Posted on: September 28, 2010 10:44 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2010 10:47 pm

The Boise Hate Debate

We are right in the thick of the College Football season, and so far we have learned a couple of things here and there.

The ACC is weak. Very weak. Some would argue that the ACC has had all of its major out-of-conference tests on the road, but the fact remains that their highest-ranked team in the preseason poll lost to a FCS school at home. We also have learned the Big East is weak this year. Right now there isn't a single Big East team ranked in either poll.

The one thing we haven't learned is this: "How good is Boise State this year"? And unlike other questions that will soon be answered throughout this season, that one will probably never have one. Not until they play in a bowl game in January, whether or not it is for a National Championship.

Here are the facts about Boise State:

  1. They play in the WAC. Not exactly the SEC or the Big Ten... or even the ACC or the Big East, but it is their conference.
  2. They started the season ranked very highly in both polls. Whether that is fair or not, we will discuss shortly.
  3. Their non-conference schedule included a "neutral" game at Virginia Tech, and a home game against Oregon State, both of whom were ranked in boht preseason polls.
Now the first two are not in their control (I suppose if you want to be technical, you could say Boise State could pull a BYU and declare independence in football - but then they would simply have to fill their schedule with other mid-major teams from the MAC, Sun Belt and Conference USA). Boise State has the "misfortune" of being a WAC school with a power-level football team. They play the games on their schedule, and they win.

The third is where the debates begin. "How come Boise doesn't schedule Ohio State?" "How well would they do in the SEC?" "Do they deserve to play for a National Title?" The answers are "Because Ohio State doesn't want to lose to them", "There is no way to know, because games are played on a football field and not in a sports pundit's head", and "There's a problem with the system when a team wins every game they play and don't have an opportunity to play for a title". Let's start with the first.

Major conference teams don't want any part of Boise State, for the most part. The last thing a team wants to happen to them is what happened to Oregon the past two seasons, which is to start the season with a loss to a team in the WAC. Never mind that Boise State is not a WAC-level team. The fact of the matter is that they play in the WAC and nobody wants to lose to a team in the WAC. Especially not when a team starts out ranked in the top 10 of the preseason polls. They would much rather pay a FCS team or a bottom feeding non-BCS team to play in their stadium (preferably losing by a wide margin) than play a legitimate opponent to start the season off. Perhaps they might schedule a "marquee" non-conference matchup to stir interest with their fans and create buzz in the media, so even if they lose to a quality opponent, they don't tumble too far down the rankings.

Unfortunately for Boise State, that doesn't include them. Boise State doesn't have the history or prestige or "wow factor" that a traditional power like Texas or Michigan or Alabama has. And to top it off, they are perfectly capable of beating teams even if they go on the road.

The other argument that is made is "Well, Boise wants other teams to pay them when Boise play them on the road!" Sure, why not? Last season, Notre Dame paid out a six-figure sum to Nevada so that the Wolfpack could travel to South Bend for their season opener. Why should Boise State have to do it for free? If it was a home-and-home series, that would be different, but that point was already discussed. Teams don't want to lose to Boise on their field, and they surely don't want to lose to Boise on the Smurf Turf.

So there you have it. Now if you are still convinced Boise doesn't deserve to play for a National Title, then you simply don't care about the integrity of College Football (what's left of it, anyway). Or maybe you don't care because your Crimson Tide and your Buckeyes are on track to meat in the National Championship if they stay perfect. Or maybe it's simply a moot point because the determining factor is not what happens on the field, but what the voters think happens on the field.

And in that case they see Boise State.

And all they can do is hate.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Boise State
Posted on: March 9, 2008 9:00 pm

Blood Pressure Rising

So VCU lost to William and Mary.

Great. Now I have another team on the bubble to worry about. Maryland was already looking pretty bubble-ish, but now with VCU losing this game they don't get the auto bid from the CAA.

I guess this is why they call it "madness", because it will drive some fans completely insane.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 26, 2008 8:27 pm

Here We Go Again

It looks like Daniel Snyder is being Daniel Snyder again, clearing house and "rebuilding" the Redskins at the coaching level. I suppose he and Vinny Cerrato haven't realized that great teams require coaching stability, and that firing coaches left and right doesn't help the franchise improve as a whole. Great coaches are much more valuable to an organization than great players. We have seen this time and time again. A great coach can take a mediocre team and turn them into a great team, but usually the opposite isn't true.
So now Gregg Williams is out, as is Al Saunders. I doubt that either of them will be on the market for very long. We still don't have a head coach. It would seem to me that Snyder is trying to build the entire coaching staff to fit around Jason Campbell, who has been tagged "the franchise player", like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. I'm not sure it's going to work, though. It's as if the front office is putting all of its eggs into one basket with this move. Time will tell if Snyder finally got it right, or if it's more of the same. One thing is for sure, though; we need a General Manager. Badly.
Category: NFL
Tags: Redskins
Posted on: January 23, 2008 6:37 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2008 6:38 pm

Jim Fassel?

Now that Joe Gibbs has stepped down as head coach of the Redskins, we now have a vacancy at the position. The Redskins have met with former Giants coach Jim Fassel three times, which pretty much assures that the front office is seriously considering hiring him. The only other candidate that seems to be a serious possibility is current Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams. Williams has done an amazing job putting together the defense for the Redskins; it seems year after year they have a solid defense that can change a game in a heartbeat. Not only that, but Gregg Williams is a locker-room favourite; it seems that everyone on the Redskins roster loves the way he coaches and loves his mentality about the game. It is true that Williams hasn't had much success as a Head Coach over the years; three unimpressive years in Buffalo are the only coaching merits on his resume. That said, though, the pieces are already in place. The Redskins have a playoff-caliber team and, for the first time in a while it would seem, some chemistry.

No offense to Jim Fassel, but he is not what the Redskins need. I'm not saying that we should go out and get a big-name coach just because he is a big-name coach (*cough cough Bill Cowher cough*), but surely we can do better than Jim Fassel.
Category: NFL
Tags: Redskins
Posted on: January 20, 2008 11:03 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2008 11:50 am

A Giant Victory

Sure I dislike the New York Giants. Sure, you can even say I "hate" them. As a Redskins fan I am obligated to hate all other teams from the NFC East.

But what the Giants did tonight was special. They beat the Packers. In Lambeau Field. In cold weather. In the Playoffs. That says a lot about what Tom Coughlin has done with this group of players. They came in as underdogs. Big underdogs. Some could even say they were bigger underdogs in this game than the Chargers were against the Patriots. They had injuries. Lots of them. Sam Madison was hurt. Jeremy Shockey is out. But they still found a way to win against Brett Favre and the Lambeau Legend.

So for that, I have to tip my hat to the New York (football) Giants for tonight. Congratulations on a hard-fought and well-deserved victory. You earned it.
Category: NFL
Tags: Giants, Packers
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