From the Bird’s Nest: Coal in Your Stocking
Well, it's Christmas time.
Have you been naughty or nice?
Around the sports world, most have been good. But, in college football, there are some who, shall we say, have fallen a little short this year.
For you, this year it's coal in your stocking.
Santa, please put coal in the stockings of
CBS--The shills of the Southeastern Conference rose to new heights on the day of the SEC Championship game when they gave Alabama Coach Nick Saban plenty of platform to pimp his team as being worthy of playing for the national championship.
THE SUGAR BOWL--Virginia Tech? Really? Over Boise State and Kansas State? Last I checked, you really weren't be rewarded for that choice with ticket sales out of Blacksburg.
THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON--Credit to Southern Mississippi. But tanking in the CUSA championship game cost your conference a huge payday.
CONFERENCE USA--For the second year in a row you not only failed to qualify enough teams to fill your bowl slots, you decided to shun New Orleans for the second straight year so you didn't have to watch one of your teams lose to a Sun Belt school. Hey, if you're scared, say you're scared. Hopefully the New Orleans Bowl will kick your butt to the curb soon.
OHIO STATE A.D. GENE SMITH--You rolled the dice and lost. You figured cooperating fully with the NCAA, blaming former student-athletes and your former coach for everything and the fact you're THE Ohio State University would be enough to keep you from a bowl ban. The second letter of inquiry did you in. In police work, it's called a clue. You decided to let your 6-6 team play in a bowl game and as a result, your 2012 team will sit at home. Most of us are amazed you're still employed.
SYRACUSE COACH JIM BOEHEIM--Jim, we know you were being loyal to a long-time assistant coach. But your initial denial of the allegations concerning Bernie Fine were bad enough. Your accusation of extortion of the victims was way over the top. You're a good guy. I hope you're able to survive this. But no presents for you this year.
PENN STATE--A sickening story is coming to light. It could have been avoided. PSU cleaned house at the top and the fallout got Joe Pa as well. While the venerable coach gets more of the publicity, the former CEO and Athletics Director are to blame for years of ignoring a very dark situation.
THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON---Who, because of an inside leak to the media, had to call Coach Rob Ianello to tell him he was fired.....while he was driving to his mother's funeral.
PITTSBURGH/ARIZONA STATE COACH TODD GRAHAM--Vagabond Todd is now on his fourth head coaching job in six years after abandoning Pitt after one season. He informed his players of his departure through a text message. Then, at his introductory press conference at ASU, said his family had a miserable time in Pittsburgh. Wow, the University, the team and the city...all in a two day period. We've looked up "class" in the dictionary. Graham's picture is nowhere to be found. Good luck, Sun Devils.
YALE COACH TOM WILLIAMS--Who was forced to resign after it was discovered he lied on his resume about having been a Rhodes Scholar finalist while in college. After several coaches were caught lying in years past, Williams showed he obviously wasn't a Rhodes Scholar by not learning from others' mistakes.
THE LIBERTY BOWL--Because of your dumb contract with the Big East, you had to move Cincinnati from your other bowl, the Compass, to the Liberty. Way to screw a champion guys. Don't expect any Christmas cards postmarked Hattiesburg.
ARIZONA STATE/OLE MISS--Have you ever seen two coaching searches handled so poorly? Hugh Freeze might be just what the doctor ordered in Oxford, but that won't be to Archie's credit. Freeze was the last man standing. ASU was a textbook in how not to do it.
TEXAS A&M--Who fired Mike Sherman using the excuse of late meltdowns in games. The Aggies, in truth, fired Sherman so they wouldn't have controversy in their first year in the SEC. Sherman, who was finally starting to build some depth in College Station, deserved better.
(SOME) FANS OF TROY--The Trojans have been the standard in the Sun Belt Conference for five straight years. Now, after one bad season, they're ready to run off Larry Blakeney, who just had the field at Veterans Memorial Stadium named after him.
(SOME) FANS OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE--Ditto the above. Rick Stockstill led the Raiders to two consecutive bowl appearances. This year they bottomed out. And Raiders' fans are screaming for Stockstill's head. Note to Cajun fans: Don't act like this if Hud has a bad year.
SDSU COACH ROCKY LONG--His denial postgame concerning the penalty at the end of the New Orleans Bowl was almost laughable. He said he didn't see anyone move. Not only did replay show the lineman moved twice, he also did the same thing on the field goal earlier when the false start was called. Hint to Rocky: We know players are coached to do this. Tsk, tsk.