Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
Link just posted in the ESPN Big Ten blog. I'm hoping the "gift suite" is compelling, because a fleece pullover doesn't generate much excitement.
I created the title to this thread to reflect the title of the article he wrote for Yahoo. I was up in arms while waiting on my browser to load the page and until I scrolled to the part about the Sugar Bowl. Forde does not think Michigan is undeserving, instead thinks that Boise and K-State got hosed. No news there, as the twittersphere has been active with the topic. Below is the excerpt from the article that pertains to our bowl game. I hope Va Tech sucks as bad as everyone says as the bulletin material has definitely been one sided.
Side note: While we all think the BCS is a flawed system, I argue that the flaws are what appeals to the NCAA. Aside from the obvious (cash) incentives, talking about teams getting screwed is a yearly thing. It encites passion among its fans, both positive and negative. It keeps our interest. The old addage about Howard Stern applies...
The presence of Virginia Tech in a BCS bowl is an absolute, complete and utter travesty. The Sugar Bowl should be ashamed of itself for taking the Hokies over more deserving candidates Boise State and Kansas State.
What did Virginia Tech do to deserve its bid? It played three games against ranked teams – and lost two of them, by a combined 48 points. The lone victory was against Georgia Tech, a team that was No. 21 at the time but resides well outside all top 25s now.
Aside from the Yellow Jackets, here’s who the Hokies beat to earn their bid: Appalachian State, East Carolina, Arkansas State, Marshall, Miami, Wake Forest, Boston College, Duke, North Carolina and Virginia. They beat nobody ranked higher than 45th in Jeff Sagarin’s computer ratings.
Kansas State played four ranked teams and split those games, defeating Baylor and Texas and losing to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Wildcats’ schedule is ranked 10th-toughest in America by Sagarin, while Virginia Tech’s is 56th.
But Tech gets the Sugar Bowl reward, while Kansas State goes to the Cotton Bowl to play Arkansas and Boise State is shuffled off to the Las Vegas Bowl to play an Arizona State team that fired its coach. Ridiculous.
So, yesterday night, Wetzel tweeted this jem:
Sugar: Michigan-Va Tech. Remember Delany went to wall for Sugar, got Pryor et al eligible. No way going to make UM play Boise. Quid pro quo
He's offered absolutely no, like, EVIDENCE of this scratching of our back, but Scott Van Pelt has been jumping all over it claiming it sounds totally reasonable, which is now turning into all the Boise fans taking it as gospel, and that Hoke and Michigan are cowards, even though Wetzel himself claims no knowledge on Michigan's part of the alledged freezeout.
First, Wetzel is obsessed with Delany. He sees him as the #1 opponent to a cfb playoff and tweets/writes about him once a week minimum. Second, the logic is all off: if the Sugar Bowl was doing the B1G a favor by avoiding a lose-lose scenario with a mid-major, than doesn't that mean Boise would've been better for the Sugar Bowl (as in a better traveling fanbase)? No one claims that. So how can it be both (a) in the Sugar Bowl's best financial interest to book Va Tech, and (b) something they did solely to please Wetzel? What a ridiculous story. Boise fans are going ape over it though, and trashing both Va Tech/Michigan.
I'm sure you're all as excited as I am about the Sugar Bowl. But I'm sure you've all been pestered by friend/family/co-workers about how M is only there because it's all about the money. Or they have various other gripes. I've decided to classify these gripes, and share my unsolicited opinion with you on the internet. I'll approach this as a conversation with each of the various butthurt partisans.
(Since we are the lowest ranked BCS team in, I'll compare everyone's resume to ours)
QUIT YOUR WHINING
Sparty - I'd almost feel bad for you if you were passed over for a BCS game by us. But you weren't - you were outside of the top 14 and therefore ineligible. Why were you outside the top 14, when we both had the same number of losses and you won the head-to-head? And won the division over us? No, not the polls - we were ranked within a spot of each other in all of them. It was the computers. Why? You see, while you beat us by 14, you lost to Nebraska by 21, who lost to us by 28. Triangle of doom. Shall we look at the other loss? Ours was an ugly one in the division to Iowa - by 8 points. Which gave you the edge in the B1G West. Yours was an even uglier thumping at the hands of Notre Dame. Yes, yes, you beat Wiscy on a Hail Mary at home. And then lost to them by 3 at a neutral site. Want to count it as a tie against a top ten team? Doesn't change the fact that If you had shown up at all in that ND game, you may have had a legitimate gripe. You didn't, so you don't. Enjoy Florida. I hear it's nice this time of year.
Oklahoma - Yes, your TT loss doesn't look that much worse than our Iowa loss. And your Baylor loss looks better than our Sparty loss. But the way you got absolutely stomped in the biggest game of your season is way uglier than anything that happened to us. Also, you're 9-3 after that one. You don't deserve anything more than the Copper Bowl.
South Carolina and Arkansas - Nobody wants to hear it. No, the limit on only two teams from a conference isn't holding you back - it keeps you from playing each other. Look, even in your good years nobody wants to see two teams from the same conference play in a bowl game against each other. And the SEC didn't have a good year - Arkansas, your best win is against the Cocks, and your escape against A&M is not as pretty as our escape against Notre Dame. And you got throttled in your two losses - you got beat worse by Bama than Penn State did. Gamecocks, your best win was against Clemson - and your losses against Arkansas and Auburn are comparable to our losses against Sparty and Iowa. But we pretty much thumped everyone else on our schedule except our rivals. Your wins were...uninspiring. The system isn't holding you back at all - your own failures on the field are keeping you out of the party. And no SEC partisans are ever allowed to complain about the BCS again, unless it's talking about how biased pollsters are towards their own.
Boise State - I usually defend you guys, but I'm not going to this time. Yes, you've got only 1 loss, and it was a close one to TCU - better looking than either of our losses alone, and certainly prettier than both put together. And your win over Georgia is comparable to our win over Nebraska. But here's the thing - your next best win was either Tulsa, Wyoming, or SDSU. SDSU was at the bottom of our resume for wins. In fact, it's so far down there we don't even think about where it is. Your second best win is our 7th or 8th best? I've got to go with our resume on this, even with the uglier losses.
Southern Miss - When both of your losses are to teams without winning records, then you have not proven you belong in the BCS. That interview gave me a good laugh though.
YOU MAYBE HAVE A POINT
TCU - I love how you guys do what you do, and you had an amazing season. Beating Boise on the blue turf and winning the Mountain West is nothing to smirk at. And while your win @Boise may be better than ours against Nebraska, and your losses are comparable to ours, I've got to go with the same argument I had against Boise - the meat of your schedule is the dregs of ours. What's that you say? Why is West Virginia ahead of you? That's a good point, but you guys know how it is in the Mountain West. That's why you're leaving next year. Good luck in the B12.
Baylor - I've had a lot of fun watching you guys, and I'm rooting for RG3 for the Heisman. And your resume isn't bad - beating three ranked teams is far better than us, and getting blown out by OK St is not so bad. Losing to K St by one isn't bad at all either. Getting blown out by A&M is way worse than anything that happened to us though. So yea, your resume is close to ours. But there's a couple of other guys in your conference who belong more, so I don't feel so bad that we're in over you.
I FEEL FOR YOU GUYS BUT YOUR CONSOLATION ISN'T SO BAD
Kansas State - You guys should be in a BCS game. Yes, your blowout at home by OU is bad, but your second loss was by seven @the #2 team in the country. You totally have an argument that "it's all about the money." But hey now, don't look at US like that - we weren't the last ones in. That would be the Hokies you have beef with - and truth be told, I think you'd probably travel to NOLA better than them anyway.
But really, getting a chance to play an overrated #6 SEC team in the Cotton Bowl - a game that was "major" back in the Bowl Coalition days - that's a major opportunity for respect, and pretty much a BCS game anyway. I mean, without the massive payout. But that would've gone to Texas as blood money anyway, right?
DEATH TO THE BCS
Oklahoma State - What can anybody say, guys. You got hosed by Alabama. They have two wins over the top 25, you have four. They lost to the #1 team at home, and you lost to an unranked team on the road - your loss is a little worse, your wins are better. No, just cause they blew out a weak schedule doesn't mean anything - you should have gotten the nod from resume alone.
What makes it ridiculous and insufferable is the obvious - this is a rematch, they didn't win their division, they're playing a team from their conference. I know you've been over it a hundred times over in your own heads. I hope you guys beat Stanford and win the Grantland Rice and the Macarthur trophies. I hope Alabama gets crushed.
But really, your gripe is way more legitimate than K-State's. It's probably the most legitimate gripe I've ever heard with regards to the BCS - yes, more legit than Oregon, Auburn, and USC have had in the past. While I've never loved the BCS, I never thought it was so broken as to screw you over for a less deserving team because they came in second in a conference that was good the last couple of years. The system is broken and you've been royally screwed by it, and will watch them play a regional scrimmage.
I'm way more excited for your matchup against Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl than I am for the event that precedes LSU's deserved coronation. Good luck, and prove to the nation that you deserve a shot.
Alright, I know everyone's thinking about it, but nobody's posting. For those Bowl veterans out there, what is the scalping environment typically like? Am I the only one who thinks the cheapest ticket being $97 is a little ridiculous?
If Ok St. jumps Alabama to get into the BCS NCG vs LSU, assuming Michigan is a BCS qualifier, what does that mean for us? The first thing it means is that Alabama is guaranteed a spot in the Sugar Bowl as there is an SEC tie-in. That also means the Fiesta Bowl has the first TWO choices. They have the first choice as a replacement pick for Ok St. and the next pick as their regular selection (Fiesta, Sugar, Orange).
Does the Fiesta select Michigan and Stanford? I guess another way of putting it is CAN the Fiesta select BOTH Michigan AND Stanford? Does the Rose Bowl have an exclusive in the BCS on a B1G-PAC12 matchup (aside from the NCG. If Alabama does not go to the NCG, there is a very good possibility that the FIESTA picks Michigan. Who would they be paired with. My guess is K-State for the same reason Alabama would go to the Sugar.