NOTRE DAME AND OHIO STATE
I think both teams have 'not as good as they hoped for' coaching. Charllie Weis came to South Bend with the 'offensive genius' label attached to his resume. But often success in one area of football, say the pros, doesn't gurantee success in college football.
Were anyone to ask me (and no, I haven't been asked!), Charlie Weis' problem stems from his inability to get acclimated to the culture of college football. He doesn't seem to relate as well to his players and they struggle because I don't think that there is a passion about Notre Dame football in that locker room. In my mind, all the air has been sucked out of that balloon and is being used to float the bloated ego of Charlie Weis.
The Irish are a little lost. The two games that they have let slip out of their hands have been about passion. It is hard to have passion when you are doing something just for yourself and your own reasons. What I am saying is, they don't play for the school or anything else. Part of being in a team sport is that you get that shared experience of doing something for a reason bigger than yourself. The Irish don't have that.
In the enthusiasm of finally hiring a 'certified coaching genius', they took off the first year Coach Weis was the ND coach. Then reality hit and he got 'passes' because he was coaching with Ty Willingham's supposedly inferior recruiting classes. But I never thought that was the problem. The Coach, who made no friends around campus with his attitude and stand-offishness, in my mind is the problem. He couldn't lead a Girl Scout Troop on a cookie sale.
IT HAS TO BE THE VEST
What I know about Jim Tressel isn't much either. He was a successful coach at Youngstown State and he came to Ohio State with all the passion and desire you would expect of someone getting their dream job. But for all his success, there were persistent issues with violations surrounding him regarding recruiting and whatever.
Remembering how trumpeted the recruiting process was for Terrelle Pryor, I wonder if the graduation rates have continued to stay the same at OSU. He WAS a lock to go to West Virginia and to follow Rich Rodriguez would have been natural ... Anywho, I don't like the kind of football he coaches. Conservative and simple, don't lose the game on offense and bend but don't break on defense. With as many good, top flight players as they have in Columbus, you would think ... I know I THINK they should not only be more dominant, but certainly more competitive in bowl games.
But other than the one national title he won, the Buckeyes have looked overmatched in bowl games and in intersectional games, if you ask me, as well. And I have to wonder if the coaching level isn't too much for Jim Tressel.
Coach Weis and Coach Tressel in my mind, have problems with dealing with where they are at, but in very different areas. Before I change topics, a word about Terrelle Pyror.
With Michael Vick and Vince Young's play, the 'Mandingo Quarterback' was born. In both cats, you have athletically gifted players who don't have the traditional skill set of a quarterback. Terrelle Pryor is cut of that cloth, where he is gifted but not necessarily with the proper skills of a quarter back.
At some point, you have to wonder if he is 'smart' enough to play the position. It isn't about having the intellectual ability ... if you don't have the cognitive skills that a quarterback needs, you don't have them. Doug Williams, Steve McNair and Donovan McNabb, black quarterbacks who played well at the highest level of pro football, could do it. Why can't Vince Young and Mike Vick ... and possibly Terrelle Pryor?
One reason is that they may have never been asked to play as a traditional 'field general'. Being able to run faster and being stronger than kids as they developed from Pop Warner up to high school and college, athelticism was more than enough. With Vince Young, I think he scored a horrible score on the Wonderlic Test given to prospective draft choices. While Michael Vick's score wasn't a point of concern, he never struck me as a 'book smart' guy. And I had that opinion of him while he was in college. His subsquent convinction and the way he dealt with it publicly as he was charged failed to sway my opinion of him.
So my thing is, have they ever had to 'think' as a quarterback instead of the fastest and strongest guy with the ball in his hands? The Buckeye quarterback has never looked good, even in the games that they have won going away. This season, he has regressed and it shows.
One of the things about the problem of race is that who is the one that gets to call out the obvious?? Rush Limbaugh (LOL ... irony, ain't it ... gonna use a quote of his to bolster my arguement!!) got in trouble years ago with a statement where he said that "... the media is desirious that a black quarterback do well ..." and went off on a tangent that implicated the media in a rush to build up a black quarterback as a social statement as much as a repudiation of the idea that black's aren't capable of being a quarterback.
Even then, I don't think he was wrong. He may agree with the point that I am making right now, that the trio of black QB's mentioned aren't cognitively capable enough of being a quarterback. Why do I think that this may be possible??
We have seen or heard about cats in high school who is allowed to skate by in classes. They magically are eligible to play during the respective sporting season, no matter what their ethnicity. It just happens that at such a high profile position as quarterback and all the significance it carries, people are afraid to say the things that before the post-racial era began, they'd have no problem saying about a white quarterback.
That they are not smart enough. Neither Vince Young or Michael Vick had to graduate, as they turned pro early. And as far as Mr. Pryor goes, cats who are shopping their talents the way that I think he did, don't strike me as intellectual giants. Since no one else will, I will be the one to say it ... I don't think Terrelle Pryor has the cognitive skills to play quarterback. If he proves me wrong, big whoop. He wasn't going to share any of his NFL millions with me anyway, should he make it that far.
MORE 'LOVE' FOR FOOTBALL
I wish there was some way to 'book mark' stories on programs. ESPN ran a story late last week about the brain tramua that football players suffer during their career. You would think that this would have been more widely known long before now ... after all, early football was nearly still born, because of the various injuries and deaths that were occurring. What happened if like boxing, people knew what they were getting into??
Better press, I guess.
The expert on the show predicted that football won't ever be outlawed but as more and more is known about the risks of playing become known, that it will shrink and wither as the sport that I love, boxing has. Fewer and fewer people will participate and subsquently fewer will watch. Like that has affected 'go fast and turn left' NASCAR or auto racing, period.
I don't see it like that. Football is like smoking and alcohol, one of the great 'narcotics of the masses', a communal experience with which many Americans identify with. It's not going anywhere here in America. It feeds into the war like mentality of this country, which is why it is a sport that only we 'get'.
HAVE I RAMBLED ENOUGH??
Eh, maybe I have. The day to day stuff is interesting too. My things here are starting to find their place, and officially this is 'my home'. I am not simply 'living here', but I was told that I am home. And that is good enough for me!