Saturday, December 19, 2015

Things Broadcasters Are Forced to Say

The real proof that football season lasts too long is in listening to commentators desperately trying to fill air time as things stretch on and on.

Take, for example, respected and generally with-it reporter Will Brinson, who, when discussing the coke-fueled bouncy house party that the ECU coaching carousel became, sternly suggested that East Carolina could not possibly succeed in a conference with teams like Houston if they kept scheduling powerhouses like Virginia Tech. Houston, the AAC champion, instead scheduled Louisville, and there's no comparison between scheduling VT and scheduling Louisville.

Except, this year the 'ville went 7-5, while VT went 6-6. In 2014, Louisville was 9-4; VT 7-6. 2013? 12-1 vs. 8-5. 2012 it's 11-2 vs. 7-6. It's not until you get back to 2011 that VT outperforms Louisville.  Throw in the fact that ECU regularly stomped ACC opponents under former coach Ruffin McNeill - VT this year, VT and UNC in 2014, UNC and NC State in 2013 - and I don't think it's the scheduling of Virginia Tech that's the problem. McNeill's issues this year were two-fold: One, he lost the all-time NCAA receptions leader and the quarterback who got him the ball to graduation, while this year's starting QB blew out a knee before the season even started. Two, his boss, AD Jeff Compher, was clearly looking for any excuse to put his own guy in, regardless of the fact that McNeill was a beloved alumnus of ECU who'd achieved unprecedented success at the school.

But scheduling VT? I don't think that was the problem.

Of course, Compher has now gone out and hired a (much cheaper) replacement than McNeill, who is guaranteed to accomplish precisely none of the things that Compher wants, and who is likely to bolt ECU when David Cutcliffe finally gets a big enough dump truck full of money backed up in his driveway and leaves Duke. But that's another column, in the meantime, I'd still schedule VT over Louisville. 
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