- Neither one of them looks at a loss as the end of the world. It's almost like they still think there's some sort of playoff system that's in place. Take Callahan. He still expects to win the Big 12 North (even if he loses a few more games along the way), and then thinks if he somehow could beat an Oklahoma, he gets into the BCS, and that's all he has to do. I firmly believe that both Weiss and Callahan don't understand that in college one loss is devastating.
- Both spend way to much time talking about making the next step to "the league." I imagine that on recruiting trips -- and granted, with both of these guys, they've been relatively successful in this regard -- that they talk about their own success in the NFL, how they're running NFL type schemes and how it's going to be so much more beneficial for them in terms of getting drafted to "the league." OK fine but...
- ...For the most part, these pro schemes are so complex, that it's unexpected for college students to grasp them immediately, let alone four years. Nobody's naive enough to think Maurice Purify and company spend that much time in the classroom, but they do have to maintain a certain GPA and technically they are STUDENTS. So they aren't like say, oh, Rich Gannon or Tom Brady, where all they have to do is learn and study football. The college game has always used simpler schemes on both sides of the ball. What Billy C and Weiss are doing is putting way too much on a lot of these kids.
- Finally, and I have no clue where they get this: They think they're allowed a rebuilding year, as if a big draft pick awaits them next spring. I'm sorry, but at the big time programs, there's no such thing as rebuilding. Billy C sold us on the 5-6 disaster in 2004, saying, "We're building towards our championship season." Notice how he said SEASON, singular. And how Weiss can possible explain the possibility of going 0-8 this year while selling how great the Irish will be in 2008 is beyond me. Pete Carroll has the advantage of getting the lower hanging fruit first because most of the stud athletes are right there in his own backyard. But Callahan and Weiss better realize soon that it's all about constant reloading. In big time NCAA football, there is no such thing as rebuilding.
Now that we're determined that this season consists of four ten-foot tall bullet proof gorillas (USC, LSU, Oklahoma and Florida) against a bunch of also rans, picking college games is more difficult than ever. But screw it, that's what the executive game's about. We don't rebuild, we just reload and hopefully now in our case, REBOUND. On to the picks:
- Miami (-3) against Texas A&M: Yes, the Big 12 is "soft" this year, which means even though they're somehow ranked, Miami will open up the proverbial can of whoop ass against Bill Byrne's Aggies. Plus it's at the "U", which is good for something.
- LSU (-17) at the old ball coach at South Carolina: LSU is just one of those elite teams. Deal with it.
- Michigan (+3) over Penn State. Lloyd Carr is playing for his job with, going into the season, a very overrated team. The truth is, Michigan's been on the decline for a while, but Penn State isn't nearly as good as everyone thinks. It's been that sort of season, Michigan can start out 0-2 at home and then knock down Joe Pa from the ranks of the unbeaten.
- Wisconsin (-8) over Iowa. Iowa got beat by Iowa State, a team that's more of a mess than Colorado was last year. Wisconsin got their scare last week, and even though the Big 10 is also down, Wisconsin is still more than a touchdown better than Iowa.
Last week: 5-4
For what it's worth, tickets to go see Hannah Montana in concert in Kansas City sold out in less than 11 minutes. I have no idea who Hannah is, I guess the kids love her (mine don't), but when I asked somebody who Hannah Montana was, they cried out, "You don't know? She's Billy Ray Cyrus' daughter!"