It’s Friday! That means 10 big stories in 10 little bites. We hit Hubert Davis and Dara Torres, Mariano Rivera and Junior Seau, Ron Brown and John Calipari and Bo Pelini v. Kirk Ferentz. But first, Harvey Perlman.
In an interview with ESPN Thursday, the UNL chancellor defended the BCS. Not a total surprise since Perlman has been a staunch opponent of a playoff.
But while guys like Bill Hancock and Jim Delany have warmed up to the playoff idea, Perlman sounded as if he’d been on vacation the past month. On the BCS, Perlman has always been out of touch with fans. Never more than yesterday.
But I (sort of) give Perlman credit. While his words on this issue are like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, at least he didn’t flip-flop.
Bill Hancock, the executive director of the BCS, has been the most famous opponent to a playoff (other than Jim Delany). Hancock reportedly told the Dan Patrick Show today that college football power brokers changed their mind on the merits of a playoff because they realized it wouldn’t detract from the regular season.
That’s hard to believe. The real cause for their epiphany still puzzles me.
>> For the record, I want a playoff in which conference championships are rewarded. Take the top 3 conference champs, regardless of their ranking. Then take the top-ranked wild card. There’s only one exception — if the top four teams are all conference champions.
>> Rick Reilly found a gay Husker fan who is a Christian because of Ron Brown.
>> Is Bo Pelini really the sixth-best coach in the Big Ten? First, it’s important to point out how ridiculous these types of rankings are. We love reading them and debating them, but there’s no way to know how Kirk Ferentz would perform at Ohio State or what Brady Hoke would do at Minnesota. So how do you rank coaches?
But assuming it’s a worthy exercise, Pelini deserves a “slightly-above-average” grade for a program like Nebraska. He rebuilt it quickly, but hasn’t gotten it over the hump. If we’re saying the same thing two years from now, these same national columnists might say he’s on the hot seat.
>> 31 schools have changed conference affiliation the past 3 years! Amazing. Few schools upgraded more than Nebraska.
>> Hubert Davis is leaving ESPN to be an assistant at North Carolina. Who should replace him on the set with Jay Bilas and Digger Phelps? The easy answer is Doug Gottlieb. But I think ESPN may choose to go with Adrian Branch, at least until they develop another star.
>> Dara Torres is 45! Next month, she’ll be in Omaha trying to make the Olympics again.
>> The rise of long toss. You’re gonna hear more and more about this fascinating pitching trend.
>> Andy Staples nailed this column on Junior Seau.
>> Kentucky and Indiana are quitting their annual hoops clash. According to this columnist, it’s John Calipari’s fault. He didn’t want to play in Bloomington again. Or maybe he didn’t want to lose at Rupp Arena.
>> Tom Verducci on Mo Rivera. How does a player of that caliber end his career on a warning track in Kansas City? Bizarre.
>> I’m writing a Sunday story about an LSU baseball player who’s hitting .500. Check it out.
>> Bob Bowlsby left one of the cushiest AD jobs in America (Stanford) for one of the toughest commissioner jobs (Big 12). He better befriend DeLoss Dodds as soon as possible.
>> Finally, Tim Miles landed a 7-footer, who is eligible immediately. I’m not thrilled to see another foreign big man on the roster — aside from Aleks Maric, Nebraska hasn’t had much luck. But Miles, at this point, deserves the benefit of the doubt, I suppose. When is the last time we were talking about NU basketball in May?
>> Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.