Sunday, December 31, 2006

Parental Disillusionment

Anyone who coaches youth sports as I have in the past will always come across those over-zealous parents whose illusions of their child’s athletic ability is totally unrealistic. It’s created such a mess that there are rules on parent behavior during little league games. Perhaps the NCAA should look into that as well because Arkansas Head Football Coach Houston Nutt is involved in his own version of Little League Parents Gone Bad.

You see Arkansas heralded recruits from Springdale, Mitch Mustain, Ben Cleveland and Damian Williams, were not happy with the way the offense has been run this season. Never mind their head coach from High School, Gus Malzahn, is the offensive coordinator. And forget the fact that the trio started as true freshman and contributed to a team that finished 10 and 3, won the SEC West and went to the SEC Championship Game. So the parents of the Springdale trio met with The Grand Pooh–Bah, Arkansas’ 81-year-old Athletic Director Frank Broyles complaining that the pass happy spread offense wasn’t implemented this year and will it be in the future. Broyles told the “concerned” parents the Nutt was in charge and the matter should be taken up with the head coach. That obviously didn’t satisfy Damian Williams, who asked and received his release and is transferring to another school.

The bottom line in all this is jealousy. Darren McFadden is arguably the best player in college football and is the Heisman front-runner for 2007. Felix Jones is probably the second best running back in the SEC behind D–Mac and right now Casey Dick is a better quarterback that Mitch Mustain. When you have that kind of talent you don’t ignore it. But the Springdale Kids thought after winning the 5A State Title in Arkansas last year that they would next conquer the SEC. The Hogs almost did but not they way they expected so they went to mommy and daddy to make it better.

Mitch Mustain
QB Mitch Mustain (courtesy Sporting News)
The one player that has been humbled in this is Mitch Mustain. A book will be released authored by a long time prep writer in Springdale chronicling the Bulldogs’ 2005 season. In that book Mustain is quoted about his dislike of the Hogs offense and Coach Nutt. This lead to a players-only meeting in which Sam Olajubutu, Arkansas’s tough as nails linebacker, confronted Mustain over his comments. Reportedly, Mustain took it and apologized to Coach Nutt as well.

Even Gus Malzahn recognized when you have McFadden and Jones you don’t throw the ball all the time.

I just hope the Hogs kiss and make up and take care of Wisconsin New Years Day.

That’s It, I’m Spent.

--John Wilkerson

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bowling for Fairness...

Fair, but not so Fair...

Why of course I'm talking about the B.C.S. What College Football Fan doesn't at this time of the year. But you know, strangely, it always seems to be for the wrong reasons.

It’ll Never Work...

And well, it doesn’t. The way this thing is set up. The way that it always seems to play out, despite this years addition of a “Championship Game”, the powers that claim to be, still can’t get it right.

You know the old saying “You can’t make all the people happy all the time”. Well the BCS…it is probably the poster child for that statement.

Was Michigan Robbed?

No, they weren’t robbed. They had a chance to play Ohio State. They lost. Simple as that. They were the 2ND place team in the Big Ten. That should automatically disqualify you from playing in a title game.

But why should that be? It doesn’t matter whether they are the “NEXT” best team to Ohio State. They still LOST to them.

Is it the System?

Yeah, it is. The system, from the polls to the Bowls is completely screwed up. To anyone who follows the game at all, it’s obvious, that each part of the country has their biases and they show up. There are too many cases of teams who are ranked ungodly high in the “Preseason Rankings” who fall right off the page within 3-4 weeks. (See Notre Dame)

The only teams who realistically have a chance to win a national title now days are teams ranked in the Top 10 before the season starts. That alone is a screwed up premise, because how the hell do you know how good a team is until they actually play a game.

But the BCS doesn’t do that…

No, technically they don’t. They start releasing their polls after week 6 to technically eliminate that problem. BUT. They use polls that start before the season as part of their criteria for their point system. So it basically is a wash. They still do what they say they don’t, but they make it sound like they don’t. Comprende?

Can it be fixed?

No it can’t. At this point in time, there is way too much corporate money involved for things to change. The only thing that will fix the problem would be to have a playoff like every other level of College Football.

My friends, this is the system that we are stuck with. You will not see the day where it will change. The NCAA, despite their claims otherwise, is in this to make sure that they, along with their corporate sponsors are able to make as much money as possible. Never mind the fact that if they did the playoff system the right way, they’d probably make more money, they are happy the way things are. No, make that the companies who foot the bill for the Bowl Games are happy the way things are.

--Phil Cantor

“The time has come, my song is over, thought I’d something more to say”- Time (Pink Floyd)