ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Purdue's Isaiah Thompson (11) shoots over Omaha's Wanjang Tut (13) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in West Lafayette, Ind., Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. Purdue defeated Omaha 97-40. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Moving pieces

Yes, the sporting world is still abuzz about the back-to-back boffo coaching calls as Lincoln Riley left one blue blond for another and Brian Kelly left arguably the most iconic job in the game for a bona fide national title contender in Red Stick.

But those moves did a few other things as well, and we're not even talking about the flea toot ripples of Virginia Tech prying away Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry to be the Hokies' head honcho. (Yeah, I know. That was predictable, right Spy.)

But unlike the normal carousel spins in which big fish lure the big names from medium-sized fish and then the medium fish lure the hot names from the smaller fish, this year, big went after big. So there are still some big fish swimming around.

So here are the headlines that we know and the trends we know to expect:

— The transfer portal is gonna be lit. Like a five-star dance party after James Brown performs on "Soul Train." Or, if that's not your cup of Joe, back when Sawyer Brown was lighting it up on Ed McMahon's "Star Search." (Side note: "Star Search" really gets treated like a rented mule in the history of the reality/talent shows considering it was Thomas Jefferson compared to the Teddy Roosevelts come lately of "American Idol" and "The Voice." Much love Big Ed and "Star Search." Much love. Side question on the side note: I changed "treated like a step-child" to "treated like a rented mule" because the step-child reference certainly will be politically incorrect now or some point soon, right? Discuss.)

Where were we? Oh, yes. Big names all over the portal and not just disgruntled back-ups. Dudes who went to places like USC, OU, LSU, Notre Dame and a slew of others who may not want to dance with a new coaching partner. And then there are guys who are looking for a fresh start. Heck, Bo Nix didn't immediately kibosh the portal possibilities in an interview Tuesday.

— Speaking of interviews, stop me if you've heard this one before: Want to know how a coach is being less than forthcoming when asked about another job? His lips are moving. Urban Liar would jump at Notre Dame if the Irish come calling, right? And that's not shot as much as it is the unfortunate way the business has evolved. Coach at school A, no matter his interest at Bigger School B can't reveal he's playing footsie with School B. Not for his family, his recruits, his fanbase or his players and staff.

— Lots of coaches who had good years are going to get pay raises that are obscene. Mark Stoops already cashed, and it makes sense for UK — especially with the clear connections to the OU opportunity. Expect Josh Heupel to get handsomely rewarded too. They are not alone, and that is the marketplace of every industry. You only are worth what someone is willing to pay you, and when those windows open, you better have your hand out.

(Side note: Here's Paschall's prose on Heupel being happy with his new home.)

— Lane Kiffin is normally the most interesting coach around. That is doubly so with OU and Notre Dame open. And friends, if you do not follow Lane on Twitter, then you are doing social media incorrectly. And if Luke Fickell doesn't leave Cincy in this cycle, then he'll never leave until the next time THE job at THE Ohio State comes open, right?

 

College hoops

So what do we know a full month into college basketball and a month away from the conference seasons among the big boys starting in earnest.

We know there are a slew of great freshmen. That we know.

But we also know what Al McGuire said about freshmen — "The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores" — is as dated as rotary phones and VCR tapes.

So in their one glorious year in the Durhams, Lexingtons, Spokanes, Knoxvilles and even Auburns, these unlimitedly talented freshmen are still going to play like freshmen at times.

Which means second-half collapses like the one Duke suffered through Tuesday night at THE Ohio State will happen. And, when we project to the glory that is March, it will happen to some superpower way before the Final Four.

That's the realm in which college hoops resides these days.

We also know there are a slew of dudes in the Big Ten with Purdue leading the way. What the B1G did over the last couple of days in the Big Ten-ACC challenge was outstanding.

And yes, that may be as much about the sour state of the ACC, but it was a B1G KO for the Big Ten this year.

(Side note: Not sure which is more eye-popping on this list of collective conference RPI, but curious what you think. The SEC is one with the Big 12, the Big East and the Big Ten rounding out a top four that is divided by a minuscule margin. The SEC's cumulative RPI is 0.579, the fourth-ranked Big Ten's is 0.575. So yeah it's close. The other eye-popping thing is that the ACC is seventh, just two spots ahead of the SoCon. So there's that.)

 

Family business

So Chris Cuomo has been suspended indefinitely by CNN.

That's a great thing, regardless of which preaching-to-the-converted cable news network you turn to first.

Cuomo broke the most basic rule of journalism, and he put his interests ahead of the news.

(Side note: I used to think that the most basic rule of journalism was never become part of the story, but in a media sphere in which news tellers are every bit as famous as the news makers, that tenet was tossed with afternoon newspapers and non-partisan political pundits.)

Cuomo has proven to be a bum, whether he's a registered D or R.

There are rotten apples on each side of the finger-pointing faction. Heck, there are folks who view me in a somewhat similar light. You've seen my hate mail.

That said, Cuomo's nepotistic disregard for anything remotely close to an ethical approach does a disservice to all of us in this profession. I don't ever root for someone to lose their job — well Bobo maybe — but when Cuomo's self-serving ways damaging the big-picture credibility of all of us in the profession, well, don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya, Chris.

Again, I know he's not the lone wolf in that regard. Sadly.

But weeding out the bad actors — and those are the folks that do it in bad faith more than a position or point of view you or I may disagree with — is a positive for all of us in this business.    

 

This and that

— So, after Corona sales plummeted last year when the Coronavirus hit, a former metal band named Omicron understands the beer's tears in their beer.

— Wow, 40 comments on Tuesday. That's something, and it's hard to remember the last time we got that many. Granted back before the paywall, we were routinely in that neighborhood, especially during various UT coaching search efforts. But that's a great job by all of you folks. And that doesn't even count the regular emailers who played along Tuesday, too.

— You know the rules. Here's Paschall on a couple of defensive dudes in Saturday's SEC title game with Heisman hopes hanging in the balance.

— OK, every day until it gets done, hey Alex, sign Freddie already. Look around at the big dollars being bandied about to players who are a) not as good as Freddie and b) not as important to their current or new clubs as Freddie. AA, make it happen. Now.

— UTC got back to its winning hoops ways last night at Tennessee Tech. I also saw this from UTC big man and former Kansas starter Silvio de Sousa's Twitter handle: "I'm really falling in love with the game all over again. Only up from here." It also had some of those things the kids use, so there's that. Still, that's both cool for the kid and high praise for the culture that Lamont Paris has put into play with the Mocs.

 

Today's questions

Which way Wednesday starts this way: Which college football coaching job is the most iconic: Bama, Notre Dame, USC or Texas? Or other (and please name)?

Which is the best defensive college football player you've seen over the last 50 years? (After Derrick Thomas, of course.)

Which name will Notre Dame call next? Or Oklahoma, for that matter?

Which free agent departure was the most painful for you as a fan?

As for today, Happy December everyone. Christmas is getting closer.

On this day in 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on that bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Now that's heroic.

On this day in 1953, Hugh Hefner published the first edition of a little magazine called "Playboy."

Richard Pryor would have been 81 today. What a genius. Rushmore of Richard Pryor movies. Go.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT