff (e.g., Oregon State would be playing for the national championship).

Yes, there are five major conferences and increasingly inconsequential Notre Dame and one champion obviously will not make it to the four-team dance. Three wouldn’t have made it to the BSC championship game.buckeye

Let’s leave well enough alone. The College Football Playoff worked. Let’s salute The College Football Playoff for a job well done, and also the Fighting Chestnuts of Ohio State.

http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowl_Championship_Series

http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/rose-bowl

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_Bowl_Game

 

 

 

Reportedly, a 36-year-old Rich Brooks was told there was no way he could win at Oregon, when he accepted a $32,000 per year, four-year contract to become head coach in 1977.richbrooks

There were no natural advantages at the counterculture oriented, liberal arts university located in a college town tucked away in a sparsely populated, rainy slice of America’s cul-de-sac, the Pacific Northwest. Brooks predecessor was 9-24 in three years.

The negative recruiters, who were steering studs to USC, UCLA and Washington, said that star high school recruits could not work on their game year around in Eugene; they would never win a championship; never play in a bowl game; never be seen on television; never play in a game that mattered …

And for the most part they were correct. Ground zero was the absolutely awful 0-0 “Toilet Bowl” tie against Oregon State in 1983. Thankfully, the game will go down in NCAA history as the last scoreless tie ever played.

Hmmm…the Ducks played in the last scoreless game and the first college football playoff game, dominating Florida State 59-20 and winning the Rose Bowl as well. What a difference three decades can make?

And according to USA Today, ESECPN and others, all the credit goes to Nike founder/super $19.9 billion alumnus Phil Knight.

unclephil

As we celebrate the legendary contributions of Phil and Penny Knight in terms of Oregon’s brand and facilities, let’s not forget the achievements of an Oregon State grad, Rich Brooks.

No Swooshes on the Uniforms

There is a reason the turf at Autzen Stadium is called, “Rich Brooks Field.”

During the course of his 18-year stint as Oregon’s head coach, the Ducks went 91-109-4 … not a record that would prompt anyone to write home to mumsy. Many alums were calling for Brooks scalp, when one year of mediocrity followed another in the early 1990s.

Oregon played in a relatively small (41,000 capacity at the time) noisy stadium, Spartan facilities, rarely on television, and had trouble competing against the USCs, UCLAs and most of all, the Washingtons of the conference.

And yet Rich Brooks hired the core group of coaches that started the Golden Era of Oregon football: Mike Bellotti, offensive coordinator; Nick Aliotti, defensive coordinator; Don Pellum, linebackers: Gary Campbell, running backs; Steve Greatwood, offensive line; and Jim Radcliffe, strength and conditioning.

In turn, they found gems in the rough … Danny O’Neil, Ricky Whittle, Cristin McLemore, Jeremy Asher, Rich Ruhl … and a redshirt freshman defensive back by the name of Kenny Wheaton as in, “Kenny Wheaton is going to score. Kenny Wheaton is going to score” that propelled the Oregon Ducks to their first Rose Bowl in 37 years in 1994.

A

The Oregon Ducks with traditional uniforms that mimicked the look of the Green Bay Packers with no swooshes to be found gave #No. 2 Penn State holly heck that day before falling 38-20. Even in defeat, it finally become cool to root for Oregon.

Goodbye Rich; Enter Phil

After winning national coach of the year awards, Rich Brooks was a hot commodity. He was hired by the St. Louis Rams for a contract far in excess of his $32,000 starting salary at Oregon.

What followed was the heralded conversation between “Uncle Phil” and Brooks’ successor, Mike Bellotti. What did Oregon need to compete? An indoor practice facility. The rest is history. Knight wrote the $10 million check that allows Oregon athletes to work on their game year round.

Since that time, Knight invested more than $300 million to the Oregon Athletic Department including $70 million for the football performance center, $60 million for the renovation and expansion of Autzen Stadium; $60 million for an academic center and $100 million for the basketball arena (e.g., the Matthew Knight Arena).

The Ducks in turn have revolutionized football, particularly under Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich as head coaches, and Scott Frost as offensive coordinator. Wearing the cool Nike uniform du jour, the Ducks run their spread offense at a warp-speed tempo and put up ridiculous amounts of points.

They still don’t out-recruit USC or UCLA, but they find their “guys” to fit into the system, and Almost DailyBrett knows the coolness factor helps attract the attention of studs that would never have considered the little school from the little state in the Pacific Northwest.

The bricks of the Berlin Wall of negative recruiting … lousy weather, subpar facilities, no bowls, no championships, no Heismans, no television … have all fallen by the wayside.

rich-brooks1

To be fair, we need to reflect on the guy that got it started, Rich Brooks. He will never be accused of being warm and fuzzy, and maybe that contributed to those who called for his firing in 1993-1994. He turned the Ducks around. It took a patient 18 years, but his perseverance was rewarded. He ushered in the Golden Era of Oregon Football.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_Brooks

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/pac12/2014/12/29/oregon-nike-phil-knight-college-football-playoff/21013009/

http://www.forbes.com/profile/phil-knight/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/rooting-for-oregon-before-it-was-cool/

 

 

“When in doubt, declare victory.” — Oft heard political axiom in Sacramento.

For some reason, Jeff Long, chair of the College Football Playoff Committee, could not simply proclaim that his 12-member committee got it right: The four-best football teams in the country are in the long-awaited, first-ever January 1 playoff for the championship trophy.

In the face of persistent badgering by 1988 Alabama graduate Rece Davis of ESECPN, Long came across as defensive, almost apologetic and unsure. He inadvisably went down paths best left untrodden, and seemingly couldn’t wait for the public grilling to end.

ReceLong

Admittedly, the present University of Arkansas athletic director was operating on little, if no sleep. He and his committee members had a thankless job; shoehorn four major conference champions into two bowls, and leave one big-time conference champion out in the cold (e.g., Baylor).

Guess what? This problem will persist next year. Get used to it.

Here are some PR talking points for Chairman Long free of charge, courtesy of Almost DailyBrett:

“We had a tough job to do. We did our job. And we came up with exciting semifinal matchups involving the best four teams across the fruited plain (i.e., Alabama vs. Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, and Oregon vs. Florida State in the Rose Bowl). We are proud of our work, and we can hardly wait for January 1.”

Period. Finis. Endo Musico.

Far Better Than The BSC

Many, many moons ago, the conference champs were simply locked into the major bowls. If this scenario was still the case: Alabama would be in the Sugar Bowl; Oregon and Ohio State would be in the Rose Bowl; Florida State would be in the Orange Bowl; Baylor would be in the Fiesta Bowl … and TCU would still be moaning and complaining.

How would one determine the national champion? The polls? The computers? ESECPN?

The BSC … err BCS (Bowl Championship Series) … was devised to improve upon the automatic bowl lock-ups, producing supposedly a matchup of the best two teams in the country.

If that was still the case, Alabama would be playing Oregon and undefeated Florida State would be left out … or would they?

Wait a minute would the BSC exclude the defending national champions, the winner of 29 straight games and counting? Of course not.

Bye-bye, Oregon.

The Tri-Lateral Commission for Dominance by the Eastern Time Zone (TLCDETZ) and ESECPN would not allow a team located in a sparsely populated Western state in America’s cul-de-sac (e.g., Pacific Northwest) to throw a monkey wrench into a classic matchup between SEC-champion Alabama and pseudo-SEC team, Florida State.

You can be sure that Davis (Alabama), Jesse Palmer (Florida), David Pollack (Georgia) and Danny Kanell (Florida State) would not allow that to happen. Ditto for Kirk Herbstreit (Ohio State), Joey Galloway (Ohio State), Lee Corso (Florida State), Desmond Howard (Michigan), Lou Holtz (Kent State) or Mark May (Pitt).

Did you note the time zone for these gents’ alma maters? The Eastern Time Zone.

It must really bum them out that Oregon’s Marcus Mariota is going to win the Heisman. Guess, there really must be life west of the Hudson.

A Four-Team Playoff for the Ages

The committee made the ill-fated decision that Chairman Long was going to be its one-and-only spokesperson.

Don’t get me wrong, Long comes across as a nice competent guy, but does not have the smoothness, confidence and gravitas to serve as an effective spokesman.condi

The committee could have turned to Stanford Provost Condoleezza Rice, who earlier served as national security advisor and secretary of state for two administrations or USC Athletic Director and Rhodes Scholar Pat Haden to carry the PR ball.

Something tells me that neither Rice nor Haden would have publicly punted the ball in the face of the fierce ESECPN verbal pass rush.

haden

Let’s face it: No system is perfect, but this one is easily better than any that has come before or any other (e.g., an eight-team playoff; there are not eight great teams … and number nine would be whining).

This is where the When in doubt, declare victory mantra works.

Regardless of the questions from the Pharisees at ESECPN, a confident spokesperson (e.g., Rice or Haden) keeps coming back to how this system is easily the best, far better than anything that preceded it, and best of all, the top four teams in the land are going to get it on.

Let’s tee it up on New Year’s Day.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/

http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/selection-committee

http://espnmediazone.com/us/bios/davis_rece/

 

 

Friends welcome; relatives by appointment only,” – Memorable sign in colleague’s house.

“What’s the difference between in-laws and outlaws? Outlaws are wanted.”

The first rays of winter sunshine came over the eastern horizon on December 26.

The sounds of engines revving could be heard.

The only things that were missing were the pace car, the parade lap and the green flag.

Ed Carpenter

The relatives were leaving and heading home.

The holidays were coming to a merciful end.

Thank God.

If They Weren’t Your Relatives, Would They Be Your Friends?

There is good news, and not so good news about Thanksgiving and the December/January holidays.

The great tidings are rivalry weekends and championship games that are circled more than one year in advance on many respective calendars.

In Oregon, there is the Civil War between the Jetsons (e.g., Oregon Ducks) and the Flintstones (e.g., Oregon State Rodents).

In Southern California, there is USC vs. the junior campus of the University of California.

In Alabama, there is the Iron Bowl pitting Alabama (Roll Tide) vs. Auburn (War Eagle). Wonder how many trees will be poisoned this year?

In the Midwest there is Ohio State vs. Michigan … even though the game looks like a monumental mismatch this year.

Heck on Turkey Day, there are wall-to-wall football games, including the annual No Fun League (NFL) contests held in Detroit and Dallas respectively, and even a big one between the 49ers and the Seahawks.

And when Xmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan all roll around (choose which one applies to you) there are the annual bowl games and this year the extra special treat associated with the first-ever NCAA college football playoff.

Yep, we just can’t get enough of football. And we are sad when the season ends, even the NFL playoff games with their never-ending field-goal kicking contests.

The not-so-good news comes with the holidays themselves and the familial requirements that are associated with them. Why can’t we just fast-forward this DVD to spring and call it good? Alas, relatives were put on earth so we could experience our purgatory here and now.

The unrestrained joy and excitement that comes from a football weekend is not the case with co-mingling with relatives old and new. In fact, most dysfunctional families are only good in measurable-and-finite doses. Yes, you can O.D. on family, and the withdrawal symptoms are simply downright painful.

Keeping Score, Always Keeping Score

“Love is patient, love is kind … it keeps no record of wrongs.” — 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

There are scoreboards at all football games. They are switched off once the game is done.

Scoreboard

There are also scoreboards with families. They are never turned off. In fact, the opponent’s score keeps accumulating akin to pinball games of yesteryear or video games of today.

Four years ago Almost DailyBrett concluded that families are way overrated. This opinion remains intact.

In fact, this point is magnified, particularly with the specter of the holidays approaching, hanging over family members similar to the Sword of Damocles. And with these so-called special days come special obligations. You are present not because you want to be there, but because you have to be there. It’s all rather political.

Conversely, when you contemplate going to the football game, you think of tailgate parties with friends, good cheer and even better craft beer. Your heart rate starts pumping with fight songs, the national anthem and standing up for the kickoff. You are celebrating life in an earthly heaven with 60,000 of your most intimate friends, and hopefully (best of all?) no relatives.

Contrast this sentiment with sitting around the table with people, who most likely are not your friends and most likely never will be your friends, And then, there are the embarrassing stories and remembrances. Love may be patient; it may be kind, but relatives keep a detailed record of your myriad of real and perceived wrongs.

relatives

Hey, isn’t there a 10-year statute of limitations embedded in the law? Alas, this doctrine does not apply to most families.

And if you are honest, and invent some reason you cannot be present for a family holiday gathering (e.g., flying to a college football playoff game), this slight will just be added to your personal scorecard always to be remembered and never to be forgotten.

Would the author of Almost DailyBrett rather spend the holidays with relatives and miss going to the Rose Bowl or go to Pasadena and nix breaking bread with the family?

What time is kickoff?

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/if-they-weren%e2%80%99t-your-relatives-would-they-be-your-friends/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damocles

 

 

What are you going to do for programming one month from today on SEC Cupcake Saturday, November 22?

cupcakes

Will the 24/7/365 Southeastern Conference-loving network (that would be you, ESECPN) treat the nation to Alabama vs. the Western Carolina Catamounts?

Or is it, Carolina Western? Even Nick Saban and Alabama alum Rece Davis of ESECPN can’t talk up the “potential” of Western Carolina.

Or how about Auburn vs. Samford (& Son) Bulldogs?

Jesse Palmer’s Florida Gators will be playing the dreaded Eastern Kentucky Colonels that same day in “The Swamp.”

And David Pollack’s Georgia Bulldogs will be lining up in between the hedges against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers.

palmerpollack

Let’s not forget South Carolina vs. South Alabama Jaguars (Southern Mississippi would be a real opponent).

Reportedly, ESECPN Game Day will visit Nashville to get everyone stoked for Vanderbilt’s game that day against Vassar.

As they say: “You can’t stop the Vassar Brewers’ offense; you can only hope to contain it.”

Are these glorified late-season scrimmages the net result of the SEC refusing to play a nine-game conference schedule, and shamelessly loading up on body-bag games against sacrificial lambs?

Sure looks that way from this humble vantage point west of the Tennessee River.

Four Playoff Spots for Four ESECPN Teams?

Wouldn’t it be great for SEC’s cable sports network if the national championship was decided by a quartet of football factories located somewhere in the old Confederacy, south of the Mason-Dixon Line from Texas in the west to South Carolina in the east?

What if the South rises again, secedes from the union (and the NCAA), and makes the four-team All ESECPN playoff an annual event? No need to consider and follow the exploits of teams from the 14-team Big 10, the 10-team Big 12, the 12-team Pac-12 or any other sad-sack conference.

What is really unfortunate about SEC Cupcake Saturday is the loss of traditional rivalries that were played on the fourth Saturday in November. Included in these games on this hallowed date were the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn and the Egg Bowl between Mississippi and Mississippi State. Instead, Alabama and Auburn are devouring cupcakes that day, basically scheduling a “bye” in drag before the Iron Bowl.

There is hope for college football fundamentalists November 22: You just have to venture west of the Hudson River to Pasadena, California. Yes, USC plays UCLA that day in the Rose Bowl in a real football game with genuine competition. By closing one’s eyes, you can see O.J. Simpson (without his knife) and Gary Beban dueling it out in the Crosstown Rivalry.

Up north that day will be Stanford vs. Cal in the latest renewal of the so-called “Big Game.” Who can forget the one “Play” against Stanford that serves as the single highlight of Cal’s 128-years of inglorious football?

Instead of feasting on cupcakes the week before their rivalry games, the remainder of the Pac-12 is playing conference games that day: Arizona vs. Utah; Colorado vs. Oregon; Oregon State vs. Washington and Washington State vs. Arizona State.

Playing Conference Games in November?

The apologists for the Southeastern Conference at the studios of ESECPN will inevitably point to the fact that other teams in other conferences play their own cupcake opponents. The charge is valid, but these games come at the beginning of the campaign, not the week before the traditional season-ending rivalry game.

They will also cite that Arkansas plays Ole Miss on November 22; Ditto for Mississippi State vs. Vandy and Missouri vs. Tennessee … or six teams out of 14 are actually playing conference games in week four of November. Shameful.

Here is a unique idea for the folks at ESECPN in Bristol, Connecticut: Why not demand the Southeastern Conference play a nine-game conference schedule, putting an end once-and-for-all: Cupcake Saturday?

Let’s make it easy or simple enough for the occupants of the SEC’s headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama: Conference games and only conference games are played in November with the obvious exceptions of Florida vs. Florida State, Georgia vs. Georgia Tech and Kentucky vs. Louisville.

Whattyathink Jesse Palmer?

Any thoughts David Pollack?

How about it, Rece Davis?

Can you live without Florida playing a “home game” against Eastern Kentucky (e.g., the Gators would never step foot in Richmond, Kentucky let alone find it on the map) or Georgia taking on Charleston Southern in a glorified high school stadium?.charleston

Based upon a quick review of the secondary ticket market even with the football crazies south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the fans agree. Tickets for Alabama’s certain annihilation of Western Carolina on November 22 start at $119. Tix for the Iron Bowl the following week start at $297 and peak at $5,855 per ticket.

Which game would you rather watch? Hey ESECPN, let’s dispense with the cupcakes and go for good old-fashioned raw meat instead.

http://www.wcu.edu/

http://www.samford.edu/

http://www.eku.edu/

http://www.csuniv.edu/

http://www.southalabama.edu/

http://www.vassar.edu/

http://secsports.go.com/watch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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