"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
- Member for
- 6 years 46 weeks
|3 years 47 weeks ago||It wasn't a catch||
Yes! Exactly. Especially from the back angle, you can definitely see that the ball continued to move through his forearms before he hit the ground. It was moving slowly, but it clearly was still moving, and it didn't stop before it hit the ground. That's why he didn't have "firm control" (and why the ball moved so much in his arms once it hit the ground). If he had been upright and in the middle of the field he almost certainly would've had time to pull the ball into his chest and secure it, but he never did so during the actual catch. To me, this was a close call (and probably impossible to make correctly without replay), but the officials clearly got it right after the review.
A lot of the criticism seems to be of the variety that close calls, by definition, can never be overturned, but I think that's a misinterpretation of the rule. "Indisputable video evidence" doesn't mean "the officials clearly botched that call;" it means "I can clearly see that the call on the field was incorrect." That can apply to close calls as well as ridiculous ones.
|4 years 28 weeks ago||Exactly||
"When I saw that the extra practices had resulted in the same sort of regression that we had all witnessed all season, I stopped thinking that more time would cure the problems and was ready to see him go."
This. Not only do I agree that the bowl game debacle was decisive, my personal (evidence-free) theory is that Brandon thought so, too. Before the bowl game, I think Brandon's list of coaches for next year looked like this:
1. Jim Harbaugh
2. Rich Rodriguez
After the bowl game, I think it was:
1. Jim Harbaugh
2. Coaching search!
And if so, who can blame him? A bowl game is a test of coaching ability in a way that regular-season games aren't always: you have time for your team to get healthy, you have time to gameplan for a specific opponent, and you have time to focus on whatever issues your team has been struggling with. It was a very, very discouraging comment on the direction of Rodriguez's program that the team he put on the field didn't just get beat, but wasn't competitive.
|6 years 46 weeks ago||"In the last 5-7 years, the||
"In the last 5-7 years, the Big Ten elites have been unable to compete with the SEC and Pac-10 elites."
This just ain't so, unless your definition of "Big Ten elites" is limited to "OSU playing in a national champtionship game."
Since 2000, the Big Ten has played the SEC in 22 games that could, arguably, be called a matching of elites: 9 times in the Capital One Bowl, 9 times in the Outback Bowl, once each in the Orange and Sugar Bowls, and twice in the national championship game. The Big Ten's record in those games is 10-12. The Big Ten was:
5-4 in the Capital One Bowl;
In other words, outside of OSU's recent struggles on the big stage, the Big Ten-SEC "elite" matchups have been perfectly even. The idea that the SEC has opened up some kind of dominance over the Big Ten -- based on bowl results -- is so crazy it's almost fascinating as some kind of real-time demonstration of how conventional wisdom is formed. (I bet that if you asked national sport journalists who work the college football beat to quickly tell you who won the 2008 Cap One Bowl, UM or Florida, at least 1/3 of them would tell you that Florida crushed UM because UM just couldn't handle the Gators' speed).
As for the Pac-10, like I said above: the Big Ten doesn't have a Pac-10 problem, it has a USC problem. Since the rest of the Pac-10 also seems to have a pretty serious USC problem, I guess I'm not convinced that USC's Rose Bowl victories really say all that much about the Pac-10 vs. the Big Ten.
Let me say for the record, by the way, that I agree that the SEC and the Pac-10 really were much better than the Big Ten THIS YEAR (I think the Pac-10 has showed itself to be better than the SEC and the Big 12, as well). I just don't think there's any trend; the data certainly doesn't show one.
|6 years 46 weeks ago||Meaningful bowl comparisons||
I think it's meaningless to compare total bowl records against each other, because the lower-tiered bowls present matchups that are essentially random in terms of the quality of the opponents. Once you get down to something like the Champs Sports Bowl or lower (ie, the 5th or 6th best team in a conference), you're not really testing conference strength any more -- you're testing conference depth, if anything (often, you're just testing the strength of teams that happen to have fan bases that travel well or live close to the bowl site). And when the media goes on its annual Big Ten bashing binge, it isn't mocking the Big Ten for having crappy mid-tier teams; it's claiming that the Big Ten's best can't compete with the other BCS conferences.
If you're interested in THAT claim, the bowl numbers you should look at are the records from the Rose, Capital One, Outback and Alamo bowls, plus the other BCS bowls played since the Big Ten joined the system in the 1998-99 season. Why those? Because their conference tie-ins usually guarantee a relatively equal matchup between teams that (1) are genuinely good that year and (2) are about the same "level" of good from conference to conference.
Here are those records:
During the last ten years that the Rose Bowl had an unbreakable Big Ten/Pac-10 tie (ie, 1989-1998), the Big 10 had a 6-4 record. Since 1998, the Big 10 has played the Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl 7 times, and in those games the Big Ten record is 2-5. Four of those five losses have been to the Pete Carroll USC teams.
Capital One Bowl
There have been 17 Capital One Bowls played since the Big Ten and SEC agreed to give it their second choice teams. The Big Ten's record in those games is 8-9 (MSU's loss this year stopped a four-year Big Ten winning streak).
There have been 14 Outback Bowls played since the Big Ten and SEC agreed to give it their third choice teams. The Big Ten's record is 6-8.
There have been 14 Alamo Bowls played since the Big Ten and Big 12 agreed to give it their fourth choice teams. The Big Ten's record is 8-6.
Other BCS Bowls
Sugar: Big Ten 1-1
Year in and year out, the Big Ten's elite teams do just fine in bowl games, with two exceptions. First, they've gotten creamed in recent years by extremely good USC teams playing a home game in the Rose Bowl. Second, OSU lost the first two "national championship" games. That's hardly evidence that the entire conference is lagging behind the other BCS conferences -- whatever the lazy sports media would have you believe.
The Big Ten's good teams are just as good as every other conference's good teams, and they have been for a long time.