Hoke was top notch at this aspect of his job.
FYI, current bowl records for the auto qualifiers and the Mountain West:
ACC -- 3-3
Big 12 -- 3-2
Big 10 -- 3-2
Big East -- 3-2
Pac 10 -- 2-5
SEC -- 3-3
MWC -- 4-0
The Pac 10 is the big loser this year. Their season is finished and they didn't do too well. The irony is that the Pac 10 seemed to be regarded by most pundits as on par with the SEC as the best conference this season. Maybe we'll get to hear about what's wrong with the PAC 10 all off season.
The Mountain West has had great success against the big boys again this year, and can round out a perfect 5-0 season if TCU can handle Boise St. The MWC may be weak on the bottom, but any conference would take an 80% winning percentage.
I'm pretty pleased with the Big 10 so far--despite the Big 10 consistently being stuck with poor match ups. If Sparty or Iowa can pull out a win, the Big 10 should be able to get the monkey off its back with a very strong bowl season.
In the last few weeks I notice a great deal of posting looking at predictions for next season. Much of this centred around various game predictions etc. Anyway, it seemed that a number of posters were exceedingly worried about the UConn game to open the Big House.
I have been watching the first half of the UConn/Syracuse game and had a few thoughts:
a) that is a BIG BIG BIG offensive line (although not the most mobile or athletic and allowing a surprising amount of pressure from not a great Syracuse defense).
b) very well coached big play oriented special teams for UConn.
c) offense is not very scary (57 of 68 half time passing yards made due to one big poorly defensed play)
d)Greg Paulus is one pretty accurate passer; 10/12 for 117 with a 9.8 avg. is the sort of short passing that Tate ought to be able to easily achieve in RichRod's system against them next fall.
e)A side note, but one wonders *what would have happened if Greg Paulus had decided to come to B School at Michigan?* in terms of the QB situation (i.e., does Tate still win out, Denard redshirt etc...I realize complete speculation but interesting to consider).
f) Commentators noted this is the last season for a number of UConn contributors including 3 of 5 offensive line starters (I looked this up and it seems they may be correct).
UConn is looking pretty good against a depleted Syracuse program. I am unsure that the level of fear/paranoia (as Brian would use) is warranted for this team? What do you think?
Per Dr. Saturday, we've been scooped! The Yankee Stadium bowl game will be a Big East vs Big 12 matchup. While I'm glad to see a bowl game taking place north of the 34th parallel, I have to say I'm pissed that the Big 10 isn't taking part. I'd much rather see the 4th/5th place team play in the Big Apple than in San Antonio. Also, somehow Notre Dame gets the Big 12's spot if no Big 12 team is eligible. Seriously, it's not bad enough that they already have special BCS privileges - now they get special access to lower bowls as well? WTF.
One of my fears is that Rodriguez failing because the Big Ten is a lot tougher than the Big East and the ACC. Under this theory, the Big Ten is a lot closer to the SEC than people credit us for, and the Big East is a lot farther away.
I have never been all that impressed by Rodriguez's record at WVU because I don't believe the Big East is anywhere near as tough as the Big Ten. (Same argument applies to his experience at Tulane and Clemson/ACC).
I am wondering if the problem is that he hasn't coached enough against talent at the Big Ten level, both on the field and off.
He and his coordinators have frequently appeared out-coached. His key hire, Scott Shafer, has not impressed many people. Giving up a fake punt with 5 minutes left in the game is being out-coached.
The quick skill players he loves have done a lot of good things, but they have also looked overmatched at times against Big Ten size. Their running game has been best with big, strong Brandon Minor, a prototype Big Ten back, not a speedy WVU back.
Did we just give too much credit to the Big East?
*Note: this theory has the advantage of auto-disrespecting all West Virginia loons.
I wrote a post today detailing the Big East's new partnership with Comcast. There are a couple parallels and contrasts to the ongoing Big Ten Network saga that may be of interest to anyone who's followed the coverage of the BTN's attempts to get itself up off the ground.
Would the Big Ten have been better off partnering with Comcast/Versus from the start, instead of bickering for a year?