Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Thoughts on UK-U of L, NCAA football, and New Orleans.

This week’s column is going to be a grab bag of topics that have been rattling around in the old skull this week. I thought I would rant and perhaps rave. Let’s hunt.

What a game.

The Louisville Cardinals embarked on what many have said will be a national championship campaign, this past Sunday against the hopelessly hapless UK Wildcats. Going into this game I figured on the Wildcats getting beat by around 40 points. Everyone in the Kentucky sporting world, including me, gave UK no chance in this game.

The Cards had all the talent and they were being talked up very big on the national level. Maybe the Cards started reading their own headlines and lost focus. Maybe the Cards just aren’t as good as everyone thinks they are. Whatever the case, Louisville let the Wildcats hang around after effectively putting them away in the second half.

The Wildcats fought back to within 7 points of U of L before literally fumbling away their opportunity. The Cardinals held on for the win, but you know they were sweating bullets when UK was on that exciting final drive.

What does this mean for each team? I hope it means that UK will be a little more competitive this year and possibly win some games. I have for many years been resigned to the fact that there is no reason to pay that much attention to Wildcat football, but you always like to have a competitive team and hopefully UK will stun a few teams in the SEC.

The Louisville Cardinals have the schedule and they are in a BCS league and if they get a little luck they could find themselves in a championship game. I thought U of L had a huge amount of talent and they looked impressive at times but I wonder what happened to them later in the game. Did they just let up? Did UK figure something out to stop them? Are they as good as advertised? Or do you throw this game out because it is a rivalry game? I am not sure and I am not sure Louisville is sure right now.

How will we know?

Speaking of the NCAA championship game, how are we to be sure that who wins that game is the true champion? The NCAA has now involved another poll to take the place of the AP which, smartly, wanted nothing to do with this travishamockery that is the BCS and the BCS system remains the worst way to crown a champion in sports.

I always thought the NCAA was about money. I don’t understand how the NCAA doesn’t realize they will make boatloads of money if they had an eight team tournament. Heck, they could make a killing with a four team tournament. Most bowl games, except the one your team plays in and the championship game, are not worth watching in the first place. The TV contract alone would bring millions upon millions of dollars into the NCAA coffers.

The NCAA bemoans the fact that all their kids will miss classes, as if the NCAA cares about how smart their players are. The basketball players miss class in March and the NCAA is not complaining about that. The NCAA complains they will have to do away with the bowls and their traditions. They have pretty much done that already with the current BCS format.

Does anyone believe the the Poulan Weedwacker Bowl is steeped in great tradition? A straight up tournament will not ruin something that isn't rue in the first place. Just take the big bowl games and let them be a round of the tournament and every year you can rotate a different bowl game into the championship game. Keep all the smaller bowl games as a reward for those who are not in the championship mix. Everyone wins.

Hopefully we will have three or four teams with an undefeated record at the end of the season. I am not sure this will do anything other than make the NCAA look like a merry band of morons, but they looked like that for years. Maybe a change will come soon. I know they would get me on board, I am a sucker for March Madness no matter which two teams are playing. Couldn’t college football benefit from Holiday Hysteria?

The Saints go marching out.

The last thing I wanted to talk about was the situation in New Orleans and all along the Gulf Coast. After watching non stop hurricane coverage I still cannot imagine what those people are going through. It must be so hard to lose everything and to not know what you can do to get back to the life you had.

I do know this isn’t the time to be worrying about the New Orleans Saints and what is going to become of them. If you listen to sports talk radio, this is a topic that is brought up every hour or so. The Saints may have to wait two years before being able to play another home game. I think that most of the people of New Orleans have much more to worry about than if the Saints are going to stay in New Orleans in the future. Most are wondering if anything will be able to stay in New Orleans in the future.

Let’s let the NFL take care of that situation and instead of wondering what will happen to a silly football team, let’s try to do all we can to help those in need.

Those are a few thoughts floating around in my head this week. Maybe next week I can form one cohesive thought to dazzle you with. Until next time.

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