Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Smorgasbord 12-23

  • After pulling out a big win in Minnesota, the Redskins have their fate in their hands when they host the Dallas Cowgirls next week in Landover. The past two weeks the Skins have faced teams that simply needed to win a game at home to lockup a playoff spot. Now the Redskins are that team playing at home that needs just one win to lockup a playoff spot. Throw in the fact that the Cowgirls have "nothing to play for" (save of course a knocking their arch rivals out of the playoffs on their own home field) and I can't think of a better recipe for a letdown. However I do want to say that despite the Redskins winning the game, the NFL should STILL release the indisputable video evidence that overturned Mike Sellers' touchdown run in the first quarter. NBC certainly did not provide indisputable video evidence and we saw last year in more than one college football game that instant replay can get the call horribly wrong. By my count, that reversal cost the Redskins 6 points because they lost a touchdown and an extra point. While that call put them into position for the safety, they later attempted and failed a 2 point conversion that they would have never attempted had they not scored the safety.
  • Want to know why a school like Maryland will never be able to truly compete for a National Championship in Football while a school like F$U is almost always considered for the title chase? Last spring Maryland quarterback Josh Portis panicked when hit with a Pop Quiz in a class that he was unprepared for. He was caught cheating on the quiz and ended up being suspended for the entire season. Portis was competing with Jordan Steffy for the starting QB job and his suspension not only cost him a year of eligibility, it also left the Terps thin at the QB position and led to the elevation of Chris Turner, who is only a sophomore, after Steffy got injured at Rutgers. However at F$U at least 20 players are being suspended for four games for their involvement in a cheating scandal. One of those games will be F$U's upcoming bowl game and the other three games will be next season, likely early in the season during the cupcake portion of the schedule. While this is better than making the players clean up Doak Campbell Stadium after home games, the disparity in punishment between schools in the same conference should be a cause for concern. Portis was forced to miss an entire season (which has ended up being 13 games) while most F$U players will miss less than a quarter of that. Portis acted alone in his cheating yet the F$U scandal involves athletes in other sports and athletic department employees. So the question begs, where is the NCAA on this? I remember a number of years ago now when a Maryland coach gave a recruit $$$$$ to buy an X-Box for Christmas. The coach was fired, the recruit was let go (despite his brother being on the team), and Maryland was slapped with a department-wide probation by the NCAA for self-reporting the violation. Who wants to bet that F$U (a football cash cow for the NCAA) will get less than a slap on the wrist? I'm not saying that F$U has the right idea when it comes to dealing with cheating; I think Maryland did the right thing with Portis, but the double-standards have to stop if the NCAA wants to have any kind of credibility.
  • I'd like to send get well (but not too) soon wishes to Dookie Vitale who recently had vocal cord surgery and hopes to return to the air in early February. It shouldn't be a surprise that Vitale needed that kind of surgery but what is a surprise is that the surgery didn't take place at Dook. With any luck this will get Vitale to scale back his shtick which has become more and more grating as the years have worn on. Non-ACC fans have long grown tired of him and even ACC fans are getting fed up with him. Just who the World Wide Leader in Schlock will find to pair up with Mike Patrick for their Dook worshiping...er...broadcasts remains to be seen but at least for the time being, the quality will slightly improve.
  • Sticking with the College theme, Rich Rodriquez is claiming shenanigans on West-By-God-Virginia as the excuse to why he left to take the Michigan job nobody else wanted. If this is true, then not only is West-By-God-Virginia going to have difficult time luring a prime head coach to Morgantown, but they'll never "get over the hump" as well. The school already admits convicted felons into the program but if they won't pony up (or at least accept from deep pocketed boosters) small amounts of $$$$$ to keep a native son and alum, what makes anybody think they'd do it for somebody else? As for Rodriquez himself, I can't say I was very impressed with the "National Championship contender" he brought to College Park back in September. I wasn't all surprised to seem them tank, choke, bomb, whatever you want to call it to Pitt at the end of the season. What made it all the more satisfying and HIGH-larious was that the officials in the game were outrageously biased in West-By-God-Virginia's favor because a win for West-By-God-Virginia would have automatically sent them to the BCS Championship. But the only reason why West-By-God-Virginia was ever considered a National Championship contender is because of Big Least Crybaby...er...Commissioner who has relentlessly lobbied for his pathetic football conference since the ACC expanded by taking Miami, Virginia Tech, and then Boston College out of the Big Least. How else do you explain jokes like West-By-God-Virginia, Rutgers, and a directional school, South Florida, entering the discussion for the National Title while the ACC still can't get a second at-large bid into the BCS lettalone into the National Title picture? However, now at Michigan, we'll find out very soon just how good Rodriquez really is. Something tells me, he won't be lasting too long up there playing with the real big boys.
  • There's really nothing to say about the Maryland Men's Basketball team other than we're seeing the end of the Gary Williams era right now. After losing to American 67-59, I'm at a loss to think of what Gary can do to salvage not only this season, but his job. Despite guiding the program through the sanctions from the Bob Wade disaster...er...era, going to two Final Fours, winning an ACC Tournament Championship, one outright Regular Season Championship, and a couple of Regular Season Co-Championships; the "what have you done for me lately" crowd will sink him at the end of this season. The Maryland fan base has outrageously high standards as I remember hearing fans rip Gary and call for his head after a loss to Arizona early on in the 2001-2002 (which was the year Gary won the National Title BTW after making an appearance in the Final Four) that dropped our record to 1-1. Hades, I remember a fan calling for Ralph Friedgen's head at a Football Boosters Breakfast just one year after Fridge won the ACC title. Fridge has bought himself a little more time by re-hiring James Franklin to the staff to take the Offensive Coordinator's job from Fridge. Franklin had previously coached the Wide Receivers and was the recruiting coordinator at Maryland under Fridge.
  • Finally this week, the Caps return the day after Christmas to play three games in four night in three different cities. The Caps will host Tampa Bay on Wednesday night before heading to Pittsburgh to face Canadian Diving Team Captain, Secondary Assist Cindy Crosby and the rest of the Penguin Scum on Thursday night. The Caps head up to Ottawa on Saturday night to visit the Senators on Hockey Night In Canada. The Tampa and Ottawa games are at 7, the Penguin Scum game starts at 7:30 pm. The Terp Men will try to get back on track by hosting Delaware on Friday now at 6 pm. That game's start time was moved up because the football team will play Oregon State on Friday night at 8:30 pm Eastern Time in the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco on ESPN. The Terp women will host the Terrapin Classic Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with Richmond and UMBC joining them in the tournament at the Cable Box. The Redskins will host Dallas on Sunday in what is now a 4:15 pm kickoff on Fox.
  • As always folks, please send all comments, questions, suggestions, corrections, criticisms, and Christmas Carols to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com.

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