Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I want to thank you all for all your wonderful comments in the mailbag. I do read all of them, even if I cannot respond to each one.
You had plenty to say about Boise State/TCU and the recent comments from Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee. Matthew O'Rourke was so angry, he decided to send an e-mail to Gee. Here is a snippet:
These football programs win the games set before them just as your football program strives to do, the BCS ranked them high enough in the preseason polls to allow their undefeated seasons(so far) to rank them where they are. So according to every unit of measure they do belong and they are worthy. There is a system and they follow it to achieve success.
If you do not like the system, go to the BCS committee and fight them, or go to the conference and ask for an easier schedule. But do not knock these schools who are making every effort to show the nation as a whole that they do belong even going as far as to change conferences to raise the level of competition they face.
Aaron in Tampa writes: I am surprised every time educated, high profile individuals such as Gee, Perlman, Saban, and Miles make such ignorant, biased remarks about non-AQs' ability to compete. I would like to highlight another point of "Power Conference" hypocrisy, in that these schools hold all the cards when it comes to scheduling -- and they demand to play their nonconference games at home, which makes scheduling substantially more difficult. Big-name schools need to come to terms with the reality that they can't simultaneously criticize non-AQs' scheduling while acting as a hindrance to that end. If they want to play four home out-of-conference games each year for the revenue it raises, that's fine, but the choice has consequences.
Andrea Adelson writes: I agree with you completely, and have been trying to make this point the entire year. The double standard will always exist. The reason it does not happen is because teams like Ohio State would rather pay $1 million to Eastern Michigan for a guaranteed win than the same amount to a Boise State team that could beat them. They have nothing to gain -- only the non-AQ does. So why would they help?
Kevin Cox in Dayton, Ohio, writes: Boise State and TCU would lose to all 8 of the other top 10 teams and many more teams except Oklahoma State. I don’t buy them at all. FYI my power rankings are based on who I think would win in a 10-game series. 1. Alabama 2. Auburn 3. Wisconsin 4. Ohio State 5. Oregon 6. Stanford 7. BSU 8. South Carolina 9. Oklahoma 10. Iowa.
Adelson writes: Since when did college football turn into baseball? A 10-game series? You are probably the only one outside of Tuscaloosa who believes a 2-loss Alabama team is the best in the country.
John Landers in Washington, DC writes: You have Northern Illinois facing ULM in the Pizza Bowl. NIU is more than likely going to be 11-2, in the top 25 and MAC champions. Their only two losses were heartbreakers to Iowa State and Illinois. Why would they play a 6-6 Sun Belt team instead of a Big Ten or an AQ team? Don't tell me the big boys are all booked.
Adelson writes: With eight Big Ten teams bowl eligible and two going to BCS games in my projections, that leaves the league without a representative for the Little Caesars Bowl. The Sun Belt has a backup agreement in place with the bowl, hence ULM. Little Caesars has the first pick of the MAC this year, and I think it would be hard for the bowl to turn down a team with the credentials you just listed.
Jamie in Evanston, Wyo., writes: After the Boise massacre of Fresno State it is really heating up on Pat Hill to replace him as head coach. Any suggestions? I realize that we may have to run out the last two years of Pat's contract, unless he decides to step down, or somehow Fresno State can buy him out. But fans what a change, 14 years no WAC titles, being Boise State's step-child is really getting old.
Adelson writes: I certainly understand the frustration Fresno State fans are feeling today. The Bulldogs were poised to become what Boise State is today, but instead have not been able to take that next step. Hill is a solid coach. But the big question I always ask is this -- who do you want and will they be able to do a better job? If Fresno State struggles to close out the year and is mediocre again next year, his time may be over.
Casey in Houston writes: Maybe you could give a blog congrats to Tejay Johnson, a non-AQ safety making the Thorpe award finalist list.
Adelson writes: Perhaps you missed my feature on Tejay earlier this year. If you did, here it is. He is a class act and a great guy.
Ed Enright of Oakland, N.J. writes: With all that has happened with the MWC expansion, I feel like Utah State has been harshly penalized for sticking to its principles. It has been left out in the cold, after refusing to accept the invitation from the MWC because it had just renewed its commitment to the WAC (which Nevada and Fresno chose to ignore). How do you think things will work out for them? Any chance they could be the 12th member of the MWC?
Adelson writes: You have to feel for Utah State. The school did what it thought was right at the time, and now appears to be on the outside looking in. I would be surprised if they get a second chance to come into the league.
Jason Robinson in St. George, Utah, writes: Hey Andrea-Long time reader, first time questioner. How do you see BYU doing next year? They have some really tough early games, but they are playing very good football on both sides, and lose the least number of seniors in the Bronco Mendenhall era. I think 10 wins is possible again next year.
Adelson writes: The schedule is tough early on, and I think 10 wins is going to be really hard but may be possible. What was bad about this season could be good about next season -- all these young players playing and gaining the valuable experience they needed. I like how Bronco Mendenhall took charge of his team, and I think it’s good that he will stay on as defensive coordinator. Heaps-DiLuigi has the potential to be as good as Hall-Unga, in my opinion.