Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Night Dessert: The Only Place Worse than ESPN for Craig James is Washington

A lot of college football fans got kind of excited when word came out that Craig James was planning to leave ESPN to run for the United States Senate in Texas. While getting James off of television is a good thing, the risk of someone like James actually holding elected office is too great to make that worthwhile.  I can turn off the volume on ESPN and ignore him on television.  The biggest problem in Washington is that we have too many ignoramuses and doofuses in Congress as it is; adding to the problem is the absolute worst thing that we could possibly do.  I don't care if some people don't think that James has much of a chance to win; any chance is too great to take.

The rumor mill has Iowa defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski being a leading candidate to fill out the open position created by Carl Pelini's departure to Florida Atlantic.  Over in Iowegia, Black Heart Gold Pants paints Kaczenski as a candidate to be Iowa's next defensive coordinator.  While the conventional wisdom is that Pelini will promote John Papuchis to coordinator, I have to question Kaczenski's interest in moving to Lincoln. Unless, of course, Kaczenski is a candidate to be the d-coordinator, though working under the supervision of Bo Pelini.

Kaczenski's resume in terms of producting stellar defensive linemen at Iowa is easy to like. But while the Journal-Star talks positively about his recruiting connections in Florida, BHGP certainly raises questions about that:
On the recruiting trail, Kaczenski's results here have not been nearly as good. Kaz has taken over Iowa's efforts in Florida, previously held by Phil Parker. Iowa mines Florida for skill position players and defensive backs, and while it's extremely rare that the Hawkeyes can beat out Florida, FSU, and Miami for a local kid, Iowa's once-plentiful well of second-tier talent in the Sunshine State has run dry. While the numbers have been there for Kaczenski -- nine players in five years, almost all halfbacks, receivers, and defensive backs -- the production has not.
So take it for what you will.  Granted, recruiting is one of those things that I feel is difficult to accurately rank.  Certainly, I put little value in the rankings that we'll be subjected to in January.  But I get the feeling that BHGP isn't using the services rankings to question Kaczenski, but rather what players are doing on the field...or not making it there. So I tend to give that a little more credence.

And before someone calls me out for talking about recruiting, let me remind folks that I dislike the services that try to analyze and evaluate recruiting.  Recruiting is important...just like coaching and player development is important. The track record of the recruiting services?  Not so hot. (Anybody still think that Bill Callahan's 2005 class was one of the best in the nation that season?)

Props to Frank Solich for winning Ohio's first bowl game ever last night in the "Famous Potato Bowl" on the SmurfTurf in Boise. The end of the game was pretty dysfunctional though, with the SEC referees looking mostly incompetent with the game on the line.  Facing a fourth down and trailing 23-17 with under a minute to go in the game, Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton connected with LaVon Brazill who dove into the end zone.  The officials ruled it a touchdown initally, then went to review it on the replay, which was appropriate because it was a crucial play and there were questions that Brazill had actually scored.  After the review, they announced the play stood as called...then the officials huddled again, and went back to the review a second time. Finally, they took the touchdown off the board.  But Tettleton made it all irrelevant by scoring two plays later, leaving Utah State with just a few seconds to try the Stanford-band-multiple lateral play in desperation.

After the game, ESPN's Heather Cox foiled the Ohio players attempt to douse Solich with the Gatorade bucket during a postgame interview. Cox was acting in her own self-defense, since she was in line to get soaked.  That gave Solich a head start to escape the bath, and the 67-year old former Husker fullback/head coach certainly "moved around well" as he sprinted away from the bucket.

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