Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Night Dessert: Gill to Ames?

Now comes the aftershocks from Auburn's hiring of 5-19 Gene Chizik. Namely, who will Jamie Pollard hire this time. Two years ago, Chizik looked like a home run hire, but never topped the Mendoza line in Ames. The Des Moines Register throws out a few candidates: Turner Gill, Brady Hoke of Ball State, Ed Warriner (Kansas offensive coordinator), Bill Cubit of Western Michigan, and Shawn Watson.

While I think Buffalo is a better job than Auburn, I'm not sure Iowa State is exactly where I'd like Gill to end up. The situation is better than Auburn, and the scars that Chizik left certainly call for a coach like Gill. But I've got to admit, I don't relish the thought of seeing Turner Gill on the other sideline every season. I guess I liked the idea of Gill taking over a program like Syracuse, though it sounds like Gill turned down the final set of interviews for the Orange. (Perhaps he thought he was the leading candidate for the Auburn job...)

While I think that Oklahoma and Florida are the top two teams in the country, I'm not convinced that Sam Bradford deserved the Heisman. Sure, he put up fine numbers, but deep down, from what I saw, Colt McCoy had a bigger role in his team's success than Bradford. Bradford simply had a lot of help from his offensive line and wasn't forced to create like McCoy had to at times. If I had a vote, I would have voted McCoy #1, Tebow #2, and Bradford #3. (Of course, they don't give us bloggers many votes. I think it's prejudice against people sitting in their parents basement wearing just their underpants...)

The World-Herald flew a reporter out to New York to try and interview Bill Callahan, and pretty much came up empty handed. Did get some quotes from some Jet players, including Brett Favre, who had nothing but nice things to say about Callahan. For as poor of a head coach Callahan turned out to be, the evidence seems to indicate he's a great offensive line coach. His obsession to detail, which turned out to be a liability when he micromanaged Nebraska and Oakland, seems to allow him to flourish now that he can concentrate on his offensive linemen. Bottom line is that Tom Osborne's decision appears to be a win-win for everybody; Callahan got a job that better fits him, and Nebraska upgraded it's coaching staff in the process.

The World-Herald also looks at the disappointment of some developers towards the downtown ballpark, and lost possibilities. I have mixed feelings about this; I see the point of the north downtown people, but the fact remains that this stadium has to serve it's master first. And that master is the NCAA. The College World Series brings in enough revenue to justify the stadium, even if it's only used two or three weeks a year. Anything more is simply frosting on the cake. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't hope and insist that the stadium be used more than just the CWS, but rather that our disappointment should be put into perspective.

The idea of independent league baseball might help mitigate some of those concerns, but let's be honest, baseball fans are going to cringe at the idea of replacing AAA baseball with an independent league team. MECA already has a bad track record with forcing a team to play in competition with an existing team, so at least initially, it's a fairly safe bet that somebody will be playing baseball downtown on a regular basis.

Maybe it'll be the Royals after all. I remain unconvinced that Sarpy County can afford to build a stadium, no matter how much the Sarpy County board covets the idea. (Interesting side note: Sugarland, Texas is now looking at the American Association as well. Wouldn't it be ironic if Omaha vs. Sugarland is the first professional baseball game downtown?)


Anonymous said...

Husker Mike said...

And your point is??? Already linked to the original story from the World-Herald.