Posted on: December 18, 2009 11:09 am

Calipari.....keeping his distance.

John Calipari is without a doubt the most controversial college basketball coach to grace the sidelines in the past 10 years.  With stints at UMass and Memphis and now UK, he has left two of those three programs in the wake of NCAA recruiting violations.  First, it was Marcus Camby at UMass accepting nearly $30k in gifts, cars, etc.  Then it was Derrick Rose having a stand-in for an SAT.  There have also been allegations that Dozier of Memphis had falsified SAT scores, although that has yet to be proven. 

With all this said, how does he get by without a sanction being attached to him personally as a coach?  Well, that's easy.  He keeps his distance.  Think John Gotti or Marlon Brando in the Godfather.  If you stay at least one or two levels removed from the actual violation, its going to be nearly impossible to pin things on you personally.  In those instances, you just pack your bags, take a new job, and head out for greener pastures, leaving the former program with vacated wins and championships. 

Calipari knows that he can't be caught talking directly with these "handlers" or "agents" he has to put buffers between the transactions and himself so as to stay personally clean.  Do you remember the scene in the Godfather where one of Michael Corleone's soldiers, Cicci, is testifying before a Senate subcomittee.  The soldier is asked whether Michael Corleone had ever told him directly to kill someone or if he'd ever seen Corleone kill someone? The soldier replies, "you mean tell me himself, uh no?" 

The moral of the story for Calipari is that he knows that as long as he keeps his "soldiers" at arms length from him, the NCAA will never be able to implicate him directly. 

So, for that I give him an A+ for intelligence.  He's doing what some others have not been smart enough to do, mainly Kelvin Sampson.  For his integrity and honor, I give him an F.  He's a slimebag who just knows how to scam the system and until the NCAA gets some stones, people like Calipari will continue to leave programs in his wake with vacated wins. 
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 4, 2009 2:17 pm

Why there will be fewer Bowls next year.

If the economy stays pretty much status quo in 2010, the problem of having too many bowls and having undeserving teams playing in those bowls will be self corrected.  The ONLY reason we have so many bowls today is because there are advertisers willing to put up big bucks to sponsor bowls and the teams that participate in those bowls get a nice paycheck for playing.  

If the economy doesn't improve, I believe you'll see a reduction in sponsors just like we've seen a reduction in sponsors in NASCAR and other sporting events.  Corporations are scaling back left and right and I think another year of a down economy will probably result in a sizable reduction in the number of bowl sponsors.  Of course there will be new companies to fill in, but I don't think there will be more companies coming in than going out.  

Bottomline, the problem of having too many ridiculous bowls may be corrected in 2010.  We may not see any Hawaii, Meineke Car Care, Eagle Bank or Poinsettia bowls in 2010.  Of course, as the economy improves these types of bowls will return, but at least we may get a reprieve for a year or two. 

Any guesses on what the lowest payout is for a bowl and what the bowl is?  That would be the bowl at a mere $300k payout.  The biggest non-BCS bowl payout goes to the Capital One bowl at $4.2mm.

Just a tidbit for your trivia knowledge.  All BCS bowls are paid the same payout at $17mm.  That explains how the haves keep having and the have nots keep....well, having not. 
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 19, 2009 11:51 am

College Basketball

Well, the 2009-2010 college basketball season is now underway.  Some teams ranked in pre-season Top 25 polls have struggled, some have already suffered a loss and some have looked down right scary good.  Many of the teams in the Top 25 polls are regulars, while some are newbies and still others are used to be's who have re-surfaced once again.   Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, Connecticut, Louisville, Michigan State and Texas are just some of the schools who are returning to the polls as they have always done.  Some of the newbies (meaning either never having a Top 25 ranking or seldom having) include Dayton and in some polls Siena.  Kentucky is a school who once was, and is back again.

With all that said, I predict that this year, the polls will change more than anytime in recent history.  I see several schools jostling back and forth at the top and I see parity and parody at the same time.  Parity can be seen with Butler, Dayton and Siena becoming more than just annoying mid-major schools who scare a few teams during tournament time.  Parity could also be seen with the near misses between Memphis and Kansas this week as well as between Gonzaga and Michigan State, at Michigan State.  At this point in the season there really isn't a standout number 1 or even 2, 3, or 4 team.  You can mix and match the top 10 teams all day long and at one point or another in the season, you'll be correct in your picks.  Parody will be seen through the likes of Clemson (who will go 15-0 and then crash land, as usual) and through California and Washington who will represent the Pac-10 as Arizona did last year in the NCAA tournament, ouch.

Here are my picks to watch for this season.  Watch out for Tennessee.  This team is loaded with seasoned vets and talent and Pearl is due a long ride in the tournament.  Watch out for Kentucky.  They are green as green can be right now and they will lose some games, but Wall is the real deal as is Cousins.  These guys, as bad as it pains me to say it, will be hard to handle in March.  Watch out for UConn.  Hey, its Jim Calhoun, the guy can coach.  Finally, watch out for my own beloved Louisville Cardinals.  They are young, and like Kentucky, they will lose some games, but its Rick Pitino and he has the talent. 

Here are my picks to falter when it counts.  Don't buy stock in Texas.  Yes, they're talented, but they never seem to be able to perform when it counts.  Don't buy stock in Duke.  They are much like Notre Dame football.....riding the polls on reputation of years gone by.  Sure, they'll win a lot of games, but they're not a top team.  Don't buy stock in Purdue.  If they suffer from the injury bug again this year, they're done.  They have no depth. 

Everyone else is a crap shoot, in my opinion.  Some will rise to the top, while others fall to the depths.  Whatever happens, it'll be fun to here Jim Nance roll us into the 2010 NCAA tournament!
Category: NCAAB
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