Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sadly, "Gators really are the Big Fish in the Pond."

The next time you watch the Florida Gators consider this: the University of Florida is laying off faculty; cutting back on textbooks; and reducing admissions for incoming freshman. On the flip side, the Florida Gator football team - through financial endowments - has been able to expand scholarships; get brand new Nike uniforms; and build a fresh 31-million dollar athletic complex. More importantly, spending on athletics at UF out paces undergraduate expenditures 3-1. Of course, Florida isn't alone in this category; across the board, head football coaches along with their assistants are increasingly becoming the highest paid employees on campus. Head coach, Urban Myer, for example, earns roughly 3.4 million dollars while University of Florida President, J Bernard Machen, makes $411.000 annually. How did all this happen? Probably the same way Hannah Montana and Brittany Spears became the most widely researched individuals on Google. Beating out my favorite, of course, Madonna. In all candor though, America's mania over college football is occurring during a time when thousands of adolescents will be denied an opportunity to attend college. These same universities crying broke during the recession are expanding luxuries boxes, football stadiums, and weight rooms. By limiting freshmen admissions, however, state universities are taking away the only ladder available for poor children to climb out of poverty; but since they are not politically connected, not one congressman would be willing to tax athletic revenue to create educational opportunities for the disadvantaged. Clearly if we are not more deliberate in appropriating all college revenue, this issue can easily become a national disgrace...and that's something mot even a gator can stomach.

New Orleans over New England
Pittsburgh over Baltimore
Carolina over New York
Jacksonville over San Francisco
Upset Special
Alabama over Florida

Sunday, November 15, 2009

For Black Coaches, a Referee's Body Language Speaks Volumes

Growing up black in the United States teaches you how to recognize an essential element of survival: body language. This is abundantly clear regardless of walking down the gang infected streets of Compton, or the sterling towers on Wall Street. But what about the gridiron? During the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, referee, Tony Corrente's, crew made a glaring mistake. When Tampa Bay wide out, Michael Clayton, made a catch, he fell on his back; and from all appearances, Clayton was down by contact. While lying on the ground, Dolphin defender, Jason Taylor, ripped the ball from Clayton then jogged into the end zone. The official, however, hesitated before ruling no catch. Bucs coach, Raheem Morris, challenged the ruling on the field since instant replay revealed Clayton secured the ball when his elbow hit the ground. After reviewing the rerun, Corrente surprisingly ruled a fumble giving Miami a first down at the Tampa 13 yard line; the Dolphins, meanwhile, scored. Morris, justifiably staggered by the terrible call, voiced his displeasure to the a white official who flagged him for unsportsmanlike conduct. It was the body language of official, though, which caught my attention. Rather than approaching Morris in a non confrontational manner, he stood his ground, hunched his shoulders, and tossed the flag high into the air. With such a posture, African Americans hear a white man yelling loud and clear, "Don't raise your voice at me boy!" Morris backed off immediately, but looking through a class prism, you wonder if coaches like Bill Parcells, Jeff Fisher, or Tom Coughlin would have been allowed to argue their points? The Bucs are a bad football team, more importantly, officials are inclined to believe there is a good reason for their mediocrity; consequently, referees are less likely to tolerate any lip. In this case, however, a young black coach may have been put in his place by more than just lip service.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bucs hold the fate of two coaches

In a bit of irony, the fate of two coaches could be determined Sunday when the Buccaneers play the Carolina Panthers. If favored Carolina wins, they could salvaged something from a disappointing year by breaking even with a victory next week over hapless Buffalo. With a loss to the Panthers, Tampa Bay could go winless since they won't be favored in any of their remaining games. Although Panthers coach, John Fox, has guided Carolina to a Super Bowl, the team usually follows winning seasons with losing spells; and this year is no different. Following last season's 12-4 record, Carolina is 1-3. To make matters worse, there is turmoil in the Panthers' front office with owner, Jerry Richardson's, two sons leaving after fighting over a successor. The founder is recovering from a heart transplant; meanwhile rumors persist his daughter may take over the club, or the Panthers could be sold. None of this helps Fox as Panther fans continue to blame him for this season's collapse. A lost to the rival Bucs would probably determine Fox destiny in Carolina. Bucs coach, Raheem Morris, on the other hand, would be hard pressed to keep his job if Tampa Bay goes 0-16. Consider this: during training camp, Morris pointed to the Panthers as a model franchise replete with the kind of players the Bucs should emulate. Perhaps, Morris was listening to the same guy who convinced the Indians to sell their land for 0.10 cents an acre. Of course, not all of this falls on Morris: Discontent is simmering over general manager, Mark Dominick's, decision to hire defensive coordinator, Jim Bates, whose Denver Broncos defense ranked 29Th in the league; and true to form, the Buccaneers are 29Th. Bates came under more criticism when former Buccaneer, Steve White, questioned why a coach would have former defensive end, Gaines Adams, line up on the left side for two plays, and then switch him over to right side on third down. According to White, a defensive end spends his first two plays setting up the offensive tackle for an unexpected move on third down. Clearly like so many others including Jeff Jagodinski, Bates was not thoroughly vetted during the hiring process. For all intents and purposes, the owners of the Buccaneers, the Glazers, should not get a free pass either. The family is deeply in debt after using mostly junk bonds to finance their acquisition of soccer power, Manchester United. The Glazers, moreover, have refused to sign free agents and cut payroll during the off season by releasing Derrick Brooks, Ike Hillard, as well as Cato June. More than likely, the Panthers win 24-14, and Fox lives on to fight another day. Morris, though, should spend some of his free time updating his resume.

Bettors note

I like the Giants to win in New Orleans, and Atlanta over the Chicago Bears.

Top 5
New York Giants
New Orleans Saints
Indianapolis Colts
Minnesota Vikings
Denver Broncos

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Bucs; Raheem Morris; and Stepin Fecthit?

For those of you too young to remember, old school actor,Stepin Fecthit, was the lazy character portrayed by Lincoln Perry in the 1929 film, "Show Boat." Although Fecthit's role as a listless African-American humming"Ole Man River" still haunts black men, Fecthit laughed all the way to the bank. While no one is indirectly lampooning coach, Raheem Morris, he is, in a round about way, turning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into a parody. The organization is by all standards a joke. Let's begin with the abrupt firing of former coach, John Gruden. One of the owners, Joel Glazer, insists he fired Gruden because he listens to the fans; it turns out, however, the Glazers terminated their feisty coach when he berated them for asking him to change the offense. The Glazers, furthermore, say its not about the money; so why did they release Cato June, Derrick Brooks, and several more holdovers just before they were due million dollar signing bonuses? But this gets better still, the Tampa Bay media joined in the feeding frenzy by demanding Gruden's head: naturally, they assumed the Bucs would hire former Steeler coach, Bill Cowher or Mike Shananhan. The Glazers, though, doubled crossed everyone by renting Raheem. Consequently, Morris tries to explain away this winless state affairs by insisting his team has to grow up. Gruden, for all his drawbacks, was able to work around the penny-pinching Glazers by employing troubled free agents like Antonio Bryant also Jeff Garcia. These guys became quick fixes by allowing the Bucs to stay competitive while other teams were busy retooling. Similar to Stepin Fecthit, Raheem minces words and stutters while trying to describe a team constantly being spoofed in the local press. To be honest, things don't get any better this week when
Tampa Bay plays the Philadelphia Eagles; only a hoodlum would allow his children to witness this iminent bloodletting. In the end, the sad thing about Stepin Fecthit: despite making millions, he went bankrupt; but unfortunately for Raheem Morris, time isn't money.

Monday, August 31, 2009

In Miami, The Numbers Don't Add Up.

I was recently touched by a radio commentator bragging about the number of pro football players coming out of Miami Dade county: I ponder, on the other hand, why he failed to mention a more telling statistic: the amount of young African American males from Miami Dade county going to prison: about one out of three. The sum just doesn't add up. For every black male making it to the National Football League, there are hundreds more being shackled. On the flip side,there are no men in the NFL from New York's heavily Jewish Westchester county, yet they have plenty of guys in law school, Med School, and Ivy League graduate schools. So you tell me, what's wrong with this picture? Perhaps one explanation comes from the U.S. Census Department showing 40% of African American males are unemployed; well I can see why when the leading employer is the NFL and NBA; sure, they're just begging for job applicants. The trouble is some black fathers excoriate their sons when they fumble a football or miss a layup, but they could care less when the kid doesn't turn in his homework, or cusses out his teacher. At least these dads, nevertheless, are showing up for something beyond a prison work detail. Still, this disparity may explain why New York's graduation rate for blacks is a paltry 26%. You know what else is the pits; according to a recent study, the financial plight of African Americans is nothing short of abysmal; consider this: 1/200,000 have a chance of playing in the NBA. 1/3,000 will earn a Ph.D 1/400 will become a doctor, while 1/20 will be incarcerated. So what is the NFL doing to turn these numbers around, absolutely nothing. Oh occassionaly, a player may visit an inner city school while reading to a few kids during a swank photo shoot, but that's extent of it. While we look on with pride at all the players from football producing states like Florida, California, also Texas, Rome is burning, and one day, we may all end up choking on the smoke.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Is Quarterback, Mark Sanchez, all hype?

Before the NFL draft, ESPN analyst and former Raven, Trent Dilfer, was touting USC signal caller, Mark Sanchez, as the second coming of Joe Namath; according to Dilfer, Sanchez was the only can't miss hope in the draft. All these revelations from a former player who couldn't throw a pea into the ocean...much less a football. If this is all true, nevertheless, why is Sanchez struggling to beat out unheralded, Kellen Clemons? Following reports out of Jets training camp, Sanchez struggles with reads while throwing untimely interceptions; hardly sounds like John Unitas to me. Making matters worse though, even if Clemons out performs Sanchez in preseason, the Jets are obligated to start him since he inked a five year sixty million dollar deal; but this kind of quandary just highlights why the NFL needs to institute a rookie salary cap during the next collective bargaining session. Sanchez's stock rose during involuntary workouts at USC where he wasn't facing the likes of Jared Allen, Joey Porter, or Demarcus Ware. Now, Its becoming very clear many agents are colluding with these so called forecasters to drive up the price of untested prospects. Consider this, of the 28 players who made the NFL All Rookie team, 12 were drafted in the first round. The remaining athletes were taken in the later rounds including the Chiefs, Brandon Carr: the 140th pick. Fullback, Payton Hillis was 227th overall selection while Defensive end, Jason Jones was 54th, and Desean Jackson 49th. Drafting, therefore, is an inexact science; clearly, the best gems are discovered in the later rounds. Of course, this isn't to say Mark Sanchez will not develop into an outstanding professional football player; however committing 60-million dollars to an athlete who struggled to beat out several also rans at USC begs the question: are the blind leading the blind.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

When Confronting McNair, What's A Girl to Do?

Looking back on the McNair tragedy, it's easy to argue that men are genetically predisposed to mate with as many females as possible; but, "This night out on the town backfired." Focus on her frame of mind for a minute. When a 36-year old athlete hands a youngster the keys to his Bentley, what's a girl to do? When a man co-signs for your brand new Cadillac Escalade, what's a girl to do? When a man takes you to his small hometown and parades you around in front of his family, what's a girl to do? When a rich man gives you the keys to his luxury condominium, what's a girl to do? When a man promises you he's divorcing his wife while leaving behind four young sons, what's a girl to do? In order to entice this kid, McNair allegedly did all these things. Of course, no one expected 20-year Sahel Kazemi to take her life, let alone, McNair's, but she did. Suicide, unfortunately, is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 20-24. Taking one's life, moreover, isn't something old people normally do since they have the life experiences to know tough times don't last forever. By the time you become an adult, most men realize women give sex in exchange for love, and males give love in exchange for sex. Any man risks a woman's fury when he shortchanges her by making promises he can't keep. Regardless of how you feel about this young lady, suicide prevention experts say particularly for young people: relationship breakups are one of the leading causes of suicides, followed by social struggles, and drug addiction. Sahel was toiling with all three. Sure, the young lady made a poor choice, but McNair - a man with a loving wife plus four young sons - didn't help the situation. In Sahel's defense, portraying her as a rebuffed gold digger misses the point on the importance of mentoring our youth. A womanizer like McNair should not have been trying to take advantage of naivete. With all her problems, Sahel never asked anyone to push her over the cliff, instead she really needed a helping hand to pull her back into reality. Perhaps in death, Sahel may have taught us a lesson: Sometimes life does follow the script.

Monday, July 06, 2009

For NRA: McNair was Target Practice

In wake of Steve McNair's murder, the National Rifle Association is apt to say, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people." Of course they never add that "People kill people with guns." Once again, another individual is executed by a weapon they probably kept in their home. In case you've been living on Mars, former quarterback, Steve McNair along with his 20-year girlfriend, Sahel Kazemi, were found dead in a condominium jointly owned by McNair also sporting goods magnet, Wayne Neely. In a bit of irony, a friend of Sahel was planning on taking her to a shooting gallery since she was afraid to be alone at night. Kazemi declined the invitation, however, because she said McNair had plenty of guns lying around. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, guns are rarely used against an intruder; in most cases, the bullets find their way into the flesh of an acquaintance. One man, for example, was so trigger happy, he shot his wife while mistaking her for a late night least that's what he told police. Even experienced marksmen, moreover, will tell you they have to practice weekly to hit a moving target. Yet, people in this country prolong the arms race by buying assault rifles, revolvers, as well as semi automatic weapons. Aware of the carnage in Chicago's city streets, President Obama promised to confront the gun lobby in Washington, but like most of his rhetoric, it's all talk with very little action. The NRA, meanwhile, continues to promote the notion there is a big dangerous black man lurking around the corner, so shoot first. The concept is so prevalent- according to the New York Times - even black undercover police officers are mistakenly gunned down by their peers. In conclusion, I don't know who Sahel Kazemi saw in her final moments with McNair: after all, he is a big black guy; yet in the eyes of society, Steve McNair may as well had a bulls eye on his forehead.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rays Attendance: It's the announcer, stupid.

The Rays attendance woes can be traced to several factors: the excuses vary from the team being perennial losers; to people hanging out at Florida's pristine beaches; to other entertainment options vying for a sparse dollar; To a degree, all of the aforementioned is true, but one rarely mentioned point is the momentous role a radio/television announcer plays in creating fan interest; on this principle, the Rays have failed miserably. The exciting pace of football, basketball, and hockey, allow fans to interpret the action for themselves. In those sports, broadcasters are a luxury, rather than a necessity. Baseball, however, is slow; and like a good book, the announcer reads it to the fan the same way a mother narrates a bedtime story. Consider the pleasant sounding voice of the Dodgers, Vince Scully: he became a legendary broadcaster by blending play by play with anecdotal information about players. In between pitches, he could tell what a manager can, or cannot say to an umpire that results in an ejection; in addition, he may inform you Babe Ruth's mother was a fourth generation slave. Over time, legions of new fans on the West Coast became Dodger enthusiast. On the other hand, who will ever forget the St. Louis Cardinals, Jack Buck, describing Kurt Gibson theatrical home run with the memorable phrase, "Folks, I don't believe what I just saw!" Buck like Scully, created legions of Cardinal fans throughout the Midwest with his episodic play by play; baseball became our national past time since it closely mirrors our collective evolution as a nation. No teacher can discuss segregation without mentioning Jackie Robinson in the same breath as Rosa Parks. Film maker, Ken Burns's, epic documentary reveals how much baseball is elaborately woven into the fabric of sporting Americana. An announcer's ability, therefore, to express this sport in the context of our culture conveys our heritage. So regarding Rays attendance, what's all the fuss about? Currently, Tampa Bay is ranked 23rd in attendance averaging 22,000 a game. On some nights, the figures are less than 13,000. The season began with high expectations because the club won the pennant last year. So who's the blame? Initially, former announcer, Paul Olden, was so lame, he's currently the public address announcer for the Washington Nationals. The current broadcaster, Wayne Statts, needs a good color commentator as Statts does little more than tell corny jokes. Baseball, meanwhile, becomes dreary when the announcer does not understand the subtle intricacies of the game. Of course not everyone is a Vince Scully, Red Barber, Jack Buck, or Bob Costas, but if they're not in this category, they must substitute background information with an astute analysis of the game. No one likes second guessing a baseball manager more than aficionados; the presenter, meanwhile, must be able to motivate a baseball enthusiast by calling into question a coach's strategy. If the Rays are to stay in Tampa Bay while building fan interest, they must look for an anchor who incorporates all these qualities. Otherwise, Floridians will remain content watching leggy bikini clad blonds prance around Clearwater beach.

Friday, May 22, 2009

NBA: Is this where Amazing Happens?

For many people, hating on the NBA has become habitual; for example, some common grumbles: the league is too black, too thuggish, and too hip hop. On top of that, Commissioner, David Stern's, alleged insistence on promoting only Kobe, LeBron, and Dwayne Wade, have led to accusations of games being fixed; the new National Basketball Association is a far cry from days of white standouts like Boston's, John Havelichek, Philly's, Billy Cunningham, as well as, New York's Dave DeBusschere. Nowadays, the league is 80% African American; the players flaunt their tattoos; and trash talking is the norm. To counter that perception, the NBA shows lots of public service commercials of players helping low income children, and plenty of cameo shots of white girls holding signs asking Paul Pierce to marry them. Of course, this is a far cry from the not too long ago days of guard, Ron Artest, provoking a fan riot in Detroit, or a fuming Rasheed Wallace brandishing his 9.millimeter in the face of a teammate. To say the league has come a long way baby, is a bit presumptive; but some measure of redemption is occurring. The new slogan, "Where amazing happens," was clearly palpable when LeBron James nailed a last second unbelievable three pointer against Orlando. The Denver Nuggets, meanwhile, refuse to lay down for the star studded Lakers. With games this exciting, the NBA could be making a comeback on national television where ratings have been
leaky. If its stars can stay out of trouble - Uh, Kobe Bryant's "Last Tango" in Eagle, CO - there is no reason the NBA can't make a run at the NFL's television dominance. People forget, the Lakers and Sacramento Kings garnered a 21.0 rating for their game 7 in 2000. That's comparable to the numbers the NFL gets for the NFC championship; but first, people have to stop hating on the league while giving these amazing athletes a that asking too much?

Can this be Danica Patrick's Day?

It used to be every Memorial Day, you listened to the radio to see if Al Unser won the Indianapolis 500; today, however, you eavesdrop to see if Danica Patrick has the mettle to finish first. The nexus of man and machine has made this an event chockful of testosterone; but all that changed in 2005 when Danica became the first woman to lead this historic race. As a rookie, she was only six laps short of the finish line when St. Petersburg's, Dan Wheldon, roared past her: Low on fuel, she had to slow down. Yet, Danica still finished fourth; Today, her task is even more daunting as she starts four rows behind the favorite, Helio Castroneves. He drives for Roger Penske who has prevailed in this race a record setting 14 times. Castroneves won the pole position by accelerating around the oval at 224 mph. When Danica, however, raced for the Rahal/Letterman team, she posted a similar time; yet Danica didn't win the race. Patrick knows the Indy 500 is based on endurance rather than speed. Although she is starting in the middle of the pack, Danica has to resist the nervous jockeying occurring in the middle of the horde. If she can emerge unscathed from all the early yellow flags, this can be her day. There will be millions of little girls listening to the radio to see if she can hoist the Borg Warner trophy and proclaim, " Hey guys, anything you can do, I can do better!"

Monday, May 11, 2009

March of the Penguins, Not?

While the NBA playoffs troll along with catatonic blowouts and flagrant fouls, the quest for the Stanley Cup is nothing short of fantastic. Since its existence, the crusade for Lord Stanley's Cup has always pushed athletes to the edge of human endurance; but this year's hunt is matchless. In the past, anticipation was tempered because many of hockey's best players were on the same team; for example, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Yari Kuri, and Grant Fuhr were all teammates on the vaunted Edmonton Oilers. The Montreal Canadians featured the flower, Guy Lafluer, and Larry Robinson. The Boston Bruins had the great, Bobby Orr plus perennial goal scorer, Phil Esposito. The Pittsburgh Penguins, furthermore, paired Jamir Jagr alongside Mario Lemieux. All of those squads won multiple Stanley Cups. For the first time in many years, however, the best hockey players are spread out among different teams. The memorable series between Washington and Pittsburgh has been dominated by Alexander Ovechkin also Sidney Crosby. The surprising Carolina Hurricanes, meanwhile, are being pushed by speedy, Eric Stall, and cat quick net minder, Cam Ward. The Red Wings have a talent laden squad of Russian All Stars as well as the dependable, Nicholas Lindstrom. Although the Penguins were Stanley Cup finalist last year, their goal tending appears to be too shaky for them to beat Carolina or Boston. The Capitals, on the other hand, don't know how to handle the puck in their own end, so it's doubtful they'll advance beyond the conference final. The Red Wings are the most balanced team remaining in the playoffs; but they must rid themselves of the Ducks before inscribing their names on the cup; in the past, you always knew the Boston Bruins would win the fights, but the Montreal Canadians would parade around with the cup; now thanks to an infusion of new players, nothing rivals the intensity and expectations of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

"To Live and Die in L.A."

Things are not looking up for the Los Angeles Angels: on opening day, a fan, Brian Powers, was beat to death; meanwhile this morning, promising 22-year old pitcher, Nick Adenhart, along with two others, was killed by a suspected drunk driver. "To Live and Die in L.A." is more than just a cult movie; it's a stark reality. Recently, Cal State Northridge basketball coach, Bobby Braswell, barely survived an auto collision; meanwhile in an unrelated pile up, one of his players, Josh Jenkins, was injured while his traveling companion was killed. My nephew, Ryan Mcelrath, was slaughtered by a motorist. The war on the streets in Los Angeles, however, is not only pandemic gang violence, but stressed out commuters navigating gridlocked streets. As the Angels mourn Adenhart, the anarchy on the avenues will continue unabated until traffic engineers and politicians devise tougher laws for drunks plus unlicensed drivers. A native of Baltimore MD, Adenhart was too good to die young; and in the "City of the Angels," no one should be allowed to drive like a bat out of hell!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Regarding Gruden, What Would Troy Aikman Say?

Why should we listen to Troy Aikman? Well a month ago, he said the Philadelphia Eagles would be playing the Arizona Cardinals Sunday for the NFC championship. Aikman also said, "NFL stands for no logic." Looking back on the Tampa Bay Buccaneer's decision to fire coach, John Gruden, Aikman's apprasial makes sense. Some fans in Tampa were demanding Gruden's head on a silver platter. That was based primarily on the vitriol spewing from the mouth of a popular sports talk show host who invested two years berating Gruden. The personality was convinced his good friend, Mike Alstott, would not make the Hall of Fame due to a lack of sufficient playing time. The swarm turned on Gruden; several mediocre Bucs, meanwhile, began leaking their disappointment to the owners. If the Glazers listened to their players, Aikman had this to say, "In cold weather games, I could look at guys coming out of the locker room and tell you who was going to play hard, and who would quit on us." You don't realize, nevertheless, how good a coach Gruden is until you have to play him; and for the Bucs, that could be soon especially if Gruden lands a job with the Jets. Consider this, his complicated ball control offense often limits opponents to fewer than 9 possessions a game. His ability to sign problematic free agents like Michael Pittman, Thomas Jones, Joe Jurevicious, and Antonio Bryant can turn a losing franchise into a contender. Conversely, John Gruden can be his own worst enemy by neglecting the draft while cozying up to veterans at the expense of rookies. In a league valuing experience, the Bucs are turning the franchise over to a former position coach, Raheem Morris. In the no logic league, it makes sense to the Glazers who are preoccupied with their new mistress, Manchester United. The Glazers get another excuse not to spend salary cap money while allowing the franchise to build through the draft. So what would Aikman say, "Well, you really won't know until you look back on this 4-5 years from now." In that time, Gruden, with the right team, may win another Super Bowl." 'The Bucs, meanwhile, could build through the draft and become a legitimate contender." Morris, on the other hand, could be getting a pink slip." In the "No Logic League," it makes sense; but you know what, only time will tell.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

"SEC, SEC!" Say What?

As long as college football is content crowning a mythical national champion, you'll always have an SEC team vying for the title. Why? Because talk is cheap, and all the they do is chant, "SEC, SEC." In reality, the best football and football players come out of California. More players on NFL rosters are from the Los Angeles/ Long Beach area then any other locale. Most of the athletes on Utah - who creamed Alabama -are from L.A. Adding insult to injury, The Pac 10 is undefeated in bowl games. So what does that say about the SEC? Well, Stanford, a purely academic institution, has won more National championships than the entire South Eastern conference. USC, for example, earned their reputation by marketing leggy cheerleaders and burying Auburn, Arkansas, as well as Alabama. On national television, no less, USC shut out Auburn in Jordan Hare Stadium; the Trojans scored 70 points against the Razorbacks; meanwhile John Mckay's Trojans had to hammer the Crimson Tide before the late Bear Bryant would recruit black players. The Florida Gators must be taking notes. When USC coach, Pete Caroll, for example, issued his famous mantra, "Hey, we'll play you anytime, your place or mine." The Gators stressed a need to schedule the Citadel rationalizing the SEC conference games were too tough. Well with the exception of Ole Miss, the SEC seems to be vastly overrated. Alabama laid an egg last night, and Oklahoma can't wait to taste some gator meat. I might add the beef might be too tough for the Sooners; SC, however, has a man size appetite. How about a playoff? So, the old Confederacy can finally put up, or shut up.