Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Catching up will always remember that xx-xx win

Mike Riley has zero tolerance: Sean Mannion was excellent through three games, played like crap against Washington State before getting hurt and missing three weeks with a knee injury, came back early for the Washington game and then threw four picks in a mind-blowingly awful performance that resulted in Oregon State's first loss. Result:
Oregon State coach Mike Riley has decided to start junior Cody Vaz at quarterback Saturday against Arizona State. Vaz had started two games for the Beavers while starter Sean Mannion recovered from arthroscopic knee surgery.

"Obviously, it's one of those things that's not easy," Riley said. "You look at the integrity of the competition and you try to make a decision for the team that's right this minute. We think Cody's playing a little bit better right now and deserves the start."
Well yeah. But what's interesting is that Mannion was pretty much the entirety of the Oregon State offense prior to the Washington State game, at which point he was averaging 339 yards a game with six touchdowns and one pick; he's now at eight touchdowns and eight picks and has averaged 245 yards in his last two games. So I dunno. I'm guessing the early-season numbers were inflated by the craptacular defenses of UCLA and Arizona (keep in mind that Oregon State scored only seven points in the opener against Wisconsin).

As for Vaz, he was very good against an excellent BYU defense, did almost nothing in a closer-than-necessary game against Utah and then relieved Mannion last week and went 7 for 11 for 97 yards and a touchdown, although Oregon State's last series (which ended just outside of field-goal range in a three-point loss) went incompletion, incompletion, sack, incompletion. Whether he's actually any better than Mannion is yet to be determined; he'll have to be at least decent against both ASU (10th in pass-efficiency defense, although that's massively inflated by a schedule full of crappy quarterbacks) and Stanford (32nd in pass-efficiency defense and legitimately tough to throw against just ask Matt Barkley lol zing) for Oregon State to have a realistic shot at a BCS bid heading into the Civil War.

Because it (probably) can't get any worse: Auburn is officially giving up (for now) on the Kiehl Frazier/Clint Moseley experiment:
Coach Gene Chizik said Tuesday that freshman Jonathan Wallace would start Saturday against New Mexico State.
Moseley is actually out with an ankle injury but was probably gonna get benched anyway; he'd started the last four games and accumulated an average of 124 yards a game with one touchdown and three picks while Auburn dropped to 120th (that's dead last) in the country in total offense and 119th in scoring offense. Guh. Wallace went in against A&M after Moseley got hurt and Frazier was his usual unproductive self and went 6 for 9 for 133 yards and two touchdowns (Frazier and Moseley had combined for three all season) and ran for 71 yards on 13 carries. In other words, he did something, which is a lot more than can be said for the other two guys.

These are actual numbers here (cumulative ones) for Frazier and Moseley this season: 57 percent passing at 6.4 yards per attempt with three touchdowns and 11 picks (!) to go along with -127 rushing yards. It really can't get any worse. Unless it does. And anything resembling a close game against New Mexico State -- a team without an FBS win this year that's 102nd in total defense and 99th in scoring defense -- would be worse.

Woo vote of confidence: Purdue got destroyed by Minnesota (Minnesota!) on Saturday and is now 0-4 in the Big Ten, with the only close loss of those four being the one to Ohio State (???) in overtime. That's bad, especially considering that people (actual people like Kirk Herbstreit) were picking Purdue to win the conference a month ago.

Athletic director Morgan Burke seems unimpressed based on this statement that came out after the game and seems to be the administrative equivalent of message-board/talk-radio RABBLE RABBLE:
"Everyone around our football program has high expectations for the 2012 season. We have worked very hard over the past four years to improve our personnel, facilities and every phase of our program, which is evident. Our student-athletes, alumni, fans, coaching staff and administration all expect to see the program move forward and take a step up the postseason ladder. Currently, our performance has kept us from reaching our goals. But we have a third of the season left to play, and our focus is to achieve that consistency over the remaining four games. We need to press forward, converting potential into results and having fun playing Boilermaker football."
Upshot: Commence the search for the next Wilford Brimley lookalike. It's probably worth noting that Hope is in his fourth year, hasn't done better than 6-6 and needs at least one win in the next two games (Penn State and at Iowa) just to get Purdue into the Little Caesar's Bowl for the second straight year. Woo Purdue!

Complicating things always improves them: So the NCAA officially implemented its new penalty structure the other day, with the two major changes being as follows:

1. A four-tiered infractions system, with what used to be secondary violations being considered Level 4 and what used to be major violations being considered either Level 1 (Penn State-type institutional implosions), Level 2 (Ohio State-type extra-benefits stuff) or Level 3 (marginal stuff that currently rides the fine line between "secondary" and "major").

2. A bylaw specification that makes head coaches directly responsible for all violations committed by assistant coaches, with the punishment being that "the head coach must prove he or she was unaware it occurred or face a suspension ranging from 10 percent of the season to one full season."

Those are relatively significant in the big picture. Will they matter? Ehhh. I'm skeptical that the first one will have any real impact since it basically just allows for more lawyer-ing come hearing time, although it'll be nice to have a distinction between Michigan's gray-area stretching/practice-time violations and Miami just throwing the NCAA bylaws into the fire. Right now, the only differentiation is in the penalties, and those tend to be wildly variable depending on the Committee on Infractions' mood that given day. The more defined structure should (emphasis on "should") make things a little more logical in that regard.

The holding-coaches-responsible thing, IMO, will actually be of more value since there will now actually be some motivation to have guys on your staff not doing unethical things rather than doing them and then just pretending not to know about them. Putting the burden of proof on the coach rather than the NCAA shifts the balance of power a little, and suspensions/show-cause penalties are real things. That said, head coaches (see Tressel, Jim) have directly done plenty of stupid things to keep winning and will never stop until the point at which the benefits of doing so are outweighed by the potential cost of getting caught, and that point definitely hasn't arrived yet.

Really, Missouri? Remember this day:

Because there's nothing more glorious than an xx-xx win over Kentucky. I can't even decide which part of that sentence is more laughable.

That's the end of that chapter: Utah's attorney general is giving up on that BCS lawsuit that started way back in 2008 and was supposedly gonna blow the whole thing up but really did nothing whatsoever:
It began more than three years ago with fire and brimstone.

By late Friday, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s case against the Bowl Championship Series — a lawsuit that never got launched — was declared suspended, seemingly diminished to embers with Shurtleff set to leave office next year.

"We have a core group of four antitrust experts working in our office, and whether to pursue it will be the decision of the next attorney general," Shurtleff said. "I don’t see any other way I’m involved at all."
There was no chance that lawsuit was going anywhere regardless once the playoff-type thing got implemented. The BCS wouldn't even exist (at least not in a championship-related format) by the time the thing went to court, and the elimination of autobids come 2014 would make it pretty hard to argue that there's any sort of advantage (other than the obvious inherent ones) for major-conference teams. Granted, the revenue distribution will still be skewed, but that was never the crux of the lawsuit. It's over.

Color scheme FTW: A random Sports Illustrated cover for no particular reason (via MGoBlog):



Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.