Greetings Cougs, and a happy Tuesday morning to you and yours as we head down the stretch towards the big X-mas holiday a week from now. How in the WORLD is X-mas a week away? Unreal. It's true, kids, what all the old adults told you growing up - it really DOES go faster, each and every year, the older you get. Enjoy it and live in the NOW!
So there isn't a ton of Coug-links and such floating around, but as always there are a few points of interest out there. So let's take a look.....
I know this probably isn't a great comparison to our own Jeff Tuel, pictured above with his family on Senior Day prior to the Apple Cup. But news broke last night that Cincinnati's starting QB, Brendon Kay, just found out he was granted a sixth year of eligibility. Now, I say it probably isn't a great comp vs. the Jeff Tuel situation, as Kay spent most of his entire playing career on the sidelines due to injuries. Per ESPN, Kay had a couple of knee injuries, so extreme that at one point doctors suggested he quit playing football. But Kay stuck it out, and finally this year in what looked like his last season of eligibility, he started the last four games of 2012 while appearing in just six games in his career coming in to this season.
So does this help Jeff Tuel's situation in any way? Is this a sliver of light that maybe, just maybe, Tuel's appeal is going to succeed and he'll be granted that extra year? I would like to be optimistic on this, I really would. But it at least seems that these two situations are different, and that it will still come down to the interpretation of Jeff Tuel's playing time in 2011 and how that works within the letter of the NCAA "law" if you even want to call it that?
I know this is probably "review" for many of you, but let's go there, shall we? It all boils down to two things for Tuel and the hardship rule:
1) The player played in less than 30% of the season in question.
2) The injury occurred prior to the first game of the second half of the season.
So, looking at 2011 as the year in question:
1) Tuel only played in three games in '11, and only one game from beginning to end (Stanford). So he clearly satisfies the less-than-30% threshold.
2) HOWEVER, Tuel DID START game seven of the '11 season, in Seattle vs. Oregon State. Tuel did get knocked out of that game halfway through and was done for the year at that point. But, that Oregon State game was technically the first game of the second half of the season. So there's the rub with this whole damn thing.
But it also has to be said that Tuel started just two games in the season in question, and, he only played about a game and a half of the whole year in true playing time (knocked out after a few plays vs. Idaho State with the broken clavicle, played the whole game vs. Stanford, and just the first half vs. OSU. On the season he threw just 45 passes).
I don't know if they'll put more emphasis on the less-than-30% part of it, or if they'll shake their head based on one half of football played in game seven? Of course as a homer-idiot-fan-blogger-etc, I'm hoping that they'll say "It's cool man, take your sixth year and play one more season", and of course that the Tuel family gives the thumbs-up as well! But it's the NCAA we're talking about, and well.....you just never know. I guess we'll probably find out sooner rather than later? At least they've ruled on an NCAA QB in Cinci's Brendon Kay, so, maybe Tuel is getting closer to the top of the stack??
Moving on, Phil Steele released his toughest schedules played for the 2012 season. As usual, Steele weighs a lot of factors in trying to figure it all out, such as opponent's records, but more than just that. He looks at power rankings, level of opponent like FBS/FCS, etc. And in the end he had the Cougs come in at #26. So THAT'S WHY WE WENT 3-9!......Anyway, some other interesting things include Notre Dame with their top-10 most difficult schedule as we probably would have thought going in, just given on how they really don't duck anyone when it comes to scheduling. But kind of surprising that Alabama and the big, bad SEC champs came in at #37? Hmmm. Also for a quick jab at our friends on Montlake, UW did a lot of talking about how they had the toughest schedule in the country this year. But at the end of the day, well, not really. UW's schedule was tough, but it came in at #22, or just four spots ahead of WSU at 26.
Speaking of schedules, Ted Miller wrote about this a few weeks ago and I know that I missed touching on it before. But Miller raises a great point in that when you look around the country, you notice one big thing - the other big-time power conferences out there in the BCS, like the SEC, ACC and Big 10 - play just EIGHT conference games, even though they have at least 12 teams in their conferences (SEC now at 14 with Mizzou and Texas A & M). Meanwhile the Pac-12 insists on playing nine conference games, or better yet, just one more opportunity to lose a flippin' game. And as Miller says, it basically means the Pac-12 is playing from behind from the get-go.
We all know the SEC is loaded with talent, there is absolutely no arguing that. But when you look at the impact of 1) all that SEC talent, and 2) eight conference games with the SEC, is it any coincidence that the SEC has played in six straight BCS title games, and have won five of them?? I mean the SEC title game has basically turned into a play-in game for the title, and that becomes the ninth conference game if you look at it that way. But of course, that game is played at a neutral site and has a bowl game/playoff feel to it, so it's not the same as having to go to Eugene or Arizona or something like that.
Anyway, just kind of food for thought, but some excellent points raised by Miller as to why the Pac-12 should seriously consider going to eight conference games. With a BCS type playoff on the horizon, it might be a good thing to examine the whole idea. And it could mean one or two more bowl teams from the conference and some better W/L records from top to bottom, and that can only be viewed as a good thing all throughout the conference.
Finally, CougCenter and Cougfan have some recruiting updates, CougCenter here and Cougfan here(premium). If you had been following it over the last few days, the news hasn't been great in terms of de-commits (Demarcus Ayers) and guys going elsewhere (Chris Martin), but give the links a read for the details.
All for now. Enjoy your morning, and of course, GO COUGS!
Never mind! http://seattletimes.com/html/cougarfootball/2019928579_tuel19.html?syndication=rss&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter Good luck to Tuel.
Also, to be clear: The only Coug to get a 6th year is the legendary Bob Garman. Tuel would get a 5th year--it just feels like 6 because of all he and we have been through..
What about Matt Mullinix I swear he had 6.
The fundamental issue that I have with standardizing NCAAF to either 8 or 9 conference games is that it is nothing more than a flimsy and temporary bandaid over the symptoms of a system that does not address Strength of Schedule. I admit, standardizing SoS is a hard thing to do in football, since so few games are played but honestly, while I agree with Ted to some degree, there are better fixes.
How about removing the ability to play FCS teams? How about getting rid of the Coaches Poll? This poll, which has been shown to be incredibly biased (coaches do NOT have time to watch 120 teams play every week), is worth 1/3 of deciding the National Championship contenders as well as having a very large effect on the at large bids. How about a committee that judges Strength of Schedule on best win, number of quality wins, records of opponents, etc? How about an emphasis on number of wins instead of number of losses (so championship game losses don't count negatively)? How about we just do away with the entire concept of AQ and non-AQ, form a new division (D-AAB? lol) and let the lower 60 teams actually compete for a championship? I hate that half of all FBS teams biggest dreams are nothing other than a Sun-belt conference championship and the Vegas bowl.
The only reason that the 8 or 9 conference game argument has any steam is because it has a major impact on the big pay-day BCS/NC bowl games. By forcing all conferences, of different sizes and shapes, to fit the same game model, we are only standardizing strength of schedule at the top, and barely at that. And at what cost? Different conferences should be allowed to be different.
Why patch just the top when the upcoming changes associated with the playoffs are the perfect time to fix the system as a whole?
If Tuel is somehow granted a 6th year of eligibility, he should transfer to Iowa State. They have an out-going senior QB, and the offense is ran by Sturdy. Its a perfect fit for him. The way the fans have treated him over the years ("he's Big Sky talent"), especially in 2012 ("put in Halliday"), we don't deserve any successes that he has. We should turn the page in 2013 with Bruggeman/Apodaca/Halliday and go from there.
As far as the conference schedule goes, I have an even better idea... the B1G, SEC, PAC-12 and ACC (all with 16 teams) need to just leave the NCAA altogether and create their own money-machine and cut the NCAA/BCS out of the picture completely. Then it won't matter (# of conference games), because we'll have a flipping playoff to decide a winner.
I tweeted a really good link about why this won't work last night. I'd been wondering for years why they haven't considered this. The author makes it sound as though the cost of insurance is the big sticking point.
@LucasNurmi And this is where University presidents need to do something other than lick their own capitalist backsides. The NCAA is far from perfect and has its own issues, but the NCAA exists for all colleges and universities who have athletic programs, including FCS, D-2, and D-3 schools, not just the money winners.
Personally, I feel icky enough with all the conference realignment stuff as-is, including the loss of the Big East and so forth. Such a move would be really high on my Huddy Ick-O-Meter.
The transfer is of course assuming he's already graduated from WAZZU, and can enter a "graduate program" at Iowa State.
Tuel's 6th year is near the top of my christmas wish list, but I have been a bad boy so I expect a lump of coal from the NCAA on that one.
As far as conference schedules, as was proposed in my 26 team playoff scenario the conferences that qualify for the first round bye would have to play a 9 game conference schedule, championship game and only 2 non conference games with FCS games not counting. What college football needs is less Florida vs. South Arkansas A&M games. besides doing nothing for the TV deals these days these games are also a slap in the face to season ticket holders and people who actually attend games. For now, the 9 game conference schedule is a badge of honor and the Pac-12 should hold firm and demand the other conferences step up to their standard, rather then us stepping down to theirs.
Tuel's case is very interesting. I could see a very likely case where the NCAA grants him an extra year, yet he decides to hang em up (or at least move on to the professional ranks). He's personified cougar football over the last 4 years and we've been extremely lucky to have him, but I wonder if its just taken its toll. His final press conference had the feel of a last game to it, and if so what a way to go out! I hope the NCAA lets him make that decision though, and grants the extra year.
@burningsnowmans I was right there with you, until the Apple Cup. On the post game radio show Tuel said for the first time, an AC win and the emotion could make him want to come back for one more year. With an improved O line and a lot of experienced skill guys back next year, it could be fun. But I wish him the best no matter what.
@SeanHawkins I agree there are a lot of positives to Tuel coming back, most notably the fact he seems to have "got" the air raid system now. Another year of practices under his belt I think we could see amazing things! I dont see both Tuel and Halliday coming back next year though. Halliday is too talented to want to stay on the bench another year, and have to battle with Bruggman the year after. My crystal ball says either Tuel stays, Halliday goes, and Bruggman starts as a redshirt freshman; or Tuel goes, Halliday has the reigns for two years, and Bruggman starts as a redshirt sophomore. Or I could be completely wrong and something else might happen... but hey, its the offseason!
@burningsnowmans @SeanHawkins I agree that Halladay has a real fight on his hands. However I would add Apodaca's name to that list as well. No matter how highly rated Bruggman is Leach typically starts guys with many years in the system under their belt and Apodaca will be way ahead of bruggman going into 2013.
I love the morning drip!!!!!!!!!!
Based on what Leach said in a presser toward the end of the year, the whole Tuel decision is going to come down to whether or not the NCAA buys the idea that the OSU injury (calf) was related to things he had going on prior to that game.
Leach indicated that they said in the report that Tuel's injury in that game came from a prior injury. So, I don't know if they are tying the ACS calf injury to something that happened during the Stanford game.
Ultimately, I just don't see this happening, but the news from yesterday has to make one think that word is coming shortly. And what a huge "win" it would be for the program if he were to come back!
Absolutely NO to going to 8 Pac12 conference games. I dislike non=conference games, especially body-bag games. If I had my wish we'd play 11 conference games. Any time you go to a reduced conference schedule and a conference tilte game,it reduces the importance of regular season games. Regular season games should be the ones that count. Look at our Pac12 basketball schedule. Why do we need a playoff? We've played 18 conference games over 2 1/2 months. We know who the best teams are, and so does the NCAA committee. . With a playoff every crappy team (like WSU) thinks they can win 3 games and go to the NCAAs. Why should they be able to? They don't deserve it.
--If you water down the schedule with body-bag games , what does that do? Make everybody think we're good when we beat Idaho State and UNLV? I think the SEC and all big conferences should be forced to play at least 9 conference football games.
@bpcoug54 Sean's point is that there needs to be consistency across the conferences. If the SEC is sitting at 8 conference games and we have 9, we're adding a bunch of losses to the conference and that's not trivial when you factor in the Least coast bias..
The other factor to consider is the role of Divisions and whether non-divisional games should count for conference standings--especially as we move toward a playoff in two years. I mean, say we go 5-0 in Division, Oregon goes 4-1 but wins our Division because we lost to SC and Arizona (who are both 10-2) while Oregon didn't have to play those two teams that year. Seriously, who is the true division winner in that example?
All the arguments for reducing the conference schedule assume that the overriding consideration is increasing the chances that fans can slip on that Styrofoam hand with an extended index finger sometime in early January. And if playing four patsies increases those odds, all for the better. I say Bushwah, there is a good deal to be said for conference integrity, providing quality contests for the fans and marching to your own beat (“Consistency is the bugaboo of small minds”).
There are a number of reasons why a larger conference slate fits the PAC-12. (1) The SEC fans will fill their stadiums when they play road kill (hey, they probably prefer it), but PAC-12 teams will not. So the teams in the PAC-12 need to schedule challenging games in any case – look at the USC, UCLA, and Stanford (hell, even Oregon now) schedules year in and year out. (2) Teams like WSU, OSU and Utah have trouble enough scheduling home-and-home series with quality opponents, they don’t need to lose another first tier game each year. (3) The SEC, Big 12 and the ACC need the national championship game – they don’t have the Rose Bowl – so let them have it. Finally, it’s all going sideways when playoff scheme is instituted so what’s the big deal.
all the more reason to play 11 conference games. Then there isn't any controversy about who missed who during the regular season.
The NCAA just needs to step in and make it consistant, especially with the playoff coming and there being a selection committee. All the leagues need to play the same amount of conference games and it really should lean to more conference games as the conferences continue to get bigger. The SEC, B1G and ACC will all have 14 teams soon. If they play 8 conference games, they miss 5 teams in their conference every year. It would make the job of the secection committee easier if there was a standard and limited number of body bag games. Another reason they need to take into account the strenghth of schedule as well.
@Sutra @bpcoug54 That is kind of what I was going for. Playing 9 when majority of BCS powers play 8 tilts the field against our conference. Then you consider that it was a damn good league in 2012, and the grind that is a college football season anyway? I can see Ted Miller's point. We should all play 9 or all play 8, but not like it is now.