That is all that is ever invited to the “dance” in the current College Football Championship, and it will be the same when the four team “playoff” starts in two years.

For the sake of argument, and because I am pretty familiar with the team, let’s take a look at the University of Louisville Football team. Currently they are 7-0, in a mediocre conference, with no big wins of note. The only possible big time win they could have this year is at the end of the season when they go on the road to Rutgers. Both of these teams could be undefeated at that time, and both would be ranked somewhere between 8-15 in the country. Again for the sake of argument, let’s say that both teams are undefeated until their matchup and Louisville wins that matchup. Best case scenario they move up to about 6-7 in the country. They will be behind any other undefeated squads sans Ohio U, and probably behind a one loss Sec or Big 12 team or two. That is just the way it is in College Football, and it isn’t right.

Save Room at the Table

Now do I think that Louisville is better than an undefeated SEC or Big 12 team…or even a one loss team from either of these conferences? Eye test tells me no. It isn’t like Louisville is playing good competition, and they aren’t blowing out the teams that are on their schedule. However, why don’t they even get the chance to play the “big boys” at the end of the season? I doubt anyone thought that Butler would go to back to back National Championship Games in Basketball…but hey at least they got the chance to prove they could! The system is screwed up and why does anyone think that the four game “playoff” is going to be any better??

Louisville doesn’t have a freaking chance in either of these systems, neither does Ohio U from the MAC who may also go undefeated. Well why don’t they schedule tougher non-conference games you might say?? Well Louisville tries, but people won’t play them. Georgia backed out of a home and home just a few years ago. It could do more potential harm than good for a Big 12 or SEC team to play a good college football team outside of their conference. There is just no point….it isn’t like they are playing for seeding in a tournament and need that signature road win outside of their conference. There is zero initiative.

So, what is a team like Louisville to do? Well nothing except win the games that are on their schedule. Sadly, unless they change conferences, it isn’t going to matter when it comes to the Championship game. Louisville could go undefeated for the next three years and still won’t get to sit at the big boys table. It’s not fair, but that is just the way it is. Here is my question….why are the College Presidents, Conference Commissioners, and the Media trying to persuade us that everything is going to be great in two years when this new system is in place? All it is doing is inviting more big boys to the big boy table for big boy money….whoopdeefreakingdo!

Coaching, Coaching and more Coaching. That is what I have realized it takes to win in College Football, well that and a relatively healthy offensive line. Of which, the Missouri Tigers have neither.

My SEC biased friends and foes will tell me that the reason the Tigers are having so much trouble, is because the SEC is just far above and away the best conference. However, what I am here to tell you is that the reason the Tigers are having so much trouble this year is because Ned Yost has the IQ of a four year old and he runs the Missouri offense. Also, the offensive line has seven offensive linemen who have been injured. Again, Sec Fans will say “well you have to have depth in this league.” Well, there is depth and then there is starting 3rd stringers against basically an NFL defense in Alabama.

Anyways, back to Mr. Peroxide Ned Yost. The guy is a complete moron. He believes that running sweeps, end arounds, qb draws with a hurt qb, and throwing the ball 40 times a game is a way to beat SEC defenses. First of all, with a hurt offensive line running end arounds, sweeps and throwing the ball is the exact opposite of what someone should do. Anyone with a grade school football mind will tell you that. The name of the game is to run straight at the opposing defense because 1.) the offensive line doesn’t have to hold up as long, and 2.) it is just easier to run block than it is to pass block.

However, the peroxide in Yost’s hair has seemed to affect the ability for Oxygen to get into hs brain because he refuses to see it. Now I am going to throw Alabama out because that team is jut ridiculous and there is nothing that could have been done to prevent that massacre. Mizzou just does not have the horses, nor does 99 percent of the college football teams out there. However, let’s take a look at some general stats of the other 3 SEC games.

Georgia— Pass 41 times!! 14 rushes with a running back for 84 yards…avg. 6 yards a carry

South Carolina–Pass 26 times! rush 16 times with a running back for 71 yards…avg of 4.4 per carry

Vanderbilt—Pass 40 times!! rush 26 times with a running back for 123 yards…4.7 per carry

Kendial Lawrence, Missouri’s leading rusher, in these three SEC games had 200 yards rushing on 40 attempts…for all you math geniuses out there that is 5 yards a carry.

Marcus Murphy, Lawrence’s backup, had 72 yards rushing on 8 attempts..that is 9 yards a carry.

Look at that cute little face Yost…give this man the damn ball!

 You would think that Yost would see these stats and think “hmm..maybe I should run the ball more with my running backs and not my wide receivers or quarterbacks.” However, I doubt it…this is the same Yost who refused to run against two D-linemen in the Navy Bowl Game a few years back, a game Missouri also lost. You would also think that Yost would take of Franklin’s shoulder that had surgery on it over the summer and not have him run QB draws and throw the ball 40 times. However, nope screw it…just like Sexy Rexy Grossman, Yost says throw it!

So now to make matters worse, Franklin is injured and a redshirt Freshman is QB…you would think ok now Yost will run the ball with the running backs…heck no! Throw it out there Berkstresser! Yost needs to go, and if Pinkel is going to keep defending him, he needs to go too.

 

As Pujols lays in his bed of millions, The Saint Louis Cardinals are once again in the NLCS. In fact, the last two World Champions are playing against each other in the NLCS.

It is amazing to me how many national sports writers and so called experts out there believed that the Cardinals were going to fall off the radar this year due to Pujols and Larussa being gone. In the same breath, they believed that the Angels were almost assuredly guaranteed a playoff spot. In a post at the beginning of the season, I reported the complete opposite. The Cardinals would go to the playoffs and the Angels would be testing their golf game early. Baseball, more than any sport is not just one man, nor one manager. This has been proven over and over and over again. When are the experts going to wise up to this simple fact?

The reason the Cardinals are so successful is because they are the best run organization in baseball top to bottom…period. The second best run organization isn”t even in the Cardinals rear view mirror. Call it arrogance, call it pompous, but it is the truth. Fans fill up the stadium, managers develop their players, and the front office doesn’t try to keep up with the Jones’ or the “Benjamins” like so many teams do.  The Cardinals have developed a culture of winning, a culture of respect, and a culture of “I want to be better, so that my team is better.” I liken it to a well run company whose margins keep growing because the employees have a will to win, a will to beat out the competition.

The Cardinals are not just one bloated contract after another. They have a balance of young and old, well paid and minimal contracts, high strung and calm personalities, but most of all a will to win more than any other team. That will to win  has been on display a lot in the past year or so. Carpenter taking the mound in game five against Hallady of the Phillies last year, being down to their last strike twice in game 6 of the World Series last year, and again being down to their last strike in game 5 against the Nationals this year. This team is resilient and never says die. Now I am not guaranteeing another World Series victory this year. Anything can happen in the playoffs, and there are some good teams left. However, what I am saying is that this team will fight to the death more than any other team, and they will be fun to watch for as long as they are in it. Hopefully, they will once again raise the trophy, but if not, there is always next year. The Cardinals aren’t going away, so haters you better just accept it.

I was going to write about  the PR nightmare that Xavier University has undergone the past twelve months, and also respond to the letter that Fr. Graham wrote in the Xavier Quarterly Magazine I received last week. However, after writing the entire entry, I realized it was just full of anger and resentment to my Alma Mater and how it has handled these past twelve months. So instead, I have decided to move forward and write about the current crop of Xavier basketball players and what we can expect from them this new school year

However, one point that I would like to make is that in the letter that Fr. Graham wrote, I wish that he would have talked more in depth about the Dez Wells case. I know that that is not possible for him to do so. However, if he would have outlined what rules Dez broke, and the process of what happened, then maybe Xavier as an institution would have earned back my trust. The letter that was written only angered me further, and made me even more confident that the current administration has a long way to go in terms of erasing this PR nightmare of the past year.

Now that that is off my chest, let’s talk about the current state of Xavier basketball. This year is going to be tough. There is just no spin that I can derive from my brain that is going to erase that. Xavier lost all five starting players..three to graduation, one to transferring, and one to being expelled. 

I will miss watching you play Dez

Further complicating the problem is that incoming freshmen Myles Davis and Jalen Reynolds were both deemed ineligible by the NCAA. The Myles Davis case I wrote about in a previous entry. So as you can see, Xavier’s cupboard is pretty bare. Not bare in the sense that there isn’t going to be some talent, but bare in experience on the D-1 level. The returnees include Redford, who is a marginal A-10 player with limited athletic ability, Travis Taylor who is an undersized Power forward and Jeff Robinson who flashes athletic ability but can’t put two good halves together let alone two good games. Dee Davis and Justin Martin also return to the lineup this year. However, Martin has not lived up to his recruiting ranking as of yet, and Dee Davis though he did show some improvement in last year’s NCAA tourney, still has a lot to prove.

The person that I believe everyone is excited about, myself included, is Semaj Christon. The kid seems to be a star in the making, a 6’3 point guard who can handle the ball and make his teammates better. However, we all have to remember that the kid will be a freshman and will go thru some growing pains. Finally, Isiah Philmore, a transfer from Towson that becomes eligible this year will man a power forward position. He played pretty well in the CAA, racking up 15 plus points and 7 boards in the 2010-11 campaign against decent competition. So there is some hope that his game will translate to the A-10 level.

So with all of this, what can Xavier expect? If Dee Davis, Justin Martin and Travis Taylor have improved considerably over the course of the summer; If Philmore is a 10-12 and 5-7 guy; and if Christon is as good as advertised, then I believe that Xavier could win 18-20 games this year. That would be a heckuva accomplishment with this group, and Mack should be given the Coach of the Year award in the A-10. It will be fun to watch these kids grow, but there are going to be a lot of games where we moan and groan and collectively scratch our heads. It is still Xavier basketball though, and I still hope and believe that the future will be bright, as long as the administration can get out of their own way.

The NCAA might possibly be the worst run organization in the United States, wait no check that, the entire world. So what did the NCAA do now?

Well, to make a long story short, The NCAA has decided that Sam Cassell Jr at Maryland and Myles Davis at Xavier are ineligible to participate on their respective basketball teams this year. Why? Well because the NCAA decided that they did not like the Prep School that Cassell and Davis went to. However, here is the real kicker. The NCAA just now decided they don’t like the Prep School. How about all of the other Div. 1 basketball players that came out of Notre Dame Prep a year ago, they have to be ineligible too right?

Well, as you can tell by the title of this story, that is not correct. Cassell and Davis sat in the same classroom as Angel Nunez (Louisville), Todd Mayo (Marquette), Khem Birch (UNLV) etc etc. yet because those three graduated a year before Cassell and Davis they are still ruled eligible. You see, those classes just became invalidated because Notre Dame Prep is now on the NCAA Watch list.

Look, Notre Dame Prep might be one of those basketball factories, and could be shut down eventually. That is fine. I am all for the NCAA stepping in and getting rid of these so called “basketball factory” schools.  However, the problem I have is that the same rules do not apply for different people. If Cassell and Davis are not eligible to play, then why is everyone else?? Just because they left the school a year earlier? They all took the same classes, why should it matter when they graduated?

The other f’d up thing is not only was Davis deemed not eligible to play, he can’t practice with the team, nor can he receive aid (scholarship) from Xavier this year. So now Myles’ dad had to step in and take a 30k loan out so his son could attend his freshman year. The NCAA took a bad situation, and made it worse. Why should a kid suffer because adults at the school screwed up? All the NCAA ever says is that they want to do everything right to help the student athlete. Yet, here they are screwing with two more kids, who went to the wrong school at the wrong time. Nothing more.

 However, why should I expect anything different from an organization that came up with the BCS Idea?