Sports Outside the Beltway

Nevada Wolfpack golf team put on probation

Sounds to me like their coach liked to party. From AP-

The NCAA placed Nevada’s athletic department on probation for three years and fined it $1,500 on Thursday because of an ex-golf coach’s major rules violations but concluded there was no proof he gambled on college games and cleared all other sports of wrongdoing.

The NCAA investigation that began more than two years ago determined that Rich Merritt, former coach of both the men’s and women’s teams at various times, bought athletes beer, paid for meals and lodging, and helped cover travel expenses for one to try to qualify for the U.S. Open.

He also broke the rules by paying one woman Wolf Pack golfer $25 to complete two “crass acts” on a dare, one “involving the regurgitation of food and the other, spitting,” the NCAA said.

Nevada athletic director Cary Groth suspended Merritt for three matches after an internal investigation confirmed the allegations regarding meals and an airline ticket. He resigned in May 2008.

The school will lose a half scholarship for two seasons. Should Nevada be punished at all for the dumb acts of a former coach? Without knowing more, the coach appears to be the one at fault here.


College Basketball team slowed on way to Moscow

Papers please, comrade. From the Honolulu Advertiser-

Perhaps it was fitting that the University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team had to sit for about 30 minutes on a stalled bus on a dark and lonely road on the way to Moscow, Idaho, last night.

“We got here, that’s all that matters,” Hawai’i head coach Bob Nash said.

And without a trip to the gulag either!

Just an attempt at humor here. You just get a chance to write many sports posts headlines like I did here.


San Jose State Coach Dick Tomey announces his retirement

The Spartans haven’t been particularly successful since he took over in 2005, but Tomey leaves the school as its winningest coach in 20 years. From AP-

Dick Tomey created countless long-term relationships during his 29 years as a head football coach.

The Gold Room in the Simpkins Center was overflowing Monday with his latest friends, colleagues and players when Tomey announced he was retiring from coaching, effective following San Jose State’s game against Louisiana Tech on Dec. 5.

The 71-year-old coach said this was an opportunity for he and his wife, Nanci Kincaid, to “open a new chapter.”

“We have a lot of responsibilities left on the mainland, including six grandchildren to visit, but effectively we will be going back to the place we love the most and that’s Hawaii,” said Tomey, who has 182 wins during stints at Hawaii, Arizona and San Jose State.

Tomey’s first college head coaching job was at Hawaii, which he built into a powerhouse when he took over in 1977. He left for Arizona in 1987 and built the Wildcats into a top 10 power before leaving after the 2000 season.

He took over at San Jose State in 2005 and found a program in turmoil. Academic penalties cost the Spartans 57 scholarships and limited spring practices during his tenure at the school.

Enjoy your retirement coach.


NM State fires head football coach Hal Mumme

He spent four years in Las Cruces.From ESPN-

New Mexico State fired coach Hal Mumme on Monday after a 3-9 record overall and 1-7 in the WAC this season.

New Mexico State lost the last seven games of the season. Mumme, the former Kentucky coach, was 11-38 in four years.

His contract was set to expire in 2010.

Which probably means Mumme will spend 1.5-2 years earning money for doing nothing. Not too bad for someone age 56. Why can’t I get fired by a college before my contract is up?


Former Texas Western head coach Don Haskins dead at 78

He took the school now known as Texas El Paso to an improbable major championship in 1966. Forty years later a movie, ‘Glory Road’, was made about Haskins and his team. The AP obituary is below the fold. RIP Coach.


Hawaii stays perfect, downs Washington 35-28

The Golden Rainbow finish their Cinderella season by overcoming a 21-point deficit.

Honolulu, HI (Sports Network) – Colt Brennan threw for 442 yards and five touchdowns, and Ryan Mouton intercepted a Jake Locker pass in the end zone with three seconds remaining as 11th-ranked Hawaii overcame an early 21-point deficit to beat Washington, 35-28, ending its regular season undefeated for the first time in school history.

Hawaii (12-0) took the lead with 44 seconds remaining on a five-yard pass from Brennan to Ryan-Grice Miller, but just 20 seconds later the Huskies were threatening with a 1st-and-goal at the four. Locker was dropped for a two-yard loss, then tossed the interception, which was tipped in the air in front of Mouton.

Brennan completed 42-of-50 passes for Hawaii, which clinched its first outright Western Athletic Conference title last Friday and is now certainly headed to a BCS bowl game.

Hawaii is a Division one school, they went undeated. No one else can say that. Am I missing something, but is there a team out there with one loss?

So the Golden Rainbows should be in the title game. They won’t, which tells you the BCS is screwed up.


Easiest College Football Schedules

The easiest path to a mythical college football national championship is to go undefeated. The easiest way to do that? Not play anybody Mark Schlabach gives his take on the teams that have the weakest opponents:

1. KANSAS: The Jayhawks’ nonconference schedule includes more cream puffs than your favorite bakery: Central Michigan, Division I-AA Southeastern Louisiana, Toledo and Florida International (all at home). Kansas doesn’t play Texas or Oklahoma in Big 12 Conference play, and the Jayhawks will face Nebraska in Lawrence, Kan., and Missouri in Kansas City.

Nonconference opponents: Central Michigan (home), Southeastern Louisiana (home), Toledo (home), Florida International (home)
Toughest game: at Texas A&M, Oct. 27
Easiest game: vs. Southeastern Louisiana, Sept. 8

Hawaii 2. HAWAII: Warriors quarterback Colt Brennan won’t have many problems putting up Heisman Trophy-like numbers against Hawaii’s schedule. The Warriors play two nonconference games against Division I-AA teams Northern Colorado and Charleston Southern, along with a road game at UNLV and home game against Washington. The Warriors’ WAC schedule includes home games against Fresno State and Boise State and road games at San Jose State and Nevada.

Nonconference opponents: Northern Colorado (home), UNLV (road), Charleston Southern (home), Washington (home)
Toughest game: vs. Boise State, Nov. 23
Easiest game: vs. Charleston Southern, Sept. 23

Arkansas 3. ARKANSAS: The Razorbacks’ slate is a perfect example of why SEC teams have a poor reputation when it comes to out-of-conference scheduling. The Hogs will get fat on a nonconference schedule that includes home games against Troy, North Texas, Division I-AA Tennessee-Chattanooga and Florida International. SEC road games at Alabama, Tennessee and LSU prevented this from being the country’s easiest schedule.

Nonconference opponents: Troy (home), North Texas (home), Chattanooga (home), Florida International (home)
Toughest game: at LSU, Nov. 23
Easiest game: vs. Tennessee-Chattanooga, Oct. 6

Indiana 4. INDIANA: In a season in which the Hoosiers don’t play Big 10 heavyweights Michigan and Ohio State, they beefed up their nonconference schedule with the likes of Division I-AA Indiana State, Western Michigan, Akron and Ball State. Indiana plays rival Purdue and Penn State at home, but travels to Iowa and Wisconsin. Thanks to the soft schedule, look for the Hoosiers to play in a bowl game for the first time since 1993.

Nonconference opponents: Indiana State (home), Western Michigan (road), Akron (home), Ball State (home)
Toughest game: at Wisconsin, Oct. 27
Easiest game: vs. Indiana State, Sept. 1

Connecticut 5. CONNECTICUT: The Huskies might have put together a tougher schedule by returning to the Atlantic 10. Their nonconference schedule includes games against Division I-AA Maine and two of the worst I-A teams — Duke and Temple. The Huskies play seven of their 12 games at home, including key Big East dates against Louisville and Syracuse.

Nonconference opponents: Duke (road), Maine (home), Temple (home), Akron (home), Virginia (road)
Toughest game: at West Virginia, Nov. 24
Easiest game: vs. Maine, Sept. 8

Navy 6. NAVY: The Midshipmen play only four Division I-A teams that finished with winning records last season: Rutgers, Wake Forest, Notre Dame and Northern Illinois. Five of Navy’s 2007 opponents won four games or fewer last season, including Duke (0-12), Temple (1-11), North Texas (3-9), Army (3-9) and Air Force (3-8).

Toughest game: at Rutgers, Sept. 7
Easiest game: vs. Duke, Sept. 22

Northwestern 7. NORTHWESTERN: The Wildcats could see a big turnaround in coach Pat Fitzgerald’s second season, thanks to a not-so-daunting schedule. Nonconference games against Division I-AA Northeastern, Nevada, Duke and Eastern Michigan (at Detroit) are potential victories. Home games against Minnesota and Indiana could bring the victory total to six, making Northwestern eligible for a bowl game.

Nonconference opponents: Northeastern (home), Nevada (home), Duke (home), Eastern Michigan (neutral)
Toughest game: at Ohio State, Sept. 22
Easiest game: vs. Northeastern, Sept. 1

Texas Tech 8. TEXAS TECH: Give the Red Raiders some credit for scheduling a pair of nonconference road games … at SMU and Rice. A home game against UTEP might be challenging, but a Sept. 29 game against Division I-AA Northwestern State will be a rout. Texas Tech plays home games against two of the Big 12 conference’s most talented teams, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.

Nonconference opponents: SMU (road), UTEP (home), Rice (road), Northwestern State (home)
Toughest game: at Texas, Nov. 10
Easiest game: vs. Northwestern State, Sept. 29

Ohio State 9. OHIO STATE: The Buckeyes won’t miss Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith and the rest of their departed stars during the nonconference schedule. Not against Division I-AA Youngstown State, Akron and Kent State, anyway. At least a Sept. 15 game at Washington will be played outside the state of Ohio. The Buckeyes play two of their most difficult Big 10 games on the road, at Penn State on Oct. 27 and at Michigan on Nov. 17.

Nonconference opponents: Youngstown State (home), Akron (home), Washington (road), Kent State (home)
Toughest game: at Michigan, Nov. 17
Easiest game: vs. Youngstown State, Sept. 1

Texas 10. TEXAS: The Longhorns get kudos for scheduling a home game against TCU, a possible BCS sleeper. But the rest of the schedule sets up very well for coach Mack Brown. The other three nonconference games should be routs, against Arkansas State, Central Florida and Rice. The Longhorns play top Big 12 foes Nebraska and Texas Tech at home, along with the Red River Shootout against Oklahoma in Dallas.

Nonconference opponents: Arkansas State (home), TCU (home), Central Florida (road), Rice (home)
Toughest game: vs. Oklahoma (Dallas), Oct. 6
Easiest game: vs. Arkansas State, Sept. 1

You can’t blame the athletic directors. It’s to each school’s benefit to play weak teams — so long as they don’t lose.


BCS Rant

A majority of the bowls are now over and I am going to start my rant on the BCS.

[Rant On]

If anyone watched the entire Boise State / Oklahoma game last night you understand why the idea of the BCS is so incredibly flawed. BSU is a non BCS conference school and played a marvelous game yesterday, beating a Big 12 (major powerhouse) school in Oklahoma. It goes to prove that any schools anywhere in the country can play football and just because they are in the WAC, MAC, or Sunbelt does not mean they cannot compete. I get so upset when recognition is not given to conferences, specifically the Sunbelt in this case.

The idea of a playoff system allows teams that have done well throughout the season – and are maybe not an Ohio State, Michigan, Fill in any Big Name School, or Texas have a chance at the National Title.

[Rant Off]

I wrote the above rant about 20 times and figured this was the shortest and got my point across the best. I would love to hear your ideas for another type of post season for College Football.


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