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Sunday, October 8, 2017

DDT is currently taking a break. No new posts for 2018 ... yet. But there will always be fodder for the scribe and cartoonist in the world of sport. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Every thing below this post is from 2016 and before.

Herman, next Messiah up, arrives in Austin
New coach to work for scale
Tom Herman newly anointed Christ of the UT/State Capitol tackle football team will work for about the same money that other headmen of power five conference teams earn. Herman will earn a reported $5mil per anum, a figure that could be considered scale in this day and age of fast guns, big bucks, and midnight purges in college football.

He now joins an elite club where the highest paid member, Jim Harbaugh of Michigan, is awarded $9mil per year; Nick Saban, Alabama, is paid $6.9mil per year; Urban Meyer, Ohio State $6mil; Bob Stoops, OU $ 5.5mil; Jimbo Fisher, Florida State $5.2 mil; Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M $5mil; Gus Malzahn, Auburn $4.7mil; Hugh Freeze, Mississippi $4.7; and Kirk Ferentz, Iowa $4.5.

Strong ‘Horns, shorn ‘Horns
Charlie Strong, must have seen his life pass before him in a road game against Kansas two weeks ago. Then what few shreds of hope that were left flew away in Austin Thanksgiving weekend against TCU. He was making $5.2mil per year. So with three years on the job, Charlie can take his salary plus a $10million dollar buy-out (a total of just over $25 mil) and walk away.

UT powers ran out of patience after the Kansas and TCU losses, in neither one of which did the ‘Horns seem present. The argument for Strong was that he was only three years into the job, his first class of recruits will be seniors next year, and he should have been given one more year to make it work.

Wazoo, CU and USF mentors received clemency
Mike Leach of Wazoo had losing records his first three years on the job, as did Mike MacIntyre of Colorado and Willie Taggart of South Florida. All won this year, the fourth year for each, and all will get bowl games. MacIntyre and CU are playing for the PAC12 conference championship.

Chris Peterson, in only his third year at Washington, has the Huskies in the PAC12 conference playoff and contending for the Final Four. That’s what the elite fathers demand—instant success or it’s off with their heads.

UT fathers proved to have a low threshold of discontent and Strong was given the gate after only three seasons. He joins Fred Akers, David McWilliams, John Mackovic and Mack Brown who suffered similar fates in the current era of UT tackle football and tackle politics.

The new Messiah
Now comes Tom Herman who will be richly rewarded for his efforts, but who undoubtedly knows that he’s getting into bed with one of the most demanding and meddling group of administrators and fat cats in the country. Someday he, too, will take the money and run.

2017 pre-bubble watch
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M, c’mon down! Dismal late-season finishes in the post-Johnny Football era for the Farmers has the wolf eyeing Sumlin as next season’s first course if the Cadets don’t challenge Alabama and LSU in the SEC West.

Ags open with a challenging road game at UCLA in 2017, then host play-for-pay pigeons Nichols State and UL-Lafayette. There is also a late-season non-con game with New Mexico, which may be a little more challenging than some of the FCS cup cakes most SEC squads schedule for late-season scrimmages.

In the past two years, A&M has lost 4 of 7 and 5 of 7 in the last half of those seasons. They have not beaten LSU in the Sumlin era and only beat Alabama once in that time.

Word is that Ag alums lust for glory and are growing impatient.

So what’s the point in conference championship games?
Five Power Conferences will convene playoff games this weekend; however, there is no guarantee that the winners will be invited to college football’s big dance, the Final Four. The BCS “committee” still insists on rating teams according to their own criteria.

So why have these conference playoffs? The answer to this dilemma is easy: At least an eight-team playoff. That way the Power Five conference champs—whomever they may be no matter what their record—plus three other squads, presumably contenders like Ohio State and Michigan, the latter two of which the media has been infatuated with all these months but who are examples of media queens who somehow weren’t good enough to make it to their own final conference round. They could be included plus at least one mid-major, which this year would be undefeated Western Michigan.

DDT sez: Expand the playoff bracket to eight or drop the conference championship games.

Cinderella lives
One of the biggest surprises of the year, in addition to the rebirth of Colorado as a legitimate contender, is the record turned in by Eastern Michigan. The Eagles have had losing seasons in 19 or the past 20 years, with one of the lowest home attendance figures in DivOne College football. But this season under coach Chris Creighton, EMU posted a 7-5 record and is going bowling. The Eagles will meet Old Dominion in the Bahamas Bowl. Creighton was 1-11 and 2-10 in his first two years at EMU but this year turned it around in what has become expected of DivOne college football coaches.

The envelope, please
As the coaching carousel gears up for another round of intrigue, DDT offers humble and sometimes deadly accurate insight as to who some of the best candidates are at Baylor, Houston and Oregon.

Baylor: Mike Singletary. The former BU All-American and disciple of Grant Teaff would connect the Bears to what glory they enjoyed in the past. He has coached at six NFL teams and knows the drill.

Wrong: BU hired Matt Ruhle from Temple.

Houston: Major Applewhite. The Major has bounced around from Texas to Syracuse to Rice to Alabama to Texas to Houston. Time to see if he’s head coaching material. 

Right: The Major will get his shot. 

Les Miles has also been mentioned for the job and might be a good fit.

The Hat has disappeared and evidently won't be coaching next year.

Oregon is in for a long rebuilding process. They haven't played D in years and are infatuated with high-speed running offenses, which ultimately lose out to teams who play D. 

Best choices for the Ducks: Fleck, Harsin, Mullen. 

P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan, the wonder boy, who has cultivated a high media profile and was, at one time, the youngest head coach at a DivOne football team. 
Nope: Fleck was staying at WMU or so we thought, but the knives of midnight came out at Minnesota, and Fleck is taking that job.

Brian Harsin, Boise State. Following in the footsteps of Chris Peterson, Harsin has maintained credibility in Idaho and will someday get a Power Five job. 

Nope again: Harsin will continue to labor on the blue turf. 

Dan Mullen, Mississippi State. Mullen has done as well as can be expected in Starksville but knows he will never challenge Alabama and LSU in the SEC West. Time to get out of town ahead of the posse in the rapidly declining post Dak Prescott era at Mississippi State.

Another nope: Mullen will remain in Starksville but will enter the 2017 campaign on the bubble. 

Update: Oregon hired Willie Taggart away from South Florida.

And interestlingly enough, USF replaced him with Charlie Strong, who DDT sez will do well there.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Checking in on the Big 12

Big 12 notes:
Dec. 3, OU and Okie State will end their quest for Big 12 grail, when they meet in the game called “Bedlam.” Winner claims the league title and waits to see if enough other Top Ten teams lose, which could open a back door to the Final Four for the Big 12 champ. Unlikely, but doable.

In conference play last weekend, OU abused West Virginia, Texas committed the unpardonable sin of losing to Kansas (the lowest ranked Power 5 team in the country), and Texas Tech, once known as a scoring machine, gave up 66 to Iowa State, while scoring only 10 in a 66-10 blowout loss. Those Red Raiders just don’t play D (they’ve never played D). And now Coach Kingsbury’s job description is being read to him. “Win, son. You must win,” said the fortuneteller.

Baylor also had a bad week, but given the year they've had it wasn't exactly breaking news, so we left them out of the graphic.

Texas still treads lightly on the bubble after an embarrassing possibly job-ending loss to KU for Charlie Strong. A win over TCU this weekend could salvage coach’s career in Austin, a loss pretty much ends it.

The Texas players have rallied around coach, even threatening to boycott the final regular season game against TCU if Strong is sacked this week. “Boycott not happening,” said coach in his Monday morning press conference. “We just need to go out and win this game.”

It is DDT’s position that Coach Strong should be given one more year so that his first recruiting class, who will be seniors next year, can show their metal. “This team is going to win ten games next year, no matter who’s coaching them in 2017,” said coach. DDT concurs. Let some other team have Tom Herman.

Five Big 12 squads are now bowl eligible: OU, Okie State, West Virginia, KState and Baylor. Winner of the Texas/TCU game in Austin Thanksgiving will have six wins and become eligible.

Updating DDT’s Bubble Watch

The Good:
Clay Helton, USC: Turned the program around, and in spite of three early-season losses the Trojans have won seven in a row and are feared in the PAC12.

Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech: A respectable 7-4 and a chance to beat state rival Georgia will probably save coach.

Bob Davie, New Mexico: Early season losses to two of the worst squads in the land (New Mexico State and Rutgers) didn’t look good, but the Lobos won five in a row. The loss to Colorado State last weekend doesn’t look good, but if the UNM beats Wyoming in the season ender and make a bowl game, things will look up and Davie may survive.

The Bad, the Ugly and the Ambiguous:
Brian Kelley, Notre Dame: Anything short of the national championship is viewed with skepticism by the disciples of Touchdown Jesus. However, in spite of another disapointing season, the high priests of the campus have indicted that Kelley has their support and may survive just one more year.

Gus Malzahn, Auburn, appears to have survived. Six wins in a row and a close loss to Georgia could have locked it down for Malzahn. A win against Alabama in the Iron Bowl would guarantee continuity. A blow-out loss to the Tide might summon the Turk to coach’s doorstep again.

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern: Another mediocre record at 5-6, which may become 6-6 and lock up a bowl game if the ‘Cats beat Illinois in the final regular season contest.

Darrel Hazell, Purdue: A record of 6-30 in four years and 2-10 last year didn’t add up. Coach got the sack a few weeks ago.

David Bailiff, Rice: The Owls aren’t winning and rarely win. A 3-8 record this year with a probable loss to Stanford in the final game of the year doesn’t look good for Baillif.

Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State: Sacked, replacement already hired.

Rich Rodriguez, Arizona: No announcement, yet, but it’s hard to see RichRod making the cut. A record of 2-8 with seven losses in a row is indefensible.

Ed Orgeron, LSU: Still on the bubble. The loss to a crippled Florida team didn’t help, but coach didn’t inherit much of an offense, so it’s hard to tell what he can do.

Add to the list:
Cliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech: A 2-6 conference record in the Big 12, and 4-7 overall and, whoa! what’s this? a 66-10 blow-out loss to Iowa State last weekend. The times they may be a-changin’ in Lubbock.

Sean Kugler, UTEP: Last in Conference USA at 1-6 in conference play and 3-8 overall for a total record of 17-31 in five years in El Paso. The former NFL offensive line coach reached his level of incompetence* with his hire as Premier Jefe at UTEP. Home attendance is down, fan support eroding. *The Peter Principle.

Mark Whipple, UMass: Another basketball school that, in the case of football, is wondering aimlessly in the wilderness of major college play as an Independent. The Minute Men are 2-9 on the year with their only wins against Florida International and DivOneAA Wagner. Whipple is now 8-27 at his current employment, but he may be safe only because who’d want that job? But four years in DivOne for the school and four losing seasons. Current team record: 10-49. Time to reconsider their role in DivOne. Might be time to go back to FCS.

Penn State and Minnesota in the Big Ten Conference Championship game?
After all the hype about Ohio State and Michigan, neither may wind up in the Big Ten Conference Championship game. It could happen. In the East Division of the conference, if Ohio State beats Michigan this weekend, and Penn State beats Michigan State, it creates a tie between the Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions, and the Nits would advance based their win over the Bucks. If Michigan beats Ohio State and Penn State beats Michigan State, the Wolverines go based on their win over the Nittany Lions. If Penn State loses their game, the winner of Ohio State Michigan advances.

In the West Division Division, if Nebraska beats Iowa, and Wisconsin beats Minnesota, the Badgers get in because they beat the Children of the Corn. But, if Minnesota beats Wisconsin and Nebraska loses to Iowa it creates a three way tie between the ‘Huskers, Badgers, and Gophers. Then Minnesota would get in, because the other two have played in the conference championship game recently. A Nebraska win and a Wisconsin loss puts NU in. And so it goes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hillary will be the next president,
and the Final Four in college football
will be undefeated

What good are the polls? Almost a virtual zero. Just as the pollsters convinced Americans that Hillary Clinton would be the next President of the United States, college football experts—again!—overrated several power five conference teams. Last week, eight of the Top 25 squads in the AP poll went down, including three of the top four. Of the top four, three—Clemson, Michigan, and Washington—all were beaten by unranked teams.

And the bookies in Vegas mopped up.

The BCS Final Four ratings (aka Flavor of the Week) at this point in the season are premature and mean nothing. They’re just another poll to add to the polls to give commentators something to comment on—and on and on—until a final decision is made at the end of the season. Major conference champs and possible a wild card will tee it up for the big prize at year’s end.

About the only solid bet this season seems to be Alabama. The Tide may face a challenge from Auburn in the Iron Bowl, but it’s unlikely. And the Eastern Division of the SEC doesn’t appear to have a squad that will be competitive in the conference final. A beat-up Florida team is the likely winner, but Tennessee has a chance if they can win out, and if Florida loses one more conference game, but Tennessee has already lost to ‘Bama—bad.

Alabama is the best bet as national champ.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Assessing the situation 
three-quarters of the way through 
the season.

School colors banned from college football

With the growing trend toward black uniforms, what’s the point in having school colors? Baylor, Arkansas and Mississippi State, just to name a few, all wore black last weekend. Many others suited up likewise in the past. So what happened to traditional uni’s? Traditional what? What’s tradition anymore in the shifting currents of the college game?

Death penalty for Baylor?
DDT sez no ! Suspension, if only for two years, is too severe. Look what happened to SMU. Certainly the Ponies deserved punishment of some kind for their miscreancy all those years ago, but the death penalty essentially ended them as a contender in the BCS. They have never bounced back, and may not.

Now comes the saga of Baylor. Charges of sexual misbehavior have surfaced. Former players have gone to jail. Along with these charges come charges of a cover-up or that school officials just ignored what was going on.

Baylor does not deserve the death penalty. And, add to the charges against the football program, Ken Starr, erstwhile president of the university, said that there were 38 other cases of sexual misconduct on the Baylor campus during the time period in question that were not related to the football program or its players.

If Baylor had that many on-campus transgressions, we might assume that they weren’t the only school that had these problems. Given the world we live in, no school small or large could be thought to be innocent of similar problems. Baylor’s, unfortunately, involved the football program—as part of the campus at large—and football deserves some kind of disciplinary action. The malignancy of this ongoing scandal has already been evidenced on the field. Players with this hanging over them, players who had nothing to do with this recent tainted history, deserve some closure so they can regain their enthusiasm and get on with the games, and so that school can tell future recruits what the atmosphere on campus is going to be like.

Closure: The Big 12 and the NCAA need to end this situation.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

But will they be there at the end of the regular season? Says an old quote: "All glory is fleeting, money has wings, and only conference championships and big marquee wins late in the schedule are everlasting."

Other contenders: Washington remains unbeaten and could win out. If others stumble in the steeple chase, the Huskies have a shot. Louisville still has an outside chance if Clemson falters in the ACC. Ohio State must beat Michigan and win the Big Ten playoff to get in. And Nebraska has but one loss. If they beat Ohio State this weekend, win out, then win the Big Ten playoff, they’ll be in the hunt.

Many scenarios out there, much football left to play.

The Big 12
The Big 12 voted not to add new members, which voids the possibility of two divisions, a conference playoff between the division winners, and a better chance that the playoff winner will make the BCS Final Four.

Bad idea? DDT says no! A better idea would be if all the other conferences dropped their conference playoffs and let the regular season determine the conference winner. The BCS should then expand the Final Four to eight teams, include the power five conferences winners, and three other likely suspects, which could include any noteworthy mid-major contendahs.

The Big 12 has discussed having their own version of a playoff by pitting the first and second place finishers in the regular season standings against each other, which means that, since everybody plays everybody in the conference, the winners will be playing each other for the second time. That sometimes happens in other conferences but is really not a good arrangement.

Under review
Texas prevailed over Baylor in a prolonged slugfest last weekend that featured record offensive stats and probably a record number of play reviews. The contest drug on for hours with all the stoppages. As the number of reviews increases in game after game, DDT expects it won’t be long before the coin toss will be subject to “further review.”

BTW, Texas won the game.

Big 10 to start playing on Friday nights, next year
There was a time when football was played in the fall, basketball was played in the winter, and baseball was played in the spring and summer. As of the first week in November the NFL, NBA, and MLB were all playing at the same time. Add to that the NHL is in session, too.

A number of years ago, college football claimed Thursdays for TV games and, unfortunately, moved in on Fridays, too. Then the NFL invaded Thursdays, hurting college football’s viewership. Now to add to the turf wars, the Big 10 has announced they will stage some burly pairings on Fridays.

It’s DDT’s opinion that the Friday night lights should belong to the high schools. College football can have Thursdays and all of Saturdays, but should not play on Fridays. And the NFL should stick to Sundays and Mondays.

The Tom Herman Sweepstakes ...
 ... has taken a downward turn with Houston’s two losses. But, Herman remains an interesting commodity, and depending on what UH does during the remainder of this season, his stock may go back up. Texas, LSU and USC are still rumored to be interested.

The Les Miles Sweepstakes
Five schools are rumored to be possible landing sites for Les Miles, erstwhile Commander in Chief at LSU: Purdue, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Houston and Kentucky.

DDT sez, Purdue and Mississippi State are graveyards for descending coaches. Ask Fred Akers who went from Texas to Purdue in the late ‘80s and ran aground after four years. None have had resounding success there since then. Only one, Joe Tiller had a winning record, and he was fired.

Since Darrell Royal coached at Mississippi State in the mid ‘50s, seven of nine coaches have had losing records with the Bulldogs. Jackie Sherrill, who sought resurrection there after losing his job at Texas A&M, had a break even record (75-75), and the only coach with a winning record since Royal, Dan Mullen, is there, now. A change in coaching at Mississippi State would be a mistake, not only for the school, but for Miles as well.

Oklahoma State is rumored to be unhappy with Mike Gundy, but he is winning and it’s unlikely that Miles, who was Gundy’s predecessor, would return to Stillwater.

Houston might be interesting for Miles, assuming Tom Herman moves on, but UH doesn’t have the budget the venerable "Hat" was used to at LSU. However, Cougar High might be an interesting turn around for Miles. Bobby Petrino, who was banished from Arkansas a few years ago, did a short exile at Western Kentucky before returning to Louisville. That strategy might work for Miles at UH, who could take the head job for a year or two, then land a power five job when something opens up.

Kentucky hasn’t had a coach post a winning overall record since Blanton Collier, who replaced Bear Bryant, was there in the late ‘50s. UK, a basketball school, has been another blind alley for football coaches over the decades, but—BUT—Miles might be the guy who could turn things around in Lexington.

DDT sez: Kentucky best choice for Miles.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

DDT’s Bubble Watch

“If you don’t own the club or die on the job you’re going to get fired.” —Casey Stengel to the manager of a baseball team that was struggling. Moral: Don’t worry about it, do the best you can, and when the Turk says report to AD’s office and bring your attorney, take the money and run.

The Big Three: 

Brian Kelley, Notre Dame: The head football coach at Notre Dame is perpetually on the bubble. Anything short of the national championship is viewed with skepticism by the  diciples of Touchdown Jesus. And it will probably take one of Jesus’ miracles for ND to ever win another national title, or, in the meantime, for Kelley to keep his job.

Gus Malzahn, Auburn: Another coach who kneels before the altar of Our Lady of What Have You Done for Me Lately, and who, like his predecessors, can only be saved by winning the big one. Gene Chizik won the Big One for Auburn, then got the sack two years later. Tommy Tuberville, won there, then jumped to Texas Tech after meddling alums and ADs went behind his back to flirt with other coaches who they thought could do better. Before that, Terry Bowden got enough of Auburn’s drama queens and quit in the middle of the season. Malzahn’s days are numbered and he knows it. He beat Les Miles a couple of weeks ago in the Unemployment Bowl. The next day Miles got canned. It’s just a matter of time for Malzahn.

Charlie Strong, Texas: Texas officials have always suffered from cranial rectal inversion, an affliction that sent Darrel Royal into early retirement, that foolishly ran off Fred Akers, who had a winning percentage and beat Bear Bryant in the Cotton Bowl, that replaced him with the young Messiah David McWilliams, who promptly led the program into mediocrity, then hired John Mackovic who was totally unsuited for the culture at Texas, whatever that is. Evidently it’s an “is you is or is you ain’t” culture in Austin, and for most UT coaches it’s mostly “ain’t.”

Then Mack Brown came on board, won a national championship, and but for the injury to Colt McCoy early in the national title tilt with Alabama should have won another. But Mack was eventually found unworthy by one of Texas’ worst hires, AD Steve Patterson, who was eventually fired for gross delusional arrogance in the face of reality.

Now comes Charlie Strong, who in his third year hasn’t won the national championship and won’t win it this year, so it’s “off with his head,” and let’s lure another adventurer to Austin who is willing to risk his emotional health to try and satisfy the patricians who rule the UT program. At least the new general, even though he, like an ancient gladiator, will die for the emperor’s and the proletariat’s entertainment, will be paid well.

Strong deserves at least one more year after this one so that his first recruiting class will be seniors and be able to show their metal. He has had two top ten recruiting classes in the past two years and has some talent. It’s just a matter of those players having a chance to mature and deliver.

Other Bubble riders: 

Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech: A respectable 62-44 in nine years, and big win over Mississippi State in the 2014 Orange Bowl. But 3-9 last year and off to a bad start this season doesn’t look good for PJ. Meanwhile others have come to power in the ACC. GT must keep up or else.

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern: Eleven years on the job, and NW has been a perpetual bridesmaid. But in the Big Ten with Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and now with the resurrection of Michigan, who can become the bride? NW patriarchs must decide if they’ll settle for a “just average” record or spend some money and assault the summit. So far, it has been a charge at Cemetery Ridge.

Darrel Hazell, Purdue: A record of 6-30 in four years and 2-10 last year doesn’t add up. Another dead-end coaching job. Boilers are overmatched in the Big Ten and should consider joining a mid-major.

David Bailiff, Rice:
The Owls aren’t winning, rarely win, and Rice fathers know that. Thus, it doesn’t really matter who’s coaching there. Might as well stick with the guy, because the next guy will lose, too. Academic standards are too high at Rice, which makes the recruitment of athletes who want to play in prime time on TV for an NFL farm team like Alabama difficult. Further evidence that the Owls should drop back to the FCS (aka DivOneAA). But Bailiff’s 53-60 record going into this season, and his 0-5 start may end it for him.

Bob Davie, New Mexico:
Five years at UNM with only 18 wins against 23 losses going into this season. One bowl game, but it wasn’t enough to bring out the fans. Average attendance is way below the 34K seat capacity of the Lobos home field. Add to that, Albuquerque is a tough place to recruit to. The campus looks like a scene from a lowly neighborhood in LA. Another dead-end job with little chance of prosperity.

Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State: Unfortunately, DeRuyter’s predecessors proved that you can win at Fresno, thus by comparison his 3-9 record last year, 29-23 overall mark in five years, with an 0-3 bowl record against minor opponents won’t keep him employed there.

Rich Rodriguez, Arizona: Five years in Tucson and RichRod has failed to reach the summit. Made the Fiesta Bowl two years ago (and lost) but the program has taken a dip in the past two years. Record of 7-6 last season and off to a bad start this year. He had some success at West Virginia but failed at Michigan and now is proving that he leapt into the deep end of the pool when he left coal-mining country. Say “goodnight,” Rich.

Clay Helton, USC: An assistant who inherited Steve Sarkisian’s train wreck and hasn’t quite gotten the train back on the track and may have risen to a level above his abilities.

Ed Orgeron, LSU: Interim after the firing of Les Miles. Orgeron is campaigning hard to keep the job, but he’ll have to beat Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas A&M to have a chance. Then again, if Tom Herrman of UH, the golden boy everybody wants right now, is offered the job it will be his, and Orgeron will suffer the same fate that befell him at USC. “Thanks for filling in, Dude, but it’s time to say ‘sayonara.’”

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The unemployment bowl

Saturday’s game between LSU and Auburn pitted two coaches against each other who were on the bubble. Said the commentators: both badly needed a win; the loser might lose his job. They were right.

Auburn won the game but by only a nose. Final score: 18-13 favor of Auburn. LSU scored on the last play of the game, but officials ruled that time had run out, and LSU’s score was voided.

Now word comes that LSU fathers have fired Les Miles. Firing a coach at mid-season, which is happening more and more often lately, basically guts any hope for a successful season. Critics say the Tigers had become one-dimensional, that they’d hung their hopes on the running game of Leonard Fournette and a second string QB who at least can throw the ball with some accuracely. The Tigers defense is actually in the Top 25 and compares to Alabama’s but from here on out they’ll just be scrimmaging. D coordinator Ed Orgeron who was fired at Mississippi several years ago, and who failed to nab the USC job following an interim stint as head man after the firing of Lane Kiffin was named interim at LSU.

“Hold that Tiger," comes the recurring anthem at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. Now the Tigers are on hold.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The HEE HAW Brothers are back—Peyton and Eli Manning. They’re airing yet another series of corn pone TV spots, selling everything from the NFL Sunday Ticket to pizza. 

Peyton obviously cannot stand being out of the limelight, so after retiring from the game of football here he comes again, blundering into your living room with more pure corn on your flickering tube—further evidence of the most shameless ego this side of Donald Trump.

How many millions did Manning make playing football and doing bad commercials over the years? Many. According to the Denver Business Journal, and the First and Orange website, Manning made $12 million on commercials alone in 2015. Money Nation estimates the erstwhile QB's net worth at $191 million. So why another series of TV spots? It wouldn't appear that he needs the money.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

DDT’s preseason pyramid of power is pretty much the usual suspects going into the 2016 campaign. The mighty Tuskers from Tuscaloosa are everybody’s pick at number one and a strong contendah for the Final Four. The Tigers from the Carolinas are a close second, with the Sooners from Boomer’s Paradise, represented in the modern era by a horse, are close at number three. Osceola the Seminole from the Sunshine State registers at number four. Bucky the symbol of the Buckeye State is at five, with the Tigers from Baton Rouge at number six. The Cardinal, that is the color Cardinal (singular, not plural as in cardinals the birds), of Palo Alto, whose surrogate is a tree, is at seven. DDT’s Cinderella pick in the preseason is the Cougars from the Bayou City at number eight. The Leprechauns of South Bend are nine, and Smoky the houn’ dog from the Volunteer State is at ten.

DDT’s Bottom Feeder Five. Numbers 124-128 in DivOne.

# 128: The Mean Green of North Texas. Once known as the Eagles and occasionally mean, the Green has had losing seasons in ten of the past eleven years. Time to reconsider their role in DivOne (FBS). Might be time to drop back to DivOneAA (FCS)

#127: The UMass Minutemen. Four years in DivOne. Four losing seasons. Record: 8-40. Time to reconsider their role in DivOne. Might be time to go back to FCS.

#126: ULM Warhawks: Formerly the Northeast Lousiana Indians, their nickname succumbed to political correctness. On the field they plummeted to 2-11 last year, and they haven’t been bowling in three years. With games on the road this year with Oklahoma and Auburn, it could be another long season.

#125: The Charlotte 49ers. Three years in DivOne. Three losing seasons. Time to reconsider their role in DivOne and why they wanted to try to run with the bigs. Big mistake.

#124: Eastern Michigan Eagles: Losing seasons in 19 of the past 20 years, with one of the lowest average home attendance figures in DivOne. Time to reconsider their role in DivOne. Time to consider dropping back to FCS or even DivTwo. Maybe time to join non-scholarship DivThree or maybe even drop football altogether.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

DDT's take on Big 12 Expansion
Candidates to join the Big 12, if and when the conference expands to enable a playoff are, according to the latest reports: UH, BYU, Memphis, UCF, Cincinnati, USF, Tulane, UConn, Boise State, San Diego State, and Colorado State.

First choice: Houston. Let’s get the Cougars back in the conference. They’ve downsized some since the days of the Astrodome, but they’re a Texas school and the old rivalries are there. The Cougars will have to spend some money and upgrade if they want to be competitive, but it’s doable, and, as to a venue, there’s Reliant Stadium. They can fill it up when they play Texas and OU.

Second choice: BYU. They have a stadium and football credibility, and they’ve applied before. Timing wasn’t right, before, but the times they are a-changin’. However, they want to enter as “football only.” That really wouldn’t make them a full member, and they don’t play other sports on Sunday.

Third choice: Memphis. Big stadium (the Liberty Bowl) and considerable hoops credentials.

Four and five: Either one of UCF or USF. Central Florida is probably the best choice. New stadium, Disneyworld, all that. South Florida has a pro stadium to play in, but both UCF and USF must compete with Florida, Florida State and Miami in recruiting. Maybe the Big 12 would give them an edge.

Sixth choice: Cincinnati. Decent program, football and basketball, decent stadium for football, and good entrée to the Midwest for Big 12 squads to recruit in competition with them. Recruiting-wise, the Big 12 could give the Big 10 a run if Cincinnati got in.

Other candidates: Tulane, UConn, Boise State, San Diego State, Colorado State. 
Tulane has the stadium (the New Orleans Dome) but not enough budget, and little tradition. The Greenies should probably drop back to DivOneAA (FCS) and play in a smaller stadium.

UConn? Not really. Too far east, and bringing them in makes about as much sense as TCU joining the Big East a few years ago, and women’s hoops programs in the Big 12 would not like to play the national champion UConn Huskies women year-in, year-out.

San Diego State: Too far west, and they play in big ol’ cavernous QualComm Stadium, an NFL relic. It would be half empty when they play the likes of Iowa State, or when they play Kansas. In the case of KU totally empty.

Boise State: Impressive football resume, but their hoops program would suffer in the Big 12. And they must get rid of that ridiculous blue turf.

Colorado State:
They’re a mid-major. Period. They’d get slaughtered in the Big 12. Look at Colorado. With a lot more resources than Colorado State, they couldn’t keep up. Stands to reason that CState would quickly disappear in the Big 12


Note: A recent story that circulated in the press said that Big 12 fathers were also considering Air Force, Rice, SMU, and Temple. Of the schools DDT lists here Boise State, San Diego State, and Memphis were not on their list.

DDT sez: Of the four others the Big 12 is considering, none would measure up. Air Force is hobbled by military restrictions and will never be a Top Ten team; Rice and SMU wouldn't be able to keep up, and SMU's stadium is too small. Temple—Temple from Philadelphia?—is too far east with no connection to southwestern and midwestern programs. It was enough of a stretch admitting West Virginia to the Big 12, but Temple won't work. Neither will UConn, which has shown up on several lists.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week Eight

From DDT's upcoming book of sport drawings.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week Five

The changing faces of nicknames and mascots in college sports

DDTs picks in the Top 25 and Big 12 last weekend:

#1 Ohio State at undefeated Indiana. Bucks win big.
 Bucks won, but not big. IU is not that bad.

#3  Olay Miss at #24 Florida. Land sharks in a close one.
Wrong. Wasn't even close. Gators rose up and smote the 
Land Sharks.

#6 Notre Dame at #12 Clemson. Big road test for the Irish, but the home team prevails.

#13 ‘Bama @ #8 UGA. Bulldogs finally take control of the SEC East and maybe the whole SEC.
Wrong. Big time wrong. 'Bama is still the real deal. UGA overrated ... again.

#21 Mississippi State @ #14 Texas A&M. Farmers on a roll, 106,000 fans at Kyle help get ‘er done.

#23 West Virginia @ #15 OU. Landrush Soonerama in the first part outdoes Hillbilly Mountaineer cousin in the second part. Sooners win at home.
Right. Sooners will challenge TCU and Baylor, especially TCU that has trouble on defense.

Texas @ TCU. “Hail Mary full of grace, bless us now ... “
Geez. But we picked it. 'Horns were outmanned. Totally. UT is 122nd in pass defense, 90th in overall D in DivOne. It doesn’t get easier. OU in the Red River War this weekend. Word from Austin is that Longhorn supporters are still behind Coach Charlie Strong and his staff.

Baylor/Texas Tech. First test for the Bears. The over/under was 90 yesterday.
Right, and if you picked the over, you won the bet.

KState @ OkState. KState the pick.

KU @ Iowa State. Ho hummer of the week. Home team.
Seven right, three wrong.

Big 12 attendance with building capacity in parenthesis:

Baylor/Tech at Hooterville in the 'Plex: 56K (80K)

KState @ Oklahoma State: 57K (60)

Texas @ TCU 48K (45K)

KU @ Iowa State: 55K (61K)

West Virginia @ OU: 84K (82)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015


DDT’s preseason Top 10, the Pyramid of Power, includes two squads from the best conference in the country, the Big 12. Everybody plays everybody, one true champion. The SEC West places three teams in the premier group, with Arkansas our Cinderella candidate. The Big Ten has two teams in the mix, and the Pac12 and the ACC each have one. 
Program from Texas/Texas A&M game,
Nov. 29, 1934

Missing from preseason love are UT/State Capitol and the Texas 
State Boys and Girls Home for Farmers and Mechanics, two old rivals who no longer play each other and who, last year, didn’t live up to expectations for BCS Power Five contestants. But, contrary to the Beatles tune “Can’t by me love,” both have opened the satchel of endowment and hope that money will buy the kind of love that only big wins will bring.

“Are you kidding?”

UAB is returning to the football field in 2017. DDT sez, “Are you kidding?” In the 18 years since UAB went DivOne, they only had three winning seasons and lost the only bowl game in their history to Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl (2004). Since then, they’ve had no winning seasons before wisely deciding to drop football after last year. Now they’ll take two years off and start all over again.

In a state where “Roll Tide” and “War Eagle” have been emblazoned in stone and placed on plaques outside courthouses along with the Ten Commandments, UAB is delusional if they dream of success. DDT suggested that UAB might as well change their mascot from Blazers to Rebs and start waving those Confederate flags again to which came the reply, “Are you kidding?”

But DDT already said that. Another football program in the state of Alabama? “Are you kidding?”

Bubble coaches:

Big 10: 
Fired Aug. 28, Tim Beckman, Illinois: First casualty, and the season hasn’t even started. The bubble is getting thinner. Beckman was just 12-25 at Illinois since joining the Fightin’ Illini four years ago. Mistreatment of players is the reason cited for Beckman’s dismissal.

According to CBS Sportsline, “The biggest reason for this is because athletic director Mike Thomas is in hot water himself. He's the one who hired Tim Beckman, and Illinois' football program isn't the only athletic program at the school dealing with problems right now. There's a very good chance that Thomas could find himself out of a job in the coming weeks or months, so the person who hires the next Illinois football coach might not be an Illinois employee yet.”

“O” coordinator Bill Cubit will take over as interim. Real Estate agents in Champaign, c’mon down. A lot of assistant coaches will be putting homes on the market.

Too bad because b
oth Ohio State and Wisconsin are on the Illini the schedule and both games are in Champaign. A win in just one of those could have insured Beckman and his staff’s future.

Also in the Big 10:

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern: Back-to-back to back-to-back mediocre seasons. And what was all that about a player’s union? Just what we needed—locker rooms full of sea lawyers.

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: Slightly above average at 34-30 in the past five years, but the Hawks haven’t really challenged Ohio State, Michigan State or Wisconsin as Kings on the Mountain in the Big Ten in a while. It has been three years since they beat Michigan State and five years since they reached a major bowl. Fortunately they don’t play Ohio State or Wisconsin in the regular season. Like Mack Brown and R.C. Slocum, nice guys who won big once upon a time and may have continued to win had alumni been patient, Ferentz may soon hear the expression “What have you done for me lately.”

Kevin Wilson, Indiana: Only 14-34 with the Hoosiers. Should we remind readers that IU is a hoops school? Or was. The hoops program is on the decline, too. Bring back Bob Knight, that’ll stir things.


Mike Leach, Wazoo: The Pirate has not produced a winning season since taking over three years ago (12-25). It’s a tough conference and elevating the pod 100 times-or-so a game is not enough.

Big 12: 

Paul Rhoades, Iowa State: Five straight losing seasons, even though bowl games in two of those (even with 6-7 records) kept hope alive. That and wins over in-state rival Iowa in three of those years helped.


Dave Doeren, NC State: Big promise coming off winning seasons at Northern Illinois, but little production, so far. The ACC, which might have taken a back seat to the MAC when Doeren came over, has now joined the big dogs. This is no longer your Gramma’s ACC.

Mike London, Virginia: Only one bowl game and a record of 23-38 in six years in a league where Florida State has raised the bar. ACC squads can’t hide behind basketball anymore. Word to London is: Get there, baby. Major bowl, big payout or “Sayonara.”

Al Golden, Miami: He shoulda taken the Penn State job when it opened after JoePa's passing. Northeast guy, coached across the state from Nittanyville at Temple, coat and tie on the sideline. Polished. But no! he decided to stick it out at Bad Boy U. Now with a record barely above .500 in four years, two bowl losses, and with declining attendance at home games, Golden takes a seat on the bubble.

And last but not least

Brian Kelley, Notre Dame: Like the abiding sun, the Grim Reaper is always on the horizon for the head coach at Notre Dame. ND hasn’t had a coach with an overall losing record since Joe Kuharich went 17-23 (1959-1962). All since then have won more games than they lost, but with the exceptions of Parsegian, Devine and Holz, who won national championships, all were found lacking.

Kelley made the championship game on 2012 but would have been better off staying home that weekend because ‘Bama abused the Irish. Badly. Since then, ND has had to settle for the Music City and Pinstripe bowls after 9-4 and 8-5 seasons. Kelley needs to have a big year; otherwise, he’ll join Weis, Willingham and Davie as post-Holz era coaches who had winning records but were banished for not bringing home the Grail.

Big 12 in just a few words

TCU and Baylor are kings of the Big 12. A disappointing non-con schedule will hurt BU in the Final Four discussion, if they’re still around then. But TCU’s extra-conference slate is not much better with only Minnesota on the schedule as a credible opponent. Fortunately, the Frogs and Bears play on the final week of the regular season, which, assuming both are still in the national hunt (maybe even undefeated), should give the conference a boost with the playoff committee if the winner can impress.

OU remains steady as a solid runner up.

KState, as long as Bill Snyder is there, will always be a threat. Who else but St. Bill could recruit to Prairie Dog U. at Manhattan and keep the Wildcats in the hunt?

West Virginia must get their feet on the ground coming off four losses in their last five games last year, including a bowl loss to TAMU. But with a lot of lettermen back, they could be a spoiler. Back-to-back road games against Baylor and TCU in mid season will probably determine their fate.

Texas is on the rise but has much to prove and, with a season opener against Notre Dame, does not have the luxury of time for development. The future begins Sept. 5 in South Bend for the ‘Horns.

Okie State is in flux. After a five-game losing streak last year, order was restored with a win over OU and a bowl victory, but the Cowboys must continue on the upward path to insure Mike Gundy’s future.

Texas Tech could be fading fast as the promise of Kliff Kingsbury is in question. This season may be KK’s last in Lubbock if the Raiders don’t slash and burn.

KU and Iowa State will never be much of a threat to anybody but each other.

The two top picks are obvious, but with Heisman candidate Trevon 
Boykin in the cockpit at Ft. Worth, DDT sez the Frogs are the fav. 

Of cockroaches and the like 

Said Darrell Royal: “It’s not what cockroaches carry of and eat, it’s what they fall into and mess up.” DDT’s upset minded ‘roaches who could spoil it for the favs are West Virginia and Texas. If WVA has anything at all, they won’t lose two in a row on the road against BU and TCU. And watch Texas in weeks three, four and five against OkieState, TCU and OU in that order. After ND on the road in week one, then those three in September and early October, the ‘Horns, should they be tempered of steel, will show it. Otherwise, they may be proven to be tempered of soft-boiled eggs, which is how they finished last year with embarrassing losses to TCU and Arkansas.

The Academies
Navy: The Middies joined the American Athletic Conference this year, which may be manageable because they don’t have to play Cincinnati and UCF, the two powers in the loop. But they still have to play Notre Dame on the road in non-con play. Traditional rivalries with Army and Air Force remain set. Middies should win both of those, maintain possession of the Commander in Chief’s Trophy, and go bowling again.

Army: The Knights wisely scheduled a couple of FCS creampuffs and three BCS mid-majors, which might insure a few more wins, but they also have to play Rutgers and Penn State from the Big Ten, the latter on the road. A 6-6 record would be considered a good season for the Cadets but that would have to include a win over Navy, who they haven’t beaten in 13 years. A 1-13 season would be considered good, if the “one” was a win over Navy.

Air Force: Feast or famine in Colorado Springs. The Falcons were 2-10 in 2013 but turned it around in 2014 and went 10-3 with a bowl win. Graduation hit hard and the Blue Boys are picked no better than 5th in the Mountain West Mountain Division. Back-to-back road games with Michigan State and Navy in weeks three and four will be demanding.

“If a man is a quitter, I’d rather find out in practice than in a game. I ask for all a player has so I’ll know later what I can expect.” -Bear Bryant

First comment this season from a reader: 

What?? No comments of whether Art Briles knew or didn't? Will Ken Starr invoke the same unrestrained investigatory style as Chancellor of Baylor University (aka Jerusalem on the Brazos) as he did in pursuing the Clinton's or will he simply pray Art Briles indiscretions away?

The irony, of course, if Briles had simply stepped up and said something like, "Look, I knew the young man was troubled but felt like he deserved a second chance. I felt like giving him an opportunity at a location closer to his home - and the focus our institution could offer might enable him to overcome personal challenges and excel as an individual as well as an athlete." But no, instead Briles chooses the path of the weasel (or possibly Sgt. Schultz of "Hogan's Heros" - 'I know nothing, NOTHING!" Or is it as some theorize, Art Briles is bulletproof with Baylor at the top of the Big 12?

DDT: Indeed, prayer is the answer. But, as you suggest, "top of the Big 12," not to mention Top 10 in the country. Forgiveness should come easy, unless, of course, the Bears start losing. Then it all comes to bear (pardon the pun).

D.D.T., formerly Deportes de Terlingua, has been deported to Taos and is now D.D.T., Deportes de Taos.