January 14, 2006

When was the last time?

I am wondering aloud, when the last time a college/university won a championship in football and had a Final Four appearance in one year? Has it ever been done?

I know for one thing, 2005-06 will provide an excellent chance as Texas could make the Final Four in many peoples' opinions, mine included. The interesting thing is that for the most part, schools are either great at one or the other. I think there is some weird, universal plane that exists that says you cant have your cake and eat it too. You either have to be great at football or basketball, no "and's".

I love Notre Dame football and Kentucky basketball. Sure, I know enough about the weaker sports for the two institutions to not be a bandwagon fan, and with the suffering ND has gone through during the Davie-Willingham eras, I think all Irish fans deserve Charlie Weis.

However, back to the original question...there have been football championships and basketball Final Fours within close proximity to each other. Ohio State won the 2002 national title, and attended the 1999 Final Four. Texas just won the 2005 title, and was at the 2003 Final Four. Oklahoma - 2000 title, 2002 Final Four. Florida - 1996 title, 2000 Final Four.

But the same year?

Lo and behold I do have an answer, well kinda...Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets won the 1990 title, rather shared it with Colorado, and earlier that April, was at the 1990 Final Four in Denver, losing to eventual champion, UNLV.

Wow. Who woulda thunk it?

January 09, 2006

Colin Cowherd is RIGHT

My boy Colin Cowherd (ESPN Radio - "The Herd") is completely right. It took a while at first when he replaced Tony Kornheiser. I had to adjust. I thought to myself, who is this fresh faced loser. But my boy is right. First of all, he calls it like he sees it. He bashes Notre Dame then turns around and praises Notre Dame after the USC game. Forget the losses he said, that game showed him the Irish are back and under Charlie the future is bright. He is about the ONLY media figure that doesn't make their living off bashing the dome. Its so chic nowadays, but kids, you only attack those who you fear.

But, lets stick to today's show. For me, it was highlighted by his brief, yet to-the-point analysis of next year's college football season. With Vince Young having declared for the NFL (no going back now, unlike college basketball), the race for the champion next year is WIDE OPEN and I love it!

Who's your favorite? Who's gonna win the Heisman? Over the last two years these questions took about 2 minutes or less to answer. Not for 2006. Every team does have flaws and there are about 15 legitimate candidates now that USC will move on from Bush and Leinart and VY is done. Some have great schedules for a run. Others have talent but killer skeds. Some teams will live off last year and thank their lucky stars they schedule cream puffs in September.

Hell, even my Irish have a shot now, provided Charlie can take our defense and improve it like he did the offense in Year One.

I cannot wait.

Oh sure, we have Signing Day (February 1st) and then Spring Drills, and then summer aka. Police Blotter Season...then glorious college football will return in a parade of cheers with Colin Cowherd being the Grand Marshal of the whole event.

January 06, 2006

Let's hold the applause for VA Tech...

Okay, so the school today announced that QB Marcus Vick is permanently off the team due to his actions in the Gator Bowl, namely spiking Louisville DE Elvis Dumervil in the back of the leg.

OH, by the way, just to show the world we aren't being too rash on this subject , we would like to point out that Vick also was stopped in December and cited for a driving on a suspended license. We gave him so many chances and finally this act is the last straw.

So lets read between the lines, kids. It WASNT the suspended license that gets him done. Its the spike of his shoe into the hammy of Dumervil that is inexcusable. It isn't the "totalty of his actions against the university" but rather this last incident that gets him gone.

Folks, Virginia Tech could and would have looked better if they had dumped Vick on the suspended license. He just helped them along when he spiked Dumervil. The Hokie administration is not doing anything great here. Finally, after four marks against the university and including a full, one-year suspension after a drug arrest, Marcus Vick was finally let go by Virginia Tech.

Well kudos to the Hokies for taking such a strong stand against this guy. It only took him FOUR strikes to get gone. I guess that supended license thing wasn't good enough for him to miss the all-important Gator Bowl however.

Give it a rest people, Virginia Tech only did what they should have done long ago.

January 04, 2006

The Lesser BCS Bowls...

Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State 34, Notre Dame 20

Mr. Positive Says: How in the hell were the Irish still in this game with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. If ND had wrapped up Smith on the third down, they would have been getting the ball back with a chance to win or tie after allowing over 500 yards of offense (to that point) to the Buckeyes.

Mr. Negative Says: Talk about luck of the Irish, without the three Buckeye turnovers, this score could have been something like 48-20. The game never was really as close as it was on the scoreboard after Notre Dame inexplicably went on fourth down, tied at 7-7.

Mr. Neutral Says: Charlie Weis wasn’t a genius in this game. Some things worked, but quarters two and three were terrible to watch. Notre Dame is a player with Weis, but he does need more weapons. Ohio State has plenty of weapons, but faces huge losses going into next year.

Sugar Bowl: West Virginia 38, Georgia 35

I really thought Georgia was going to win in a blowout. The Dawgs were playing virtually at home against a lightly regarded 10-1 opponent. Rich Rodriguez needs to get some pub, now, amongst head coaches. Steve Slaton ran for over 200 yards against a very good defense. For the New Year’s Bowls that meant that both Auburn and Georgia gave up 200-yard rushers, amazing.

Rodriguez finished stealing the show on the sidelines calling a fourth down fake punt to keep the ball with the Mountaineers to finish off the win late in the fourth quarter. The Georgia Dome, full of fans ready to coronate a fantastic year for the Dawgs, instead treated fans to the dawn of a truly great West Virginia team. The Mountaineers could land in the Top 10 next year.

Orange Bowl: Penn State 26, Florida State 23

I apologize in advance as my third shift job made me miss the fourth quarter and overtime. I only saw about a quarter of the action and it seemed like it was a war with aggressive hitting and Florida State looking a bit more vintage Seminole than the November edition, which saw the ‘Noles lose three straight games. I will check out the highlights tomorrow, but I did catch that there were a ton of missed field goals and even an extra point along the way to add to the grief of the septuagenarian coaches, Bowden and Paterno.

This game made me believe in Penn State a little more. They do have a nice offense, and I did hear on radio on the way to work about Paul Pozluszny getting injured, a possible leg fracture. That is a shame. Penn State will have heavy losses next year, but finally for one off-season Happy Valley will truly achieve its moniker.

The Rose Bowl is tomorrow and I will get to see about three quarters of the game…my thinking is that by then it will be long decided, however, I have been wrong the entire bowl season.

January 03, 2006

NYD+1 bowls minus BCS...

Cotton: Alabama 13, Texas Tech 10

That was the ugliest game-winning kick I have ever seen. It was so bad that I muttered to myself “overtime” when it actually went through. Funny moment was the first time the Fox coverage threw it down to Chris Rix (!) on the sidelines. After his third or fourth report I realized he has a future.

Back to the game, Alabama of the killer defense and Texas Tech of the raging offense produced exactly 23 points. The Tide could have had more, but said kicker was too busy booting the ball all around the yard other than between the posts. Christensen (said kicker) calls himself “Money” after making the game winner earlier in the year against Tennessee. Dude needs to call himself “Change” as in what the Tide need to do with the kicking position next year (unless he’s a senior).

Outback: Florida 31, Iowa 24
Iowa has this knack of allowing teams to walk all over them for three quarters and then they decide to play ball. Florida has this thing where they walk all over someone for a given period of time only to lose late. Urban had his Gators up 31-7 and life was looking wonderful, then he committed the “all-too-seen” error in college football: He let his foot up off the pedal. Iowa came back only to get screwed by the refs (wait, Michigan excuse), rather, realize that they allowed too many freaking points early to overcome. Yeah, they should have gotten the onside kick, but then again, they should have stopped the Gator onslaught in the first three quarters.

Gator: Virginia Tech 35, Louisville 24
I live in Lexington, so I have to hear about Planet Red and the Cardinals. Yeah, good start, but guess what, you still got punked. This game was a fight waiting to happen and then eventually saw a Virginia Tech player get booted. (CB Jimmy Williams) Louisville’s backup quarterback got his nose busted and Marcus Vick cleated a Louisville defender just as the teams were headed to halftime.

When the Hokies finally got around to the type of hitting that won’t get you 3-5 outside the field they flexed their muscles. Louisville was game, more than I thought they would be, but they still get to shut up for a while. Thank God. God bless you, Frank Beamer.

Capital One: Wisconsin 24, Auburn 10
So who really was the SEC’s best team? The Plains Tigers looked lost. They were the epitome of the bowl team who fell victim to rustiness. Brian Calhoun gained 200+ yards on the Tigers, who I felt would use this game as a springboard to a national championship run. The Tigers will be fine next year but they will have to leapfrog some others to get to the “promised land” next year. (By the way, the SEC’s best proved to be the Bayou Bengals.)

After tomorrow’s highly anticipated Orange Bowl tilt (read: snoozer) I will have the BCS game wraps before the Game That Matters...

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Heavenly time period: College football season until the championship game of March Madness.