Archive for November, 2007

The Next LSU Football Coach
November 25, 2007

Sure, Les Miles nearly broke down in tears last week saying he loves LSU and that he’d never do anything to hurt his team

Well, his team hurt him by playing uninspired for 3 quarters and then falling to unranked Arkansas in triple overtime….crushing any chance of playing for a national championship.
I felt like Miles would leave LSU for his beloved Michigan no matter what LSU did the first week of January…now I feel he could be gone as soon as next week.
Coach the SEC Championship game then go back to where he played college ball, coached for a brief time and even met his wife.
So, if Miles goes….who takes his place?
Good question.

Not to pick on all the LSU fans out there.
But don’t call or write me telling me Jack Del Rio is taking the job. Don’t stop me on the street and say John Gruden is interested. Mike Shanahan is also not an option.

LSU is a good job, but the coach you’re going to get is going to be just like Nick Saban and Les Miles. A solid coach from a decent but far from powerful school who’s earned the opportunity to take over a major BCS program.
Look, I’d love Auburn’s Tommy Tuberville to come take over in Baton Rouge if Miles leaves…but it ain’t gonna happen!

Same for Steve Spurrier…..so forget about those guys.

Here are a few names to consider…..serious names that fans should embrace….not smirk at.
POSSIBLE REPLACEMENTS FOR LES MILES (IF HE LEAVES FOR MICHIGAN)

Chris Peterson: Head Coach, Boise State

Why: Since taking over an already good Boise State program Peterson is 22-2. Boise won one of the most memorable BCS games ever last year defeating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl….. plus, BSU’s offense is wide open and fun to watch!
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Jim Leavitt: Head Coach, South Florida

Why: Took South Florida from nothing and turned them into championship contenders. His firey approach will turn even the most jaded skeptic into a die-hard fan!
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Greg Schiano: Head Coach, Rutgers

Why: Like Leavitt at USF, he put Rutgers on the map. He says he’s happy up in Jersey….but come one….LSU may be too good for this guy to pass up.
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Mike Riley: Head Coach, Oregon State

Why: Former NFL head coach (San Diego) and asst. (New Orleans Saints) Riley has strong southern and SEC ties having played at Alabama. Like Saban at Michigan State and Miles at Oklahoma State, Riley will always play second fiddle to Oregon in his own state.
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***my wild card candidate****
Jim Haslett: Asst. Coach/Defensive Coordinator, St. Louis Rams

Why: Limited college experience, just 1 year at The University of Buffalo but strong ties to Louisiana having coached the Saints for 7 seasons. Haslett is a strong personality who would no doubt be able to motivate younger athletes. Going from the pros to college worked out great for Pete Carroll (USC) but not so good for Bill Callahan (Nebraska). The jury is still out on Dave Wannstedt (Pittsburgh) and Charlie Weis (Notre Dame).
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BCS Bowl Predictions As Of 11:45 am Sunday, November 24th, 2007
November 25, 2007

BCS National Championship

Why: Mizzou will beat Oklahoma in the Big XII Championship game next weekend. West Virginia will be #1 or #2 in the BCS poll when it’s released tomorrow. West Virginia wins it all. No one can stop this offense. They’re getting hot at the right time.
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Sugar Bowl

Why: Tennessee will beat LSU in the SEC Championship game. LSU is down in the dumps right now, the Vols are playing arguably their best football of the season. Plus Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl is better for the city (More fans will come and stay longer in our cities hotels).

Hawaii will come as the final at-large team.

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Rose Bowl


Why: No-brainer, Big 10 Champ vs. Pac-10 Champ. The Rose gets it’s traditional teams.

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Fiesta Bowl


Why: Arizona sneaks back into the BCS as an at-large thanks to Oregon’s 2 game collapse to end the season.
The Fiesta will stay true to their Big XII roots by selecting Kansas as their other at-large team.

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Orange Bowl

Why: Georgia is arguably the hottest team in the country right now. They’ll be the at-large to the Orange Bowl. Boston College will beat Virginia Tech for the second time this year to win the ACC Championship and earn the automatic spot into the bowl game.
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OTHER GAMES OF INTEREST:

Capital One Bowl

Why: Another no-brainer. Big-10 #2 vs. Sec #3. The big question; Will Les Miles be getting pay checks from Michigan or LSU?
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New Orleans Bowl
OR
Why: Memphis is already in as the C-USA team. Troy or FAU will be in as the Sun Belt Champion. Memphis is great for the city. This team came down 4 years ago. They bring plenty of fans and party hard!

Why I Hate The Heisman Trophy
November 23, 2007

I gave up on the Heisman Trophy 10 years ago.

Remember the Heisman race of ’97?
Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning, Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf and Michigan cornerback/return specialist Charles Woodson.
Manning and Leaf were of course ridiculously deserving for the award given to the top college player in America.
But who won? Woodson!

Why?
Because he was the best player in the country?
No way.
Woodson was simply the most high profile player on a high profile team who played the game of his life against arch-rival Ohio State on national TV.
Woodson wasn’t even the best defensive player ever to be considered for the trophy. Brian Bosworth and Warren Sapp were far more dominating.

Since Woodson won this award the sports writers who vote have changed the essence of the trophy.

They no longer honor the best player in college football….they honor the most high profile player on a high profile team.
I remember growing up and seeing guys like Gordy Lockbaum of Holy Cross considered for the award.
I loved that. I loved researching a guy no one had heard of. A guy who’s heroics on the field made journalists write about him and a player who made fans dig for info on why he was so good.
Never again will you see a small college player sitting in the front row of the famed Downtown Athletic Club in New York waiting for the names to be called.
If the Heisman Trophy went to the best player in college football then how could Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan not have won it last Year?
Brennan only threw threw for 5,549 yards, 58 touchdowns, and had the highest passer efficiency in America….and he finished 6th in the Heisman balloting!

If Brennan finished 6th how could Ty Detmer win the award back in 1990?

Detmer won because back then the best player in the game was honored, not the most high profile palyer on a good team.
Who won last year when Brennan finished 6th? Troy Smith of Ohio State.
Best player in America? No.
Best player on his own team? No.
Good player on a team playing for a national title? Yep

If the best players in college football are to be considered for the Heisman Trophy then here’s a suggestion for all the idiots who vote and who’ve ruined this award.
Consider Tulane runningback Matt Forte and LSU defensive tackle Glen Dorsey.
Forte leads the nation in rushing. Going into the final game of the season Forte has gained 2007 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. Because Tulane has no serious passing game defenses line-up 8 and 9 guys in the box trying to stop him and he still runs wild.
Dorsey is the most dominating defensive player since Sapp.

As far as I’m concerned, the Heisman Trophy is a joke!
These 2 players won’t even be invited to NYC nor will they finish in the top 10 in voting.
For the record, I think Florida quarterback Tim Tebow should win this year….but who knows.

Sad But True
November 22, 2007

This is an excerpt from Bill Simmons recent espn.com column:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/071121&sportCat=nba

Sad but true!

6. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS
Preseason prediction: 43 wins (sixth)
Revised prediction: 48 wins

Here’s how good Chris Paul is: He’s so ridiculously good the Hornets would be a dark-horse title contender if they had their Oklahoma City home crowds (sold out and crazed) and not their New Orleans home crowds (alarmingly bad, as detailed in this Times-Picayune piece). It’s admirable that the NBA stuck with New Orleans, and it was unquestionably the right thing to do … but still, you have to feel for the Hornets’ players and coaches here. You can’t compete for a title without a home-court advantage.
Back to Paul: Dating back 30 years, the only point guards who were beating guys off the dribble this easily and this destructively were Kevin Johnson (early ’90s), Tim Hardaway (early ’90s) and Isiah Thomas (early/mid-’80s). That’s the list. Before he sprained his ankle last weekend, Paul was going wherever he wanted to go; the defenses were like props to him. It was incredible to watch. He had the position completely mastered from a physical standpoint. That’s why, through three weeks, the three most important NBA stories were the rebirth of the Celtics and the dual emergences of Paul and Dwight Howard as “Franchise Players Who Are Good Enough To Compete for a Title Right Now.” The more good teams, the merrier.

Hey Hornets….Take My Advice….Commit To It!!!
November 20, 2007

As far as I’m concerned….the logo you see above is arguably the best in all of sports!
Know what it is?
It’s the New Orleans Hornets Fleur-de-Bee.
The team unveiled it earlier this year upon their full time return to New Orleans.
For all of you who don’t know the Fleur de lis is a symbol of New Orleans.
Fleur de lis are very visible around our city, they can be seen on fence posts, buildings, and flags throughout every neighborhood.

New Orleanians truly identify with this symbol.
Of course the most prominent fleur de lis people see is worn by our cities NFL football team.
The Saints logo is the black and gold fleur de lis.

When the Hornets released their take on the fleur de lis, incorporating their hornet into the popular flower design….I thought it was a subtle stroke of genius!

The team found a unique way to connect with the city they’d been away from for 2 years due to Katrina.

My only question is; why did the franchise bury this logo?
In my opinion the fleur de bee should be the team’s official logo!
Plaster it right next to the giant picture of Chris Paul on the side of the New Orleans Arena!
Every time a Hornets score is shown on ESPN we should see the fleur de bee logo.
The logo at mid-court on the floor of the New Orleans Arena should be the fleur de bee.
Right now the featured logo at center court in the arena is the Hornet with ‘New Orleans’ across it’s chest!
BORING!!!
Imagine how cool the court in that building would look during the 2008 NBA All-Star Game with the fleur de bee.
Hey Hornets……commit to this design, it’s a great representation that would bring a new element of cool to your franchise.
Think of the possibilities, you guys could design a new alternate uniform with the fleur de bee featured across the chest.
Right now the team wears 3 different uniforms. Teal, gold and white.
The team’s background color on all of those uniforms is a purple-ish/blue.
How’s about 4th uniform?
A dark, purple-ish/blue number with the fleur de bee featured on the front of the jersey and on the side of the shorts?

I mean, the team wore red ‘Oklahoma City’ uniforms last year for Valentine’s Day. Those jerseys were later sold off to benefit various charities.

I think asking the NBA to allow a 4th uniform is within reason. The fleur de bee uniform could be worn a handful of times each year.
See, even Morris Peterson agrees with me…..he’s saying “get me a fleur de bee jersey!”

Bring Back Birdman
November 20, 2007

I’ve never been big on second chances.
I feel like people truly know the difference between right and wrong and if you do something wrong to hurt someone or yourself then you deserve whatever punishment or misfortune comes your way.

That may sound mean but I think if more people accepted that philosophy then society would be a better place.

Now, despite my harsh opinion….I feel like a member of the New Orleans sports community deserves a second chance and I hope his second chance comes with the Hornets.

3 years ago I had an opportunity to get to know Hornets forward/center Chris “The Birdman” Andersen.

As you all know by now, Birdman was suspended by the NBA for 2 years in January of 2006 for violating the leagues substance abuse policy.

This suspension resulted in Andersen forfitting his newly signed 3 year, 14 million dollar contract. His banishment also means he cannot play overseas.
Andersen is eligible for reinstatement into the NBA just after the first of the year.
For 2 years Chris Andersen has been waiting for a return to the NBA.

Will the NBA let him return?
I think they will.

I can tell you right now I’ve hung out with Andersen numerous times and always thought he was a good person.

Did he break the rules and get involved with something he shouldn’t have….and did his situation get out of control? Yes. But I still think he’s a good person.

And what I like about Chris is that he’s accepted responsibility for his actions.

Is that hard to do? Absolutely!

But for nearly 24 months Andersen has laid low, avoiding the spotlight….content to just serve his time and then try to return.
This guy has worked hard and overcome a lot in his life. As a member of the media I’m supposed to remain neutral but I truly hope the Birdman flies again….hopefully in New Orleans.

Jason David & Tebucky Jones
November 20, 2007

When I think of struggling Saints cornerback Jason David I think of one person….
Former Saints Safety Tebucky Jones.

Jones struggled from day 1 in New Orleans and will be remembered as one of the biggest busts to ever wear the black & gold.

Jones was never the player former head coach Jim Haslett thought he was.

But Haz was a tad bit stubborn and never admitted he made a mistake with Tebucky.
Jason David is arguably the biggest free agent bust in the NFL this year…..and an arguement could be made that coach Sean Payton has become a tad bit stubborn for not replacing David in the starting line-up with Jason Craft or even rookie Usama Young.

Nice References Nick…..Idiot!
November 20, 2007

It’s college football Nick….lighten up!

Try not to reference such catastrophic moments.

I’m not even a die hard LSU fan and I hope Auburn smokes your team this weekend and 6-6 keeps your school outta a bowl game!

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – Alabama fans aren’t the only ones
treating the Louisiana-Monroe loss as a monumental event.
Coach Nick Saban described the humbling defeat in almost
apocalyptic terms today. He mentioned the 9-11 terrorist attacks
and Pearl Harbor in talking about how his team must rebound like
America did from a “catastrophic event.”
If the comparisons seem over the top, well, it is Iron Bowl
week.
Saban didn’t compare the embarrassing 21-14 loss to
Louisiana-Monroe to those events. But he picked those historical
references to illustrate that this could be a pivotal week for the
Crimson Tide.
That usually goes without saying when Alabama (6-5, 4-3
Southeastern Conference) is preparing to face its biggest rival,
No. 25 Auburn. The Tide is in a precarious spot leading up to
Saturday’s visit to the Tigers. It has having been stung by three
consecutive losses that have put Saban’s first Alabama team in
danger of getting snubbed by bowls and having a .500 record.
A win over Auburn would take some of the sting off, and likely
erase any doubt that Alabama is bowl-bound. Plus, the Tide wants to
stop a five-year losing streak to its biggest rival.

Miles To Michigan???
November 19, 2007

Les Miles To Michigan?

This is the burning question that will be asked ad-nauseam until the University Of Michigan names a new head football coach.
Here are a couple of excerpts from various newspapers:

Detriot Free Press:
“it would be hard to fathom Miles not taking the job.It doesn’t matter that Miles is at the best football program in the nation. It is extremely hard to turn your alma mater down, particularly when your alma mater has one of the classic football programs in the history of the game. Bear Bryant had everything going at Texas A&M. He still left when “momma called” from Alabama. Michigan, the winged helmets, Ann Arbor, Bo Schembechler they all are extremely dear to Miles. He can’t help himself but talk about the Blue and Maize when the subject comes up. He played there for Schembechler in the mid-1970s. He fought in the 10-year war chronicled in an HBO special now showing.Miles started his coaching career under Schembechler as a graduate assistant in 1980. He left with another Michigan assistant — Bill McCartney — for Colorado. He returned to Bo and was on his last staff in 1989. He stayed on under Gary Moeller for five more years. He’s been gone from Ann Arbor for 13 years, but it’s still home. He met his wife Kathy on campus. She was an assistant women’s basketball coach at Michigan. She is from Flint, Mich. He is from Elyria, Ohio, but countless Ohio kids migrate to Michigan to play football. He still keeps up with a more than a few buddies who go to Michigan games.”

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New York Times:

“At the news conference, Carr went out of his way to down play speculation that the timing of his announcement was a move to filibuster the Louisiana State Coach Les Miles, who is considered the leading candidate to replace Carr. Miles is coaching No. 1 L.S.U. and could well be coaching until Jan. 7, the date of the Bowl Championship Series national title game, if the Tigers beat Arkansas on Friday and then win the Southeastern Conference championship game Dec. 1.“My timing is based on one thing,” Carr said. “What’s best for Michigan, what’s best for Michigan football. This announcement is made at a time when the recruiting process can be handled in a way that this program can go forward.” When asked specifically about Miles, Carr hinted that there was some tension with the Tigers coach, but he is at peace with the decision if Miles, a Michigan graduate, becomes the next Wolverines’ coach. “There’s a lot of things that happen along the recruiting trail,” Carr said in an answer to a question about Miles. “It’s a very competitive business. Those are things that you put to rest.”

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Personally…..I think Miles is gone…..but we’ll see.

Congrats Mike McCarthy
November 19, 2007

Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy.

No Packer coach has had a better first 26 games than McCarthy, who, after the rout of Carolina, is 17-9 at the start of his Green Bay career. Vince Lombardi was 16-10 after 26 games.
McCarthy was the Saints offensive coordinator for 5 seasons. I always liked him. He seems like a down to earth guy who takes his job very seriously.
Plus, I always believed McCarthy wanted to give fan favorite Jake Delhomme more of a chance when Aaron Brooks got injured and struggled badly in 2002. Delhomme starting any of the final 4 games that year would have more than likely put the Saints in the post season. The move never happened, but my opinion McCarthy wanted the change.
But enough about the past…..Congrats on your recent success Mike.