Friday Dispatch: Coaching & Poaching (Warning BS Discussed)

Poaching. I’ve never understood why college football still allows bowl games to steal its post season product. I mean there must be something more to it that pudgy guys in chartreuse blazers, spending their autumn afternoons in press boxes eating free food, scouting prospective matchups between C-USA #3 vs WAC#”2.

What a crock. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

So, it is nice to see that the idea of a legit playoff is gaining some traction.

Operative word: some. It’s not like the powers in charge have jumped in with both feet yet.

Because duplicity still reigns.

Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, an organization which sanctions several post-season 16 team football playoffs for schools where the term “student athlete” actually has meaning, said this yesterday when giving support to the idea of a four team playdown, “Moving toward a 16-team playoff is highly problematice because I think that’s too much to ask a young man’s body to do. It’s too many games, it intrudes on the school year and, of course, ti would probably necessitate a complete end to the bowl system that so many people like now.”

Bull Shit. Allow me to say it another way, in case you don’t get my meaning. Bull Shit.

The facts are these. The “2011 NCAA Division I Football Championship” included not 16, but 20 schools. Which meant that four schools could theoretically have played five post-season games between November 26 and January 7. The two schools that played for the title, Sam Houston State and North Dakota State, played four games between December 3 and January 7.

This is in addition, of course, to the 11 regular season games these schools had already played.

I’ll do the math for you. The two title contestant schools played 15 games this season. Eight schools, the ones who competed in the opening round — Stony Brook, Albany, Tennessee Tech, Central Arkansas, Old Dominion, Norfolk State, Eastern Kentucky, James Madison –  could have played an NFL-worthy 16 games, had they won their way through.

So, what I’m wondering, President Emmert and you BCS power brokers, how is it that the student athletes at those schools have bodies to withstand the rigors of an extended post-season and can still maintain their studies, while the “student athletes” at LSU and Alabama cannot?

Coaching. Though he won a national title at UK, there’s no doubt that Orlando Smith was not a good fit in Lexington. Frankly, given the intensity there, few are. (The shibboleth that he won with Rick Pitino’s players rings false. He won. Pitino didn’t the year before with the same crew. And Pitino has proven he can’t get it going with his own picked players at U of L. Okay, the devil made me do that. I must put such rants to rest.)

Anyway, I want to give props to Tubby. The guy can coach, and I’m happy that he has found his niche at Minnesota in a less toxic atmosphere. His Golden Gophers beat IU last night, displaying great fundamentals and toughness. His players hustled and always seemed to be at the right spot.

I normally root for Tubby, but, having jumped on the Hurryin’ Hoosier bandwagon, so I was pulling for Indiana last night. Despite the L, Crean’s Crimsons are just fine.

Coaching, Part Deux. I’m also really impressed with the performance Tony Bennett’s UVa squad put on in Cameron Indoor last night.

They fell a couple points short. It happens.

They hustle. They are fundamentally sound. They always seemed to be in the right spot.

Bennett did it at Washington State. He’s doing it in Ol’ Virginny. The Cavaliers are once again going to be a playah in the ACC.

– Seedy K

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