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Random Ramblings: November 30th Edition

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Here are some stories, headlines and rumors worthy of discussion in this great game of college football.

TCU to the Big East

This move was rumored a while back and looks like it is coming to fruition. The poor Mountain West conference continues to take hits and can’t build up its collection of football talent.

There’s going to be an awful lot of basketball teams in the Big East now, it will pretty neat to see Notre Dame playing the Horned Frogs in all these other sports though.

I’m pretty much anti-conference expansion so this doesn’t really get me too excited, but it was bound to happen anyway.

At least it gives us something to talk about during the off-season.

Shannon Out at Miami

Even though there were strong rumors out there that Randy Shannon would be gone from Miami if this wasn’t a successful season, I am still kind of surprised that they pulled the trigger.

But even more so, I was a lot more surprised to see just how mediocre Shannon had done with the Hurricanes. He was 28-22 overall, with one nine-win season, zero ACC title game appearances (let alone championships), and 0-2 in bowl games.

I don’t know if I was just confused or what, but I thought he was doing a little bit better than that. With the stricter academic standards and an atmosphere that has turned its back on "Da U" from the 1980’s, I don’t know how attractive this job is anymore.

Miami has enormous recruiting advantages because of its location, but then what? A half-filled NFL stadium? A university seemingly uninterested in football?

It’s going to be a tough job for whoever steps in to Coral Gables soon.

Is Rich Rod Safe at UM?

Yes, I think so.

I’d even say he sticks around for two more years, so that the school can get the most out of the Rodriguez-Denard Robinson relationship, even if keeping Rich Rod around means costing the program a chance to really become a national player until 2014 or later.

If I was in control in Ann Arbor, I’d simply hire the best available coach who runs a similar run-based spread system and take a chance with that person. Possibly they could hire someone with the caveat that they will stick to a spread but slowly move back to a more traditional offense after 2012.

It has to suck for UM fans right now, because Rich Rod basically has them trapped like a bunch of hostages. The defense is depleted and is as devoid of talent like possibly no other time in Michigan history, while the offense is filled with small quick players that would make any sort of transition away from Rodriguez’s spread offense very painful.

I don’t think there’s any legitimate hope with Rich Rod at Michigan and I’m sure a lot of Wolverine fans recognize that. He has shown zero interest in building and recruiting a strong defense and it will still (three years into his tenure) take another two to three years before Michigan has a strong defense (if they started recruiting better, which they are not).

He’ll probably go 8-4 or 9-3 next season (probably the easiest schedule in Michigan history for 2011), but the underlying problems will still be the same a year from now as they are today.

Good luck with that.

BCS Standings

There was a little bit of a shakeup with the standings with the Boise State and LSU losses this past weekend, but the very top hasn’t changed.

Except that Auburn has jumped Oregon for the No. 1 spot, like it really matters at this point.

Can you believe Stanford is sitting at No. 4?!!?!?

Lynch Fired at Indiana

It’s truly tragic.

Do you think Lynch could at least say he had the football team at a higher level than the basketball team?

I bet this pisses Hoosier fans off to no degree.

The Iron Bowl

How does Alabama lose that game?

As I was watching I kept thinking about how the Tide offense was going conservative and into shell just like they did in the title game against Texas, thinking they had the game sewn up and won.

To me, this was a perfect representation of how a spread system can be so much more effective than a pro-style attack, especially in terms of adjustments. Auburn came out in the second half and just controlled the game, while Alabama was having a hard time dealing with what the Tigers were throwing at them.

As a side note, Cam Newton reminds me of O.J. Simpson.

I could go on and expound on that subject, but I’ll leave it at that for your mind to wander.

Conferences Championships

The SEC title game looks to be semi-interesting, but is anyone really excited to watch either the ACC or Big 12 title games?

A BCS bowl game is at stake though, right?

I could really care less. Playoff football can’t get here soon enough as far as I’m concerned.

What Happened to Iowa?

Before the season I had a couple Iowa fans berate me with how good the Hawkeyes were going to be this year, and here they are ending the season with a 7-5 record.

Iowa fought hard in close losses to Arizona, Ohio State and Wisconsin, but just finished the season with three straight defeats, including losses to Northwestern and Minnesota.

Is Iowa going to be any good next year?

Poor Michigan State

I feel bad for Michigan State. Here they are in a three-way tie for the Big Ten title and they are essentially in third place because of their lower BCS ranking.

MSU didn’t play Ohio State, but Wisconsin beat Ohio State. Advantage, Wisconsin.

But Wisconsin lost to Michigan State, yet Wisconsin will be going to the Rose Bowl.

That ugly loss to Iowa hurt the Spartans and I’d probably agree that both Wisconsin and Ohio State are better teams (even though they beat the Badgers), but it just doesn’t sit right with me.

At least Michigan State will be able to go to their first ever BCS bowl. Does it really matter that they didn’t go to the Rose Bowl?

Another Year for JoPa

I don’t have anything against Joe Paterno, but this is getting pretty ridiculous.

I don’t mean to say this out of disrespect, but what exactly does Paterno do on a daily basis for the Penn State program?

Does he still go out and recruit? Is his status as a college football icon used to the university’s advantage?

The man doesn’t read emails or even know what a text message is, and he stands on the sidelines not really coaching at all.

At this point, I’d love to see Paterno have his own reality show so we can see what is going on…it would be epic.

Bill Stewart in Hot Water

For the life of me I can’t understand why West Virginia fans are so angry with head coach Bill Stewart and want him run out of town.

With a defeat of Rutgers likely coming up this will be Stewart’s third straight season with nine victories after taking over for Rich Rod, who slipped out of town to Michigan.

Did I miss something here?

Has West Virginia turned into an SEC school where .690 winning percentages aren’t good enough? Are fans expectations so high that a historically decent school like West Virginia would give Stewart the boot with 27 wins in three years?

Someone explain this to me!

Utah Rebounded…Kind Of

After losing to the Irish, Utah snuck past San Diego State and BYU to earn ten wins on the season.

When was the last time Notre Dame beat a ten win team?

How will we view this victory over the Utes in the future? Are they a pretty mediocre ten win team? Is the loss truly devalued?

I think whatever happens in their bowl game will be key to those discussions.

Texas, USC and Florida a Combined 19-17

Some people saw this kind of season coming for USC (not me though), so it isn’t as shocking that USC has already lost five games heading into their season finale against UCLA this weekend.

It’s a lot harder to understand just what happened in Gainesville as the Gators finished their regular season by being pounded by Florida State and a shocking (for them) 7-5 record. Keep on an eye on Florida during bowl season, because if they drop to 7-6 there just might be large scale riots on campus.

If Florida is hard to understand, then Texas is completely puzzling. How does any team with top 5 talent go 5-7? There are a lot of reasons I am sure, but I am most interested to see how the Longhorns rebound next year, with the No. 1 recruiting class coming in to help alleviate some of the problems.

That’s all I’ve got…