"Welcome to Big 40 College Football"

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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.


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 https://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 .

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What did we learn from the weekend?

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College Football

USC @ Washington I don’t think the Trojans are going to want to play Ohio State again any time soon. Every time they do they lose the next game on the road. Washington is better but USC lost the game Washington didn’t win it.

Florida State @ BYU I was wrong about BYU. Florida State is a young team that hasn’t figured out how to win consistently but is always dangerous because of their speed. They jumped out on BYU and never looked back. That eliminates BYU from the national championship discussion.

Tennessee @ Florida The Vols have one of the great D coordinators in the history of college football—Wayne Kiffin, the father of head coach Lane Kiffin. WK did an outstanding job of keeping the Florida O under control despite a lack of O from Tennessee. It will take LK a while to get the guys he needs for O but the D will keep them in a lot of games.

Texas Tech @ Texas The TTk system is good but it really helps to have a great QB and top WRs. TTk stayed with Texas for awhile but don’t have the depth this year to compete.

# 19 Nebraska @ # 13 Virginia Tech While all the experts picked VT to cover, I thought Nebraska would cover and possibly win. They came very close and should have held on.

#23 Georgia @ Arkansas Georgia is over rated and as predicted came back in the 4th quarter to win. But they are not as good as most thought they were.

The Pros

CL @ DV The Tan’s right tackle is the worst blocker I have ever seen start in the league. I have 2 for Mangini. 1st, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING SIGNING AND STARTING RT ST. Clair? Second, how do you like your rookie C Mack that can neither block nor snap the ball in the shotgun formation? Check out my complete analysis of the 1st through the 3rd quarter on tomorrow. I didn’t watch the 4th quarter because I just couldn’t take any more.

NO @ PH QB Kolb wasn’t quite as bad as he has been before but still threw picks that cost the Eagles any chance of a win. Look for the Eagles to start him again with the same result—another loss.

NE @ NJ Coach Rex Ryan’s D did a job on the Pats. The Pats are not as good on D as they were with Seymour. On O the Pats are not better. Part of the problem is the lack of WR Welker. He is out with a bad knee. But for the first time ever, I saw QB Brady not stepping into a throw when the pressure got around him. That is not like Brady at all. This was the first time he had a lot of pressure since coming back from his injury. He may get over it. If the Pats are going to be champions, he is going to have to ignore the rush.

The Jets are looking good on O and the D has played nothing short of outstanding football. I will have more on this tomorrow.

SD @ BA On Saturday the Charger NT Williams was put on IR. That hurt the D against the run in the game against the Ravens. The two headed monster of Rice and McGahee ran right up the gut against them. The Chargers just can’t score TDs. They kicked field goals regularly from inside the red zone. Unless that changes, the Chargers won’t go far in the playoffs.

CR @ AT Delhomme didn’t look bad but Atlanta is just a better team. The QB had just one turnover.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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  • Author:
  • Published: Apr 16th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on If you draft out of fear of failure you will fail.

If you draft out of fear of failure you will fail.

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Fryingpan Sports

If you draft out of fear of failure you will fail.

By Bill Smith

Given all the failures of QBs early in the NFL draft over the recent years, this year there is more talk than ever of drafting not to fail. The new administration of the Lions is going to have to byte the bullet about their first overall pick.

There was the first overall pick in 1999 with the Browns taking QB Tim “I’m on the” Couch (Kentucky). The team never has recovered.

That same year the Bengals drafted Akili Smith (Oregon) with the 3rd pick overall. The Bengals ended up drafting QB Carson Palmer (USC).

There was the first overall pick in 2002 with the Texans taking QB David Carr (BYU). The Texans languished for 5 years before putting their QB on the used Carr lot.

In 2006, Arizona took Matt Leinart (USC) with the 10th pick. He now holds the clip board for 38 year old Kurt Warner.

There was the first overall pick in 2007 with the Raiders taking JaMarcus Russell (LSU). A herd of coaches have yet to make him a NFL quality QB.

Although Vince Young (Texas) was the 3rd pick overall, it has stunted the playoff success of the Titans.

No wonder the Lions are a little squeamish about drafting a QB with the first overall pick. But here is the deal—IF (and only if) you feel that Matt Stafford (Georgia) is a franchise QB, you have to draft him. Failing to take a franchise QB out of fear of failure is a recipe for years to come. And most of those years will be managed by your replacements in the front office.

As you know, I have reservations about Stafford. His decision making leaves a lot to be desired. Some of that may be that he depends on his strong arm too much. But throws you shouldn’t make in college will result in touchdowns for the opponent in the NFL. But Stafford is very bright and with tape study and work on the field, he can improve his decision making. His footwork and mechanics are also in need of work. But those too can be fixed.

Last year the Dolphins had the first pick and took an O lineman Jake Long (LT Michigan) with that pick and QB Chad Henne (Michigan) with a 2nd round pick. The Lions are not going to be able to do that this year. If they pass on Stafford, chances are the other two supposedly 1st round picks Mark Sanchez (USC) and Josh Freeman (Kansas St.) will be gone by the 20th pick. I don’t have any other QB rated in the second or third round.

Like it or not, the Lions have very few choices other than Stafford. One possibility would be to trade for QB Derek Anderson (Browns). He is a young but somewhat proven QB with a strong arm that would make the Lions offense better. Then they could draft an LT with the first pick and either later this year or next pick up a QB of the future. That is the safe choice. But if they feel that Stafford is franchise QB, they have to go for it.

Such are the decisions that make a GM famous or if it doesn’t work out, unemployed. That is how so many ex-GMs end up on ESPN.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 3rd, 2009
  • Category: College Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Utah blows another hole in Airship B(C)S

Utah blows another hole in Airship B(C)S

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Frying Pan Sports


By Bill Smith

The University of Alabama football team came into the 2009 Sugar Bowl believing they should have been part of the national championship game. They came out on the short end of a 31-17 loss to Utah. No one hated that result more than those college president pinheads that say that there is no need for a playoff in big boy college football.

There is a case to be made that Utah and not Florida should be in the championship game. To that end, let me provide some evidence:

Exhibit A: Florida allowed Alabama to score 20 points while Utah gave up only 17, 7 of which were the direct result of a turnover and 7 more on a punt return.

Exhibit B: Utah held the vaunted Tide running game to 31 yards net on 33 attempts. That is .9 yards a carry. Against national championship bound Florida, Bama also ran 33 time but for 136 yards and a 4.1 average including 2 tds.

Exhibit C: Utah forces 3 Bama turnovers where Florida only forced one.

Exhibit D: Utah held Bama to 5.7 yards per pass attempt while Florida allows 7.5 ypa against them.

Exhibit E: Utah now owns wins over 3 team in the pre-bowl top 15. The defeated #4 Alabama, #12 TCU 13-10 and #14 BYU 48-24. Florida has wins over #4 Alabama 13-20, and #16 Georgia 49-10.

Exhibit F: The only thing that vaulted Florida into the championship game was the win over Alabama.

Exhibit G: Utah is undefeated—in fact the only perfect team in division 1. Florida lost at home to a 8-4 Mississippi team in the regular season that was never ranked.

Now, why would Florida be allowed to play for the national championship and Utah be kept out? Why that’s the system—the BS, sorry, BCS system.

We have heard for years all the arguments against a playoff system in division 1 NCAA football. Let’s look a few of those excuses to see if they hold any water.

  1. A college president said that a 4 team playoff would dilute the regular season of college football. I am sure that if neither Ohio State and Michigan or Alabama and Auburn were in a position to play for a championship, the game between the rivals would be played in an empty stadium without television coverage. Yea, that’s going to happen.
  2. Several spokespeople for college football suggested that the Big 10 and Pac-10 would resist a playoff because it would detract from the tradition of the Rose Bowl. Of course those conferences jumped into the BCS even though it would mean (under the original system) the traditional matchup would be lost every 4th year. Money seems to count more than tradition. I wonder just how long it will be before the Rose Bowl will become the Flowers.com Bowl to pay the conferences more money. That of course would do nothing to dilute the tradition of the game.
  3. The playoff would violate the tradition of bowls. Yea, like there is any tradition there at all. Whom among us isn’t choked up at the very thought to watching the Pulan Weed-Eater bowl? Oh yea, that is gone replaced by the Who Gives a Crap Bowl.
  4. A playoff would cost the student athletes way too much class time. WHAT? The average basketball player be it the men or women loses 3 times the number of class days that football players do. They play twice a week and over a much longer season than football. If lost class time is so critical, let’s cancel the NCAA tournament and let the BCS formula or the power rankings determine which two teams play for the basketball championship. Look at all the time we could save for the fans so that they could do their St. Patrick’s day shopping.
  5. We also hear that the pinhead college presidents are convinced that the current system is what the people want because the revenue continues to grow every year. Evidently what we were all starved for was more bowl games because the NCAA agreed to add two more bowls to the plethora of nameless faceless matchups between two 6-6 teams. I set my TIVO to record every second of both of them! I am particularly thrilled with the idea of the Congressional Bowl in Washington D.C. Who says there is a no win attitude in our nations capital?
  6. Jim Delany, the Big Ten Commissioner, was quoted earlier this year as saying that a 4 team playoff like the plus one formula would quickly lead to expansion to a 8 to 16 team playoff system and stain college football with the brush of professionalism. Maybe we need to eliminate playoffs for Division 2 and Division 3 football. That would help keep professionalism out of the game at that level.

There has been some discussion of a plus one formula after the bowl games. But in a 4 team playoff who would you leave out? USC? I think they may be the best team right now. Utah? They handled Alabama easily in a game that was not as close as the score indicated. I don’t think we have any idea how good this team could be. How about Texas? They were last second field goal away from a perfect season. So forget the plus one. Give us the real honest to goodness playoff system or bag football all together.

The B(C)S is falling into the same bottomless pit that has swallowed so many businesses managed by Ph D’s. The only thing these pinheads understand is money. If you want a playoff, get to the big money donation people and convince them to send a note to their favorite college president. It should read something like “Dear Pinhead. Unless you support a playoff for division 1 football, your school is off my Christmas Card list. Don’t expect a donation this year either. Signed—the Boss!”

In my opinion that is the only way we are ever going to see a playoff in big boy football.

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 NFLDraftDog.com and edits fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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