No matter how hard to NCAA tries to lull us to sleep during December, it simply won't work. As a society, we're pretty much insatiable for everything and sports enthusiasts are the worst of all. So despite the aforementioned stoppage in major college football - while every other division enjoyed and concluded their playoffs – there is a lot to talk about as we prepare for a much anticipated January. And I apologize in advance if I begin rambling incoherently with no semblance of thought, ala Bill (the self-proclaimed) "best memory in sports" Mayer. I promise to at least attempt to organize my thoughts.
First and foremost, the Jayhawk basketball team takes its show on the road tonight as they venture to Hotlanta to play Paul "mediocrity works for me" Hewitt. Before I go on, let me state that Big Paul is apparently well-respected for his ability to not push the envelope and for his recognition of the school's athletic standards. I guess I just have to question how he can get so little out of so much. And would I really be so foolish to wonder how much his adherence to academic standards impedes recruiting as Ra'Sean Dickey finishes up his suspension due to academic ineligibility? But I digress. The real thing to watch tonight is how the Jayhawk bigs deal with someone their own size. The guards on this team will always outperform or at the very least equal the opposition. On the inside that is not always guaranteed. They have been dominant the last two games, against DePaul and Ohio, and we would be irrational to think it will continue as so. But there is no reason not to expect the four of them to combine for at least a 30/20 no matter the opponent. Logistically, do you think it's unreasable to expect 16/7 from Arthur, 8/8 from Jackson, and 8/7 from Kaun? Me neither. Aldrich's minutes fluctuate too much to guess, but you can count on something there too. And if that happens, this team will absolutely go to San Antonio.
Secondly, Stewart Mandel wrote an interesting article yesterday about how the BCS foiled a pre-arranged Oklahoma v. Virginia Tech Orange Bowl, pitting #3 v. #4. For whatever reason, it has never been publicized (or at least not much so) that per certain circumstances, bowls/teams can "petition-out" of their conference affiliations to set up different match-ups. And even though this one was agreed to, it was vetoed at the eleventh hour, apparently with no justification as to why. Lost in all of this is the fact that the Fiesta Bowl still wanted Kansas even if the Orange took Oklahoma. I guess no one wants a team that loses by 3 touchdowns in December. Shocking! (Obviously I say that humbly, based on Nov. 24th) In hindsight, I guess Oklahoma screwed Methzou twice that night as voters, bowls, etc. had to regret their mistake of allowing OU to play and lose in the national championship (causing a split) after they too were humiliated in the conference championship a few years back.
In other news, it makes me smile that Scott Van Pelt delivered a commencement speech, albeit at a University he did not even attend. Per the article, we all know him best for that voice-mail message and his Flight of the Conchords references, which of course we here at "It's Business Time" appreciate. But throw in his references to The Wheel, the Wang Burger and especially the reason why he drops those lines and well…this just cracks me up.
Per the coaching carousel going on right now, I thought old Fiutak had a good devil's advocate take. I guess it's just nice when someone offers up a different opinion, especially if it's not the cookie-cutter article they're supposed to churn out and has some substance. Plus, how can I not give the Cavalcade some press with Festivus a mere 5 days away. Get your poles ready!
This has nothing to do with anything, and yet there was no way not to pass it on.
Back to basketball, the Big 12 has had a pretty good last few days. On Saturday…Kansas embarrassed Ohio. Nebraska beat Oregon - court storming followed. Oklahoma beat Arkansas – which they badly needed. Baylor beat Wayland-Baptist! It appears they have yet to play East Texas Baptist, Dallas Baptist and, juggernaut, Houston Baptist before they can claim Baptist supremacy in Texas. Perhaps tomorrow's game @ South Carolina will be a better gauge anyhow. UAB reportedly blew-out a couple teams in the Paige Sports Arena - this has yet to be confirmed though as the combined attendance for the two games was 9,191, none of which could be reached for comment. Kansas State beat Florida A&M and made sure to re-insert Beasley up 30 late in the second half after realizing he didn't have a double-double yet. Don't worry, he got it. Even Iowa State won. Texas and TAMU both won, but not nearly the way they should have. Who can blame them, though? The laggards of the week were OSU, who was handled by Pitt (not surprising), and Tech, who was similarly handled by New Mexico. Colorado did everyone a favor and just didn't play. A couple more weeks like this and the conference should have a pretty decent RPI. It's sad we have to care about these things, but given the alternative presented by college football, quite appealing and good to know.
And finally, if you weren't planning on it already, make sure to set your TiVo for the Orange Bowl. Assuming there is a pre-game show after all, it's Fox), set that to record as well. In addition to the obvious reason of wanting to re-watch the game however many times, Fox will be doing a special on a certain safety that you won't want to miss. (knock on wood) And for those of you going, what's the over/under on shots we're buying Obie? I'm going to have to open the gates somewhere around 25...suggestions welcome.
I think we'll call that good for the day. If you're still reading this, I guess things were coherent and articulate enough not to lose you. And for that I am grateful. Hot Toddy!