Sunday, May 27, 2007

Irish Bowl

Two years ago the idea of a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan was given up for dead. However a group lead by the Big Apple Coalition has resurrected the idea of building a new “all weather stadium” (read that retractable roof) with the new twist of hosting a yearly bowl game with Norte Dame as the permanent participant. The game dubbed the Irish Bowl would pit the Golden Domers against an At Large team from a BSC conference. Notre Dame's interest in this project reflects a growing frustration with their current losing streak in bowl games. As an one source close the project explained, “Notre Dame feels that they deserve a bowl game match they can win. They sell more tickets and generate higher ratings than any other team in college football so they should be able to choose the opponent.”

Both NBC and CBS sports are reportedly expressing genuine interest in broadcasting the game in prime time against the New Years Day BCS game. The dollars for this game could be in the range of $20 million for Notre Dame and $10 million for the opponent. With those kinds of dollars this game could be the death nail to the current BCS arrangement.

Local bar owner Kelly McGill said, "Usually we have that big bump for New Years Eve and then business kind out dies. With the Irish here on January 1st I expect a whole lot of drinking and my cash register being full." The area usually sees a spike in hotel rooms for the New Years Eve celebration but a high vacancy the following days until settling back into the norm. As Robert Roy of the West Side Hilton put it, "Thank God they are Irish and not Scots."

In addition to the Irish Bowl the stadium would most likely host the Navy and Rutgers home games of their series with Notre Dame beginning in 2012.

The above is a less than successful attempt at humor and parody about bowl games in general and Notre Dame in particular. This was partly motivated by ND's recent moves to get an even bigger slice of the BCS pie.

Real news about ND and bowl games are discussed at:

Labels: , ,

Voices In My Head

You know that voice that Hollywood would use for that rich spoiled man discussing how things are going at the yacht club and how wonderful those dinner parties are that Muffy throws after the polo game are (a clinched jaw helps). Use that voice while reading:

Martin repeated his scheduling philosophy, stating that Michigan will not sign a two-for-one contract -- offering a game at a small stadium -- under his watch.

"It's very difficult to leave the largest stadium in the country to go play in a 30 or 40,000-seat stadium," he said. ( U-M athletic director Bill Martin)

Perhaps the Wolverines would like the more intament feel of the small of venue and connect with the fan.

One needs to question Mike O'Brien about accepting a mere $500,000 for their trip to The Big and Arrogant House as SEC teams are willing to pay much more for a win.

One more quote, "Yet Martin said he could envision facing a smaller school at a professional stadium, such as the Meadowlands just outside New York City." Is this a message or just a fleeting idea. Would a MAC team make the trip to Gotham for the chance to play the might UM? Would Michigan football sell in the Big Apple?

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

(Gram) Pa Joe Gets Tough

Even if he looks like a used car salesman you must take your hat off the the punishment Joe Paterno has for his football team after the latest off field incident. That punishment is for all the players too clean up Beaver Stadium after home games. Yes, clean up the stadium and yes that is all the players. Hopefully this will include cleaning the restrooms which can be a humbling experience. The purpose here is to make the team functions as a group with both the rewards that come from being a member but the cost when a part of that team makes a poor choice in behavior. This is akin to that old coach's tactic of making the whole team run lap fro the transgressions of the few.

It will be interesting to see the reactions of the players and down the road the impact on recruiting. How will that blue chipper react to the prospect of team punishment? Will he see the wisdom or go looking for a better deal down the road? Will that "stage parent" be mature enough to recognize the life lesson being taught? Sadly, this action will deter several players. Yet, Joe being a living god has the latitude to thumb his nose at the conventional.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Keeping an Eye On

A half-dozen questions for Big 12 commissioner

No network...for now.

Deacons' title puts heat on rest of ACC
If Wake Forest can win it, folks say anyone can

All that I'm saying is give Duke a chance.

Host Communications 1
Host Communications 2
Follow up needed on Host Communications.

ACC puts Jacksonville on notice about title game attendance

If Jacksonville wants to keep the Atlantic Coast Conference football championship game, its citizens had better show up for the Dec. 1 game at Municipal Stadium.
That was the clear, albeit indirect, message delivered Thursday at the conclusion of the ACC spring meetings at Amelia Island.

The question here does someone in Jacksonville have the testicles to show the ACC the way out of town. Mr. Swofford, look in the mirror and at the AD's of your memebers and tell them to sell tickets.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Now You Love Me

Just one more reason to think less of your state legislators. Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan and others now want a design of the Rutgers logo to include some reference to New Jersey. It is after all the state University of New Jersey. Historically the outline of the state or N.J has appeared on the helmet in the past. The current simple R has a certain elegance.

The state does foot part of the bills and has a right to expect part of the limelight. Mr. Diegnan should be reminded that the ESPN game against Louisville was a three hour promotion for not only Rutger but the state of New Jersey showing it is not the empty keg that Ben Franklin described.

Could we get the battleship New Jersey painted scarlet red to seal the deal?

Labels: ,

Friday, May 18, 2007

SEC-Lonely at the Top

The home of the top Gators has been criticized for having a thin OOC schedule but there is nothing thin about playing an SEC schedule. The the exception of Vandy playing Wake, was 2006 a fluke, Forest and Arkansas' attempt to get into the win the SunBelt conference each SEC school has a quality game against a credible team for a BCS conference. That said, any worthy BCS conference should have about 50% of the in conference games with two top 30 teams. Teams like Ole Miss is at the bottom of the SEC and would be at the bottom of any of the other BCS conferences. South Carolina and Arkansas might find themselves with slightly improved BCS chances if they played an ACC or Big 12 (North) schedule but not head and shoulders above the competition. Even the top Gator might find the prospects of playing a Big 10 schedule (including the weather) an arduous path.

Note these are the most interesting games, not necessarily the most important.

Game of the Week
Saturday, September 1
Tennessee at California
The Vol go to Berkley. Remember to tell the busdriver that only left are allowed on the way into town. The return game of the series and will be one of those early test games acting as a conference barometer come November.

Saturday, September 8
Virginia Tech at LSU
The Hokies are the early favorite to win the ACC. A win in Baton Rouge will go along way to vindicate the VT and the conference.

Saturday, September 15
Louisville at Kentucky
The Wildcats can give themselves instant credibility by pulling off the upset here in the battle of the Bluegrass State. More likely is that the Cards will continue the recent dominance in this series.

Saturday, September 22
Arkansas State at Tennessee
Sadly Arkansas State is the best OOC teams playing against an SEC team this weekend--New Mexico State at Auburn, and Jacksonville State at Mississippi State are the other two on the slate. And how much for a cupcake?

Saturday, September 29
LSU at Tulane
There is little doubt about the outcome of this game but a good instate rivalry is good for the soul.

Thursday, October 4
Kentucky at South Carolina
The contest for who will finish with a better record than Vandy.

Saturday, October 6
Florida at LSU
West meets East, this game might determine a BCS Championship game bid.

Saturday, October 13
South Carolina at North Carolina
Mid-season test for the two conferences. Can a team in powder blue ever bea serious contender in college football?

Saturday, October 20
Auburn at LSU
Dogfight for the SEC West title and Michael Vick is no where to be found.

Saturday, October 27
Florida vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville)
The world largest family friendly poltically correct hide the beer party.
"I'm shocked. Shock to find drinking at a football game"

Saturday, November 3
LSU at Alabama
Nick, nicks. Can you say bad blood? How will Bama fans take a loss?
Saturday, November 10
Florida at South Carolina

Saturday, November 17
Vanderbilt at Tennessee
Don't laugh it has happened. Does the mascot for Vandy wear one of those great or merely carry around a 64.

Saturday, November 24
Florida State at Florida
Alabama at Auburn
Ole Miss at Mississippi State
Clemson at South Carolina
Too many to choose from. The battle of Mississippi may be the most underates games of the day for entertainment value. If FSU or Clemson have had a sucessful run through the ACC this is another chance to take stock of there postions in the BCS rankings.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, May 12, 2007

More Channeling

In the movie Videodrome James Woods plays a TV executive search the satellite airwaves for sleazy content to satisfy the more basic desires of his audience. While this movie moves in the realm of the bizarre with Mr. Woods storing videos within a gash on his abdomen (picture here), in one scene he is told that in the future (after 1983) people will have a real and a video persona. This prediction turned out to be more accutate than the writer could have known with the exception the we now have a real and cyber personas.

Enter now the next idea in college sports broadcasting, a channel devoted to a single school. Tim Griffin Express-News article puts forth the idea that the University of Texas might be interested in going this way. The idea of sitting down to watch your school's volleyball team or tennis team is a bit fair fetched.

This idea raises several interesting questions and observations:

  1. How many schools can justify their own place on the cable/satellite listings?
  2. Could education content somehow sneak into the mix?
  3. Would having your own channel erode the importance of the conferences?
  4. Do you have the Fight Irish Channel yet?
  5. Will consumers be forced to carry the cost, like it or not?
  6. Is there any chance the Spicy channel will squeezed out?

While this is an interesting idea the establishment of 119 college football channels is...just down right silly. If you want to see the future of broadcasting look to the Sky, Big Skyas ability to distributed quality video content via IPTV (Internet Protocol Television)in the few years will allow the easy distribution of specialty video. The key to making these reality will be the introduction of the next generation of broadband such as FIOS.

The AD in college sports will now need hire a coach, a media specialist and an IT director all with vision and savvy.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Uncertain Times on the Open Range

The Big 12 was came in a close second to last in BCS conference during 2006. With a lose to Boise State, Oklahoma ended the season on a low note for one of college football's most noted conferences. The question for the 2007 season is whether a combination Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Nebraska can reestablish the groups' reputation. The problem for the conference is in the lack of balance between the weak North and the South. The games listed are the most interesting of the week and not necessarily to most important.

Saturday, September 1
Colorado vs. Colorado State (in Denver)
The Buffs and the Rams are one of the great opening acts in a college football season. While most teams are begining with a cupcake or a home and home OOC game these two get the season strated with a rivalry game.
Other Games of Note
Kansas State at Auburn--An interesting match up but it is not difficult to pick the winner here in May.
Illinois vs. Missouri (in St. Louis)--Tigers#1

Saturday, September 8
Miami at Oklahoma
A great BCS match up that will answer if the Canes are on the road to recovery or will spend the season spinning in the Atlantic (Coast Conference).
Other Games of Note
TCU at Texas--Are the Horn Frogs the next BCS buster?
Nebraska at Wake Forest--Wake up call for for the ACC?

Saturday, September 15
Iowa at Iowa State
The Big 10 v. 12 another early season rivalry game. On paper the Hawkeyes hold the edge but that gets toss away for this tradition.
USC at Nebraska--The obvious choice

Thursday, September 20
Texas A&M at Miami
Another chance for the Canes to prove their mettle on the MNF version of college football.
Other Games of Note
Saturday, September 22
Baylor at Buffalo--And why is a team form a BCS conference visiting Buffalo. Does Baylor need a new AD?

Saturday, September 29
Kansas State at Texas--This is the most interesting game of the week. Put it on the Tivo and use the FF button often.

Saturday, October 6
Oklahoma vs. Texas--The Battle of the South starts here. The loser will be hoping for a few breaks in the coming weeks.
Other Games of Note
Kansas at Kansas State--Which of these will take how bragging rights in the Battle of Kansas? Who wants to know?

Saturday, October 13
Texas A&M at Texas Tech--Battle of the South (Round #2)

Saturday, October 20
Texas A&M at Nebraska--A must win the the North as a the movement to sell the floundering operating to the WAC and MWC could gain momentum.

Saturday, October 27
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma--Can T. Bone Picken buy a win for the Cowboys?

Saturday, November 3
Texas A&M at Oklahoma--Battle of the South (Round #3). Getting ugly!

Saturday, November 10
Texas Tech at Texas--Battle of the South (Round #4). Looking like Rosie O'Donnell (if the name is mispelled, it simply is not important)

Saturday, November 17
Oklahoma at Texas Tech--There is not a team in the Big 12 South that looks to be able to dominate the rest. Fans of the SEC brag about the difficulty of their schedules but the Big 12 is not far behind.
Missouri at Kansas State (in Kansas City)--Tigers#1

Friday, November 23
Nebraska at Colorado--Will the Huskers look ahead to the Championship game? At Boulder late November the weather could become the 12th man.
Texas at Texas A&M--Dr. Pepper sponsors the Champoinship game and is currently promoting their 23 flavors. A promotion built around the number 23 on November 23 could give a little boost to the profile of the Dallas based soda.

Saturday, November 24
Missouri at Kansas (in Kansas City)--Tigers#3 The interesting item here is that this will be the third off campus game this season.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Another Reason for the Coach's Salary Boost

...boosters, who gave $845 million nationwide to their favorite Division I teams in 2004-05, thanks to personable coaches who connect with their richest fans.

So not only does the coach have to win on Saturday, manage the team, recruit the players but the head coach is the top fund raiser. Even at University of Cincinnati and Xavier relative light weights in college sports the need to talk up donors is one of the top jobs of your coach.

The constant need by college sports for money could be just like the junkie looking for the next fix and needing even more drug to get the same high. Or in the case of college football to continue the arms race of facilities.

Cronin would also like booster money to underwrite more charter flights in the season, similar to how Xavier travels with boosters sitting on the same private flights as players and coaches. That will, of course, require more time spent schmoozing with boosters after Cronin's daily work is done.

So you work all day and then need to sweet talk the client to make the big deal. What would you need as a salary to take that job.

Not As Simple As It Appears

Recently the Baltimore sports news reported that Antonio Logan-El is transferring for Penn State to a local D1AA school Towson University. Mr. Logan-El made a name for himself by having a Signing Day press conference where he left the Maryland Terps jilted at the altar as he declared is intent to attend Penn State. The knee jerk reaction is to quietly chuckle at the downfall of a player that makes his choice of colleges to attend into a circus. However, after reading Mark Viera telling of the whole story one has more compassion for the pressures put upon a young man.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Big $7.5 Million Each Network

Patrick Henry"Give me liberty of give me death!" No mention of sports.

People of the Mid-West look out your being taxed. Not directly but you will pay to add $7.5 million to the bottom line the eleven members of the Big 10 Conference. To be fair some of you asked for it but many did not but will pay anyhow. Here is how it going down:

1. Your satellite or cable provider will add the new Big 10 Network to your selection of channels
2. Enjoy access to all Big 10 programming
3. Each Big 10 school gets $7.5 million.
4. You will pay an extra $1 per month cover the cost and complain about the next increase in your bill to the service provider

The fee of $1 is probably what the market will bear but beyond the $2.50 to $3.00 a month for ESPN (Disney Sports) or the about the same as Fox News wants but less than what the NFL Channel wants "an extra 70 to 90 cents a month per customer."(an article discussing the dispute).

Some may say, "It is only $1 who is that going to hurt." And the answer no one will feel significant pain from this and some will true enjoy the content. However, to put the issue in perspective imagine the addition of the Sewing Channel which will cost you $12 per year. Still think the price is small?

There was some discussion of having cable go ala cart with customers picking a choosing the channels they want. While it is tempting to think of cutting your bill the other side of that blade will result in you picking up the true cost of your favorites without others subsidizing the cost.

Stand up Mid(dle) West America and say not to this tax.

Another article on the Big 10 Network.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sexy and Greedy

Look for Notre Dame A.D. Kevin White to renegotiate the Irish's deal when the BCS and FOX open contract talks--possibly as early as this summer. As it is now, Notre Dame gets $4.5 million in years it goes to a BCS bowl (compared with $17 million for each BCS conference champion) and $1.3 million when it doesn't. That deal was made during the Ty Willingham era and probably cost the Irish about $12 million last year. . . .

Quick math here but do the Irish think they should get a slice of the BCS pie as big as a conference? Matt Haynes math would imply that to be true. Yes, the Golden Domers deliver the viewers with a 9.3 in the Sugar Bowl so they may have the leverage to make such a demand.

Labels: , ,

Add to Google