Friday, June 26, 2009

Offseason Roundtable #13

In an effort to not only increase our chatter about the Cards, but to also increase some reader participation, Edge, RV, and Alan will be doing these roundtables every week. Love the answers? Want to post your own thoughts? Of course you do. And you can do so in the Comments section. Because remember, dear readers, a smarmy sarcastic blog about Ball State athletics is only as good as its small yet powerful reader base. Have at it, boys and girls...

1.) Ball State coach Jason Eck has fired up a Twitter account. Surprising? Expect more coaches to do this?
Alan: I think it's great news but a little surprising that BSU or a coach there would be even close to the cutting edge or at least on the normal side of the scale in terms of college football. Considering the athletics department has always been sort of lagging or sorely lacking in terms of cool little tech stuff, website stuff, information for fans, etc. If this is the last step, it's a yawn. If this is the first step, it's great and sorely overdue. Now, we just need to get Coach Parrish on there.

RV: It'll start spreading with each school that has a good or young SID. There's no reason to not take advantage of every corner of the Internet, and while Twitter might not be around in a few years, it's here for now. It's a great way to touch recruits and your fanbase alike and as long as you follow the rules (you know who you are) there shouldn't be any problems.

Edge: More coaches will join up, absolutely. And if they don't do it soon, they'll miss the opportunity. As I said yesterday, the NCAA has yet to act on Twitter like it has MySpace, Facebook, etc. Coaches might as well mine that gold vein while they can because it'll be tapped before too long.

2.) The big news out of Alabama is that the Tide are appealing their 21 vacated wins punishment. Any chance the NCAA lets the Tide keep those victories?
Alan: God, I hope not. At some point or another, the NCAA needs to stop giving out these slap on the wrist punishments, or reducing something with actual teeth down to nothing on appeal. Here's their chance to hold someone to the fire a little, thought a better punishment would be loss of scholarships, probation, etc.

RV: No. Alabama should take their dose of shut the hell up and be glad they didn't have to forfeit their wins or lose a SINGLE god damn scholarship. Talk about getting off light...sorry, but just be glad the NCAA is just growing it's baby teeth and hasn't decided to fully operate as an association. *insert joke about Alabama claiming a national championship here*

Edge: I don't see the NCAA changing a thing. It's a formality for Alabama to proceed with an appeal. It's not like they'll get a worse punishment for appealing anyway, so what's the harm?

3.) Former Hoosier Kellen Lewis has ended up at Valdosta State for his final year of eligibility. Does this kid have any kind of future whatsoever in football?
Alan: I wish there was a happy ending in store for Lewis, but I simply cannot say there is. This young man had a ton of talent, a ton of opportunity, and at least the ability to get a great education. It's a shame anytime someone doesn't take advantages of the things in their life that can advance them, and I think Lewis is one of those textbook examples of someone who just didn't take advantage of everything he had in front of him. Best wishes as he goes to Valdosta State, but I feel like this is probably going to be a sad ending to a fairly sad book.

RV: Depends on your definition of football. If by football you mean not involved in any kind of football whatsoever, then yes. He has a future in football.

Edge: Valdosta State is his future... how's that for a dose of reality? He'll play, but he's done after this. Finishing at IU, he may have had an outside chance at the NFL, but that's left him for good. Kids, pay attention to this scenario. This is what drugs gets you. Valdosta State football.

4.) There's talk of Northwestern heading to play a game at Wrigley Field. What are your thoughts about these games housed in a different sort of locale or place than what is normal for athletic teams?
Alan: I think it's a good idea if done properly. ND in Yankee Stadium, USC at Dodger Stadium, something cool like that. But the games have to be two really excellent teams. And unfortunately, Northwestern wouldn't be one of those 2 really excellent teams. However, I would love to see Wrigley play host to an ND game.

RV: Unless they're playing Illinois/OSU/Michigan it probably wouldn't sell out. The whole barnstorming idea is near and dear to my heart, but Northwestern doesn't deserve to have a game like this. When you can only fill 60.6% of your own stadium, you can continue to try and sell out at home. I think it's great for teams that are trying to expand their academic and athletic base, but traveling down the purple line to get off at Addison is just a joke.

Edge: I think it's more a media play than anything. It's exciting for the players in one aspect, but it really doesn't mean anything other than to say, "I played at Wrigley". Put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig. Play football at Wrigley, it's still a football game.

5.) Unsurprisingly, the BCS has rejected the proposal of the Mountain West Conference to redo the BCS Championship formula. Is the BCS ever going to change or are we going to see this structure for the near future?
Alan: For the near future, we have the BCS. It's not perfect, there's probably some room for improvement, but it sure as hell is better than a playoff. Kudos to the Mountain West for at least trying to be part of the solution instead of just sitting back and bitching, but a playoff isn't the answer.

RV: The BCS will change as soon as someone figures out how the powers-that-be can make more money. Changing to a +1 is probably more likely, with the BCS adding an additional game to their format and creating a new bowl for to the highest bidder. I don't see any reason for them to change the current format until football is ready to rip its foundations out and start fresh. I vote no.

Edge: I expect to see an increase in these types of proposals from the mid-majors. The MWC didn't really front a revolution here, but this type of talk and action has the potential to snowball. Certainly other conferences feel the same way but don't want to rock the boat just yet. Every year we hear it anyway: playoff this, playoff that... that's never going to stop. I do see something happening in the future, but it's going to be a long time coming. There are way too many factors to adopt a playoff system at this point, but you can be assured the talk will continue and the mid-major efforts for change will increase.

Readers: what do you have to say? Comment away!


MAC-Smack said...

On the BCS:

Change is only going to happen if the BCS conferences are offered a proposal they can swallow. This means

1) They all get their spot in the Big Bowls


2) The Bowls must not be diminished by being merely a playoff.


My idea:

At large teams from BCS conferences (like Ohio State 08') has to play the best from the non bcs conferences like Boise State for their slot.

This would have gotten Boise State and, if they had beaten Buffalo, Ball State a shot at BCS bowls.

A playoff is just never going to happen..

Anonymous said...

Unlikely the Wrigley game will come off. The main reason being that a football field won't fit within the cozy confines.

When the Bears played there up through the 1960s, they only had eight-yard end zones... they didn't have room for anything else. And Wrigley has even less real estate to work with now, since four rows of permanent, brick-and-concrete-rooted seats have been added down both baselines and behind home plate in recent years.

Plus, the schools would have to pay to completely re-sod the field. The NHL has a boatload of NBC national TV cash from the Winter Classic to pay for that easily. For two middlin' Big Ten teams, that $300,000 expense probably makes the game a riskier deal financially than they are comfortable with.

The attendance thing wouldn't be a worry, though. They were talking about the Northwestern-Illinois game as the one being moved to Wrigley.