1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Friday “Mountain West Conference–Like Everybody Else-Troubled”

Posted by on August 14th, 2020  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Mountain West Conference…Life is Hard”

 

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They play great football.

It’s a colorful conference.

They play in every climate imaginable, from the sun of San Diego, to the beauty of Hawaii, to the cold and snow in Wyoming.

They throw the ball.  They pound the ball.  They do, some of them do, play defense too.

Say Boise State around the country, and everyone knows who they are and where they play, and what they have done..

Say San Diego State, and people know what has been done here under former coach Rocky Long.

Mention Fresno State, or past member BYU, and people know what you are talking about.

But Mountain West is in the shadow of the PAC 12.  Doesn’t get the coverage.  Surely not the TV revenue.  Definitely not the gate receipts.

They don’t play in big markets, aside from San Diego.  They don’t often beat a Power 5-team in a non-confidence payday game.

They often play in second tier bowl games.

But at this hour, they are like most everybody else.  In trouble.

A cancelled football season.  A myriad of financial problems.  Schools in very bad ‘hot spots’ where the virus has erupted.

Not an easy time, as Commissioner Craig Thompson tries to piece together what a spring football season might look like.

Thompson spoke about the toughest decision he has ever had to make, the cancellation of the season, on the Mountain Network.  Take a look-give a listen:

https://we.tl/t-DaKiKyOz20

Who knows what the next football season will look like, when, how many games.

The Mountain West Conference just like the Big 10 and Pac 12…in scramble mode.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Thursday. “College Football–Everyone With An Opinion”

Posted by on August 13th, 2020  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Somebody says something everyday”

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Everybody has an opinion and here’s mine, responding to the opinions of everyone else.

PAC 12 CONFERENCE…Yay to them for seizing the business of universities away from Athletic Directors and Coaches and cancelling the fall football season with hopes they can play in the spring.  End of discussion happens when the CEO Group says ‘science and medicine directed us to do this’.  It was not a coach screeching we have to play because =======.

PAC 12 PLAYERS…Continuing to fire shots at Conference leadership, now for cancelling the season.  Players wanted a seat at the table with the President’s CEO group.  I am sure a second year tight end is going to be able to deliver a message that the leadership of these schools has not thought about.  Bitch about the testing program, rightfully so, but direct that to Mark Emmert, head of the NCAA.

 

BIG 12…Their medical team told the ADs…’don’t let the reports about cardiac issues make the decision for you’.  What.  Who you going to believe if you don’t believe Medicine and Science?  Might be as dumb a thing as I have heard.

NCAA-MARK EMMERT….Last seen continually kicking the can down the road, failing to put together a ‘National Testing Board’ five months ago when this virus broke out.  Failing to put in place a national testing program for all of the Power 5-Conferences, that might have alleviated fears of the unknown.  Letting the ADs and state Governors handle this was a egregious malfeasance of his leadership.

MICHIGAN-JIM HARBAUGH…Barking out about the UM testing program and if the Wolverines could do it so could others..but not wanting to share how they do what they do in Ann Arbor with Michigan State or Ohio State or anyone else.  Oh they are rivals.

LOU HOLTZ…A bit of a reach talking about ‘accepting risks’ when you play football and trying to compare it with the Greatest Generation landing at Normandy..’they knew there would be casualties’.  Poor comparison.  A bit out of touch at age 83.

MISSISSIPPI…The Governor who refrained for months from demanding his citizens wear masks till the hospitals were over-run, now comes out and says ‘college football is essential’.  Not as essential at ventilators, ICU beds, education, jobs, solving racism in the Magnolia State.

ACC…Should stand for ‘Awful Crazy Comment’ for saying the Big 10 and Pac 12 were cancelling the season…’afraid of lawsuits and bad press’.  How about because of deaths, no vaccine, lack of testing, and costs in terms of dollars and health.  Guess they don’t have any problems in Florida-Georgia-North-South Carolina-Virginia.

NEBRASKA…Saying they would play football regardless of what the conference did.  24-hours later the Big 10 told them you cannot be an independent.  Maybe they should leave the league and go back to the Big 12-which still wants to play despite the outbreaks in Texas, Oklahoma and other places.  Hey Cornhusker, read the rule book, the bylaws.  You really going to give up 50M a TV revenue to play in an empty stadium in Lincoln?  Not very smart, and football umnder Scott Frost has not been very good either. Maybe they should go back to the Big 12.

Everybody’s got an opinion.  That’s mine.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Wednesday. “Aztecs Athletics–A + Letter Grade”

Posted by on August 12th, 2020  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Aztecs Leadership…A +”
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In the toughest of times, the leader has guided his athletic program thru these toughest of times.

Leadership not thru a (1-12) football season.  Not in the midst of an NCAA investigation.  Not over student or fan unrest.  Not about alumni unhappiness with coaches.

But standing tall as the Covid Virus ravages the nation, threatens his Athletic program on Montezuma Mesa.

San Diego State’s athletic director leadership has come in all shapes and sizes over my 33-years here.  Snake oil salesman.  Glad-handers.  Doers.  Street fighters.  Stand tall businessmen.

San Diego State’s leadership deserves credit at this hour, much of it going to AD-John David Wicker.

He is on the brink of great things, helping engineer thru the creation of the property purchase at SDCCU Stadium for a new home for his football and soccer teams, and the bigger project that will result in the front door campus expansion over the next 30-years in Mission Valley.

But Wicker’s handling of 5-months of crisis management is spectacular at this hour.  What he and his staff of Associated ADs have accomplished behind locked doors deserves praise.

Sadly there will be no Aztecs football season this fall, with hopes it can be played in the spring, along with the other cancelled fall sports.

The Aztecs now are no different that USC-UCLA, the other Mountain West Conference teams, the Pac 12, Big 10 and assorted other Division 1-1AA-II-III conferences that have cancelled the fall seasons.

Wicker stood on the firing line on Tuesday to address anything-everything we in the media presented him:

..They never taught us in AD school how to handle a Pandemic..the George Floyd situation..A Budget crisis…Cancellations of a season…students united unrest.

..It’s like a career covered in just 5-months time.

..Scared most by not knowing how to handle a pandemic.
..There are inherit risks of injury when you play a season
..We recognize and understand football risks.
..With covid-the risks are unknown-we don’t understand it

..We could lose 12M this season if we don’t play-no fans-TV money
..We have arranged a loan from the university if losses that high
..We have had no salary reductions or furloughs on our staffs

..We could play 8-to-10 games in spring
..Have yet to decide whether UCLA would be part of schedule
..There could still be college bowl games or championship in spring
..Playing 2-football seasons in 1-year may be challenging

..Basketball season could start in January
..Easier protocols for basketball much fewer people involved

..Obstacles to playing in the spring-health and safety of everyone
..We have yet to flatten the curve
..We have to further develop a saliva test
..We hope for a vaccine early in 2021
..Playing all our sports in spring..stresses our medical team-events team
..Our plan will be very labor-intensive

..NCAA will announce plan for player eligibility if seasons cancelled
..NCAA will decide August 21st on fall championship plans for spring

..Future is so bright for Aztecs..this is so disappointing for football..just like our basketball team not going to the NCAA tourney.

..We will honor all scholarships whether players play or want opt-out
..Have been very transparent with athletes and families
..Zoom meetings to assure them the athletes will be protected
..Met with players about MWC players standing united

..Now was not the right time to play..health risks too great
..Plan is to keep athletes on campus for workouts
..We will further develop housing-testing-medical plans
..We have an extensive re-population plan

..We will develop a new phase-in plan for fall football practices

..Last 24-hours..last 5-months..most challenging time of my career.
..We have researched everything..thought deeply everything
..Talked to athletic people..talked to medical people non-stop

JD Wicker said lots of things about his Aztecs program, and everything swirling about the Aztecs Athletic Center.

What I will say, is job well-done in terms of intelligent leadership in the absolute worst of times, not just at San Diego State, but across the nation in college athletics.

Aztecs leadership…an “A +”

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Tuesday. “Aztecs Football Goes Away–Had to Happen”

Posted by on August 11th, 2020  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Aztecs–Had to Happen”

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No game tonite.

That’s the sign they will hang outside SDCCU Stadium every Saturday night this fall.

There will be no college football, for the Mountain West Conference has cancelled the 2020 football season, a victim of the Virus-Crisis in America.

The MWC made the only move they could, to protect the players, the coaches, the staffs, as the Covid crisis goes unchecked nationwide.

We know one thing for sure.  They are saying likely 200,000 deaths nationwide,  between now and what would have been the end of the football season in December.

We won’t get to see if SDSU’s new look offense with a new coordinator in Jeff Hellinski, and the kid QB Carson Baker, and whether their version of the spread formation could have thrown for 3,000-yards this season.

We won’t get to see if there is another 2,000-yard running back in the cupboard, in what has become a tradition at SDSU.

We won’t get to experience Brady Hoke’s defense, to compare with all the great years that Rocky Long created, with his version of Aztec Warrior football.

The hope, and the mandate from MWC-Commissioner Craig Thompson, is that the Athletic Directors begin work on a blueprint for possibly an 8-game conference only season next April-May in 2021.

We know the financial trauma Universities are in now with campuses shutdown, enrollments plunging, and the loss of enormous amounts of money for room and board on campuses nationwide.

I’m not sure any MWC university could pay the bill of what it would cost to put into place a weekly testing program to protect everyone affiliated with Aztecs football.

Closer to home, we also know how bad the situations are, not so much at SDSU yet, but at Fresno State-San Jose State, where those communities are ravaged by the outbreak.

We see the horrors of what has happened in Albuquerque and Las Cruces, where the governor implored New Mexico and New Mexico State to not play football.

We are waiting to find out the complete story of the brewing scandal in Ft-Collins, where players revolted against the new Colorado State coaching staff and the stances they took about not taking Covid tests, not reporting symptoms.  Somebody should lose their job over this if the accusations are true.

This has been a hard time for SDSU-AD JD Wicker, with all he is trying to accomplish.  Putting in place protective testing for anyone-everyone at the Aztecs Athletic Center.  The creation of what will be a fall of virtual on line classes for all those players.  The structure of dormitory and campus housing.

All this on top of the launching of construction for a new football stadium.

SDSU is not Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Michigan nor Penn State.  They don’t draw 107,000-fans per game.  But for a select group of alums, not having the Red & Black attack means something is missing in the campus life they loved.

But they made the right move, here on Montezuma Mesa, and there in the league office in Colorado Springs.

Between now and the end of this calendar year, they will come up with an off season workout program…something akin to spring football in the fall, with the games to be followed in early 2021. Alot of time for teaching for sure.

By the time we get to January, maybe there will be a vaccine.

By the time we get to March, there may be a true preseason camp.

By April-May, you can play games from San Diego to Laramie and anywhere in between.

Tough decision.  Hard decision.  Sure.
Right decision.  Definitely for the Aztecs family.

No game tonight.  But games to come, in hopefully a much healthier nation by spring.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Monday. “College Football–Crisis–Crossroads Decision”

Posted by on August 10th, 2020  •  0 Comments  • 

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“College Football–Crisis-vs-Crossroads”

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The words sum up everything we are experiencing, in sports and in society.

The words.  “A miserable decision”.  That’s what came out of the mouth of the Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, in announcing the cancellation of their Division 1-football season.

No bitter rivalry game, Ohio-vs-Miami of Ohio.  No Toledo-vs-Bowling Green in the Glass Bowl.  No Western Michigan-Central Michigan grudge match.

The MAC became the first Division 1-league to shut it down, with the hopes they can play a league schedule in the spring.

But the emotional sentiments coming out of the MAC office, probably are echoed in the offices of the Power 5-Conferences that seem paralyzed at making a decision.

Mid Am comments that included:
..There is no vaccine.
..There is no guarantee testing prevents this
..Don’t know the potential of long term damage someone gets sick
..We cannot protect these players
..We cannot afford day to day testing
..We cannot play.

It does not matter where you are, every college conference still thinking about playing, has to think of the downside if they try to do this.  Forget the upside, fan support, alumni-booster donations, gate receipts, TV contracts, bowl games, of the playoffs.

Nothing good comes out of this, for the reward today does not equate to the risk for tomorrow.

Each conference has its issues.

The Mountain West Conference is dealing with the horrors of the California outbreak.  San Jose and Fresno State have been shutdown for months, unable to even hold conditioning or spring drills, much less open classes.  Add to it the sleazy story of the in-house probe beginning at Colorado State where a new head coach is accused of Covid violations, intimidation, and racial confrontations over his style.

The PAC-12 has ‘hot market issues’ impacting USC-UCLA, Arizona-Arizona State, and upturn in virus issues with Oregon-Oregon State.  That complicated by a player revolt directed at Commissioner Larry Scott over a ‘laissez-faire’ testing policy, limiting teams to 25-tests per week, with teams having 85 players on campus.  The big money conference thinking testing 25 players per team per week is enough. That and Scott’s condescending approach to dealing with players threatening to opt out.

The Big 10 should listen to Wisconsin’s Barry Alvarez, who shut everything down, ‘I am scared.’

You may be a football power in the SEC, or ACC or Big 12, but how do you rationalize your next moves, with the horrible numbers of outbreaks in Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida.  No one seems concerned with the concept, let’s play, fill the stands, rah-rah root for the home team, head home, get sick and risk dying, but our team won.

Equally bad is the look we have gotten from the coaches.  The un-intelligent comments from Clemson’s Dabo Sweeney about racial issues.  The uninformed comments from Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy about health risks.  The boorish comments from Jim Harbaugh about the importance of beating Ohio State.  All this as ICU units overflow and morgues are packed.

The next 48-hours are crucial.

Reports the Pac 12 and Big 10 may go forward in lock-step jointly, end the charade and cancel the season.  At least Big 10-boss Kevin Warren is pushing for that.  Who knows what Scott is thinking, considering he might not have a job much longer considering the state of affairs in the Pac 12 during his leadership reign of ‘error-terror’.

Maybe the good old boys will just go play each other, make their money, hope no one dies.  Where is the leadership comments from Nick Saban, who always has something to say?  What about the always opinionated Brian Kelly at Notre Dame?

The 1-AA season is shutdown, though some smaller conferences are holding out.  The playoff season has been cancelled.  The Big Sky and some of those other leagues will try to play in the spring.

There will be no Division II nor Division III season.  That was a danger issue and a cost issue.  A Division III AD-said there was no 50,000 available per school to conduct season long testing .  The 513-members of the NJCAA, junior colleges, closed too.

It makes no sense to try and go on, regardless of what the money rich  NFL keeps talking about doing.

Shut it down…live to play another day, in April-May.
Shut it down…so there will not be any loss of life.
Shut it down…to prevent the risk you would be creating.

Like the Commissioner of the Mid American Conference said:

“A miserable decision”.

It will be if the major conferences try to carry on.

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