The trouble with the spread  

Posted by Walter

Interesting article on today by Don Banks discussing how the proliferation of the spread offense in college has made evaluating college prospects for the NFL draft extremely difficult. In the article Banks quoted NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock who deftly observed:

"It's the running backs, with their first step being lateral, crossing the quarterback's face instead of running downhill....It's the tight end that's never in line as a blocker. It's the wide receiver who doesn't run a route tree. It's every position. It's the left tackle, like (Baylor's) Jason Smith, who's in a two-point stance 98 percent of the time."

I think Banks and Mayock have hit the nail right on the head. The NFL draft was always a crap shoot, even when the scouts had a chance to watch college players playing in NFL style offenses during college games. With the advent and subsequent explosion of spread offenses in college football, scouts no longer have the opportunity to watch a particular player operate under circumstances they will encounter in an NFL offense. This will lead to the evaluation process becoming even more erratic, which will almost certainly result in more and more first round draft busts, which will ultimately lead to NFL teams having more and more dead money tied up in wasted talent.

This is not good for the game. Think about all the teams that have been set back years (and in some cases decades) by a couple of bad draft picks. The harder it becomes to evaluate players, the more this will happen, and the more franchises will be harmed. Moreover, the teams picking at the top of the draft, who are more susceptible to that type of franchise crippling draft miss, are forced to have more money tied up in potential young busts because of rookie salary demands. This will hamstring those teams in the free agent market, and prevent them from ever righting the ship.

This growing trend is not going to stop, and offers yet another reason that the NFL needs to adopt a MLB slotting process for rookie salaries.

Sanity Returns  

Posted by Frazier

So it looks like the Red Raiders came to their senses and signed Mike Leach to an extension.

Apparently the Texas Tech Chancellor, Hance sat down and worked out a deal with Leach IN FIFTEEN MINUTES!

Literally, that's how long the negotiations took. I've negotiated longer to purchase a burrito.

It turns out that they agreed that Leach would simply have to provide information in writing if he was planning on interviewing with another school. I'm pretty sure that's what Leach offered earlier, and the AD rejected because he simply can't get over himself.

Anyways, Leach got a fair deal, Tech got themselves a good coach, and the AD made himself look like a buffoon. Now all Tech has to do is hope that their ridiculous negotiating practices and hardballing of their soon-to-be all time winningest coach didn't sour the relationship.

Tech fans can breathe easy again, although they may want to consider getting another AD.

Don't Do it Texas Tech!  

Posted by Frazier

It looks like another team is dangerously close to losing a great coach because the AD can't get passed his own ego.

Texas Tech is playing hardball with Mike Leach for no apparent reason. Leach interviewed for a single position this year (UW) despite being one of the hottest names in the game. He is certainly not the kind of guy who has been constantly trying to get another job.

Also, Tech, you're probably the third biggest football school in your own state (Texas and A&M are bigger, and TCU is no slouch for that matter). So get over yourself. You're fortunate to have a great, exciting coach who wins ballgames and puts asses in seats. Leach is certainly being fairly compensated, so that isn't the issue. Furthermore, Leach seems to genuinely enjoy coaching there, and building up that program.

Also, Leach has two more years on his current contract. These discussions are about a possible extension. But the rhetoric from the AD's office is getting pretty tough. Leach has been mellow (there's a shocker) but the school is refusing counter-offers, and setting firm deadlines and threatening to rescind offers. It's that sort of hardballing that bites you in the ass. Maybe Leach eventually accepts, but the way Tech is handling this has GOT to put a bad taste in his mouth. I know I'd be pretty pissed if I'd been a loyal employee and got a new contract offer with all sorts of hardball lines and negotiating. What has he done to deserve this?

Here's the most ridiculous part. Tech wants a clause that says he can be fired if he doesn't get permission to interview elsewhere. Now, the AD is claiming that he'd grant permission, and just wants to stay informed.

Now, the firing penalty is silly (look at BC and Jags, they lost a great coach for no reason). But, the desire to not have your coach back-door you makes sense.

So what does Leach do? He offers to put in that clause, but make it so he only has to INFORM the AD, not seek his permission to interview. Now, if the AD is all concerned about staying in the loop, then this clause squarely meets that concern. However, Tech is refusing to accept the term. Meaning they want the power to deny permission. It's that simple. So, basically the AD is lying when he says he'd grant permission, because if that were true there is no way they need that clause when Leach is offering to inform them.

Anyways, the board of Regents is meeting Friday, and will make some sort of announcement. Unless they are brain-dead they will announce that they will accept Leach's perfectly reasonable counter-offer. Or, they may say that they will revisit the contract extension next year. They have him under contract for two more years, so they may as well get the benefit of his winning ways.

Knowing the kinds of egos involved, they'll probably fire him. Just another team more than willing to cut off their nose to spite their face.

5 Draft Thoughts  

Posted by Walter

5 throwaway draft thoughts while wondering why every draftnik is in love with Matt Stafford…….

1) I don’t get the Stafford love. Sure he played three years in the SEC and has an absolute howitzer for an arm, but even playing with superior offensive talent he is only a career 57% passer and turned the ball over nearly 40 times in 39 games played. For all his physical tools Stafford is too erratic to be considered a Peyton Manning type prospect, and no team in the top 5 should even think about pinning their future on him.

2) If the NFL has taught us anything, it's that teams are far better off drafting QB’s late and letting them sit and develop. In fact, of the 10 most efficient NFL passers in 2008 6 were drafted after the first round (including 3 undrafted players and 1 seventh rounder). So who in this draft could turn out to be such a late round steal? How about Mike Teel from Rutgers. Yes he turns the ball over a little too much, but Teel is a winner who has NFL size and a good enough arm for the NFL. Most importantly, though, Teel is coachable as evidenced by the fact that he improved in each of his three years as a starter for Rutgers. Teel's completion percentage went up each year, and despite a constant increase in his attempts his interceptions stayed constant. Teel isn't read for the NFL right now, but he has shown ability to be a playmaker and should make some smart NFL team very happy down the road.

3) There seems to be a consensus that Beanie Wells is the #1 back in this draft. I simply don’t get why this is the case when Knowshon Moreno is clearly the better prospect. Beanie has far more mileage on him (nearly 100 more collegiate carries than Knowshon), plays a more punishing, and therefore career shortening, style, contributes virtually nothing to the passing game (15 career receptions as compared to 53 by Moreno), and comes from a program with a spotty recent history of sending running backs to the NFL. Am I missing something?

4) This is just a hunch, but I have a feeling Andre Smith might show up to the combine VERY overweight. If so, look for Eugene Monroe, Michael Oher, and Jason Smith to all pass him on draft boards. And while we’re on the subject, though this is a great year for offensive tackles for my money the best offensive lineman coming out of this draft is Oklahoma guard Duke Robinson. He’s probably not nimble enough to be consistent pulling in the NFL, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more powerful drive blocker from the guard position that wasn’t named Larry Allen.

5) Although he’s started to slip on draft boards, watch out for Georgia Tech DE Michael Johnson. He won’t ever be a great run player, but in the NFL playing the 4-3 end is all about rushing the passer and I think Johnson could be the best of a shallow bunch of sack artists in this draft. All the players projected to be taken ahead of Johnson can best be best described as either “tweeners” (Orakpo, Brown) or flat out undersized (Maybin, English). Johnson, on the other hand, is a rangy 6’7’’ and 260 lbs., certainly big enough to hold the weak side edge in a 4-3. alignment). But Johnson's best attribute are his long arms which allow him to maintain sepration from offensive tackles and make him almost impossible to pass block. Johnson looks like a double digit sack guy in the mold of Simeon Rice to me.

Coach for Life?  

Posted by Frazier

It appears that Iowa has signed Kirk Ferentz to a new 7-year extension. Not that his contract was up any time soon. In fact, they already had him booked through 2012.

I just don't understand these deals. It seems completely unnecessary to have him on the books through 2015, especially when his teams have been inconsistent. The man is 70-53 at Iowa. That's an ok record. Not great by any means. Now he goes 9-4 and gets an additional 7 years? When he's already one of the highest paid coaches around?

From 2002-2004 he was red hot, winning at least 10 games a year. That's when he signed his last extension, with his huge pay. I'd say at that point he'd earned it. Iowa looked like a real up and comer, and Ferentz was rumored for every opening, both pro and college.

Then he went 7-5, 6-7, 6-6 over the next three years. Not exactly earning that huge salary. A lot of the bloom was off that rose. So this year he goes 9-4 and gets another extension? I'm sorry, at his salary, 9-4 needs to be what's expected from you. That is NOT a great season for someone that well compensated. That is an okay season. It's acceptable, but you would hope that it's not the norm. Or at least that there are as many 10-win plus seasons as nine win seasons.

I know you don't want to let him escape, but I think it's okay to say that he has a more than fair contract that runs for a number of years. And furthermore, this past season is exactly what Iowa should be receiving for its' commitment. Give him another year, if it's good, then start talking extension so the new players know their coach is signed through their 4 years of eligibility.

If I'm Ferentz I just have some of my NFL friends float my name for a head coaching job every year. Then Iowa will freak out and sign another extension. If he keeps this up he'll just end up with one of those coach for life deals. And he doesn't even have to be particularly good!

Finally, if he didn't get the KC job from his buddy Pioli (which was both a good fit and a great geographical fit), after Ferentz had put together a pretty good season, I think Iowa can rest assured that NFL teams aren't knocking down Ferentz's door to get to him any more.

Quick Hitch  

Posted by Walter

Apropos of nothing, here are ten thoughts for a Friday afternoon…….

1) Is Lane Kiffin nuts? Less than two months on the job and he’s already throwing barbs at Urban Meyer. Lane you seem like a nice enough guy, go ask Mark Richt if it’s a good idea to piss off Meyer.
2) That said, it would be nice to get the Florida-Tennessee rivalry going again. Steve Spurrier announcing that you can’t spell “Citrus” without U-T is still one of the all-time trash talking moments.
3) So disgraced Auburn offensive coordinator Tony Franklin just signed up for the same job at Middle Tennessee State. Yup, after watching the Tigers in 2008 that sounds about right.
4) The only difference between what Jim Harbaugh is doing at Stanford and what Ed Orgeron did at Ole Miss. is expectations. Stanford’s are reasonable, Mississippi’s weren’t.
5) What’s up with Ohio State? Over the past few years the only thing they’ve produced more of than NFL players is fodder for the police blotter. Is “the” Ohio State University becoming the “U” of the North? And if they are, does that make Tressel Dennis Erickson?
6) So Kirk Ferentz interviewed for the KC Chiefs head coaching position and Iowa didn’t even fire him. You listening BC?
7) I’m sorry Alabama, but I have GOT to believe Nick Saban’s persuasion skills could be put to better use than convincing 18 year olds to spend the next four years of their lives in Tuscaloosa. Has the State Department looked into this?
8) Former BC offensive coordinator Steve Logan just landed with the Tampa Bay Bucs and old friend Jeff Jagodzinski. This lends the question, has a football coach EVER been hired on merit and not simply because his drinking buddy wanted him around again?
9) I think within three years Tommy Tubberville will be the head coach at one his old haunts (Texas A&M and Miami) or Clemson (aka Auburn lite).
10) I definitely want to echo Frazier’s well wishes to Hal Mumme in his upcoming fight with prostate cancer. “Quiet legend” is a great way to describe Mumme, long known as a “mad scientist” of sorts for his teams’ high octane passing attacks. However, Hal Mumme the man was as understated and unpretentious as his schemes were potent. Mumme refrained from drawing attention to himself and taking credit for his players success, as many so-called offensive geniuses tended to do (Mr. Spurrier I am looking in your direction). Mumme has been described as inconsistent (probably), unorthodox (almost certainly), and innovative (without a doubt), but I’d like to add one more: underrated…..hey the guy won at Iowa Wesleyan, Valdosta State, and Kentucky, and was even able to get All-America caliber play from Tim Couch! Good luck Coach Mumme, from all of us here at the323.

Quick Hitters  

Posted by Frazier

Just wanted to comment on a couple of interesting items in the world of college ball:

- Ask Alex Boone what it feels like to be Tased. Actually, don't. This drunken tirade over the weekend probably won't help his draft chances. Not exactly sure why the 6'8 312lb lineman thought he was going to hide UNDER a patio.

- Larry Coker has fallen a LONG way. I mean, I know he was terrible at the U, but now he is planning his return to college ball at UT-San Antonio? The "program" is looking to begin playing in 2011! At least it won't be too depressing to play in a completely empty Alamo Dome.

- Was bummed to hear that Hal Mumme has prostate cancer. It sounds like he'll be getting treatment and we look forward to seeing Hal back at work soon. He's sort of a quiet legend of college football, and we wish him a speedy recovery. I also hope his experience is a firm reminder to older men to get a prostate exam! It may be uncomfortable, but it could save your life.

- Looks like Pat Devlin is attempting the Joe Flacco route to the NFL. I gotta say, I always thought that should be a knock against Flacco. It sort of reeked of quitting to me. Also, Devlin was clearly going to get his shot as a Senior. I think it says something about a guy who is willing to forego a year of starting at Penn State in order to start two years at Delaware! I want players who want to test themselves at the highest level. But that's just me.

Recruiting Side Note  

Posted by Frazier

Ok, so we don't talk a lot of recruiting here at the 323. Mostly because our high school football knowledge is pretty limited to Easter Massachusetts, which ain't exactly a hotbed. Additionally, we don't feel comfortable evaluating players we haven't actually had a chance to watch. The whole recruiting game is incredibly hype driven.

That said, I wanted to address Manti Te'o's signing with Notre Dame. I just thought this was a fascinating story. It's certainly that young man's life, and I am sure there's a lot I don't know, but I just found it startling for the following reasons:

1: USC. In terms of playing football, especially the linebacker position, that's a hard one to turn down. The Trojans are churning out another pair of first-round linebackers. They have had a fantastic recent run at the position, and Te'o had a slot waiting for him. It's basically Linebacker U West out there these days. Must have been hard to turn down. I can't remember the last legit Notre Dame defensive player (Zibs doesn't count, he sucked). It's been a long time since ND made such headlines with a defensive recruit. Especially seeing as USC just had one of the best defenses in recent memory, while the Domers defense has been abysmal for years.

2: Weather. The kids from Hawaii, I assure you that the weather in LA will be more agreeable than the weather in South Bend. I'm a total convert. It's basically perfect out here.

3: Community. There is a very large Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population in LA. Te'o has stated that his is close with his community, and wants to be a role model for other Hawaiian athletes. It seems that LA would be perfect for this.

4: Faith. Te'o said that his faith is huge in his life. In fact, he claims that he plans on doing his mission work after his first season. (That will be an interesting situation in itself.) I know that Notre Dame is certainly a place of faith, but it's a Catholic school. Te'o is a Mormon. There is a HUGE Mormon population in LA. It actually has one of the largest Mormon Temples of anywhere (I ride past it on the bus). Also, apologies. I know it's the LDS church, but it's commonly referred to as "Mormon" and I'm trying to not confuse anyone. Anyways, I don't know the Mormon population in Indiana, but I'm willing to bet it's not as big or active as it is here.

5: Education. I know that Te'o said he's excited to get a great education at ND. Which he certainly will. But USC isn't exactly a slouch when it comes to academics. Not sure that there's a clear winner there. (Not that the Trojans can hold a candle to UCLA, but that's some bias coming out).

Anyways, I thought it was an interesting choice. Maybe ND was more flexible with the mission work. Maybe Te'o wanted a challenge of breaking a barrier at ND and actually being a good LB there. Maybe he didn't want to be overshadowed by all the other great USC defensive talent. I have no way of knowing. But seriously, who the hell wants to be a Domer? Those guys suck.

BC: Ever to Excel (But not too much)  

Posted by Frazier

First, it appears that the big man is unaware that I rep the 323 in my resume. So if Mr. or Ms. interviewer is reading this, just remember, I'm the other guy on the blog, and am not responsible for however my colleague chooses to label his posts.

That said, he's completely right.

BC firing Jags was about the stupidest, most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I don't really need to go over all the points because that's been covered, I just thought I'd add my two cents.

1 cent: I just discovered that the BC motto is "Ever to Excel". This move is distinctly against that lofty goal. I'm pretty sure the goal is to win football games, and to produce fine young men. It seems that Jags was doing a good job on both measures. You play for championships. You play for that one shot at glory. Teams dream of perfection. They dream of trips to the Orange Bowl, or a miraculous run to the national title. Jags was the kind of coach who gave his team a reason to dream. I think I speak for virtually every sports fan that I would prefer one magical season, one chance at glory, followed by a hunt for a new coach, over fifteen years of mediocre seasons under the same guy.

I care about the results, not the man pacing the sidelines. If Jags gets them that Orange Bowl and moves on, I'm happy for him. He gave me an incredible season, and then he pursued the opportunity of his dreams. I'm pretty sure that's a win-win. In fact, it may be a win-win-win because some new team is getting a great coach.

I don't really care if having to search for a new coach every couple of years is a nuisance for the AD. I'm pretty sure that's his job. I'm a fan. I want my team to WIN FOOTBALL GAMES! I'd prefer that they didn't cheat or promote thuggery to achieve that end.

I'm sorry, but if you're an AD who believes loyalty is more important that winning, then you're in the wrong profession. Go play with basset hounds or something.

2: It's downright fraudulent for DeFilippo to get all offended and cry and moan about "loyalty". Where, exactly was that loyalty when he bolted 'Nova to take the same job at BC? He can take pride in lasting a whole 4 seasons in Philly before bolting. Hell, Gene wasn't even loyal to THE BIG EAST! I mean, talk about loyalty. He got out of there like a rat from a sinking ship. And I've got a strange feeling that Gene wouldn't have been loyal to Jags if the team had consecutive 3-9 seasons.

One gets the feeling that Gene has not made BC a great place to be a football coach. I mean, O'Brien made the bizarrely lateral move to NC State. I'm going to guess it's because BC has proven that it doesn't have the inclination to make themselves an elite program. I guess being the best college football team in New England is their lofty goal, and yet, I feel like UConn is hot on our heels.

Gene, we're not children. You're a businessman. Grown ups try and do what's best for themselves and their families. It would be nice if no one ever broke their promise, or broke a contract. But contracts get broken, and the rest of the world just deals with it. So get off your high horse, and go find a winning coach. You showed you know how to get them, but you also showed you know how to lose them. Great work.

You can't spell "bitch" without B-C.........  

Posted by Walter

As every faithful 323 reader out in internet land knows, I am an unabashed Boston College football fan and season ticket holder…..or at least I was. The recent events surrounding Coach Jagodzinski’s removal (or should I say dismissal) has opened my eyes to futility and pointlessness of rooting for BC football, such that I will not now, or ever, renew my season tickets. When I found out that Jags had been fired for interviewing with the New York Jets I was first furious…..then puzzled……before settling on just plain embarrassed. Here is the Cliffs Notes version of my thoughts on one of the all time bitch moves in Division 1 college football:

Furious – Jeff Jagodzinski was a fantastic coach for BC, leading the team to 2 straight 10 win seasons, and 2 straight appearances in the ACC title game. It is at least arguable that Coach Jags oversaw the best two year stretch in BC football history when a man named Flutie was not at under center. In fact, Jags’ performed so well as a head coach that he garnered consideration for one of the thirty-two most prestigious positions in that profession. However, instead of thanking Jags for his two great years and crossing his fingers that the Jets take a pass, thus sending Jags back to Chestnut Hill for at least another season, Gene Defelippo fires this man for accepting an interview, citing some sort of vague breach of loyalty as his reason (which, of course, was a ridiculous claim insofar as I doubt Defelippo would have worried at all about loyalty in firing Jags if he'd gone 4-9 the past two seasons). Of course we all know the Jets ended up choosing Rex Ryan, their number 1 choice all along, yet BC was still left with no Jags.

So why was I so angry? Because none of this needed to happen. Jags was a great coach, a great hire by Defelippo. There was no reason to fire him and take a MAJOR step backwards in coaching talent. I shelled out $800 for 3 season tickets this past season, and was planning on doing it again. But the man in charge of taking that money decided that he didn’t want a coach who was so good at his job that professional teams came calling. He didn’t want a coach that would do so well, and give his teams’ fans so much enjoyment, that he’d be considered for one of the 32 top positions in the world. In essence, Mr. Defelippo announced to BC fans everywhere that he wanted a coach that would do well….just not so well that any other team would be interested in him. GMAC Bowl? Yes. Orange Bowl? Woah there! 9-4 seasons are nice….just not every year.

Confused – Is BC delusional? Seriously? Do they really think they can ever get a top notch coach who considers the program a “final destination?” BC was, is, and always will be a stepping stone job. Frank Leahy did it, Tom Coughlin did it, and now Jeff Jagodzinski was doing it. You know what else those three had in common? They presided over the best teams in school history. BC is not Alabama. They aren’t Oklahoma. The school prides itself on academics and tradition. Nothing wrong with that at all. But that is what the school is. They are not going to bend the academic rules to get a five star recruit in. They don’t have a T. Boone Pickens chairing the gridiron club to provide an endless recruiting budget. The school is what it is, and there is nothing wrong with that. Heck, Miami of Ohio has made its living on being a stepping stone program for college football coaches. Coaches come and go through that school, and while it might be frustrating for the fans, the teams are always great when one of those coaches is in charge. Woody Hayes, Bo Shembechler, Bill Mallory, Sid Gillman, Ara Parseghian…the list goes on. Miami of Ohio, and BC until now, always succeeded because when their great coach left they brought in someone new to fill the void. Here’s the real question: Would you rather have three years each of great coaches like Frank Leahy, Tom Coughlin, and Jeff Jagodzinski, or twenty years of mediocrity?

[Oh, and by the way, Mr. Defelippo, the self proclaimed eradicator of the stepping stone job, did just that when he fled Villanova to take the same post at BC. I get it, 'Nova (who actually won a major college championship at one point in time) is a stepping stone type program but BC isn't.]

Embarrassed – Defelippo’s firing of Jags was unprecedented and cemented BC’s status as the ugly step child of the Boston sports scene. In Boston, the Sox, Pats, Celts, and B’s rule. And they rule because they have tradition and they win. In other words, those teams command respect and attention. BC was starting to get there. Two straight ACC title games will do that (anything with the phrase “title game” in it will do that). Boston College was finally starting to command respect. But Defelippo’s firing of Jags not only wreaks of sour grapes, but it showed just how insecure Boston College is. In essence, Defelippo was so insecure about his coach leaving him that he fired the guy before he got the chance. It was almost like Costanza’s pre-emptive breakup in Seinfeld….and there ain’t anyone more insecure than George Costanza.

Worse, it was like BC was dating the hot chick and was so afraid she’d leave them for someone better, that they broke up with her and started dating someone not quite as hot (Spaziani) but who they certainly didn't have to worry about leaving. Not only is that obviously a step down in the present, but once you do that to one hot chick none of them will ever want to date you again?

Like I said, it was the ultimate bitch move.

Notes on the Super Bowl?  

Posted by Frazier

Wait, the 323 returns and now it has comments about pro football?! No. It doesn't.

Well, not really.

The reason I bring up the Super Bowl is actually to discuss instant replay. I will NEVER understand the NFL's ridiculous system. I guess I'll just run down some of the issues:

1: The challenge concept, as a whole, is ridiculous. It seems insane that coaches have to challenge these things when the only information they get to go on is possibly a replay on the jumbotron, or an assistant in the booth who is subject to the whims of the director for ESPN or whoever, who is dialing up the replays. It's easy to make fun of them when they challenge an obviously correct call, but I'm not sure I could do any better if I had to rely on the evidence available to them.

2: Limiting the number of challenges to two. This is always a favorite. There's nothing like having a coach already use his two challenges, and then being stuck living with some horrendously botched call. Even better when they used one of the earlier challenges to successfully overturn an obviously absurd call.

3: Only allowing an extra challenge if you get both of the first two correct. Shouldn't you get an additional challenge for each one you get right? Why are you being punished by losing a challenge if the officials are the ones who screwed up, necessitating the challenge in the first place? I will never understand this. The officials only have to be right 50% of the time but coaches are required to be right every time. Seems a tad unreasonable. Especially considering the conditions under which they are being forced to issue the challenge.

4: Only allowing the booth to review within the last two minutes. No reason on earth why you shouldn't let the coaches challenge in that situation. It's beffudling.

5: Forcing the official on the field to scurry over and tuck his head under a friggin booth. It's ridiculous. It takes absolutely forever. One of the big NFL issues is that replay takes too much time, and yet they utilize the least efficient system imaginable.

6: The entire argument that replay takes too much time. I mean, it's like they're trying to pretend that college football doesn't exist. Millions of people watch a replay system work pretty efficiently in college football, and not delay the game in a really noticeable way. The upstairs official usually does his job in a quick, efficient, and non-controversial manner. Not sure what the problem is exactly. Just because the networks use replay as an excuse to run more ads doesn't mean you have to let them. Force them to stick with the game, and let it run faster. I mean, if the MAC or the Mountain West can figure out how to use replay in a reasonable, fair, and efficient manner I'm not sure why the NFL couldn't do the same. Furthermore, it's not like college football is a whole lot different. It's the same sport, it's a multi-billion dollar enterprise. If anything it should be much more difficult in college because there are so many different conferences, etc.

So, why bring this up? Basically, the last play of the Super Bowl. Look, I'm not sure it was a pass. I'm not sure it was a fumble. I AM sure that if it were a college game the officials upstairs would have taken a look at it, and decided the issue openly and explained the reasoning. It was an absolutely absurd way to end the game. I mean, is it really going to kill you to at least take a look at that thing so that Cardinals fans don't believe that the league had it out for them? In fact, the Super Bowl was incredibly poorly officiated by almost any measure. All it did was remind me how much better the college game is. Not only do I prefer the game on the field, but the way the game is run, especially the replay system, is infinitely better in the college ranks.

Dammit, now I just have to wait until September.

The Team

How's the look?