Thursday, June 22, 2017

When The Summer Doldrums of The Sports World Hit...

Hockey – over.  NBA – mercifully over.  Tigers…Going down faster than a 25 cent hooker on a Saturday night…

So, what’s a sports fan to do?  I read.  Everything.  Doesn’t matter if its not all about sports.  But when I find good stuff, I like to pass it along…

When Fact Is Stranger Than Fiction

EDSBS is doing backstories on the mascots of certain schools.  While I’m no mascot fan, I do find crap like this interesting.  This one caught my eye and I almost didn’t finish reading the entire piece…

But I’m really glad I did….

Favorite quote has to be, with some context:

Frank Eaton shot out the ceiling of an Oklahoma State classroom during a quick-draw instruction.  Oklahoma State, at least tacitly, considered the quick-draw a legitimate point of instruction (in 1950).  Frank Eaton, when asked why the gun was loaded, answered “I’d rather have a pocket full of rocks than an unloaded gun”


Read it all here:

Now This Should Make You Chuckle….

I’ll just let the articles title speak for itself.  But if you ever imagined Brent Musberger in your bedroom as you’re dimming the lights, putting on some music and getting ready to do the deed and he’s announcing in your head, “Coming to you LIVE!!!”, well, read this, too…

And If You’re Wondering What Bob Stoops Retirement is Like…

Hee-hee…Just silliness….

Louisville Continued…

Just can’t help it.  The more I think about what the NCAA did with Louisville the madder I get.  And when you watch Ricky’s presser…well, that’s just a slice of Pitino’s NON-existent humility and self-awareness side. If you haven’t seen the press conference, its below and takes about 3 minutes to watch. 

Who’s the victim here again?  Rick surely wants you to believe its Louisville and more importantly, Ricky himself.

Let’s not forget that Rick has had multiple moral and NCAA related issues throughout his coaching career:

1.    Pitino's time at Hawaii was marred by a 1977 NCAA report on sanctions against the program. According to the report, Pitino was implicated in 8 of the 64 infractions that led the university to be placed on probation. The violations involving Pitino included providing round-trip air fare for a player between New York and Honolulu, arranging for student-athletes to receive used cars for season tickets, and handing out coupons to players for free food at McDonald's. He was also cited, along with the head coach, Bruce O'Neil, for providing misinformation to the NCAA and University of Hawaii officials. Also in 1977, the NCAA infractions committee recommended that Pitino and O'Neil be disassociated from Hawaii athletics. In 1989, Pitino would dismiss the report, saying "I didn't make any mistakes, I don't care what anybody says.”
2.    On April 18, 2009, Pitino announced that he was a target of an extortion attempt.  On April 24, Karen Cunagin Sypher, the wife of Louisville equipment manager Tim Sypher, was arraigned and charged in US District Court with extortion and lying to federal agents.  On August 11, Pitino admitted to having engaged in sexual relations with Cunagin on August 1, 2003 in Porcini, a Louisville restaurant. Several weeks later, Cunagin told Pitino that she was pregnant and wanted to have an abortion, but she did not have health insurance. Pitino paid her $3,000 for an abortion.  During the trial, Pitino downplayed the pair's sexual escapade. The complete act took, the coach testified, "No more than 15 seconds." In addition, Cunagin, who was convicted for extortion and lying to federal agents, claimed that her estranged husband, Tim Sypher, was paid to marry her.
3.    At a press conference on August 12, 2009, Pitino made a statement, in which he apologized for his indiscretion and stated that he would remain as coach.  While Pitino's contract allows for his firing for "acts of moral depravity or misconduct that damages the university's reputation," University of Louisville president James Ramsey announced on August 13 that Pitino would be retained in his position.  On August 26, Pitino demanded in a press conference that the media stop "reporting these lies." The conference was called even though University of Louisville officials advised that he was not obligated to respond.

Normally, the sex on the table with the equipment manager’s wife and getting her subsequently knocked up (allegedly – never proven to the MMPG’s knowledge) would have more or less “fractured” the morals clause in his contract. Even if she wasn’t yet married to the manager.  They were wed about a year later, in 2004.
Regardless, for anyone to believe that Pitino had “no clue” about what was going on at the recruiting parties is not only naïve, but its borderline irresponsible.  The fact that these parties occurred as regularly as they did for as long as they did tells me two things:

1.    Pitino wasn’t paying close enough attention to what the hell was going on with his recruits
2.    Louisville suffers from a very apparent, “Lack of Institutional Control.”

I’m still appalled with the ruling from the NCAA, shocked they couldn’t read between the lines, and have truly lost any and all faith that they will ever be able to be counted on to do the right thing when the time comes.

Ole Miss and North Carolina have to be loving this…

I know I would be if I was a fan.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Every Day I Wake Up & Say to Myself, "I'm NOT Going To Say WTF Today..."

And then something comes along and out comes those three little words.  Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot.  Well That’s Fantastic…And there’s another 3-letter phrase associated with WTF…   Usually followed by a string of other mumbled thoughts and words and ending with, “Why does shit like this happen!???!!!”

Today’s What-The-Fudge moment comes to us via the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions that has revealed the “penalty” of Louisville’s Men’s Hoops team and “Hooker Gate” that took place in a dorm room for about 30-36 months, depending on the account you read.

The Penalties - Let’s Count the WTF’s!!!!

1.    Rick Pitino suspended 5 whole games…  (WTF #1)

2.    Probation for 4 years  (Eh….What does probation even mean anymore?)

3.    Vacating of basketball team wins from 2010 to 2014 (with the National Title Game Vacating not being made clear by the committee.  Why you ask?  Because the committee asked Louisville to submit the games that would be vacated in that time frame in the next 45 days).    WTF #2.  The NCAA knows damn well what games are impacted and shouldn’t have to ask Louisville for the list….

4.    Scholarship reductions (not clear how many) 1 or 2 for more than 1 season?

5.    Forfeiture of all money received from the NCAA Tourney for 2012 – 2015 (Thumbs Up!  Something they did right!)

6.    And that’s kind of it.  (WTF #3)

And don’t forget that Louisville self-imposed a post-season ban for the 2015-16 season.
Apparently that’s the going rate for sponsoring a whore-house on CAMPUS IN A DORMITORY at the rate of $500-$1,000 a visit and consisting of 22 shows and “services performed” over the period from 2010 thru 2014.  (WTF#4)

And – Get This:  WTF #5:  Louisville plans to APPEAL the ruling and wants to REDUCE the scope of the punishment!!!!   Ricky (And this isn’t his first brush with the NCAA) is leading the charge!!!


The NCAA was handed a friggin’ blueprint in the form of a book from Katina Powell, the madam that Assistant Coach McGee (who has been terminated and was also slapped with a 10 Year “Show Cause” penalty) reportedly paid all the Louisville money to.  And this guy had the balls to expense the charges and provided receipts on his Expense report!  
(That’s better than an automotive sales guy submitting “Michigan Bistro” receipts!!!)
Now, Let’s Address the WTF’s here, in order, to establish why the MMPG had to utter that phrase….

WTF #1.  Pitino only gets 5 games for letting one of his assistants run a brothel in a Louisville athletic dormitory.  In comparison: 

-B. Knight was fired from Indiana (after being put on a short leash by the AD) for grabbing a student after the student called him out or said, “Hey, Knight!”
-Another one of my favorite coaches, Boeheim, received a 9 game suspension for recruiting violations.  Granted, it was his 2nd offense.  But it was still kind of lame and it was only 9 games. 

-Bruce Pearl lied about having a player at a BBQ at his house, got fired and a “show cause” penalty. 

-Tressel (hee-hee) got canned and received a “show cause” penalty for lying about and trying to cover up some gold pants getting swapped for Tatoo’s.

-Fisher got canned for the Ed Martin Payment Scandal but the NCAA never nailed anything directly to him, stating it was limited to Ed Martin and the players, even though Fisher was a well known individual to Fisher. 

Those are the ones I can recall off the top of my head.  Why Pitino was spared in all of this and why Louisville chose to stand behind this guy (kind of like Ole Miss standing behind Freeze) is beyond me and also beyond any logic you want to throw at me with the exception of the logic:

 “Pitino wins basketball games and titles.” 

That, I agree with.  If Pitino was losing, he’d be long gone and Louisville would be claiming that they did the right thing and are starting their program off on the right foot moving forward.    

Conclusion that would have eliminated WTF #1:  If there was any justice, Pitino would be looking for a studio job having been canned and given a 5 year show cause penalty. 

WTF #2:  I’m at a loss for words on this one.  The NCAA knows exactly which 108 wins and one national title are involved here and for some reason has told Louisville to submit that information to the NCAA.  This doesn’t even make any sense. 

Conclusion that would have eliminated WTF #2:  Just vacate the wins and the title.  And give the 2013 Title to Michigan, the runner-up.

WTF #3:  In the MMPG’s humble opinion, the NCAA had the PERFECT case to re-establish their authority and credibility with respect to under handed, lascivious shenanigans going on at different schools and send a message that, “THIS IS IT.  THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT IF YOU STRAY FROM THE VIRTUOUS AND RIGHTOUS nature of what the NCAA is trying to nurture in Collegiate Athletics.  Instead, they handed down what I thought was a pretty limited penalty, especially when it came to Pitino.  5 games won’t even let Rick take a 2 week extended vacation at the beginning of the season. If anything, he can get some scouting in during other pre-Season tourneys and figure out what he’s going to do with his top 5 returning team.   Yes, the NCAA Tourney money is something, but that won’t hurt an institution like Louisville.

Why this is more egregious then Penn State:  While others will disagree, this is a far MORE EGREGIOUS act of cheating and creating an atmosphere to attract talent to your campus that might not otherwise go to your school.  This is EXACTLY what the NCAA should be policing for and handing out death penalties for.  Similar to Miami Stripper Gate.
Conclusion that would have eliminated WTF #3:  Let’s see, using NCAA logic, Emmert single-handedly handed down a “suspend 10 scholarships/year for 4 years”.  In basketball equivalent numbers, that’s probably 2 scholars and change per year.  So, give them 10 scholarship reductions for 4 years, however you want to do it Louisville.  The NCAA slapped PSU with a $60M penalty.  Make Louisville’s penalty $120M and slap every coach with a show cause and they have to carry that around for the rest of their life.

WTF #4:  The pure nature of this crime, which was literally using an escort service to entertain college kids between the ages of 18-22 and to get hand jobs, blow-jobs or good old fashioned bumping uglies sex is simply too big of a deal to not penalize a school big time.  The fact that it went on for nearly 3 years is proof enough to me that not only did Pitino have to know SOMETHING, he was probably endorsing it behind the scenes.  How else does Louisville manage to win some of the recruits they won (I won’t go into it all here, but some highly touted recruits from locations that UNC and Kentucky are successful in went to Louisville). 

Conclusion that would have eliminated WTF#4Nothing short of a “Show Cause” for at least 5 years for Pitino would have been enough for the MMPG. Let’s not forget that Pitino was in another Scandal where he slept with the wife of the Equipment Manager and then she was extorting him for money to keep it quiet!!!  

Although it had nothing to do with the University of Louisville, his extortion trial against the wife of Louisville equipment manager Tim Sypher sought money from Pitino after having an affair with him in a restaurant bathroom.

Karen Dunagin Sypher was found guilty of lying to federal agents and extortion on August 6th, 2010, she faces a maximum of 26 years in prison.

On top of that, I hate to see scholarships taken away from schools and students for things that have happened 5-10 year before their arrival.  Take DOUBLE the money that Louisville received from the NCAA Tourney.  That will hurt….

WTF #5:  Louisville is appealing?  Surely, you can’t be serious! 

 I am serious and don’t call me “Shirley!”

The balls on Louisville, a school that has flirted with disaster for other crap that was going on in its basketball and football programs is going to thumb its nose at the NCAA and more or less tell them we’ve done enough.  Pitino said as much in his presser.  What a joke

Conclusion that would have eliminated WTF#5:  Take your lumps, Louisville.  Be humble, be contrite and move on. 

So, where does that leave us?  The MMPG is more convinced that the NCAA is a shell of it’s former self and is afraid to overstep their bounds and piss off the wrong people, for whatever reason.  All this penalty will do is embolden teams that are already living on the edge and tells them exactly how to manage it

Set up a single Fall Guy, arrange cash payments and make sure kids don’t put anything on social media.  And use professional hookers and not students so there won’t be any “sexual assault” or “Title IX” discussions afterwards.

Looks pretty easy to me.  That formula wins you a National Title every 5-6 seasons and you get a wrist slap for it. 


Well That’s Fantastic.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

E-mails, Texts & Tweets...


Why didn’t you give a list of potential Suckeye coaching candidates for the hoops job?

Well, frankly, I had written the last post over the period of about a week and I had been meaning to post it and the Thad Motta story broke and I just sort of threw it in there.  However, since you asked, I’ve been listening to and reading quite a bit about who the ideal candidates are.

What I was going to originally post last week: 

Either of the Millers:  Sean has the Number 1 team coming back to Arizona.  Archie literally just started at Indiana.  The odds on either of those guys leaving their current or new position is 500 to 1,000 to 1.  In MMPG’s words:  Not gonna’ happen…

Marshall (Witchy State):  Another extremely long shot that gets the Kansas and K-State dregs which is pretty nice dregs.  He believes with a little luck he can take Witchy State to the promised land.  MMPG odds:  400-1.

Holtmann (Butler HC):   Butler has been a stepping stone for many successful coaches, but Holtmann is another long shot for this position due to his background and the fact that the ole MMPG believes he’s been at Butler TOO Long…Meaning:  why hasn’t anyone else at a large power grabbed him?  MMPG odds:  250-1

McDermott (Creighton):  This is getting a lot of buzz and it sort of makes sense.  McDermott and Gene Smith have a history when they worked together at Iowa State.  Rumors are the offer has been extended and a new coach will be on OSU campus on TODAY.   Something of a MSM favorite, the MMPG will go along with this and give him 1-1 odds…

The Field:  The MMPG will give anyone that’s currently a head coach in a mid-major or major program pretty good odds, figure around 15-1 for the field.  If you pick somebody and want to lay money…let the FMQ know!!!

OBVIOUS CHOICE:  This is why you read the MMPG.  There’s a coach available RIGHTNOW that was once considered a huge up and comer who took a major job at a Blue Blood Basketball school and inherited a mess.  He recruited well enough to get fired (HT: Dan Dakich) and also had some success but bad luck with injury.  Gene Smith will more than likely talk to this guy and like what he hears.  Tom Crean.   Odds:  5-1

What Happened:  Offered McDermott and depending on what you believe, spoke with the Millers. Finally offered and settled on Holtmann, which is kind of surprising to the MMPG, but not that much.  Just had him at longer odds than some of the other guys…


Michigan Baseball really tanked at the end of the season, losing 4 straight.
Yep. Not to mention the Women’s Softball team also lost in ugly fashion… College Baseball and Softball are screwy.  Usually the best teams throughout the season have a hard time surviving the College World Series.  Bracket play in these sports is difficult because no one knows when other teams (or your team for that matter) bats are going to heat up.  Michigan went into a hitting slump at the wrong time and paid the price.  Softball was a little different as RHP Betsa simply tanked at the end of the season.  I blame Hutch for that as she rode Betsa HARD all season thinking she was a work horse and it turns out she was throwing her best stuff mid-season.  Hutch needs to think about her pitchers and not assume every kid is the same…

Bob Stoops OUT!  Is the MMQ going to comment?

Well, yeah.  Of Course…It’s a legend who everyone thought was probably going to coach for another 10-15 years it comes as a bit of a surprise.  But once you learned that the 56 year old HC’s Dad died on the Football field from a Heart Attack at 54, well, its that kind of shit that puts things into perspective.  I’ve always felt that Stoops would be great as a color guy in the booth or even in the home studio doing analysis.  What I’d really like to see?  Something with College Football Final that gets us back to the Mark May and Lou Holtz days….Never thought I’d ever type that.  But ESPN lost a lot of audience with the 3 boobs they have doing it now, even though two of them have been fired in the last round of ESPN lay-offs.  Bob should be scooped up by ESPN and do something just like Gruden is doing now, but have it focus on all players and teams at the collegiate level.  Give him freedom to explore college football and all its quirks and idiosyncrasies and you’ll have something people will watch.  Maybe something like the BTN’s “The Journey”.
Anyway, Seems like the Laters have their guy in Lincoln Riley and the MMQ loves the alliteration…

Lincoln’s Laters - Expect to see it often.
Twitter:  Spartan Spiral Continues…..
What is even going on in East Lansing. Another gent who won't be playing for MSU this year:
Former Michigan State lineman Cassius Peat says he felt "blindsided" earlier this week when coaches told him he didn't have a spot on the team less than a week from when he was supposed to report to East Lansing.
Peat told the Detroit Free Press that Michigan State coaches informed him Wednesday that he shouldn't return to campus for summer workouts.
"I have respect for them, and I understand it's a business," Peat told the Free Press. "But morally, man, as a 20-year-old kid with a family, for them to do that is -- I can't even put it into words, to be honest."
Peat was the ultra-rare JUCO guy who was set to return to his original school. Since he is an ambulatory person large enough to play DL and Michigan State looks set to have two walk-ons on their DE depth chart, this could not have been voluntary on MSU's part. Peat must have failed to get by the Clearinghouse.
The number of players MSU has lost to offseason attrition is truly prodigious:
·         OL Thiyo Lukusa: quits team, says he's giving up football, ends up at JUCO.
·         S Drake Martinez: probably a playing time transfer
·         DE Donovan Winter: dropped after armed burglary charge
·         LB Jon Reshcke: dropped N-bomb on teammate
·         WR Donnie Corley: charged with criminal sexual conduct
·         DE Josh King: charged with criminal sexual conduct
·         S Demetric Vance: charged with criminal sexual conduct
·         DE Auston Robertson, charged with criminal sexual conduct
·         DT Cassius Peat: probably not qualified?
·         CB Kaleel Gaines: JUCO transfer, academics related?
·         S Kenney Lyke: another JUCO transfer, academics related?
That might not be it, either. MSU's Scout site reported that CB Vayante Copeland and DE Robert Bowers were gone as well; Dantonio directly refuted that report but when insider sites report negative news there's almost always something to it. If those guys do end up gone MSU will be down almost an entire recruiting class of guys they expected to be on the team this fall. Add in the dismal finish to MSU's 2017 class and they're going to go into this season with a roster as depleted as a sanctioned PSU program was a few years back.
So, has more or less summarized pretty nicely what a train wreck the Sparty Football program has become.   I’m still not sure why everyone is handing Marc Anthony a “Vote of confidence” as this, in my opinion, is all on him.

In fact, if I was an “uber” sparty fan, I think I’d be asking the question:  What the Foxtrot is going on in East Lansing? 

If the buck doesn’t stop with Marcus Aurelius, where does it stop?  Hollis?  I mean, they dismissed an assistant coach who allegedly organized the sex romp for the three dismissed players that are claiming it was consensual and that the video of the event will exonerate them.  But the three still violated what’s becoming a morally shaky ground with respect to Title IX and schools stating that while the sex might have been consensual, multi-partner sex is against the rules. 

I’m not questioning the sexual practices of any individuals and if you’re a chick who’s looking to or into hooking up for a three or four way at a party with 3 football players, so be it.  Again, The question is:  Why are so many players in today’s day and age eagerly willing to jump into this type of situation after Louisville, Baylor, Minnesota and other reports have only shown that it can’t possibly end well…even if it’s consensual?
On top of that, what’s with the other issues, burglary, name calling, race issues, etc?  What in Muddy Waters green heaven is going on and are things that bad in spartyland?  And fergodsakes, when and how did this begin?  Usually stuff like this doesn’t “happen overnight” and it’s a symptom of something much bigger and much more sinister….

Whatever.  I’m still asking the same question:  Why is D’angelo getting a free pass?
Another question is, where’s the men behind the kids that are trying to make these individuals better people by teaching them the “right thing to do?”

Its simple common sense.

And I also understand that eventually individuals need to be responsible for their own actions.  But how can this be a recurring thing over and over and over?

And nobody is being called out on it.  

Monday, June 5, 2017

Motta OUT, The NCAA's Tightrope Walk & The Death of Cable

Thad Motta DONE…

I'm guessing there's not going to be a lot of Buckeye tears because of this...

NCAA Walking a Dangerous Line…

If you are even a casual follower of this blog, you’ve read multiple entries about my objective observations and subjective takes and feelings about the NCAA.  The “Grand Daddy” case of them all is finally going to come to some sort of closure in the coming months. 
Forde, as usual, does a good job of summing it up here:

As usual, I wanted to put the MMQ’s spin on this mess and reiterate for the umpteenth time why I think the NCAA should just go away or reinvent themselves as a true functioning body for Student Athletes that punishes institutions quickly and accordingly when they screw up.
First, I find it fascinating that UNC’s plan is to simply say that the academic fraud that took place is just that – Academics Related and has nothing to do with the NCAA’s larger than the US Tax Code book of rules that governs athletics.  The ole MMQ is pretty sure there’s gotta’ be something in there that covers something like “not having to go to class and getting an A” as being AGAINST THE RULES.  Of course I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the idea.  The size of the Balls on the Brass at UNC is nothing short of pure hubris, and taking a huge risk and betting that the NCAA won’t find a Student Athlete/Academic Fraud connection by-law that will hold up under scrutiny is incredibly risky.  It goes back to basic game theory:  I’m holding a winning hand right now, but the other guy has more cards to draw and can always catch up.  Why not hedge today vs. pushing it all into the middle RIGHT NOW and seeing what happens after its all said and done?   Simply stating that athletes only made up 29% of the fraudulent classes and all students “Benefitted” from the fraud is like saying that 29% of the corporations that use the federal tax code fraudulently benefitted from not getting caught.  They’re still guilty as hell and need to be punished.

I guess what surprises me the most is that UNC is really thumbing its nose at the authority of the NCAA and is more or less ready to see how far that authority can reach.  And the NCAA needs to understand that this particular case (I know the Louisville, Ole Miss and probably Baylor cases are going to be interesting as well) will be looked at and scrutinized more closely than the others.  If the NCAA is lenient on UNC (for whatever reason) and we will have a new era of the “Jerry Tarkanian Syndrome” on this go around.

 I feel like some, if not all, universities may put up a bit more of a unified response to the NCAA.  Meaning:  The guys who have been penalized unjustly (Michigan et al) will stand up and say, “Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot!  Punish these guys or were walking away.”

But from what, exactly, do you walk away from if you’re an institution(s) that’s pissed off?

That’s the hard question.  The NCAA probably is never going to “Go Away”, but it needs a serious enema.  Something that cleans out everything that’s so foul, sitting there now, and re-starts the entire thing from scratch.  University Athletic Programs still need to have some sort of governing body or board with a scope of rules that is easy to follow and, more importantly:  Strict, IMMEDIATE penalties for schools found in violation of those rules.  The UNC fraud happened almost a decade ago and the Louisville Escorts happened in 2012-13, almost 5 years ago.  And while the coaches of those accused are still around, the punishment will penalize incoming players and student athletes that didn’t get to enjoy any of the fruits associated with the broken rules…And Title IX investigations (IF Title IX is still around) need to also happen a little more swiftly and with a sense of urgency to bring to justice those accused or find innocence quickly for those unjustly accused so reputations are not tarnished forever. 

Miami getting away with murder should have really been enough for SOMETHING to have happened already regarding the NCAA, how it processes information, and creating a sense of urgency.  The fact that the NCAA bumbled the investigation and then stipulated that the way it collected evidence (using the accused’s own attorney) made that evidence inadmissible should have at least gotten Emmert canned

Speaking of the bumbling Head of the Snake – when are the University Presidents (or at least the AD’s) going to stand up to this clown and call for his retirement or dismissal?  I agree with Forde that the Penn State Penalties were egregious and should have been left to the legal system.  I didn’t have a problem with the financial penalty for lack of institutional control, but penalizing the Football Program to near extinction was NOT the right approach.  Yet Emmert still sits on the throne, overseeing everything. 

And I of course still have issues with that.

So, what conclusions can you draw from this bit of late spring/early summer rambling about an issue that will eventually be forgotten like all the other NCAA scandals that have occurred?  Not much, really.  Just hoping that someday, it all changes.  That someday, we can look at who’s making money and who isn’t when these things take place. 

What Happens When Cable Dies?

An interesting take…..

And I will say that this article really got me to thinking…Read it to get a background for where this blog entry started in the MMQ’s little ole noggin’...

There’s a big part of me that believes that Cable will live on indefinitely and eventually (believe it or not) start costing a LOT LESS in the future as cable providers won’t go quietly into the night and they will fight for their survival by competing with the other providers or apps that will broadcast games and other types of programming.  Meaning that while streaming providers might pay more for bigger games, cable providers will get a better deal for the package of lesser games and pass those savings along to the cable subscribers.  But eventually, as the article states, subscribers will see what the other fans are doing and follow suit, forcing cable cartels into a death spiral…. 

However, the article is thought provoking in that I’ve always truly wondered where the “eyeballs” are when it comes to College Football.  And by that I mean:  Who’s watching and where are they watching?  

If you consider the B1G, ACC and the SEC as the “Elite” football conferences, then you can draw a line at the Mississippi and probably 200-300 miles west of the East Coast starting at the top of the map and then slicing it across the north border of the state of North Carolina and extending it over to the Atlantic Ocean.  My guess is that is where most of the eyeballs are.  Anything west of the Mississippi is NOT catching the Saturday noon game (either 10:00 or 9:00 AM local time) with people either sleeping or involved in Saturday morning activities.  They may watch, but they’re not watching live.

Where am I going with this?  My guess is that any streaming service is going to get wise to the regional nature of CFB and start charging MORE depending on where you live!  Makes sense, doesn’t it???  IF you’re product is in demand in a certain region, why not charge more for it in that locale and less where you’re trying to attract eyeballs?
So the $1/ month for the BTN and $9/month (!!!!) for ESPN Networks in 2018 may look like a bargain if streaming companies start charging $10, $15, or $20 for an individual football game if you’d like to watch the Big 3 or 4 Games of the Day on a Saturday….
I’ve often stated I wish I could get my cable ala-carte.  But when I start thinking about things it scares the bejeezus out of me because I know that somewhere someone is trying to figure out how to make more money. And as a consumer, I have learned that I’m eventually going to get screwed in the process….

I eventually see the current scenario of spending the afternoon on the couch eating my own food and drinking my store bought beverage of choice turning into a decision to go to the local watering hole to catch a game I’d rather not shell out dough for.  But that has the unintended consequence of running up a $30-$40 bar tab for their food and drinks…So what’s the better decision?

Having a group of friends over and creating the ultimate man-cave viewing experience and charging $5/head for the streaming service may become a very real option for the future…and justifying the 3 TV set-up that the MMQ’s college roommate TJH has in White Lake suddenly becomes a very easy walk to make. 

Long story short:  CFB Fans need to be very careful about what we wish for.  The coming results could be disastrous for the football viewer.

Friday, May 12, 2017

E-mails, Texts, and Tweets

So a lot of you make contact with me and I wish there was a way to start a convo board on the blog so people could more easily share with the rest of the collective.  I like hearing others opinions on stuff and the insight educates us all and makes us better sports fans….er, slappies!!!

A couple of recent E-mails:

Can you believe Bama is going to pay Nick Satan $11M ANNUALLY for the next 7 years?  Is that INSANE?  Is ANY COACH worth that much?  I mean, how much is Belechik making anyway?  This is crazy.  Do you see Michigan or ANYONE ELSE keeping up with that???

If there’s one thing the Ole MMQ has learned in life and business:  Anyone is worth whatever another person or group of people are willing to pay to have that individual around.  You can’t blame Satan.  He’s happy to take that cash, trust me.  In the case of Bama Football and their never ending desire for National Titles, the Bama collective seems to believe that Satan’s $11M annual price tag is a bargain. Even though I don’t think anyone was lining up to match that offer to lure Satan away from Bama. And I really don’t think Nick will last another 7 seasons.  He’s going to want to enjoy some of that cash and he’s perfect for TV.  So it looks like he’s getting an “Early Retirement” bonus from Bama.  And Bama just likes screwing with everyone else in the SEC to keep things interesting….
But, to put it into some sort of context:  That’s $733,333.33 per GAME assuming Bama makes the CFP Title Game (that’s 12 regular season, SEC Championship, CFP Semi and Title Game for a total of 15 games).  If Bama only plays 13 games (assuming the regular season and a bowl game) it’s $846,153.  Given that more than HALF of the D1 Football coaches out there don’t make that much in a SINGLE SEASON is more or less enough evidence that Bama is paying quite a premium to keep Nicky Satan around.  And Belechick is only making $8M annually and coaches a boatload more games.  So, yeah, Bama is paying a hefty price that I don’t think they need to pay as I can’t think of anyone else that could even begin to approach that number…with the exception of maybe the Domers if they’d actually have Satan as a coach.

Go Figure….

And no, I don’t think Michigan will increase Jimmy’s salary to keep him around.  This fan wouldn’t like that and the ticket prices are high enough as it is.  And Jimmy hasn’t won a national title yet, either.  Start bringing home some hardware, any hardware, and we’ll talk.
Another observation:  IS this the beginning of the end of the College football peak?  When you start seeing salaries like that, it’s a logical question to ask.  Things can only go up so high until they come down.  That’s a fact.  I have to believe most Universities Presidents and Board of Regents are looking at that and saying, “Enough!!  College Athletics don’t warrant those kinds of salaries.”

35 underclassmen didn’t get drafted after opting out of their final season of college.  Why doesn’t football do the same thing as hoops and let the kids back for their last year of eligibility?  And what if these kids don’t sign?  CFL time?

Good question.  And once again, the NCAA and the NFL could care less about the individual and only care about making money.  Essentially, you have to declare in January for the NFL draft, the longest “declaration period” of any of the sports.  Basketball and college Baseball can declare, not get drafted, and as long as you haven’t signed with an agent, you keep your amateur status and can go back to your team.  I actually think you can get drafted in baseball, elect not to sign with the team that drafted you, and still play college baseball.  In football, because National Signing Day is after the day you declare for the draft but before the NFL draft – the student athlete is more or less screwed.  Coaches have signed the players spot away with new recruits and they couldn’t go back even if they wanted to.

As far as kids not signing:  If they don’t sign with an NFL team, the CFL and NFL Europe are waiting.  I’ve also read about and seen debates on an NFL Development League that would start 2 or 3 weeks right after the draft.  The NFL would own all the teams and each city with an NFL franchise today gets a development team.  The Kicker is they are set up like AAU Football:  7 on 7 with no pads or helmets.  Less chance of injury as a result.  The league would pay players a minimum and pay bonuses for team victories. The league would have games right up to the middle – end of July when NFL pre-season begins.  It would be a way for teams to see some of the talent that might be available and also let talent in that couldn’t, for whatever reason, play in college. Why this isn’t happening is that the NFL is afraid they would lose money with this type of arrangement.  I’m thinking the head of NFL marketing and finance don’t have a brain between them as this would be a watchable LIVE product on the NFL Network that has too many talking heads and too many re-runs of boring NFL games. 

I agree with you about Jake Butt being an example of not playing in the bowl, especially if it doesn’t mean anything.  Look at Peppers.  Didn’t play and went in the 1st Round!  Do you think more coaches will sit their starters in meaningless bowl games as a way to show future recruits that they care about their NFL futures?

That’s actually an interesting observation.  In meaningless bowls, where a coach would probably like to get a read on their underclassmen anyway, it could make a lot of sense for coaches to bench their High-Potential Early Round Draft players in favor of playing younger players.  And future recruits would take notice and think, “Hey, this dude doesn’t care about his bowl record or his bowl bonus as much as he cares about the players he’s coached for 4 years.  That’s a statement!”  But the question remains:  Is it fair to your team mates to sit out of a game they’d like to win?  If I was on the team with a high potential playing in a meaningless game, I wouldn’t have a problem with the High-Pot sitting.  Just saying.  I, personally, would feel a lot worse for Jake Butt losing all that dough and losing the game, too.

CBS Sports Top 25 - Thoughts on Harbaugh @ #5?  Why isn’t fleck on here?!?!

Here’s the link to the article….
CBS ranked all 65 Power 5 Football coaches and I’ve listed them here through 35 (to answer the PJ Fleck Question): 
1.     Nick Saban
2.    Urban Mayer
3.    Dabo Swinnney
4.    Jimbo Fisher
5.    Jim Harbaugh
6.    Bob Stoops
7.    Chris Petersen
8.    David Shaw
9.    Bill Snyder
10.  Gary Patterson
11. Mark Dantonio
12. Mike Gundy
13. Bobby Petrino
14.  Kyle Wittingham
15. Mark Richt
16. Pat Fitzgerald
17. David Cutcliffe
18.  James Franklin
19.  Gus Malzhan
20.  Kirk Ferentz
21. Dan Mullen
22. Brian Kelly
23. Jim McElwain
24. Paul Johnson
25. Mike Leach
26. Larry Fedora
27. Brett Bielema
28. Tom Herman
29. Paul Chryst
30. Mike MacIntyre
31. Wille Taggart
32. Bronco Mendenhall
33. Hugh Freeze
34. Justin Fuente
35.  PJ Fleck

My thoughts on Harbaugh at #5 are that he’s ranked right about where he should be ranked, for now.  Let’s face reality:  Harbaugh hasn’t won anything yet.  That’s a fact that comes up in every discussion.  In fact, 3rd place East is about the best Michigan has done under Jimmy.  Granted, he’s only in his 3rd season and some claim there was a lot of re-building to be done, but I feel he had the necessary tools in his hands last season (and even 2015) to at least win the B1G.  And I think some noise could have been made last year in the CFP, also.  The Agonizing Facts:  Michigan was 5 lousy points (and two 1st Downs) away from an undefeated season (assuming they win the B1G Title in Indy) and a CFP berth.  That’s gotta’ be worth something.

With respect to other names on the list, Why don’t we have the MMQ Rank them as HE sees it and then perhaps a short discussion as to why I move anyone up or down.  I’ll state now that my criteria will be

1.  Success. 
2.  Potential for success. 
3.  Longevity  
4.  POTENTIAL for Longevity. 
5.  Anything else I make up as I go along…

The MMQ’s Top 35 Football Coaches in Power 5 Conferences:

1.    Saban - Urban Mayer  (tie)
2.    Dabo Swinnney
3.    Jim Harbaugh (5)
4.    Jimbo Fisher
5.    Chris Petersen
6.    David Shaw
7.    Gary Patterson
8.    Mike Gundy
9.    Bobby Petrino
10. Bob Stoops (6) – I’d rather have anyone below Stoops at 6 to this point right here
11. Jim McElwain (23) – I’d much rather have him over everyone up to Stoops
12.  Kyle Wittingham
13. James Franklin (18)
14. PJ Fleck (35) – This is how highly I regard PJ Fleck.  But he could drop from here.
15. Tom Herman (28) - Ditto
16. Mark Richt (15)
17. Pat Fitzgerald (16)
18. Paul Chryst (29) – Considered moving him up a little higher as I think Wiscy is going to be back…
19. Kirk Ferentz
20. Justin Fuente (35)
21. Mark Dantonio (10)
22. Dan Mullen
23. Wille Taggart (31)
24. David Cutcliffe (17)
25. Hugh Freeze (33)
26. Bill Snyder (9)
27. Brian Kelly (22)
28. Paul Johnson
29. Mike Leach
30. Larry Fedora
31. Brett Bielema
32. Gus Malzhan (19)
33. Mike MacIntyre
34. Bronco Mendenhall

So, there’s my ranking for 2017.  Again, this could change after a couple of seasons.  Quick observations:  It should be clear, if I was an AD for any team besides Michigan,  that I’d take a healthy Urban Mayer or Satan if you put a gun to my head – I wouldn’t like it very much, mind you, but yes, I guess I’d have to take them.  Dabo I left in the next spot as he’s been doing it for a couple of seasons and won a NC, so yeah, I might look long and hard at taking Dabo, but ONLY KNOWING WHAT I KNOW NOW!  I hope that makes sense.  At the same point in their careers, I would take Harbaugh over Swinney.  Harbaugh can easily surpass Swinney if he’d just win…well, anything.  Division, Conference, NC.  Whatever.  And it would appear that I hate old guys (Bill Snyder being highest ranked old guy that dropped from 9 on the CBS list to 26 on my list) and I hate primarily run-oriented coaches.  Surprise, surprise.  I’d much rather have a youthful ability and a future to look forward to rather than have a guy around for a few more years knowing that I’m going to be looking for a head coach soon.  My highest move was PJ Fleck, who moved up from 35 to 14.  And for good reason.  I think he’s the real deal.  Time of course will tell, but again, I’d rather have Fleck over everyone BELOW HIM.  One of the larger drop downs, for good reason, was Dantonio.  Questionable team and player character coupled with a disaster 3-9 season will, I think, become more of the norm in East Lansing at this point with the true Power Schools in the B1G East getting measurably better Head Coaches (Harbaugh, Mayer, Franklin, Durkin).  Dantonio will keep sliding down this list for awhile. Ditto for Malzhan.  I have Gus on the Hot Seat in Auburn and with Les Miles waiting in the wings with his knowledge of the SEC, well, that’s going to be a fun story to watch unfold.   I wanted to drop B. Kelly further, but when I got to the Johnson – Leach – Fedora trio, I found it difficult.  I wanted to move Fedora up, but I literally got as far as the Pirate (Leach) and figure I’d rather have him than Fedora.  Harbaugh disciple Taggart is a logical move up and will probably continue to climb up on the list.  I will review from time to time for relative ranking. 

Biggest surprise not in the Top 35?  Kirby Smart….Gotta be.  That’s kind of a shocker, but after what he’s done in Georgia (nothing) I’m starting to think there’s just clones of Satan running around doing everyone’s job…

Some Texts

The Bears are idiots…
Totally agree.  Trading up to the two spot had to be the dumbest move in the NFL draft this season.  There’s been worse blunders, but that one takes the cake.  Drafting a QB that played a total of 1 season in college and thinking you’re going to turn him into a starter in the NFL has to be some form of insanity.  I’m not sure what happens in those draft war rooms and what kind of group think begins…but clearly it happens.

Didn’t see Taco going that high (in the draft)!!!
I kind of did, but didn’t.  What I thought was that Charlton was probably a GREAT 2nd or 3rd round value pick and I was really hoping the Lions would have a shot at him with their 2nd round pick.   Regardless, Dallas was smart grabbing him in the 1st.  Upside potential all the way with Taco….

Lot’s of Michigan guys going high in the draft.  I didn’t think that would happen…
Then you haven’t been paying attention.  The NFL knows that both Satan and Harbaugh have been to the Show and know what it takes to develop a kid and get them ready for that level.  There’s value in having an NFL coach back at the collegiate level working with guys for 4 years.  I truly believe that plays into it.  Not to mention that there’s probably some background communication happening on some of these guys….

Tweets and Social Media

This is one more reason why you shouldn’t drink:

That’s a Michigan Man and loyal reader wearing the WRONG COLORS.  Booze will do strange things to people….Maybe stop with the two fisted drinking?