There is only ONE Oklahoma

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Need a clear understanding why....

LSU got to the national title game over Oklahoma, USC, VT, Kansas, Hawaii and even Georgia.

My Thoughts:

LSU was exposed as the #1 team two different times this season, so why give them a 3rd shot at being #1, this time for good?

Common SEC Response: "The rankings do not matter in the SEC because we are the strongest conference in the nation and losses to Arkansas and Kentucky are very good losses; 2 teams that would annihilate any team from any other conference."

I seriously wonder how much of a factor the "undefeated in regulation" played a role in making LSU #2 in the BCS?

Apparently my position that losing away and not at home was a "shouldn't count". LSU losing at home to Arkansas is a lot better than OU losing at TTU and Colorado. I figured winning at home would be a very vital part in this BCS mess debate.

USC was being hyped up as being the best at the end and playing the best ball out of everyone. Heck, they are nowhere as good as they were last year and this year they are just average and came along just at the right time; plus the loss at home to Stanford should just end all possibilities of them getting a shot at the title.

VT was blown out by LSU but did beat some teams at their end that gave them a worthy shot at being discussed for the title. (USC beat Alabama in 1978 in Birmingham and USC lost later in the season; ending result: Bammer and USC share the title with each other). So, despite the VT blowout loss to LSU, VT redeemed themselves and by the end of the regular season, both ended up with 2 losses and VT is just as much of a title worthy contender as LSU and Oklahoma.

2 loss Georgia was being considered for the national title and was just about to get in when the sudden talk of "not winning conference or division" came into play. There is no rule in the BCS for that but hey, let it be known anyways and keep Georgia out. But why rule out KANSAS?? Yes, Kansas did lose their last game to Missouri which decided who was going to be the North Champion but Kansas is still only a 1 loss team.

The best logical choice, despite average SOS numbers, would to have Kansas and Ohio State for the national title.

But why leave out Hawaii? It does seem to be true that Michigan and Michigan State did back out on playing Hawaii so UH was desperate to schedule someone in their place (two 1AA teams). Why fault Hawaii for 2 Big Ten schools backing out? Give Hawaii a shot at the title. They didn't have the greatest schedule in the country but they did win all their games. This can to back to 1984 when BYU won the national title with a weak schedule but they won the title because they were the only undefeated team in the country. Florida's SEC title was vacated and their title shot was dashed; Oklahoma lost to Washington so why not give Washington the title? They had 1 loss. BYU was the only "logical" choice it seemed.

Who did the most to make a statement in the last week of the regular season? OKLAHOMA

What teams are the "most legit" (not LSU based on being #1 twice and losing) to play Ohio State? KANSAS, OKLAHOMA, HAWAII, VA TECH, USC, GEORGIA.

Lets take a closer look:

LSU for:
1. Beat Florida at home...barely. Florida lost to Ole Miss.
2. Beat VT at home...soundly.
3. Beat Tennessee on neutral ground. Tennessee was creamed by 6-6 Cal.

LSU against:
1. Lost at HOME to Arkie. Arkie has 4 losses. (See Ark. out of conference schedule)
2. Lost on road to Kentucky. Kentucky has 5 losses. (See Kentucky out of conference schedule)
3. Nearly lost 3 additional games, each only won by a single play at the end.

OU for:
1. Beat MU twice. Once at home, once on neutral ground.
2. Beat Texas on neutral ground.
3. No other game was technically close. ISU was closer than we wanted, but after the half, OU dominated physically. Texas game wasn't that close.

OU against:
1. Lost on road to Colorado. Colorado has 6 losses, but had a tough OOC schedule.
2. Lost on road to Texas Tech. Tech has 4 losses. OU starting QB out for most of game.
3. Close game at IU at half. But OU dominated physically in 2nd half.

KU for:
1. Only one loss, to a good MU team.
2. Decent road win at A&M.
3. Decent road win at OSU.

KU against:
1. Bad OOC schedule.
2. Lost to only top 25 team played.
3. Did not play OU, Texas, or Texas Tech in the South.

UH for:
1. Undefeated

UH against:
1. Bad schedule, period.

VT for:
late season rally

VT against:
Lost to LSU
lost to BC

USC for:
1. Beat ASU.
2. Beat Oregon State.

USC against:
1. Lost at home to Stanford. Stanford has 8 losses.
2. Lost on road to Oregon.

Here's the hidden, humorous truth about the SEC. They play pancakes out of conference and only more importantly, play OOC games at home to pad the perception that they are the best conference out there. Here's a look at the SEC schedules:

Home v. VT (exception to the rule)
Home v. Middle Tennessee
Road at Tulane (same as us playing on road at Tulsa)
Home v. La. Tech

Home v. Oklahoma St.
Home v. Western Carolina
Home v. Troy
Road at Ga. Tech (decent match-up)

Home v. Western Kentucky
Home v. Troy
Home v. Florida Atlantic
Home v. Florida State

Road at Cal (smashed by 6-6 Cal)
Home v. Southern Miss
Home v. Arkansas State
Home v. La.-Lafayette

Home v. Western Carolina
Road at Florida State (a loss)
Home v. Houston
Home v. La.-Monroe (a loss!)

Home v. Troy
Home v. North Texas
Home v. Chattanooga
Home v. Florida International

Home v. Kansas State
Home v. South Florida (loss)
Home v. New Mexico State
Home v. Tennessee Tech

Home v. Eastern Kentucky
Home v. Kent State
Home v. Louisville
Home v. Florida Atlantic

Ole Miss:
Road at Memphis
Home v. Missouri (loss)
Home v. La. Tech
Home v. Northwestern State

Mississippi State:
Road at Tulane
Home v. Gardner-Webb
Home v. UAB
Road at West Virginia (killed)

South Carolina:
Home v. La-Lafayette
Home v. South Carolina State
Road at North Carolina
Home v. Clemson (lost)

Home v. Richmond
Home v. Eastern Michigan
Home v. Miami (OH)
Home v. Wake Forest

So, the SEC's ONLY marquee wins out of conference was LSU v. VT at home and Ga. v. Ga. Tech (road, kind of). Any other time the SEC plays away from home or against decent competition, they lose. Key losses - Tenn. at Cal, Alabama at Florida State, Alabama at home v. La.-Monroe, Auburn at home v. South Florida, Ole Miss at home v. Missouri, Miss. State at WV, and South Carolina at home v. Clemson. They sport a 3-7 record against decent competition out of conference, on the road and at home.

Most dominating conference my rear. The SEC is much hype. Thanks, ESPN.

But the bottom line is that they (LSU and tOSU) are in the BCS Championship game because they were ranked in the top 2 of the final BCS poll. I think that's how the rules work.

In the end, it doesn't really matter just enjoy the games for what they are. I will.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Like it or not, Roger Penske is a Smart Businessman

Most of us knew this was coming, and with NASCAR’s official okie dokie, the 77 team (driven by Sam Hornish) will be given the #2 (driven by Kurt Busch) team’s owner points thus insuring the 77 a spot in the first 5 races in 2008. The #2 team will be guaranteed a spot as well by using the driver’s “past champion’s provisional’. Simply put, this a smart move and fully within the rules for Penske Racing to do. I have never liked the ‘Past Champion Provisional’ since the days of Darrel Waltrip’s abuse of the PCP in the late 90s, but that is not the point.

It has been interesting to read some of the reactions to this ruling and the common theme seems to be that ‘once again, NASCAR is changing their rules as they see fit’. That simply is not true as NASCAR in this instance is being very consistent and has changed nothing. That’s right, teams have had the right and ability to switch owner points for decades and has even been done recently. (See the GINN/DEI merger and the transferring of owner points from the #14 to the #15 team, thus giving the 15 team ‘top 35’ status.)

Even the 19 Spotter felt the need to give his two cents with his most recent post on the Sadler Fan Club Forum. Here is a portion of what ‘Spotterman’ had to say concerning Penske’s move:

“This opens the door for other teams with less than four teams to do the same thing next season. What does that mean? It means a guy like Bobby Labonte who has expressed an interest in leaving The Petty's doesn't have the value and opportunity to succeed (should he go to a new team such as RCR) as he would have prior to this ruling. Should JGR opt to pull this same strategy Tony Stewart would relinquish his points so that JGR could add a 4th team in 2009, which would devalue Bobby's position. See Dale Jarrett!”

I won’t even touch the ‘Labonte going to another team’ dealio as Griffin probably has a bit more inside info than most, but I do take issue with the ‘devaluation’ of other past champions.

1) Michael Waltrip hired DJ with the express intent on using that Champions Provisional. He was trying to manipulate the system, too. NASCAR changed it so that he could not use it all year long...and hindsight shows that DJ's car was not fast enough to make it in....many, many times.
2) Bobby Labonte was hired for the 'franchise' of an ex-champs provisional. They were happy and prepared to use it.
3) Terry Labonte has been hired by numerous teams over the past couple of years simply because of the use of the PCP. (See Hall of Fame Racing) Heck, even in the press conferences, this concept was mentioned.
4) Darrel Waltrip used the CPC for almost every race entry in a couple of seasons in the late ‘90s.
5) Why did the Wood Bothers hire Bill Elliott midway through last season again?

Griffin goes on to say:
“Dale Jarrett begins 2008 opting for a partial schedule and retirement. His plan was to run the first five races and then only come back to run the all star race. He didn't want to be the one to come back and bump guys out by utilizing his championship provisional. That's why he's running a few consecutive races then coming back for a non points race. This Hornish deal not only puts a thorn in his side, it also puts one in MWR's strategy to move Reuttiman over to the 44. Should Reuttiman make all of the races and be positioned higher in owner points I doubt you'll see him make the swap. What does that mean? It means UPS is struggling to develop and execute a marketing strategy (I would imagine) when their drivers and car owners could change... all because an open wheel guy with a big name came in with no points and the sanctioning body decided to make a ruling to lock him in and give him a chance to compete in races he may not otherwise have qualified.”

It is common knowledge that Elliott Sadler and Brett Griffin are friends and business partners with DJ, but it is just too dammed bad that DJ's and Mikey's (aka ‘Jet Fuel’) plans are all ruined. It is also just too bad that UPS may have to change their marketing strategy, as it was their choice to go with DJ. To top it all off, MWR was hoping to transfer DJ's points to Reutimann and this is somehow different than the Hornish/Busch swap? Simply put, it is not.

In defense of Griffin’s statement, he does quantify a bit with this:
“My feeling on this... on this particular set of circumstances I only hate it for Dale Jarrett! I'd rather see him go out like Brett Favre. Last year he played terrible and this year is MONEY!….. As far as Hornish is concerned... I think he's a wheel man and he'll race a lot better than he would have qualified.”

It’s all fine and dandy to be sentimental, but the problem lies when one lets those feeling sway your judgment for the over-all rules. In this case, NASCAR has not done that. Again, I think the Past Champion’s Provision rule stinks, and should be done away with. I have felt that way for over ten years. It is a rule that has been abused and taken advantage of.

In a last bit of irony, flash back to the 2003 All-Star race where you will see a driver racing only because of ‘transferring’ of an owner’s ‘win’. Sadler did not meet the entry criteria for the All-Star Race but was allowed because of the owner’s win the previous season. That win belonged to Ricky Rudd driving the Robert Yates #28 (who Sadler took over at the beginning of the 2003 season) in Infinion.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Div II Championship Game Observations

Watching Valdosta St & NW Mo. there are a couple of painful observations:

1) Div 2 and 3 kids are smarter than Div. 1. They must be because all we hear from Div 1 administrators is that a playoff would hurt the players academically. Looks like these Div 2 and 3 kids are playing through finals week.

2) Human polls are worthless. Big news, huh? The No. 5 and No. 8 teams are playing for the championship. Moreover, No. 5 beat three of the four season end top ranked teams all of which were undefeated.

3) It's a misnomer that the playoff games have to be at a neutral site. Maybe the championship game, but in preceding games home field could be decided in the same manner as the lower divisions.

more NASCAR related news later this week. Should be interesting

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Mitchell Report

So I spent 3 or so hours that I will never get back late last night reading the 400 plus page 'Mitchell Report' (written by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell) that exposes what will most likely in the future be called the 'steroid era' of Major League Baseball.

In short, the report implicates seven MVPs, 31 All-Stars (one for every position), players from every team and a total of 85 players who were knowingly cheating by taking anabolic steroids or Human Growth Hormone. Worst of all maybe the 'greatest' pitcher of the era (and maybe all-time) and the biggest name, Roger Clemens was hit harder than most, as he was singled out in nearly nine pages and82 references by name.

Mitchel faults not just the implicated players but "Everyone involved in baseball over the past two decades -- commissioners, club officials, the players' association and players -- shares to some extent the responsibility for the Steroids Era. There was a collective failure to recognize the problem as it emerged and to deal with it early on."

This quote got me thinking of what actions NASCAR has taken to curb a growing problem. The first instance that came to mind that would be similar to the steroid/HGH issue would be the use of 'traction control'. Flashback to the early 2000s when rumors were floating around that teams maybe using this technology to gain an advantage.

What set NASCAR apart from Major League Baseball was them taken action very quickly and coming up with measures and rules to curb (or at the very least, make it harder for teams to use) traction control by making a mandatory placement rule for the ignition box.

Since this rule has been implemented, the rumors of teams using this technology has dramatically decreased to almost the point of never being mentioned at all. NASCAR was as pro-active as they could have been, unlike Major League Baseball who throw their hands up in the air, and ignored the problem. Now MLB must face the scrutiny from their fans, and for years will have their credibility questioned.

Say want you want about Hendricks Motorsports or any other team penalized by NASCAR for a rule infraction, it no where comes close to the stigma and damage done by this report. Baseball has dropped the ball.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The 800 Pound Gorilla

Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage voiced his concern about the future of the ‘Busch/Nationwide Series’ and the use of Cup regulars.

Gossage states: "If the (Busch) Series wants to run in front of big crowds, on national television and for big purses, you have to have names people recognize and want to see.” In the words of Oklahoma State Head Football coach Mike Gundy, “THAT AIN’T TRUE!!!!”
The reason why that statement is not true is because one only has to look at the Truck Series to see that without the ‘big names’ the crowds are very respectable, even without Network TeVee the purses are still competitive. Yes, the Truck Series is broadcast on the Speed Channel, but for many, Speed is not offered at the Basic price of a cable or satellite package.

Gossage goes on to say: "If they want it to be major league, they have to have names that will cause people to buy tickets and television networks to televise the races……Or they can go back to being a minor-league series and run at 6,000 to 8,000 seat speedways for $100,000."

The problem with his statements is that with declining TeVee ratings and attendance at the Cup level, why would Nascar even want to have another competing ‘major league’ race series? Nascar is having enough trouble spreading out the fan’s weekend race dollar without adding to the expense of another ‘major league’ event.

The Busch Series survived ‘on its own’ for decades before the Busch Wackers made their mark and Gossage can look at his own track to see that not having a majority of the field filled with Cup regulars effected the Saturday’s race attendance. When Jeff Green won the Busch Title in 2000 was Gossage seriously saying that the Busch races were held in venues over 70% empty and only 8000 or so race fans? Back to Gundy, “THAT’S FICTION!!!”
I have been a season ticket holder at TMS since the ’98 season, but I cannot tell you the last time I attended a Busch race there (or any other venue for that matter) and the reason for not going is clear. If I want to see the ‘big boys’ race, I want to see them do it in a CUP car. The same theory applies to going to a Texas Rangers game, or driving an extra couple of miles and going to a AA Minor League game in Frisco, TX. They each have their place but I would have no desire to a mostly filled ‘Ranger line-up’ playing Round Rock in Frisco and watch them dominate the Minor Leaguers.

Gossage has been known to say that his beloved Texas Motor Speedway does not want to be a 800 pound gorilla and for the most part he has done what ever it takes to prevent that. However, it maybe a complete race series that is the 800 pound gorilla, not the venue itself.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Happy Festivus!

Its the most wonderful time of the year, and the Festivus Pole is up, and I have the Festivus Dinner ready, so now it is time for the time honored tradition of the 'Airing of the Grievances'.

* People who feel that Nascar is all about greed and that is the reason for the declining ratings and popularity. Why does the same theory not apply to the NFL, MLB and other sports? My local Major League Baseball team has lost their Ballpark Sponsorship, raised ticket prices, put a less exciting product on the field, lowered their payroll yet expected fans to still fill the stadium all in the last couple of years, and that has little to do with greed.

* Fans of 'retiring' drivers who say they are 'giving up the sport', yet hang around and complain that the 'good ole days were better'. If you are going to give up the sport, give it up already!

* The BCS and making strength of schedule a non factor.

* Drivers who complain that the season is too long and grueling and that they only have 2 months of 'off season'. note to Drivers, it is a job and not many other jobs allows one over 60 days straight of 'down time'. Maybe these whiners should try teaching!

* The TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY: Sure you lowered your 2008 season ticket prices by a whopping $10.00 per season, but raised RV Camping prices by $25 per event. In 10 short years my camping area has gone from $40.00 a weekend to $175.00 a weekend. That is over a 400% increase in less than ten years.

* Those who complain about the CHASE and crowing a Champion using the Chase format. I guess it would be better to use something like the BCS!

* Drivers who complain that they just "can't get a handle" on this C.O.T. yet forgo a testing opportunity so they can go chase deer in the woods.

I feel much better now, on the the time honored tradition of 'feats of Strength'!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Did I mention the BCS is a strange way to crown a Champion?

But thats for another day.

No, below is not the reaction of his team just moments after Les Miles told his team that he would accept Michigan's offer to coach the Wolverines.
So the Sooners will play West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl, and a two loss LSU team joins tOSU to back into the BCS Champ game in LSU's backyard. Frankly, my first thought is to not give tOSU much a chance, but thats why they play the game. All and all though, Even a 'plus one' bowl game would not settle this crazy year of college football.


Friday, November 30, 2007

Twas the Night Before the Big XII............

This should be a great game!

'Twas the night before the Big XII and all through the land,

not a Tiger was stirring, not even the band.

Their Jockeys were hung by the locker with care,

in hopes that the Sooners soon would be there.

Truman was nestled all snug in his bed,

while visions of the BCS danced in his head.

And Pinkel in his kerchief full of Tiger pride,

and Bob and the Sooners ready to ride.

When down in San Antone there arose such a clatter,

Chase sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.

He realized the Option was gone in a flash,

and Maclin's dreams of running had just been dashed.

The Tiger tight ends trembled as they watched the show,

A Crimson and Cream luster set the horizon aglow.

When what to their wondering eyes should they find,

but a miniature Schooner, seven National Titles behind.

With a wizened old driver, skilled in leading his troops,

they knew in a moment it must be Bob Stoops.

More rapid than Temple his players they came,

and he whistled and shouted and called them by name.

"On Bradford , on Joe John, now Patrick and Murray!

On Chris Brown! On Iglesias! On Hartley and Kelly!

To the top of the conference! To the top of it all!

Now dash their hopes! Dash their dreams! Dash away all!"

And then in a twinkling, the Tigers fought back a scream,

and Chase saw the last of his Heisman trophy dream.

The defense drew in their breath and looked all around,

and realized that their "Pig" was nowhere to be found.

Bob's eyes how they twinkled, his coaches how merry!

As they carried on the legacy left them by Barry.

Gary's sad little face and a fear in his belly,

he shook on the field as his knees turned to jelly.

Pinkel spoke not a word, and the ball they couldn't carry,

Stoops filled up the scoreboard and then turned to Gary .

And laying his hand on the shoulder of his friend,

he gave Pinkel a nod and said, "Like Norman again."

Bob sprang to the Schooner, to his team gave a shout,

to the BCS they flew and left Mizzou down and out.

And we heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,

"Boomer Sooner to All and to All a Good Night!"

author unknown

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Oklahoma, is about winning Championships"

It is Big 12 Champ game time again, and the Sooners have once again put themselves in position for a chance at their 41 Conference Championship against #1 ranked Missouri.

Even though the Tigers are ranked #1 in the nation, OU is somehow favored by 3 points. Missouri QB Chase Daniel has taken exception to this for some strange reason with this quote:

"For me, it's about a lack of respect. We're No. 1 in the nation and I think any No. 1 in the nation should be favored in any game that they play for the simple reason that they're No. 1."

Note to Chase: In the 2000 National Championship game, OU was ranked number 1 and was a DOUBLE DIGIT underdog verses Florida State, and things worked out pretty good for the Sooners. Compound this comment with his other comments of 'we gave the first game away', one has to think that Daniels maybe struggling with his pride and focus issues.

This should be a great, hard fought, and close game and which ever team comes out on top, one can only hope the both teams give their complete effort. If Missouri wins, here is to wishing them good luck in a National Championship game. If OU wins, here is to Conference Championship number Forty-one.

I can't wait, tickets are in hand and remember; There is only ONE Oklahoma!

OU/MU by the numbers
Rushing Offense 193.92 (28) 170.50 (40)
Passing Offense 263.67 (35) 336.83 (5)
Total Offense 457.58 (17) 507.33 (5)
Scoring Offense 43.83 (3) 41.92 (6)
Rushing Defense 91.42 (7) 114.92 (25)
Pass Eff. Defense 118.46 (42) 119.54 (45)
Total Defense 324.58 (18) 380.75 (60)
Scoring Defense 18.25 (10) 23.42 (39)
Net Punting 36.89 (28) 30.00 (119)
Punt Returns 7.79 (77) 13.00 (20)
Kickoff Returns 28.23 (1) 23.36 (22)
Turnover Margin .67 (19) 1.00 (11)
Pass Defense 233.17 (70) 265.83 (103)
Passing Eff. 174.31 (2) 153.40 (8)
Sacks 2.58 (28) 2.33 (40)
Tackles for Loss 7.58 (15) 6.25 (61)
Sacks Allowed .92 (5) 1.50 (30)
(#) National Rank of 119 Teams

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Rules verses Old Rules

Now that the season has completed, the cries that 'driver X' was robbed of a Championship because of the new CHASE format. While their complaints may or even may not have merit, format changes are a part of every sport. It is just a fact.

Take a page from College Football for instance:

In 1973, first-year coach Barry Switzer went into the Colosseum in LA and stunned John McKay, Pat Haden and the defending national champion USC Trojans by playing them to a 7-7 tie. (OU threw 1 pass)

In 2007, LSU lost to Kentucky in 3 OTs and Arkansas in 3 OTs.

Under the old system, without overtime, LSU would be 10-0-2, undefeated and likely still #1, set up to play for the NC after winning their conference championship game.

Under the new system, Switzer could possibly have beaten McKay and had 3 NCs in a row, instead of finishing 10-0-1 and ending up ranked 5th.

Incidently, Notre Dame beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl to go 11-0 and Alabama ended up 11-1-0, both claiming the NC for 1973. (Alabama was UPI NC which didn't vote after bowl games, OU was NC in 3 other services-including Sagarin, ironically a BCS computer input now)

I don't hear LSU fans crying about this new format change as they realize that it is simply a part of the game now.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Congrats to J.J. for another title. It is pretty amazing to see and hear how humble both Johnson is and his crew chief Chad Knauss in the aftermath. While the final Chase race was a bit anticlimactic, but then again most Super bowls are the same way. Much hype, but doesn't deliver. I know many NASCAR fans complained that this season turned into a 'Jimmy and Jeff Show', but frankly, both earned that. I have said it before and will continue to say it, run up front and you will get much TeVee time. We saw it in 2005 with Elliott Sadler.

Working on a few projects this off season which well require some research and information investigation, but I am sure the findings will be interesting, but for now I'll just have a season recap over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. Too much great college football to watch between now and then. Has this been an amazing season or what? Who knows how it is going to end up!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Earlier this week I wrote an in depth analysis of the possibilities of OU jumping Oregon in the BCS. After last night's game.......never mind

Thanks Mike and oh yeah, thanks to Ron and Dee Stoops too!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Analysis of "Will OU pass Oregon" in the BCS

Assuming LSU, Oregon and OU win out, will OU pass Oregon.

Well, I went through the BCS numbers in detail and here is what I found (just skip to the end if you want the answer):

As you may or may not know, the BCS ranking is a simple average of the Harris, Coaches/USA Today, and Computer polls. Each of the 3 components is a percentage of points you have to total points available. So, if your team gets every first place vote, you have a 1.0000 for that poll.

Let's start with the human polls first. We have total points and number of first place votes, so need to see how each team is actually getting their votes. I need to make a couple of assumptions here, but I don't think they are that material.

1. LSU and Oregon are ranked in the top 3 by everybody in Harris.
2. LSU is ranked in the top 5 in Coaches by everybody, and Oregon is ranked in the top 4.
3. KU and OU are ranked in the top 5 by everyone in both polls.

That means, in Harris:

LSU has 73 first place, 20 second place, and 19 3rd place votes
Oregon has 22 first, 31 second, 59 third.
OU has 9 first, 30 second, 30 3rd, 42 fourth and 1 fifth
KU has 8 first, 31 second, 4 third, 13 fourth and 56 fifth.

In Coaches:

LSU has 35 first, 17 second, 4 third, 1 fourth, 4 fifth
Oregon has 13 first, 11 second, 26 third, 10 fourth
OU has 4 first, 20 second, 10 third, 10 fourth, 16 fifth
KU has 7 first, 12 second, 6 third, 8 fourth, 27 fifth

Now, lets assume that KU beats Mizzou, OU wins out, and OU beats KU in the Big XII championship game. How would voters now vote? I have assumed the following:

1. OU gets all of KU's first place votes.
2. OU gets all of KU's second place votes.
3. Everyone keeps LSU in the same spot in voting.
4. OU gets half of Oregon's second place votes.
5. Oregon keeps all of their first place votes, and their losses on second place votes move to 3rd.
6. The rest of OU's votes are now 3rd (no more 4th or 5ths).

This seems pretty logical, and gives:

LSU: 0.9793
Oregon: 0.9411
OU: 0.9596

So OU ranked #2 in Harris.

For Coaches it is a bit more difficult, and clearly the voting is all over the place, as some coaches may vote to help their team (why not?).

Assumtions for Coaches:

1. LSU keeps it's 1st and 2nd place votes, and the 4ths and 5ths move to 3rd.
2. Oregon keeps all of it votes as it is.
3. OU gets's KU's 1st place votes, keeps it's 2nd place votes, and all 4ths and 5th's become 3rds.

That results in:

LSU: 0.978
Oregon: 0.938
OU: 0.948

So again, OU passes Oregon for #2 in Coaches.

Now to the computers.

LSU is #1 in 4 of the 6, and 2nd in those 2.
Oregon is 2nd in 2, and 3rd in 4
KU is #1 in 2, and has a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and a 6th
OU has 3 7ths, 2 9ths, and 1 8th.

Now we need to assume something about other teams. Let's assume that OSU, ASU, WVa, all win out. Also, lets assume that the computers don't allow OU to leap frog any of those teams with a win over KU.


LSU #1 in all 6
Oregon #2 in 5, and #3 in 1 (behind OSU)
OU gets 3 5ths, a 6th, a 7th, and an 8th.

BCS works out as follows (harris, USA, computers, total average)

LSU 0.9793 0.978 1.000 0.9858
Oregon: 0.9411 0.938 0.9600 0.9464
OU: 0.9596 0.9480 0.8100 0.9059

LSU and Oregon play.

Now, let's assume that OSU, ASU lose, and that OU can jump up to 3rd in all of the computer polls.

We still lose out, with Oregon at 0.9464 and OU at 0.9425.

If; however, OU can get 2 #2s in the computer, and 3 #3s, then it plays out as:

Oregon 0.9430
OU 0.9459

So, in conclusion, it doesn't look like it would happen. But the only real way for it to happen is:

KU wins out until Champ game
OSU loses to Michigan
ASU loss would help as well
The voters really like OU over Oregon, so much so that they change the way they have been voting.

The other dynamic that could happen is Oregon voters switch their votes to LSU. The lead LSU has can't be surpassed by OU without an LSU loss, so voters switching to LSU over Oregon helps as it decreases the lead Oregon has on OU. Lackluster performances by Oregon and great performances by LSU (ugh!) might the the things to root for absent a loss by either.

The only way things could get better is if they announce Oregon as the #2 team first, so they think they're New Orleans bound, and then break their hearts when the rankings are "under review" and have Gordo announce that the ranking has been overturned, OU is #2 and going to the title game! I can always dream!

back to the season finale of Nascar later this week.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I don’t have in my possession and have never read the Nascar rulebook other than snipits posted online but how can someone who is racing/crewchiefing/spotting and others associated with a multi million dollar and supposedly tier one race team not understand a simple rule as the Lucky Dog.

Flash back to the Dickies 500 at TMS and lap 120 when J.J. Yeley spins coming off Turn 4 and slides through the grass.

Elliott Sadler, as this happened was about to pass the 18 car however and while the nose of the 19 car was indeed ahead of the 18 car as the 19 spotter and the flagman announced that the race was under caution, there is always a second or moment delay from the actual caution call. This is simply the human aspect needed to ‘react’ to David Hoots’ call to ‘throw it out’. For this very reason Nascar begin using the scoring loops around the track in order to position cars after a caution.

But just after the caution flew, the 19 scanner commenced with a back and fourth banter and contradicting ‘rule quoting’. Which is really my whole issue for a ‘tier one’ race team. There should be zero, nada, banter as the rules in this case is very clear and should be second nature to everyone involved on race day.

Now before you hit the send button for the flaming emails, lets give some long over due credit to the whole 19 team and especially the driver for putting the 19 at that time of the race in position to be ‘debated’ for the lucky dog. And frankly more importantly ‘earning’ a lap back the hard way without the aid of the lucky dog pass just a few laps later. It was even more refreshing to see the 19 truly have a ‘top 15’ car by actually passing cars for position to gain that top 15. While the 19 was passed by ‘top 10’ cars, the 19 also passed other cars and held off countless charges from others. Honestly, the last 1/3 of the race, the 19 was not far off from a top 10, which is a nice change. Give credit where credit is due to the driver/spotter/CC/pit crew and over all effort, it was something that has not been the norm this season and maybe the spark to ignite good results next season.

But back to the issue at hand and I’ll attempt to highlight the 19 scanner chatter after the caution flew.

Spotter: “Good job! We should be the lucky dog ………………..no wait, they are saying the 18 then the 19.”

Driver: “You can’t get the Lucky Dog if you cause the caution.”

Spotter: “They are still saying the 18 then the 19.”

Crew Chief: “How can the 18 be ahead of us when he was spinning in the infield?”

Driver: “Tell Nascar I was ahead of the 18 when you (talking to the spotter) said ‘caution’. They are going back to the last loop in turn three. (pause) They need to be looking at were the cars were at the time of the caution.”

Which lies the rub, and the whole reason for the scoring loops in the first place.
Now it is understandable to question just how the 18 would be awarded (or in this case not) the lucky dog after spinning through the infield, but the back and fourth scanner banter was simply put, misdirected.

Starting with the driver’s comment of ‘you can’t get the lucky dog when causing a caution’. I’ll simply quote from a Jayski page on the lucky dog rule:
----Once the yellow flag is waved, all drivers must immediately reduce speed to a "cautious pace" and get in a single-file line behind the leader.
----Any driver involved in the incident that caused the caution will restart in the position they are able to return to the race without advancing their position.
----The rule further states that if the driver who is designated to receive the "Lucky Dog" brings out the yellow, then that driver does not get a lap back nor does anyone else.

So Sadler was half right in his statement, but his attempt to use selective reasoning for ignoring the scoring loops and how they should use and even the location of the loops is interesting to say the least. We all pretty much know what these scoring loops are, and their purpose, but Sadler fails to recognize that Nascar does not actually tell the teams (or the public) the location of the scoring loops for obvious reasons. (other than the start/finish line) Typically, Nascar places 12 to 24 scoring loops at any given tracks, and just a guess here, at a 1.5 mile track a higher number of loops would be used. For example, 20 scoring loops at TMS (1.5) miles spread out equally around the track would result in a less than 1.5 seconds at race speed between loops. Before the scoring loops, NASCAR used videotape and eyewitness accounts to attempt to establish the running order the instant the yellow flag is displayed. With 43 cars on the track at any given time, that process was just a cluster, and invited controversy.

One other side note, had the scoring loops not been used, the 19 car still may have not been awarded the Lucky Dog as when Brett announced the caution, the leader was in the act (just as the 19 was in the act of passing the 18 car) of putting another lead lap car a lap down a half a straight away ahead of the 19 car. Thus another cluster and controversy.

Once again, this seems to be an example of the need for teams to hire a ‘race day’ rules expert, someone whose only job on Sunday is to understand and apply the rules and when needed to question correctly any misunderstanding of the rule. After the race at the very least, and while I am not privy to any information if anyone from the 19 team did this or not, the rule book should have been broken out with all parties involved (driver/spotter/CC), and actually find the applicable rule and then go to Nascar for clarification. This is not only a problem with the action of some of the 19 team, but many athletes/teams from any level. But then again, with announcers and personalities the likes of Jimmy Spenser who try to interpret rules by word of mouth, it isn’t any wonder teams get confused.

It is easy to not agree with a rule in any sport, but to not understand them and their application at that level is a problem. There is simply too much money at stake.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

COT TESTING QUESTIONS at ATL, & some other observations:

  • I believe this was a free and open test session. Why would a team owner not take every approved race team in his stable? I am referring to the RYR 88 car. It was clear during R&D and testing last year that RYR was late building cars in the first place and behind the curve. I don’t understand why this test would not be taken to its fullest advantage.
  • Evernham Motorsports brought two cars for the upstart 10 team, yet only brought one car each for the 9 and 19 teams. Once again, I am not sure why in a free test, one would not bring as many cars as possible. update: I just saw on the Tuesday afternoon speeds that the 19 did indeed bring a second car (although it appears that the 9 only tested one)
  • Just how many race teams does the Cat in the Hat have control over? I have lost count, and with this RYR/Roush alliance or whatever one wants to call it, that number could go over a half dozen. There is only one solution to this problem…..FRANCHISING!
  • In a genius move it looks as though the Penski may opted to move the #2 car owner points to Sam Hornish, thus giving Hornish a free pass into the first five races in ’08. Busch at worse would be able to use the most recent past champion provisional. While it might be more of a risk, I still believe the EMS will take a long look at moving the 19’s owner points to the 10 in ’08.
  • Those darn foreigners are trying to take over the sport. Just a few decades ago there were comments by many of the Nascar faithful, that the ‘Yankees’ were trying to take over the sport, and now with the influx of the foreign born open wheelers, the focus has been shifted to them. One common complaint is that these interlopers have not ‘paid their dues’ in the lesser series. That may or may not be the case, and only time will tell the validity of that claim. But one other sport I noticed also has an alarming number of Japanese players crossing the pond and jumping straight to the Major Leagues. BTW, baseball’s TeVee are on the upswing as well as revenue. Just sayin.
  • Did you see all those Nascar Fans dress up as empty seats last Sunday? I did, but I think there are a few more reasons than the simple ‘Nascar fans are tired of getting jerked around’ theory. You will also see (while not as many) open spaces on the front stretch at TMS this coming weekend as well. But for many, their reason for not attending races live may have more to do with the high cost of travel and lodging (no, not the ticket prices). The region of the race venue and the College Football schedule for that 300 mile radius may have more to do with it. For example, this weekend at TMS, it is the opening of deer season for starters, and more importantly OU/Texas A&M, Okie Lite/TEXAS, Texas Tech/Baylor and Kansas/Nebraska and South Carolina/Arkansas are all drawing from fans that if this race was not during College Football season, would be attending the Great American Speedway.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


At the end of the 2006 season, I posted THIS BLOG concerning how Elliott Sadler seems to have a serious performance issue as the season winds down. This week's addition of the "Southern Gentleman's" IN THE FIELD article pretty much puts an exclamation point to my original premise.

Some one call the Post Office, there is a driver mailing it in.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Where is there a ‘Jayski’ version for college football when you need it? It seems that the rumors are running rampant from human poll discrepancies to coaching changes. But what a fun year it has been watching this crazy season unfold. It seems that on any giving weekend, a loss for your favorite team is a possibility, no matter who your team is playing. Along with that, are the rumors of coaches’ firings and subsequent hiring speculations. Here are a few quick hits in the world of college football:

· Les ‘the hat’ Miles has some big……….
I think ‘the hat’ has been pretty smart and gutsy with a great team. He doesn’t go for every 4th down. They had about 5 opportunities to go on 4th against Auburn last Saturday and they only took it one time.

The ESPN announcers last night were typical and showed that they as a network attempt to ‘create’ a story rather than simply broadcast. LSU snapped the ball with about 7 seconds left, and after the ball was caught there were clearly 3-4 seconds left on the clock. Even if it was incomplete or at worse completed before the goal line and in bounds, LSU had a timeout. Even if the clock guy ran extra clock off, they would have reviewed the play and the refs would have added at least 2 seconds back on the clock for a final FG play.

It was a good gutsy play call. The ESPN announcers didn’t realize that they could review the play to determine whether the clock guy ran too much time off.

· The coaching carousel:
It is starts in Lincoln with the train wreck that Bill ‘slash throat’ Callahan has created. Enter LSU Defensive Coordinator Bo Pelini? The real question might be is would Bo return to Lincoln after not being offered the job 4 years ago when he wanted it. Then add the speculation that Les Miles could very well leave LSU for his Alma matar Michigan very soon after this season is completed.

Still in the Big 12, the debacle in College Station lives on:
Coach Fran honors contracts about as well is the ‘Southern Gentleman’ in Nascar. But this time it just might be a breach of contract that does him in at A&M. Seems the ‘email gate’ is a violation and terminable offense in his contract. The sad part is that A&M is 6-2 and still in the hunt for the Big 12 Championship, although their last for games are all against ranked teams.

Enter Tommy Tubberville and some crazy rumor that he would actually consider leaving Auburn to take the College Station job. I have seen crazier things happen I guess.

Then there is Houston Nutt at Arkansas. It cannot be very good when banners are flown over the stadium at home games that say ‘FIRE NUTT’. Be careful of what you wish for UA fans, you never know who you might get to replace him.

* The BCS….
While I would like to say that the BCS has ruined college football for me, and of course a play-off would be better. (but even with a play-off there would still be very much controversy) I do have to say that the BCS even with all its flaws still makes for a very interesting season. I can beat the BCS to death with the voting issues, the computer poll weirdness and such, but as an OU fan I can throw all that out the window with one thought. “Just don’t lay a fourth quarter egg against Colorado and the BCS wouldn’t look so bad”. The season is just half over and some have given up on the system that EVERY team agreed to play with. And in all honesty, even a TWO LOSS team still has a legitimate chance of making the big dance this year with the remaining games left to play. I still eagerly await Saturdays and watching games and scores throughout the day and I'll be doing it again this Saturday...and OU doesn't even play!. I guess College Football is doing something right!

Monday, October 22, 2007


In most stick and ball sports, the term ‘coach speak’ is something that the head coach uses to help make excuses for his teams performance. Coach-speak, the gruff, clipped, cliché-ridden language of head sports coaches, can be heard on almost any ESPN Sports Center broadcast, but when it comes to NASCAR drivers, the better term might be called ‘team speak’.

The 19 team’s 2007 version of Team Speak:

ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger)

"We had a good car today, I think a top 15 at least. Unfortunately, that opportunity was taken away from us before we had completed 100 laps. After my crew made all the repairs and we came back out, the car still handled well in the corners and that's the key to success here at Martinsville. The rest of the race, we worked on different things, trying to find anything that could help us at Phoenix. We certainly didn't get the kind of finish our car was capable of today."

Now the Southern Gentleman is not the only driver guilty of such nonsense, (Ricky Rudd used to be the king of Team Speak in his days with the Wood Brothers), but there are some glaring issues from the very beginning of his post race comments. Breaking down a few items, one can see the Team Speak very clear.

“We had a good car today, I think a top 15 at least.”

So starting 14th, and after less than 30 laps have been run, your car falls out of the top 20 is a ‘top 15 car’? To make matter worse, when the unfortunate incident took place, the 19 car was running in the mid to high 20s and didn’t appear to be moving up through the field.

Now it is possible that Sadler was getting this ‘top 15’ idea from how the car ran after repairs had been made, but there is a problem with that as well. There was a comment made over the 19 scanner that the 19 was actually running ‘faster laps than the leader by a tenth a lap’, and while that was a true statement there was a very important omission. The 19 was running these laps on 50 or so lap fresher tires, of course one would expect them to be running some competitive lap times.

'Unfortunately, that opportunity was taken away from us before we had completed 100 laps.'

This a is very true statement on the surface and the result of an over-aggressive entry into turn one by a team-mate no less, and did take any opportunity to see if indeed the 19 car was in fact a ‘top 15 car’. The problem with the statement is how can one really determine where a car should finish with less than 1/5 of the race completed?

Flip the memory card back to the 2005 season at Loudon when the Southern Gentleman from the drop of the green flag had run pretty much every lap in the top 10 or top 5 and also led some laps when with a handful of laps left in the race, was dumped by Mark Martin causing the 38 car to finish multiple laps down. Now that was a ‘top 10 car’. See the difference?

But you are not alone, Elliott. There are about 30 or so other Cup drivers that are guilty of the same Team Speak each week when they claim they had a ‘top 10 car’.

And another sport that I love is full of Team/Coach speak, and 'Lou Holtzing' has become the norm not the exception on Saturdays.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


This was a good win, and frankly this game was close to being a blowout win. I’ll be honest, I’m still trying to figure out just how good this Mizzou team is. Their win in Lincoln looked good until the Pokes went up there and shucked the Huskers’ corn. However, it could be said the Pokes are on the rise, or that NU is playing worse each week. I’m not sure what all that means. However good the Mizzou team is, Chase Daniels and his receivers are very solid.

Two pointless fumbles cost OU 14+ points. A take away is one thing, but to fumble when you’re going down and have the ball is pointless. Without those Mizzou is missing two TD’s, plus OU likely get at least one more score from the drives those fumbles cost us. We were not far from about 52-17 or something. Of course Mizzou fans will sit there and talk about their turnovers and what could have been, but their turnovers were forced by good Sooner play and loud Sooner fans.

That being said, Mizzou is at least a good team, if not really good. They have a real shot at winning the North. It appears that KU and KSU are their biggest obstacles. With KU’s softer South schedule they could lose to Mizzou and still make it to the Conference Champ Game. Our best scenario would be for the Jayhawks to win out and bring an undefeated, top 10 team to the CCG. We need the quality win for voters and computers too.

A quick look at the offense. We’re all wanting a more consistent running game, but we all recognize defenses are putting about 8 thousand people in the box to stop our run. That opens up the pass and Bradford made them pay. Good play calling accommodated this. OU kept going back to the run just enough to keep Mizzou honest and pave the way for fourth quarter running success.

I’d like to say something about Bradford that NOBODY IN AMERICA HAS EVEN THOUGHT! The kid is way too cool headed to be just a freshman. He converted something like 10/14 third downs. Did you see how many times he audibled? Perhaps some of those were fake, or signaled from the sideline, but still, he had to orchestrate. He had maybe one or two bad throws. Everything else was Troy Aikman accurate.

It was also good to see Sam tuck it and run a few times. He won’t change the world with his feet, but he’s illusive enough to escape some pressure. And he was very smart about when to run and when to throw.

Dear opposing defenses, please continue to crowd the line so our TE pass game can continue to yield one TD after another. Thank you, Sooner fans.

What about the o-line? They gave up one sack, and that’s with Mizzou blitzing a good bit. The run blocking hasn’t been world beating, but it’s not bad considering the way teams are selling out to stop the run. I don’t know; I can’t shake the feeling we should be running a little better. It seems like sometimes we don’t get as much push as a row of 330 pound men should get. On the other hand, the guys seem to wear down opponents toward game’s end.

While about 2/3 of Sooner fans are running around in circles waving their hands in the air wondering about our defense, let me join the other third in saying our defense played well Saturday evening.

An offense like Mizzou is schemed well and has stud players in key positions. They are going to make some plays. The OU defense schemed to minimize scoring and big plays. Think of the last drive of the first half. Mizzou had to burn a LOT of clock on shorter pass plays and nearly missed their FG opportunity. That’s because our defense schemes to concede the short play and deny the long play. For the most part the defense executed that scheme well. Take away the two gimmie turnover scores and Mizzou only scored 17.

The front four pressured well. McCoy is becoming a bigger factor with each passing week. English is playing so well that it’s taking attention away from the other guys. I suspect part of his success is due to the attention our interior guys require. Opponents can’t afford to double team English.

Lofton had an absolutely huge game in pass coverage, in tackling and of course the fumble/TD. It looked to me like Reynolds didn’t play as much. I know they blitzed him a lot, but maybe they played Baker more in the nick/dime sets.

I think the DB’s played a good game as well. Tackling after the catch was solid. Pass coverage was tight on some of those Mizzou receptions. I know there are times we’re getting burned, but other than a couple of drives, the coverage against Mizzou was solid.

I’ve tried to refrain from commenting on the zebras of late, but a couple of things bear mentioning. First, on the reviews, my wife makes quicker decisions shopping for a new purse for crying out loud! You know you’re going to rule against OU and give the ball to Oregon so just do it already and get it over with. It’s not like pretending to actually look at the film is fooling any of the fans.

Second, when a ball carrier is laying down on his belly at the 2, then reaches the ball out to barely touch the endzone that is not a touchdown. I guess the game could have ended, Mizzou could have gotten their showers then sent a player out on the field with a ball to touch the endzone and the Big 12 would have helicoptered a zebra in right quick to signal touchdown. In the name of loving your mother why can’t they get a call like that right? I know the game is high speed and good refs will miss some tough calls, even some not so tough. But sometimes it gets pretty silly.

Okay, that’s out of our system so let’s all breathe a sigh of relief. We got another tough game behind us and got another ''W" on the record. OU is number 4 in the country right now. (and don't get me started on the 'rankings', frankly it is a joke this year) If we keep winning, the computers should finally fall in love with us and give us a good BCS ranking as well. Other top 10 teams have some tough games in their future. We have an opportunity to win out and beat a respected North team, whether it’s KSU, KU or MU. It’s a tall order, but it’s doable. If this team catches its stride it’s more than doable, it’s expected. With a little help in other games that could very well land us in a big bowl of sugar. Boomer Sooner!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Yes, it was a fable

(A friendly rebuttal)

There must be something in the water in Austin! Especially after reading High Groover’s Hypothetical comparing a make believe NFL team(s) and the current happenings in Nascar. If only she had chosen Major League Baseball or even Hockey! So lets dig in, one paragraph at a time.

She begins with:

Once Upon A Time…….

Let’s Pretend that the NFL has fallen upon financial hard times. New football safety rules created by The Commission have forced teams to expend beyond their budgets for new safety equipment and training personnel. The Commission has limited the amount of time a team can access their Commission-owned practice fields, forcing the few football teams with enough left in their kitties to build their own, or suffer in performance during the regular season.

Interesting concept, however the NFL already limits practice and workouts in the off-season, and also during the season as well. If the teams/coaches had their way, ‘training camp’ would begin just a few short weeks after the Super Bowl, and not just a month before the regular season is to begin. See Bill Parcell’s.

Let’s Pretend that as the football season rolls on, it becomes painfully obvious that the only teams who will make it to the playoffs are the few with heavy-duty corporate financial backers – those who could afford the new expenses. In fact, several popular teams had to forfeit games because they couldn’t afford the plane fares and hotel expenses to travel! Sadly, several teams have folded altogether - unable to afford the capital or the stress caused by the "new" rules.

Here is the NFL reality: ‘Revenue Sharing’ and ‘Salary Cap’.
About 2/3 of the NFL's money comes from the TV deal. The players get about 2/3 of team revenue. So, more or less, the TV contract goes to pay the players. The money from the TV contract is share and share alike - the Redskins, Cowboys, Bills, and Packers get identical checks. This money is key to the success of the smaller franchises. Without the TV contract money, there is simply no way on earth that Green Bay could ever field a competitive team.

Let’s Pretend, that in order to survive, my Hometown Professional Football Team (who I’ve supported with my hard-earned dollars and my invaluable loyalty for years) has been contacted by a foreign corporation and offered an avenue to survival – sponsorship $$$. Coincidentially (or not), the Iaintfromaroundhere, gMbH, S.A., Ltd. Corp. also owns an International Soccer Team that at one time in the past was the envy of the planet. Seems the round-ball-with-spots passtime has also gone downhill in the last few years and my new “international” backer is looking for greener pastures – a new place to cash in on the exposure that comes from having their logo plastered all over my team’s uniforms and all over my city’s Super Stadium (which, BTW, is owned by the Commissioner’s sister).

Here is where it really gets good. The NFL offers full, complete and equal among all teams when it comes to licensing and souvenir sales. For some strange reason, I am thinking that the ‘Junior Nation’ would not be too happy knowing that all that stuff purchased at the Souvy Trailer (and every where else) would be used to help the Wood Brother just as equally as D.E.I.

Let’s Pretend that it’s offseason, and I’m looking forward to my team’s upcoming Draft picks – our chance to add the Heissman winner to our roster as well as a few more choice picks from the ranks of Collegiate players (some from my home state) who’ve devoted their youth (and their parents’ life savings) to making it to the pros.


Let’s Pretend that the Commission has decided to allow my Now-Corporate Co-Owner (who now has 51% controlling interest in my team) to forego the draft entirely – opting instead to allow them to fill my team’s ranks from their overseas Soccer team! Their rationale, I’m told, is that these are athletes who are just as qualified to play as our Collegiate hometown boys from U! After all, they can run, they can kick, they can hit things with their heads, and there’s a precedent! Didn’t the Detroit Lions let George Plimpton QB for a quarter way back in 1968? So there!

You want to see some UNDRAFTED NFL players? Just take a look at the 2006 NFL season. Quarterback Tony Romo, running back Willie Parker, fullback Mack Strong, tight end Antonio Gates, guard Brian Waters, center Jeff Saturday, cornerback Rasheen Mathis, punters Brian Moorman and Mat McBriar, place-kicker Robbie Gould and special teamers Kassim Osgood and Brendan Ayanbadejo ALL have one thing in common. They were all undrafted, and all made the pro bowl! Antonio Gates NEVER played a down of football in college either.

NFL history also shows us other examples, players like Jan Stenerud who actually attended college on a Ski Jumping Scholarship and was the first kicker to be drafted solely as a kicker. He is also the only pure kicker in the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Let’s Pretend that I’m sitting in my living room, watching the opening season game. My team’s Quarterback is gone (now relegated to coaching Arena Football), replaced by the same superstar soccer guy who used to look down his nose at our “primitive” version of the sport. Our Running Backs are guys we’ve never seen before (with last names we can’t pronounce), and our Fullback, Center, and Special Teams can’t pronounce anything intelligible on camera except the name of the Sponsor! My favorite player – the one I’ve followed since Pop Warner days – is now sitting on the bench on the 4th string, allowing the new “International” players a chance at stardom and TV coverage. Let’s Pretend I’m trying to decide whether or not to renew my season tickets.

There is an omission here I’m thinking, and that omission is the record of said team over the previous couple of years. From the tone of the fable, one can only deduce that said team was mediocre at best.

And finally, Let's Pretend that they lived Blissfully Ignorant Ever After (but with ample capital, a marketing office in New York City, and a Commissioner telling me this is sooooooo good for the sport!).

Let’s Pretend the same thing is happening in NASCAR! No. Wait. We don’t have to pretend anymore, do we?

Actually, the NFL has ‘done it right’ and NASCAR might want to take a page from their playbook. Here is the short list of things that would be good for Nascar.

1) Franchising: Creates over-all stability among teams and allows for the following.
2) Revenue Sharing: There is a reason why in the NFL the teams with ‘deep pockets’ don’t have a significant advantage over ‘small market’ teams
3) Salary Cap: In Nascar, it would be more of a ‘spending cap’, where all teams would be held to an equal budget mainly based on the revenue share.

Now Susan, had your ‘pretending’ dealt with Hockey and the NHL and the things that league went thru before the lockout, I would have been drinking that Austin water with ya! The problem and the points you are making just might have more to do with the bad decisions of the Nascar team owners, not the governing body itself. The Nascar team owners unwillingness to agree to keep costs down with a spending cap, to develop drivers, to even allow for these developing drivers to have a series to show their talent without diluting ¾ of the field with CUP drivers. That just might be the real ‘pretend’ problem.

See ya in a couple of weeks High Groover, we will keep the light on for ya!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blame Canada!

Funny how perception can change when the ‘worm turns’. It was just a few short days ago, some of the more vocal Sadler fans were very adamant concerning the ‘flood of open wheelers’, and more importantly, the lack of experience many of these drivers have at the Cup level.

Quotes such as:

“I feel that no one, and I mean no one, should be able to come into the Cup series without a minimum of 10 starts in the truck or busch series.”

“I think any open wheeler, and like need to do some races in arca, truck, busch before jumping to cup.”

“…all drivers should start at the bottom and work their way up -- even if they're Indy or F1 champions, they still need to start way down in the ranks for stock cars and come up the good ol'-fashioned way. No one deserves a free pass to the elite level of any sport, just because they succeeded at something similar.”

“This guy had no business being on the track for the first time at Talladega of all places. There are plenty of Busch drivers out there that would have loved the chance to race but no, they have to go and get this guy.”

To be honest, these quotes do have merit and make some good points to a degree, but precedent has been set in cases like this many times over. For example, Robbie Gordon’s first Nascar start was a Daytona 500 race; with zero ‘lower series’ starts. I mentioned before that A.J. Foyt never raced a ‘lower series’ race in his career either. Just a few years ago very similar things were being said about the influx of the 'Young Gun' invasion. The simple fact that drivers from other race series are flocking to get Cup rides might tell people that the state of Nascar is really not as bad off as some want to think.

Flash forward just a couple of days with the announcement that Patrick Carpentier will drive full time for Gillett Evernham Motorsports but for some strange reason the quotes and opinions above have been forgotten. Remember, Carpentier only has THREE road course starts, and only one at the CUP level. Even if he raced every BUSCH race left on the schedule, he would not have enough starts to make the ‘ten race minimum’. But like using the Jedi mind trick, 'These are not the quotes you are searching for.... Move along.'

Then there is this quote:

“We have so many young talented drivers in the Busch series that would love a shot at a seat in cup, yet we continue to fill the seats with those from outside, so tell me again what the point of Busch Racing is?”

Interesting question considering when one looks at the current Busch points standings and count on one hand, the drivers who are not attempting to run full time at the Cup level. So I am not sure what this Sadler fan’s definition of ‘many’ truly is.

While the details of the Carpentier signing have not been very specific, it does raise a few questions and has made for some interesting internal situations at GEM. First there is the Ray Evernham quote that, "No one has told me that Patrick Carpentier is the official driver of the No. 10 car next season….Until George Gillett tells me that ... I have not signed a contract or any contract as of yet”. I don’t claim to know the org chart at GEM, but I understand that Ray no longer owns the ‘majority’ of this race team, and most likely his blessing or even knowledge of this deal is not needed.

No sponsor has been announced but chances are Carpentier will draw much attention and will be a sponsorship bonanza, especially to someone in the Great White North. I would say someone like Molson would jump at the opportunity, but I’m thinking Budweiser might frown upon that.

Then there is the dilemma of which team should get the owner points for the first six races in ’08. From a business stand point, it might be prudent to move the 19’s owner points to Carpentier, forcing a more seasoned and pretty good qualifier in Sadler to qualify his way in. If the team as a whole is where they should be, this really should be a non-issue for Sadler. Needless to say, much of this decision maybe made or at least influenced by whom ever sponsors Carpentier.

So from the greatness of South Park, why not just BLAME CANADA!!!!
After all, it will be a perfect catch all excuse for GEM in ’08 if things are not living up to expectations. I use it all the time when my TPS reports are suffering. Just Sayin.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Late Dega Fodder

Hot hot hot!!!
This may have been the hottest fall Dega race on record. Don’t think I have ever been so hot at a track in my life. It seems that pushing up the race date over the past few years have contributed to an unseasonably hot fall day.

Flood of Open Wheelers?
This maybe the single most positive influence to Nascar since the Network TeVee deal a few years ago. But frankly this is nothing new and has been going on for four decades. I know that 19 fans (my self included) were not too happy with the lack of braking Jacques Villeneuve seemed to have in the turn 3 ‘big one’, but to be honest, he was not the only one who had this ‘issue’. Chase or no chase, these drivers have every right to drive if an owner sees fit. Some 19 fans feel that a driver should not be allowed in CUP without a minimum number of Busch/Truck/ARCA starts. But frankly, those starts prove little, and there have been other open wheel drivers make their first 10 CUP starts that included Daytona. (See John Andretti) AJ Foyt never ran a Busch race in his Nascar Career; while Boris Said was only a ‘road course ringer’, until making the FINAL Chase race at Homestead in 2004. The bottom line is: For YEARS, new drivers have been entered into the last few races of the year, to give them a head start for the following season. Yes, some of them have impacted the championship. And some of them have not. That happens across ALL of the series. Brendan Gaughan was running for the Championship in trucks a few years ago, and got taken out by a 1st time driver. He finished 4th in the series. That’s racin.

SPOTTERMAN: the great, the bad, the ugly
The great:
First off, the 19 spotter was not just GOOD, on Sunday, he was GREAT. Even though the 19 received some damaged on the ‘big one’, Spotterman conveyed adamantly just how severe the wreck in front of the 19 was, and helped steer the 19 though without any major damage, it could have been really ugly. But what really sets Spotterman apart from others is his ability to see the other cars and how they are running on the track. It was mid way through the race and the 19 was running in the top 10 but would not get out of line. Near the back of the lead draft there was a run being made on the low line by in spotterman’s own words ‘There are some pretty good cars making a push on the low side. (hint hint hint!) Sadler took hied to those words, and as that run of cars approached the 19 car, he promptly moved in front of them, which allowed them to push the 19 car to the lead. It was a brilliant plate track move and great communication from Spotterman. You are still the best in the business on the spotter stand Brett.

The bad:
I don’t think Spotterman was impressed with the C.O.T.’s performance, especially with his comment of ‘the WHOLE field is running single file’. While he was correct, in that 40% of the race was a snoozer. I am not sure it was the fault of the car, but the fault the drivers. As seen early in the race, and especially the final 15 laps of the race, the 24 and 48 showed that the lower line was a very fast way around the track and a way to move through the field. What I saw was that very few drivers would be willing to team up and make some moves until the 29 car got a few others to do it from the rear of the field. It reminded me of both twin 125’s at Daytona in 2000 where no drivers would get out of line. But with the same aero package the Daytona 500 run just 3 days later offered 2 and 3 wide racing most the race. If the drivers choose not to mix it up, and my not be solely the C.O.T.’s fault. While the C.O.T.’s aero package be tweaked before the 2008 speedweeks, probably, but it may not be needed.

The ugly:
While I am obviously biased in my fandom for College Football. For the life of me, I cannot understand the lack of respect for Spotterman alum’s South Carolina Gamecock football team in the latest polls. I’ll use my beloved Sooners in this example. Both USC and OU each share 5-1 records, but most polls have OU ranked around #5 and USC between #9 and #12. One may not think this is a big deal, but how can the voters ‘penalize’ South Carolina for losing a close game to the NUMBER ONE ranked team in the nation on the road while OU loses to unranked Colorado. So far in this young season, there is no doubt in my mind, that South Carolina should be ranked in at the very least in the top 6 or 7 spots in the country, and should be ranked ahead of OU. The AP poll almost got this right this week, but still ranked OU #6 and USC #7. Those two should be flip flopped at least until next week’s games are played.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cleaning the 'in' box

Got a handful of emails flaming me on why I didn’t give kudos to the ‘top ten finish’ the 19 car had at ‘Dorothy land’ this past weekend. The answer is pretty simple. I didn’t catch the first 80% of the race on TeVee and was forced to listen to the ‘beating’ of MRN while driving back from another commitment.

I did get to watch the final segment and yes, the 19 car was fighting to maintain that top ten, and frankly it was fun to watch. Was it smoke and mirrors because much of the field was off pit sequence and stuck deep in the field? Maybe, but that is something that the ‘Southern Gentleman’ cannot control. What he could control (or seemed to) was a very hard challenge by the 8 car, and proceeded to dispose of the ‘lame duck’ driver. I am sure it was just as refreshing for the 19 team as it was for me to see the 19 car actually pass cars on the track and not in the pits by taking two tires. Maybe this finish is the spark to re-ignite this race team.

Speaking of MRN:
I read and hear all the time, Nascar fans complaining about TeVee race coverage and how ‘great’ MRN does with their radio broadcast. I guess these fans did not listen to the Kansas MRN broadcast. Missed restarts, yellows during commercial breaks and bias coverage to a handful of drivers were the theme of the day. But I guess it is only fair since I defend the TeVee broadcast much of the time, that MRN is simply doing the same thing and cannot ‘predict’ the future. TeVee has the ‘over talker’ with Rusty Wallace, and MRN has the grating voice of Steve Post. I’ll call it a draw.

Play-off baseball on TBS????
I have seen a few complaints that the race coverage after the 2nd red flag was not on Network TeVee because the race was going well over the allotted time. I understand that not everyone race fan has access to ESPN2 but what is ABC going to do? On the flip side, we see Major League Baseball have a ‘play-in’ play-off game and none of the play-off networks would pick up the game and people were forced to watch the game on TBS, and not even in HD.

Off to the Jungle:
Leaving this week for the annual trek to the fall Dega race. This is probably one of my favorite race/sporting weekends as there is nothing better than the Rving at Dega, deep in the heart of SEC country. Added bonuses this year is the debut of the C.O.T. at a plate track, and that the Red River Shootout will be broadcast on local TeVee so I should not miss a down as long as the batteries hold up on the hand held TeVee, while sitting in the Allison Grandstands on the backstretch. (Maybe the best value of a race ticket in Nascar) It is all well worth the 11 plus hour 'beating' of pulling the RV from Dallas to Dega, then back again.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Who saw that coming?

an OU/CU Game Review

Sometimes a team has a game where nothing goes right. Then there are those games that take it to the next level and everything completely goes wrong. OU’s game against CU was just such a game. The Sooners were obviously flat, especially on offense, from the outset.

I thought the playcalling on offense was suspect and a little in a rut, if you will. There was too much running on first and second down then throw on third and long. The run off tackle was decent, but not between the tackles. So it looks to me like you don’t keep calling that inside run. Perhaps more rollout passes and some misdirection or reverse. I’m not sure why we got conservative all of a sudden.

Bradford didn’t do all that bad, though he didn’t have a great game. He had trouble seeing that blitz the Buffs kept using and getting checked to the right play. It’s asking a lot of a freshman QB to make those very consistently. He never threw to Kelly and nobody seems to know why. In his defense, he had some passes right on target that were dropped. Sam played well enough for OU to win.

Patrick had some really nice runs. None of the other guys shook things up that much. Kudos to Pleasant, I think it was, who caught the FB pass and absolutely fought for a first down. Would that the entire offense had fought that hard in the game.

TE’s and WR’s had dropsies pretty bad. The TE passing game was there at times, but the guys didn’t consistently catch. It was really weird how low-energy their performance was.

The defense didn’t play that badly till they got wore out. Part of that is on the offense, but with our rotation, legs should have been more fresh. Perhaps they had an issue going on between the ears like the offense, whatever that issue was.

We got good pressure on blitzes and the front four gave chase pretty good. There was really good tackling, lots of gang tackling. The guys kept stripping the ball more than usual, even early in the game.

CU’s misdirection runs are what killed us. We did not have backside containment on that at all. It was over pursuit that reminded me of 2005.

The DL got good pressure in the passing game and played pretty well against the run till later in the game. Davis got heavy action in relief of Williams. He seemed to have a good game, coming back to tackle on short passes, shedding a block to tip a key pass. I’m not sure if he was the culprit that was out of position on those misdirection plays. Some of that is on the DE, but I never could figure out it was on any one player consistently.

Lofton and Reynolds were all over the place and hitting like a truck. They are excellent tacklers and great in the open field. Lofton dropped a potential INT and CU scored on the next play. There were a lot of little things like that, but they become huge when you look at the final score.

The DB’s were playing okay early, especially Wolfe. Kudos to him for 2 INT’s and great return skills. But as the game wore on we had some real coverage issues. It looked like Walker got burned on a late CU TD. However, as I often say, the coverage schemes are complicated enough that I’m not sure who was struggling. I will say I’ve never been completely sold on Coach BJW as a DB coach. I’m not seeing much to change my mind. Some fans are displeased with Venables as a DC. I think the D has gotten better and plays well for Brent. However, BJW seems to be a better DE coach than DB coach.

The DB’s do tackle really well and are great in run support. Lendy also dropped a potential INT, but is a solid tackler. You gotta give the guy credit there. Harris made a diving play to bat down a pass that was *this close* to being an INT. That’s the story of the game; a bunch of really close stuff that never seemed to click.

Punt/Kick coverage was a little rough, though the CU Kick return guy is a stud. I thought CU was getting by with a little blocking in the back on some of that, but nothing major.

Smith had a little more success returning punts until he had the late muffed punt. That killed us; that’s when I felt certain we’d lose. Iglesias had a bad idea on the one kick return that wound up being a touchback. When in doubt just take a knee. He did have a nice return later for about 25 or 30.

I’m not sure what conclusive evidence the replay refs saw to reverse JI’s late catch, but they put the ball on a plane, flew it to the west coast and gave it to Oregon. You could debate the thing, but not conclusively enough to overturn the call on the field. That was a backbreaker, but the Sooners should not have put themselves in that position to begin with.

Look back at it you people and you will see a lot of nearly and almost. You’ll also see a lot of sloppy and stuff so out of character that it’s creepy. The second half especially was so strange. We’re up 24-7 and everything keeps happening almost like we were destined to lose.

Whatever voodoo was in the air can certainly be shaken off. If this team takes the lessons to heart and pulls back together we’ve got a chance to win the conference. We still control our own destiny. Win out and you’re in the CCG. With a little help, we could even be in the title hunt, though that’s a stretch. The Horns lost too so next week should be interesting. Here’s to hoping we return to early season form. Boomer Sooner!

I have always said that the polls should not come out till at least week five of the season. Most teams have now played five games so here is my top 25:

1. LSU
2. USC
3. California
4. Ohio State
5. Wisconsin
6. South Florida
7. Boston College
8. Kentucky
9. S. Carolina
10. Florida (tie)
10. Oklahoma (tie)
12. Georgia
13. Oregon
14 West Virginia
15. Virginia Tech
16. Texas
17. Missouri
18. Arizona State
19. Hawaii
20. Cincinnati
21. Rutgers
22. Clemson
23. Purdue
24. Kansas State
25. Nebraska

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

But its just a boring 4-0

Call me crazy, but I thought the Tulsa game was exciting. Not just in the "I want to win every game by at least 50 points" sort of way either. I'll admit it. I love Tulsa and their brand of ball. Any Tulsa fans who happen upon this meaningless blurb can re-read that if you need, but I mean it.

Don't get me wrong. I'd rather OU have the offense we have, but for where Tulsa's at, their scheme works well for them. And there will probably be aspects of that scheme that find their way into gameplans at bigger schools. It also needs to be said, that crazy stuff is good for the sport. It's refreshing to see excessive creativity and "out of the box" thinking. It's hard to know what's coming next and it's fun to watch.

The Sooner offense cranked out the production we expected, lots of yards and lots of points. There seemed to be a little more emphasis on basic plays than in the first three games. I'm fine with that. Opponents have seen a variety of things for which to prepare. Some fundamentals in base run plays needed to be polished. An opportunity to wear down Tulsa's front seven needed to be seized.

OU QB Sam Bradford continues to impress, though he had an errant throw picked. I'm sort of glad he had a chance to experience that for the first time now instead of later. The RB's continue to impress and Patrick showed he's got his stride back. We're STILL throwing to the TE [YES!] and JI showed defenses why they'd better think twice before they key completely on Kelly.

I can't shake the feeling we're going to see much more from this o-line that's already quite good. I'm talking about some key game down the line where these guys just take the thing over and drive somebody off the ball when we need it the most.

I guess we could sit here and gripe that the defense gave up over 350 yards in the air and 21 points. Maybe there's some room for that, but I suspect Tulsa's offense is harder to stop than we might think. It's like every play is a trick play or something you really don't expect. In spite of giving up a lot of yards, much of those yards were between the 20's. Think back to some Tech games and you'll remember the defense gave up some yards, but held down the points. In fact, think of some Switzer defenses against early spread offenses in the days of yore. Similar story Saturday.

The front seven continue to play well. The DE's are solid and we're seeing good push from the DT's. Our LB's are amazing compared to what I was hoping for at the beginning of the season.

Some folks are disappointed at the DB's, but I'm not sure they performed that badly. Some schemes will yield an open receiver frequently if the play has just a moment to develop. And I'm a little slow to blame a specific DB because it's hard for fans to have a handle on exactly which coverage busted. Whatever questions we may have about coverage, it needs to be said the tackling is good.

Special teams still show flashes of greatness and flashes of question marks. Did we have one missed FG and one missed PAT? I think that's right. That really needs to tighten up. But we also need to remember our guy can kick the long FG, consistently buries the KO, and coverage is good.

OU is not playing the tough games some teams are playing, but different aspects of the team are being tested each week. I hear from friends, fans of other schools, that this team looks more like the real deal all the time. That gets easier to believe with each passing week and I like me some of that! On to boulder, Boomer Sooner!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Spotterman speaks his mind

Spotterman makes another appearance on SFC and add his two cents about last week’s Dover race, the COT and college football. What is interesting about his opinions is that he falls for one of the most common ironies of Nascar fans. That is the double standard of ‘criticism’. This double standard is lumping a lot of independent issues and blaming some broad entity, in this case Nascar (usually spelled NA$CAR) Its a lot like blaming ‘big oil’ for every cent price increase of a gallon of gas. Then conversely walking on eggshells with his criticism of his beloved South Carolina Gamecocks football team. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Here is a portion of Spotterman’s opinion of the Dover race and the COT in a thread he titled ‘BORING Race’:

“Obviously the last 50 laps or so were interesting due to all of the wrecks but how did you all feel about the first 350? I have never been so bored on the roof in my life! These guys aren't able to race hard in these cars. Give them some downforce, some softer tires and let's go racing. This is like watching a John Deere race.”

While there is little doubt that this past Dover race was a snoozer, laying blame on the COT and Goodyear might be a little bit misleading, especially considering the history of this track.

1) Dover’s first Cup race was in 1969 and was only 300 laps (300 miles). This race also must have been ‘boring’ with only 4 cautions and only ONE car finishing on the lead lap. (The 2nd place car finished 6 laps down)
2) Two years later in 1971 the race went from 300 laps (300 miles) to 500 laps (500 miles) and went caution free. Once again, only one car finishing on the lead lap.
3) Dover changed the racing surface from Asphalt to Concrete in 1995 from 1969 to 1994 the average number of cars finishing on the lead lap was less the 3 cars per race.
4) From 1995 to present with the Concrete surface the average number of cars finishing on the lead lap is just a little over 9 cars per race.
5) In all of the Dover races, the average cars finishing on the lead lap are just over 5 cars per race.

So maybe, just maybe the problem is not the COT or Goodyear, but the nature of the track itself. Would a softer tire make for a more ‘racier’ car? Probably, but are you willing to trade that for more tire failures? One has to just flashback a few years ago when Goodyear under Nascar’s blessing went to softer tires, and the teams whined after each failure. Then this issue is compounded by the fact that Dover races have a history of long green flag runs, thus making tire wear an even more of a priority.

Later in the thread however, Spotterman shifts gears and give an opinion on South Carolina Football. He expresses his displeasure over the loss to LSU (maybe the best team in the country right now though) with this comment:

“I can honestly say we were out-coached, in my opinion. Turnovers by the players definitely hurt us but that has to be the worst game Spurrier has ever coached since he came to South Carolina. He pulled the starting QB, didn't play the back that was so dominant on the first scoring drive and was asleep on the FG attempt, which with the fake led to a touchdown.”

Every one of these statements/opinions are fair and even justified. But then ironically Spotterman feels some need to quantify his statement with this:

“I am not bashing a team or coach I support just stating my displeasures on that particular game. There's always next week and in the end... Who am I to be a Monday morning quarterback? I'm no one which is why I'll remain a fan and let the folks that know how to make NCAA football exciting do their jobs. We could all rant and rave when our teams don't do well but if you haven't walked in their shoes you need to lace your shoes up and zip it. I'm lacing and zipping as I type... You either support a team or you don't.”

The irony is that for some reason his opinion about the COT and Goodyear is justified and ‘okay’, yet on the other hand his displeasures of the Gamecock effort need some back peddling as in is own words, he is ‘just a fan’ and that he should ‘and let the folks that know how to make NCAA football exciting do their jobs’. For some reason, this doesn’t apply to Nascar, and thus the irony. You either support Nascar or you don’t…right?

But Spotterman is not alone as this is very common among Nascar fans. (Myself included) While I don’t agree with his opinion of ‘fixing’ the COT, his opinion is noted. And he is probably dead on about the Gamecocks and their head coach, as in the coming games and years as they will experience much success.


and oh yea….BOOMER SOONER!!!!!