June 18, 2009
• We're still here! The Cotton Bowl, which loses the actual Cotton Bowl game next January to Jerry Jones' lavish new space palace and thus needs some reason other than the annual Oklahoma-Texas showdown to justify last year's $57 million renovation, is looking to get back into the bowl game:
Tom Starr, the former executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, is working with Dallas officials to bring a new bowl game to Cotton Bowl Stadium in Fair Park, perhaps as early as the 2010-11 bowl season, said Roland Rainey, stadium manager.
"We'd very much like to bring in a bowl game if we could," Rainey said in an interview Wednesday. It could be an existing bowl or a newly created game, Rainey said, adding that Starr is also working on attracting another big-time regular-season college game to the renovated stadium, which can seat as many as 92,000 for football.
Considering the existing bowl glut has made it practically impossible to find eligible teams for a new game, the Armed Forces Bowl itself -- headquartered in TCU's stadium in Forth Worth -- seems like a better bet, even if the official attendance (a little over 40,000 the last two years) wouldn't even fill the Cotton Bowl halfway. And considering the Jones Dome has already locked up every team looking for a neutral site in a nine-state radius -- in addition to the Big 12 Championship game, Baylor-Texas Tech, BYU-Oklahoma and Texas A&M-Arkansas will all kick off there this year, with the latter signed up well into the next decade -- I'd like to know who'd be interested in a regular-season date in the Cotton Bowl. TCU-SMU?
• Thanks for your input, but ... no pie for you. If there was any doubt whatsoever about the BCS commissioners' collective reaction to the Mountain West's "radical proposal" at BCS meetings this week in Denver, it was firmly stamped out Wednesday afternoon:
As expected, the Mountain West Conference proposal to restructure the Bowl Championship Series met with a tepid response at this week's conference commissioners meeting in Colorado Springs.
"While some conference reports indicated possible interest in a future evaluation of elements of the proposal, specifically governance structure and revenue, there was no overall support for the proposal," ACC commissioner and BCS coordinator John Swofford said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.
That's a bureaucratic way of telling the MWC's playoff plan to talk to the hand. The commissioners' recommendations will go to the presidents next week, who will formally reject the insurgency.
• Spicy cupcake. Bill Curry's brief, tumultuous tour as Alabama head coach in the late Eighties included an SEC championship in 1989 but is remembered mainly for a) the infamous brick tossed through Curry's office window following a Homecoming loss to Ole Miss and b) Curry's winning (if apocryphal, at this point) response: "At least we know it wasn't our quarterback, because he can't throw that far."
Curry showed none of that sense of humor as a perpetually dour broadcaster following a so-so stint at Kentucky, but let's hope he rediscovers it before his new team, fledgling Georgia State, stumbles into Tuscaloosa for ritual slaughter in November 2010, the last game of the Panthers' inaugural season:
"It's been a great motivator for our staff," Curry said, "and it will be a great motivator for our players. The opportunity to go into that environment and see how football is played at that level will be quite a learning experience."
"We would have preferred to wait until year two or three to take on a challenge like this," Curry said, "but 2010 was the only opening that Alabama had available and we just didn't want to pass up this chance."
GSU presumably cost less than San Jose State, which will get a cool $1 million to drop Stanford for a trip to Tuscaloosa for the '10 opener. Much like this year's opener with Virginia Tech, only a visit by Penn State can save the Tide from complete scheduling shame.
In less surprising Tide news, Alabama has decided to appeal the NCAA's command to vacate 21 wins from the 2005-07 seasons, following the lead of Oklahoma (which had eight vacated wins in 2005 reinstated last year) and Florida State (whose fate, though apparently settled, remains a mystery). 'Bama is specifically protesting the "excessiveness of the sanctions," given that there is no evidence of official involvement in the strictly student-orchestrated textbook scheme that brought on the sanctions.
Quickly ... The Kiffins are finally settling in at Tennessee, and the Knoxville News-Sentinel continues to hope Layla Kiffin becomes the next Erin Andrews. (Erin Andrews Erin Andrews Erin Andrews). ... Florida State president T.K. Wetherell officially hands in his resignation. ... Kansas State could face another staggering buyout as it tries to settle the Ron Prince/deferred-payment flap. ... "Mr. Irrelevant" signs a three-year deal. ... Mike Hart says his successor in Michigan's backfield is ready for a breakout year. ... The Detroit Free Press looks at Michigan State's growing recruiting prowess in the Motor City. ... Three Iowa players were reinstated to the Hawkeyes, and oft-troubled South Carolina cornerback C.C. Whitlock may soon be back with the Gamecocks. ... Northwestern recruiting lives. (Maybe the Wildcats should look at da next Percy Harvin). ... Central Florida football: It's delicious! ... A Nebraska board of supervisors haggles over the values of a pair of Husker sweatpants. ... And here is a coach who is not completely committed to his job.