Shaka Smart

All of you know that it has been a long time since either Bryan or I posted anything, but this couldn’t go unposted. I can’t say that this is necessarily and indicator that Bryan and I will be blogging regularly again, but this site started because we wanted somewhere to write down our thoughts on different things in the sports world, so that’s what I’m using it for now. If you couldn’t tell by the title, this post is about the Virginia Commonwealth men’s basketball coach, Shaka Smart.

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WaB’s Thoughts on Conference Realignment

CAUSES

There has been lots of talk lately about possible conference realignment involving teams from almost every major conference in existence.  Unfortunately, I have been left without the benefit of the internet to help me with this post so you will truly be getting my completely uninformed speculation about what all is happening.  I have no inside information, but I like to think I’ve read enough articles to have some idea about what is going on.  There’s plenty of propaganda running around out there and tons of articles written with heavy bias so sifting through it all is not easy.  Plus, I’ve tried to set aside my own Missouri bias to see the facts; whether or not I’ve done a good job…well that’s for you to decide. Continue reading

The Coaching Carousel

Weis

Charlie Weis has already been let go by Notre Dame

Every year it happens, a big name program fires a big name coach.  This year, some big name programs are firing some big name coaches and some programs are just firing big coaches (and some are doing both).

This part always interests me because it means programs get a whole new look.  No two coaches do things the same way, and it’s a complete craps hoot unless you get a proven guy in there and there aren’t many coaches who can claim to be proven.  Some coaches are good at recruiting and terrible at coaching (see: Zook, Ron).  Some coaches don’t have to recruit because their school does it for them (a la Pete Carroll).  I like to imagine his recruiting pitch being a whole lot like Peter Griffin’s anti-smoking speech before Congress.  I think that’s pretty accurate.

Anyway, two coaches that I know of have already been fired: Notre Dame’s Charlie Weis and Louisville’s Steve Kragthorpe. One more is on thin ice: Kansas’ Mark Mangino (funny visual there) and one has voluntarily retired: Florida State’s Bobby Bowden.

Now it’s my turn to throw out the names of who I think would be the best fit for each school and who I think will actually be hired.

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Big 12 North Preview

Yesterday I started our brief college football previews with the Big 12 South.  Today, we’ll preview the much weaker North. The Missouri Tigers have won the last two North Titles only be trounced by Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game.  So who gets to be the sacrificial lamb this year?

I think it’s going to be the Kansas Jayhawks.  Of the three real contenders in the North, only Kansas returns their starting QB.  Todd Reesing set all kinds of school records last year while leading the way to 7-5 record and an Insight Bowl victory over Minnesota.  As good as Reesing is, wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe is better.  Briscoe caught 92 balls for 1,407 and 15 touchdowns.  He may be the second best receiver in the Big 12, behind OSU’s Dez Bryant.  The running game is okay with senior RB Jake Sharp returning after two straight 800 yard campaigns.  The passing game will obviously be the feature, however.

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Sweet 16 Day 2

Last night I put up my picks for Day 1 of the Sweet 16.  I got 3 of the 4, missing only my alma mater, Mizzou.  I’ll call it a good day.  Also, it’s time to talk about Villanova as a contender for this tournament.  They’ll get a Pittsburgh team who hasn’t impressed me thus far. As of right now, I think Villanova will win that game and it may not even be close.  ESPN keeps talking about Duke’s historic futility last night and most of the credit has to go to the Wildcats.  They’ve sold me.

In the West region, UConn beat an upstart Purdue team.  They’re playing some excellent basketball as well.  The Huskies will be pitted against my Missouri Tigers, who halted the Memphis Tigers’ 27 game winning streak.  In fact, they hung 102 points on a team who gave up an average of 57 on the season.  It was an impressive display to say the least.  The Tigers can beat UConn if they can get Thabeet away from the basket and run him to death.  That will be an interesting clash of styles.

Now, onto tonight’s games.  Continue reading

Mizzou-Kansas Firsthand

I’ve never been a big basketball fan; just couldn’t get into the sport.  Tonight, I became a little bit more of a fan.

As most of you know, my Missouri Tigers came back to down their hated rivals, the Kansas Jayhawks, 62-60 on a buzzer beater by Zaire Taylor.

I was sitting at the top of the student section for every agonizing second. Continue reading

Kansas Gets Caught Cheating

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

First thing first, Weller is in Montana for the week so if you tune in for his posts come back next Tuesday (or stick around and read mine.  I’d prefer that).

Now, as you may know, Bill Self, Head Coach at the University of Kansas, has been caught for illegal contact with a recruit.  The story goes that Self stood outside the locker room of top prospect John Wall after a game in Springfield, Missouri and the two had a brief conversation.  The conversation happened during the NCAA’s “Evaluation Period” when coaches are not supposed to have any contact with recruits.

While breaking the rules is obviously wrong, (I’m sure a secondary violation like this happens all the time) the real issue I have is with the blatant arrogance of the violation. Continue reading

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