Snap Judgments: Pac-10 TV woes, Richt's future, LSU's puzzling loss
Someone at ESPN/ABC needs to be fired for turning me into a criminal Saturday.
I'm in Tallahassee after covering the Florida State-Maryland game, and I just watched an illegal feed of the Arizona-Oregon game on Justin.tv. Why did I knowingly break the law? Because for some reason, ESPN/ABC elected not to show a significant chunk of the country any portion of the most exciting game in the nation's most exciting conference this season.
The ABC affiliate here showed me the entire Texas blowout of Kansas, right down to the
Judging by the map, I'm guessing ESPN was contractually obligated to keep Oregon-Arizona on the GamePlan pay-per-view package in the SEC and Big 12 footprints, but in an age when everything is on the Internet, this is an incredibly foolish way to do business.
Presumably, ESPN paid a significant fee for the rights to broadcast Pac-10 games. One would think that with 87 different channels, the Worldwide Leader has the means, the opportunity and the desire to allow its viewers to watch one of the most exciting football games of the season. Presumably, the advertisers who bought time on the telecast would appreciate all the extra eyeballs from casual fans surfing to a great game.
But instead, ESPN drove me to Justin.tv, where my viewership will not be measured by anyone, meaning ESPN will not be able to use my eyeballs to charge advertisers more in the future. I realize ESPN is so big that its executives probably burn $100 bills for warmth, but there's more money in showing good games to everyone. It's just common sense.
This also should raise alarm bells for first-year Pac-10 commissioner
The split was designed for a three-channel universe. We have hundreds now, and seemingly half of them have ESPN somewhere in their name. So don't make excuses, Worldwide Leader. Just show us the games.
Because I'm going to find a way to watch the game, whether it's on one of your networks or in a darker corner of cyberspace. You may as well make some money off me.
The director of the TV crew at the Kentucky-Georgia game probably set a record for "concerned fan with his hand over his open mouth" shots, but the visual storytelling seemed entirely appropriate. Kentucky's 34-27 win really makes me wonder.
For the past few weeks, I've said there is no way Georgia coach
Georgia will be an underdog at Georgia Tech next Saturday, and nothing the Bulldogs have done this year suggests they're anywhere near disciplined enough to beat the Yellow Jackets. If Georgia doesn't pull the upset, things could get dicey in Athens.
I still believe Richt will survive. Of course, I never believed
I'm not talking about Texas quarterback
If Nebraska were the 11-0 Big 12 team instead of Texas, we'd already be talking about Suh becoming the first primarily defensive player to win the Heisman since Michigan's
He'll get it Dec. 5 if his defense comes to play in the Big 12 championship game. Oklahoma held Texas to 16 points in an October loss, so the Longhorns can be contained. And the Texas line hasn't seen anyone like Suh, who is tied with fellow stud
Like Woodson, Suh also makes cameos on offense. The Huskers will slip him in at fullback on the goal line.
If Suh dominates and Nebraska either shocks Texas or plays the Longhorns to the wire, some tuxedo shop in Lincoln is going to have to do some serious alterations in a hurry.
LSU fans, who aren't known for their mild temperaments, went into total meltdown after Saturday's bizarre 25-23 loss at Ole Miss. A lot of them weren't enamored with
"When are you leaving?"
And that was before the Ole Miss game began. LSU's last drive provided plenty more questions. We'll ignore for a second that coming out of a timeout, LSU coaches called the
Miles said the Tigers tried to call timeout, but the officials didn't hear them. "That play, the clock ran down, timeouts were being called verbally and I didn't relate to the official apparently, and that was the mistake," he said. "We didn't know that it hadn't been called." Miles blamed himself for the mistake, and he was correct. He or someone on his staff should have ensured the official recognized the timeout call.
Nine seconds remained when the timeout got called. Then, by some miracle, LSU converted on fourth down with 45-yard pass from Jefferson to
That speaks to coaching. Miles or offensive coordinator
Miles should have plenty of latitude thanks to the 2007 BCS title, but a lot of people on the bayou believe that team -- stocked with
With all the talent in Baton Rouge, that shouldn't happen.
Don't expect Notre Dame's double-overtime loss to Connecticut to accelerate Fighting Irish athletic director
There's about a 99.999999 percent chance Swarbrick will fire Weis, but there's no need for him to say anything this week. If Cincinnati coach
This way, Notre Dame can finish the season under Weis. Judging by its recent performance, the Fighting Irish don't stand much of a chance next week at Stanford, but that doesn't matter. No need to launch a media circus as the players prepare for their final regular-season game.
Another good candidate for Notre Dame would be Stanford's
In 2004, Notre Dame waited too long to fire Willingham and missed out on
Some poor conference intern wore himself out Saturday spouting propaganda on the official BCS Twitter feed. The basic message from the BCS to anyone who asked about a playoff: A playoff would cause more controversy because teams also would be left out of the national title picture.
This argument is idiotic because leaving out teams five and six or teams nine and 10 isn't nearly as bad as leaving out teams three, four and five, which this season could be undefeated Cincinnati, TCU and Boise State.
The BCS isn't doing itself any favors with its forays into Twitter and Facebook. This is an obvious response to government pressure, but BCS officials
TCU certainly hasn't left anything to chance as it attempts to become the first mid-major to
The Horned Frogs didn't even commit a penalty in a 45-10 drubbing of Wyoming on Saturday. Since a 20-17 win at Air Force, TCU has won its past six games by 35.8 points. That's good. The BCS computer rankings no longer use a margin-of-victory component, but the human voters in the coaches' and Harris polls can't help but consider margin of victory.
Unfortunately for the Frogs, some of their Mountain West brethren have floundered. That hurts TCU in the computer rankings. Next week's season finale is an absolute killer. TCU faces New Mexico, which entered Saturday at 0-10. There was a bit of good news for the Frogs, though. The Lobos led Colorado State 17-14 at halftime.
Attention, members of the Orange, Sugar and Fiesta Bowl committees: Unless you're taking Boise State, do not stiff Iowa.
Chances are, one of the non-Rose BCS bowls will need to take a team that can put butts in the seats and generate some TV buzz. Judging strictly by records, an undefeated Boise State would be the obvious choice for the final at-large slot. Unfortunately, the Broncos won't draw the kind of crowd a Big Ten team would.
If the bowls pass over Boise State, they may not pick the Hawkeyes, the next best choice. Iowa closed a 10-2 regular season Saturday by beating Minnesota for the Floyd of Rosedale -- the finest pig trophy every sculpted.Yet Iowa could wind up in Orlando on Jan. 1 while a conference rival enjoys the BCS luxury.
Iowa fans travel well, but hardly anyone outside the state wants to watch the Hawkeyes play. Penn State, another two-loss team, would sell out a stadium and bring in bigger ratings.
There's only one problem. Iowa whipped Penn State in State College in September. The Hawkeyes are the superior team, and they deserve the BCS slot. But bowl officials may not see it that way.
Saturday began sadly with a moment of silence in the press box at Florida State in honor of longtime
Ellis suffered the heart attack Nov. 10. That night, he filed a story from his hospital room. That's the kind of pro Steve was, and he will be sorely missed.
Duke's quest for its first bowl trip since the 1994 season is over thanks to a 34-16 loss at Miami. The Blue Devils have five wins, and they still have a home game remaining against Wake Forest, but their scheduling choices will keep them out of a bowl.
Duke entered Saturday needing to win at Miami and against Wake Forest to make a bowl. The reason? The Blue Devils' Sept. 26 win against North Carolina Central doesn't count for bowl eligibility because NC Central is transitioning to Division I this season.
For three quarters Saturday, it seemed Duke might keep itself in the hunt for a bowl berth. The Blue Devils took a 16-10 lead on a 26-yard
Sorry to twist the knife, Duke fans, but it appears North Carolina is going to take the award for sneaky-good team of the year.
Most of us wrote off the Tar Heels after a home loss to Florida State on Oct. 22 dropped the Tar Heels to 4-3. North Carolina has won four in a row since, including a 31-13 drubbing of Boston College on Saturday. The Tar Heels should be favored to beat NC State next week and finish 9-3.
Maybe it's karma. North Carolina coach