1) Minnesota might be the worst BCS Conference team I’ve seen since…well, Minnesota
The good news is the Golden Gophers found the end zone this week, and they didn’t need a Sherpa guide to do it. The bad news is both of their trips to paydirt came after they were already down by six touchdowns, and once again they didn’t even look competitive in a game against Big Ten competition. In two Big Ten games so far this season, the Gophers have been outscored by a total margin of 103-17.
2) I take that back, I forgot about Kansas
After six minutes, the Jayhawks led, 7-0. At the half, Oklahoma State was in charge 56-7. By the time it was over, Kansas gave up up 10 touchdowns and 600 yards in total offense.
3) Why The NFL Drives Me Crazy – Part 6,452
Seriously, this league gets more exasperating every year. First of all, There’s no clear cut great and complete teams anymore. I’ve spoke to this at length before, but honestly it’s getting worse.
Now, people keep trying to tell me that some teams are so great far too early in the season simply based on their won-loss record. I understand Detroit Lion fans are excited that their team is 5-0 for the first time since the Bobby Layne era, but let’s be honest…what happens in October doesn’t matter at all compared to what happens in January. Seriously, does anybody out there think the Lions are as good as the Packers? Does anybody think the Lions are better than the Patriots?
To illustrate my point, I’m going to use a phrase that makes my colon twist up like an over-used phone cord: “If the play-offs were to start today…” So, here’s what the post-season would look like (based on current play-off tie-breaking criteria)
- San Diego (bye)
- Buffalo (bye)
- New England (wild-card #1)
- Oakland (wild-card #2)
- Green Bay (bye)
- San Francisco (bye)
- New Orleans
- Detroit (wild-card #1)
- Tampa Bay (wild-card #2)
It is so plainly obvious this is NOT what the playoffs will look like come January. Yet, people get all whipped up saying ridiculous things based on what is happening a scant five games into the season. Again, I ask, does anybody really think Buffalo is the second-best team in the AFC? In fact, how many of the teams that I listed here won’t get a sniff of the playoffs?
4) What the Oklahoma Sooners have in common with the Detroit Lions
Primarily, this is a cautionary tale for both teams…both sides have a lot of positives, but those upsides are also obscuring some flaws that may haunt both of these teams later on down the road.
While both are 5-0 and have their fans at full-throat, neither team has played a “good” team yet. The Sooners have fatted up on the likes of a faded Texas rose and a fraudelent Florida State squad while the Lions won’t face a “good” team until the host the Packers on Thanksgiving Day.
The Hidden Weaknesses:
Both teams have at least one, and nobody seems to want to pay attention to them.
Oklahoma has a serious special teams issue. This came into play twice last Saturday against Texas, who gashed the Sooners’ kick coverage for two touchdown returns. If not for a penalty on the second return, Oklahoma would have surrendered more points to the Texas kick return team than the Longhorn offense could manage.
Both the Sooners and the Detroit Lions have fraudulent running games. Oklahoma did not generate much of a rushing game against the Texas defensive front, and the Lions had the same issue against the Bears. The problem is this is largely hidden by a few big runs by the Sooners’ Dominique Whaley and the Lions’ Jahvid Best. If you subtract any runs of 25 or more yards from the Sooners’ or Lions’ rushing totals, the lack of a real running game becomes apparent.
Any offensive coach worth his weight in Spam will tell you that while the “home runs” make for sweet fantasy football numbers (spoken as Jahvid Best owner), they do not make an effective running game. Teams that truly can run the ball can routinely get first downs on the ground.
5) The Philadelphia Eagles are finished
Not just this season, either. This team has a ton of talent, but it has a serious lack of leadership. At some point, Andy Reid lost control in Philadelphia, and unless he regains it soon, it may be time for the longest-tenured coach in the NFL to get a new mailing address…end of story.
6) The time to hit the “Panic Button” in Columbus is now
If you are an Ohio State fan, it’s time to get worried…very worried. You just watched your team blow a three-touchdown lead to a team that got smoked like a cheap cigar the previous week by Wisconsin. Not only does that mean you are arguably a third-rung team in the Big Tweleveten, but the Tattoo-gate story still just won’t go away.
When this first broke, I thought this wasn’t going to be a big story. Now, Jim “Cheatypants McSweatervest” Tressel is gone, as is Terelle Pryor. Devier Posey’s suspension has been lengthened, and the digging isn’t over yet.
7) Today marks the beginning of the end of the Tebow era
This isn’t about hating on Tebow, this is about why Tebow is now the starting quarterback in Denver. The perception is that John Fox and the Broncos’ organization caved to fan pressure. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This is actually a calculated move on the part of Fox and the Bronco front office which inherited Tebow from the previous regime. Think about it this way…
Fact #1: Tim Tebow isn’t an NFL quarterback…not yet, at least.
Fact #2: The Bronco fan base is desperate.
Fact #3: John Fox and John Elway aren’t “Tebow” guys, otherwise this move would have been made a while ago.
Fact #4: The Broncos spent a first-round pick on Tebow.
Fact #5: Tebow has a well-spring of unreasonable supporters who have been clamoring for his day under center.
So, what we have is a back-up quarterback so popular he once led the league in jersey sales before he ever having took a single snap; popular with everyone except his coach and general manager. We have an unpopular starting quarterback, but he a proven winner in the NFL. Its’ apparent that the fans won’t shut-up about their wanting Tebow, and Kyle Orton is a free-agent after this season anyway.
So, Fox and Elway took the opportunity Orton presented them this week. When he had the off day everybody has at some point, the Bronco leadership decided to launch “Operation Timmy Fail.” That’s right, the plan is to throw Tebow to the NFL wolves and wait for the impending disaster.
The only way to get the Tebow era over is to get it started. He isn’t going to get any more prepared in the remainder of this season before Orton blows town, so why not get the ball rolling now? Frankly, the Broncos have nothing to lose.
First of all, the Broncos are already terrible, so Tebow can’t do any harm to a team which isn’t going to see a playoff run anytime soon. If Timmy is in fact terrible, it gives Fox and Elway want they really want; to be free and clear of the Tebow phenomenon. If he succeeds, they get to be heroes for pulling the plug on Orton.
The trouble is it is pretty clear they are gambling on the former. Tebow is one of the most unprepared quarterbacks for this moment I’ve ever seen and the Broncos have made sure that is the case. The Broncos in turn are doing him a great disservice because they want him gone; they can’t cut him otherwise the Teb-o-philes will come after them with torches and pitchforks.
Frankly, I hope Tebow shoves this little scheme up Fox and Elway’s collective asses. He’s off to a nice start by managing to bring the Broncos back to a “puncher’s chance” to win against the Chargers. He has guts and the team clearly responded to him. I want him to succeed, but I think it is a long shot simply because he doesn’t have the tools to play the position…someday he may, but he doesn’t now.
8 ) #OccupyGameDay
This hashtag is the Twitter home of the movement launched by fans of the Dan Patrick Show against “The Mothership.” It’s all about sneaking references to the Dan Patrick Show into the background of ESPN’s College GameDay.
KEZI in Oregon ran a story on “Occupy GameDay” this week. Here is the text:
EUGENE, Ore. — Security at ESPN’s College GameDay in Eugene on Saturday will be on the lookout for more than the usual safety threats and foul language on signs. Now, they have references to radio host Dan Patrick’s broadcast to watch out for.
Last Saturday when GameDay was in Dallas, Texas for the Red River Rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas one sign in particular snuck through the crowd without oversight. The sign read: “Chris in Syracuse.”
For those unfamiliar with Mr. Patrick and the meaning of the term, the sign seems relatively harmless. For regular listeners of the show — and ESPN — the sign goes against what Patrick claims has been previously allowed in the crowd. On his show Patrick said that fans at the Oklahoma vs. Texas games were being turned away if they had signs or cutouts with obvious references to him or his show.
Patrick was an anchor at ESPN from 1989 to 2006 and his show was part of the ESPN family until 2007. He helped coin the nickname for ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter with fellow anchor Keith Olbermann, calling it “The Big Show”. Patrick has stated several times that ESPN often does not allow current employees to appear as guests on his current radio show.
So what does “Chris in Syracuse” mean? The sign references a listener of Patrick’s show who calls in to offer his opinion on a daily basis. The caller — Chris, from Syracuse, New York — is part of the Dan Patrick Show canon of running gags and bits.
Patrick has made reference this week to the sign being held up on last Saturday’s show and seems to be encouraging his listeners to take part in trying to sneak past the College GameDay defenses repeating a simple message on today’s show, “Occupy GameDay. Eugene, Oregon.”
What signs and running gags can Eugene residents expect to see that may be related to Patrick’s followers? Here’s a list from the show’s WikiPedia page:
-Height and weight of a given person or player, a bit on the show.
-References to “Passion Bucket”, a running gag involving a quote from UCLA Bruins head football coach Rick Neuheisel.
-The quote “Against the Grain” a popular segment on the show.
-The phrase “What did we learn today?” another segment from the show.
-The “Best and Worst of the weekend” a segment from the show.
-References to “a well-listened-to radio show” a running gag based on a reporter reference to the Dan Patrick Show.
-References to “The Danettes” by group or by name (Patrick’s producers and employees): Paulie Pabst, Seton O’Connor, Andrew Perloff and Todd Fritz (Fritzy).
-References to nicknames on the show including: McLovin (Perloff), Sequin/The White Swan/Soft O’Connor (Seton O’Connor) Danny Jawface (Patrick).
-”ROAR!” the result of a lost bet on the part of O’Connor wherein he must shout “ROAR!” before speaking on microphone during the show.
As Dan himself says, we don’t condone this activity, but we do celebrate it. Considering this whole “What We Learned” bit is
completely ripped off from a respectful tribute to the Dan Patrick Show, what else could I say?
P.S. Jarrett Lee does eat boogers.
For today’s “Purdue Joke of the Day” (although this is equally a shot at the equally putrid Minnesota Gophers), thank the good people over at SB Nation.
Comcast guide screens for football games can be an endless source of entertainment, usually for reasons that are purely accidental — typos, incorrect stats or whatever else. Not so sure this wasn’t completely intentional. In fact, this had to have been intentional: The program information for Minnesota-Purdue isn’t so much an advertisement for the game as it is a giant warning to stay away at all costs.
Comcast aren’t the only people warning you to stay away from this punt-fest. Even the folks at the Purdue athletic department are trying to hide this game. What other major universities do you know that schedule home games during fall break? The ones that do are admitting they have dates on their schedule for which they couldn’t give away tickets if they printed them on Christina Hendricks’ ample cleavage.
Actually, it might me somewhat responsible on the part of the Purdue athletic department. By ensuring the student section at Ross-Ade will be virtually empty, there’s less of a chance that Purdue’s performance will induce a wave of Purdue Puke down Northwestern Avenue.
Morgan Burke, the citizens of West Lafayette thank you.
Editor’s Note: For purposes of full disclosure, J-Dub is an alum of the University of North Dakota and is a fervent Fighting Sioux hockey fan. In fact, that’ s his real fat ass all Sioux-ed up. For Christ’s sake, the man has a Fighting Sioux shower curtain. We mention this only for purposes of stating up front this article may be written with a bit of a bias. If you disagree, feel free to comment, or start your own blog. Either way, you’ve been warned.
College football isn’t the only sport in the NCAA experiencing a tectonic shift in it’s conference alignments. Two of its oldest and most storied leagues are breaking up and re-forming a college hockey world that will look very different from the way it does today.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) will celebrate its 60th anniversary this fall. The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) turns 41. However, it is these two leagues which will be the most effected by the announcement yesterday that the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) will begin play in 2013-14 with some of the game’s most powerful programs as charter members.
Perennial power North Dakota, defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth, along with Denver, Colorado College,and Nebraska-Omaha are leaving the WCHA for the new league. These five schools have combined for a total won 17 national championships. Miami (Ohio) is departing the CCHA for the NCHC.
For those of you unfamiliar with college hockey, if such a shift were to happen in college football, it would be the equivalent of (current sanctions notwithstanding) USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State all announcing they are leaving their current conferences and forming their own.
“The WCHA has changed pretty dramatically over the years,” Colorado College athletic director Ken Ralph said. “As we look at the institutions that are most like us from a hockey perspective, the institutions our fans like seeing and the institutions that are providing national media for us, it became a pretty defined group.
Such a shift was inevitable once the Big Ten sponsored men’s hockey as a league sport. Once Penn State added hockey, the Big Ten had the needed six teams to form a conference once it gained Minnesota and Wisconsin from the WCHA and Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State from the CCHA.
This re-alignment will leave the WCHA with only five members: Alaska-Anchorage, Minnesota State, Bemidji State, and charter member Michigan Tech.
“Obviously, it’s a tough day for the WCHA and a sad one for me personally, and it’s not one that is easy to put into perspective,” WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod said. “We wish everyone well, but make no mistake, the WCHA is not going away. . . The WCHA has a short-term plan that we will implement immediately. In the long-term, we will formulate a strategic approach that will ensure the well-being of this Association and its members for the long run.”
The CCHA fares a bit better…for now. As it stands now, the league will have seven remaining schools, the most notable being Notre Dame. However, their is a strong possibility the Fighting Irish will join the Fighting Sioux in the new conference.
The league, which intentionally didn’t define itself with one region of the country, may expand by the time it starts. The National, as it was called by coaches and athletic directors at Wednesday’s introductory press conference, covets adding Notre Dame as a seventh team. If the Irish come aboard, an eighth team is possible as well.
The thing that all college hockey fans must remember that such big shifts are not new. Set the Wayback Machine for 1982 when Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Northern Michigan all bid farewell to the WCHA for the CCHA. Two years later, Boston College, Boston University, Maine, and New Hampshire were the vanguard of what became a seven-team defection from Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) to form Hockey East.
I know you are all wondering…what does does J-Dub, North Dakota alum and fervent Fighting Sioux fan think of this?
First of all, everybody thought 1982 was some sort of apocalypse; everybody thought all those teams leaving the WCHA (more importantly, the split of the North Dakota/Michigan rivalry) was the death knell of the WCHA. In fact, the opposite was true. North Dakota and Michigan continued to be the pre-eminent programs in the game, and both the WCHA and CCHA flourished as conferences.
The same held true for Hockey East. People thought it was bad for college hockey when Hockey East was formed and it strengthened the game in the East. Look at how many times Boston Fucking College has beaten the Sioux in the Frozen Four lately. That didn’t happen 20 years ago.
Not to mention, this will be good for the development of new programs. At the outset, we get a new Penn State program (fun for me, as I did some post-grad work there, and the Beaver Stadium experience is what hooked me on college football). Since I literally now live spitting distance from the Purdue campus, you know I’m going to be doing whatever I can to get them to move hockey from a club sport up to the level of competing with the big boys; I sure as hell don’t want to have to keep get my college hockey fix in South Bend or via satellite.
But beyond my myopic needs, this could bring the college game into a growth period. The calculus works like this: a period of more conferences smaller in size instead of the double-digit alignments of today means six-team conferences like the Big Ten and the new NCHC have slots for new programs. If I can get Purdue to pick up hockey, they are a no-brainer for the Big Ten. The non-regional nature of the new NCHC means it is rife with possibilities, ranging from adding members from existing, yet struggling conferences to welcoming newcomers.
Either way, the future of college hockey is at the same time different and bright. I for one look forward to it.
Let’s face it, college programs cheat. There’s an old saying in college sports, “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.” Recently, we here at Dubsism hung a tag of “dirty program” on Auburn, but to be fair, they are far from the only one. Hell, they probably are all dirty; just because your school may not have been caught lately just means they are more discreet.
Plus, let’s be honest…getting away with it is a hell of a lot easier for some schools than others. If you doubt that, all you have to do is look at the NCAA’s precedent of deferring punishment for for moneymakers during money-making season; of course this refers to the bullshit punishments postponed until next season for Jim Tressel and Jim Calhoun. Plus, if you look at the following list, you’re going to notice a distinct lack of the real power-players in college sports.
10) Wisconsin Basketball and Football — Major Infractions: 7 Just months after its basketball program reached the Final Four in 2000, the Wisconsin athletic department imploded when 26 football players were suspended prior to the season opener after the NCAA uncovered that members of the Badgers’ football and basketball teams were given special credit arrangements at a shoe store (this “free shoes” tactic will appear again on this list). The Badgers were handed five years of probation, including the loss of scholarships in both football and basketball.
9) Memphis Basketball — Major Infractions:7 The program at Memphis has has two trips into the NCAA doghouse. The Final Four run in 1985 dissolved the following year when head coach Dana Kirk was fired after the NCAA uncovered recruiting violations and vacated the appearance. Then came John Calipari, who had the Tigers positioned to win the national title, but that later evaporated when Memphis got hit with three years of probation for Derrick Rose’s fraudulent SAT score and the $1,700 in free travel and lodging provided to his brother. Before penalties were levied, Calipari slithered off to Kentucky, which could soon find its way onto this list as the athletic program has six major infractions and the basketball program narrowly escaped the death penalty in 1989.
8 ) Florida State — Major Infractions: 7 Former Florida Gator coach Steve Spurrier once referred to FSU as “Free Shoes University,” which was really a reference to a 1993 scandal in which nine Florida State players went on an agent-funded shopping spree at Foot Locker. Then, in 1999 during a national championship run, Peter Warrick and Laveranues Coles were charged with felony grand theft for receiving $412.38-worth of clothes.
And in the sweetest moment ever, in 2009 Bobby “The Anti-Christ” Bowden was forced to vacate 12 victories because of an academic cheating scandal that also involved the men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball and men’s track and field programs. This not only is the best example of a program so corrupted it even torched the sports nobody cares about (a 2007 men’s track national championship was vacated), but these vacated wins meant Bowden would never catch Joe Paterno as the FBS’s all-time winningest coach.
7) Wichita State Baseball and Basketball — Major Infractions: 7 Wichita State’s baseball and basketball programs have flourished, largely because they can cheat with the big boys. The baseball program has been one of the most successful in recent history, winning the 1989 College World Series and finishing second in 1982, 1991, and 1993. The basketball program reached the Final Four in 1965, Elite Eight in 1981 and Sweet Sixteen in 2006. Of the seven infractions, mentioned here, my favorite involved the basketball team getting punted out of any tournaments after the Elite Eight run in 1981. Seems that the following year, WSU got caught handing out cash payments and and freebie airline tickets. The best part, at the time the penalties were imposed, Wichita State led the NCAA in major infractions. Suck on that, big boys.
6) Oklahoma Football — Major Infractions:7 If you have a program on probation, and you would like to see it stay that way, just hire Barry Switzer. Oklahoma forfeited nine games from the 1972 season because of violations that resulted from the alteration of players’ transcripts; and when Switzer left in 1988, the program was again on probation. Hard to imagine how one gets the the tag of “outlaw program,” considering there was the probation, oh, and a stretch in which there was a shooting and rape in athletic dorm, one player attempted to sell drugs to undercover agent, and another even player robbed Switzer’s home. In his defense, he likely robbed his own coach because he wasn’t in on the gravy train resulting from being paid by personal checks from Switzer, the scalping of game tickets, getting free airline tickets, or the usual money-pump stemming from the usual bidding wars during recruitment.
BONUS – Oklahoma basketball, brought to you by the scumbag formerly known as Kelvin Sampson. Kelvin Sampson, the same guy who later crippled the Indiana basketball program due to unethical recruiting practices, made 550 illegal calls to 17 different recruits, and that’s only what they could prove…but then again, cash is always hard to trace.
5) Texas A&M Football — Major Infractions: 7 They really should name an award for corruption after the old Southwest Conference. Between just SMU and Texas A&M, the SWC could have been the most corrupt entity in the history of college sports. Cheating was compulsory in the SWC during the 1980s; the theory was if you weren’t cheating, you didn’t matter. Hence, this is the reason why the Jackie Sherrill era in College Station was quite successful. It’s also no coincidence the Sherrill era ended in 1988 when Sherrill resigned after the NCAA discovered that assistant coaches and boosters were providing improper benefits to recruits — one was given a sports car and another’s father was offered medical treatment. When a booster was found paying players for “do-nothing” jobs in 1994, A&M was considered for the “Death Penalty” as well.
4 ) Auburn Football — Major Infractions: 7 At least for now, because this doesn’t even include whatever may stem from the Cam Newton situation. Nonetheless, Auburn has a reputation for “kicking one on to the fairway” with not such infrequent occasion. The best was in 1991, when 60 Minutes aired recordings of head football coach Pat Dye arranging a loan for a player. That bought Auburn two-year bowl ban, one-year television-free, and the loss of 13 scholarships over a four-year period.
3) Minnesota Basketball — Major Infractions: 7 This is what happens when your whole program hinges on a low-level clerical worker who decides she wants more money to do everybody’s homework, and you piss her off. For Gopher basketball fans, the name Jan Gangelhoff is forever tied to that of Coach Clem Haskins. Haskins literally had the majority of his career scratched from the books because he thought his players didn’t need to hit theirs. During his stint as Minnesota’s head basketball coach, Clem Haskins oversaw runs to the Elite Eight, Final Four and an NIT Championship. Today, however, only the Elite Eight appearance remains in the NCAA record books, as everything Haskins accomplished from 1993-1994 forward was vacated.
See, the problem is that prior to the Golden Gophers’ appearance in the 1999 NCAA tournament, Gangelhoff ratted out everybody. She sang a song about writing more than 400 papers for numerous basketball players over several years. That proved to be just the tip of the iceberg, Haskins was accused of paying players, persuading professors to inflate players’ grades and ignoring sexual harassment concerns. The NCAA administered massive sanctions, notably docking five scholarships over three seasons and instituting recruiting limitations. The entire athletic department suffered, as the Athletic Director, Associate Athletic Director, Vice President for Student Development and Athletics, and the Academic Counselor were all forced to resign due to the scandal.
The moral of the story – if you are going to cheat, PAY THE HELP! No wonder Gangelhoff rolled over on the whole scheme – for writing over 400 papers, she was paid the heft sum of $3,000 for her work.
2) SMU Football— Major Infractions: 8 Two words – Death Penalty. This is why SMU football is still the poster child for corruption in college sports. You just can’t have a secret fund to pay players; from 1974 to 1985, the school was penalized on five separate occasions. Because SMU was under such intense scrutiny from the NCAA, the powers that be had little choice but to levy the harshest penalty. As a result, the entire 1987 season was canceled, SMU was forced to cancel the 1988 season, 55 scholarships were smoked and the team was permitted to hire just five full-time assistant coaches instead of the regular nine.
1) Arizona State Baseball— Major Infractions: 9. The classic example of the NCAA flexing its muscle on a program that largely doesn’t matter because it isn’t a huge revenue generator. Arizona State is primarily known for its baseball program, which has won five national championships and produced legends such as Reggie Jackson and fittingly, Barry Bonds. Last December, it was penalized for major secondary violations, resulting in three years probation and a one-year ban from the NCAA post-season. The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions cited the athletic program for improperly recruiting one player and giving improper benefits to several others. In 2005, ASU was given two years probation for a “lack of institutional control” (Have you read that phrase enough in this piece?) and giving illegal financial aid.
Remember the aforementioned “lack of power player?” It’s that lack that makes me cast an eye at the following; if for no other reason that the “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying” rule.
Ohio State – The crap-storm now surrounding the football program and head coach Cheatypants McSweatervest doesn’t surprise me, in fact it validates a long-held belief of mine that Ohio States’ success in so many sports had to be coming at the expense of the NCAA rule book. See the Florida State Entry. Not to mention, guys like Maurice Clarett should be a warning sign.
Duke – I don’t care how much hate mail I get for this, but I’m convinced Mike Krzyzewski is like the church minister who secretly like little boys. He’s got all the respect of the people who could out him, but none of them do because, after all, he is the minister. Besides, he’s also that hypocritical asshole who preaches about character and discipline, then stomps around on the sideline like the biggest petulant shithead out there. Face it, how the hell else does this school now attract the “one and done” talent they now bitch about?
Alabama – I think the following picture speaks for itself.
USC – What’s happening now is just for openers. I would bet money there are skeletons in the Trojan closet we may never know about.
In all honesty, one can make a bunch of jokes about how the roof of the “Humptydome” coming down is just a metaphor for all the terrible teams that have played under the Teflon Sky. Make a list and see the trail of sporting tears that have called the Metrodome home. The only resident still there is also the one most affected by this current disaster; the Minnesota Vikings have lost every NFC championship game they have ever been in under that horrible roof. The Minnesota Timberwolves (with the exception of the Kevin Garnett era) have settled into being a perennial NBA doormat; a franchise that began its days under the Teflon Sky. And even the entity whose new stadium may have to bail out the NFL come Monday (I may be accused of breaking out a big glass of “Haterade” for this) but the Minnesota Golden Gophers lived through some of the worst years ever seen by a terrible program while they got their mail at the Metrodome. The only team that ever won anything in the Baggy-Dome were my beloved Minnesota Twins, and even they were ghastly for half of their years in that atrocity.
I could even point out that the Metrodome was the front-runner on our list of the worst sports venues in America. That was months before this catastrophe; and a catastrophe that has happened before. The Baggy-Dome has has a failure event with its Teflon Sky at least five times, which is not a great track record for a structure that is hardly 30 years old.
I even could get in to the litany of why the place is so terrible for sports. But the Dome is a monument to plastic with terrible sightlines, not enough bathrooms, horrid concessions, and a roof and turf combo that completely made a joke of baseball; those are just symptoms. The root cause is this atrocity was built on the cheap.
Seriously, the Metrodome is like if K-Mart built sports venues; everything in the building screams cost-cutting move. But that is to be expected when you have a venue that was built for less than $60 million, which roughly equivalent to $235 million today. The air-supported roof was a cheap answer to told-school domes that preceded the Metrodome, such as the Houston Astrodome or the Louisiana Superdome. When you stop to consider that stadiums built today estimate construction at $650 million, and have ended up costing over $1 billion, it really shows how much the Metrodoome was intended to shave the dime.
On top of that, Minnesotans, being the progeny of good, phlegmatic Scandinavian stock (read that as “cheap”) have milked more out of their cheap dome than anybody else. Indianapolis got rid of the RCA Dome, Detroit no longer uses the Silverdome for major events, and even the largest stadium of this type, BC Place in Vancouver, is currently undergoing a conversion to a retractable-roof design, abandoning air-supported technology entirely.
Now for the really ugly truth. Minnesota is a place with a sad combination of a brutal climate with harsh extremes and a government that combines cheap structures with cheap maintenance. It’s no accident that the people who built a cheap cloth roof in a place where two-foot snowfalls are not uncommon are the same who went the cheap route on maintaining steel bridges in a place that has 120-degree seasonal temperature extremes. It’s no accident that the Metrodome and the 35W Bridge are both structures built and maintained by Minnesota government that are both now monuments to the importance of knowing where NOT to be cheap.
How fitting is is that Gopher Nation is already settling into hating Jerry Kill, despite the fact that all he’s done is win wherever he’s been, including beating the Gophers 34-23 at TCF Bank Stadium. Yes, the “Killer” doesn’t even have his bags unpacked yet, and there’s already a “Fire Coach Kill” Twitter feed. Why? Because you Gopher fans are stuck in 1962.
There’s two really funny things about all of this. One is this is the first time a coach who hasn’t even patrolled his new sideline even once is already on the Dubsism Coaches Death Watch list. It’s sad, but when everybody already wants your head, your future can’t be all that bright. Sadder still is the “Killer” seems like a nice guy and a good coach; too good for the shitbags that form Gopher Nation.
If you need an example of such shitbaggery, look no further than former Gopher footballer Jack Brewer. Since you never heard of him, Brewer’s football career consists largely of one decent season as a Gopher, followed by five season of being an anonymous special teams type for four different teams. All you have to do is look at his website to see he’s got some serious delusions of grandeur. Or you can read the following quotes:
“I’ve never heard of him,” Brewer said. “I was hoping we’d actually go out and get a coach that was bigger than our program.”
Uhh, Jack, you did. Plkease note that Kill has never had a losing season as a coach, and has been to a bowl game more recently than the Gophers have. Oh, and don’t forget that he took Northern Illinois into your house and beat you. He is bigger than your pathetic, raisin-sac program. But so is my 9-year old niece.
”I’m not sure who this guy has recruited,” Brewer said. “To be able to find top talent, you have to coach top talent. And to be able to go down to Texas and Florida and California and get premier athletes, you’ve got to be exposed to that. And that’s just not the situation at the University of Minnesota right now.”
You mean top talent like you, Jack? I must have slept through all those Big Ten titles you led the Gophers to back in the day. You are right that the Gophers can’t attract top talent, and that isn’t Jerry Kill’s fault. It is the fault of you and the guys like you that make Gopher Nation. It is your steadfast refusal to admit that Gopher football hasn’t meant anything in nearly a half-century that has led to such delusions that Minnesota can attract a big name coach. Do you really think you can go out and get a Jim Harbaugh type? You can’t, and until you realize that, you will never take the steps needed to get back to the salad days of Gopher football.
USA Today is quoting the Minneapolis ESPN Radio affiliate who has reported that Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster will be fired if the Golden Gophers lose at Purdue today.
1500 ESPN reported that the Minnesota football coach would be fired if the Golden Gophers lose to Purdue on Saturday for the team’s sixth straight defeat, but be given the choice of stepping down immediately or finishing out the season.
Brewster’s contract buyout doubles if he remains through the end of the season. Meanwhile, Minnesota athletics director Joel Maturi stayed mum on the status of his football coach.
Well, the Gophers lost…while the score wasn’t that bad (28-17), it was obvious early the Gophers didn’t have a realistic chance to win. Purdue quarterback Rob “mini-Tebow” Henry gashed the Gophers for three rushing touchdowns while Minnesota found all sorts of ways to shoot themselves in the foot.
So, now we wait to see if Brewster becomes this season’s first casualty of the carnage known as coaching college football.
THE “TWIST OF LIME” IN THIS STORY:
If you are planning to gas your coach mid-season, makes sense that you would have a plan for putting another coach into the top job, right? Could this mean Mark “Baby” Mangino might be making a return to the coaching ranks? Earlier this year, Minnesota had to deny rumors that he had already been hired as a “consultant,” and he was been spotted on the Gopher sideline during the USC game. I’m just sayin’…
UPDATE 10/17/10 : Fox 9 News In Minneapolis is reporting that it is official; Tim Brewster has been fired. Minnesota has made offensive coordinator Jeff Horton the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
Stay tuned, as we here at Dubsism think there is much more the the “Mangino to Minnesota” rumor than anybody is admitting.
That’s right, with the addition of Nebraska beginning in 2011, the Big Ten will have twelve members. Gone are the days of hiding the “ten that is actually 11″ thing Escher-like in the conference logo.
Gone are the days of my being able to refer to this league as the Big Eleven Ten (I will be sticking with Big Tweleveten beginning in 2011 unless they change the name.) And gone are the days of Penn State being the figurative new kid on the Big Ten block.
But when the focus is returned to this upcoming season, what isn’t gone are the days of Penn State having an early loss. In fact, the Blue and White may have doubled-down on that trend as the Nittany Lions face the first schedule ever that features three teams that won BCS bowl games, and two of them are scheduled in the first five games. Even better, there is some huge irony in the fact the Lions get to play the role of the Christians in the Roman era, as they get to face all three away from Happy Valley.
September 4 - Youngstown State
Let’s be honest. This is merely a tune-up, Youngstown won’t mount any real opposition; instead, they will be happy to take a Happy Vally seal-clubbing, and return to Ohio check in hand.
September 11 – @ Alabama
This easily could be the Ghosts of College Football’s past. Back in the days when Penn State was still independent, a Joe-Pa vs. Bear Bryant contest was a regular on the schedule. Not to mention the Nittany Lions routinely faced an SEC team in their usual bowl game.
Now it is Alabama who is coming off a National Championship and enters this season ranked at the top of the food chain. Penn State will face a daunting task to win in Tuscaloosa, but if they do, look for The Blue and White to rocket up the rankings.
September 18 - Kent State
The Golden Flashes should be just another little Ohio school coming to collect a pot of gold for being another Lions’ sacrificial lamb. Although they have a hope Youngstown State doesn’t; a letdown after the trip to Tuscaloosa.
September 25 - Temple
Once again, Temple will be the second MAC representative to face the Nittany Lion buzzsaw. They also will likely become the first one to lose to a Joe Paterno-led team 26 times. Once again, this will just continue to put the in-state rival from Philadelphia in sole possession of the distinction of suffering the most losses to a Paterno-led team.
October 2 – @ Iowa
Last year, I dubbed this game The Rolaids Bowl. This year, I have made it official; Iowa has replaced Michigan as one of two “red circles of seething hate” on my Penn State schedule (of course, the Ohio State Suckeyes being the other). How does this game get such a distinction? Because fucking Iowa always finds a fucking way to win this fucking game. The last time Penn State visited Iowa City, they left having to swallow that miracle field goal. Iowa also returns a very solid team from that which won a BCS game back in January.
Then there’s the “ugly numbers;” such as Iowa’s 7-1 record in their last 8 games against the Nittany Lions in this decade, Penn State’s 7-10 record in Big Eleven Ten openers, and are only 3-3 in conference openers at Happy Valley and you see why the PSU faithful may need to keep the antacids handy.
October 9 - Illinois
Illinois represents the first conference foe toward which I am officially dismissive. The salad days of Juice Williams, Arrelious Benn, and Rashard Mendenhall are long gone, and odds are head coach Ron “I never met a Coke machine I couldn’t head-butt” Zook have will be gone soon as well. Zook is clearly on the list of guys who need to win to save their jobs. Going to Happy Valley after what is likely a Penn State loss on the road doesn’t bode well for Coach “Z”picking up a “W” here.
October 23 - @ Minnesota
This will be Penn State’s first visit to Goldy F. Gopher’s new home in TCF Stadium. Having lived in Minnesota last year, I can tell you personally this is a beautiful facility. It is even better if you don’t look at the team Minnesota puts on the field. This program defines mediocre; being just good enough to make a low-level bowl game, but never being able to get over that hump. The combination of the new stadium that brought heightened expectations from boosters coupled with the mediocrity which has spanned two different head coaches means Tim Brewster is beginning to reek of the same cologne of desperation in which Ron Zook and Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez are marinating.
October 30 – Michigan
See the entries for the previous two games. First of all, Mi-shit-gan is the second conference foe that can be summarily dismissed. The math is easy: the “spread offense” without any real talent equals Purdue at the end of the Joe Tiller era when the Boilers’ douchebag AD started screwing around with the team. Secondly, there is the aforementioned “cologne of desperation” oozing from Coach “Forehead” Rodriguez’ pores.
Michigan supporters simply won’t support any further slippage of this program; its “bowl or bust” for Rodriguez, and like Zook, he isn’t likely to get a helpful outcome in State College.
November 6 – Northwestern
Honestly, Northwestern scares me when Penn State has to go to Evanston. The Blue and White have only ever lost three times to the Wildcats; two of those occurring in Illinois. While Northwestern has improved to the point where they are no longer everybody’s homecoming patsy, the Wildcats tend to become the declawed kitties in Happy Valley.
November 13 – @ Ohio State
This very easily could be the conference championship game. I won’t go through the litany of “what if” scenarios; suffice it to say if Penn State and Ohio State enter this game with less than two losses each, the implications could be huge.
Last time he went to Columbus, Joe Paterno proved there is a formula for beating the Ohio State Penitentary University. The calculus remains the same this year; if you want to see a Penn State win, you want to see a plodding, ball-control type game with stiff defense on both sides, something akin to watching two sloths using a rock to break open a coconut. If that happens, the blue sloth will win by a field goal.
November 20 - @ Indiana (FedEx Field, Washington, D.C.)
Now for the streak that has taken on even more meaning in the last year. Since joining the Big Eleven Ten, Penn State is 13-0 vs. the Hoosiers. However, on this day, I happen to be getting married to an alum of Indiana’s biggest rival. And even though Purdue isn’t on Penn State’s schedule this year, if for some odd reason the Nittany Lions lose this game, I will have no choice but to get an immediate divorce as I will not be shackled to a jinx.
November 27 - Michigan State
Since some things never really change, I’m just going to quote myself from last year.
“Picture it…State College, in a closet somewhere deep in the recesses of Beaver Stadium sits the Land Grant Trophy. It has been there for years, draped in a towel with years worth of dust on it. It’s two days before this game, and nobody can remember where they left the damn thing…it won’t matter, because they won’t need it…The reason is simple: the Spartans are always out of gas when they get to this game…and this year will be no exception.”
The bottom line: expect The Nittany Lions to be in a bowl game; BCS in the best case, and no worse than New Year’s Day in any event.
Since it seems the college football world is about to undergo the tectonic shift of conference re-alignment we’ve all been waiting for, it may be time for us here at Dubsism to introduce you to a conference and its members with whom you may not be all that familiar.
When it comes to the Big Ten, everybody has knowledge of the big dogs; Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State have all seen there share of the national television spotlight. Regardless of which new fan base will be entering the as yet to be enumerated conference on the shores of the Great Lakes, those fans are going to see teams on their schedules in the near future of which they likely will know absolutely nothing.
Luckily, there is a way to prevent such a tragedy. All sports teams have a personality; we here at Dubsism intend to enlighten those of you possibly dawning a new era in the Big Eleven Ten by comparing a team which you may know little about to a better-known entity; in this case classic game show hosts.
There’s no one better for the Gophers; a team that loves to be 6-0 in October while pumping it’s fan base full of hope with some sort of statistical disguise (“Hey, we’re leading the nation in rushing!”). Of course, this is right before the Gophs give you the annual “bait and switch,” which usually comes in the form of seal-clubbings by any and/or all of Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State.
The Hawkeyes maintain their appeal in the Big Eleven Ten in much the same reason your mother always had a “thing” for Martindale. They were both just dirty enough to be oh-so-enticing, yet just respectable enough to get away with it. While you may not want to think about this, in the pre-Viagra days when Dad had trouble “delivering the mail,” the “Winker” ranked right up there with the UPS guy for priming Mom’s pump.
While you may not remember McMahon hosting a single episode of this gamer back in 1969, it never the less provides his bona fides as a game show host and therefore eligible to be included in this comparison. The extensive research staff here at Dubsism needed to dig up this qualifying fact as McMahon’s puffy jowls and bulbous nose exemplified the effects of the corn-liquor and dairy-laden diet of the average Wisconsinite.
Hiring a former kicker to host a game show. Getting a mediocre coach who likes to head-butt Coke Machines to lead a major conference program. What kind of ideas are those?
Cullen, and his coke-bottle specs, lived the part of the over-achieving nerdy kid who disappointed his mother by not going to medical school. This is just like the Wildcats who win just often enough to make you think there’s a brighter future in store for them; sadly that future never gets any brighter than the Sun Bowl.
Nobody was a bigger poser for “smooth” than Woolery; in actuality he was a hick from the sticks of Kentucky. Remember on “Love Connection” how Woolery always played “Show Off” by ensuring his enormous Rolex watch was always in the shot? Purdue is one of those schools that despite the fact it hasn’t mattered to anybody for anything in 40 years still likes to flash its old watch which represents the faux prestige in having a name that covers its true identity of Indiana A&M. Oh, and it doesn’t count as a “Love Connection” when you get prison-raped by a MAC team.
To really understand what the Hoosiers mean to Big Eleven Ten football, you have to go back to both Iowa’s comparison to Wink Martindale and understand what Wal-Mart means to shoppers. Wal-Mart is all about lower prices; when your mothers’ fantasies didn’t have enough money for champagne with the “Winker,” they were full of beer with Bert.
Damn…that sure felt like a Big Eleven Ten Championship season. Or, to put it in Rayburn-ese, “The Spartans looked like a contender until they got obliterated by ___________________.”
Even Gene Rayburn couldn’t make a better match than Michigan and Barker. They are just tough enough to get their ass kicked by Adam Sandler, yet wussy enough to have a cause (“Don’t forget to spay and neuter your pets!). The Wolverine fan base is also getting a bit long in the tooth, yet somehow still appeals to young chicks. In any event, you won’t have to worry about either of them anymore, unless Michigan hires Drew Carey.
Only Trebek’s pompous assery could be fitting for THE Ohio State University. Trebek loves to act like he knows all those answers, when in fact without that little card he is always holding, he’s just Woolery. What better fit could there be than a state school in a hick town that feels the need to distinguish itself with its own stressed article? Besides, I’ve been waiting sooooo long to use that shirtless Trebek graphic.
Cue old guy jokes in 3…2…1…Much as Joe Paterno is the dean of college football coaches; a dean whose school has reflected his persona ever since the first time a Paterno-led Nittany Lion squad faced the Romans in the Philistine Bowl; Jack Barry was that old-school game-show host who wasn’t afraid to let you know when he thought you were being stupid. In fact, in a lot of ways, Barry was more like your grandfather who loved to wax nostalgic about the misery of the Great Depression and the slaughter of World War II and then call you a “pussy” because you weren’t there.
The first round of the mayhem known as the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) is a best-of-three series, but some teams didn’t get the memo, deciding instead to require a bit of extra hockey on Friday night. Both of the extended games went as expected, with St. Cloud State continuing its overtime woes, and Colorado College finding yet another way to not get it done on the road. The rest of the opening night slate went per expectations, with the higher-seed prevailing on home ice.
Oh, and follow this link if you still need an explanation for the Simpsons characters…
Friday Night’s Results:
- #10 Comic Book Guy (Michigan Tech) 1, #1 Frank Grimes (Denver) 2
- #9 Nelson Muntz (Alaska-Anchorage) 1, #2 Homer Simpson (Wisconsin) 4
- #8 Carl Carlson (Minnesota State) 5, #3 Lisa Simpson (St. Cloud State ) 4 - OT
- #7 Barney Gumble (Minnesota) 0, #4 Mr. Burns (North Dakota) 6
- #6 Ned Flanders (Colorado College) 2, #5 Lenny Leonard (Minnesota-Duluth) 3 - OT
Saturday Night’s Results:
The recently departed Edward Woodward could have been the guest spokesman for Saturday’s slate, as the night proved to be an Equalizer in 3 out of 5 series, thus ensuring a slate of Sunday action. The top two seeds kept things going per expectations while St. Cloud State, Minnesota, and Colorado College kept their faint national tournament bid hopes securely connected to life-support for at least another day.
- #10 Comic Book Guy (Michigan Tech) 2, #1 Frank Grimes (Denver) 4 – Michigan Tech eliminated
- #9 Nelson Muntz (Alaska-Anchorage) 2, #2 Homer Simpson (Wisconsin) 7 – Alaska-Anchorage eliminated
- #8 Carl Carlson (Minnesota State) 2, #3 Lisa Simpson (St. Cloud State) 3 - Series tied at 1
- #7 Barney Gumble (Minnesota) 4, #4 Mr. Burns (North Dakota) 2 – Series tied at 1
- #6 Ned Flanders (Colorado College) 5, #5 Lenny Leonard (Minnesota-Duluth) 3 – Series tied at 1
Sunday Night’s Results:
The rich get richer…even though Minnesota State took their series into overtime twice, all the top seeds advance to St. Paul.
- #8 Carl Carlson (Minnesota State) 2, #3 Lisa Simpson (St. Cloud State) 3 – Minnesota State eliminated
- #7 Barney Gumble (Minnesota) 1, #4 Mr. Burns (North Dakota) 4 - Minnesota eliminated
- #6 Ned Flanders (Colorado College) 0, #5 Lenny Leonard (Minnesota-Duluth) 4 – Colorado College eliminated
With the first weekend of carnage in the books, it is time to look to the matchups for the Final Five. This is like the bonus round on a game show, except with a lot more violence. Let’s be honest, name a game show that wouldn’t be improved with some ass-kicking…
#5 Lenny Leonard (Minnesota-Duluth) vs. #4 Mr. Burns (North Dakota)
The battle between the schools separated by a mere letter (UMD vs. UND) and one seed. In all honesty, the difference between these teams is bit greater than those little alpha-numeric bits. Expect North Dakota to continue its tradition under head coach Dave Hakstol to overcome a slow regular-season start by pulverizing all that dare stand before them in the conference tournament.
Advances to face #1 Frank Grimes (Denver): North Dakota Fighting Sioux
#3 Lisa Simpson (St. Cloud State) vs. #2 Homer Simpson (Wisconsin)
Is there anything more enjoyable than a good, old-fashioned father-daughter beat-down? This is the perfect scenario for a St. Cloud State side coming off two tough overtime wins to be exposed for the weak #3 seed they are. You can shake the magic 8-ball all you want; it’s still going to come up “Wisconsin Wins.”
Advances to Championship Game: Wisconsin Badgers
#4 vs. #5 Winner vs. #1 Frank Grimes (Denver)
If this game features the anticipated matchup of North Dakota and Denver, we should be treated to a bloodbath not seen since the Battle of the Somme. These two teams are not only the two best playoff performers in the conference, they also share a bitter rivalry that has erupted into fisticuffs on more than one occasion. As much as it pains me to say this, this just seems like Denver’s year; look for their high-octane offense to flat outscore the T-Rex style defense employed by the Sioux. North Dakota will have to settle for taking out its frustrations in the third-place game, with St. Cloud State likely being the victim of the Big Green Rampage.
Advances to Championship Game: Denver Pioneers
Projected Championship Game: #2 Homer Simpson (Wisconsin) vs. #1 Frank Grimes (Denver)
Like I said before, this just seems like Denver’s year. While in my opinion Wisconsin has played far above expectations all season, the over-achieving likely ends here, as I just don’t think Frank Grimes is going to grab the high-voltage lines this time.
Broadmoor Trophy Winner: Denver Pioneers