Archive for December, 2009

Teams of The Decade

Posted in NCAA Football with tags , , , , on December 31, 2009 by burntorangehorn09

By Anthony Casson

The decade, spanning from 1999-2009, has seen a lot of drama. Universities that started the decade with championships haven’t come through. Instead of the dominant groups of the nineties continuing to win, teams like Oklahoma, Texas, and USC have made strong statements.

#1- USC:  While it took until 2002 for the Trojans to get the program in top shape, the team has been one of the most widely recognized and respected teams since then.

  • 2 National championships
  • 3 Heisman winners
  • 7 BCS bowls, including NC games
  • 7 Pac 10 conference championships
  • 7 10-plus game winning seasons
  • 2 coaches (Hackett, Carroll)

#2- Oklahoma: The Sooners are relegated to the second spot. One National Championship in four appearances showed they were a very strong team this decade and also that following through isn’t their thing.

  • 4 Heisman candidates (Heupel, White, Peterson, Bradford)
  • 2 Heisman winners
  • 1 national championship
  • 4 national championship appearances
  • 6 Big 12 championships
  • 7 Big 12 South championships
  • 1 coach (Stoops)
  • Bowl appearances every year this decade
  • 7 BCS bowl games, including 4 NC appearances

#3- Texas: The University of Texas is listed as having the most lucrative football program by Forbes. This isn’t surprising when you consider everything they have accomplished the last 10 years. A troubling stat, however, is that only two Big 12 Championships were won.

  • 1 national championship, 2 NC appearances
  • 2 Big 12 championships
  • 5 Big 12 South championships (2008 was shared between OU and TT)
  • 1 coach (Brown)
  • 4 BCS bowls, including 2 NC games
  • 9 10-plus game winning seasons (Longest streak in NCAA since 2001)
  • Every year with at least 9 wins since 1998 (best in NCAA)
  • Bowl appearance every year of this decade
  • 2 Heisman contenders (Young, McCoy)

#4- Florida: It may seem harsh to put such a dominant Gators team back at No. 4. Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer have brought total glory to Gainesville; the great talent elsewhere should also be mentioned. I’m not ranking teams of the last five years though.

  • 2 National Championships
  • 3 SEC championships
  • 5 SEC East championships
  • Bowl appearances every year this decade
  • 1 Heisman winner
  • 5 10-plus game winning seasons
  • 3 coaches (Spurrier, Zook, Meyer)
  • 6 BCS bowl appearances, including NC games

#5- LSU: Louisiana State has had success with two different coaches. The team has also competed well against the rest of a powerful SEC conference. Their National Championship victory against Ohio State gives them the No. 5 mention ahead of the Buckeyes.

  • 3 conference championships
  • 2 national championships
  • 5 SEC West championships
  • 10 bowl games
  • 5 10-plus game winning seasons, with a possible 6th at the Capital One Bowl
  • 2 coaches (Saban, Miles)
  • 1 Heisman contender (Glen Dorsey)

Mike Riley: A coach with no proper dough

Posted in Beavers Athletics with tags on December 30, 2009 by burntorangehorn09

By Anthony Casson

There is an extreme amount of skill and even artistic ability required to coach football. College football in particular requires a special person; someone that can not only connect with the players, but also to everyone else affiliated with the program.

Because so few people with a knack for handling the college football environment exist, salaries rise, and rightly so.

Mack Brown, head coach at the University of Texas, was recently given a pay hike from 3 million to 5 million dollars per year. This puts Coach Brown at the top of the salary list in college football.

Coach Brown isn’t the only one earning large sums of money. Others like Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Dennis Erickson, and even Steve Sarkisian surpass the million dollar mark; the first two make upwards of 4 million per year.

What this tells us then is that college football means a lot to Americans.

If bulks of football fans and programs agree that coaches should be rewarded with bundles of cash, how do we go about divvying the dough?

What kind of person deserves hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars every year to coach college football?

This is where we consider the always-impressive, yet financially underappreciated Mike Riley of Oregon State.

Riley is recognized as one of the nation’s best coaches, despite not leading an “elite program” such as Florida, Alabama, Ohio State, or Texas.

His true talent as a coach is something to be admired by even the highest paid individuals.

If you’re not aware of Riley’s talents, I suggest you do some research. The rest of us, however, know full well what an impact he has had on OSU athletics.

It wouldn’t be surprising, then, to see Riley’s salary touch well above a million dollars, right?


Currently, Riley makes $950,000 per year. Three seasons ago he made $835,000.

That is not a bad number by any means, but comparing the sum to other coaches, it doesn’t seem enough.

Consider Ron Zook of Illinois.

Coach Zook led his team to a Rose Bowl just a couple seasons ago. They were destroyed by USC and finished with a record of 9-4. That year, Zook made over a million dollars.

He made 1.2 million the year before.

This season ended terribly for the Illini, just like 2008. Last year he came away 5-7. This year, he went just 3-9 with the team. The saddening part is his 1.5 million dollar salary that goes along with two losing seasons.

How about Jeff Tedford at California?

Since 2006, he has made at least 1.5 million per year. This season he’s at 2.8 million, not to mention a possible $265,000 bonus if goals are reached (Cal does not specify what those goals are).

Why did Tedford’s pay rise over a million in three seasons, while Riley’s went up just a tenth of that?

Cal’s records since 2007 are as follows: 7-6, 9-4, 8-5.

Riley’s Oregon State team beat Cal each of those seasons. OSU has also been far closer to a Rose Bowl berth than Cal has, especially the last two years.

OSU athletics needs to take all of this into perspective and maybe change it up a bit.

Oregon State doesn’t need to break the bank for Riley, but come on, the guy deserves more than what he currently gets.

The Beavers aren’t supported by a huge fan base and many wealthy boosters, we know. I’m not saying make him a multi-million dollar man though.

In the Pac 10, only Paul Wulff at WSU is paid less. However, his team is really bad, so it matches. Mike Riley does not have an income that matches his success as a coach.

If OSU does anything wrong these days it’s not paying their star coaches enough money. The school may not have the attention and cash flow of some “popular” universities, but there is undoubtedly enough to get the guy seven figures.

It’s my ever-growing fear that if the school doesn’t react, another “top” program will snatch Riley away from us. That may never happen, but college football seems to always throw folks for a loop.

Texas Pride

Posted in Longhorns Football on December 6, 2009 by burntorangehorn09

With less than ten seconds to go in the fourth, Nebraska up by two, McCoy decided he would run with the ball and then throw it out of bounds.

My heart stopped, my legs buckled, and I fell to the floor, hands covering my watery eyes. Apparently the time ran out and Nebraska would win the Big 12 Championship, thus leaving Texas to withstand an onslaught of media bashing for poor clock management.

The look in McCoy’s face as Nebraska players ran onto the field nearly made me start spraying liquid from my eye sockets. But to Husker fans’ avail, one more second was to be placed back onto the clock.

From 46 yards out, Hunter Lawrence would have the opportunity to win the Big 12 Championship for Texas and supporters.

The field goal was good. Texas became the Big 12 Championship. I managed to wobble away without puking.

The controversy will begin, however, and Texas’s chance to play against Alabama in the National Championship will be in the hands of computers.

Some will say TCU should get the bid, others know Texas will go. I’m a firm believer that Texas will get the invitation to Pasadena, but this process will be interesting.

People are quick to jump and criticize “powerhouse” teams when they don’t score very many points. This game was definitely all defense; Nebraska and Texas both.

My ultimate question for voters would be, “Can you be so quick to judge a game full of defense as ‘bad’ and still say an offensive shootout with similar outcomes is ‘better’?”

Texas has struggled the last two games, but they have victories. They are 13-0 for the season…

Whatever the outcome, I’m proud to be a Texan and a UT supporter.

Top 10 2009 Coaches

Posted in NCAA Football with tags , , on December 3, 2009 by burntorangehorn09

Ranking coaches properly takes time. There are far too many factors to take into account, thus prioritizing becomes essential.

What I’ve done is simply review the teams from this current season and thought about the impact each one has had. After that it’s just a matter of finding a few stats and committing, despite the potential negative feedback provided via uncomfortable fans.

The following ten(ish) coaches are the guys I’ve found quite impressive–and interesting–over the current season:

1. Brian Kelly (Cincy)

"I'm a little teapot"

2. Mack Brown (Texas)

"They're clean"

3. Gary Patterson (TCU)


4. Mike Riley (OrSt)

"Please, do not bow!"

5. Nick Saban (Bama)

He really does...

6. Bronco Mendenhall (BYU)

The Mormonator

7. Jim Harbaugh (Stanford)

"Oh no you DI'INNNTT!"

8. Urban Meyer (Florida)

"Don't you date my daughter, Tebow."

9. Jim Tressel (Ohio State)

"This damn sweater vest itches"

10. Chip Kelly (Oregon)/Steve Sarkisian (Washington)

"I'll have my player hit you instead. But I'm still angry."

"I know, RIGHT??!"