Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Thoughts (and they're not all happy!)

First, Happy New Year to all.  It's been FAR too long since I was here last, and I'm resolving to post more often.  I'd get into everything else that tugs at my time, but what's the point?  We're all busy.  That said, time to take a quick look at what we'll be discussing on this week's shows:

1) The Gamecocks lost another bowl game under Steve Spurrier.  Good news and bad news here.  The good: Carolina's been bowl eligible each season under the HBC and just completed its seventh consecutive season of .500 or better football.  That's a big deal here.  The bad: they're 1-4 in bowl games under Spurrier and arguably haven't played great in any of them.

While the Chick-Fil-A Bowl at least featured a Gamecocks squad that fought through a rough first half to make it a more compelling contest, the bottom line is that the player (and position) most associated with Spurrier - QB Stephen Garcia - had another poor performance.  Why?  Spurrier said in postgame comments that Stephen would have to answer that.  Garcia's response?  He said he wouldn't change his approach at all, he simply was off just a bit.

Fans don't want to hear that...again.

2) Maryland hires Randy Edsall to replace Ralph Friedgen.  Solid hire.  Proven winner.  As exciting as dry toast.  Edsall would be great at tons of schools, but supposedly part of the problem at UM was a waning fan base even during a solid eight-win regular season.  The DC/Baltimore metro area is a professional sports market.  It's major college sports focus is on the basketball squads at Maryland and Georgetown.  College football?  Call them when you're undefeated.

If you're competing for football attention, overcoming the popularity of the Redskins and Ravens is a tall order.  Edsall will make real Terp fans feel fine, but he is not the type of personality to make local area NFL fans take notice.  A big name can sometimes make a difference, and, in my opinion Maryland didn't go big enough.

3) NFL owners are in a firing mood.  As I'm writing this, Eric Mangini has been fired in Cleveland, Marvin Lewis - he of the ten game losing streak - is making demands on the Brown family in Cincy, Tony Sparano is on edge in Miami and even Tom Coughlin of the 10-6 (but missed the playoffs) Giants could be unemployed by week's end.  Add that to what we already know and nearly half the league will be looking for new on-field leaders this offseason.  Wow.  And we thought players were going to have it rough because of the impending labor deal deadline.

That's just a little of what's on tap.  There's a lot of other college football news to get to, including assistant coaching moves at Clemson, Florida and other schools.  2011 is beginning with plenty to discuss.

Again, a very Happy New Year to all.  Thanks for being part of the show, whether it's on air, here, Twitter or Facebook.  We appreciate it.

Thanks as well from my family to all who sent their holiday greetings our way, it truly means a lot.

2010 was a great year on many levels.  Here's hoping 2011 will be even better.

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