*Minnesota extended Jerry Kill’s contract last Sunday and included a sizable raise. I think this is a mistake. Coach Kill has been at Minnesota for 3 seasons, each of which the Gophers have improved and Coach Kill’s health has been a story. His records have been, 3-9, 6-7, and 8-5. That 8-5 record should have an asterisk beside it. Kill missed the better part of 6 games with a seizure condition. During that time Defensive Coordinator Tracy Claeys took over and the team really took shape. Coach Claeys did a marvelous job, leading them to wins over Nebraska, Penn State, Northwestern and Indiana. Its my opinion that Minnesota was better under the direction of Tracy Claeys than Jerry Kill. I’m not saying Coach Kill doesn’t deserve any credit, it is still his program. I simply think if you use 2013 as evidence that Minnesota Football is on the upswing perhaps the fact that their Head Coach missed half the games should be considered. Only time will tell if this is a good deal, but I’m highly skeptical.
*TCU QB Casey Pachall said, in an interview with the Fort Worth Star Telegram, that the Frogs had “zero leadership.” Are you freaking kidding me? As the starting QB isn’t he responsible for a good chunk of the leadership? You may remember Pachall was sent to rehab midway through the 2012 season, and then injured for most of 2013. Still, as the QB and one of the best players, doesn’t leadership fall on him? So when he says that TCU has “zero leadership” isn’t he saying that he is a shitty leader? Isn’t he also throwing Gary Patterson, the coach that has given him chance after chance, under the bus? Yes on all accounts. What a clown.
*I love the Big 10, I really do. The tradition is the best in College Football. That said the conference can be far too stodgy on a number of issues. The biggest of which is night games in November. The Big 10 has perhaps the best stadiums of any conference in the country. The Big House, Beaver Stadium, The Horseshoe, Memorial Stadium, Camp Randall, these are awesome iconic stadiums. Why not have night games at these palaces, in November? I realize the weather is less than ideal, but the benefits outweigh the negatives. I believe the same holds true for Friday night games. In certain situations, why not showcase the Big 10 brands on a national scene on a Friday night? I think the conference would really benefit from the exposure these Friday night games could provide. This issue is just another example of how the Big 10 is just stuck in its ways.
*Hold onto your pants folks, there is a new College Football poll for the 2014 season. The Football Writers Association of America in conjunction with the National Football Foundation will conduct the FWAA-NFF Grantland Rice Super 16. Who the hell cares? This is just another platform for an organization to get its name out there. With the BCS on the way out, we need to be getting rid of polls rather than creating them. Never the less, this fall some team will use this new poll as justification for their inclusion in the playoffs. That is the main reason for my annoyance. If you need polls to make your case for the playoffs, then your case is weak to begin with.
Weekly List- Top 5 Uniforms
I will definitely show my taste for the traditional and will draw the ire of some with this list. Remember folks, this is my top 5. Its just one mans opinion. I also took my Nebraska Cornhuskers out of the equation. Its simply too easy to put them number 1.
1)Penn State- Simplicity is golden. The Nittany Lions classic look will never go out of style.
2)Alabama- The darker red with the number on the helmet. Awesome
3)Michigan State-This comes with a caveat. In the last couple of years Sparty has tried to trick up its unis. Bad idea. Stick with the classic green and white.
4)UCLA-I dont like their colors separately, but together they are fantastic. That blue is unique and really sets UCLA apart.
5)Vanderbilt- The black and gold combination with the star with a V is timeless. I don’t like their gold alternates, but the home and away are both excellent.
A Couple of Notes From Around the Rest of the Sports World
The Nebraska basketball team blew one the other night. I don’t exactly know what happened. Its like a different team showed up in Champaign. The Huskers got drilled on the boards, and it cost them. Terran Pettaway and Shavon Shields just couldn’t get going. These games happen in college basketball. Unfortunately, for the Huskers, it put them behind the 8 ball as far as making the tournament. Today there is an enormous game against Northwestern. Lose, and its all over but the crying. Win, and the conversation continues. This is part of what makes college basketball so awesome.
NFL draft talk is increasing. I find the draft fascinating. Its about team building. The good teams in the NFL build through the draft. In the draft teams get cheap labor, if they miss they have to get quality players through free agency and free agents are expensive. Like it or not, the future of your favorite NFL team hinges on what they do over the course of a weekend in May. This is the time of year for speculation. What will your favorite team do with their first round pick? What are their needs? Remember that pick they blew in 2009? How did that alter the present. It makes for terrific conversation.