Basketball, BCS, Brian Shaw, Florida Gators (Football), Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Mike Brown, NBA, Phil Jackson, Sports, Sports Commentary, Uncategorized, Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp

I Wanna Be That Guy But Not The Guy Who Succeeds The Guy


I Wanna Be That Guy But Not The Guy Who Succeeds The Guy

Well the Phil Jackson era is now said to be over in Los Angeles with the Lakers having said good bye to their much beloved coach for the second time over that coach’s illustrious career . And under the auspices of the team’s owner Jerry Buss , senior executives EVP Jim Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak have hired former Cleveland Cavaliers’ coach Mike Brown . Surprising as it may seem I felt that the organization would stayed in-house and hired one of Jackson’s assistants either Jim Cleamons or Brian Shaw , with the latter in most circles believed to be have been the heir apparent to Phil Jackson. But as the saying goes …… ‘ out with the old and in with the new ‘ . As this clearly seems to have the mantra best felt that would serve the Lakers’ hierarchy and the team as they now move forward.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Now there’s no denying that Brown has some big shoes to Phil when one considers Phil Jackson’s legacy within the city and with the Los Angeles Lakers . Five NBA titles over the course of his tenure with the organization and seven appearances in the NBA Finals . Not bad at all but it’s going to be one hell of an act to follow for an experienced coach such as Mike Brown. From my own perspective I think that the hire is a good one although as I alluded to earlier I felt that Brian Shaw would be Phil Jackson’s successor. I’ve got to wonder whether or not Kobe Bryant perhaps the team’s most respected player had any say as to the organization’s next hire might have been . The player himself , hasn’t yet issued a formal statement as to Jackson’s successor but Mike Brown , himself , has made it clear that this is still Bryant’s team . And if anything the newly installed coach will have to prove his worth to the player , who may well have felt somewhat slighted that his former teammate wasn’t hired . That being said , I do believe that there’s room for two to co-exist and form a successful partnership . As to whether or not it is as successful as the one that was attained and sustained between Bryant Phil Jackson remains to be seen. Certainly if Mike Brown is able to continue the level of success achieved by Phil Jackson by winning at least a pair of titles , his hiring will undoubtedly be viewed as being an initial and instant success.

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There is no denying that the fallout in light of the demise of the Lakers in the postseason with their series loss (4-0) to the Dallas Mavericks was if anything a surprising one. One might be even more inexplicable was the lackluster effort of the team by anyone not with the last name of Bryant . If you could tell me that the likes of Pau Gasol , Lamar Odom , Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum would be an absolute non-factor in the series I would be laughing at you ! But low and behold this was the type of effort where the Los Angeles Lakers were complacent , they looked old and simply didn’t give a damn ! OK you had the atypical postgame interviews from the players but in reality I believe that the players were not only dumb founded but they were outplayed in absolutely every facet of the game ! Mike Brown has a tough off season ahead of him as he and Mitch Kupchak will have to assess the needs of this team and also look to get rid of the dead weight on this roster . I certainly do believe that this might be the last time that we will see Derek Fisher in a Lakers’ uniform ! And certainly the Artest experiment has to viewed as a ‘ dud’ after his postseason travails this year. Steve Blake cannot be considered a starting point guard in this league , at best he’s simply an adequate backup. As for the so called role players on this roster well let’s just say that they knew their role in during this series against the Mavericks . They were bitch slapped and showed their immaturity during the series , enough said I think !

Given the expectations of the fans in Los Angeles the scrutiny with which Brown will be placed under and his every moved analyzed and judged . I just hope that he has the mindset and temperament to last the length of his contract . I’d hate to see him flame out much as in the same way that Rudy Tomjanovich did in his shortened tenure with the Lakers ! Egos asides , anyone who undertakes such a task in coaching an organization such as the Los Angeles Lakers with all of the brouhaha , then having to deal with the Hollywood A list celebrities , fans seated at the Staples Center and all that it brings , that type of pressure cooker atmosphere can’t be at all good for one’s psyche .

As I alluded to earlier I believe that the Lakers will have to look to bolster this roster be it through free agency or through the NBA Draft . From my own perspective these crop of players within the draft seem extremely short on real talent with one or two exceptions . The Lakers for their part do not have a draft pick in the first round of the upcoming draft having traded the rights to that pick (25th) to the New Jersey Nets . However, in the second round they will have multiple picks which ought to prove to be fortuitous for the organization if they make prudent choices .

Now don’t get me wrong I have the utmost respect for former Florida Gators’ coach Urban Meyer . But in all honesty his departure from the program the second time around left a great deal to be desired . Health issues or not, Meyer flip flopped as to whether or not he was departing in the same way that John Kerry and Mitt Romney would go about making political decision in order to seek out the public’s sympathy. What might be even more asinine was in light of his departure he still wanted to remain a part of the program’s decision making process even in the advent of his successor being named ! The AD of the school’s athletics program Jeremy Foley knew that he had to cast his net far and wide in order to seek out a high profiled and proven coach. The hiring of former Texas Longhorns’ assistant Will Mushchamp seems to have gone over well amongst the fans of the Gators and it has been met with a great deal of positive vibe from the state’s sports print , radio and television media that cover the football program .

A great deal is being asked of Will Muschamp in having to succeed a successful coach . Urban Meyer’s record with the Florida Gators simply speaks for itself , with two national titles , two SEC championship game titles and a number of All Americans , never mind the recruits to the NFL from one of the most respected programs in the SEC . In light of that one has to admit that last season was something of a disappointment for this program. Having finished the season 8-5 within the SEC Eastern Division a non BCS Bowl appearance in the Outback Bowl against Penn State was in reality all the team had to show for the year .

One of the main reasons I believe for the letdown last season with the Gators was the loss of Tim Tebow to the NFL and the mere fact that Meyer simply hadn’t adjusted or completely comprehend the magnitude of the loss would mean to the team overall. John Brantley , Tebow’s understudy along with Jordan Reed and Trey Burton may well have been viewed as suitable replacements but it was belied in the fact that their statistics and performances didn’t bear that out. However , in saying that I also felt that there was a great deal of complacency which the coach at the time would fail to admit . And with such teams within the SEC as Auburn , Alabama , South Carolina , Arkansas , LSU and Mississippi State all looking to show their dominance within a powerful conference you can well understand why it is that the Florida Gators have to be a formidable team in all aspects .

Muschamp along with his coaching staff will most certainly look to assess the roster looking for its strength and weaknesses. And certainly from a defensive standpoint I expect to see an improvement by this team . It will also be interesting to see how the juniors and seniors on the team perform this upcoming season . I’ve no doubt that we will see an improvement in the play of Chris Rainey , Jeffrey Demps , Moses Jenkins , Deonte Thompson , Jonathan Bostic and Dominique Easley . If these players can instill a sense of leadership and maturity then I firmly believe that the Gators can be seriously challengers within the SEC and quite possibly for a major BCS Bowl berth .

Now as many of you are aware Florida Gators fans are about as passionate as they come and in terms of bragging rights within the state especially when you have the likes of Florida State and the Miami Hurricanes no one when it comes fan worship wants to left on the outside looking in . College Football within the state in terms of its supports plays second fiddle only to the NFL with baseball (MLB) bringing up the rear . The passion for the game at the collegiate level is almost as bright as an incandescent light bulb. And speaking as an outside observer looking in I have seen heated debates between all three sets of fans . So much so, that I would never want to interject and make a case for any of the teams in question . Hence the reason I feel that there will be so much pressure placed on Will Muschamp to succeed and should he fail by the program’s own lofty then there’s no doubt in my mind that he will be ran out of town faster than a registered sex offender in a rural town. Does anyone remember how Meyer’s predecessor Ron Zook was treated not only by the Gator fans but also the print , radio and television media across the state ? He was persona non grata and a pariah within three years of accepting the position , solely because he was unable to win with any great consistency . The fact that he was one of hell of a recruiter simply didn’t seem to matter to the press or the fans at all as he relinquished of his duties as coach . It was unfortunate however that he had to succeed a coaching legend , Steve Spurrier . I know winning is meant to be everything but it also takes time for the coach to acclimatize himself with his players and the environment of that program but within collegiate athletics and in particular college football , winning means everything not only terms of the success it brings the numerous financial bounties and the notoriety for that sport.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support !

Alan aka tophatal ………….

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) EL SEGUNDO, CA – MAY 31: Mike Brown, (L) the new head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, shares a laugh with owner Jerry Buss (C) and Buss’ son Jesse Buss after Brown’s introductory news conference at the team’s training facility on May 31, 2011 in El Segundo, California. Brown replaces Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who retired at the end of this season. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images…..

(2) Jim Buss, (C) executive vice president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers, team owner Jerry Bus and player Matt Barnes listen to new coach Mike Brown’s speech during his introductory news conference at the team’s training facility on May 31, 2011 in El Segundo, California. Brown replaced Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who retired at the end of this season. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……

(3) Mike Brown, the new head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, speaks during his introductory news conference at the team’s training facility on May 31, 2011 in El Segundo, California. Brown replaces Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who retired at the end of this season. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images …..

(4) Phil Jackson, coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, leaves after his last official Lakers news conference at the team’s training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Mavericks four games to none. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……

(5) Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers leaves a news conference at the Lakers training facility on May 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California. The Lakers were swept out of their best of seven series with the Dallas Mavericks four games to none. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……

(6) Jackson (left) is seen here on the sidelines along with his former assistants Brian Shaw (center) and Jim Cleamons during an NBA game earlier this season . Courtesy of ESPN …..

(7) GAINESVILLE, FL – APRIL 9: Coach Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis of the Florida Gators direct play during the Orange and Blue spring football game April 9, 2011 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ……

(8) Running back Chris Rainey (3) of the Florida Gators runs upfield during the Orange and Blue spring football game April 9, 2011 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ……

(9) Quarterback John Brantley (12) of the Florida Gators runs upfield during the Orange and Blue spring football game April 9, 2011 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ……..

(10) Will Muschamp, center, the new head coach for the University of Florida’s football team and his wife Carol, right, are escorted to the media room by Florida’s athletic director Jeremy Foley, left, where he is to be introduced to the media at a news conference in Gainesville, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010 . Muschamp comes to Florida after being the coach-in-waiting at the University of Texas since Nov. 2008. AP Photo/Phil Sandlin ….

(11) Tim Tebow (left) is seen here with Urban Meyer celebrate the second of the duo’s two national BCS titles . AP Photo / Robert Phillips ….

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BCS, College Football ........, Sports

Who Wants To Be #1 ?


Who Wants To Be #1 ?

Much like the NFL __ College Football has become topsy turvy this season and we’re seeing the same thing happen in terms of the supposed top teams slipping up .And the very fact that over the past two weeks neither two teams that’ve sat atop of the rankings have actually been able to remain there longer than one week. Firstly it was the Alabama ( Crimson Tide) running into the buzz saw that was the South Carolina Gamecocks . If that wasn't enough of a surprise to see this Tide team completely exposed as something of a fraud and then consider what happened this past weekend with the Ohio State Buckeyes as they were simply man handled by the Wisconsin Badgers in their subsequent 31-18 loss. And with the first BCS rankings now having been announced it will be interesting to see what arises between now and the end of the regular season within college football.

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While it would be true to suggest that there are no truly dominant teams this season within college football I do believe what we’re now seeing is an ugly dilution of the talent pool and some rather inexplicable coaching faux-pas’ where blunders by coaches and their staff had led to some of the upsets we’ve seen with a number of highly ranked teams that were thought to be in with a chance of national championship aspirations. And as good as many of the teams are thought to be amongst the BCS rankings I’m of the belief that until the season pans out we’re still liable to see a number of these teams in question make a misstep or two over the coming weeks. Schedules being what they are there’s a tendency for not only complacency to set in but also the fact that injuries may or may not play a part in how far these teams will ultimately go. Furthermore while we can all debate a number of team’s aspirations and the mere fact that a mockery is made of their schedules it does beg the question how best to resolve a the situation where the likes of Boise State’s credentials comes into question. The team’s ___ schedule is one that is simply padded with some lesser lights viewed as sacrificial lambs and a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) schedule that one might view as being as competitive as trying to discern the IQ between Sarah Palin and Delaware Tea Party backed Republican Party senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell. Not much there from either if truth be known and the same can argument can be made for the competitiveness of WAC !

Given what we know and the fact that it’s now being alleged that much of the conjecture concerning the Boise’s schedule stems from the fact that the team doesn’t play in what is considered to be a top tiered conference nor do they tend to schedule what’s considered to be an elite program on their schedule. The SEC , Pac-10 , ACC , Big East , Big 10 , Big 12 are long considered to be the creme-de-la-creme of college football’s elite conferences and within those conferences and divisions there are a number of highly competitive programs. Boise State on the other hand, while now being looked at as a national contender by some analysts there’s a belief that until the Broncos’ schedule is competitive enough where they’re not only playing many more elite programs , we’re liable to simply view the Broncos as just another team that while amassing impressive stats they’ll fall short of what the mainstream fans and pundits desire to see from a championship contender.

I find it somewhat ironic that the Broncos’ state they’re not getting any respect from the BCS pollsters and the writers who cover the program. However it’s come to light that while overtures have been made by Nebraska and Ohio State to schedule Boise as part of their schedule it has since come to light that the Broncos refused those very same overtures requesting Boise play either the Cornhuskers or Buckeyes. The Broncos have supposedly demanded that they be paid in excess of $1million from each school merely to turn up and participate in those games. If that’s not enough to suggest how ludicrous it has become when as it concerns big time college football and the high stakes that are in play . Then clearly we now know that it comes down not only about what’s purportedly about the game itself but also how much money there is awash within the game today !.

From my own perspective while I’ve always maintained that there ought to be a playoff system installed at the end of the college season it’s clear to see that the conferences that make up the BCS has no interest at all in instituting such an approach as it would merely cut into the ‘tens of millions of dollars’ that are derived from the system that’s already in place for the five major season ending bowl games and the lesser tiered games that come into play.

It seems somewhat strange that even with the outcry for there to be changes to be made within the system what we have still creates a great deal of controversy but yet we’re told that this is the best that BCS community can offer the fans . Somehow that’s like being told that the cure for the common cold is nothing more than drinking some concoction made possible by a snake oil salesman.

And while I for one do believe that there are a number of teams with the aspirations to viewed as a national championship contender. The one thing I think that we might all foresee is the mess that the current system will create come season’s end. Computer algorithms and the preference of the pollsters may well play more of a part in deciding who plays for the national championship than anything one might derive of what has taken place on the field of play. It’s hard to think that we may well end up with at least one unbeaten team when it’s all said and done at the end of the regular season. Especially given the results that we’ve all witnessed thus far.

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By clicking on a frame you can see the picture in its original formatted size.

What if anything has been of a surprise to you in the college football season ? And do you as such have a preference as to which two teams you’d like to see play for the national championship ?

NB: Click on the following links provided to view pertinent information .

Football College Conference standings

BCS College Football Rankings ……

Week 7 College Football results

😦

Alan aka tophatal …………….. 🙂

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Eye candy courtesy of Smooth Magazine …… Simone

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Alabama, BCS, College Football ........, Sports

Herein Lies The Rub , The BCS Is …. ?


Herein Lies The Rub , The BCS Is …. ?

Someone really needs to let me know why I’m suppose to be enamored with the college football bowl games that we’re now being festooned with. It has become something of an oxymoron to think that these Bowl Games are in the best interests of competitive collegiate football. But that is what the BCS hierarchy would have us all believe. And who am I, to question their rationale ? Oh I know , I’m one of a growing number of detractors of the system ! But let’s put it this way, they’re hardly liable to listen to the fans of the game, much less anyone else.

Bill Hancock  , the recently installed  Executive  Director  of  Bowl College Series (BCS).  Hancock  will oversee  the  operations of the BCS but  is ultimately  answerable to the  six  major  conferences that  essentially make up  the  organization.  picture  appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo /  Rex Thompson .......
Bill Hancock , the recently installed Executive Director of Bowl College Series (BCS). Hancock will oversee the operations of the BCS but is ultimately answerable to the six major conferences that essentially make up the organization. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo / Rex Thompson .......

The six conferences that in large part makes up the BCS, are essentially the custodians of a financial behemoth who’d rather see the status quo remain as is. And why not, when one considers that the system rakes in , in excess of $ 6 billion a year. The SEC, Big 10, Big 12,ACC , PAC 10 and the Big East make the operations of KBR (Kellog Brown & Root) (a Halliburton subsidiary)and Blackwater LLC seem like positive bastions of morality and accountability. Less we forget also, the six conferences in question, as too the BCS, is registered essentially, as a charity as a way of circumventing having to pay federal taxes. And the way the BCS operates, offers absolutely no transparency whatsoever. Much like the two aforementioned government contractors. Who by last count were under investigation by federal government under the auspices of the US Justice Department, for numerous issues borne out of their operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Misappropriation of funds and several criminal charges brought against both entities.

Nick Saban (center) leads  out  his Alabama  team ('The Crimson Tide') prior  to the start  of  NCAA college football game.  Saban  as a coach will be seeking  his  second national  title , having  won  a national championship  with LSU.    picture appears courtesy  of getty images/  Rich  Costello ..................
Nick Saban (center) leads out his Alabama team ('The Crimson Tide') prior to the start of NCAA college football game. Saban as a coach will be seeking his second national title , having won a national championship with LSU. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Rich Costello ..................

Now it’s understandable that the system has its admirers as well its detractors. But from there your guess is as good as mind as to their very existence and what they represent and do. Does anyone really know ? But somehow here we are regaling over the virtues of this pseudo organization. They are about as trustworthy as La Cosa Nostra (Mafia). But then again what’s new ?

Courtesy of The Washington Post

BCS again proves its worthlessness

By John Feinstein

Let us begin today by turning to John Swofford, the commissioner of the ACC, a football conference that might — might — have one good football team. As it happens, this is Swofford’s year to be the spokesman (read: spinner) for the BCS because the six commissioners who run the so-called power conferences take two-year turns trying to defend their indefensible system.

After Sunday night’s BCS “selection show,” — which had all the suspense of the tallying of the electoral college — Swofford said this about the fact that undefeated Texas Christian and undefeated Boise State had been so graciously included in the BCS bowls — actually one BCS bowl, since they will play one another in the Fiesta Bowl.

“I think it certainly shows that there’s more access than before in terms of the BCS system,” Swofford said. “If you look back in recent years, there’s a consistency in that access that is evident and very healthy for college football.”

Gee, why does the BCS need to spend all that money on former White House flack Ari Fleischer when it has Swofford and his fellow commissioners out there to drop such words of wisdom on us?

To paraphrase another former White House press secretary, here’s what the commissioner meant to say: “Look, Congress pretty much forced us to let them [non-BCS schools] into our house, but you can be damn sure they’ll be using the back door.”

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In order to read John Feinstein’s article in its entirety just click on the link provided
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University of Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown (L) smiles as Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy (R) takes the golden hat off of the Texas Oklahoma Trophy at the conclusion of their NCAA college football game against the Oklahoma University Sooners in Dallas, Texas October 17, 2009. picture appears courtesy of  Reuters / Jessica Rinaldi ......
Texas coach, Mack Brown (left) and the team's quarterback, Colt McCoy (12) seen here at the end of a NCAA game . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Tim Sawyer ................

It’s now on to the Bowl Championship Series , a series of games set out to reflect the popularity of the collegiate football. But in no way does this determine or truly represent who eventually is the national champion in collegiate football, at the 1 A level. The national championship game will pit Alabama (13-0) of the South East Conference against Texas (13-0) of the Big 12 Conference. Alabama the newly installed number one team in the nation against the number three. Though these two teams are unbeaten , it was probably more out of serendipity than anything else that the BCS was in some way fortuitous with this final scenario. Whoop di-do , if that wasn’t a joke to begin with ! A ranking system that has a computer as part of the derivative in determining the actual ranking. Well there is voting , but that’s done by the coaches and writers who cover the sport. Did I miss something here ? Please let me know when China and the US begins to use computers as part of the democratic process , well with regard to them (computers) being able to vote. Can someone say I Robot ?

Well as much as I may well be looking forward to the big game itself, I’ll just say that I may well or may not watch. It’s not that I’m not an avowed a fan of collegiate football. But let’s just say that the game in terms of the BCS, is in dire need of restructuring . Unfortunately as it is all driven by commercialism and money. We ’ll just have to continue living with this monstrosity as determined by the game’s hierarchy and the tv broadcasters who over the years have emboldened the BCS to carry on with this outrage.

Now if you were under the impression that in any way shape or form, the BCS benefits the smaller conferences and schools within collegiate football. Then you’d be sadly mistaken, as theirs is the mantra ,…..’you’re on your own buddy’ ! And given the fact that it’s a rarity if the BCS actually recognizes the merits of a smaller conference and the contributions and competitiveness of a smaller school’s program. It is as if they’re not worthy of being part of the bigger overall picture as to the system and what it allegedly stands for. But you’d be hard pressed to find someone within the BCS not try and change things to the benefit of the smaller conferences and schools with national title ambitions. It’s essentially a ‘closed shop amongst the Big Boys’, unless you happen to gate crash the party. And even then, you’re still at a disadvantage in the ‘pecking order’ of things.

Click here…. to view the various series of Bowl Games that’ll take place leading up to the culmination of the national championship game Citi BCS National Championship game.