Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 11:08 AM
Please, I am not complaining. It's another product on the betting board but to say UCLA (6-6) at Oregon (10-2) Saturday is a "championship" game gives new meaning to the word, but that is the state of affairs in the PAC-12 Conference. UCLA was crushed Saturday by Southern California 50-0 and will take the field in Eugene a 31 ½-point underdog.
Other than in the mostly bizarre world of boxing, the word "championship" has never been so empty and misleading.
It is also irony to the 100th power that UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel has already been fired even though he is playing for the Pac-12 title.
At least it is not as embarrassing as the firing of Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen last year after his Terrapins went 9-4, beat Eastern Carolina in the Military Bowl, all while being named ACC Coach of the Year for the second time in 10 years. First-year athletic director Kevin Anderson fired Friedgen, paid him $2 million to leave, and brought in the ever-self-loving, ego-driven, I-am-God's-gift-too-college-football Randy Edsall from Connecticut.
Anderson, another dime-a-dozen athletic director over- sold on himself, said he was firing Friedgen because the 2011 team would be loaded with talent-talent Friedgen had brought in-and he did not believe the latter could get the best out of it and take the team to a higher level. He wanted a big-time coach who could make the big move and for reasons no one understood decided Edsall was it.
Edsall took all this talent and finished 2-10 his first season in College Park, could easily have been 0-12 and just might be in 2012 since more than a dozen upperclassmen, tired of playing for an over-bearing flaming over-his-head asshole, are expected to transfer out. Few coaches have destroyed a program so quickly.
If Anderson had an ounce of pride or had the ability to feel shame, he would resign immediately. His actions have buried the Maryland football program and it will be years before it recovers.
In Friedgen's case the firing never made sense. At least in Neuheisel's case, it does. Friedgen went 74-50 in 10 years at Maryland while Neuheisel went 21-28 in four years at UCLA and was but 3-25 against teams with winning records. Those numbers will be 21-29 and 3-26 after Oregon buries the Bruins Saturday.
Of course Neuheisel can at least hold his head high and tell folks he was fired, even though he led his team to the conference championship game. That's not quite as strong as being named Coach of the Year but it sounds good.
100-Unit Playoff Game Of Year Wins Saturday
The first two of six conference championship games will be played Friday night with Northern Illinois (9-3) a 4-point favorite over Ohio (9-3) in the Mid-American Conference title game and with the aforementioned Oregon a 31 ½-point favorite over UCLA in the PAC-12 contest. I am still undecided what unit ratings I will assign to Friday night's game but know for certain one of the four games on Saturday will be a 100-unit play. I will be releasing all six games.
Here are the conference championship games.
Friday, December 2
MAC Championship Game - Ford Field, Detroit
Ohio University (9-3) vs. Northern Illinois (9-3)
Northern Illinois is a 4-Point Favorite
ESPN2...Kickoff 7:05 Eastern
PAC-12 Championship Game - Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon
UCLA (6-6) vs. Oregon (10-2)
Oregon is a 31 ½-point favorite
FOX...Kickoff 8:05 Eastern
Saturday, Dec. 3
Conference USA Champion Game - Robertson Stadium, Houston, Texas
Southern Miss (10-2) vs. Houston (12-0)
Houston is a 13-point favorite
ESPN2...12 Kickoff 12:05 Eastern
SEC Championship Game - Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia (10-2) vs. LSU (12-0)
LSU is a 13 ½-point favorite
CBS...Kickoff 4:05 Eastern
ACC Championship Game - Bank Of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Clemson (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (11-1)
Virginia Tech is a 7 ½-point favorite
ESPN...Kickoff 8:05 Eastern
Big Ten Championship Game - Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Michigan State (10-2) vs. Wisconsin (10-2)
Wisconsin is a 9 ½-point favorite
ABC...Kickoff 8:05 Eastern
Meyer To OSU, Leach To Washington State
Scandal-stricken Ohio State yesterday took a major step in restoring its football program to its former glory by naming former Florida coach Urban Meyer as its new head coach. Meyer, considered one of college football's best modern day mentors, stepped down at Florida last year for health reasons and to spend more time with his family.
He has spent 10 years as a head coach, two at Bowling Green, where he went 17-6, two more at Utah (22-2) and the last six at Florida, where he went 68-15 and won two national championships, beating Ohio State, 41-14, in 2006 and Oklahoma, 24-14, in 2008.
Meyer, who was an assistant at Ohio State in 1986 and 1987, is a native of Ohio and has the record and stature to keep Ohio State rolling without missing a step if the school gives him the green light he had at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida to recruit.
While Meyer's hiring at Ohio State is official, mum seems to be the word out of Pullman where former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach is going to take over for Paul Wulff at Washington State. There is nothing official about this, but an insider said it is a done deal.
Tonight's College Basketball Plays
Nationally Televised Duke At Ohio State Highlights 3-0 Night
My Best Bets Club winning streak ended last night as I went 0-2 but I intend to bounce back confidently tonight with three power-packed winners, topped by the matchup of third-ranked Duke (7-0) and second-ranked Ohio State (6-0). This ACC-Big Ten game is college basketball at its best and the figures point out a solid pointspread winner. Win this 10-unit play, plus get two other best bet winners, for just $15, charged to your major credit card. These games are available on this site and toll free at 1-800-755-2255.
Another 25-Unit Basketball Blowout Play Cashes Tonight
My Chairman's Club got all the money again last night as Oakland (+2) buried Tennessee, 89-81, as a 25-unit play and I am coming back tonight with another team that win just as easily. The team I am releasing has edges in 12 of the 13 major categories I use to handicap college basketball and should get a rather easy cover. Win this standout play for just $25, charged to your major credit card. This game is available on this site and toll free at 1-800-755-2255.