Posted: Wednesday November 30, 2005 11:36AM; Updated: Wednesday November 30, 2005 4:45PM
A question to have some fun with: If you suddenly obtained a ton of cash (lets say more than $1 billion) and decided you wanted to start a school just to have your own college football team (let's call it Mandel Tech), what would your nickname be? Who would you want to coach (remember, you have a lot of money to pay him)? And where would you place the college? --Greg, Destrehan, La.
You know me too well, Greg, because if I came into a billion dollars, that's exactly what I'd do. It'd be much more fun than buying a professional team.
First of all, I'd place the school right here in New York City, because it's an absolute crime that the biggest city in the country doesn't have a college football team of its own. (No offense, Rutgers). Some might call it a waste, that New York will never be a college town, but I say in a city of seemingly 800 million people, we could surely find 60,000 to fill our stadium (which would be located in Manhattan -- not Queens, not Long Island, not New Jersey). We wouldn't mess around, either, skipping right over I-AA and, after just a couple seasons, successfully lobbying our way into the Big Ten, because the only thing Jim Delany craves more than Notre Dame's TV market is New York's TV market (plus a few million under the table wouldn't hurt). After I money-whip Nick Saban into becoming our head coach (let's face it, that's not hard to do) and Norm Chow to be his offensive coordinator, and with a national recruiting base not unlike USC's, I figure we'll be beating Ohio State and Michigan on a regular basis within three years.
The tougher part would be the nickname. It's hard to come up with anything original these days that doesn't sound WNBA-style cheesy or isn't deemed hostile or abusive by somebody. It would have to be something emblematic of our location -- maybe the Sewer Rats. Or the Fighting Bialys.
What are your thoughts on how instant replay worked in the NCAA this year? After watching four plays reviewed in the first quarter of the Georgia-Georgia Tech game, I am wondering if college will adopt the NFL rule of two challenges per coach instead. --Sam, Tampa, Fla.
In general, I think instant replay has been a positive addition. One of my biggest gripes with the NFL has always been the obscenely long replay delays. For whatever reason, college officials seem to be resolving calls more expeditiously, and over the course of the season we've seen many important calls in important games get correctly overturned or upheld.
Like you, however, I've noticed that many leagues seem to be going overboard in the number of plays they review, oftentimes stopping the game for plays that you can tell from the first replay have about a .0001 percent chance of getting overturned. Early in the season, SEC officiating supervisor Bobby Gaston told my SI colleague Mark Beech that his crews were instructed to err on the side of caution when choosing whether or not to replay something, and admitted to several "p.r. stoppages" -- i.e. using replay just to show coaches and fans that the officials are getting calls right -- per game. To that, I'd say, "OK, we get it. Now cut it out."
I like your column. I think some of your readers need to take a moment and figure out what's really important in life, like this burning question: Who will replace Meg Ryan as the next date movie queen, Kirsten Dunst or Brittany Murphy? --Chris Kern, Torrance, Calif.
I agree it's an important question, but I don't particularly like either of your choices. Take away the Spiderman series and what's the last good movie Kirsten Dunst made? Elizabethtown? Wimbledon? Mona Lisa Smile? Don't think so. And Brittany's just crazy. It seems to me that title is Reese Witherspoon's if she wants it, but she seems to have an affinity for darker roles and popping out babies. Natalie Portman could also make a strong run, with Amanda Peet the sleeper in the clubhouse.