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Saying Farewell To College Football

bowls hed

By Phil Hecken

How much better would this season have been if tonight we’d be treated to a “plus one” game between undefeated Auburn and undefeated TCU? Would that answer the question as to “who is number one” and would we really, I mean really want to? As one who has vascillated between a full-fledged playoff and a return to the “old” bowl system, I can’t say I really do want to know. I think Auburn and Oregon pretty much settled it on the field, and I have to say, it was a pretty great “regular” season and a good bowl season. Would playoffs have made it better? Would a two or three loss team (I’m looking at you Crimson Tide) have caught lightning in a bottle and made a run to the title? Auburn beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa, but what if they’d played in Glendale?

I don’t want to discuss a playoff system or anything like that, but one thing I was thinking about was when a playoff was mentioned, someone pointed to a “thrilling” first round matchup of #1 Auburn vs #16 Middle Tennessee (or something similar). And that matchup was met with derision, as it should. But it wasn’t correct.

If we looked at, in a hypothetical world, a playoff system involving the top 16 teams, as ranked by the BCS, based on the final standings of December 5, 2010 — here’s what your first round matchups would have looked like:

#1 Auburn vs. #16 Alabama
#2 Oregon vs. #15 Nevada
#3 TCU vs. #14 Oklahoma State
#4 Stanford vs. #13 Virginia Tech
#5 Wisconsin vs. #12 Missouri
#6 THE Ohio State vs. #11 LSU
#7 Oklahoma vs. #10 Boise State
#8 Arkansas vs. #9 Michigan State

Not a bad matchup (on paper, anyway) in the whole bunch. In fact, the Stanford vs. Va Tech game ended up being the Orange Bowl.

Now, I’m not advocating for a playoff system…or even a plus-one. But those who criticize it as having crappy first round matchups which wouldn’t fill stadia aren’t really making anything approaching a convincing argument against it. There’s a lot of things wrong with a playoff (and possibly a lot right), but saying bad matchups involving lousy teams isn’t going to fly.

What’s your take on that?


Now then, I want to thank everyone who participated in the UW NCAA Football Pool, and extend congratulations to Mark Prusinski, who finished in first place with 26 out of 35 correct picks. Nice job!

My strategy of picking by the “better uniform” took a serious beating, as I finished pretty much in last place, with 15 out of 35. Of course, these were “straight” picks, and as it turns out, I’d have done better if we’d have been using the actual spread. Next year, we will. After going an almost impossibly bad 5-13 for the first 18 bowls, I rallied to go 10-7 over the final 17, and would have done even better than that with the spread. So, maybe picking the winner based on the better uni isn’t such a bad strategy after all. Let’s look at those final 17 games:

Meineke Bowl: South Florida 31 – Clemson 26. Inexplicably, I was duped into picking Clemson as having the better uni, when clearly this was not the case. Mea culpa. The spread for this game was 4.5, so this was almost a push for Clemson, but a half point is a half point. (Record 0-1; Record with the Spread 0-1)

Sun Bowl: Notre Dame 33 – Miami 17. Miama actually looked pretty good (by Hurricanes’ standards), but they still paled in comparison to the Irish. It’s always funny seeing warm weather schools playing in cold weather climes (who knew it would snow in El Paso?). The Irish were right at home in the weather and it showed. Better uni wins (Record 1-1; RWS: 1-1)

Liberty Bowl: UCF 10 – Georgia 6. Georgia looked better but this was more boring than a great defensive struggle. Still, with the Dogs getting 7, I’d have won this one. (Record 1-2; RWS 2-1)

Chick-fil-A Bowl: Florida State 26 – South Carolina 17. Seminoles looked and played better than the Cocks, who must have been still smarting from their SEC loss to Auburn. SC was actually favored by three, so this was a rout. (Record 2-2; RWS 3-1)

Ticket City Bowl: Texas Tech 45 – Northwestern 38. Both teams looked awful, and I’ll admit I didn’t watch but 2 minutes of this game, what with two others going on simultaneously. I picked NW, and I stand by it. Of course, they were getting 10 points, so add in that spread and this one was a win. (Record 2-3; RWS 4-1)

Capitol One Bowl: Alabama 49 – Michigan State 7. Of course I picked the Tide, and I’d pick them over any other team, so the opponent’s uniform was inconsequential. Sparty has such a gorgeous color, but those raglan sleeves and new fonts just aren’t workin. Easy win (Sparty was getting 11, but clearly, they needed 42). (Record 3-3; RWS 5-1)

Outback Bowl: Florida 37 – Penn State 24. Damn. I was worried that the “pro combat” Nike was going to outfit Florida with would be horrid. In fact, it was pretty sweet. Still, I would have taken Penn State over anyone but ‘bama. Maybe I need to rethink that. (Record 3-4; RWS 5-2)

Gator Bowl: Mississippi State 52 – Michigan 14. I really need to rethink my strategy of picking B1G teams when they become the Big 10 12 next year. Still, how can you pick against the Wolverines uni? I should have. MSU was giving 5.5 — they could have spotted Michigan 35.5. (Record 3-5; RWS 5-3)

Rose Bowl: TCU 21 – Wisconsin 19. Clearly Sconnie had the better unis. They were also 2.5 point dogs. I was rooting for TCU. So, I got my wish (TCU win), and I picked the better uni (with the spread)…but got screwed in the straight-pick UW pool. (Record 3-6; RWS 6-3)

Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma 48 – Connecticut 20. This one was a slam dunk uni wise, and straight-pick wise. However, Oklahoma was also a 17 point favorite. That’s a lot of points to be giving up, but in the end, they won by 4 TDs. *Phew* (Record 4-6; RWS 7-3)

Orange Bowl: Stanford 40 – Va Tech 12. This was a good looking game, and I really liked the Va Tech orange helmets — but with a ass-whoopin’ like this, they’re probably one and done. Picked Stanford, so I was happy either way. Spread was only 3. Slam dunk. (Record 5-6; RWS 8-3)

Sugar Bowl: Ohio State 31 – Arkansas 26. A great game, and with THE Ohio State giving 3, it was a nailbiter by the spread, but a safe win either way. Arkansas has great colors, but needs to lose those side panels and the SNOL. (Record 6-6; RWS 9-3) Bowl: Miami (Ohio) 35 – Middle Tennessee 21. This was actually a much nicer looking game than it could have been, but the better uni won again. With only 1.5 to give, Miami won easy. (Record 7-6; RWS 10-3)

Cotton Bowl: LSU 41 – Texas A&M 24. Another great looking game, and while it’s not quite the “real” Cotton Bowl, this worked just fine. Took the Tigers and only had to give 2.5, so this was easy pickins. (Record 8-6; RWS 11-3)

BBVA Compass Bowl: Pitt 24 – Kentucky 10. Pitt surprised me with the monochrome white, and it looked good. Kentucky also looked good, eschewing the mono-blue for a normal look. Glad I took Pitt though. (Record 9-6; RWS 12-3)

Fight Hunger Bowl: Nevada 20 – Boston College 13. BC had the better uni, but giant killer Nevada had the better game. However, Nevada was also a 9 point favorite. So, I lost the UW pick, but I’d have won with the spread. (Record 9-7; RWS 13-3)

BCS National Championship Game: Auburn 22 – Oregon 19. Great game, but boy did those Ducks unis disappoint. I was rooting for Oregon, but I picked the better uniform. So I won the UW pool. This line moved up and down in the weeks before the game, going from as high as making Auburn a 3 point favorite, and moving to even at game time. If we had “locked” at 3, this was a push. But it was 1.5 at Bowl Preview time, so that’s a win. (Record 10-7; RWS 14-3)


Well, there you have that. Interesting how straight picks would still have edged me a bit closer to not being in last place, but if they were with the spread (and for actual real money), I’ll take 14-3 any day. Next year, we’re figuring out how to find a pool where we can play by spreads.



Trackin’ the Ducks

UW #1 Seahawks Fan Michael Princip tracked the Oregon Ducks and all of their 2,456 possible uniform combinations all this season (as well as 2009), updating it after each game, and it has become a weekend fixture during the College season. As we all know, Oregon went an incredible 12-0 this season, losing only their unlucky 13th game, which was the National Championship game, earlier this week. It has been my great pleasure to work with Mike, and had not the great blizzard of 2010 hit the northeast, I would have been able to meet the man while he was in town showing Paul his Bulwark helmet project.

Speaking of the Bulwark, if you haven’t already checked out Paul’s mothership feature on Mike and his helmet, please give it a read. It’s great writing, interesting material, and a project we UWers should all hope Mike can get off the ground.

Part of Mike’s work with Paul involved working on an I-Pad app had the Ducks won their final game. Alas, they did not, and that app is now being given away free to starving children in Africa. But all is not for naught. Mike created an amazing rundown of Duck uniforms over the past several years. So, let’s have a look-see at what he did:


Some noteworthy Oregon Duck uniforms according to Michael Princip:

I can thank Jack Patera(1951-54) All Pro Hall of Fame Oregon Duck guard for my first introduction to Oregon football. Jack being the first ever coach for the Seahawks, got my attention and made me want to find out more about his former college team. Eventually in my teens, I got a chance to see what that 1954 Oregon Ducks team really looked like, and since most, if not all of the pictures were in black and white, and the fact the team’s uniforms were somewhat minimalist in design, I was unimpressed. Of course, now that I’ve edgermicated myself I have an appreciation for the unique elements on that basic 50’s set: shadow number font jerseys, shiny satin yellow pants, and yellow painted helmets with green single center stripes.

1967 was a big year for the Oregon Ducks football team. Not only did they get a new stadium (Autzen) and new head coach Jerry Frei, they also got a new absolutely super helmet design that year. A kelly green helmet with Oregon yellow interlocking smooth round edged UO that would make a perfect throwback lid 7 years from now when they commemorate Autzen Stadium’s 50th season, book it! Every time I see the Ducks practice in those plastic dark green helmets I picture those nice looking 1967 UO decals emblazoned on each side and perfectly in place with the game of today. Never understood why they only went with this helmet design for one season?

Taking a big leap here, not off a cliff yet, but rather to 1995, because this is the year where I really started to take notice of the Oregon Ducks’ uniforms. It was the first year that coach Mike Bellotti took the team over, and the first year where Nike took the lead in designing Oregon’s football uniforms. In ’95 the Ducks got rid of the green white green center decals on the helmets, too similar to what the Packers wear anyway. So, Nike and the Ducks escaped from the Pack(ers) and got rid of the center stripe decals altogether. In fact, they got rid of all the stripes.

1999, enter the black, the new ‘O’ logo, and green metallic painted helmets. From the no stripe to the two very bold side stripes, green shoulders and black mesh jerseys, with a good dose of toxic avenging yellow as the predominant look with this set that spanned 4 years. A sort of monochromatic seemed to be the only way to go with these, since those two very thick stripes really made it impossible to transition from different color tops and bottoms, all the while trying to maintain a clean look. The 2002 Fiesta Bowl was the best look, and favorite memory in these uniforms.

2003 was a strange set, on the one hand you had the ultra minimalist monochromatic whites, with the hint of diamond textured tessellated shoulder pattern. Then, on the other you had the bold limon color explosion set. Oh and I know that there were quite a few people, the uniform purists, who complained that Oregon had no school colors in the 2010 ‘Civil War’ game, well, how about those 2003 Ducks in that state classic?

Ok, now it starts getting a little crazy, no seriously, all the while a little more clever. Enter 2006, and the 384 possible uniform combinations. Although, when I do the math, I still don’t see where they get the 384? I mean, are they discounting some socks other than black and white, or…? Not the biggest fan of the diamond plate anti abrasives (shoulder & knee), just thought they could have toned it down to a little more deflect than reflect light. I did have a favorite combination in the green, black, and yellow pants; Patrick Chung’s lookin’ quite sporty here. Love the fact that the Nike design team retained player/coach feedback and incorporated it in the uniform’s design, focusing not only on the look but also the performance of the uniforms. Even Coach Bellotti got his way with the tapered Bellotti Bold jersey number fonts.

One other noteworthy combination from the 2006-08 set, the yellow fluorescent, and white silver flamed helmets. Very unique and very Oregon.

Now, it’s starting to get really good again. 2009 carbon anti abrasion wings meets spread offense whiz coach Chip Kelly. A brand new set of 80 uniform combinations were introduced, and most notably the matte finish on the helmets, as well as, the very retro muted stripe less pants. Favorite combination of the set had to be week 3 when the team were outfitted in white helmets, green jersey, and matte gray pants. One of those things I simply can’t explain, just worked for me, so much so that it inspired me to start the Duck Tracker. I can say that the silver/gray components of the uniform just play off and compliment the silver shoulder wings very nicely. Other uniform notables that year; week 4 mid 90s era throwbacks, week 10 Ninja Duck, and the ultimate throwback/mod hybrid ‘Civil War’ ensemble.

2010 is the 2nd year for the winged set, and it made the trip to the BCS National Championship game. Highlights of the 2010 season has to be the debut of the liquid print carbon helmets in week three with the yellow ‘O’, and the ‘Civil War’ version with the white ‘O’. Got to say, the white ‘O’ looks much better on the carbon fiber print. Other favorites of the season; green jerseys with the Bellotti Bold in yellow, and the silver kicks.


Thanks Mike — awesome job, just like all year long. But wait — there’s more…Mike has a vision of what the Ducks will look like in 2017. All those 12 year old kids who are just ga-ga over the Ducks now can prepare to wear this when they fall all over themselves to sign their letters of intent following the UnderArmouradidas High School Bowl. Here’s how Mike sees it:

“It’s almost impossible to determine where Nike and The Ducks will go next with their uniform designs. However, there is one uniform that’s almost a lock as far as the Ducks wearing it as a throwback, or maybe a throwback/mod hybrid, and that’s in 2017 when they commemorate Autzen stadium’s 50th season. In addition to the new stadium and new head coach that season, the Ducks also got a fantastic and unique new helmet design. If this doesn’t happen, then someone’s not doing their job.”

Had enough Ducks yet? Well…this is probably it for them until next fall — or until they introduce a new uniform set, which could be next week for all we know.

On that note, here’s your final look at the 2010 Oregon Duck Tracker. Mike will be back with me next fall when we start anew. Perhaps they’ll have new unis, and we can only hope for an unblemished record and a national championship for Team Nikegon the Ducks.


all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks

Lots and lots of tweaks keep pouring in, so obviously this is a popular feature. A bunch new to get to today. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.

Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great a keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!

Got a big set of tweaks today…so lets get right into it.

Now, on to today’s tweaks:


Starting off the show is Kevin Wos, who begins with a Chargers redux:


I decided to do a hypothetical Chargers Pro Combat-style uniform in anticipation of Nike taking over the NFL in 2012. It’s a combination of their current uniform and some slight differences I included, such as a powder blue pants secondary away combination. Unfortunately, MSPaint+GIMP has its limits when it comes to drawing these.

Kevin Wos


Next up is Andrew DeFrank, who has some regular and some “pro combat” style tweaks for us. Check it out:


I wanted to show some of my concepts for NFL teams. These use a 2D “Pro Combat” Template, but they really just concepts for everyday NFL wear, nothing crazy Nike or whatever. I also added a “Pro Combat” version using the 3D template seen so often. These are just the 2D Home put on to a 3D template.

Redskins: Home, Away, Home Alt., Away Alt. 1, Away Alt. 2, Pro Combat

The Redskins are my favorite team, and I love their gold pants. I also love their helmet from the 1950’s, the feather design. It’s unique and cleans up the cluttered helmet. I also added the striping only seen on the gold pants to the white and red pants. I added the spear design to the sleeves.

Seahawks: Home, Away, Away Alt. 1, Away Alt. 2, Neon, Pro Combat

I think that the current Hawks uniforms are just boring. When I saw the Seahawks concept on the “2nd helmet” post here on UniWatch, I felt inspired! I think that the neon can be used in great ways, and I added it to the current Seahawk helmet logo, replacing the lighter blue. I tried to incorporate the really cool full Seahawk logo into the jersey as well. The navy pants alternate also brings many more combo’s (All blue, etc.)

Vikings: Home, Away, Home Alt., Pro Combat

I didn’t change too much, but I added the Viking head to the shoulders like the older jerseys, and added piping all the way up the jersey from the pants. That’s about it. A purple pants away could also be seen.

Bills: Home, Away, Home Alt., Away Alt., Pro Combat

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love the Bills throwbacks? The striping is one of my favorite parts. For some reason, the pants stripe seems very cool to me, along with the 4 stripes on the sleeves. It even works well in today’s terrible sleeves. I updated the sleeves on the white jersey to have the second color trim to be consistent with the home. I kept the current helmet because although the white looks good, the red is a better choice. There is actually a cool story about why they switched in the 80’s. The QB kept throwing INT’s to the 4/5 AFC East teams with white helmets (Jets had green, Colts were there). A red alt was just a fun Monday Night idea. The Pro Combat was unfortunately a little rushed. My trial for photoshop had run out, and for some reason my “last use” was acting up. I couldn’t zoom in, and the sleeves aren’t looking great.

Andrew DeFrank


Today’s last batch is another set of pro combat tweaks, this time for the Miami Hurricanes, and they come from Drew Glover. Dig:

Hey Phil,

I’d really like to see the ‘Canes get back to a more traditional look. This is basically what they wore for most of the 80s with the addition of long socks and sock stripes. I just can’t resist an all white uniform.

Home, Home Alt., Road, Road Alt.

– Drew Glover


Tremendous job by all of today’s tweakers. Back tomorrow with more.




Last week saw 2-2, picking by the better uniform, so it wasn’t quite the start I’d hoped for. But there’s two big games today and another two tomorrow, so let’s see if we can’t build upon the meh start. Interesting twist this week, as I was under the impression that the two teams who played on Sunday last weekend would also play on Sunday this week — not so — they both have Saturday games. So, not only are they playing well rested teams coming off bye-weeks, they’re also playing on short rest. Will this have an effect on the final outcomes? Only time will tell. Let’s go.

Ravens vs. Steelers (4:15 pm EST, CBS)

The Ravens are coming off a big win over the Chiefs, and in that game they sported the white jersey over ballet pants look (a look they’ve worn since mid-October for their road games). Clearly, they favor the black, stripeless pants, so it’s a safe bet they’ll be wearing them today. The Steelers, who beat the Ravens in December (when the Ravens broke out the purple over black) in Balto, also lost to the Ravens at home in October. In that game, the Ravens wore white over white, which is a much more appealing look. Will they go back to that today?

These two teams don’t like each other, and clearly either team can win. The Steelers are 3.5 point favorites with an over/under of 37. Now, if the Ravens wear their black tights, they are not the better looking team, but I like that white over white set. So, I’m going to hedge here, as I do like the Stillers homes, but the terribly screwy sleeve stripes and the “slash” font (not that the Ravens is much better) is enough to give the all white Ravens the edge. So…

The Pick: Steelers (17-10) if the Ravens wear their ballet tights and Ravens (Ravens 14 – Steelers 9) if they go all white.


packers falcons

Packers vs. Falcons (8:00 pm EST, FOX)

If this game were just about the unis, this would be an incredibly easy pick. The Pack will be in white over gold, as they always are, on the road. When these two teams met in Atlanta in late November, Atlanta wore their standard red over white, and they won 20-17 on a last second field goal. I’d expect they’ll wear the same today.

Atlanta has had two weeks to prepare for this game, while the Pack has only six days, and they know they can play Atlanta even in the dome. But will it be enough? Aaron Rodgers, as I told you last week, is one hell of a QB, and while Matt Ryan is coming into his own, will the turf, the rest and the home crowd be enough? I’m thinking no. Atlanta is favored by 3 points, with an over/under of 46. That seems a little low for a dome game, but for some reason, defenses seem to rise in the post season.

The Pick: Falcons win, but don’t cover, eking out a 35-33 win in a classic shootout inside the Georgia Dome.


Now, if you have real money on either of these games, you might want to play it safe and pick the opposite. Although I did nail the Jets and Packer upsets last week, I totally blew the Seahawks (although I certainly wasn’t alone) and really thought the Chiefs had a prayer.


OK everyone. That’s just about it for today. This may mark the end and a new beginning for yours truly, as earlier this week, I became the proud new owner of a mac. Now, as of Saturday morning, I’m still using my ancient, decrepit PC, and I’ve been a windows/IE/PC user all my life, so making the changeover may not be smooth, but I look forward to it. Big thanks to Paul for finally providing the push (and a really nice Apple Store gift card for my birthday — thanks buddy) to machood. If all goes well, I’ll be able to *produce* some pretty slick video/podcasts/audio slides and all that good stuff I was supposed to learn in J-school. So wish me luck with that … and hopefully some pretty cool weekend posts in the not-too-distant future. It’s funny, after I bought my new mac, I got a cup of 7-11 coffee (which I’ve loved for eons)…and suddenly it didn’t taste so good anymore and I had an urge for Starbux. Uh oh.

Everyone have a great Saturday…enjoy the football today — it’s our last Saturday of football until the fall. How many days till pitchers and catchers again?


I take it you were never part of a team that wasn’t pixelated. — Robert “Chimp” Marshall

Comments (169)

    You’re just asking for a certain someone to go crazy today aren’t you?

    All I’m going to say is that *any* kind of playoff system, whether it’s a +1, 8 team, 16 team, whatever… would be better than the corrupt pile of crap that the BCS is.

    not at all…and i really didn’t want to bring it up, except for the fact that this is pretty much *my* last post on college football for the forseeable future

    i only wanted to address those who oppose a playoff by saying you’d get crappy “first round” matchups in empty stadia — clearly, if we used the 1 vs 16, 2 vs 15 etc format employed by college hoops, there’d be plenty of (on paper anyway) great first round games

    there are many arguments against a playoff system, but lousy matchups aint one of them

    This is nonsense, though. The ONLY reason to go with 16 teams is to include all the conference champs. So Miami U, MTSU, etc, WOULD be in the playoff. If no automatic bids for “lesser” conferences, then there’s no rational reason to have more than 8 teams.

    i’ll give you that 16 teams may be too many (if we must have a playoff) but they you’d have to have ONLY the top 8 ranked teams

    otherwise you get shitty matchups everyone is complaining about in a playoff system

    i still don’t see why we need a playoff, but if you are gonna have one, then make it worthwhile

    i don’t care if you won the podunk conference…if you aint in the top 8 you don’t get invited to the dance

    dear mr kotter~
    please excuse juan from class today, he has a touch of the thrax from the lead-goat, and the only way to treat it is with crickets.
    ~epsteins mother

    Don’t know why we (and so many talking heads) keep beating this NCAA football playoff thing to death. They (and we) ought to smart enough to know it ain’t gonna happen. Maybe a Four-Team eventually, but that’s about it.

    Saying again, college football approaches things differently than the NFL. Totally unique template. It’s all about going undefeated, if you can. As Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said this past season, “Every week’s a playoff game.”

    I say embrace the difference. Who wants Saturday to feel just like Sunday? Christ, that’d be boring.

    The truth is, the earth isn’t going to spin off its axis and tumble into the sun if NCAA football doesn’t have a full-on playoff.

    Although I’ll stand with anyone who says that 38 bowls (or whatever it was) is serious overkill. But, come to think of it, it IS kinda nice to know there’s a game to watch just about every night for a few weeks. So I guess maybe it’s “no harm, no foul.” Don’t like the minor bowls? Then don’t watch. Ain’t no gun being held to anyone’s head.

    And ESPN isn’t stupid. The bowl games must do better numbers than the “World’s Strongest Man” rerun they’d cue up otherwise.


    Why should we assume that it’ll never change? Think about it – When you were a kid did you think they’d ever change the classic bowl system to guarantee a 1 vs 2 game like we have now? The BCS is a broken system, but it is different from what we had 20 years ago.

    Regardless of your personal stance on it, it’s kinda silly to think it’s untouchable now.

    The reality is all the logistic, fan travel and ticket-selling nightmares. More to it than just the TV aspects.

    You want to try to sell tickets, etc., to a first-round Ohio State-Utah game in Jacksonsville? Or, on a week’s notice, turn around and do the same thing for a second-round Ohio State-Clemson game in Dallas? How many Buckeye and Tiger fans can we expect to pop for short-notice airline tickets, for example? Or drive all over the country week after week to follow thier team?

    And, yeah, I did think (as a kid) that some kind of two-team or four-team would come along eventually, because a) it likely would be deemed necessary and b) it could be accomplished without gutting the bowls, and the money they spend staging the their games. If we don’t think it isn’t about, at its core, the money, then we don’t understand how this country works.

    So I suppose I should have said “ain’t gonna happen in next decade or so…maybe more.”

    The system right now is dopey. But there is that old saying about not throwing the baby out with the bath water.


    So, the playoff games are held at the higher seed’s stadium. Who the hell says they need to all be neutral fields? Isn’t there like a 3 or 4 week gap right now between the end of the season and the start of the bowl games? How hard would it really be to use that time for playoff games and then have the championship game still line up right where it is now, and you can still keep most of the bowl games just for the hell of it too. Most of them are already nothing more than glorified exhibition games as it is.

    That’s why I keep saying that Four works. First round at home fields of #1 and #2 immediately after the season. Then let the rest of the bowls (those “glorified exhibition games”) play before the Final Two.

    Besides, does anyone really think the best team in the country isn’t likely one of those rated in the Top Four at season’s end? (We don’t hear much complaining from #6 or #12 about not being included. Almost always, they’re just fine to play a bowl game with a well-planned vacation trip for fans, students and alumni….and the check that goes with it.)

    The best team isn’t, however, always one the Top Two. A Four this year likely would included TCU…and no one really would have had anything to bitch about.

    We’re not that far apart here, The Jeff. I just think 16 DOES generate “throwaway” games, so let those stay Bowl games, but give us a Final Four. Seems like a legitmate Best of Both Worlds scenario: The bowls retain their status as “celebrations” of college football, and we still get head-on confrontations among the cream of the crop.

    College football isn’t about who gets hot late, and shouldn’t be. For almost everyone, it starts with the notion of first winning your conference, and going from there. Need to play well all season to accomplish that. That’s a difference from pro football that I, for one, think is worth retaining.


    “Who says the stadium needs to be completely full for the game to be played?”

    The bean counters and those who want things to look good on TV.

    Not sure the NCAA wants to hype a game and then have the stadium be half full. Not when it’s their nickel. The way it is now the bowl promotors are paying to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    I keep saying, a 8 or 16-team playoff would be an expensive proposition, and right now the NCAA isn’t the one footing the bill for its football post-season.


    Also, the neutral sites don’t have to be places like Neyland Stadium or the Horseshoe. You can get 70,000 people to pack the Citrus Bowl to see Oregon vs. TCU followed by Auburn vs. Stanford.

    Depends on if the idea is to redefine college football and destroy the bowls, or to do something that preserves them. I know that from recliners across the land there doesn’t appear to much good about them, but the reality is that there IS a great deal that’s worth preserving.

    A Final Four would generate plenty of excitment (this season because it WOULD have included TCU). And I’ll ask again, who really gives a shit if #8 or #13 get—or thinks #8 or #13 deserve—a shot at the title? Over a 16 (possibly 18) game pro season, sure, but NCAA teams don’t play enough games to need to accomodate a slump where a good team drops two or three games.

    One more time, who will foot the bill for staging these games? Right now, it’s municipalities, Chambers of Commerce and title sponsors. The “ Second Round Playoff Game That Will Be Forgotten the Day After The Game and is Worthless for Recruiting Purposes Whether We Win or Lose Because #2-15 will End the Season with a High Profile Loss”? Don’t bet on it. Not with the way coaches presently see things.

    Easy to look at a TV screen and think it’s simple. In reality, it just isn’t so.


    I must admit I always thought the path of least resistance – which in this case is – what would generate the most money – would eventually win out. I suspect we won’t ever find this out , as it will never happen, but I have a high level of confidence that the television ratings that the 15 games (a 16 team tournament would have) – would double the TV ratings the top 15 Bowl generate today – and thus television rights would at least double – which would be a massive amount of doh rae me. As soon as you adopt a play-off system – which the NCAA has done (except it only invites two teams) you seriously compromise the Bowl games – the Bowl games now are living off past reputation – that’s why I kind of see it possible they go back to the old system.

    The Baltimore Ravens uniform is thoroughly lower tier in the NFL – it’s not horrendous , but there’s nothing appealing about it.

    Why does it have to be the same group of fans going to each game? Major programs do not only have 40,000 fans and that is all. If you watched most of the bowls those seats are empty anyhow and yet they still keep adding bowls. Heck we are up to 35 bowls now with 75 teams.

    It may not be long before we see two 4-8 teams play in a bowl game.

    The bowls would not be destroyed. They can still have all these bowls for mediocre teams and still determine the national champ the right way and on the field.

    I agree that 16 is too many. 8 might work.

    A) Playing the first 1 or round or two as home games reinforces that “every week is a playoff” notion. It makes the regular season that much more meaningful. You’re playing for that home field.

    2) Who says the stadium needs to be completely full for the game to be played? Clemson played its bowl game in Charlotte, which is like a 2-hour drive from campus and that place was nowhere near full capacity.

    III) IF the games were all played at neutral sites — to somewhat emulate the hoops-tourney motif, why not play doubleheaders at each site so you’re attracting fans of four schools, not just two.

    8 works. No more, no less. 16 allows too many teams that haven’t earned the right to play for a title to participate (Alabama) and 4 teams will create controversy as to which one-loss teams are more deserving. Generally there are 2-6 teams deserving a shot at the end of the season. 8 teams allows them all to get their chance. Better to let a few teams that might not be deserving than not allowing a team that is deserving.

    And when someone’s Heisman Trophy-winning running back blows out a knee in the #1 vs. #8 game (or worse, #1 vs. #16) how much shit hits the fan?

    “Why we gotta play these meaningless games against teams that don’t deserve to be here?”

    Sure, it could happen anytime, but you know I speak the truth. :)


    cuz there’s no possibility of your “Heisman Trophy-winning running back” blowing out his knee in any of the previous 11 games, right?

    yup…you did

    just reinforcing that fact that an injury can happen at any time…to “blame” a “playoff” game for it is as weak an argument as saying there won’t be good first round matchups

    like i said, im not necessarily in favor of ANY playoff, even a plus-one…but i am saying that some of the arguments against it are weak

    your other arguments (below and above) against it are sound and do need to be considered

    And I was only saying (and how could anyone disagree?) that the griping would be incredible if that injury came in what some would call an unnecessary “participation trophy” game between, say, #1 and #16 (which could be undefeated vs. 2–or even 3?–losses, if #16 were a conference champion. 1 vs. #8 could be seen that way, too. Again, anybody think #8 typically is a truly worthy contender?

    Besides, wasn’t intended as an argument pro or con, just an observation on human nature, and that nothing’s perfect.


    How about if a sure first round draft pick blows out his knee in one of the 29 meaningless Bowl games that currently exist,

    I think after there was such a slow response last weekend on uni -watch , one comment as of about 11:00 am – Phil played the “Bowl game vs play-offf” card.

    Talk about missing the point.
    Bowl games are the end of the trail this year.
    There are no more games yet to be played after a bowl game in the quest to be…Number One.

    Again, please listen, just saying there’d be griping if a Cam Newton went down in a 1 v 16 game, causing Auburn supporters to complain, probably rightly so, that their chances of winning it all got hosed in a game that didn’t need to be played because…”#16? Why is #16 in this thing in the first place?”

    Was an ironic comment on how fans always will find something to bitch about. I get injuries. Been around awhile.


    But your point is utter nonsense, the 16th team in the country is still a very good team, and by no means would be a meaningless game. How many Division 1 teams are there – 108? How can we rule out a team like Nevada who was ranked 15th, could go on a real run. To your non-sensical point, how does a No 1 basketball team feel playing the #64th team in the NCAA tournament. The current system is a compromise – and like a lot of compromises ends up accomplishing nothing – infact as many as said, it’s kind of the worse of both worlds – making it a 4 team play-off I’m afraid is likely a solid compromise as well – further hurting the integrity of the remaining Bowls – and being a very tough decision as to who gets in (i.e No 1 will probably be a no-doubter) but I can see a heck of a lot of teams have 11-1 records thinking they should be that 4th seed, and if that 4th seed goes ahead and wins – well

    So now the idea is to include “very good”?
    I thought it was to keep a legitimate contender such as TCU from being shut out.

    Do we want better TV while we channel surf, or do we want to shake out the best of the best?

    Which problem are we trying to solve?

    Cuz they really are two thoroughly different approaches.


    One other point to illustrate what I’m saying – over the last 10 years or so, to generate more money – the conferences have created Conference Title games – so this year Auburn had to play South Carolina to go forward, what was the Gamecocks ranked at the time ? By all means, a true meaningless game based on Ricko’s definition, and yet it’s viewed as a very important game – Once a system gets created – the old system quickly gets forgotten – and the 16th vs 1 – would be a very important game – and we shouldn’t think of the 16th team the same way we view the 16th seed in the NCAA basketball tournament – as those teams are in reality teams 63, 64, 65, and 66. The 16th team here – is the equivalent of a 4th seed.

    I’ve always been a proponent of a 16 team play-offs – my thinking is , it would simply produce great TV – i.e. it would be a whole lot more fun than the current system. Hey when the St Cardinals can win the World Series playing 525 baseball in the regular season – there have been greater injustics – than if for instance a 16th seed team would run the table, with what I’m proposing. I do agree with you – without knowing the subject as well – the forces seem to have their own interest not to make it happen – and the fact that it was mentioned that there are greater odds switching back to the old system – I think the braintrust that runs this – recognizes the flaw with the current system.

    So we want NCAA football to be about who gots hot late in the season? That’s fine, I suppose, but it isn’t the paradigm now, and hasn’t been…ever.


    Oh, it’s all dorked up now, that’s for sure.

    But I don’t know that the answer to not screwing over #3 is to include #16. Or #8, for that matter.


    In terms of the concern that a 16 – team play-off would be simply rewarding the team that got hot at the end – the one counter point – I think the balance between winning the regular season – i.e. a conference title and who wins the tournament at the end of the year, would be far more even with NCAA , in terms of importance – if not tilting towards the conference title winner is more important – than say the professional sports – where the importance of the play-offs easily trumps the regular season. i.e if you win the SEC – you’ve had a hell of a season regardless of what happens in the play-offs

    I’m tellin’ you… combine playoffs and the bowl games together.

    1) Have all four BCS Bowl Games play on NYD.

    2) The next week, have two games play on the same day (ex. Rose Bowl winner vs. Sugar Bowl winner, and Fiesta Bowl winner vs. Orange Bowl winner) to decide the two teams that will play for the bona-fied National Championship at a later date.

    It pleases the playoff lovers, and keeps the tradition of bowl games in college football. AND the best part is that the teams that don’t win the BCSNC still go home with a BCS Bowl Game trophy at the end of it all.

    Ex: Rose Bowl winner TCU playing against the Orange Bowl winner (Stanford) in the Natty. For argument’s sake, let’s say that the Cardinal beats the Horny Toads, and take the Coach’s Trophy (and their talents) to Palo Alto. Even though TCU came up short, they still go home with the Rose Bowl Trophy in the end.

    The ultimate solution to THIS problem link that is our current system? No. A Rex Ryan belly-sized improvement over what we currently have? I say yes.

    The only way playoffs could help a team like Oregon beat an SEC team is to give them some momentum going into the big game. They have all year to do that. Instead they chose to play weak schedules, and they come in prepared to play another weak team. They lose. It’s their fault, not the BCS.

    Considering they only lost by a FG at the last second… yeah. So what exactly does it say about TCU then, who just happened to win their game over the big bad Big 10 team?

    Nonetheless, your post brings up a point to be made in favor of a different scheduling system to go along with a playoff. The current system basically says that the only way you even have a chance at the championship game is to be undefeated – so naturally you get the front running teams constantly playing their first couple games vs crappy MAC teams or division 2 schools. Why play Alabama if you can play Toledo? If the goal was to win your conference to make the playoffs, rather than go undefeated or else, you wouldn’t have so many cupcake games.

    Reading the previous comments its obvious that yall have no clue what goes on in 1-AA ball. Study that playoff format. That’s how it should be done. PERIOD.

    Oh, and nice work on the tweaks, Mr DeFrank. It’s kinda nice to see the same uniform on both templates. Sometimes it can be hard to picture exactly what a flat 2d concept will actually look like on a real player.

    Thanks very much! I had given up hope that they would be posted and I clicked on the link without realizing and I was like… thats my uniform… uhh OMG. It’s funny though, I made a much better update to the helmet. I can send it in if anyone wants it?

    I generally don’t like meandering pinstripes all over a jersey and pants (i.e., Vikings, Cardinals, etc.), but I really like what you did with the Seahawks’ unis. You definitely makes their uniform much less drab.

    thanks very much. im working on the redskins now. i got photoshop recently so i can send those in when im done. i also have done the steelers since i sent those.

    Wow Andrew, very nice work!

    great fixes for probably 3 of the worst unis in the league… and i definitley agree with Jeff on the Hawks pinstripes. just all around great

    …and I’ve long thought that helmet is the best the redskins could do. great look!

    To help you get in the mood for a little horsehide…


    A gallery of Atlanta Braves unis over the years.

    I love the understated 1969-71 “National League Yankees” look.

    I wonder why they made the tomahawk red in 1987. The dark underline for “Braves” looked better.

    put me in firmly in the “playoff” column. the way to make sure first round games aren’t a bust financially is to let the higher seeded team host. those of us who are Big Ten fans can’t begin to get enough of this… we play in the cold, rain and snow and must build offenses to suit the weather conditions. then all the bowl games are played down south or in a dome (or both!). if we had a playoff we’d get Florida going to Happy Valley in December, or USC coming to the ‘Shoe in the snow, or Auburn trekking to Camp Randall on a sleety day. how amazing would that be?

    btw, listen to NFL talking heads very long and you’ll hear them say “you’ve got to be able to run the ball … how are you going to win in Foxbororo or New Jersey or at Lambeau in January w/o a running game?” one of the many problems with the current college fb system is it is geographically unfair and diminishes the value of the power running game!

    “… After I bought my new mac, I got a cup of 7-11 coffee (which I’ve loved for eons)…and suddenly it didn’t taste so good anymore and I had an urge for Starbux. Uh oh…”


    There’s help if you need it, Phil. Don’t get down on yourself if you decide to get your basic joe at Starbuck’s; it’s good stuff. Beware, however, of any creeping tendency to add aerated milk products to the coffee order. This is what mental health professionals have described as “Cappuccino’s Syndrome,” named for the 17th Century Sicilian friar who first codified the symptoms in a refereed journal. If you feel any tug toward “la dirreccione spumata,” quickly call the helpful professional at Foam-Anon.

    And I am happy to hold Ricko’s coat as he brawls with you pro-playoff enthusiasts. Ricko may want to accept my campaign contributions, but he won’t be helped by the disclosure of my personal prejudices for an NCAA cap on 12 games per season, with none before the first Saturday after Labor Day. I also want the NHL reduced to six teams and all travel restricted to railways.

    …Phil then purchased a pair of skinny jeans, vans slip-ons and decided to listen only to vampire weekend

    heh…i actually bought (after a reallllllly long search) a pair of “spicoli” vans after FTARH came out (’82?)…was the only one in my HS wearing them…and boy did i catch shit…quickly went back to wearing chucks after that

    Back in the day, to this day even, with proper role models link and Marvin the Martian sporting Chucks, I can see where the social pressure to wear them comes from.

    haha nicee, i remember having a pair when i was 12 and coloring in the white parts with yellow and green highlighters… come to think of it, I think im owed some royalties from nike

    …and shane, if you get the cardigans, i call the deep vnecks

    ….I also want the NHL reduced to six teams and all travel restricted to railways….

    Can goalies wear masks?

    Hey guys, have kind of been keeping my eye out for it but haven’t seen anything… whats the deal with Aaron Rodgers helmet??


    Looks almost like theres additional air-cast type padding in that thing

    I’ve noticed it too. I don’t have any facts about it but I have a feeling it’s because of the recent concussion(s?)

    Yah, it looks like it showed up when he came back after the pats game… the outer is one of those new style that we see alot of, its the inner thats pretty unique

    I always enjoy the comments that a 16-team tournament wouldn’t work. It works at every other level of college football. In fact, Division I Football Championship has a twenty team bracket. Any argument that a playoff is 1) not feasible, 2) can’t be large, 3) would disrupt students too much, are all bunk. We have proof that it works in smaller, lower budget programs. Nothing prevents Division 1 FBS from changing; it simply doesn’t want to change.

    As for format, I think it should be strictly the 11 conference champions, with a single-at-large to make it an even 12. The at large is to accommodate the independents and/or the strongest conference. This year it looks like it’d be Standford. Then we run a playoff NFL style. Seed them via a BSC-style poll or a March Madness style committee. The top four teams get a week off, all higher ranked teams host. Start games the first weekend of December. Take a week off for Christmas, and play the championship on New Years Day.

    Not only do you solve the problem, you go from having one game people care about (the championship) to 11 to care about. People won’t tune in to just their team, since the other games will impact who their team might play. I think it’d be a perfect solution. Now if only I ran the NCAA.

    Huge difference—HUGE difference—in the money involved. The money aspect of the lower divison playoffs is chump change, comparatively speaking. Not meaning that spent by fans, but rather the money the bowl system puts into conferences, not just participating teams but all the teams in the conference, who each get their share. Need to figure out a way to guarantee last place teams that kind of money from an extensive playoff system.

    Do NO ONE consider that? Of course not, that’s too damn much reality, apparently.


    Minor details, Ricko. I’m sure the NCAA has more than enough accountants and financial experts to work those things out.

    If there were substantially more money in it, they’d have done it a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng time ago.

    “Follow the money,” Deep Throat said. He was right. It’s the American Way.


    If the average share of the bowl money is, say, $100,000 per school, that’s $11.9 million of bottom line clear profit that MUST be made…after staging all those games on the NCAA’s nickel…to give to each of the 119 D-I schools.

    Plus, whatever alumni contributions a school loses because their team wasn’t on national TV in a bowl game now that the 16-team playoff has totally destroyed interest in them and many have disappeared.

    Oh, sure, it could be done. Depends on how much money TV would pony up to replace all that sponsor/chamber money…and then some. But it’s a lot more complex than drawing brackets on a legal pad and looking at a map to pick out stadia to host games.

    Plus, teams that finish ranked 20th or so kinda like those nice trips to a bowl game. It’s fun. And they’d hate to seem such things disappear. College football isn’t only about the top 16 teams, you know.


    One more thought, then I gotta go meet a lady for lunch.

    If ESPN is the most likely candidate to come up with that kind of money, how does that go down with the Presidents of so many public institutions? Likely their biggest TV sporting event of the year and the games aren’t available on free TV? Ouch. Big ol’ PR issue there.

    Seriously, that might even get Congress involved.


    Because there’s just so much interest in say, 30 of the 35 current bowl games now. The vast majority of the bowl games are between teams that wouldn’t be involved in the playoffs in the first place. There’s no reason you can’t have both. The bowls showcase the other teams while the top runners are in the playoffs. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

    It’s a Tuesday in the first week of January, the Playoffs are all but finished, with the Championship Game coming up on Saturday – are you going to watch the Pizza Bowl between the MAC 2nd place team and the Big East 3rd place team? Damn right you are, because there’s nothing else on anyway.

    “There’s no reason you can’t have both. The bowls showcase the other teams while the top runners are in the playoffs. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.”

    Absolutely agree, but must be careful not to include so many teams in the playoff that the bowls DO get killed off. What’s that number? I can’t say positively, but my gut tell me 16 would scuttle the bowls for sure. That’s raking off the top 8 bowl games. Relatively high, and risky, price to be paid. And I still can’t buy 8 because who in their right mind thinks #8 is realistically in the picture?

    Unless we simply MUST have a possible “Cinderella” every year or it isn’t interesting. Is the idea to decide among the obvious contenders, or be like the NHL, where they play 80+ games to eliminate Phoenix?

    Still nobody but me is addressing the money and PR issues, though,and they are very, very real.


    Maybe we’d rather not discuss the money, as that happens to be a big part of why some of us view the current situation as “corrupt”.

    The money would be there. Exactly how to divide it up is not my concern. I find it really hard to care about the specifics of the money when the schools are paying out multi-million dollar contracts for coaches (while simultaneously throwing a huge fit if a player tries to sell his own autograph).

    Nick, You think just about exactly like I do. If every other level of football can have working playoffs then they would work too in 1A.

    I cringe when I hear college presidents use their lame excuses. They keep allowing more games on the schedule and are fine with the so called CCGs.

    Heck in the late 1960’s Ohio State and some other teams had a 9 game regular season.

    SI had a great article about why the bigwigs are against a playoff. I may look for it and link it.

    It said every NCAA sport has championships or playoffs but one. Hmmm

    I ask because this…
    “It said every NCAA sport has championships or playoffs but one.”
    …isn’t exactly a huge new insight.



    That is the link to the article. Pretty good read.

    And I too do not understand the folks who talk about the regular season being so important now. According to who? The anti playoff people only. How many teams regular season games are so important?

    If a team loses early or middle of the season it renders the rest of their games meaningless. Once Ohio State lost to Wisconsin I lost a lot of interest because I knew the MNC was out of the question. Sure I watched all the games and enjoyed them but sure would have been nice to get a chance at the National Championship. And the way it is now where teams are ranked and at the beginning of the year is the most important thing. If TCU and Boise are ranked top 5 and do not lose most teams will not pass them.

    So how important were TCU’s regular season games now? They won them all and still get screwed. How about teams that lose a couple games. How important are their regular season games.

    I say the games would mean more with a playoff for more teams because teams would be jockeying for playoff positions.

    Yes, SI addressed the money. They said that some teams, under the current format, are actually better off not making a bowl game, because they can lose money in some situations.

    I had the article, but mailed it to Phil along with some other goodies. He could tell you what I’m talking about.

    “(who knew it would snow in El Paso?)”
    Why, anyone who paid attention to my ode to the Sun Bowl. ;)
    Anything’s possible there.

    “Pitt surprised me with the monochrome white, and it looked good.”
    What surprised me is that you said that. Um, no. Maybe if they had the old mustard helmets or the even older blue helmets.

    As for the P-word…if you can’t keep it simple, don’t do it. Four teams and keep some of the other bowls, or just do a +1 after the bowls. Try to end the season as close to New Years as possible.

    Stuff to do, so I’ll have to read the rest of today’s piece later.

    I’m tired of the “THE Ohio State University”. It’s their official name. Ok. So what. Players make a big deal out of it, probably to make themselves feel prestigious. But it just comes across as lame.

    When sports fans and media (including bloggers) do it, whether it’s for fun or mockery or whatever, it’s also lame. Sorry Phil. It’s an old joke, and not funny anymore.

    By the way, here are just a few official names of schools that don’t feel the need to include a 3-letter word when referring to themselves:
    The Pennsylvania State University
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    The University of Texas at Austin
    The University of Iowa
    The University of Tennessee

    I agree. Partially. I don’t mind quite as much when bloggers do it. What’s annoying is when players do it… Aaaall the time. Even when they go pro and you see the introductions… Congrats, you went to a big public University. Nobody gives a shit that it’s called THE. Nobody but the ones who went there. /endrant

    Since Robert’s excused himself for the day…

    I’m with Coleman. It isn’t THE reason why I don’t like THE OSU, but it is irritating.

    This brings up another irritant – what’s the difference if your school has “University” before or after it? For instance, JTH is tired of reminding people it’s Indiana University, not The University of Indiana…or is it the other way around? ;)
    Akron used to be Akron University, but 20 years ago they switched to The University of Akron, and they wanted it made clear that’s how you say it. So what? Why can’t it be interchangeable? Most people just say “Akron” or “Indiana” anyway, so it should only matter when it comes to your logo (yes, even I would have a problem with 5 IU helmets and 6 UI helmets on the field at the same time.

    It’s not as if you’re saying “College” instead of “University.” I know there’s a big difference there.

    Actually, whether it’s IU or UI is pretty much irrelevant with link.

    That being said, I hope IU never becomes The University of Indiana because then we’d probably have to move to the Big 12 with all those other schools that don’t know what order they’re supposed to arrange the letters of their abbreviations.

    Wow, it’s only January and my year has already come to a climax, Jim MothersunbowlVilker has mentioned AND agreed with me… My life is complete!

    Nice points too MotherVilker.

    I did indeed JTH, thank you… I just wanted to use the word climax in the same sentence as Jim Vilk.

    I just wanted to use the word climax in the same sentence as Jim Vilk.



    “That being said, I hope IU never becomes The University of Indiana because then we’d probably have to move to the Big 12 with all those other schools that don’t know what order they’re supposed to arrange the letters of their abbreviations.” -JTH

    Hey, I didn’t attend THE University of Kansas State. But I hear you. People say MU, Mizzou, or the (not capitalized) University of Missouri. But I rarely hear Missouri University.

    I always think of the Volunteers instead of the Longhorns when I hear UT.

    And there is a BIG difference between KU and UK.

    “Zenith” is the word we’re looking for, fellas…

    And James, that’s clearly an IU logo, ’cause the I is on top.

    Mr. Vilk is correct! Nadir is apparently the antonym of zenith.

    Unless… maybe he meant it as an insult? Haha, no way he’d insult the Vilker like that…

    Oh yes he would…

    And that 59-61 helmet is definitely a U of I helmet. Oh the inconsistency. No wonder you guys have never smelled a Rose.

    You got to hold the Rose, but you pricked your finger on the thorns before you got a chance to smell it. ;)

    I agree with Ricko and Vilk – a four team playoff makes the most sense in resolving a true champion while keeping the bowl system in place. College football has, by far, the best regular season of any sport. The tradeoff for that is the worst post-season of any sport (basically they have an exhibition season to end the year). The Four Team model would keep the integrity of the win-or-die regular season intact and we’d be guaranteed to never have another TCU (or Auburn from a few years ago) sitting on the outside looking in after an undefeated season. As for the argument of which one loss team gets screwed by finishing fifth – I can live with that. What I can’t stand is the idea of an undefeated team finishing third and getting to play an exhibition.

    So far in today’s comments, Vans & 501s have been mentioned.

    Unless I just missed it, we’re still waiting for the dope Beastie tee, nipple rings and new tattoos. And don’t forget the Coke.

    Nice bowl wrap up! As for Michigan State, I am not a fan of our alternate jersey either. Just an fyi – we are Spartans. Our mascot is Sparty. Love the website!

    The only halfway decent uniform they came out with was the primary home uniform. Why they had the away uniform as a mirror of the alternate baffles me.

    I also hate when media calls us “Sparty”. Sparties is used a derogatory term by scUM.

    Of course, Phil also referred to it as the “Capitol One Bowl” (Capital One Bowl), so it may have just been an oversight on his part.

    Hey Paul, I also don’t like the black pants for the ravens making it look like tights and much prefer the white, which they wore when they won the super bowl. I think they ought to come out with purple pants with gold/white striping on the side which would look pretty cool with black socks. What do you think?

    I don’t think the Vikings would be very happy with the Ravens stealing their pants.

    /and Paul didn’t write today’s post

    Nice to see the fans showing Nikegon’s new hoops court some “love”. I’m glad it’s getting the attention it deserves!


    Except that they’re complaining about the lighting, not the court. From the look of that shot, they’d be having that issue even if the court was nothing but a standard wood floor – it’s glossy, it’ll reflect the lighting.

    touche’. But there are some links in that story where people were tweeting their hatred for the court design as well. Perticularly the “camouflage mid-court stripe and 3 point lines”. My bad, I was probably infusing MY hatred for that ugly court with the actual story! I appreciate innovation, but not as much when it detracts from the game.

    Even though I hate how college football picks its national champion, it is by far my favorite sport to follow. I love the history of it and all or any teams. I love the uniform and helmet history of any team. So I will miss it and still be on the look out for old pictures or things like that.

    Today’s headline made me think yes it is over for now

    Love the idea of a playoff, been for it for many years, only thing I would have done differently is and I know they would never win, but you have to take each conference winner and the five at large teams.

    My only “NCAAF” comment for the year – my wife was sitting thru Sports Nation with me and saw a highlight of the Ducks/Tigers Bowl, and she asks me “what’s the deal with the team wearing neon green??” I tried to explain Oregon/Nike and/or why a school whose colors are green and gold is wearing silver and day-glo etc. but I just gave up…

    You should have just said “blame Nike” and left it at that. You start trying to explain too much deeper than that and you might end up accidentally summoning Cthulhu.

    “It’s a Tuesday in the first week of January, the Playoffs are all but finished, with the Championship Game coming up on Saturday — are you going to watch the Pizza Bowl between the MAC 2nd place team and the Big East 3rd place team? Damn right you are, because there’s nothing else on anyway.”

    Yes. There. Is. It’s basketball season, The Jeff!

    “it’s basketball season” – and goat-roping season and whale-blubber-eating season and so on. Maybe if basketball hadn’t become so full of rapping primadonnas it could be fun again, but AFAIC basketball died about fifteen years ago.

    Touche, The Jeff.

    Gregg, for every primadonna there is a decent hoopster. And don’t tell me football is immune from that kinda stuff,
    ’cause it isn’t.

    Don’t get me wrong…I fell out of love with the NBA for a few years, but not the college game. Now I’m back on board with both of them.

    Oh, and I forgot. It’s curling season, too. Can we at least get some of that on ESPN3?

    Curling I’ll take. If MLS moves to a winter season as FIFA would like, I’d be down with that too. NHL is too spendy for my blood, but college hockey is also a blast.

    There was a period where the NBA was dead to me as well, but now I’m back on board.

    And as far as the “rapping prima donnas” that is such a tired argument. Every big sport is rife with link. Maybe they’re just more visible in basketball because the roster size is so much smaller that they stand out more.

    As for the other side of the coin — the low-key superstar — I got two words for ya: Derrick fucking Rose.

    NBA is still dead to me. Which is odd because I’ll watch anything sports related. Put two cockroaches on the ground and I’ll pick one and root to the death. But the NBA just has no connection to me. Probably for the same reason there are few blacks playing baseball. Not trying to stir that pot, but it is a fact.

    Oh, it’s all dorked up now, that’s for sure.

    But I don’t know that the answer to not screwing over #3 is to include #16. Or #8, for that matter.


    I think that depends on exactly how you determine who #16 or #8 is. We are talking about a system right now which has a 13-1 team ranked below a 10-3 team.

    Just got done reading about the Ducks uniforms. Nice job Michael. It would be nice to see the 67 uniform worn at some point.

    I know it’s exhausting, like if you haven’t already heard enough about the Ducks uniforms, you get my most noteworthy. Well, for those who give a squirt, there ya go.

    Yea, those 67 unis(helmets) were sweet! What’s interesting is a lot of the players were wearing the white plastic masks then, and just a few who wore the gray Dungards. I would love to see some more color pics of the 67 Ducks in action.

    With the white facemasks and the UO logo, they looked a little like a dyslexic colorblind Sooners uni. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.

    Nice work, Michael.

    Ricko’s got it right.
    The top four teams are all you need. The problem with the BCS is that there’s frequently one or two teams that have a legitimate beef with being left out of the championship equation at the end. A 9-2 team at #9 can go stick it.
    Instead, the top four teams get invited to the championship playoffs at the start of December. Home games at #1 and #2, Championship game a week or two later. The rest of the top 25 can play their hearts out at the Meinekie Bowl etc.

    There will be whiny complaints about a bubble team at #5 or #6, but that is preferable to a legitimate contender believing that it was robbed.
    My two cents.

    there are all these templates, concepts and everything on
    the one you always see, and the one I posted as Pro Combat is a photoshop template made by a guy named davidson who is active on the forums at it works so simply, you open the template, select “facemask” and color it whatever you want. things like stripes and logos have to be put in manually, but the template works so that they look as if they are part of the folds and contours of the uniform. im 15, and i just got it tuesday (i had a trial before), and im already making helmets and better designs than that. It really isn’t that hard at all!

    So I was checkin out the bookstore in the Berkeley Art Museum and sitting on the sale shelf was a little book called the “Oregon Experiment”. It was ancient little book, and a first, maybe only edition, describing the progressive design for the “future” University of Oregon campus. The hair stood on the back of my neck, and then I thought, this place has always been the site for “new,” even if it does involve day-glow shoes and gold plated mouth guards. Anyhows, thought it was kinda interesting and a strange coincidence.
    By the way, thanks for the farewell post, I needed some closure.

    i thought i would post this the comments were “done”…

    it was pretty swell that neither spanky or skipper would acknowledge the champ. not that she posted to give you the oppo, that was just her trying to having fun with the two of you on your tearms. and that goes both on the 10th and today(which was her randomly reading while on the left coast. but the way i see t, and i stress the way i see it, neither of you two turds said boo after she kicked your backside for 17+. beyond weak. how about a congrats? maybe the monopoly points we played for that turn into a champ boxing belt should be posted? i appreciate the *almost chimp name*, spank that was UW appropriate, at least you acknowledged. i was murdered, but you were both MORE then embarrassed too.

    champ 44-25-2(+1850)4-5-1(-300)=(+1550)
    skipper 34-32-5(-320)/5-4-1(+120)=(-200)
    spanky 35-36-0(-260)/4-5-1(-300)=(-560)
    chimp 30-37-4(-1270)/5-5(-100)=(-1370)

    sad try. how can either of you decide who can play for *beset ever* in any scene-air-io? obvi neither of you two know who is the best of the 120 more the the “poll”, yet you want to pretend to know 2-4-8 or 16 to decide it all? oh? notjings perfect? just more this or that??

    I don’t know where to start so I’ll just start with my number 1 beef about the system–it jobs schools. Worse yet, it doesn’t even try to hide the fact that it jobs schools.

    Example 1: TCU opened the season at #4, never lost, and got passed by two schools it started behind who played for the title. Now, I get that 3 teams can’t play in one game so somebody has to get left out. But after the games are played, where does TCU finish? #2. So, let me get this straight–TCU is the 2nd best team in the country. So, if they’re the 2nd best team, why didn’t they play in the title game? It’s because there are no more games to be played so it’s safe to put them in the #2 spot now.

    Example 2: UT beats OU two years ago and is ahead of them in 7 straight polls–until the one that decides who goes to the conference title game. OU passes them, wins, and plays for the title. They lose and finish the season behind Texas. So UT beat OU and were ranked ahead of them in 8 of the last 10 polls–the two exceptions being when it was time to decide who plays for the title.

    It’s a sham. ESPN (Craig James was the worst) owns the BCS now and they’re going to lobby for the two teams that will drive the most money. In this case it was Phil Knight’s entertaining offense against this year’s SEC defense. Next year will be another undefeated SEC champion (if that league is so freaking hard how come each year somebody runs the damn table…oh yeah, great officiating is an SEC strong suit…and of course, Cam Newton didn’t do anything wrong) against whatever flavor of the year ESPN and the NCAA and the 6 power conferences decide will be the best matchup.

    All the arguments for a playoff can just stop–because the object isn’t to get to the best team, it’s to make the most money from the system. It’s not a national title, it’s a TV Title (even when my team won it).

    I’m in favor of a 16-team playoff.

    As for the “what about the bowls?” question, my answer is: Who cares! Why does college football owe the bowls anything? If they want to try and survive on their own with non-playoff teams, that’s their choice. I know there’s tradition involved, but again, who cares. Basketball had no problem leaving the NIT behind to start the NCAA tournament.

    One thing that gets lost is that today’s system is a playoff. And no, I’m not talking about the regular season. I’m talking about the championship game. It’s a 2-team playoff, and it’s something we didn’t have before the BCS. So the BCS is an improvement, but it can and should be enhanced.

    I think the people who talk about the bad first round match ups in a playoff are going by the assumptions that all fbs conference champions would get automatic entry.

    Thats what you have now. If you don’t include the all the champions that play 1-A ball then you are not getting a true championship. There is a way to get rid of the bowls and get a playoff going….Don’t buy tickets to bowl games and don’t go to any college football game until they have a championship playoff similar to what 1-AA does.

    I would rather see the playoff the way that Phil had the first round. However, the fundamental problem with the BCS bowl system is that it isn’t fair to the non-AQ schools. While an Auburn v Alabama game would be light years better, more competitive and entertaining than Auburn v Florida International it would just be another case of the big boys picking on the little guys. The only fair playoff system would have to include all 11 conference champs. Then the only logical conclusion with 11 teams would be to have a 16-team format. You could do 12 but that would leave Wisconsin this year out of the playoffs which wouldn’t be fair to them. The whole entire argument for a playoff system is revolved around how unfair the current system is. We can’t replace one unfair system with another. That would be hypocrisy on the part of all those fighting for a playoff. Sometimes more fun and entertaining and competitive isn’t fair.

    actually…you’d be leaving out THE ohio state (since sconnie was “declared” the B1G champeen)

    but so what?

    shouldn’t we be looking for the 16 BEST TEAMS? no one is saying conferences that aren’t the SEC or big 10 11 12 should be the only ones playing, but really, who the hell wanted to see connecticut in the fiesta? you’d still get outsiders like TCU, boise community college and nevada in that mix, but the automatic bid teams that don’t deserve it would get their bowl but NOT the 16 (or 8) team playoff

    they’ve already screwed up the days (i want my cotton, sugar and orange on new year’s day, thank you very much) so if they’re not gonna go back to that, then eff it…and they screw with the teams IN the bowls now — where was the PAC 10 in the rose? the ducks went to glendale, but stanford didn’t replace them, TCU did

    that’s why im against what we have now…not saying a playoff is the answer, but it’s better than screwing over TCU (this year) or texas the other year, or boise in a few years…

    my purpose in posting the top 16 and segregating them was to prove to the naysayers of a playoff that if you took the TOP SIXTEEN TEAMS (and really, those are who should be playing for the national title, not the “conference champs”) you’d get some pretty good matchups…damn good ones, in fact

    i don’t think most people would want a playoff involving the 11 “conference” champs, because those wouldn’t mean 11 of the best 16 teams…

    give them a nice bowl and some parting gifts…let the best 16 (or 8) in the nation the shot at the apple — or just go back to the way it was for 60 years…there was nothing wrong with that

    The only thing wrong with the way it was for 60 years is this: there were lots of unbeaten teams that were ignored because of a made-up writers poll. That’s my only reason for wanting a +1 game or a small playoff. I don’t care about all the one-loss teams, even the ones I liked, who weren’t voted #1. Shoulda won all your games, then. But when you run the table you deserve a shot at the whole thing…even if it’s a split championship.

    Anyone have any idea what the black sticker things on the back of Ray Rice’s arms are?

    They mentioned he has been sick the last couple days, I wonder if its something with medication to combat the sickness/nausea feeling or if its more kineso tape like or what…!

    Y’know, I don’t mind the Steelers’ numeral font, but something really needs to be done about that NOB font.

    Were the 1999 Duck uniforms black and green or green and darker green? I have one in my closet I bought at the UO bookstore…sure doesn’t look black

    I agree with you, I have many times read or heard that uni was black but it has always only looked green.

    Ohio State basketball team is wearing new? home unis.

    Gray red and black stripe from neck or shoulders and down the sides.

    I like them too. There was more to the back then I thought. I saw this on an OSU board.

    on the back is a gray background. with a small ohio outline at the top with the date 1878 (when the ohio state university came about). surrounded by stars and stripes (not usa flag) and then buckeye leaves all down the back. looks very cool!

    Was it just me, or did anyone else notice one of those NFL equipment patches laying on the ground a few plays back?

    The BCS isn’t perfect, but I think it works better at matching the top 2 teams in the nation in the final game of the year, which is it’s purpose. I think it does a better job than the Super Bowl…the Super Bowl champion is the team that does relatively well during the regular season and then is able to turn it on and hit a 4-game winning streak to end the season. To win the super bowl you need to be healthy and on a roll to end the year and also to catch some good breaks with the seeding.

    How many super bowl blowouts have there been? The BCS national championship game has been pretty good about putting together good, entertaining matchups, which, as a fan, is what I’m looking for. Since they went to 5 BCS games, the only lopsided game was OSU vs Florida. Before that, there were some issues like Oklahoma sneaking in after losing the Big 12 title game to KSU (should’ve been Auburn vs USC), Nebraska wandering in vs Miami after being blown out by Colorado.

    The Seahawks will only finish with the winning record this season if they win the super bowl – can anyone defend them as the best team of the 2010 season if they do win out?

    People talk about “winning it on the field” as the only legitimate way to determine that one team is better than the other – but what about teams that play each other twice in a season and split the games? Happens all the time in the NFL, could even be 3 times with preseason.

    I’m for something like the current system they have – play the regular season, let the bowls hold a “draft” where they can pick the best matchups (allow for more flexibility to disregard conference tie-ins and allow bowls to schedule local teams – no uconn traveling to arizona) and then allow the final polls to rank the teams, considering all games played + bowl game.


    Also play the big bowl games on NEW YEARS day. Season should end on January 1st. Also that way, pollsters don’t have short term memory – great performances aren’t forgotten when the final polls come out.

    The BCS has been an improvement over the old bowl system where #1 didn’t always play #2 due to conference commitments to certain bowls. That would’ve happened this time with the Ducks and War Tiger Eagles. So I like that those two aren’t stuck playing other teams.

    However, I do think there should be a 4 or 8 team playoff. Not 16. Let the top teams battle it out, and eliminate the bias of preseason rankings and other factors. And if it is more than 4 teams, the first round should be on-campus at the higher seed.

    Secondly: While picking against the spread is entertaining and difficult, I don’t think our bowl pickem pool should use that. Isn’t the purpose to pick the winner? (“You play to win the game!”) Why let Vegas decide the “winner” when one team is guaranteed to win on the field? If straight-up “picking the game winners” isn’t good enough, then use Confidence points so we can use that to both pick winners and predict our confidence in how that game will end up. Picking against the spread has its purpose, but it makes zero sense to use in playoff/bowl/elimination games. So what if you cover, “your team” still lost on the scoreboard.

    Lastly: I am officially rooting for the NFC in the rest of the playoffs! I absolutely can’t stand the Steelers, Jets, and Patriots, and unfortunately, that’s whom we are stuck with in the AFC. grrrrr.


    with regard to picking “ATS” (against the spread) — that’s where the skill lies…not that anyone did all that great (otherwise the winner would have been 34 or 35 for 35), but using the spread is a much fairer way to “play the games”

    if you have an oklahoma team that’s a 20 point favorite over connecticut, where’s the skill in picking oklahoma (or like my pick of whoever the hell played boise this year) — i knew boise would win … and win big … but add the spread in and you may think twice about picking oklahoma/boise…there’s a reason vegas establishes a line … and that’s to make the picking that much more difficult (or fair, if you will)…

    no…next year we’ll figure out a way to play with spreads

    I know it is harder to pick with the spread, and does make it a challenge. I’d rather guess who actually wins the game rather than who kept it close enough so bettors are happy/mad.

    I haven’t seen a bowl pickem using the spread either, but Confidence points is a happy compromise. Only one game can get maximum points, so there is strategy in using your allotment. Then you have to get both the winner right, and get enough of them right to ultimately win the contest. Of my 10 games with most assigned points, I only got half right. Of my bottom 10 that I wasn’t sure about, I got 7 right. Using confidence points will definitely weed out the good from the bad predictors here, and let some people take risks/gamble on certain games.

    “Tremendous job by all of today’s tweakers.”

    Yes, allow me to belatedly agree with that. Andrew’s ‘Skins were my favorite.


    not the way i *predicted* it, but i actually was right about both games…ravens in black pants — loss…but the pack didn’t need the points, that’s for sure

    if im the bears, i’m shitting right about now…

    Aaron Rodgers and that offense are coming together at the perfect time, and that defense, well, I don’t even have to say it… If the Bears don’t screw it up then the Division Championship should have two of the best uni’s in the league! GO PACK.

    Sidenote: Just saw the Steelers post-game interview with Hines Ward… wearing a mink coat??? WTF

    They’re shitting right now because if they win, they have to play next weekend at home rather than in Atlanta?

    That’s a good point, but I think what he really meant was the fact that they have to play a Green Bay team that looks like a SB calibur squad, who happened to shut down Atlanta… at home.


    The Bears still have to beat Seattle to even think about the Packers — which, by the way is a team that certainly looked beatable (at home) when it had everything to play for and the Bears had very little to play for.

    Who the hell knows? They may be looking past the Seahawks so they get caught flatfooted and the Pack could end up going into Seattle next weekend only to fall victim to the team that “shouldn’t be in the playoffs”.

    This is an email exchange from a blogger friend of mine. Based on the 1-AA playoff.

    From sitting here bored and watching Delaware and New Hampshire in the 1-AA playoffs I got a revelation and a piece of paper. Dangerous combo I know. What if the 1-AA playoff format was applied to the BCS today. Take it however you want, but when I put it on paper I laughed my ass off.

    20 teams make the 1-AA playoffs. So you take the BCS top 20.
    1 Auburn 13-0
    2 Oregon 12-0
    3 TCU 12-0
    4 Stanford 11-1
    5 Wisconsin 11-1
    6 Ohio State 11-1
    7 Oklahoma 11-2
    8 Arkansas 10-2
    9 Michigan State 11-1
    10 Boise State 11-1
    11 LSU 10-2
    12 Missouri 10-2
    13 Virginia Tech 11-2
    14 Oklahoma State 10-2
    15 Nevada 12-1
    16 Alabama 9-3
    17 Texas A&M 9-3
    18 Nebraska 10-3
    19 Utah 10-2
    20 South Carolina 9-4

    Okay with that said you then apply the 1-AA format with I guess one difference. UConn takes South Carolina’s spot as the 20th seed because you can’t leave out the champion of the Big Least. Top four teams get a first week bye, right? Okay so Auburn, Oregon, TCU and Stanford get the first round bye. Higher seeds have the home field advantage till say the Semi-Finals?

    12 VaTech
    13 Mizzou

    16 Alabama
    9 Mich St.

    14 Okla. St.
    11 LSU

    15 Nevada
    10 Boise St.

    Nevada having to return to Boise St and Alabama having to go on the road to Michigan St. in December….I’m a little wet already. Using my gambling skills and college football knowledge I give you the next bracket. Once again home teams are the higher seed.

    12. VaTech
    1. Auburn

    17. Texas A&M
    8. Arkansas

    20. UConn
    5. Wisconsin

    16. Alabama
    4. Stanford

    14. Okla St.
    2 Oregon

    18. Oklahoma
    7. Nebraska

    19. Utah
    6. Ohio St.

    10. Boise St.
    3. TCU

    Once again while I could see some of the Match-ups being a bit strange and a couple being lopsided. Who cares? Like some of the bowl games aren’t going to be awful. The Boise/TCU and Okla/Nebraska match-ups are hotter than a Victorias Secret model and make up for any blow outs. On to the next round. Last round of home team is the higher seed before moving to a neutral bowl site kind of deal.

    1. Auburn
    8. Arkansas

    5. Wisconsin
    16. Alabama

    2. Oregon
    18. Oklahoma

    6. Ohio State
    3. TCU

    I’m kinda drooling now. Okay now national pundits will say I’m a homer but I truly believe in defense wins over gimmicks and hate the love-fest with the spread. With that said off to the Neutral Sites.

    1. Auburn
    5. Wisconsin

    2. Oregon
    6. Ohio State

    By the way here’s where the homer in me comes in and where the sports world goes crazy and the Big Ten flips the bird to the entire College Football World

    National Championship

    5. Wisconsin
    6. Ohio State

    Tell me it’s not possible, funny, awesome, and going to be hated at the same time? Okay I’m going to the bar. Enjoy your weekend of shitty college football.

    and we have a winner in the best reason to not hav a play-off stupid sports argument category.

    Always good to mock rather than have an actual solution to a problem?
    Guess thats why your name is chimp…..nothing educated….just fling poo at it.

    John Kuhn didn’t have the back bumper on his helmet, the Stripe also appeared to be cut at an uneven length (which would be fine it the bumper was there as it would have covered it). I don’t have any pics anybody else see this?

    Great game. Go Pack! Go!
    I think Rodgers just cemented himself among the elite, 10 TDs in his first 3 playoff games (a record), and 2 of the 3 highest scores in Playoff History according to ESPN Stats and Information (I’ve always wanted to say that).

    Yep, definitely saw it too. Left side of the stripe was cut higher, I knew I wouldn’t be the only one who noticed. UW’ers.. always catchin’ the small stuff!

    Oh, and GO PACK GO!

    “Liberty Bowl: UCF 10 — Georgia 6. Georgia looked better but this was more boring than a great defensive struggle. Still, with the Dogs getting 7, I’d have won this one. (Record 1-2; RWS 2-1)”

    Sorry, but I am a UCF student so I have to inform you that Georgia was a 7 point favorite, not a dog.

    I love how playoff proponents say “Let’s decide the best team on the field” then say they want a 16 team playoff with all 11 conference champs and five at large teams. I’m sorry, but the entire SEC West (minus my Rebels) is better than the Sun Belt Champ. Do you really want to determine the best team, or do you just want to have a playoff for the sake of having a playoff?

    If you had a playoff using the top 8 teams in the BCS rankings, you’d have very few teams from non AQ conferences make the field; probably one each year, but certainly not more than two most years. Isn’t that the same problem we have now?

    Finally, as a college football fan, it doesn’t bother me at all that the champion is decided in a unique way. I LOVE the fact that college football is the only sport where ONE loss at any time during the season can effectively eliminate you from title contention. It doesn’t always, but it can. That’s what makes college football different.

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