Posted on: November 22, 2012 10:22 am
The time has come for the Big East to do the right thing and admit that no matter what they do, they should no longer be considered one of the top conferences in college football.
It's something that fans, experts, and people involved in college football has known for years, but despite losing its biggest names to surrounding conferences, the Big East still tries keeping its BCS standing alive with paste and leftover parts.
The Big East just lost Rutgers, one of their better football schools, to the Big Ten. Sometime within the next month, they will lose another one of its big players to the ACC as Maryland's replacement. These losses are coming on the heels of losing Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia, and TCU (to an extent) to the ACC and Big 12, respectively.
The losses also come at a time when the Big East is earnestly trying to secure a new national television deal. But with what the Big East is going to be providing football wise in the future, it can't look that appealing for potential suitors.
While the Big East tries hard to keep their BCS hopes afloat and their conference intact, here are my suggestions on how the Big East could rectify their situation:
1. Admit It's Over. I don't know if the Big East ever really warranted an automatic BCS bid, but they sure don't now. The loss of 80% of their top football programs has decimated the conference beyond repair. There are two mid-major conferences, who if put head to head against the Big East, would assuredly triumph. Those two conferences are the Mountain West and the MAC. That's right, the MAC, who at the moment have six 7+ win teams and boast victories over two of the Big East's top teams, Rutgers and Cincinnati.
With that said, they need to keep the football conference alive, just on a smaller scale. There are certain football playing schools who are important to keep around for basketball purposes. So a retooled Big East football conference is needed, a conference with a regained idendity. And the first place to start is:
2. Figure Out a Way to Lose the Western Schools. The conference is still called the Big East. The onlything San Diego is east of is the Pacific Ocean. If I recall correctly, Texas was part of the Old West, not the Old East. Boise? I'm in bed when they're still watching Prime Time television.
Boise State might be easing themselves out of their deal with the Big East, as they remain in talks with the Mountain West to possible stay in the conference. Sand Diego State confirmed they would be leaving for the Big East, but I would assume would rethink their position if they were the only team west of the central time zone to be making the jump.
I'm going to assume for the story's sake that UConn will be the team to jump to the ACC. While Louisville has the more attractive football/basketball combo, UConn has the better television market and the more sensical geographic location for the ACC. If you subtract the incoming Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, and SMU, that would leave the Big East with 4 current football playing schools (Louisville, Cincinnati, Temple, and South Florida) and 3 incoming schools (Central Florida, Memphis, and Navy eventually).
It wouldn't be hard to add one more mid-major school east of the Mississippi, maybe the likes of Marshall or East Carolina. That would leave the conference with 8 football playing schools, making for a nice 'play each team once a year' conference. If Conference USA can strike a deal with CBS, I'm sure the Big East could find a suitable deal with these 8 teams in the mix. The last football move would be to accept the loss of your BCS standing, and move on to the biggest part of the plan:
3. Focus on Being a Basketball Conference. That's what you've always been, and as much as you try to deny it, that's what you always will be. The loss of Syracuse, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and UConn will hurt, but there is still a strong foundation for Big East basketball. The major players from the Big East's hayday are still around in Georgetown, Villanova, St. John's and Providence. Louisville and Cincinnati (Big 12 willing) are still around as well and are solid basketball programs.
Add to those teams current schools Marquette, Seton Hall, South Florida and DePaul, plus incoming Temple, Memphis, UCF, and let's say Marshall, and you have a very good 14 school basketball conference. Is it upper echelon anymore? No. But it's also not a conference to sneeze at. Basketball is where the Big East will prevail, with football just being a means to appease some of the basketball playing schools.
I realize there is a lot of legality and financial motives that may make my plan difficult to accomplish. I'm sure some will disagree with the direction I think the Big East should take. But the Big East is drowning, and its pathetic attempts to pull in western schools to try and save the standing of its football conference isn't getting it any closer to land. The conference is called the Big East, not the Big East and Friends.
It's time to say goodbye to your automatic BCS bid and earn it the way other schools of your caliber have to. It needs to be done for the sake of your remaining schools, their students, and their fans. If not, we may not be far away from seeing the Big East go the way of the Southwest Conference. And I, for one, never want to see that happening.
Posted on: December 18, 2008 1:23 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2008 1:24 pm
I have a lot to say about my favorite teams this time of year, and I plan on writing a blog about each and every one of them this week. Consider it a McNotables 6 days of Christmas. Leave it to me to start off writing about the only team that actually isn't playing a game this week, my beloved New York Mets.
Omar Minaya has already started off the winter with a couple of great moves, revamping the bullpen with Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz. You also shouldn't overlook the acquisitions of both Jeremy Reed and Sean Green. Green is a reliable 6th or 7th inning reliever that can give you 75 appearances over the season. Reed should be the replacement to Endy Chavez, a slap hitting outfielder off the bench with some speed.
But hopefully Mr. Minaya realizes he is not done. The Mets are set at the corner infield spots, as well as shortsop and centerfield. Fans are clammering for a new 2B, most notably Orlando Hudson. While Hudson would look great turning two with Jose Reyes, the Mets can honestly get by at 2B without going outside the organization. While I, like most fans, are tired of Luis Castillo and his constant injuries, the Mets could do worse. Though I think they're best option is to continue with the move of Daniel Murphy from the outfield to second, and have Murphy play everyday and bat in the 2 hole.
Catcher is another position where it looks like the Mets will have to do with what they have. Brian Schneider is a decent receiver, though his bat leaves something to be desired. Ramon Castro looked like he would be the hitting part of a lefty/righty platoon at backstop last year, but he came down with Andruw Jones Syndrome (injuries and cheeseburgers) and never got going. It looks like the Mets will have to give this platoon another try in '09, though knowing Minaya, don't be surprised if he makes a pitch for Ivan Rodriguez.
The corner outfield spots are a pressing need. Well at least one of them. I think a Ryan Church/Fernando Tatis platoon in RF would prove quite productive. Both can hit, and I think platooning would give both men needed days off and keep them fresh. LF is another story and this is where Omar Minaya and Fred Wilpon should start opening the checkbook. I hate the Phillies as much as the next Mets fan, and who better to hate than Met-killer Pat Burrell. But Burrell would be a perfect fit in LF on opening day at TaxPayerField...uhh I mean BankruptcyField...oh wait CitiField, yeah thats it. For starters, you keep Burrell out of the opposing clubhouse, which wins the Mets at least 3 games a year right there. Burrell has averaged 31 HRs and 99 RBIs the past 4 years, and honestly, from your number 6 hitter, what more do you need? The Mets shouldn't overpay, but they should try do to as much as they can to have Pat Burrell in Port St. Lucie to start the spring. That would leave you with a projected lineup of:
SS- Jose Reyes
2B- Daniel Murphy
3B- David Wright
CF- Carlos Beltran
1B- Carlos Delgado
LF- Pat Burrell
P...oh now we need to address the starting pitching. It's a concern that needs to be addressed for sure, but not as bad as some people think. Your Top 3 of Johan Santana, John Maine, and Mike Pelfrey is not too shabby. There is talk of rookie Jon Niese in the 5 slot, or resigning Pedro Martinez, which as your number 5 starter, isn't the worst thing in the world. So really the Mets just need a reliable number 4 starter. There has been talk about resigning Oliver Perez, but I feel like he's going to want more than he's really worth. There was talk about acquiring Jason Marquis from the Cubs and bringing him home to New York, and I would welcome that. Marquis is the odd man out in Chicago and needs to go somewhere, and the Mets would be a nice place, though I'd rather see him as the Mets 5th starter.
There are two names out there on the free agent market that I think would look great in the Mets rotation...Brad Penny and Jon Garland. I know, Penny is built like Homer Simpson and completely imploded last year. But I think a change of scenery will restore some of the luster on the 250+ lb pitcher. And Garland, despite his near 5.00 ERA last year, notoriously hits 190 innings every year and a 4.47 career ERA entirely in the AL is not bad. A move to the NL could easily make him a 3.50 pitcher. Neither name is sexy, but I believe both would drastically improve the Mets rotation.
So here it is Mr. Minaya, the McNotables Mets Christmas Wish List :
Make it happen and we'll actually see you in October in 2009.
Posted on: July 28, 2008 12:52 am
Edited on: July 28, 2008 1:31 am
If you are a Mets fan, you have to be excited. They have completely done a 180 this last month and now are sitting pretty atop the NL East. But the Phillies and Marlins are lurking. Mets fans still are leery about a collapse because last year is still in the back of their minds. If Omar Minaya really wants the Mets to put last year behind them there's only one thing to do...pick up the phone, call Theo Epstein, and pry Manny Ramirez away from the Red Sox.
I know, I know...there are a bunch of factors that makes this move unlikely. The first is that the Mets depleted an already lacking farm system in the Johan Santana trade. Honestly, I don't think it'll take that much to get Manny from the Sox at this point. The situation is ugly. Manny choking out PR guys, calling out the owner, illegedly throwing at-bats. Epstein has gone on the record saying he would trade Manny if he would waive his no trade clause. Manny came back on Sunday saying he would welcome a trade if the Red Sox had the stones to do it. Manny's from NY. I'm sure he would waive his no trade clause to come back home.
With that volatile a situation I't would behoove Omar Minaya to at least try. If Ryan Church doesn't come back then you have Manny patrolling left field and you are able to platoon Fernando Tatis and Endy Chavez and keep both players fresh. The Mets have the money to do this, and if they want they can even pick up Manny's option and keep him next year as well. But they need to strike fast before either Boston, Manny, or both change their minds. I don't know what Minaya can piece together that would be appealing to the Red Sox, but like I've said at least 8 million times already, he has to at least try.
And if you're worried about Manny's attitude? I'm one who believes a bad attitude can be handled by a strong manager and a good environment. I think Jerry Manuel is that strong manager and think the Mets clubhouse, with that spicy latin flavor, is an environment that Manny will at least find tolerrible. And if he doesn't change his tune? Well I'm one fan who would deal with it in return for some big numbers and some playoff wins.
Now I'm not one of those unrealistic fans who thinks his team can grab a superstar just because they need one. But this is one situation where all the cards seem to be falling into the right place. I think with what happened last year, not making the playoffs isn't an option for this team. So with the trade deadline coming up fast Omar Minaya needs to do whatever it takes to get this team into the playoffs. Manny Ramirez at a corner outfield spot would do the trick.
Posted on: May 7, 2008 10:45 am
Edited on: May 7, 2008 11:00 am
I'm back, after a much needed day off, to "take time out of my life to express silly hatred and pure jealousy over a sports team I don't particulary care for." Well at least so is the opinion of UrAjoke. Well this isn't 8th grade and the Boston Celtics are not Johnny Taylor, the kid with the hottest girlfriend in school, so there was no hatred or jealousy involved. It is true I do hate some teams in pro sports and I will mention them now so you know when I will be writing with complete bias. I will honestly tell you that I despise the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Antonio Spurs, and, with all my being, the New York Rangers. I made my list and now I will check it twice...the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic, nor the NBA front offices and officiating are on there, so I feel free to continue.
Monday's game between the Pistons and Magic was great. You had a great paced 1st quarter where the teams played to a 29-29 tie. You had Detroit proving why they are a great defensive basketball team, holding the Magic to 11 points in the 2nd to take a 10 point lead into half time. Then you had the Magic erasing a one time 14 point deficit to take a 1 point lead in the 3rd. And then...the fastest way to taint an otherwise brilliant game. With 4.8 seconds left on the clock in the 3rd quarter, Rodney Stuckey races down the court, jumps and in mid air passes back to Chauncey Billups, who then buries a long 3 pointer to give the Pistons a 4 point lead. Wow they did that in 4.8 seconds? Uh no. Unlike David Blaine, who cannot do a real magic trick to save his life...I mean seriously guy pull a rabbit out of a hat or something. Who wants to see you sit in a box suspended in mid air for 3 days...oh wait I strayed. Unlike David Blane, the Pistons were the ones with the real magic that night, running that entire sequence in only 0.7 seconds. Phenomenal, right? Wrong. Because like Janet Jackson's exposed breast on Superbowl Sunday, there was a malfunction. This time a clock malfunction. And after further video review it showed that the play actually took 5.5 seconds and the shot shouldn't have counted. The Magic then went on to pull a stunning 93-92 victory out, evening the series at 1.
Oh but that's what could've happened. But this isn't It's a Wonderful Life, and we don't get to go back and have a do over. Because what really happened was the referees were not allowed to use video review, thus needing to "estimate" how long the play took. And like the utter mathematical geniuses they are, they estimated the play took 4.3 seconds. Yeah sometimes I pull numbers out of my ass too. Like when a cop pulls me over and asks me if I know how fast I was going. So what was a 2 point game with only 11 seconds to go in the game, could have been a 1 point lead in favor of the away team. Ofcourse theres no way of speculating what would've happened if they had disallowed the basket, so you can't automatically say the Magic would've won. But what we do know is that with 11 seconds left the score really should've been 93-92 in favor of Orlando, and we pray that would've stopped Hedo Turkaglu from heaving up that disgusting 3 with 45 seconds left.
I'm not saying this is a tainted win by Detroit, they played a heck of a game. But it is a heartbreaker for the Magic, especially in a playoff game. The real crime is the fact that the refs could not use the video replay. It's absurd to me that we can't use technology to our advantage. Why, because it'll ruin the integrity of the sport? We're not asking to review if a guy's foot was on the line, we're merely asking to use technology to correct a problem that was caused by technology. I think a video replay evens out a malfunctioning clock anyday. The point is, the NBA should revisit their rules on replay when it comes to clock errors. Because following the system they have now put a black cloud on an otherwise outstanding playoff game.
I'm realizing now I should have put David Blaine on my most hated list. He'd be right below the Rangers.
Posted on: May 5, 2008 3:22 am
Edited on: May 5, 2008 6:24 am
I never quite agreed with the old 'the pen is mightier than the sword' adage. Think about it. If you took a Bic into a fencing match, it's going to get ugly, isn't it? I much prefer the 'sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me' saying. With that said, Boston fans stop squirming. This shouldn't hurt a bit.
The Celtics laid a hurtin on the Hawks last night. They won by 34, thus taking Game 7 and winning the series. The game was never in doubt and the Celtics showed why they had the best record in the NBA this season. Yeah, so everything was true up until that last statement. The Celtics were supposed to have the easiest first round series since Dr. Naismith poked a hole in the bottom of a peach basket and dropped a ball through it. And instead they barely make it to the second round.
All the experts picked the Celtics to sweep, and while I do think Atlanta has a talented team, I thought the same. So in that sense the whole city of Boston should be disgusted. There shouldn't have been cheering and highfiving going on at the game last night. There should have been a lot of finger pointing and 'it's about time' yelling.
The Celtics had the best record in the NBA by far this year. They sport a trio of superstars in Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce. The Hawks have a lot of young talent but no one can be put into the category the Boston 3 are in. The Celtics swept the series in the regular season, winning each game by double digits. There is no way this game should have went more than 5 games. But what is even more embarrassing is that the Celtics lost all 3 games on the road, including blowing double digit leads in 2 of them and having the lead going into the 4th quarter in 2 of them. If the Celtics can't close out the games they have late leads in, LeBron James is going to have as much fun with them as a guy with a shoe fetish would have in Imelda Marcos' closet. (Really, an Imelda Marcos reference in an NBA piece? For that matter, an Imelda Marcos reference, period?). Anyway...this was the ONLY series that went to 7 games and it pitted the playoff team with the best regular season record against the team with the worst.
I forgot to mention that the Hawks were 8 games under .500 in the regular season while the Celtics were 50 games over. Wait there's more. The Hawks had the worst record of any playoff team since 2003-04 when the, yes, Boston Celtics were 10 games under .500 and made the postseason. I am not trying to bash the Hawks in any sense, but this should not have been this close. And Boston fans should be terrifed that the Celtics didn't win a road game. Every other team in the playoffs so far has won a road game. This could be a huge problem in the upcoming series.
So like any foolish sports player who goes out and says 'I guarantee my team will win Game 7', well I guarantee the Celtics will not win the championship. Not this year at least. I would love to see someone from the East win it all, but with this past weeks performance, I can't believe it will be Boston. So sling your tomatoes. Well maybe you should just write something mean. Tomatoes are going to hurt.
Posted on: May 2, 2008 2:47 am
Another day, another blog. And now that I know at least 2 people out there in Blogland read this, I have to make sure I catch all the typos. My favorite, Pressure. Thanks a lot.
I was reading Eric Kay's blog yesterday about how Will Nieves should be starting over Paul LoDuca and it inspired me. Because there too is an overpaid veteran on my Mets whose playing time should be nonexistant. So Mr. Kay, this beautiful Friday morning consider yourself my muse.
I'm not the first Mets fan, or 965th for that matter, who thinks Carlos Delgado has worn out his welcome in Flushing. I'll admit, I was pulling for him in the spring to regain that Delgado form and start mashing the ball again. But after one month of pop flies to the shortstop and throwing 10 pitches to my 3 year old daughter yesterday, I've realized she makes better contact than Carlos Delgado does now.
I think its time the Mets cut bait with Delgado. Maybe they can trade him to the Pirates for a fungo bat. Now that Matt Morris is gone, I'm sure Pittsburgh is in need of a new hopeless reclaimation project. Maybe he should just hang them up and be the new poster boy for Just For Men. Come on, don't lie. You've also been wondering when Keith Hernandez was going to leave the announcers booth just to tell Carlos that his 'stache is trash and his beard is weird.
But again, I'm not here to state the obvious. I'm here to offer 5 better alternatives for the Mets at 1B who don't have a major league job.
1. Olmedo Saenz - For starters, he's in the Mets minor league system, so it'll save the Mets negotiations and paperwork. This pudgy 1B hit .190 with the Dodgers last year, so he'll give you Delgado numbers, but cheaper. Plus Saenz will keep the Mets above their set Latino quota if Carlos was to leave.
2. Ryan Klesko - Klesko unoffiically retired last week because he still hasn't received a job offer. I'm sure a little paper and a starting 1B job can lure him back to the field. Big Ryan can easily give you a .265 AVG with 20 HR. The only problem is he's hurt an awful lot, so he and Moises Alou will most likely have to rotate 3 days and every other Sunday out of the lineup a week.
3. Jay Gibbons - The Mets could use a little juice in their lineup. And while I don't mean that literally, you have to wonder who's distributing the 'suppliments' now that LoDuca is with the Nationals. On the field Gibbons can do 10 HR and a .250 avg in his sleep. Which might be more than Delgado will give us awake.
4. Julio Franco - I know Satchell Paige is rolling over in his grave. The man may be old, but he still looks younger than Carlos Delgado. And he swings harder too. So if I was going to have an old man swinging a bat in my lineup without much chance of making contact, I'd prefer the one swinging harder. Plus think of what a lift to the Mets clubhouse it will be to see El Padre Tiempo walk through the doors again.
5. Billy Crystal - What? He looked like a tougher out against Paul Maholm than Delgado would be.
So Omar Minaya, if you're reading this, which Im sure you are because it'd be absurd to miss a day of my blog, please take this list to heart. Because as a Mets fan, if I'm going to boo an underproducing 1B, I'd rather it be one getting underpaid.
Be back tommorow, when I will delve into the lost art of the game of Pepper. Okay, maybe not.
Posted on: May 1, 2008 9:49 am
Edited on: May 1, 2008 9:54 am
God help my soul for what I am about to write. Only in my current state would I even tackle the subject at hand. My current state by the way is hungover and 2 minutes removed from puking my brains out into my toilet. Yeah sometimes when shots of Grey Goose at 5 in the morning seems like a good idea, ultimately it's not. So while I was emptying the contents of my stomach into said toilet, I was thinking about something else that needs to be flushed away...Roger Clemens.
I swore after the Mindy McCready incident that I was done with Roger Clemens because he had passed the point where he could ever save face. And then last night, I drunk Googled, and I saw yet another story on Roger Clemens. This time it was about Roger and John Daly's ex-wife Paulette Daly. Just like McCready, Paulette said she new Roger and were good friends, but when asked if they had sex, she said she felt uncomfortbale talking about it.
Okay I'm in no state to be intellectual but I will translate for you. 'I'm uncomfortable talking about it' is a long way of saying yes. Because if she didn't have sex with Roger, it wouldn't be uncomfortable, it would just be no. But at this point who cares. We get it, Roger is a cheater. He cheated on the baseball field and he cheated on his wife. Tomorrow there is going to be a story about how Stan and Betty Sowers, Roger's neighbors, have a hidden camera tape of Roger flashing Debbie signs and cheating at Pictionary during their weekly draw off. Okay already, he's a cheater.
Not that I'm defending Roger, he makes me want to run back to my bathroom and dry heave, but enough is enough. I hated hearing about him when he was the 40+ year old wonder man pitching for the Astros and Yankees. And then I liked watching him look like a complete jacknozzle in front of Congress, doing his best Webster's dictionary impression and making up words, though I misremember what words they actually were. But at this point I'm over it. He messed up any chance of saving face by not coming right out and telling the truth about his steroid use during his Blue Jays days and now he'll forever be tainted in the eyes of the sports world.
He should've taken a page from best friend Andy Pettitte's book but he didn't, so now lets let Roger fade into the sunset. There are a lot more worthy sports stories out there, that we don't need to be wasting keystrokes on Roger Clemens. Like for instance, I heard a guy on the Pro Bowling Tour bowled a 299 enroute to a tournament victory the past Sunday.
Posted on: April 30, 2008 7:38 pm
Edited on: April 30, 2008 7:58 pm
Ok so I finally did it. I dusted off that $6.99 bottle of Andre, cracked it over the bow of my blog, and have finally set sail. I've been resisting actually putting a blog up here because I really didn't feel like anyone was going to read it. Honestly I'm 99% sure that this badboy is going to go unseen anyway, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
There's an old saying that goes 'if it aint, broke, don't fix it'. And then there's an old saying in sports that goes 'if it's broke, fire the head coach'. Both sayings are at the forefront in Big D tonight because if the Mavericks would have just adhered to the first saying, there may have been no reason to be muttering the latter.
Avery Johnson got the axe today and it was undeservedly so. Let's ignore the fact that no one can understand a damn word thats coming out of his mouth. And we'll bypass the fact that he always looks like Gary Coleman did after he said "Whatchu talkin' bout, Willis?" Avery Johnson was a fine NBA coach. The problem here is he is coaching a team that is run by a poorly dressed baboon.
Mark Cuban wouldn't know a sensible sports related move if it was written down in front of him on a piece of paper. And because of it, Avery Johnson lost his job. Cuban got caught up midseason in a little game of 'keepin' up with the Joneses' and it ultimately ruined any chance the Mavericks had of making noise in the playoffs. He saw the Lakers grab Pau Gasol and Suns get Shaquille O'Neal . So Cuban panicked and allowed the whole chemistry of his team to get ruined just to grab a big name star.
Now I'm all for bringing in Jason Kidd. But not midseason. Adding a point guard to run the show midseason is a dangerous proposition because he is not familiar with the team at all. It's not like plugging a big man into the system and letting him play his part. It's like going out and hiring a new director for your movie after half the movie has already been shot. But maybe this was Avery Johnson's fault. Maybe he was the one who got nervous when big names started going to the Western Playoff teams so he sold his sole for an equally big name. Highly unlikely though.
Before the Mavericks let Kidd walk on to the court they were 35-18, 2 games behind the Hornets and tied with the Spurs. After Kidd joined the team they went 16-13 and instead of challenging for the division title, had to fight for their lives to get into the playoffs. They also depleted their bench after trading guys like DeSagana Diop and Trenton Hassell to the Nets. Again maybe Avery Johnson could have made Kidd's transition smoother, thus avoiding a handful of losses. Again doubtful.
I won't even mention the fact that the team lost reigning MVP Dirk Nowitzki for a couple weeks to injury. I think it was a feat for these Mavs in disarray to even still be in the playoff picture. I think Johnson should have been giving a round of applause. But then again, maybe Avery could've caught Dirk before he landed awkwardly, thus avoiding any injury.
If the Mavs only excuse for firing Johnson was the fact that they again had a poor first round showing in the playoffs, well then shame on Dalas execs. The team was 4-10 against .500 or better teams after the Kidd trade. What did you expect?
So as you ride off into the Texas sunste Avery johnson, know that this sports fan does not blame you for the downfall of the Dallas Mavericks. After thinking about it, maybe you're better off leaving the crazies in the front office behind. I hear the Knicks are still hiring.