Moniker Explained Dept. It is that grand flux period in college sports. Hoops is gearing up for our favorite of seasons. Football (both American and global varieties) and other autumn sports are winding toward conclusion. Champions will be crowned. Except, of course, in college football.
It is a season of glorious overlap.
So today’s report covers both our favorite sports. Plus.
Thus the title honoring former Oregon State Beaver Terry Baker. For those of you still wet behind the ears, Baker remains the only student athlete to win a Heisman Trophy and play in the Final Four in the same season.
He played QB for the football team, and was PG for the basketball squad. Along the way he was named 1962′s Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.
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Beating A Dead Horse Dept. Bill Hancock, executive director of the fraud known as the Bowl Championship Series, wrote a letter published in the sports section of yesterday’s New York Times. He chastised columnist Bill Rhoden, claiming that in a piece the latter wrote about the BCS, “he also criticizes the current system without offering an alternative.
“The truth is that it is impossible to create any arrangement for postseason college sports that doesn’t require the subjective judgement of human beings, be it the BCS . . . “
Also in Sunday’s sports sections are the scores of the first two rounds of football playoffs in the NCAA’s 2d and 3d tiers. Sixteen teams compete in the former. Thirty two teams in the latter.
I suppose the powers that be don’t care how much school the pigskinners miss at advancing schools like Bloomsburg, St. Cloud, Trine, and Cortland State. Yet we certainly wouldn’t want the student athletes at Auburn, TCU or Ohio State to miss one session of their important class in “Football Coaching Philosophy 121.”
Of course, Mr. Hancock, there would be some subjective choices when choosing, say, 16 schools to compete for a legitimate national title. But just as the 69th team in hoops, the one that doesn’t make it to the Dance, might win the tourney if in it, has no beef because it didn’t earn the right to try; so it would be with the 17 team in college football.
Have I mentioned before how and why a college football playoff is a no brainer? Have I mentioned before how it makes absolutely no sense from any perspective why there isn’t a playoff?
Sigh. So I have. My apologies. You’re as tired of hearing it, as I am of writing about it.
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Is He The Best Ever Dept? When I watch Peyton Manning perform at QB for the Indy Colts, I think of Pete Rose.
There was that time, during the prime of Rose’s career, when it was a surprise if he didn’t connect for a base hit. He was so locked in, it was eerie.
So it is with Manning. When he threw that pick that ended yesterday’s comeback effort against the Patriots, it was a stunner. Despite a depleted supporting cast, Son of Archie remains a cut above all the others when slicing and dicing up an opponent’s D.
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Slime/ Slive SEC Dept. I’m not sure any of us knows just how many and felonious are the shenanigans that go on in the Land of Cotton to get the best footballers to matriculate. But I do know this. If you forget about all that, the SEC does play, week in and week out, year in and year out, at a different level which is top to bottom a cut above that of the rest of the land.
Watching Arkansas/ Mississippi State and LSU/ Mississippi on Saturday confirmed yet again how rigorous it is to compete in that league.
To make it to the BcS “Championship Game”, Auburn still has to beat Alabama — in Tuscaloosa — and Coach BallCap’s feisty South Carolina Gamecocks.
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Futbol Dept. How intoxicating that U of L’s soccer team drew a standing room only crowd to its opening W over College of Charleston, in its quest for an NCAA title.(Where a real champion is crowned on the field.)
So too, the confident air of coach Ken Lolla. No coachspeak from this guy. No Bear Bryant/ Lou Holtz poor me quotes. He talks of how ready and prepared and expectant of victory his Cardinals are.
Damn refreshing, if you ask me.
Distaff Dept. U of L grabbed yet another Big East title. The volleyball team swept top-seeded Cincy to win the crown, and garnered an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. (Where a real champion is crowned on the court.)
– Seedy K