Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I'd still rather watch Maryland

That's right. Instead of the USC versus Texas game that decides who gets to claim they are the national champion for 2006, I'd rather see Maryland play Texas A&M -Corpus Christi. The football game will more than likely not live up to the hype, it has two teams I could care less about, and in about a half dozen years no one will care who won the game anyway. The Maryland game isn't on TV so I won't have to make that choice. Frankly I'm more excited about the start of basketball conference play on ESPN tomorrow night. We'll get to see top 10 matchups between Illinois and Michigan State in addition to Louisville and Villanova. UCLA and Arizona are the nightcap. Can't wait for College Gamenight to start again.

Mountain Momma
It appears that the future of the annual West Virginia game is in doubt at the moment. The series has been played annually since 1980 with the tied at 21-21-2 all time. There are rumors that games against California will replace WVU in 2008 and 2009, but the series could end as soon as 2007 if a replacement can be found. It seems there isn't strong feeling at either school to continue this "rivalry". It isn't really much of a rivalry and I wouldn't be sad to see it go the way of John Denver.

Around the ACC

The Carolina state schools both beat up on some cupcakes last night, but Wake Forest barely squeaked by East Carolina at home. The game was tied in the final minutes before the refs gave Wake Forest possession on an out of bounds situation that Trent Strickland admitted was the wrong call. Like all season Wake struggled to hold onto the ball with 21 turnovers on 13 steals by the Pirates. The bench again did next to nothing in this game and Justin Gray had a hard time getting his shots to fall. The Deacons better clear those problems up or the ACC season will be very difficult for them. It starts with Duke on Sunday. They will have to play much better to even have a chance in that game. Their home crowd needs to be raucous. Unfortunately, I see Duke rolling in this game.

Nice Old Fella
When did Joe Paterno turn into a grouchy old wacko? For those who missed his griping, whining and senile rantings at the Orange Bowl this week check this out. His comments at the media events before the Orange Bowl had a certain Bobby Knight quality about them. An unpleasant mixture of ridiculous self importance and obnoxious bully. Paterno used to be one of the few good guys in college football, remember? Perhaps this all started back in 2002 when Paterno went out of his gourd when UPS lost a number of close games in the Big Ten. He had a full blown "vast right wing conspiracy" moment and even hung a referee in effigy on his door for Halloween. His bizarre comments about the legal situation and suspension of FSU linebacker AJ Nicholson were especially creepy given that he decided to play Anwar Phillips in a bowl game three years ago when the starting cornerback was expelled for an alleged rape. I hardly felt Paterno was vindicated when Phillips was found not guilty, please do not call it "innocent", of the charges. I have the feeling if a young coach like Urban Meyer or Pete Carroll acted this way the media wouldn't be dismissing it as quaint quirkiness. For his part Paterno seems to dismiss any criticism of his actions as a ludicrous waste of his time. His fans and apologists, if there is a distinction at this point, are not doing him any favors by letting him get away with it, as the Orange Bowl did earlier this week by removing his quotes regarding Nicholson from the website and replacing them with fabrications. One would hope Paterno has the sense to leave the game before he turns into Woody Hayes or forever sullies his already faltering reputation.

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