Posted on: May 15, 2010 10:27 am

Knocking elitst message board fans...

Okay, I like to have good natured jibes at some of the Big East schools... (hey, I'll admit it, if USM could get in there, while Louisville was there, I'd be a happy camper.).. but I usually stay off limits when it comes to the fans.

But now... oh, you guys have really opened the flood gates, particularly those of you at the ncaabbs boards... because I'm about to blast some schools fans (although I know of one cool Louisville fan on BigGoldNation's message board.).

I'm gonna have to paraphrase here, as I don't have the exact quotes to recopy, so I may get a few things here or there wrong.

I can understand the use of sarcasm and cynicism... but you BE fans truly do take the cake when it comes to elitism. 

There was a long going discussion at one point, of "If the BE is raided, who do we bring in to keep the conference up?".  Now let's not forget that the BE hasn't lost their AQ status.. and with the teams that were on the 'threat list" (Pitt, Rutgers, UConn and Syracuse...) would you guys explain to me why you would still lose your status?  The reason I ask is that Syracuse hasn't been a football threat in forever... The other three, okay, they're flirting with the 30's and 40's repeatedly. 

So you bring in a UCF, ECU.. fine  .. Memphis?  Not so much (80's to 100's.. okay, maybe a good substitue for Syracuse).

One of the 'reasonable' arguments against USM (who I had been hoping for AQ promotion, but not to the Big East as you'll see.) was their markets... (to me, the more reasonable argument against USM was geography... we're even a distance from UCF and USF (if UCF is selected).   We'd be the island university.

but the vitiriol from the fans was "You're not worthy of consideration!  What have you done!  You'd be valued lower than Temple"  (the temple who was ranked 108th as of three years ago, and had a high of 80 ranking last year.).    Well, okay, we're not "good enough for you guys in the Big East..."

This vitriol was coming from candidates for the Big East as well as certain fans of BE teams (In particularly the Appalachian guys.. Lville and WV).

Then the rumour comes out that now the Big-12 is now going to be looking to replace their loss teams.    And the one key statement that came out was .. "We're not looking to expand in current states"; So Houston, TCU, Rice, etc. are outta luck... even though I think a few texas teams would be good add-ons, particulary Houston and TCU.  But I can understand why the B12 doesn't want already existing state teams.

But i'm getting sidetracked...

Guess who's now saying they should be considered for the Big-12 expansion?    Oh wait, that couldn't be fans of Memphis, Lville, WV, etc.?    Why yes, yes it could be!   It appears that they all want to move on to "greener" pastures... wait.. wait the Big East (even without those four (PLUS ECU and UCF) aren't good enough for you guys?   But apparently USM isn't even good enough for that conference... talk about a double slam.

So I really really want to point something out to the Big-East and the "want to be big easterners'...

There's something you should notice about the Big-12 universities (including the soon to be "Ex-B12 univerisities".)

Texas, TexA&M, TTech, Ok, OkSt, Neb, Missouri,  IaSt, Kansas, KState, Colorado, Baylor.

Other than Baylor does anyone notice what kind of universities we have?   State flagship universities...   So let's take a look at some of the barb-throwers.

Memphis.. uhm... Tennessee flagship ?  Nope. that'd be Tennessee
(and no, Memphis, noting that your originall school name of "Memphis State University" does not make you an actual state flagship... it just makes us wonder about your geography skills.)

Louisville.. uhm... Kentucky flagship?  Nope.. that'd be Kentucky

W. Virg... okay, I'll give you WV.

Cincinnati???   Nope... that'd be Ohio State .

So outside of West Virginia... that's strike one...    Does that mean that USM is at an advantage?   Of course not.. but it feels good to say... Hey guys, this time, you dont' look like you're "good enough" for a conference... so just keep dreamin' kids!

Is it spiteful?  Probably... but you know what?  After reading all the vitriol you guys threw at my school.. it feels good to say "You're just not good enoughj"   Besides, I thought the Big East was a very good thing, and would be just _fine_ with decent replacement candidates?  (okay, now watch the big-12 prove me wrong, and I'll have to eat a LOT of crow by offering Memphis a slot...)

Posted on: April 13, 2010 1:41 pm

Smoke (finally clearing out), Mirrors (breaking)

So how far can a team really sink?      Ask USM's Baseball team...  After an average season last year, the Golden Eagles got hot with Corky Palmer's retirement announcement, and rode that all the way to a College World Series appearance.  

And USM fans thought we had something...  

We did.. until Corky left.   After a 13-5 start, with some wins that weren't all that impressive, and some losses that were... dubious, at best.    (Lemoyne?!), I think the 'retirement' push is now officailly done.   We're 3-9 in the last 12, including get swept at home by UCF... UCF!?!?

When it was first announced that Coach Berry was the hand-picked successor to Corky, I was willing to believe that the coach had the ability to take over the reigns from the legend (Yes, Corky is a "LEGEND!".), I was going to let Corky name his follower in his footsteps... and boy howdy, I WAS WRONG!

This team can hit the ball... but they can't swing at first pitch strikes, they have absolutely NO baserunning ability, horrible pitching, a LOUSY arm behind the plate...    It's time for Scott Berry (and in a lesser effect, Corky) to say that he is in over his head in terms of coaching. 

Yes, we've played LSU close, going extra-innings, but we only play 2 or 3 of those "big-name" out of conference games a year.. and we can't win those (see LSU and Ole Miss), but when you're losing a home series against UCF or UAB and you're losing games you shouldn't (Lemoyne, St. Mary's), then there's something wrong.

USM rode an emotional wave into the CWS... unfortunately that wave is now officially a "Wipe out".
Category: BBD
Tags: C-USA, Scot Berry, USM
Posted on: October 12, 2009 11:07 am

Apparently, Glad I didn't watch this saturday...

WHAT THE ... you iknow what?   I never thought I'd say this, but I swear this team is falling apart at the seams.   You get the lead back and then... If it's not the defense it's the specail teams.. if it's not the special teams it's the fumbles.

I really don't know what else to say about this team at the moment.

THe worst feeling is, as quoted by CBS:  "give Louisville its first win over a Football Bowl Subdivision team in nearly a year".

I'm just sick to my stomach (and no, not from the swine flui) now from the performance of our team the last two weeks.. it's almost as if they said, Okay, we can't beat Kansas, so we're not good enough to play for 60 minutes.

I really thought L-Fed would have this team back on track after ripping into them over the UAB game... now.. I dont' know what the hell he (or our defensive coordinator in particular)  are doing.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 7, 2009 12:49 pm

KU loss, disappointment.. UAB loss, frustration!

Okay, I can forgive the KU loss for USM.   We just got outgunned by the time it was done.. but we were in that game.

The UAB loss... I don't get it.   I know, I know, the fumbles by Parham, the loss of Davis, the non-attendance by Fletcher and the ongoing injury to DeAndre Brown.  But I honestly don't get this loss.

Fedora said we were a BCS contending team.. so WHY, why is it when you're playing a team that cannot pass the ball at all (no offense UAB fans), you simply play pass defense ALL Game?    USM got beat by 3 basic plays.. Run left, run right, and QB draw.  That was it!   That's what beat us.

You cannot tell me that the UAB quarterback was more dangerous than Sewell or Reesing.. or any harder to bring down.  ALl season our defense has struggled to bring down scrambling quarterbacks when we'd even make those mythical arm tackles.. but that performance was just PATHETIC.

I know LFed's got this program going the right way, and we're still one game over .500...but if our defensive coordinator doesn't wake up, that winning seasons streak is in definite danger this season, especailly with Tulsa, Rice, and Houston still on the schedule...

Fortunately, i think this is Bye week (don't have my handy-dandy schedule in front of me), to get it right, and I hope Fedora rips into his own coaching staff, and challenges the DL to DO THEIR JOBS!

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Larry Fedora, UAB, USM
Posted on: September 30, 2009 12:18 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2009 12:19 pm

Over my Saturday Disappointment

Yes,, USM Lost to Kansas University...  We had our opportunities to get ahead of Kansas and change the entire complexion of the game.  How well would Kansas play from behind?  I don't know.. I know they had troubles kill our momentum when we got it (and when we gave it back), but that week they were the better team and they won.. not much you can argue on that one.

Austin Davis finally looks like he knows what he's supposed to do with those Option pitches.    GO back and watch the first three games.. he'd run the play, and regardless of whether or not 3 players were honing in on the pitchman, he'd pitch it anyway.  If I didnt' know better, he was acting afraid that he'd be hit... but then came the Kansas game... and boy has Austin matured in just one week.

He took chances, ran quarterback draws, kept the ball on option plays.. he was looking like an all-American athlete out there.  Unfortunately, it came in a loss (and was due in part to that screwball 4th and 1 call at the end of the first half), but it was his play that kept us in the game.

Now as for Deandre Brown... i know you're worried about that leg, D.. but you gotta be wiling to admit your'e going to be hit.    Look at the other guys... Look at what Parham and Baptiste did... they went up for balls and they took shots...   Right now, D.. you're a 'Big play" receiver and that seems to be all... too many drops, too many worrying about the incoming hit from the opposing players.   (although pulling in that underthrown bomb in the middle of the field was a thing of beauty, even though it hurt your shoulder on the landing).

If you don't get hit now, you're going to get hit later.. find out how good your body really is, take the shot and hold on to those balls.

We could have been 4-0 going into C-USA play, but I'll be willing to take 3-1... now we just need to run the table.. and make sure we containt that Houston offense in a few weeks...

Posted on: September 24, 2009 11:04 am

Rivarly restored... MSU vs. USM

At least for two years.     While i'm waiting to hear the final results from the MSU-USM home-and-home matchup agreement (at least I'm HOPING it's home-and-home), I got to wondering.

For USM fans, which non-C-USA matchup would be most important to us?

Mississippi State?   Ole Miss?   Louisville?  

I leave Alabama and Auburn off this list, because it was always a road game for us, with no return games ever allowed, and we were forced to deal with Pro-Alabama/Auburn officiating 99% of the time.  (No, that's not sour grapes, there are documented examples).

MSU and OM were always long instate rivals, and the team that managed to win the three games took pride in being the "Mississippi State Football Champions"  (kind of like how somehow despite our horrid basketball teams, we  managed to beat UNO, LSU, and Tulane to be the unofficail "Louisiana State Basketball Champions". 

But then i got to thinking, was there any rivalry for USM more "heated" than Louisville?     Everyone remembers how Favre became a college-household name with his 60 yard hail mary that bounced from one Louisville player to a USM player who took it in for a score.  Or how there were always fights and scrums in the past when our teams met.

So which is it USM fans?    Which team do you miss playing the most?  (even though we now get both Louisville and MSU in the future... Come on Webbels.. not scared of us are you?  Not with your #4 ranking... you coudln't be 'scared' now could you?)

Now before I cut off, I had an idea, let's take our three heated rivals... MSU, UM, Louisville... and we schedule a repeating cycle with all three teams.   Say the first week (or second week,if you really want a pre-game warm up with Alcorn, MTSU, Jackson st, etc.) of the season.. we kick the season off right.

2010 -  MSU @ Hattiesburg
2011 -  USM @ Louisville
2012 -  UM   @ Hattiesburg
2013 -  USM @ Starkville
2014 -  Louisville @ Hattiesburg
2015 -  USM @ Oxford

And then repeat the cycle in 2016...    Let's face it.. Bowl games don't want in state rivals, which was our best chance to meet either of our in-state rivals  (there was always talk that hte Liberty Bowl would lift that ban for USM - UM or MSU. but reportedly "Ole Miss balked" at that.. true or not, I don't know.)

It's a sure-fire money / attendance winner for all three schools...   I've never known a Louisville - USM game not to sell out, and would wager that on even terms (Home-and-Home), USM and OM/MSU would be a sure-fire sell out for both schools.    If any of the three teams were national title contenders, and got bumped in that week, there are still 10 to 11 weeks (which is why IMO, it should be week one of the season) of the season to rebound.
Posted on: September 19, 2009 8:44 pm

A tale of two halves...

So on paper, Virginia was 0-2... USM was 2-0.    

On the field, you wouldnt' have known it for 30 minutes...  Yes, the "comedy of errors" that Virginia suffered through the first two weeks of the season appeared to start all over, as Sewell fumbled the second snap of the game, and USM took over.   From that point on, however, for the next 29 minutes of the game, you wouldn't have recognized the two teams from their records.

I don't know what happened to my USM team, but the offense sputtered, Deandre Brown couldn't hold a ball for his life, Davis refused to work the magic with his other RB's and WR's... and the defense... well, we won't mention the defense of the first half, other than to say that when you give up 190 yards (yes, 190) to a team that had about a 108 yard per game average (if CBS-C had the right numbers), you know it's just wrong.

The DL was getting no push, couldn't get NEAR Sewell and the coverage just ran out of time to cover all the WR's.. and Vriginia was looking like an all-pro team out there, moving up and down the field at will.

First half score:  27-10

Then something happened... either Fedora lit a fire under someone's donkey at halftime, or the Virginia players remembered that they lost to Wiliam and Mary...   I'm not sure what it was, but other than one drive that ended in a Sewell TD, USM apparently showed up to play, including a 100 yard Kickoff return by Freddie Parham  (I thought it was 102, but I'm not an official statistician, sorry Freddie, my numbers don't count :) ), and Damion Fletcher passing Sammy Winder for the all-time rushing Touchdowns in a USM career.

But for the second week in a row, the defense seemed to have problems with a scrambling, agile QB, particularly until the 4th quarter.   I'll be honest, I haven't kept up with this new (i think he's new?) Kansas QB, but if our line can't get any pressure on him without the help of a blitz, this is going to be a VERY Long week/weekend.

And just for what it's worth, Coach Fedora, please save the half-back pass plays until we're IN the lead with no fear of a comeback... PLEASE?
Posted on: September 18, 2009 3:39 pm

The Bell Tolls for C-USA

Versus Versus

I found a story yesterday via my Golden Eagles board that kind of has me conflicted...    It's about the Memphis Tigers who are looking to get out of C-USA and into a BCS conference.

Basically, according to the Commercial Appeal the Memphis tigers paid for hte services of former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese to get into the Big East.    At first I sat back and understood where they were going.  They want to be in a BCS.  Understandable.  They're getting no competiion from C-USA in Basketball (basically, carrying the entire conference on their shoulders), so they need to find a conference in which they don't get gypped by the rest of the league.   (No offense, Tulsa, you're the 2nd best in the conference (IMO), but you've got a way to go to get any Basketball cred in terms of crowds.)

Being a USM fan, i figured okay, I can understand this choice... They're wanting to have a chance to play for a BCS title, as well as not lose out with their Basketball program.

Let's face it.. right now, the only claim to fame that C-USA has is their Baseball roster (Rice, USM, ECU, etc. have carried the mantle well in that department.), and a few upsets so far for football.  (You dont know how happy I was to see OSU lose to HOuston, and I'm a Cowboy fan...)

There have been talks for a while about the BE picking up somebody (USM fans have hoped it's been them for a while... but I'll get to that later).    So again, anyone jumping ship would have been the right move.  (Although how TCU did it was downright underhanded IMO...  You dont' sign with one conference, when you've got a backdoor deal already in play for another conference years down the road.)   Memphis brings enough basketball prowess to fit right in... football.. well, they didn't do themselves any favors over the past two weeks.

They played #8 (at the time) Ole Miss.. and I don't think they broke 30000 in attendance.  (might have been 31K, not sure), then they blew the game against MTSU.    I know, I know.. wins/losses don't matter as much as demographics... But again, how many people attended the MTSU game?    How many are going to attend if they keep losing?    They think it's enough to sell the Big Easst, I guess (and everyone KNOWS the BE is going to expand, considering that they're in danger of losing their AQ status to the MWC and/or WAC.)

However, as I said, I could only hope that USM decided to join a BCS, but then I saw the following statement, in fact, another article from the WV Gazette suggested bringing in Southern Miss, East Carolina, Memphis and Houston (no mention of Marshall?  strange).   I dunno how well that works in terms of travel itinerary, but it would give them some serious oomph in the football name brand., although it only really adds one "contender" in the basketball world.   

So it seems that public opinion has no problem with Memphis jumping ship to the Big East... again, I can't blame them if they went specifically to that conference.     But then I saw this ... in which the AD director states flat out..

“Quite honestly, the truth of the matter is the lifelong dream of Memphis is to get in the SEC,” Johnson said Thursday in a phone interview. “We’re surrounded by SEC country. When Arkansas got in Memphis thought they were going to get in.”"
So now you're applying to get into the Big East, but your dream is to be invited into the SEC?   So what do you tell the Big East if the SEC were to come calling around?

“I told him, ‘It’s simple. There are six BCS conferences. Get us in one,’” Johnson said. Congrats memphis..way to piss off one of your suitors.   Even USM hasn't been THAT stupid to any of the conferences (of course, I'm thinking our AD is an idiot for not even TRYING to relocate.. "All is well".   *Sigh*

Of course, even though the consultant that was hired said he can't promise that, I'd wager that in the next 6 months after football season is over, Memphis will be a member of the Big East, and Houston, Tulsa, ECU and Souther Miss are going to be struggling to find something that will get them a shot at a BCS tourney.  

And in the process, Conference-USA will fall by the wayside.. even if it's just Memphis that jumps, and they're looking to do it sooner rather than later.  So long C-USA it was nice knowing you while we were around.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com