Thin Blood & Bowl Games ….

January03/ 2011

I’ve never bought into that old saying Blood is thicker than water.  The current breed of Directors of Athletics seems to agree with me.  The blood of a prodigal son is no thicker than anyone else’s. 

What do Bill Stewart, Dave Wannstedt, Randy Shannon and Ralph Friedgen have in common other than recently outed from prominent Head Coaching gigs (a technicality with Stewart)?  All four were prodigal sons at their former employers. They bled their former employer’s color as did John Bunting, Chuck Amato, and Matt Doherty.  They ended up shedding that blood all over the AD’s carpet.

Prodigals always make a warm fuzzy story when they are hired.  They work cheaper than the going rate because it is their (drumroll please) “Dream Job”.  Their intro press conferences are old home week remember-fests.  Their first round of booster-meets are hearty back-slappers.  Then reality bites.

Knowing the words to the school song VS recruiting blue-chips & getting to a big bowl game ? Screw the school song.

The bloom on the old grad rose is directly related to whether they are “just a name” versus have legitimate head coaching credibility.  Prodigals start slipping with their first 3 & out.

Michigan is supposedly going hot & heavy for a prodigal in Jim Harbaugh.  Everyone wants Jim Harbaugh …… NFL and college.  He is handsome, successful at a for-real academic institution and he obviously knows how to run a program.  If Harbaugh intends to leave Stanford, Michigan is where he would go.   There are limits to Stanford’s commitment to big time football ….. but with limits come limited expectations. Michigan has no limits either way.


Am I the only one who notices new arrivals among the Top Teams in college FB?  South Florida, Central Florida and Mississippi State specifically.   None of these three have tradition or stature of any sort unless one counts Miss State’s cowbells.  They are glorified community colleges

Harder to get a Costco card …

with no pretense whatsoever of academic prestige.  It is harder to get a Costco card than it is to be admitted to, and graduate from, these places.   Thankfully Blue-chips don’t care about Rhodes Scholars or who’s buried in the campus cemetary.

USF and UCF are located in Tampa and Orlando with lots of post-adolescent temptations.  Miss State is in Starkville.  Starkville MS is one of those places that people in Stillwater OK and Manhatten KS make fun of.  The University of Phoenix has a more picturesque campus.

TCU’s rise to prominence is an anomaly.   Think Wake Forest in Ft Worth.  Lots of pretty Texas coeds.  Lots of wealthy Texas oil alums.  Pretty little campus.  As long as they can keep Gary Patterson, they will hurt Mack and Stoops’ recruiting and do just fine.  Joining the Big East is a silly necessity.

Do USF and UCF have famous alumni?  Eric who survived until the 3rd round in The Biggest Loser or Cindi was a Rockette alternate are sufficient for touting by their alumni magazine?  Has anyone at USF or UCF or Miss State ever read Look Homeward Angel?

ESPN knows where these programs are and so do the NFL Combine scouts.  If one’s ambition is get to the league and to not be hassled by academic stuff why not USF, UCF or Miss State.  If one has no intention of graduating, where one doesn’t graduate from doesn’t matter.

Speaking of UCF ….. their DefCoor is still Dave Huxtable.   Six years ago Dave ranked only behind Coach K in animus on Franklin Street when he was DefCoor for John Bunting.

What happened recently with the Ohio State Five selling their memorabilia is a further reminder than today’s blue-chippers don’t give a rip about tradition and that gloppo that old grads go gooey about.   They are mercs looking to get to the league PERIOD.


NC State and UNC both won their respective bowl games.  This means off-season urination contests will center on other aspects of the two programs.  Finding those aspects never proves too difficult.

UNC’s quirky win over Bill Dooley’s nephew was a do you believe what just happened hoot.   I love games where really weird crap happens.  That Big Ten referee was NOT related to Jim Knight that we know of.

My biggest concern in The Music City Bowl was that ESPN analyst Bob Davies was actually going to compare Butch’s tribulations to the Marshall plane crash.  There was no Marvin sighting at LP Field.  Will John Blake be voted a bag of bowl swag?

UNC’s win was a fine reward for Yates and Barth and the other kids who have behaved themselves and actually know how many Choos in Choo Choo.


Randy Edsall to Maryland was a nice safe choice.  Edsall mighta done better had he waited.   Maryland probably would not have done better.  Had UNC chose to make a change, Randy Edsall woulda been on the short list.

That trainwreck at Pitt is yet another reason to do a thorough due diligence.  Why do so few schools actually do “just in case” checks ?

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