Yes. This is a winner.
Paul Chryst may be another uninspired hire for Barry, but Mike Riley has been a hot commodity in college coaching circles a few different times. He turned down the head job at USC, spent time as an NFL head coach, and had the biggest have-not in the Pac-12 playing far above their historical mean for a full decade. His personality seems to remind a lot of Huskers of the legend, Tom Osborn. Sure, it's possible he never surpasses Pelini's success. But it's also possible he returns the program to a perennial top 10 program. His track record is a lot stronger than the whole "never lost less than 4 games" line.
The Wisconsin fans I know say the exact same thing. He should have been aiming far higher in 2012 than a guy who had 1 good year at Utah State. He should have aimed far higher this year than a .500 coach from the ACC. Per Wisconsin's own fan base, Alvarez won't consider anyone with the juice to tell Barry to sit down and color. Championship caliber coaches would be able to do just that. As long as he is there, Wisconsin will likely never exceed the standard set the past 2 decades: win about 9 games a year, finish in the top 25, but never have the team to make the College Football Playoff. Wrote this 2 years ago and it applies directly today:
Now, it appears Jim Harbaugh is heading to the Wolverines and he may bring in Florida's DJ Durkin as D Coordinator. On one hand, I'm happy someone else in the Big Ten is genuinely attempting to win. On the other hand, does it have to be THAT team? Either way, between Urban, Dantonio, Harbaugh, Franklin, and Wilson (who has Indiana playing well above its historical mean), the Big Ten East has perhaps the best coaching of any division in college football. That's a good thing for Ohio State.
And this is why I shake my head every time someone says, "I don't care about the rest of the conference. I'm just a fan of OSU. Just win and we'll be fine. I'm a Buckeye fan. The Big Ten is no team I ever heard of." We get graded on a different scale than the rest of the country because of the perception of our conference. Yes, Wisconsin blowing that game to LSU two months ago is keeping our ranking down, even though we don't play either team this year. If Wisconsin wins that game, Michigan State beats Oregon, and Minnesota beats TCU, we would be ranked higher than #14 right now with exactly the same resume, even though we haven't played a single one of those schools yet.
No, no. I have no idea what he said. I closed it as soon as I saw Paawwwl's name. I guess he could have, but that was just paraphrasing his consistent "expert opinion" over the past year or more. I, personally, do not remember him saying any team out there is better than any given SEC team. It's predictable enough I am surprised they still even waste time asking. Sorry, I should have made that more clear.
Closed the window as soon as I saw Paul Finebaum's name. That troll's lazy rhetoric is not important enough to bother us. "The Big Ten doesn't have a team who could compete with Kentucky. Arkansas would go undefeated in that conference." Propaganda too unsophisticated and predictable to be taken seriously. Yawn.
Wisconsin came off three straight Rose Bowl appearances to hire some guy who had one good season and one decent one out of four years at a program in a mid-major (at best) conference. He went on to lose four games in his first season at Wisconsin with what Bert projected to be his best team there. Why do people think this was a solid hire? They should have been able to land Chris Peterson, David Shaw, or someone of that stature. That is, if they tried harder. I'm sorry, but you are in the Big Ten and coming off your best three year run ever. Gary Anderson? That's simply not good enough.
Admittedly, I was never a fan of the Beckman hire. I wanted Mike Leach to run his famed air raid with talent from Chicago, St Louis, and Texas.
Tim Beckman spent too much time recruiting and constantly breaks down film? Then why did Illinois' recruiting hit the tank the second he took over for Ron Zook? How does he routinely lose games with poor in-game strategy with players who haven't developed?
Is he just unable to attract solid assistant coaches? Zook, for all his faults (which were numerous) at least had two decent coordinators his last season. In fact, Illinois has shown they will pay assistant coaches, with Zook's staff consistently the third highest collectively in the Big Ten.
This could just be a case of Tim Beckman not being good enough. New Illinois AD Mike Thomas missed on his top choice (Kevin Sumlin) and settled for a guy who had one decent season in the MAC
In high school football (or a video game) you give the ball to one fast guy and he dances around the field for a touchdown. In the NFL, flashy wide receivers don't create touchdowns, dominant offensive lines do. Go with the granola (dominant offensive lineman), not the dandy doodle (flashy wide receiver).
Of the 8 offensive tackles in the Pro Bowl, 7 were taken in the first round, including 4 as top 10 picks. Only 6 of the 11 Pro Bowl receivers were first round picks. Stud linemen (which are crucial to NFL offenses) can only be found early in the draft. Come on Robinson or Matthews at #4! Just once, Browns, please get this right.
Hoyer (or Cousins, or whomever) handing off to Ben Tate and throwing to Gordon, Cameron and Lee behind a line of Thomas-TBD-Mack-Schwartz-Robinson is far more potent than Bortles getting sacked before Sammy Watkins can get off the line.
We've tried taking linemen later and developing them over a few years. That doesn't work. You need to have studs on the O-line and then magically all the other skill position players become much more competent. Even exciting or electric.
Are Bortles, Manziel, and Bridgewater better than Sam Bradford, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, and Ryan Tannehill? Those guys were all rated at least as high as the three guys from this year.
I'm not saying Hoyer is a franchise QB. Maybe, maybe not. I am saying the difference in impact on the offense between Hoyer and the best QB in this first round is less than the difference between a loaded line and one with Schwartz at right tackle. In other words, until we fix the line, it doesn't matter who the QB is. Then again, that trade for Kirk Cousins (or similar) thing is intriguing too.
When Trent Richardson was taken #3 by the Browns in 2012, my SEC friend (Tennessee and Colts fan) told me he would average >5.0 yards per carry, fix our offense, and make the Pro Bowl. I told him Richardson would average less than 3.0 yards per carry and get knocked out for the season in less than 8 games behind our "line." He was better than I thought but nowhere near transcendent. Sammy Watkins does have Peter Warrick and Reggie Bush written all over him. Go O-line. All the sudden every skill player just got better.
An average to decent QB looks great behind the right O-line. Look at what Matt Cassel did in 2008 behind Tom Brady's line. Then look at what he did for KC and Minnesota since. Robinson or Matthews. That's the pick.
Please please PLEASE go O-line with the #4 pick! I am so sick of seeing Browns QBs getting broken. In our last 7 drafts, we have taken seven offensive skill players (Brady Quinn, Brian Robiskie, Mohamed Massaquoi, Montario Hardesty, Greg Little, Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden) in the first two rounds compared to just three O-linemen (Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, Mitchell Schwartz). All but maybe Massaquoi and Little were busts among the skill players. Only Schwartz hasn't been good to great among the linemen. Drafting exciting players high and "Eh, we'll get someone to block for them later" shortcuts don't work in the NFL.
This isn't basketball where you draft Lebron James and he is a star. The exciting players don't make Sportscenter highlights without a good line. Ours stinks!
That depends on how you classify Old Dominion. They are in the transition phase to FBS as a provisional member in 2014 and a full member in 2015. This year they are technically a FCS independent playing East Carolina, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Idaho, and North Carolina as well as 7 FCS schools. But as you said, that doesn't change the facts.
As Walshy said, there are currently 125 FBS teams in the NCAA. It looks like there were 63 teams who had zero, one, or two losses following Week 7. It looks like 12 of the 32 NFL teams had zero, one, or two losses on the same date (following Week 6). That means 50.4% of college football teams had 2 or less losses compared to 37.5% of NFL teams. And that was after the college teams had played an extra game. Sounds like there were not only more college teams with better records, but a higher percentage too.
Each game definitely matters, as you said, Walshy. I think the OP may have also been pointing out how much more fun Saturdays are with all the big matchups compared to the more even records in the NFL.
It's always disappointing when people claim to have similar interests, but supremely lack vision.
1) People in the positions of Jim Delaney and Larry Scott should rarely begin a strategy session with "be realistic." It's self-defeatist. Have some confidence, tact, and a vision of where you want your organization to go. Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Texas are actually extremely attainable, particularly the latter two. Think bigger than "realistic ones" like Missouri, Kansas, and Georgia Tech.
2) Maryland was a nice addition that should work out in time, though it looks "meh" in the short term. Good school, good demographics, solid athletic department, great location just outside DC, and solid football tradition (seriously, they finished 4 seasons ranked by the AP since 2001. That's more than Texas A&M, Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas, Mississippi St, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and tied with South Carolina). These are 40+ year decisions, not 4 year decisions. 4 years ago, Cincinnati was 12-0 and Stanford hadn't lost less than 3 games in a season since 1969. Who is the stronger program today? Maryland has a higher ceiling and more potential to reach that ceiling than the Boston Colleges and Louisvilles of the world. Rutgers? Not so much.
You don't think so? Houston is obviously going to be a huge home field advantage for LSU in that series. But there seems to be a lot of fervor in Wisconsin over tickets to the Lambeau game as well. I would expect both of those games to be less than "neutral."
Neutral site games could actually be pretty cool, provided the fan bases are actually given equal access. Unlike that "neutral" site game against Alabama in Atlanta or LSU in Dallas. How would we feel about a neutral site game against Florida in a city like Charlotte or even a marketing/recruiting hotbed like Los Angeles? Make 30,000 seats available to each fan base and sell the rest to local corporations. The key is the local population cannot be predisposed to one school or the other, like the environment of that "neutral" Alabama-TTUN game last year.
And good for Wisconsin, demanding a return pseudo-neutral game at Lambeau rather than accepting the typical SEC-in-SEC-Territory scheme most programs fall for. I had not heard of this before, but it might be interesting to see a neutral site series against Oklahoma with games in Dallas and Cleveland. It would especially be cool if the "road" team were allocated something like 25% of the tickets to allow both fan bases to travel.
Of course, the environments of the same series in Columbus and Norman will be more electric. But the novelty of games like this can be okay on rare occasions. And I get the budgetary concerns tied to the need for 7 home games, but with the right payout for a desirable enough matchup, a neutral site game can help bridge the gap.
IMDb had Nicholson as a native of Manhattan, New York. Is that incorrect? I'm sure Jim Delaney would gladly take Jack and his 3 wins in 12 nominations as a product of the Big Ten footprint. Yet another Hollywood heavyweight.
You, sir, are correct on both counts, though I thought Clooney's win for Syrianna was for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. Regardless, the man won and it should be reflected. I apologize for the lazy transcription error. Is there a way to simply copy a table in excel and drop it in the blog text box?
Also, point of clarification: data above is only for Best Actor in a Lead and/or Supporting Role. No awards for Best Picture, Director, etc was included in the tables.
Blog Post 16 Aug 2013
That is actually the direction a lot of people consider more likely. By bundling a few channels, the companies can charge the higher dollar value to match consumer demand, while pushing less desirable channels to the consumer base. Going back to the ESPN example, Disney could offer a package of ESPN, ESPNU and ESPNews for $27/month. But, if you want ESPN2 for the upcoming Ohio St game, Disney may require you to buy the package of ESPN, ESPNU, SEC ESPN, ESPNews, ESPN Classic, the Longhorn Network, and ESPN2 for $45/month, on a 12 month contract.
The goal is to attach more at-risk properties to items of value with high demand. The Big Ten could potentially have been positioning itself for exactly such an environment with its recent addition of Rutgers. This was obviously covered in detail months ago, so here is the brief recap of the hypothesis: Maryland delivers BTN on expanded basic cable/satellite packages in DC and Baltimore. Rutgers does not, in and of itself, have the demand to deliver NYC. News Corp (who owns half of BTN) buys the Yankees' YES network to bundle with BTN in NYC.
If the a la carte bundle concept comes to pass, we could see a bundle with BTN, YES, Fox Sports 1, FX, MSG, and possibly a Fox News type channel. A bundle like that could do very well in New York, creating the desired windfall for the Big Ten.
At first, the concept of a la carte channel subscriptions sounded great. Take that list linked in the article ($5.06/month for ESPN, $0.67 for ESPN2, $0.80 for BTN, etc) outlining what the cable/satellite companies pay the networks and and simply add up the costs for the channels I want. How great would it be to spend around $15/month for the channels I watch without the overhead of channels like QVC, Boomerang, and Fuel?
Then I realized these channels would simply set prices to match demand and within a year consumers would be paying $15+/month for ESPN. Also, whereas games are now placed on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, etc based on a tiered approach of marketability, companies like Disney would likely scatter games of the most marketable teams (Ohio St, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, etc) among its holdings to entice consumers to buy every one of their networks. In the past 5 years, Ohio St has played on ABC 34 times, BTN 20 times, ESPN 17 times, ESPN2 four times, and Fox twice. Under the a la carte system, networks would be incentivized to make those numbers far more balanced, with a few games on ESPNU and ESPN Classic thrown in as well.
Sure, we would not have to pay for the channels we would never watch (such as E! and TLC for me), which would feel good in principle. But paying $20ish for ESPN, $8 for ESPN2, $7 for BTN, $7 for the History Channel, $6 for AMC, etc. could quickly exceed what I currently pay to have access to all the channels I want.