Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Blues

So 2008 got off with a BCS Whimper. Not that I'm surprised, but after watching two straight unwatchable laughers with 2nd rate squads matched up with teams that by many accounts ought to be playing for the title, I'm convinced that the BCS Cash Cow is in trouble. Like most things, the argument against a tournament in the FBS (three better initials were never found) comes down to money. But if the BCS flames out terribly, the major university presidents will have to consider that the best and far and away most lucrative deal they can get will be for a playoff system, rather than for a set of matchups that make no sense, the public doesn't want to see, and end up being mismatches. USC/Oklahoma? Why couldn't we get this game? I think those are the two best teams in the country maybe.

PK lists Jim Caldwell as a prime candidate for a head coaching job. I hope he gets a look, but somehow I doubt he will. I still don't think enough owners are convinced by the Dungy revolution. By that I mean, low key father figures rather than drill sergeants.

Vic is giddy over 2007. Hmmm, I see a team with a 30 year old QB who has posted exactly 1 good year, an old RB who had a healthy season for the first time in a while, and a defense that has shown serious regression. Oh, and they failed to beat the Colts in two tries. Should the Jags flame out this weekend, all the good will he talks about from the fans will completely evaporate. Sure, two wins in the playoffs, and they might be rolling, but I'm just not seeing how they beat New England without a blizzard. The Jags have no pass defense, and that's what you have to have. Brady will eat them alive.

TMQ may have fuzzy logic from time to time, but it's always amusing. He makes an interesting point about how #1 pass offenses fair in the playoffs.

Scouts Inc. likes Dungy, but still manages to have the Cowboys over the Colts.

The FO EPC All-Pro team only has one Colt. Care to guess which one? Miss and your brain will get eaten. Seriously, has any player ever had as good a January 1 to December 31 as Bob Sanders? He could spontaneously combust after drilling some running back next week, and he would still be remembered in 50 years as one of the greatest Colts ever. I hate fuzzy thinking like this, but I'll say it anyway...I think he makes the whole team meaner. I think the whole secondary lays the wood because they don't want to be shown up the Zombie. He's freaking Bruce Lee in pads.

Mike Sando says, it's hard to know anything, but that the Colts have it where it counts.

Don Banks is right. New England must play better if they hope to win it all.

Fox Sports Czar is about half as confident in the Colts as John Clayton was.

Demond Sanders: If they can put back to back years together AND win the division, then the Jagator fans and national media will have a reason to believe. Right now, their defense isn't good enough and their passing offense is promising but untested. The fact is they haven't won a playoff game since Dan Marino's last game in January of 2000. That has to change. Like most people, I am rooting for them to be matched up with the Pats. I would expect the Pats to win by 10+ points, but hopefully leave the game banged up.


chipbennett said...

TMQ also claimed that "Cleveland has a grievance" because the Colts didn't "make a bona fide effort to win."

Um, it looked like the players on the field played a pretty darn good game against Tennessee's first-stringers. The NFL rule may say that teams must make a bona fide effort, but it does *not* say that they have to use their first-stringers to do so. Last time I checked, Session, Bullitt, Sorgi, Aromashodu et al are part of the Colts' team.

Also, on the BCS - I don't understand why the NCAA can't understand that a playoff system would be an even greater cash cow. A playoff system would require even *more* games - ergo, more money. They could even use the top-tier bowl games as the playoff games (the top seven bowls become the quarterfinal, semifinal, and championship games, with the quarterfinals played Christmas weekend, the semifinals played New Year's day, and the championship played the following weekend - pretty much the way bowls are scheduled now, anyway.

The lower-tier bowls could either be played separately, or could be used to expand the playoffs beyond 8 teams to 16, etc.

How does this plan not bring more money into the NCAA (other than, with a playoff system, I would argue to scrap the league playoffs)?

Anonymous said...

TMQ, although amusing, always raises an eyebrow or three.

And I think the big problem with a football playoff is that there are a lot of teams (IU, for example) that would never ever get near a playoff game, but could get a bowl game. Now, if you wanted to do a hybrid playoff/BCS system where the top 8 teams compete in BCS Playoff, and everyone else gets invited to bowl games around the country, that has some merit.

Demond Sanders said...

Teams rest players every year with no penalty from the NFL. If they were required by the league to play their starters Tony would have done so.

Teams don't have the right to throw the game or just lay down and not compete. The Colts lost by a mere 6 points against a team that was playing as hard as they could. If the Colts weren't making a bona fide effort to win they would have lost by 49.

colts girl said...

I agree that the Colts didn't have to play their starters and they were right to do what was best for the team (and the back-ups played their best), but I can certainly understand Cleveland's frustration given that they are (as far as I can tell, anyhow) a better team, but the Titans get to move on to the playoffs. That just stinks for them.

After watching Tennessee struggle against our second/third string players, I just kept saying, "I'm going to feel awful for the Browns if we don't win this." And I do. But that's the way it goes sometimes.

Bob M. said...

Hey, the Browns had some say in this matter when they were on the field. It's a little like the "run up the score" arguments. If you don't like leaving your fate in someone else's hands, then take matters into your own hands when you CAN influence your fate. Cleveland has only themselves to blame and I suspect they all know that pretty darn well. I do think they're a better team than the Tites and I'd rather see them play, but they all play by the same rules.... (Plus Tenn is more likely to physically batter SD and I'd rather see Merriman Play in Indy with a bruised eye socket than without.)

I recall agonizing through a few 9-7 seasons about 15 years ago, hoping, hoping, and finally concluding: Damn, we should have won one more!

colts girl said...

Point taken. Still sucks for them, though.

Anonymous said...

I think Cleveland understands that if you want in the playoffs, it's better to do it yourself, rather than rely on someone else to lose.

Now, had the Colts played all their starters for 60 minutes, they would have blasted the Titans, and rightfully so. If I'm the Chargers, I'm sending Indy a gift basket. Ideally with none of Shawn Merriman's supplements, though.

The Browns should rebound and will probably be better next year. The AFC North is ripe for the taking; someone just has to lay claim to it.

Bob M. said...

Gents, you might want to add another entry to the biggest hits of the season: The shot on Bo Scaife that resulted in a weird carom catch 10 yards farther back to Gage last week. Lacerated Scaife's liver. Ouch.

And have you ever seen an article this dumb? (Yes, there are many, don't answer it.) VY's playoff debut is must-see viewing... essentially VY's great game against USC 2 years ago proves he's ready to take on SD. Also he'll make the playoffs 12 ore times and "the kid wins and that’s why San Diego has to be nervous this week." Good luck there....

JC said...

"Maybe the pro-bowl doesn't deserve Fred Taylor" - Fred Taylor, Inside The NFL

Bob M. said...

Hey, the coach of the year award has been decided.

I have only minor qualms about BB getting it, but Dungy got 1 out of 50 votes? For taking a team starting numerous 2nd and 3rd stringers, an all rookie DL near the end, missing 2 pro-bowlers, to a 13-3 record? Sheesh. Now we have even more motivation.....

And once the Pats sweep all awards, a Colt victory will be all the sweeter.

Shake'n'bake said...

The Shaun Merriman rule (no Pro Bowl for players that fail a steroid test) should be extended to all NFL individual awards. If you are caught cheating you don't get an award that year. Fair Enough?

Deshawn Zombie said...

Here's the thing, Belichick has either done the best or the worst coaching job in history. If they go 19-0, there is no question as to the greatness of what he did. If they lose in the playoffs becuase he built the wrong kind of club, and the proceeded to grind them down by playing too many meaningless games and 4th quarters leaving him with a tired club that can't finish the deal, then he should be reviled as an idiot who killed his team's chances to win a 4th Super Bowl because of his own megalomanical desire to crush people.

Guess which one I'm betting on.

Stan said...

The presidents of the colleges and universities which make up the NCAA vote are the ones who would vote for a change to a playoff in Div. I. Can anyone name one president whose job is in jeopardy if he (or she) fails to vote for a playoff? Or even one whose pay raise depends on such a vote?

Believe it or not, there are actually university presidents whose life on campus is easier, if they are perceived by the faculty to be stressing academics over an ever bigger role for football.

Major college football has survived for 140 years without a playoff and I can't remember a single college president whose professional aspirations have been harmed by that lack.