Sep 3 2010

Week 1 Picks

I’m staggering around the office today with a little college football hangover.  How glorious!  The season has finally begun.  Well it’s Friday and that means time for my new feature … DFCF the Greek.  Let me get the disclaimer out of the way.  Gambling is illegal so this is for entertainment purposes only. *wink*wink*  I’m not responsible if you lose (or win) money so if you choose to follow these picks you do so at your own risk.  Let’s get to the picks.

Oregon State vs TCU (-13.5) at Cowboys Stadium

This smells like a trap line to me.  Vegas put out a high number to get the public to pound the Oregon State side and so far that’s exactly what has happened (68% on the Beavers).  Oregon State does have the dynamic Rodgers brothers, but they’re also breaking in a new QB that I think will struggle against this stout TCU Defense.  I do worry a little about a backdoor cover, but I think the Frogs want to prove they are BCS worthy.

Colorado at Colorado State (+11.5)

I love taking home dogs in general, but especially in rivalry games.  This series has actually been very good recently.  It’s been full of close, competitive games and the underdog is 10-3 ATS in the last 13 meetings.  The Buffaloes are a great team to play as a dog, but laying points with them is not a smart move.

Miami (OH) at Florida (-36.5)

I absolutely hate laying that many points, but this just seems like easy money.  Miami (OH) is a very bad team that only won one game last year.  Florida may have lost All-Everything Tim Tebow, but his replacement John Brantley is pretty good.  Urban Meyer will keep his foot on the gas pedal to boost Brantley’s stats and confidence going forward.

That’s my top 3 picks and here are my 5 strongest leans:  Missouri (-12), Purdue (+11), Oklahoma (-33.5), Cincinnati (+2), Virginia Tech (+1.5).  Good luck!

Jun 11 2010

Time for Action

Nebraska has officially accepted an invitation to join the Big Ten today.  The Big Ten is looking to make a much bigger splash than this so expect them to continue adding schools.  Eventually Notre Dame will get off their high horse because they won’t have a choice and join the Big Ten as well.  With the Big Ten growing bigger and the Pac-10 wanting to do the same for all intents and purposes the Big 12 is now dead.

The next conference on the chopping block is the Big East and then the ACC.  Everyone knows that the SEC is going to want to answer the Big Ten so the ACC needs to be very worried.  Instead of being the conference that’s scrambling to survive the ACC needs to be proactive and beat everybody else to the punch.  I said yesterday that I didn’t like the super conferences, but now it is very evident that’s the way things are going.  The quicker John Swofford and his cronies figure that out and start doing something about it the better off the ACC will be.

My proposal:

Add Pittsburgh and UConn tomorrow.  This will expand the conference’s footprint to the North, strengthen the basketball side of things (let’s face it basketball is the ACC), put us in the state where ESPN is located which can never be a bad thing, add two very good academic institutions (I don’t care about that stuff, but it’ll give the ACC presidents something to brag about), and give BC (UConn) and Maryland (Pitt) a natural rival.  Most importantly it will tell the current members that the ACC is not going anywhere and we plan to be a major power in the land of college athletics which would hopefully convince everybody else to stay put.

Of course a team or two could still leave, but even then the ACC would be much better prepared to handle the defections than if they were to take place the way it stands now.  I want Pitt and UConn because I think those are the two schools that bring the most to the table.  If other schools need to be added in the future my list would look like this in order of who I like the most:  1. Syracuse  2. Louisville  3. Rutgers  4. West Virginia  5. South Florida  6. Central Florida  7. Cincinnati  8. Kansas  9. Memphis  10. Temple  [Sorry ECU you don’t make the top 10.]

In other non important news, Boise State has joined the Mountain West Conference.  What you say?  Boise State is going to have to play an actual college football schedule now?  Oh well.  Those undefeated seasons were nice while they lasted I guess.

Jun 10 2010

Start the Dominoes

The news today that Colorado has officially accepted an invitation to join the Pac-10 is just the beginning of what will be a very interesting weekend.  Thinking about what could happen this weekend is confusing and scary, but whatever does transpire it will shape the future of college athletics for the next decade(s).  This is only the first domino.  There’s already been reports that Nebraska will join the Big Ten with it being officially announced on Friday.  That’s the only two things that look certain.  From here it starts getting blurry.

Some reports have Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State joining Colorado in the Pac-10.  Then there are other reports that have Oklahoma State to the Pac-10, Texas and Texas A&M to the Big Ten, and Oklahoma to the SEC.  All this is great if you live in the midwest … well except for those living in the state of Kansas … but how does it affect us over here in ACC land?  Who knows, but it sure seems that the SEC is ready to counter all this conference expansion and nobody knows just what schools they are looking at.  I’ve seen Florida State and Virginia Tech listed as realistic possibilities.  And of course everybody under the sun expects Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Miami to be in consideration as well, but I’m not so sure about any of those.  There’s no doubt that the SEC will want to make a statement.  I just hope it’s not at the expense of the ACC.

That’s not the end of the end of conference expansion talk involving the ACC.  There have been numerous reports that Maryland could be a target for the Big Ten.  Is your head spinning yet?  I’m so confused by all this that I just want it to be over with and, by all accounts, I should get my wish.  I have a sneaky suspicion that somehow Notre Dame will be a big player in all of this.  I don’t know what to think and I’m not even going to try to predict what the college landscape looks like at the end of all this.  I will say that I’m not a fan of the ‘mega’, ‘super’, [insert your favorite adjective here] 16 team conferences.  Call me old fashion, but it just has a professional sports feel to it that I don’t like.  Give me the down home college feel that has made college sports what they are.  I just hope all this expansion doesn’t ruin college sports that the ACC is still standing when all the dust settles.  Strap your seat belts and get ready for a roller coaster ride.

Update:  I just wanted to add this quote from Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione, “I’m still trying to get my mind around why that’s (jumping to the Pac-16) better than what we already have.  I’ve never understood why people don’t see that if super teams come together to make a super conference, they don’t all stay super every year.”  This is exactly why I don’t like the super conferences.  Bravo Mr. Castiglione!

May 12 2010

Conference Expansion Thoughts

I’ve been purposely avoiding the big elephant sitting in the corner of the college football room.  That elephant being conference expansion.  The expansion rumblings coming out of the Big Ten are getting louder and louder by the day.  It is definitely going to happen, it’s just not clear as to how many schools they plan to add.  Everything I’ve been reading, though, says they plan to expand to at least 14 teams with their preference being a 16 team super conference.  There are even some reports circulating around the internet that the Big Ten has already offered expansion spots to Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Rutgers.  Some other schools that have been reported to be on the Big Ten’s radar are Texas, Pitt, Maryland, UConn, and Syracuse.

If the Big Ten does expand to more than 12 teams surely the SEC will expand to match them so both conferences will keep their big dog statuses.  The SEC expansion talk hasn’t gotten anywhere near the media attention that the Big Ten expansion has because the SEC is happy where they’re at.  The have the luxury of just sitting back and seeing how things unfold.  Speculation has been all over the place as to who the SEC might target if they do choose to expand.  Some think they would go further west and look at schools like Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.  Others think they would strengthen their southern base with some combination of schools like Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina.

I can’t see the future (and if I could I would be living in a huge mansion in Las Vegas instead of wasting that power on this stupid blog), but I think the SEC would combine those two trains of thought by adding Texas, Texas A&M, Florida State, and Miami.  Those four schools would fit in well performance wise making the SEC the power football super conference and they also would add some big TV markets (a.k.a. MONEY) which in the end is what this conference expansion is all about.

The reason I’ve been avoiding this conference expansion talk so far is because I was hoping that it would go away.  I just don’t like the idea of 16 team super conferences because in the end all it’s going to be is two mini 8 team conferences that send their champs to play each other.  At least for football purposes, this is a football blog so what do you expect, you will only see the teams from the other division once every eight years.  I guess that helps correct unbalanced scheduling which is the main gripe about 12 team conferences, but if you’re never going to consistently play the teams from the other division what’s the point?  Call me a hater, but I don’t like it.

With the Big Ten and SEC the main players calling all the shots, all the other conferences are left to sit back and hope for the best.  It’s not like the ACC can be proactive like last time when they raided Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Miami from the Big East.  If it does go down like most people expect (16 team super conferences) then it looks like it will again be the Big East that suffers most as the ACC would probably look to Big East schools like UConn, Syracuse, Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and South Florida to try and keep up with the Joneses.  The timetable for conference expansion has definitely been moved up from what the initial reports were saying so it will be very very interesting to see how this whole thing plays out over the next several months.  DFCF will be here to pontificate his thoughts throughout the whole process so make sure to check back when the shit hits the proverbial fan.

Mar 17 2010

The DFCF Plan

March Madness starts tomorrow and all I can think about is why can’t we have this same excitement about college football?  Well it’s because … the BCS = Epic Fail.  I’m not really down with all the internet lingo, but I think that’s how the kids are saying it these days.  Actually I think it’s way more cool to say … the BCS “pwns” the NCAA.  That one still seems really lame to me and, for all you normal people out there, that is not a typo (although it started out that way and became its own word).  Anyway, I digress.  The point is the BCS system is a sucky way to determine the national champion.

The opinions of how to change it are like … uhm, let’s go with belly buttons … everybody’s got one.  You have the BCS plus-one format, another tier-based BCS plus-one, a 12-team playoff, a 16-team playoff called the Wetzel Plan (similar to Joe Rozsa’s plan), a 24-team playoff, and on and on and on.  Even our country’s fearless leader has an 8-team playoff in mind even though he hasn’t really given us any details about it.  Shocking, I know!

So now it comes to me.  I’m not a college football expert by any means, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  That was not funny at all and I’m not even getting paid for that plug.  Oh well, moving on.  I’ve read most of the proposals out there and I’ve thought about this a lot “dating back” (ding … inside joke) to 2002 when NC State was ranked 10th in the AP poll and 9th in the BCS standings.  Not that I think NC State can ever realistically win a national championship, but under the current BCS system we will never even get that chance.  I did a presentation on this very topic in my Public Speaking class back in 2002 during the week leading up to the Georgia Tech game.  Sorry!  Don’t blame me!

Because the BCS is so skewed towards the big name programs, even if NC State had remained unbeaten in 2002 we would not have played for the national championship.  Looking at some of those big programs; Ohio State, Texas, Southern Cal, LSU, Florida, Miami, Oklahoma, and Florida State have all appeared in multiple BCS title games and comprise 20 of the 24 total spots in the twelve year history of the game.  That would be like skipping the whole March Madness Tournament and making the Final Four consist of some grouping of Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Michigan St., UCLA, and UConn every year.  Blasphemy, I say!

Ok, I’ve rambled on enough already so … drum roll please!  I humbly present the DFCF Plan:

  • Conference Alignment – All the big six (a.k.a. BCS) conferences should expand to at least 12 teams.  I don’t know or ultimately care who the Big Ten, Pac-10, or Big East would want, although it seems like we could be finding out soon what the Big Ten and Pac-10 have in mind.  Both have begun exploring their expansion opportunities.  I do have my dream conference alignments, but that’s for another post … maybe later this week.
  • Schedule – The regular season schedule should be cut back to 11 games consisting of 8 conference and 3 non conference games with no games against D1AA teams allowed (with this plan the terms FBS and FCS would thankfully become obsolete).  I’m pretty sure that huge cheer you just heard was coming from Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Other than that, who’s really going to miss Florida vs. Charleston Southern or Alabama vs. UT-Chattanooga (both actual matchups from this past season)?  I would, however, be fine with one preseason exhibition game against a D1AA team that didn’t count towards records or player eligibility ala the NFL.  Just a thought.
  • Conference Championships – Let me be the first to say that I hate conference divisions.  It seems like more times than not the best two (or even three) teams are from the same division so the conference divisions should be scraped.  The conference schedules should have two common opponents and rotate the other six games with the best two teams meeting in the conference championship game period.
  • Non Big Six Conferences – I haven’t forgot about you guys.  The best two teams from all the non big six conferences should meet in a pseudo “Little Guys” Championship game.
  • Playoff Bracket – The playoff should consist of eight teams: the six conference champs, the little guys champ, and one at large team that cannot be a championship game loser.  How about a game between the next best “big boys” team and the next best “little guys” team.  What, no convoluted formula or biased committee to determine that last spot?  Actually deciding it on the field?  What nerve I have!  Okay, I guess you would need a formula or committee to determine playoff seeding, but as long as the champ is decided on the field I don’t think seeding matters that much.
  • Playoff Schedule – The conference championship games would remain where they are now … the first weekend of December.  The following weekend would be an off weekend.  Then the playoffs would begin with the first round being played on the third weekend of December and the second round on the fourth weekend.  Then the championship would take place a week and half later in the same Thursday night prime time spot that the BCS championship game has held for the past few years.  All playoff games would be played at neutral sites … preferably a rotation between the current Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta Bowl venues.
  • Bowls – For this plan to really work some of the bowls would have to be kept, just not all of them.  Let’s say 12-14 bowls were kept and all played on or right around New Year’s Day.  It would keep the New Year’s Day bowl tradition going, reward the teams that had very good seasons, give us some exciting football to watch, and fill in the break between the semifinals and the championship game.

I’m sure my plan isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty damn close, right?  All I did was try to make it exciting and fair for everybody.  I’m pretty sure that I at least accomplished that.  I might have missed addressing a few of the common reasons we hear for not having a playoff, but I didn’t miss these …  This plan does keep importance on the regular season and it does include the non big six conference teams.  It also does not lengthen the schedule too much (one extra game for the championship game participants than under the current system).  Most importantly, it will determine a true champion.

Feel free to comment on how awesome this plan is or ways you would tweak it.

Feb 3 2010

Wishing Upon Some Stars

Well 2010 National Signing Day has come and gone.  It was a pretty routine day around the Murphy Center.  No surprises, good or bad.  My take: there are a few guys that really impress me, but overall it’s a lot of average.  I will admit it’s a little crazy ranking the classes 7 months before these guys ever play their first game, but if you think the rankings don’t matter then you’re a little naive.

There’s a bunch of different recruiting services that release rankings, so I averaged the rankings from Rivals, Scout, and ESPN to come up with a consensus ranking.  Let’s look at the consensus Top 10 classes in order:  Florida, Texas, Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma, USC (sorry Cock fans … this is the real USC), LSU, UCLA, Florida State, and Penn State.  That list reads like a Who’s Who of college football programs.  It includes the last seven national champions and eight of them show up in the top 14 on the Top 25 College Programs of the Decade list put together by my buddies over at Frumpzilla (one of my college roomies and half my fantasy football league keep that site running so show them some love).  It’s a lot easier to win when you have the best players so let’s all just agree that the rankings do matter.

Speaking of rankings let’s get back to the Wolfpack’s class.  The recruiting gurus have it as the 6th or 7th best class … in the ACC.  I guess that is better than where we’ve finished in the actual league standings during the TOB era.  I just expect better than that, especially with our passionate fan base and the best facilities in the ACC (per ESPN).  We did get a few guys that I’m really excited about (shown in the picture below) including one BIG time pickup, literally.

The six guys I'm most excited about.

The jewel of the class is OL Rob Crisp (6’7″ 299lb.) out of Raleigh.  He was rated one of the best players, regardless of position, in the country and should man the LT spot for the next four years.  Two others that have me excited are DB’s David Amerson and Dontae Johnson.  Hopefully they can step in immediately next year and help solve the massive problems we had in the secondary this past year.  The final three I can’t wait to see in the Red and White are WR’s Tony Creecy and Bryan Underwood, and RB Mustafa Greene.  You can never have too many speedy playmakers and I think these three will fit that mold for the Pack.  I’m sure there will be a really good player or two come out of the rest of the class, but these are the six that have me looking to the future with hope and anticipation.

To these six and all the other new Wolfpackers (click here for bios) … welcome to the family!  You made the best decision of your life (I’m not biased at all).  To TOB, take a day to do your honey do’s, then start working on next year’s class.  GO PACK!