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Posts Tagged ‘George O’Leary’

Pick 10, F.B.S. Notebook: Week 2 (Sept. 8)

Let’s not beat around the bush: this isn’t a great week. I mean, it’s great – better than what we’re used to, better than any non-football weekend – but it’s not great, all things considered. There’s no Michigan and Alabama to end the night; there’s no prime-time game on ABC at all, in fact. Instead, we’ll close our night with Nebraska and U.C.L.A., Georgia and Missouri and, later on, Arizona and Oklahoma State. Very, very intriguing games. But with perhaps the exception of Georgia, depending on how highly you think of the Bulldogs, these games don’t carry any title implications. That doesn’t make the games any less interesting – or change the fact that every game, especially while teams find their footing, carries some level of importance. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.

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    Looking for Revenue? Let’s Try a Swear Jar

    The gold standard for curse-word comeuppance comes via former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick: Tired of his colorful vocabulary, Billick’s family – I believe his children set the tone – implemented a swear jar; every time Billick let loose, he had to make a contribution. Did it work? Well, Billick did say during an N.F.L. telecast last September that the St. Louis Rams “had some sex with the no-huddle offense” – so old habits die hard, or not at all, even if there’s technically no curse word in that sentence. The latest to hear about his “potty mouth” is Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease, who was caught by an ESPN camera screaming any number of unmentionable dirty words during the Gators’ 27-14 win over Bowling Green.

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      U.C.F. Not Considering “Pulling” Appeal

      A quick follow-up post go with today’s U.C.F. preview. The university has indeed appealed the one-year postseason ban imposed yesterday by the N.C.A.A., which if not appealed would have taken place during this coming season, the program’s last as part of Conference USA. If U.C.F. wins its appeal – it is not appealing the one-year ban placed on the men’s basketball program, only the one upon the football program – it will not suffer any postseason ban whatsoever, as you might think. If it loses the appeal, however, the Knights will be ineligible for postseason play in 2013, when the program joins the Big East.

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        No. 37: U.C.F.

        Now’s not the time for distraction. Beyond merely making a run for another double-digit win season, a quest waylaid last fall by injuries, youth and an utter inability to win close games, U.C.F. needs a strong 2012 season to springboard into the Big East on a high note. While the Big East is no longer the league it once was – and it was never a true power conference – it will test the Knights more so than any season in Conference USA ever did. Among the impediments in the Knights’ path include traditional Big East contenders like Louisville, Rutgers and Cincinnati, not to mention three current conference rivals with big plans on their own. Houston’s coming along, as are S.M.U. and Memphis – the latter can play basketball, at least – and so are Boise State and San Diego State, two Mountain West teams angling for a shot at an increased national foothold. No, this is not the time for distraction; it’s time for U.C.F. to take care of business. Now, about these N.C.A.A. penalties…

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          Two-Deep Notes: U.S.C., U.F., Utah and U.C.F.

          With spring comes rain, baseball, grass and depth charts. Each of the latter trio is welcome, with none more so than the parade of two-deeps cascading onto university Web sites over the last two weeks. Another four schools offered up a preliminary depth chart over the last two days: Utah, U.C.F., Florida and South Carolina. With these depth charts, and with a few others, comes spring. An important note, however: All depth charts are to be taken lightly, and then taken outside and lit aflame, because they’re worthless. Less than worthless, perhaps — for many teams, the names and numbers listed alongside the vast majority of positions are space-fillers, more or less.

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            NASCAR Talk, Starring Jerry Glanville

            When I do watch NASCAR, it’s for the same reason as I watch hockey: for the fights. Or the fiery, Michael Bay-approved crash and burns, much like the one unveiled by Juan Pablo Montoya during last night’s already rain-delayed Daytona 500. Crash? Uh, I think Montoya’s breaks went out. Burn? My goodness. Part of me expected a Transformer to burst out of the flames. In summation: NASCAR is better with fire, like most things. And since this needs to involve college football in some fashion — and since it’s most definitely the offseason — let’s add Dana Holgorsen and Jerry Glanville into the conversation.

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              No. 31: U.C.F.

              Way to buck the mathematical trend, George O’Leary. You’ve heard it before: O’Leary wins in odd-numbered years and loses – or used to – in even-numbered years. Heading into last fall, the former Georgia Tech coach was 54-33 in the former and 32-41 in the latter; after last fall’s 11-3 finish in Orlando, O’Leary is 43-44 in even-numbered seasons. So that little tidbit, one used to great effect in 2008, 2009 and 2010, is no longer. Though perhaps I can recycle it for one more year, 2011, and hope the mathematical universe realigns. It will in one sense: these Knights are going to win. But that’s still par for the course for O’Leary in years ending in 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 — unless we can no longer rely on our long-standing mathematical trends.

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                Random Spring Thoughts: U.C.F.

                Using a combination of various computer programs and the Internet — a task nearly beyond my limited computing skills — I selected 25 F.B.S. teams at random. Teams lucky enough to have been randomly selected will be reviewed with several random thoughts as we enter the heart of spring practice. Up next: Central Florida, with a coach who bucked his own mathematical trend.

                Way to buck the mathematical trend, George O’Leary. You’ve heard it before, in this space and elsewhere: O’Leary wins in odd-numbered years and loses – or used to – in even-numbered years. Heading into last fall, the former Georgia Tech coach was 54-33 in the former and 32-41 in the latter; after last fall, O’Leary is 43-44 in even-numbered seasons. So that little tidbit, one used to great effect in 2008, 2009 and 2010, is no longer. Though perhaps I can recycle it for one more year, 2011, and hope the mathematical universe realigns. More random U.C.F. thoughts come below:

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.