Quick Slants (cont.)
THIS SEC COACHING CAROUSEL IS SOOOO OFF THE HIZZY
After charting the success of SEC coaches over the last few years -- namely an over-intense coach at Florida, a two-timing mastermind at Alabama and a token "crazy guy in the fight" at LSU -- it will be delightful to introduce two new scenarios into the 2009 equation. With a few months until they actually start coaching, do you favor the "Coach with Disproportionately Hot Wife at Tennessee" or "Coach with Minimal Qualifications at Auburn" plot? It's a pivotal question.
For me, it's the Gene Chizik hiring at Auburn that will be most interesting to follow. It's really the only answer to this question. You mean to tell me that this was Auburn's idea of an upgrade over Tommy Tuberville? A guy who went 5-19 in two seasons at Iowa State and lost his last 10 games? Really? Charles Barkley might be onto something with his race arguments, but we'll steer clear of that here. The real issue at hand is that while the prettiest girl in the coaching class may have only been a "7," Auburn opted for a "2." A nice gesture? I think so. A good hire? Not so much.
TOM BRADLEY HAS THE PATIENCE OF A DEAD HORSE
At what point does Penn State's Tom Bradley get so fed up that he bolts for a head coaching position at another school? Now that Joe Paterno has signed a three-year contract extension, you'd have to think Bradley is getting somewhat antsy, unless there is a hidden clause proclaiming him the head coach in waiting.
Two other thoughts worth mentioning: First, I've been writing all season the notion of Paterno being a true "head coach" is nothing more than an illusion. Paterno's been injured all season, "coaching" from the booth and working from home on some occasions. He's not the same coach he once was. Does it weigh on Bradley, the de facto next-in-command, that JoePa is getting credited for games he might well be winning as a de facto head coach? And secondly, when Paterno's extension expires in 2011, will Penn State finally start phasing him out by using a fake headset like the time the captain gave Dwight Shrute a fake steering wheel on Lake Wallenpaupack? Just wondering.
GET OFF THE FENCE: 10 QUESTIONS THAT COULD IMPACT YOUR MISTLETOE
1. Better holiday drink: Egg nog or Bailey's Irish Cream?
2. Better bowl matchup: Oregon-Oklahoma State or Boise State-TCU?
3. Better television type: LCD or Plasma?
4. Better play-by-play guy: Vern Lundquist or Brad Nessler?
5. More annoying Facebook app: (Lil) Green Patch or Snowball Fight?
6. Better restaurant-themed bowl: Papajohns.com or Chick-fil-A?
7. Funnier Emmitt Smith phrase: "Blowed out" or "Rice of passage"?
8. More underrated position: Holder or long snapper?
10. Likelier national champ: Florida or Oklahoma?
SEVEN IRON-CLAD BOWL LOCKS
It's bowl time, so we're stepping up efforts here at Quick Slants headquarters and picking seven lucky games instead of our normal three. Plus, going 7-0 would put us at 20-11 for the season. But let's first mention three games we're not touching with a 10-meter cattle prod:
LSU vs. Georgia Tech (Chick-fil-A Bowl): Something about LSU's ongoing quarterback experiment coupled with Tech's quirky offense and surprisingly high ranking (14) for an ACC team leaves me at a loss for words and excitement.
Oregon vs. Oklahoma State (Holiday Bowl): Seems like the kind of game in which both coaches would concede their defenses and go for it on fourth-and-35 just for the hell of it. Plus, Mike Gundy seems like someone who would eat a live goldfish for sheer amusement, and it's a good rule of thumb to stay away from coaches like that with money on the line.
Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech (Orange Bowl): It's best to avoid putting any money on this game so you have no actual reason to watch it. Heaven knows the rest of the country won't.
Onto the picks...
Troy -4.5 vs. Southern Miss (New Orleans Bowl)
Notre Dame +1.5 vs. Hawaii (Hawaii Bowl)
Maryland +1.5 vs. Nevada (Humanitarian Bowl)
Wisconsin +5 vs. Florida State (Champs Sports Bowl)
Texas Tech -5.5 vs. Mississippi (Cotton Bowl)
USC -10 vs. Penn State (Rose Bowl)
Texas -10 vs. Ohio State (Fiesta Bowl)
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