Archive | January 2012

How Times Have Changed

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Two years ago, the Indianapolis Colts was playing in the Super Bowl under first year head coach Jim Caldwell. Fast forward to today, Caldwell was fired by the same Colts.
Sure the Colts finished 2-14 for the season. Yes, the head coach should bear the brunt of responsibility for the performance of the team. But in this case, it was a lot of circumstances that cause the Colts to perform horribly. The main circumstance is quarterback Peyton Manning being out for the season. Why is that? How could one person being out change the entire perplexity of the team? This person, a.k.a. Manning was the most important person that made the Colts offense go. Not only did the Colts build their team around Manning, but they did not add other key components that would keep the team competitive. Components like key running backs, an established defensive line, etc. They did not think that nothing would happen to their star quarterback. Sure, it worked for a decade. Yes, they have made playoff appearances including winning a Super Bowl and appearing in another. Now the team is in disarray and they have cleaned house. The lesson that can be learned from this is to never depend on one person to deliver for a team because if a team becomes dependent on that one person and doesn’t make any improvements when given the opportunity, then they will end up like the Colts.

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The “Frisco” Treat

by Cheval John

Frisco, Texas- From the time that Frisco has been hosting the NCAA Division I National Championship Game at FC Dallas Stadium, the United States has witness a first class city that has all the amenities to offer.

The suburban city of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area was the fastest growing city in the nation from 2000-09 with a population of 123,000.

“Hosting the NCAA Division I Championship Game fits into our family atmosphere,” Maher Maso, mayor of Frisco said. “We are a sports centric community and the city is nice and safe.”

Frisco was founded in 1904 around the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway. Before that time, Preston Trail (now Preston Road) was used as a trail for moving cattle through the state of Texas.

The city’s population was at 35,000 in 2000 and with the completion of the Stonebriar Centre Mall, the city started to experience explosive growth.

“We have really grown exponentially since 2000 and I love it here,” Dana Baird, director of communications for the government of Frisco said.

Prior to joining the city government, Baird was a reporter for WFAA-TV, an ABC affiliate in Dallas from 1995 to 2000. She moved to Frisco in 1996 and fell in love with the city.

Though the center was the foundation of the city’s growth, it was just the beginning as sporting venues was another priority for the city council.

“Developing the city with sports focus was not necessary the goal, but it was one of the pillars of opportunity that we wanted to pursue,” city councilman John Keating said.

“In doing that, we formed a public/private partnership so that the entire burden was not on the taxpayers in order to make it easy for them to do what they wanted to do.”

Because of that agreement, various sporting venues was completed along the way: the Dr. Pepper Ballpark, home of the Frisco Roughriders, a minor league affiliate of the Texas Rangers, completed in 2003, the Dr. Pepper Arena, home to both the Texas Tornado of the North American Hockey League and the Texas Legends, an affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks, completed in 2003 and of course, FC Dallas Stadium, home of FC Dallas soccer team, completed in 2005.

The Southland Conference, an NCAA Division I athletics organization, moved their headquarters to the city in 2006.

They worked in conjunction with the Hunt Sports Group and the city of Frisco to host the NCAA Division I FCS National Championship Game from 2011 to 2013.

Fans and visitors got to experience the hospitality from the residents during the festivities leading up to the championship game.

Their hope is to keep the championship game beyond 2013 so that they can continue to share the “Frisco” treat with everyone.

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BCS Don’t Make Any Sense

By Cheval John

“To come out here and win this bowl game, today, with these people I worked hard with from day one, it feels so good. There’s nothing like it.”

That was the quote of senior wide receiver Junior Hemingway to The Michigan Daily, the independent newspaper of the University of Michigan after the Wolverines defeated Virginia Tech Hokies 23-20 in overtime to win the All-State Sugar Bowl last Tuesday night.

I can understand his feelings because he went through two head coaches before current head football coach Brady Hoke arrived and had to learn a new system in the process. However, there is one problem with that statement: the Wolverines was not playing for the national championship, but they were involved in one of the four Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Bowls.

In the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the BCS is a post-season system in which the universities have the opportunity to play in one of 35 bowl games after the regular season based on rankings. Those that ranked in the top 10, have an opportunity to participate in the prestigious BCS bowl, while the top two teams play for the BCS National Championship.

Schools that are in the six conferences: Southeastern Conference (SEC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), The Big East Conference, Big Ten Conference, Big Twelve Conference and the Pacific Twelve Conference (PAC 12), have an automatic-qualifying bid while those in the other conferences in the FBS, don’t have a chance unless they finish in the top 12 rankings.

The rankings are accumulated in three parts: the BCS computers, the Associated Press (AP) Polls and the Coaches Polls. Basically, in order to finish in the top 10, teams have to finish the season undefeated, defeat their opponents by a huge margin and have a strength of schedule that shows voters that they are worthy to play for the national championship.

The Creation of the BCS

The BCS was created in 1998 in an attempt to resolve the issue as who was the best team in the country. Before the creation, the national champion was declared based on the voting by the sports writers in the United States (U.S.). Teams were often declared co-champions without facing each other because they were obligated to play in the respective bowls if they were their respective conference champions.

Because of that, the top two teams did not have an opportunity to play for the national championship. The BCS was supposed to solve that problem, but instead, it has brought more controversies as teams that had undefeated seasons did not play for the national championship.

BCS Controversies

One controversy that comes to mind is the selection of Louisiana State University (LSU) and Alabama as the teams to play for the national championship on Jan 9. LSU has an undefeated record and are the SEC champions while Alabama has an 11-1 record, with their only loss to LSU. Alabama did not play for the SEC championship, but was still selected because they were considered the “two best teams” in the U.S. Oklahoma State Cowboys was left out despite an 11-1 record and are the Big 12 Champions.

To me, this system is a sham because it doesn’t give any school a fair shot to play for the national championship. The fact that they need a computer to decide who is #1 and #2 is completely ridiculous.

Solution

The only way to solve all of this is to have a playoff system because the teams will have a fair opportunity to play each other after the regular season to earn the national championship.

If it can work in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), then it can work in the FBS.

 

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Pep Rally In Frisco

Frisco, Texas

For the first time in as many years, the Sam Houston State Bearkat football team are given students, staff and alumni something to cheer about.

The first ever championship pep rally was held at Nylo Hotel on Friday night. The event was open to alumni, donors, students and friends of Sam Houston State University. It allowed those who have graduated, but have not been at the university, to reconnect and see what has been happen since graduating.

“I have never seen anything like this before,” Leah Mulligan, Ph.D., director of Student Activities said. “There is so much enthusiasm for the team. This is how all football games should be.”

The pep rally was organized jointly by the Office of the President, the Alumni Association, Student Services and the Athletic Department. Current and former Bearkat students-athletes have been amazed at the turn out of the event and understand the impact that the football team is bringing to the university

“This is so much fun,” Carli Kolbe, former Bearkat volleyball player said. “We really want to be supportive and are happy to see this happen for them.”

“It’s really exciting because they are so many fans here,” Maggie Collum, director of university events said. “This is one of the first steps to get people back on board. It’s awesome!

 

 

 

 

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A “Town” For Tailgating

by Cheval John

Frisco, Texas

Though the Bearkat football team lost to North Dakota State Bison 17-6, the team has brought a new sense of pride to the university and the Huntsville community.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni got to experience the festivities at “Tailgating Town” in the parking lot area of FC Dallas Stadium.

The “town” was put together by the NCAA in conjunction with the staff of FC Dallas Stadium.

Different activities that transpired in the area was sponsored by corporate entities including Capital One Bank and  AT&T that included the football skills challenge featuring former Football Championship Series (FCS) players who currently play in the NFL and winners and finalist of prestigious awards in the FCS level, who teach kids techniques that will make them successful in the game.

“It was awesome,” Bo Levi Mitchell, former Eastern Washington quarterback and winner of the Walter Payton Award said. “It was so much fun because we got to spend time with the kids and to see their passion for the game.”

They also had a mechanical bull and rope challenges that gave the participants an opportunity to test their endurance and see how long they can withstand the mechanical bull.  They had a station where fans can get their face painted right before the championship game.

The Office of Students Activities, along with the Alumni Association set up a tent in the area where fans got towels to wave, pom-poms and much more to cheer on the football team.

Fans also got the opportunity to listen to live music and to get into the spirit as the SHSU cheerleaders and the Orange Pride performed in front of thousands of fans.

“Everyone was very excited to be here,” Angie Taylor, Director of Leadership Intiatives for Student Activities said. “They were honking their horns on the way to Frisco, it was great.”

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