Posts of the Week
Each week, we will highlight a few entertaining and/or informative posts from the previous week. Please keep in mind that it is hard to keep track/prioritize all posts so we would welcome input from all Booties. You can make a "Bootie Selection" post as a response to any post that you deem worthy or you can email a link (to the nominated post) to me at email@example.com.
Below are the posts that made this week's list:
Subject: Pac-10 Predictions
Since this board has pretty dead lately, I thought that I
might start a thread re: Pac 10 predictions.
Here's my take:
#10 Washington - poor Bob Bender seems like a good coach and a nice guy, but he sure has had some bad recruiting lately. The Huskies may be improved this year but the rest of the Pac has also improved or stayed at a high level.
#9 Oregon - the Ducks may fly high in football, but they will slip in basketball. Frederick Jones will star and Luke Ridnour is a player, but the Ducks will miss Bracey. They just don't have enough overall firepower.
#8 Washington State - Paul Graham has been able to keep WSU somewhat competitive despite a rash of misfortunes of one kind or another. Mike Bush is tough and the Cougs always seem to find some really gritty guys who on a given night can give people some fits even if they eventually lose. WSU may have quite a few L's but they will be tough L's.
#7 Oregon State - The Beavers have some very good talent and their coach has been able to motivate them, again like Graham, under adversity. Look for Brian Jackson to get over his foul problems and emerge as a star in the Pac 10. Home games in Corvallis will once again be dreaded by opponents.
#6 California - The Bears received a blow to their hopes by Sensley's ineligibility. Sampson and Bond look to be good players in the future, but probably not ready to make a major impact as freshmen. However, cal returns 4 starters and have enough depth that they will be good enough to warrant tournament consideration, but not good enough to be a shoo-in.
#5 Arizona - Lute Olson is a great coach who will make the Cats a contender despite losing 4 starters to the NBA and leaving the cupboard somewhat bare. His young guys will produce and show potential, but they will still be young and their collective inexperience will cause them to lose some games that otherwise they might not. Likely a tournament bid though.
#4 Arizona State - Somewhat a surprise that the Devils finish ahead of the Wildcats, but they are returning an inexperienced group of players with a few highly talented players. It will be interesting to see how they do out of conference as it may set the tone in terms of how strong the Pac 10 really is this year. ASU did well Down Under winning one more game than us, so surely they are primed to be a contender and get a tournament bid.
#3 UCLA - For all those who have the Bruins as a lock to win the title, I differ. Kapono is good, but he is not one to carry the team on his shoulders. Barnes is similar. Billy Knight is dangerous and can give the team a major lift, but I think that he will miss Watson. Gadzuric has big time potential, but he is injury prone. The Bruins, particularly with any injuries, could be vulnerable in the frontcourt and with Bozeman having to handle the point as a freshman, UCLA could be ripe for a number of "upsets" throughout the season. The could become a #3 seed that all the #14s want to play.
#2 USC - The Trojans might actually have the best talent even with the departure of Scalabrine and Trepagnier. Clancy will be a main contender for POY and Bluthenthal and Granville will compete for All Pac 10 honors. There is talent elsewhere on the squad and SC is reasonably deep. They will make the tournament again, but actually may not go as far as they did last year as they won't surprise people.
Drumroll pleassssse......... And #1 (for the 4th year in a row) STANFORD - I'm not even picking this out of bleeding Cardinal Red sentiment. Casey Jacobsen will be primed to have a great season, rivaling any of past Stanford stars. Borchardt is due for a string of good luck and more importantly, good health. He and CJ will present as formidable of an inside-outside threat in the country. And in college, two great players can take a team a long ways. Another wing, perhaps Childress, perhaps Lottich will step up and become a 3rd very serious offensive threat and give opponents fits. Davis, Kirchofer, Little and later Teyo will be more than enough to compliment Curtis. Of interest, our bigs will each offer something different and thus cause some match up problems for other teams. The question asked by many is at PG. Tony, Julius, or Chris - any one - may emerge and become a major factor. But even if one player does not, I think that Montgomery and the team is comfortable with having three contributors who all bring their own particular talents to the table. In the end though, Stanford has some great coaches, and Mike Montgomery will get the team prepared in winning fashion. If the big guys stay healthy and guys like Robinson and Logan find a way to make some important contributions, Stanford will have the kind of depth to make a deep run in the tourney.
What do others think?
Subject: Re: Loss Ramifications (long)
Agree totally with your assessment LW. I also have this to add:
There are 5 games that we should win this year based on what we've seen from the teams either early this year or last year imo:
1. WSU - too many defensive injuries & losses-poor lines
2. Cal - looked terrible vs illini, may have lost too much d
3. ASU - killed them last year, new coach
4. SJSU - looked bad vs sc, baldwin is gone
5. UofA - looked bad vs sdsu, mackovic over the hill
Then, there are games that are toss-ups based on what we've seen this year or last year imo:
1. USC - talent o' plenty, better coaching?
2. UW - at home with good talent, but young and no tui
3. BC - green could be a problem, but bible a bonus
And there are three games where we won't be, and possibly should not be favored imo:
1. ND - may have too many horses for us
2. UCLA - see nd
3. UofO - may be overrated, soft d, explosive on o
Now you can argue every categorization that I've made here, and I hope that all of you will to some degree. The way I see the season though, in typical Stanford fashion, we'll lose at least one game we're supposed to win, win one game we're supposed to lose, and then it comes down to the toss-ups. If we win just one of those, we're in a bowl. If we win more than that, we could put together momentum for something bigger. To me, BC is the most winnable of these toss-ups. Interested to hear what you guys think of these categories, etc.
On another note, the more I think about it, the more I really like this team. There is a ton of talent on this squad, and it's also somewhat deep in certain positions, which is very rare for Stanford. I'd be shocked if this team is any worse than 5-6, I think they'd really have to run into some hard luck with injuries and bad bounces for that to happen. On the other hand, I think the upside for this team is unlimited. Here's another way to break down this squad: I see some very talented senior leaders who have the talent and experience to be truly dominant players: Biselli, Wire, Williams, Heitman & Fasani. (There's your requisite 5 great players for a championship team). I also see a deep cast of very experienced senior role players who are very solid and often make up the heart of a championship team: Quaccia, Hoover, R. Carter, Fernandez, Allen, Lee, Pfeifer, Friedrichs, Gabriel, McCullum and Wright. Those are the type of guys who won't let a team have a bad practice, they'll make the right calls and audibles on the field, they'll push through the pain and exhaustion in the fourth quarter when the game is on the line. Those are guys that are less appreciated but often set the tone for the season. You don't end up truly appreciating them until they're gone. I see yet another group of emerging talents, guys who have shown flashes of potential and perhaps even dominance and will be key contributors this year and beyond, really a group that will take over for the senior leaders when they depart. That bunch includes: Schindler, Chambers, Pierce, Lewis, Moore, K. Carter, Wells, Freeman, and Leonard. Finally, there is the group of unproven, untested explosive young talent. This is the group that Stanford rarely has. Typically, a solid Stanford team would be made up of the groups above, maybe even less. The 95 and 96 teams looked more like some combination of the three groups above. This team, however, has another dimension. And that is what I call the X factor. This X factor group includes Teyo, Amon, Cool Hand, Alex Smith, Nacho, Svitek, Hobson, Kwame, Mr. Anderson, Wilson, and Torrence. That's a group of 11 potential stars, all of whom could have an impact this year. Some of them, like Kwame and Cool Hand, really have to play well this year for us to get to even 6-5. If half of them play well and make a true impact, I'm talking big plays, the type of plays that only big-time talents can make, then they could go 8-3, they really could. If all, or say just 8 or 9 of them have a big impact and play exceptionally well throughout the season, and all of the other pieces fall into place, the sky's the limit. Remember, these are all guys that virtually everyone wanted: Teyo, Amon, Nacho, Kwame, and Mr. Anderson for sure could have gone to every program in the country, including the Florida schools. I think some of the people on this board forget about how big-time these guys really are. Unproven, yes, but then again most of them won't be put in the position where they have to be "the man" this year. They can just make plays. That leads me to my final point, which that for everything to come together just right, this team will have to have exceptional chemistry and coaching. These guys really have to want to go out there and sell out every down for a championship. The Card has more talent than we've seen in a while, but Stanford is still not Miami, and the intangibles that have marked Tyrone's tenure here, things like toughness, few penalties, intelligent play and dogged determination have to shine through more than ever. If the coaches can continue that style of play, create their best-ever game plans, and effectively manage all of this young talent, mixing in the X factor group just right with the first three groups, then this could truly be a special year.
Subject: Bible Bashing.......
Are u implying that Dana Bible seemingly did not deserve the
treatment he received from the Stanford contingent during his
tenure? Why don't briefly recap the loaded hand that Bible @#%$
Two consecutive years of next to last finishes in total offense (1996 and 1997). Impressive.
Not to say that he did not have weapons either. Here is the offensive players on those two teams....Badger, Parks, McLaughlin, Cronshagen amongst others. Throw in a backfield comprised of Mitchell, Bookman, Comella, Ritchie, and Salina. Include Clark and Stewart at TE. Then add one Biletnikoff Award winner in Troy Walters, along with Manning, Harris, Dunn, Kirwan, Evans, Davis,and Pitts.
So lets see that recap that.........
1). One starting NFL TE (also one of the highest paid) that will probably have a ten year career.
2.) Another TE who is quite possibly the best blocking TE do to date that Stanford has ever had
3.) Biletnikoff Award winner and holder of almost ever PAC 10 receiving record, who doubles as an NFL return man
4.) Quite possible the best trio of fullbacks at any school that did so little it makes me puke.
5.) Two of which will play in the NFL for close to 8-10 years when it is all said and done.
6.) One of which found it easier to start in the NFL than in college.
7.-10.) 4 NFL quality quarterbacks to choose from.
Furthermore, Bible possibly had the shortest tenure as an offensive coordinator in the NFL league history the following year. 6 games!!!!!!!!!
That is enough I think.
However, I too have been mystified by Bible continued success at BC. Personally I attributed his initial successes with his first year at Stanford and BC to other teams not quite figuring out that he had such strong formation/play tendencies. By the next year and the subsequent year, he did not adjust and opposing teams did.
I am not sure what he is doing differently at BC. I don't watch Big East football. It bores me. Outside of Miami and Virginia Tech. Who is in that conference? Rutgers? Syracuse (extremely overrated)? Pitt (didn't they get exposed by Iowa State), Temple, and West Virginia (add your own joke there).
Maybe he finally had a breakthrough. His coaching back was definitely against the wall after being fired from Philadelphia, cause the buzz on him was not good. No one knows for sure. He is capable of breaking from his standard script, see the Sun Bowl where he went to a no-huddle offense in the second half. He is not the worst coach out there. But he is not a good coach either.
Love BD, the real Bill Diedrick that is. He has made much more out of much less. He is innovative and flexible, two things that Dana Bible is definitely not. He can access the talents of his personnel and change his offensive structure accordingly. Bible preferred to make others adjust to his shortcomings. Thus, his downfall. I will concede one excuse for Bible that I do not think has been mentioned. There is an advantage of coaching in the PAC 10 previously. Each college football conference has a style of play all to its own. I think BD benefited from years of previous experience at UW, whereas Bible did not have that background.
Subject: There's plenty of inoffensive Catholic names...
Cardinals would be fine, though why anyone would want an
athletic mascot who is usually a little old man in a robe and
staff is a little beyond me.
Gaels (version of Irish, Gaelic being the mother tongue), Dons, Hoyas, Fighting Irish, Friars, Quakers
Other fun little Catholic/Christian mascots:
Crusaders (Holy Cross & Valpo, still), Devils (Sun, Blue, Delta or otherwise), Demons and in an interesting twist "Demon Deacons." Wonder who thought that one up...
Can't wait for "Inquisitors" to show up one day. Maybe the debate team...
My sons' parochial school used to be called the Crusaders. Some time ago, they changed it to "Travelers." Yikes. That's some spin. "Hey, we weren't burning, looting and pillaging our way through the Holy Land...we were just tourists."
Subject: Football "marketing" on the Farm
This is in general response to the "unclear on the
concept" post way below, and others sprinkled around here.
As well others that come up regularly on the old board. I've been
ruminating on this topic for so long I feel like one of those
Yamaha computerized "ghost" pianos that play endless
Andrew Lloyd Webber in the lobbies of second rate hotels. If
you're tired of these ruminations, skip the post. You've been
There's a simple reason, really, why you don't see kick-ass marketing at Stanford. The kind designed from the ground up to fill seats. Unlike in the real world, the staffers there aren't incentivized by, or penalized for, the economic results of their efforts. It would be too crude, crass and commercial. They are, at the end of the day, educrats. Not businesspeople. There is a world of difference. They are employees of the closest thing to Civil Service that you're gonna find outside of a government office. The reality is this: People in these kinds of institutions obtain their jobs, and maintain their jobs by virtue of their connections: political and social. No way is this a meritocracy. I'm not saying the people aren't smart, or capable, or ambitious -- well, maybe not ambitious the way you have to be to make it commercially in Silicon Valley. I'm saying that "success" at Stanford in a position like Athletic Department marketing is more dependent upon personal style than professional substance. Form over content. "Getting along" is the key performance criteria. And you get along by GOING along, with the politically-favored program du jour of the powers-that-be. And having a keen sense of the political winds. Again, I'm not saying their collateral materials are poor, or their productivity is low, or any of that. In fact, what they do is professionally executed, by and large. It's just not the effective thing. But you are never, ever, ever going to get the kind of shrewd, strategic, edgy, over-the-top, in-your-face, results-minded "MBO" style marketing associated with commercial entities. The marketing professionals who do the latter are busily plying their craft for commercial entities. They are temperamentally unsuited to jobs like Stanford's "marketing" slots. They don't go to work there. They would go insane. Or homicidal. I know that I would. But that's a whole other story. Point is, "results"' for educrats means something utterly different than it does for commercial marketing folk. Educrats look around a sparsely filled stadium on gamedays, the red tarp staring back at them, and marvel at the crispness of the tarp, the discipline of the beer police, and the video technology of the security cameras that keep an eye on the empty seats. Then they pat themselves on the back as they watch the TV ads for Cal football appear on the Stanford highlights show. It's marketing in the UNreal world. Stanford style.
Just one ol' marketing dude's opinion. Any counter-points out there?