1. Only eight more months until college football season starts. Am I the only one who has started the countdown?
2. I still don’t like Nick Saban at all, but what he has accomplished is truly incredible. In seven years he has two national championships at two schools, and he mixed in a disastrous stint in the NFL in the middle of that.Saban took over a team that was just 7-6 three years ago, and has now had two amazing years in a row. As much as I hate to admit it the guy is solidly the best coach in the country. He also hurts the argument that people use in favor of guys like my beloved program’s Rich Rodriguez – that they need a couple of years to get their systems in place and let their recruits take over the program. Saban didn’t need that time.
3. How much does it suck to be Colt McCoy. That’s one jinxed guy.
4. I was very surprised to see Jim Mora get fired after just one year – almost as surprised as he reportedly was. Talk about a team thoroughly screwing up the transition from a long term coach to a new one. They have had two straight wasted years, and it’s largely as a result of the confusion of the transition and the problems it caused.
5. The rumors are flying hot and heavy that Pete Carroll is about to take over that Seattle job. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that – he’s hit a rough patch at USC, and will eventually find it impossible to resist the lure of another shot at the NFL – the league that beat him the last time around. A vacancy at USC would sure shaking up the coaching picture – especially if, as reported, he is trying to take several of his USC staff members with him to Seattle.
6. One last time to reflect on the bowl season. I think it was a pretty good one – better than the regular season in a lot of ways. My favorite game was one I never would have guessed before hand – Idaho’s thrilling win over Bowling Green in the Humanitarian Bowl. I also enjoyed the Auburn-Northwestern shootout, the Pitt-UNC battle between coaches who were also close friends, Stanford and Oklahoma in the Sun Bowl, the second half of the GMAC Bowl (the first half sucked), and the Capital One Bowl because it was such a mudfest. Overall, much more good than bad.
7. The big disappointments were, as seems to be the case, proportionately higher in the BCS. Last night’s game was a letdown as soon as McCoy was hurt, the Sugar Bowl was a joke from the start, and the Fiesta wasn’t nearly the game I had hoped. My wife has a theory about the inverse relationship between the expectations for a game and the quality of it. This year certainly backs up the theory.
8. No one can beat up on my beloved Big Ten anymore. Four wins over top 15 opponents – all as the lower seed and the underdog. The top level of the teams in the Big Ten held up at least as well as those of any other conference.
9. Manny Pacquiao has reportedly signed to fight Joshua Clottey instead of Mayweather. Boxing never resists an opportunity to sabotage itself.
10. Mike Leach has some company – South Florida coach Jim Leavitt has also been fired for misconduct towards a player, and he also says that he didn’t do what he is accused of. At least the school waited until after the bowl game in this case.