Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mack Retires, The Bowls and the Bets

With a general lack of football news over the weekend and the Heismann all but a certainty for Jameis Winston, the news of Mack Brown stepping down on Saturday pretty much filled the air waves on ESPN and other sports news sources.  While many had reported it early and stated through reliable sources that it was a “Done Deal”, it appeared that once Powers retained his seat, Brown would be able to keep his job.

But it would appear that Brown had a change of heart and probably started thinking to himself:  I’m 62.  Do I really want to put myself through this again for an entire season?  And then the answer became quite simple….Brown and the situation he found himself this season is one of his own making and frankly, a result of his past success.  Brown threw down the gauntlet when he stated that he believed Texas would win the Big 12 Conference and also be in the NC discussion.  And the reporters ate it up…Of course, greatness courts failure and the Longhorn’s 1-2 start only amplified the issues at Texas.  Really, Brown was out at that point, probably, even though he hadn’t figured it out for himself yet.

Another of the lesser known “Facts” regarding the Brown Situation:  Mack Brown’s recent recruiting blunders.  Johnny Football, Jameis Winston and Robert Griffin were all Texas QB wannabe’s and when recruited by Texas, were recruited into other positions.  In other words, they wanted the players, but they didn’t want them to play QB.  That doesn’t sit well with any of the in the know fans and, more importantly:  the bloggers.  They get that information out early and often and missing on those three recruits because Mack didn’t want them to play QB is just as big an issue (if not bigger) as a 9 win season…

What isn’t as simple, and I will certainly check with my source, is the way in which the Saban situation was either handled or not handled, depending on your point of view.  It’s my belief that Saban and his agent used the Texas offer to sweeten the pot as much as possible at Bama and for Nick to get the retirement bonus “pre-retirement” as large as possible.  I believe Nick when he says that he’s too old to start over.  What I don’t believe is that Nick’s an idiot and just said, “NO” to Texas when the unsolicited offers began trickling in the back door.  I’m sure the offer(s) was real and he simply said to Bama – “What’s it gonna be, fellas?”  Granted, he is established and he can probably quit whenever he chooses and possibly survive a single digit win season…But it will get ugly in Tuscaloosa when that happens.  Success fatigue isn’t nearly as bad as failure wrath and SEC fans can get ugly when their team isn’t winning.

So, the real question for Texas is “Who’s next?”  As Michigan and others have discovered in this process, it’s not necessarily about finding the best guy, it’s really about finding the right fit.  And the right fit at Texas is everything.  I thought Michigan would adjust to Rich Rod and Rich Rod would adjust to Michigan, but that never happened – on either side.  Brady Hoke, on the other hand, once was an assistant at Michigan and somehow made his persona into that of a “Michigan Man” and is now riding that into his 4th season. Some would argue his success is not only mediocre, but Hoke has taken what was once the most explosive offense ever seen at Michigan and done as much damage on that side of the ball as Rich Rod did on the defensive side of the ball.  But there is no uproar simply because Brady is a “Michigan Man”….I’m not sure I like that word/phrase any more.

The one thing Brady isn’t doing is running around having the crowd sing Josh Groban songs…That alone is a huge step in the right direction.  But unless Michigan finds itself in the B1G mix next season with at least 10-11 wins, this fan will be ready for something to happen.  It shouldn’t take this long at Michigan.  If Auburn can right the ship in one season, it can happen here.

Back to the previous question:  I think Texas will surprise some people and they may not go after the high-profile current head coach that’s out there.  The new AD Patterson is a savvy guy, and one that won’t bend to the will of the Texas Mob that thinks its running the show on the 40 Acres….My guess is he interviews less than 3 people and already has someone in mind.  But he had to at least “Give In” on the Saban offer to prove a point (Saban wasn’t going anywhere) and tell the billionaire mob to butt out. 

A short list of Texas candidates:

Franklin – Vanderbilt.  I know there’s some Commodore fans that read the blog and are saying to themselves – “No way!  James is a Commodore to the end…”  I think it would be an interesting hire and allow Texas to go in a different direction.  And he could be there quite awhile.

Briles – Baylor.  Can you see it?  The Bears offense at Texas?  That would be a change..And while Art would be seen to some as a long shot, others would welcome the hire with open arms and minds and realize that college football is moving in a certain direction and Art is at the front end of that movement.  Of course, so was Rich Rod…..

Cameron, Narduzzi, Smart, etc  - Who are all these guys?  Locked in coordinators that have made a name for themselves at their current schools or in the NFL.  But note that several of those names were not too long ago on the chopping block (Sparty was ready to run Narduzzi out on a RAIL about 4 years ago) and Cameron was fired from the NFL….But does that make them better now?  I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more of them find spots in higher profile organizations in the near future. 

Where Texas could screw this up, but I doubt they will, is pursuing super high profile individuals that have a good gig where they are.  Harbaugh, Sumlin, etc will give you a listen, but more than likely will politely decline.  Even though Harbaugh has declined to re-up in San Francisco due to his dislike of the GM.

We will see.

The Bowl Mess

They’ve named the Championship Locations for 2016 and 2017.  Tempe Arizona and Tampa each won a year….If I was the PTB, I would front sell as many of those games as possible…..I think we are going to see fans that find the game way to expensive to attend.  This isn’t the Super Bowl where half or more of the seats are corporate sales.  This is going to be regular fans hard earned cash going on the line…I’m thinking the attendance might drop off a little based on cost..Just a guess.

So, here’s the completed chart all the current spreads.  The FMQ will be betting a couple of these games.  My circled picks are WITHOUT THE SPREAD.  I haven’t seen a bowl pool yet this year, but if I get in one, this will more or less be my entry.  I’m not saying take it to the bank….I’m just sayin’!

The Hot Seat

Things are “Heating Up” In the Hot Seat Mascot Play-Off!  We’re down to the Final 4 and all the number 1 seeds have made it.  Now, it’s gonna get tough.  Who will be in the final contest with a shot to be the 2013 Hot Seat Mascot of the Year?  The readers will decide!


  2. Paul Pasqualoni
  3. Treadwell
  4. Carlson – Valpraiso….(I know, not exactly on my radar, either.)
  5. Ron English – Eastern Michigan. 
  6. Mussman – North Dakota
  7. David Christianson – Wyoming
  8. Mack Brown – Retired…..
  9. Ellerson- ARMY
  10. Ogeron – Resigned….
Hot Seat Rank – Getting Serious as this is the time when the Carousel gets fire up!

  1. London – Virginia….Its not a good situation…
  2. Weiss:  Can’t believe he’s still there…
  3. Paul Johnson – Lost to Georgia…Look Out.
  4. Pelini – It’s not good in Corn land either…
  5. Biliema:  Arkansas Nation does not like a B1G re-treas – no SEC wins
  6. Norm Chow - Hawaii
  7. Holgorensen:  No Bowl doesn’t bode well for Dana…

  1.  USC – Sarkisian
  2. Washington - Petersen

 The Bowls!

I’m probably going to try for a double up in the bowls seeing as how I’m so far down now, I don’t think I can do any worse in the bowls than I’ve done in the regular season.  So, without further ado:

 Fresno State vs. USC(-6.5):  I like Fresno State here.  Something about the underdog and the USC boys may not be as motivated as Ogeron has already left the building….

 Take Fresno State and the 6.5 for $50

 Minnesota vs. Syracuse (+4):  Even though they’re getting points, I don’t think Syracuse has the guns to hang with the Gophers.  Gophers finished strong and are looking to use this as a building block to next season.

 Take Minnesota and lay the 4 for $30

 BYU vs. Washington (+3):  What a strange game.  Two schools with coaches leaving, but one left and will coach his new team against his old team!  Weird, to say the least….And will it give Petersen the edge he needs to beat is former guys?

 Take Washington and the 3 for $40

 Domers vs. Rutgers (+15):  This should be a cakewalk for the domers….Unless they simply don’t want to be there or it snows….

 Take the domers and lay the 15 for $30

 Louisville vs. Miami (+3):  I think Louisville proves why they were ranked so high pre-season.  And Miami needs to figure out how good they are or aren’t…

 Take Louisville and lay the 3 for $40

 Michigan vs. Kansas State (-4.5):  Interesting connection to K-State and Fielding H. Yost…K-State is where Yost started coaching!  So, Michigan is getting points in a bowl game.  I don’t know what to do with this game, but I want to believe the team we saw against ohio is the team that can do the same thing against K-State.

 Take Michigan and the 4.5 for $60

 Nebraska vs. Georgia (-9):  Georgia wins, but I think Nebraska keeps it closer than last year in the replay…Then again, maybe not….

 Take Georgia and lay the 9 for $30

 Wiscy vs. USC (E):  In what could also be titled, “The Disappoint Bowl”, the Capitol 1 once  again has pitted two of the better teams this year that didn’t make BCS games….

 Take Wiscy for $40

 Stanford vs. Sparty(+4.5):  I like Sparty here.  I have a feeling they are on a mission. 

 Take Sparty and the 4.5 for $40

 Clemson vs. ohio (-2.5):  I think ohio is a much better team the frauds from Clemson. 

Take ohio and lay the 2.5 for $30

 Florida State vs. Auburn (9):  Auburn getting 9 here is very tempting.  The whole discussion about who FSU has played and the SOS are interesting, but FSU is a very good football team.  And they have a defense that may actually slow down Auburn.  Still, 9 is a lot of points…

Take Auburn and 9 for $50


It wouldn’t be a bowl season without some fun old fashioned Parlays!

 The State of Michigan – domer parlay:

 Michigan-Sparty-domers             $30

 The ALL RED Parlay

 Louisville – Wiscy – ohio             $30

 The “Just ‘Cuz” parlay

 Fresno-Minnesota – Washington          $30

Starting Bank:         $573.50
Total Bet:                  $530

BANK:                       $3.50

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