Category Archives: WAC

Hawai’i to lay off 2,000 running backs, open new wide receiver plant in China

HONOLULU – The state of Hawai’i announced plans Wednesday to lay off 2,000 running backs over the next four years as part of a larger push to increase third down efficiency and reduce roster waste. Officials also discussed the state’s new wide receiver plant which is scheduled to open in China’s Zhejiang province in the first quarter of 2010.

Hawai’i receivers were named the 2006 Passing Trend Best Sport Utility Model.

“This is a time of transition, and some tough decisions had to be made,” University of Hawai’i head coach June Jones said of the lay offs. Jones is the acting deputy of the state’s controversial “revitalization” program, designed in large part to boost the Aloha State’s competitive edge in an industry marked by rapid technological and organizational changes over the past several decades.

“The Japanese and the [Texas Tech] Red Raiders have been among the industry leaders for some time now. To move forward in any way we had to acknowledge this reality. Today we move forward. The state of Hawai’i will not rest until we are the undisputed passing game leaders,” said Jones.

Jones stressed that the new direction of the state’s air industry would be seen on all levels, from the conversion of Hawai’i’s high school tailbacks into linebackers, safeties or tight ends, to the mandatory arm amputations of the University of Hawai’i’s current running back squad, to the newly proposed “only fades, posts and post-corners allowed” rule the state plans to push through for the 2007 NFL Pro Bowl, traditionally played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

“We’re holding nothing back,” Jones declared in front of the media and a gathering of some 350 shareholders.

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Beat the Vandals! And apathy! And ED!

College football fans enjoy repetition. We know where we stand with repetition: wherever it was we were standing ten minutes ago. USC fans enjoy several things on repeat: the V, Conquest, the 2005 Orange Bowl, recruiting, and shouting/typing “Beat the (insert opposing mascot here)!!!” as loud as possible and as much as possible. Except in this case we are all stuck listening to/reading “Beat the Vandals!” during the entirety of the off-season. The Idaho Vandals.

I just can’t get up for Idaho. Sorry, spud state. This is pretty much how I feel:

Internal monologue: You wooed me into the schedule using a combination of close friends, a lack of other options and a big whopping whiskey straight, but now that we’re in bed together the machinery is not working. My lack of college football Out Of Conference (OOC) enthusiasm for this encounter translates into a serious priapic void, and you, Idaho… well, I just hope you have a battery powered backup. Maybe you shouldn’t have bought me that whiskey. Skank.

External dialogue, sans the di-: Sorry. Seriously, this never happens. I am so sorry. Maybe if you… just… here, let me help. No, no. Kinda move… yeah…

Shit. This just isn’t going to happen. Sorry. It’s just a bunch of different things going on right now, you know? I’ve had a rough time what with three losses in three years, losing the BCS title game and then getting knocked out of the picture a year later. I’m in a weird place right now. It’s not you, it’s me. Idaho. Look at me. I’m not lying to you or anything. It’s all me.

Yeah, I know. I definitely thought we had something going.

Speaking of connections, your friend back at the bar. Moscow? No, not Moscow. Something with an “o” though. Boise! Boise. I had a great conversation back there. We must’ve talked for almost an hour. Maybe you could put in a good word for me with Boise State? I don’t wanna sound like a total douchebag, but I think there was a connection. Anyway, how do you know Boise?

Really? That little acting studio on Lankershim? Yeah, I totally get coffee by there all the time. Weird. I’m surprised I haven’t seen Boise State there before. And you too, of course. Have you ever had the bagels from the corner? Oh, totally. They’re like crack. I’m sure you and Boise must’ve totally just gone to town on them during Saturday morning hangovers.

Huh. No hangovers. Must be nice. Boise must be a puke and rally-er, then.

So you’ll put in a good word for me? Really? You are so sweet. Thanks, Idaho. Now, listen, I’ve got this thing tomorrow. Interview. It’s an interview at 9, 8:30 in the morning. It’s a big one, the third call back, and I am useless without a good night’s sleep. So if you want me to like call a cab or something I would totally be happy to do it. Not that you need to leave now or anything, but…

Really? You sure you’re okay to drive? OK, cool. Hey, it was great seeing you. Good luck with the whole making a bowl game thing. Actually, speaking of that… hold on, I know I have that number… here… the MPC Computers Bowl. And the New Mexico Bowl. That’s in New Mexico. They’re good people, and I think you would get along with them real well.

Oh. Hah. Don’t forget your coat. And I seriously appreciate you returning Coach Holt and my Children of Men screener. Drive safe! Yeah, you too! Night!

At this point I’d take pretty much anything over Idaho. Hawai’i has been discussed before, and after Boise State’s incredible run at box office schmaltz I am sweet on the Broncos, too. In fact, the WAC is populated by a number of intriguing schools: the spittoon led Fresno State Bulldogs, Dick Tomey’s Fightin’ Lazarii aka San Jose State, Nevada of the Nevada Pistol formation, etc. But Idaho? I am less than tumescent for Idaho.

Beat the Vandals? Beat ED first, and then maybe the Vandals.

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SOS: Save Our Shitty-Home-Opener

That SOS can also stand for Strength of Schedule which, under Pete Carroll, has maintained a fairly steady balance between solid (2004) to BCS Death March (2002). SOS is no longer an official part of the BCS formula but it still figures into several of the computer components, and if you don’t have it in a close year it’ll force you to accept the world’s worst consolation prize. In Carroll’s six years the Trojans have played the following out of conference (OOC) games, with season end rankings listed:

2001
San Jose State, unranked
Kansas State, unranked
at Notre Dame, unranked
Utah (Las Vegas Bowl), unranked

2002
Auburn, 14th
at Colorado, 20th, Big XII North Division Champions
at Kansas State, 7th
Notre Dame, 17th
Iowa (Orange Bowl), 8th, Big Ten C0-Champions

2003
at Auburn, unranked
BYU, unranked
Hawai’i, unranked
at Notre Dame, unranked
Michigan (Rose Bowl), 6th, Big Ten Champions

2004
Virginia Tech (BCA Classic at FedEx Field, Maryland), 10th, ACC Champions
Colorado State, unranked
at BYU, unranked
Notre Dame, unranked
Oklahoma (Orange Bowl), 3rd, Big XII Champions

2005
at Hawai’i, unranked
Arkansas, unranked
at Notre Dame, 9th
Fresno State, unranked
Texas (Rose Bowl), 1st, BCS Champions

2006
at Arkansas, 15th, SEC West Division Champions
Nebraska, unranked, Big XII North Division Champions
Notre Dame, 17th
Michigan (Rose Bowl), 8th

If you’re counting, that’s a total of 7 non-BCS teams and 15 BCS teams scheduled in six years, with a 5-1 ratio of BCS-to-non-BCS in bowl games. That’s also 12 home games, 9 away games and one game at a neutral site (2004’s BCA Classic in Maryland). In 2006 the NCAA officially moved to a 12 game regular season; the Pac-10 went from an 8 game schedule to a true round robin with each team playing all nine conference opponents.

And now:

2007
Idaho
at Nebraska
at Notre Dame

Nebraska should be ranked in the twenties with the loss of Zach Taylor offset by former ASU quarterback Sam Keller. Notre Dame should be unranked. And Idaho? Idaho is a holdover from the period when Nick Holt, former linebackers coach and current defensive coordinator for USC, was the Vandals’ head coach. Idaho is filler material. Idaho is Idaho.

And now:

ESPN is brokering an arrangement in which the [Hawai’i] Warriors might open the season Sept. 1 at Southern California. In order for that to occur, USC would have to get out of its scheduled game against Idaho that day.

It’s from The Honolulu Advertiser, and it’s a blurb at the end of an article about a game between Washington and Hawai’i. As in the Hawai’i team featuring Brennan Colt. As in the guy who declared for the draft on the last day possible, then waited 72 hours to undeclare at the last possible minute. As in the guy who threw for 326 touchdowns in one season, 208 of those against Arizona State in the Hawai’i Bowl. As in the guy who’ll be an early season Heisman dark horse behind Darren McFadden, Steve Slaton, Henne/Hart, Brian Brohm, Desean Jackson and (YES) John David Booty.

I say early season Heisman candidate because I am confident that Hawai’i would lose at the Coliseum on Sept. 1 if the game should happen, derailing Colt’s no doubt cute campaign as the kid-who-could-(throw-for-a-bajillion-TDs-against-you). The Warriors return pretty much all of the wide receivers who helped Colt become Division I-A’s single season touchdown leader (58 TDs in 14 games), and the same applies to the offensive line. (Not really: they lose two starters, but as a program heavily stocked in Pacific-Islanders I think we can rightly assume the Warriors will find a few large men to replace the departed.) Offensively, the biggest loss in my opinion is 5’9″ 240 lbs. “wide receiver” Nate Ilaoa, who looked like a svelte bowling ball every time he had the rock. I was a big fan of Ilaoa and his amusing status as a WR.

I am confident USC would beat Hawai’i because the Warriors were 93rd in total defense last season, 105th in pass defense. I’m not trying to pull those numbers out of my ass just to support my homerism. Hawai’i’s schedule was a big meh: it featured such offensive heavyweights as Alabama (65th in total offense), UNLV (84th), Utah State (114th) and, of course, Idaho (94th). It also featured the curious (New Mexico St. at 2nd in the nation in passing with 399 yards/game), the surprising (San Jose St. with 175 rushing yards a game, good for 20th in the nation and a good toss up as to why the Spartans came closer than any other team to beating Boise State) and the miraculous (the aforementioned Broncos of the Smurf Turf).

Numbers are nice, but I’ve seen Hawai’i play twice. In person. They’re losing their best defensive player (safety Leonard Peters, he of Troy Polamalu-ish hair style) and they’re notoriously undisciplined on the defensive side of the ball. In 2005 they held the ball pretty much the entire first quarter against USC and the Trojans scored 63 anyway. Yes, that was with Bush and Leinart and White and Jarrett. But with 2007’s defense I’ll take my chances against any one-dimensional team.

I may be exaggerating my confidence in USC beating Hawai’i. When you can throw for five touchdowns in one half like Colt did to the Sun Devils you should believe you’ll win any game. And the Warriors would be a wee bit excited to play USC, whom they’ve never beaten in six tries, in the Coliseum in front of a national audience – and since ESPN is pushing for it, it’ll be a national audience. Throw in the fact that the Warriors really would have a legit shot of being the first team in six years to beat USC at home and you’ll have a formula for good football watching. For the love of all that is good in this world please don’t make me watch Southern California-Idaho. Please.

And for any (hypothetical) Vandal fans, I’m not mocking you. I’m just stating the truth. This would be mocking you.

However, despite my taking the time to write the above the chances of this deal happening appear to be somewhat slim. Hawai’i-USC has been in the works for a long time now. Both Idaho and USC have been trying to get out of their “game” ever since Holt left Moscow to coach in Los Angeles, but the Trojans have had a hard time convincing teams to give them a single home game. The schedule is full until at least the next decade with Syracuse being added to the 2008 and 2010 seasons, thanks to former Trojan and current Orangemen athletic director Daryl Gross. (Don’t go by the official schedules at the USC athletic website; they haven’t been updated because the deal is a handshake one so far. I’d still say it’s a 90% chancer.) The Trojans don’t have much room to negotiate a true home-and-home and are looking for a one year thing at the Coliseum to balance out six games on the road in 2007. Under NCAA rules Hawai’i can schedule up to five non-conference games a season. The only thing I’ve found is a brief blurb here:

Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier said they [remaining non-conference games] will be Division I, and is leaning toward home games after Brennan announced Wednesday he will return for his senior season rather than go pro.

C’mon! First rule of athletic directors at mid-majors hoping to push a Heisman candidate: clever is nice, schedule is nicer. Sure, you can try putting together a DVD and sending free copies to all the voters. You could even erect a 100-ft. billboard in downtown New York – but then you’d be Joey Harrington, and no one wants that. Not even Joey Harrington. Heisman voters are stupid, archaic beings who belong to a silly group that hands out an overrated trophy… but they also pay attention to the schedule a candidate plays. If Frazier is worried Colt’s campaign needs a boost by adding home games, he’d do better by the former Mater Dei High quarterback if he asked himself what kind of boost Colt would get by beating the pre-season top ranked Trojans in Los Angeles. In a race featuring at least three or four candidates with better chances than him, a good game against USC is Colt’s best hope for a ticket to New York. Will any of that change what appears to be a foregone slaughter of (yawn) Idaho in the Coliseum? Probably not. Am I gonna get anything out of a couple thousand words advocating USC putting a Heisman candidate on the schedule in a season in which the Trojans have a good shot at the national championship? Probably not.

Boo.

This doesn’t really belong at the end of the post, but 2004 Auburn Tigers? I liked you. I really did. Still: HA-ha.

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Hey Jenny Slater knows who’s who when the revolution comes

Doug’s been keeping tabs, and with five immaculately devastaing posts he says to the college football world: “You know who you are.” You may not agree with the entirety of his list of the 50 Most Loathsome People in College Football (f’rinstance, Colin Cowherd ought to be classified as more loathsome than #35, and I don’t really care about the inclusion of the nearly autistic Georgia “fanatic” BuLLdawg at #39) (also, I just linked to the top ten so click around a bit for the rest), but you have to admire the thoroughness of this compilation. It feels right, mainly because while reading it you threw up a little bit. In your mouth.

Acid… reflux… incapacitating us…

I’m a fan of Doug. He writes with the proper mixture of frustration, outrage, glee, malice, what-the-fuck-was-that, joy and utter confusion that is the birth right of every college football fan. (See #8 on his list.) As I mentioned already, Doug is one of those up for a 2006 College Football Blogger Award. Three, actually.

Did I say I’m a fan of Doug? Doug can go to Hell, that primadonna.

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Erickson excited about new job, Monster.com membership

TEMPE, AZ – Recently hired Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson is excited about his new job, and he isn’t afraid to show it.

“We have a first class football environment here at ASU,” Erickson gushed during a Thursday press conference.

“Great facilities, a passionate fanbase, membership in a first rate athletic conference [Pacific-10] and a commitment to excellence from the administration all the way down to the student trainers. I couldn’t be in a better position.”

Erickson is also excited about his new account with Monster.com, the online resume and employment database. Erickson’s 20 year old nephew, Mike, signed him up for the service last week.

“Monster.com will allow me to find a better position,” Erickson enthused.

Erickson, above, was “overwhelmed” with Monster.com’s features, particularly the resume builder

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Movie critics nationwide blast Boise State for unbelievable ending

Glendale, Arizona – Winter audiences had high hopes for Monday night’s $35 million Fiesta Bowl production, and they weren’t disappointed: high scoring drama, exotic costumes, an underdog story and a miracle finish.

Movie critics around the country, though, weren’t so pleased.

“Who in their right mind would swallow this tripe?” Chicago Sun-Times film reviewer Roger Ebert asked.

“The media tries to push the same sports formula at us again and again: a scrappy team of no names ends the perfect season with the perfect come from behind win on a perfectly executed trick play. I understand that the American public maybe isn’t the most sophisticated audience out there, but three trick plays? My patience has been exhausted. Something needs to be done about this industry before our collective good will runs out. Two thumbs way down.”

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