"Welcome to Big 40 College Football"

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football

It isn’t that bad yet but nothing is out of the question. What we seem to have is a Conference game of musical chairs. Every NCAA team wants to be sure it gets a seat in a better conference (and of course the money that goes with it). Every NCAA Conference seems to be wooing schools in other conferences to come join them.

* The Big 10 may not be able to count (there are 11 teams) but now they want to go to 12 or maybe 14 or 16.

*The PAC 10 (they can count) is looking to move to 12 or maybe 14.

*The Big 12 is just trying to hold on to their teams but would like to take in 2 more as well.

*The Big East and ACC are hiding under a blanket hoping other conferences won’t find them there.

The Big 10

According to the rumors floating around, the league has invited Missouri, Nebraska, and Rutgers to join the league. They have been courting Notre Dame for years but the Irish have their own TV deal with NBC and think they are too good to become a member. Nebraska is not likely to leave their rivalry with Oklahoma but both Missouri and Rutgers are likely to join.

But that leaves an odd number of teams at 13. If those two join look for the league to recruit either UConn, West Virginia, Pittsburgh or Syracuse to get to 14.

The Big 12

If Missouri leaves the league will be 1 short. TCU would be the most likely candidate to replace the Tigers. But if the Big 10 goes to 14, the Big 12 will want to follow. That would bring TCU, SMU, and either Rice or Houston to the fold. TCU, SMU and Rice were all part of the Southwest Conference that got raided by the Big 12.

SEC

If both the Big 10 and Big 12 got to 14 teams, the SEC will be forced to follow. There are rumors that the SEC is trying to lure Florida State and Miami out of the ACC to join their league. That would gut the football aspects of the ACC and force them to steal teams from the Big East or Conference USA.

Pac 10

The Pac 10 will want to expand as well to keep up with the other leagues. The most likely to join it are Utah and BYU. If they decide to go to 14 they would look at Utah State and either Wyoming or Colorado State.

That leaves a number of leagues with not enough teams and would undoubtedly lead to more raiding. The Big East would probably disappear unless they can raid Conference USA for teams like Memphis and Marshall. The ACC would go after South Florida (Big East) and UCF (USA).

The bottom line is that no league is safe as long as the big 3 are sniffing around for more teams. It will change the landscape of college sports and not for the better. Bigger conferences will lead to more bowl games. After all, the NCAA was thinking about having 96 team in the Basketball Championship Tournament. So what is wrong with having 48 bowl games?

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,NCAA Basketball Trournament,College football,Big 10,Big 12,SEC,Pac Ten,Nebraska,Rutgers,Missouri,Notre Dame,Syarcuse,UConn,Pittsburgh,West Virginia,Utah,BYU,Utah St.,Wyomingm Colorado State,Memphis,Marshall,South Florida,UCF,Conference USA,Big East,NCAA March Maddness,NCAA Basketball Championship Trournament,Florida State,ACC,Miami
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Sports Buffet for 05/04/10

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SptsBuf

The Sports Buffet will be a regular feature of FPS.

NFL

UFA S FS Darren Sharper (NO) is reported to have had microfracture knee surgery during the off season according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Sharper was a key part of the Saints D and their playoff run. The typical recovery time for that procedure is 18-24 months. That would also explain why he had such a delay in getting a contract offer. He has signed back with the Saints on a 1 year deal for 1.5M.

The Jones formerly known as “Pacman” is still shopping his services around the league. He went to Detroit last week and visited the Bengals recently. There was no interest by the Lions but the Bengals are at least considering an offer.

The 49ers signed LB Patrick Willis to a new 5 year deal worth 50M with 29M guaranteed.

With the draft of QB Tim Tebow, QB Brady Quinn could be on the move again. The Jags are reported to be interested in obtaining the former Browns 1st round pick.

NBA

There is a very fine line between a veteran team and just an “over the hill” team. Teams can go from one side of that line to the other in a single playoff series. The problem is that there is no way back except to blow the roster up and rebuild. After building a 11 point lead in game 1 vs. the Cavs, the Celts looked like they crossed the line at half time by losing the game by 8. However, they came back in game 2 and now have stolen home court advantage. The most interesting part of that game was that the “old” Celts outscored the Cavs 31-12 in the 3rd quarter. There is an old adage, in the NBA it isn’t a series until a home team loses a game. Now that the Celts have smacked the Cavs up side the head, it will be interesting to see if the Cavs can recover.

MLB

It is still VERY early in the season but there are a couple of things we can see now. The Red Sox are reeling. At 12-14 they are digging themselves a hole that will be very hard to crawl out of. They look old and done. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has gotten off to a really good start. It is hard to see them challenging the Yanks all year but they are playing well now. My two favorite teams are looking forward to high picks in this year’s draft–The Cubs and Indians.

NHL

The Columbus Blue Jackets are looking for a new coach AGAIN! Is there anyone out there that can turn what seems to be a team with a couple of very good players into a winner. If not, the city of Columbus will let the team leave. Central Ohio will not support a loser and that is all the CBJ have done. In their history they have had just 1 sniff of the playoff coffee beans.

College Football

The new NCAA rule changes include the right of a ref to take a TD off the board if the player “showboats” on his way to the endzone. Having spent some time in zebra stripes myself, I must give the officials some advice. Be VERY careful how and when you make that call. If it were made against the home team at Ohio State, Texas, Notre Dame or any number of CFB hotbeds, it might result in a tumult that would make the Hundred Years War seem like a minor disagreement between two 3 year old girls at a church picnic.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL Football,NFL Draft,Saints,Bengals,Lions,Sharper,Jones,Tebow,NBA,Celtics,Cavilers,NBA Championship,NBA Playoffs,MLB,Tampa Bay,Red Sox,Indians,Cubs,NHL,College Football,NCAA,RULES
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Niblets for April 2010

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Best comment of the month: 96 Teams in the NCAA Tournament is the worst idea since the BcS selection process.

Crime Scene Cleanup Tucson said “I completely agree with you..More teams is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Gotta be the money…”

CSC you hit it on the nose. The plan that came out after my editorial was that the NCAA planned to bid out every game between the 5 networks to increase the take. Check out the update below.

Updates on FPS Stories:

96 Teams in the NCAA Tournament is the worst idea since the BcS selection process.

The NCAA announced this week that they had scrapped the 96 team plan. They will add 3 play-in games for the spots to play the top seeds in each region. That is a much better solution. Let’s hope that the NCAA Executive committee stays away from the funny mushrooms.

The Steelers are having off field problems with their players.

The Ex-Steeler now Jet Santanio Holmes had another run in with authorities. According to the airline personnel he refused to turn off his iPod when the plane was landing. He claimed and the police report confirms that he turned it off but did not remove the headphones.  He was not charged but can expect another call from the Commish. He might get his suspension extended but maybe not.

Super Values in the NFL Draft 2

Several players from my list were taken. That list included O’Brien Schofield OLB Wisconsin (4th round Cardinals), Jamar Wall CB Texas Tech (6th Cowboys), and Doug Worthington DT Ohio State (7th Steelers).

Who SHOULD the Browns draft?

The Browns ended up taking Larry Asante SS Nebraska in the 5th round and WR Carlton Mitchell South Florida in the 6th. As I told radio audiences in 4 states, the draft parties for Browns fans prior to Holmgren taking over this draft were more suicide prevention support group meetings than celebrations of the Browns picks.

Niblets fresh from the cob:

General thoughts about the Draft

QB was the position that fell the farthest. As I predicted Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame fell to the 2nd round 48th pick (Panthers). That pushed the other QBs down as well. Colt Coy QB Texas was taken in the 3rd round pick 85 (Browns). John Skelton QB Fordham was taken in the 5th round pick 155 (Cards); Tony Pike QB Cincinnati (Panthers 6-204), and Dan LeFevour QB Central Michigan (Bears 6-181). There is a lot less risk in taking a QB after the 2nd round.

The Bryant interview the the Dolphins

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will not punish general manager Jeff Ireland for asking WR prospect Dez Bryant about his mother’s profession. There is some difference of opinion about exactly what was asked. Ireland issued a statement of the conversation that Bryant disputed.

SS Lawyer Milloy signed a 1 year deal with the Seahawks.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL Draft,NFL Football,Holmes,NCAA Basketball Trournament,BCS,Steelers,Jets,Cardinals,Cowboys,Draft grades,Clausen,Panthers,McCoy,Skelton,Notre Dame,Texas,Seahawks,Dolphins,Bryant,LeFevour,Pike,Milloy
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What to look for in the Saturday January 2nd bowl games.

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football

PAPAJOHNS.com BOWL South Carolina 7-5 Connecticut 7-5

Despite losing a key player to tragedy and being out-manned regularly, UConn has played a handful of ranked teams close only to lose heartbreaking game after game. Starting CB Jasper Howard was murdered on Oct. 18th. The team carries his memory and his jersey as a rally flag. The heart and hard work was rewarded with an overtime win over Notre Dame followed by a couple of wins to end the season.

UConn’s O scores 31 points per game and is fairly balanced between the run and the pass. The running tandem of Todman and Dixon provide a good ground attack despite not having even an average O line. QB Endres took over half way through the year and has done fairly well completing 64% with 6 TDs and 4 picks. His favorite target is WR Easley (5th round). The D has gotten better over the year but still is young. It is led by DE Witten (4th) and FS Vaughn (5th).

The Ol’ Ball Coach Spurrier still throws the ball all over the place. “Running backs, we don’t need no stinkin’ running backs” seems to be the game plan for SC. QB Garcia has a rating of 124.5 with 2733 yards and 17 TDs. He has had 394 attempts while the top 2 running backs had a total of 211 carries.

The SC D has been very erratic. They allowed 41 points to a bad Georgia O and then held a highly rated offense of #4 Mississippi to just 10. The D is led by OB Norwood (late 2nd) and SS Stewart (6th).

While UConn has won 3 straight, SC has lost 3 of their last 4. SC is a 5 point favorite but I doubt they will win that big. This could be another upset.

COTTON BOWL #19 Oklahoma St. 9-3 Mississippi 8-4

Ole Miss QB Snead needs to have a good game to impress NFL scouts. He came into the season as a top QB draft prospect but has fallen to the point he would be better off to stay for his senior year. He has completed only 54% with 20 TDs and 17 picks. RB McCluster (3rd) is just 5-7 169 and will have to play WR in the NFL. WR Hodge (6th) and G Jerry (5th) are also prospects on the Rebel O.

The Rebel D has been inconsistent. They held the high powered O of Arkansas to 17 then let a below average O of Miss St. score 41. DE Hardy (1st or high 2nd) is the highest rated player on the team but FS Lewis should be a late round pick.

Oklahoma St. had a disappointing season as well. They were expected to compete for the Big 12 South title but lost to Houston in the pre-league schedule then had lopsided losses to Texas and Oklahoma. QB Robinson is a 3 year starter but had a less than expected senior year. He had a passer rating of 135 but that was down from 149 in 07 and 167 in 08. He is a late round prospect. The O line is led by top OT prospect Okung (early 1st) and G Lewis (6th). RB Tolson (6th) averaged 5.4 with 11 TDs.

The OSU D features CB Cox (2nd) and safeties Sexton and Antoine who are marginal prospects in the 7th round.

Mississippi is a 3 point favorite but expect OSU to win in an upset.

LIBERTY BOWL East Carolina 9-4 Arkansas 7-5

Hog QB Mallett led the team to the 10th best passing game in division 1. He threw for 3425 with 29 TDs and just 7 picks. His top receiver Childs had only 45 catches. Mallett spreads the ball around. G Petrus (4th) heads up his protection.

The Hog D is horrible. It allowed 33 points to LSU in their overtime loss. Only DT Sheppard has a chance to be drafted from that group.

EC’s D will challenge Mallett. It is led by DE Wilson (3rd), DT Ross (7th) and S Eskridge (6th). The D has played very well this year and seem to be getting better each week. The O is led by RB Lindsey. Most experts don’t believe he is a pro prospect but at 5-10 200 he is big enough. Behind an average line he averaged 5 per carry. I like his toughness.

The line is Hogs by 8 but I don’t think so. Take the points and EC may win outright.

ALAMO BOWL Michigan State 6-6 Texas Tech 8-4

This game will be ugly quickly. MSU had a horrible pass D even before the suspensions of several starters on D. TT G Carter (5th) and T Winn (fa) will protect QB Potts. He will be throwing the ball without concern for the MSU d. TT is an 8 point favorite. MSU will be very lucky to keep it that close.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: Bowl games,NCAA Football,NFL Draft,PAPAJOHNS BOWL,South Carolina,Connecticut,COTTON BOWL,Oklahoma St.,Mississippi,LIBERTY BOWL,East Carolina,Arkansas,Mallett,ALAMO BOWL,Michigan State,Texas Tech,suspensions
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Some Christmas wishes in the Sports world.

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Cowboy Coach Phillips—Some wins after Turkey Day. The Boys haven’t done very well in December. JJ told the Boys faithful that if Phillips doesn’t win in the playoffs, he will be history. Phillips needs some help selling his house ’cause that ain’t happening.

Browns coach Mangenous—One more really silly owner to bail his career out again. Holmgren is “Football Czar of the Month” in Cleveland. There is little chance that Mangini will keep his job past 4:01 PM Sunday January 3. He got the current gig just after getting fired in New York. He needs another very gullible owner.

Buc Coach Morris—A copy of The Idiot’s Guide to Pro Football. Morris is badly over his head in Tampa. He was not even qualified to be OC let alone HC. With the team 1-forever, he needs to learn the game a lot more quickly to keep his job for next year.

Saints’ DC Greg Williams—A head coaching job in the NFL. Williams never got a decent shot in Buffalo and has proven with both the Redskins and Saints that he is ready for a top job. With the number of teams that will be looking for new top guys after this year, he should get a chance.

Former Browns’ Coach Crennel—Renewal of the Coors beer commercials because he isn’t likely to get another job in the NFL. Crennel is too nice a guy to be effective as a head man. He has only had success only in a highly disciplined situation. He needs the commercials because he needs work even though he is still being paid by the Browns.

Ex ND Coach Weis—A Christmas Card from Holmgren. Weis’ best shot at an OC spot is with the Browns to help QB Quinn develop. They were very close in ND and if anyone can turn Quinn’s career around, Weis believes he is the one.

Ohio State Coach Tressel—A win in the Rose Bowl. The Big 10 has a bad record in bowl games with OSU at the bottom of the list. Having suspended several players, his chances are less this year than most. Another couple of losses in the post season and Tress may find out that beating Michigan may not be enough to keep his job.

Florida Football Coach Urban Meyer—A Tebow clone at QB. After winning 2 BcS Championships in 4 years, Florida will likely take a step back next season. They lose their star QB and most of the D this year. Given the development of the Bama team as well as a couple of other SEC teams, it will be very hard for them to get back to the national championship game.

For College Football fans everywhere–A real playoff.  We will not get a playoff until the big contributors to college programs tell the pinhead presidents “NO MORE MONEY UNTIL YOU SUPPORT A REAL PLAYOFF!” If you wonder what it will take, follow the money.

The Chicago Cubs—Some pitching and a shot at the World Series. It’s been over 100 years since Cubbie fans had a chance to say something other than “wait ’til next year.” Enough of that, let’s see some playoff baseball.

Cleveland Cavs–Some of the magic from last year but in the 2010 playoffs.  O’Neil has been OK but the team has not come together like they did last year.  They need to regain the chemistry they had last year but extend that in the playoffs.

Most of all—A very Merry Christmas to all of you. Thank you for taking the time to read this site. If you have any suggestions for more gifts for sports teams, let me know.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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What did we learn from college football this week? Who is going where.

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football

Alabama and Texas will play for the mythical BcS championship.

Alabama looked great and Texas got VERY lucky to win its game against Nebraska. Texas tends to play down to the competition too often to be favored against Bama. Texas has been living on luck in several games and their luck runs out against the Tide.

Rose Bowl Ohio State and Oregon.

The Buckeyes are going to have to focus on their running game and stopping the run. Even though they practice against a running QB, the team has always had trouble stopping an offense based around that. Oregon has one of the best running games in college football. All Big 10+1 teams have trouble going west and Oregon has just the kind of team that will give the Buckeyes fits.

Sugar Bowl Florida and Cincinnati

This should be one of the most interesting games of the bowl season. The question is can the Cincy D handle Tebow and the Florida O? I think that TCU would be a better match up for the Gators but they will get Boise. The other question is who will be coaching the Bearcats. Coach Kelly is said to be high on the ND wish list. He will interview this week for that job.

This is a critical game for the Big East to prove that it belongs among the big boys. Florida will be a good test. If you can’t play Big Boy football, it will be obvious.

Fiesta Bowl TCU and Boise State

The Fiesta is going to be a good game but it is too bad that these two teams couldn’t have faced a BcS team. A win against a team like Florida would have given the non BcS teams and leagues a lot of cred. I think that TCU has too much on both sides of the ball for BS.

Orange Bowl Iowa vs. Georgia Tech

Iowa got the invitation to Miami rather than Penn State because they won head to head. The Hawkeyes will have to find a way to jump out in front or risk having the Big 10 take another hit to the credibility of the league. Without their starting QB that will be tough. Based on the way things look now, GT wins this game.

We will look at the other bowls next week.

Other news:

WR Golden Tate and QB Jimmy Clausen declare for the NFL Draft. Evidently they don’t care to wait around to see who gets the ND job. That is a great move for Tate. Clausen has not advanced like everyone expected but still will be a prospect with a lot of potential.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,College football,BCS,BCS Championship game,Alabama,Texas,Ohio State,Oregon,Floirda,Cincinnati,TCU,Boise State. Hout,Iowa,Georgia Tech,Penn State,Rose Bowl,Sugar Bowl,Fiesta Bowl,Orange Bowl,Clausen,Tate,Notre Dame
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