-{Flags}-

A little while ago, Southern Tech played Utica in a game that came down to the final minutes. Going in to half-time, it looked like Utica was going to win but we had a blockbuster third quarter where a fluke play (a ball bouncing off one of our players and into a defender’s hands) prevented us from putting the game away.

One of the events of the third quarter were a string of Utica penalties to our benefit. Only to our marginal benefit, however. Because when you’re near the endzone, as we were, “half the distance to the goal” only does so much. So they got a pass interference penalty, followed by Utica objections, followed by more Utica objections, followed by the Utica coach coming out on the field. And an automatic The penalties, however, took the ball from the 8 to the four, the four to the two, and the two to the one. The ref was absolutely exasperated as he outlined all of the events.

Given that these (except possibly the first one) these were penalty-penalties, it seems weird to me that there’s nothing they can do but mark off some inches on fifteen yard penalties.

-{Saved!}-

So Les Miles was supposed to be fired from LSU and wasn’t. So instead of writing about how difficult it is for him to find work, I’m left writing about… what? Well, mostly why the firing didn’t occur. The main answer is fan support. The victory over Texas A&M that precipitated the reversal was good but nothing special. What was notable was the overwhelming support that seemed to be coming from LSU fans. I have some connections with the school, some people on my Twitter feed, and so on. The desire that he be kept around was nigh-universal.

The only one of the coaches I listed in the previous post who meets that criteria (including Solich and Cristobal, who I mention but don’t get into it) was Mike Leach. I scanned the Texas Tech message boards after his termination and eventually they just had to close of all conversations on the topic because Tuberville was their new coach and it was time to move on. It was starting to shape up like this was going to be one of those situations.

Despite an aversion to firing successful coaches, I was ambivalent about the direction that LSU appeared to be headed. Which is to say that I am less impressed with Miles’ performance than many Tiger fans (which perhaps affected my view of his prospects). He won championships, but he took over a championship program. And some of it was watching him back in his days at Oklahoma State, where Big 12 fans will probably always see him as the goober on the Cowboy sidelines. But it was hard to argue with his record and while his act may have worn thin with admin, the fans it certainly hasn’t with the fans.

So now instead of Miles looking for work, it looks like it might be Joe Alleva, the athletic director, who will be looking for a new job since. It’s hard to overstate the embarrassment this sort of thing causes. I had assumed, on some level, that there had been more fan discontent than existed. Which was maybe their assumption, too (or maybe not, as some reports indicate that the leaks were to try to build support for his ouster). But even if we share the assumption, it’s not my job to understand fan sentiment.

-{Rivalries}-

LSU will be hosting Texas A&M this weekend. An LSU-A&M rivalry seems like something that was meant to be, but the chances of them playing one another every Thanksgiving are remote. Why? LSU wants a home game. It’s the same situation as the University of Texas, which alternates Thanksgiving games between Texas Tech and TCU so that they can play at home every year. This is dumb. The games are what you make of them, and if you’re relegating potential rivalries to Just Another Home Game status, that’s kind of what they become.

In my mind, there is rarely an excuse not to have a designated opponent in the final week. It doesn’t even need to be your primary rival. It can be an opportunity to create a new one. Southern Tech consistently played a particular team towards the end of the season and as both teams had a good streak, it took on increased importance. Despite the schools having little in common but being in the EMC-South, a little rivalry developed (at least in my mind). That’s how it should be.

-{Awkward}-

Memphis head coach Justin Fuente has been hired by Virginia Tech. This was announced at half-time of the Memphis game. That sounds awkward. Fuente will be making less money at Virginia Tech than Memphis was prepared to offer, and he had to agree to keep the current coach’s coordinators. He must have wanted out of Memphis very, very badly.

-{BYU}-

Watching the game between BYU and Utah State, the announcers repeatedly referred to them as arch-rivals. When BYU left the Mountain West Conference to become independent, I don’t think an archrivalry with Utah State was what they had in mind.

-{Thankfully Screwed}-

I thought of this immediately after the game before seeing this article, but sometimes a blown call works in your favor. With little time left, a Notre Dame touchdown that shouldn’t have been a touchdown inexplicably wasn’t called back. In all likelihood, that saved Stanford’s game because it gave them time on the clock to score a last second field goal.


Category: Theater

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12 Responses to College Football Roundup

  1. Mike Hunt Sailer says:

    The [LSU] victory over Texas A&M that precipitated the reversal was good but nothing special.

    LSU will be hosting Texas A&M this weekend.

    These contradict.

    As for Thanksgiving, it is worth nothing that LSU’s Thanksgiving rival was Arkansas from the time the they joined the conference until the last 2 years. The first two years A&M was in the conference, they played Missouri, who was also new. The problem with Missouri having a permanent Thanksgiving rival is that their out-of-division schedule changes every two years, and everyone in their division is spoken for. They are currently in a cycle where they are playing Arkansas, so they are playing each other. That will continue for the next two years as well. However, there is no provision to have them be permanent cross-overs, like Indiana and Purdue in B1G.

    Texas isn’t the only school that changes its Thanksgiving rival every year. In even-numbered years USC hosts Notre Dame, while in odd-numbered years they host UCLA. To accommodate the Notre Dame game, the UCLA game is played the week before. The last two times that has happened, UCLA has hosted Stanford on Thanksgiving. Also, the USC@UCLA game used to be played on the first Saturday in December before the Pac-12 was born. Now that weekend is reserved for the Pac-12 title game.

    • trumwill says:

      Will respond more later, but the SEC does have permanent rivals. LSU and Florida, Alabama and Tennessee.

      • Mike Hunt Sailer says:

        Oh wow, you still respond to comments here? That’s a bet I would have lost…

        • trumwill says:

          9 of the last 20 comments are mine…

        • Mike Hunt Sailer says:

          Yes, but most of those were regarding the “gearhead” debate.

          BTW, I’m enjoying the shit storm brewing Over There in LF 142.

        • trumwill says:

          Twenty-one out of the last sixty, if you prefer.

          Thank you for alerting me to that dumpster fire. I’d actually checked out of the comment thread early.

        • Mike Hunt Sailer says:

          Thank you for alerting me to that dumpster fire.

          Not a problem, but I didn’t know that you didn’t know.

          As for the situation Over There, I think the word “troll” gets thrown about much too freely. And as for referring to notme as a bot because he is predictable, that can apply to a number of people there.

          Also, if aaron david is reading this, I enjoyed your piece today. I would comment on it, but I’m not allowed :'(

    • trumwill says:

      The LSU/A&M disconnect is an artifact of my moving the post from Friday to Monday.

      I don’t follow Notre Dame, so I didn’t know that. I was wondering why it wasn’t Cal/Stan and UCLA/USC. I’ll blame Notre Dame.

      I read an article around last Thanksgiving about LSU that basically said what I do here, which is that they’re not going to agree on away games over Thanksgiving. Boo.

      Regarding Les Miles and your comment on the previous post, I don’t see why the internal/external hire thing is especially relevant. The most important factor is how well the team was doing prior to arrival. Miles walked into a good situation and his national championship was at least partly a product of that (with Saban’s recruit). That’s different from Mangino, for example. Or even Leach, a coach who had a modestly winning program and took it to the next level.

      (It’s also why Justin Fuente got the Virginia Tech job and Matt Rhule didn’t.)

  2. KenB says:

    One funny thing about the Notre Dame penalty is that some ND homers in the ESPN comments after the game were taking the fact that the TD wasn’t overturned as evidence that the fix was in for Stanford. Nevermind the fact that if they really didn’t want to score a touchdown just yet, Kizer could’ve taken a knee at the 1-foot mark instead of stretching out to score.

    I have some memory of watching a game last year where in a similar situation (1st and goal at the 1-yard line, time running out), the defense pretty obviously just let the offense score, so they could get the ball back with some time on the clock. Can’t remember who it was though.

  3. Abel Keogh says:

    Watching the game between BYU and Utah State, the announcers repeatedly referred to them as arch-rivals. When BYU left the Mountain West Conference to become independent, I don’t think an archrivalry with Utah State was what they had in mind.

    The rivalry means more to Utah State then it does to BYU. To call them arch-rivals is laughable but USU has gotten more laughs of late than BYU. The big game is still BYU-Utah which will resume next year.

    Side Note 1: Before BYU got good in the late 1970s and 1980s the big instate rivalry was Utah State-Utah. That faded as USU football became laughably bad and BYU/Utah football improved.

    Side Note 2: Utah fans have become insufferable since their team joined the PAC-12. They use their conference affiliation as some sort of token of superiority over everyone else. Though I agree they have the best college football team in the state right now, it reminds of people that make a big deal about living in a good part of town while thumbing their noses at people who live in a not-so-good part. Makes conversations with them unbearable.

    • trumwill says:

      The asymmetrical rivalry is sort of what I figured. They weren’t even playing one another when I lived in Deseret, and the Utah State program seemed just as hopeless as New Mexico State and Idaho at the time.

      I can imagine Utah’s insufferability. It leaves me in a pickle because I root for Utah in the rivalry game, but I also hate insufferables.

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