Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Tuesday!

Charlie Weiss, coaching Zombie had his last appearance as a head coach Saturday night. Great game to watch. Sorry Charlie, hate to see you go. Here’s a version of the home game.

Internet reports percolating since late last week about who the next head coach would be Actually, there’s been plenty of speculation about who the next head coach would be all the way back to last season. Here’s the latest: there’s a plane apparently on the way to Norman, Oklahoma today with the Notre Dame athletic director on board, hauling a brief case full of wadded money to entice the head Sooner to jump to South Bend.

The fact that the Notre Dame athletic director was denying it as late as last night (as well as Stoops)? Just a mere detail.

And of course, there’s the Brian Kelly rumors that have a zombie like life themselves. Bob Griese fanned those flames Friday on ABC, who gave us either the scoop of the season or another indication that he’s in serious ned of a hearing test.

If it’s Kelly going to South Bend, so be it. It’s not like they’re going to stop playing football in Clifton if he goes. By the way, my gut feeling all along on this is that Kelly isn’t going to Notre Dame. And if UC fans really want to worry about their coach going anywhere, it should be to a team like Florida, Oklahoma or anyplace where a national title can be won instantly. If you think you can win a national title instantly or at any point in the next four years at Notre Dame, you haven’t been paying attention.

But if Kelly wants it, and they want him, he should go for it. And every UC fan everywhere should send Kelly a letter thanking him for what he’s done.
And if he leaves, here’s what I would do if I was UC athletic director, Mike Thomas. You’re going to laugh. You’re going to say I’m crazy. You’re going to call me naive. It’s OK, not like it hasn’t happened before.

If I’m Mike Thomas, my first phone call is to Urban Meyer. You’re laughing, I can hear you. Hang on a second. I know that’s out there. I know the chances of getting Urban Meyer to think about leaving there for here is something like one in a million. But why not take the shot? If you’re Thomas, here’s what you say. You say, Urban, you’re a Cincinnati boy. If I’m not mistaken you went to our school right? A lot of your family still lives here, right? Your up here for some of the holidays, you’ve stopped by to watch Brian Kelly coach in practice, am I right here Urban? Urban, I hear you snickering. It’s OK, don’t blame you. But who’s your quarterback next season? If I’m not mistaken his name isn’t Tim Tebow. You’re probably going to win another national title this year. You’re probably going to get by Alabama. Texas? You’ve got a month to get ready for Colt McCoy, you’ll figure something out. You’re probably going to win another national title this year. What’s that make? Three in the last four years? What else have you got to prove down there?

If I’m Thomas I say, yeah I heard your making decent coin down there. Read all about that six year, 24-million dollar deal you signed back in August. Highest paid coach in the SEC, if I’m not mistaken. I also see your buyout remained just a half million dollars. Sounds to me like you’re a man who wants to keep his options open. Urban, you still there? You haven’t hung up on me, have you? Good.

Let me tell you what we can do here, besides bring you home. First, you can build off what we’ve already got. Great athletic facility, cozy stadium, fan base that hasn’t been this energized since Huggins had that Final 4 team.
Brian Kelly? Great coach, great motivator. Guy also gives a great speech. Yeah, we wanted to keep him. But think about what you can do. You got the pipeline to Florida. You got Ohio. You got that other school in Columbus on the run. You got a new school president here who’s sports crazy, loves football, wants a national title himself. Best of all, you don’t have your own legacy you have to trump every season.

Look, Urban, I can’t pay you four mil a year. I could go two, maybe two and a half. Bring any assistant coach you want with you. I’ll send the jet. Heck, I bet if you want your own jet, we got someone up here who’ll get you one. We’ll even throw in Kerry Coombs. You heard of him, right? He’s in more living rooms than Jay Leno.

So what do you say Urban? You wanna come home. You want to continue to build this thing? You want a chance to write a new legacy? What do you want? Just tell me, you got it.

Urban…Urban? Hello? Urban, you there?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Good Monday Morning!

I watched the Notre Dame-Connecticut game Saturday. The Notre Dame defense is pathetically bad. Bad angles to tackles, bad tackling, poor pass coverage. It’s amazing, really, how awful that team is defensively. The Irish lost. They got a life line at the end of regulation when the Uconn kicker missed a very makeable field goal. But you know it was just a matter of time.

But what struck me more than the game itself, is how NBC laid out the sad saga of Charlie Weiss.. I think it was late fourth quarter when they ran a piece of tape…sound btie we call it in the biz, of Weiss on the day he was named the Notre Dame head coach. He said the reason why he was standing there, that day, was because the team went 6-5 that season. And if they were looking to go 6-5, he was the wrong man for the job.

Notre Dame of course, is now 6-5 with a game to play. There’s always bad news for UC fans when Notre Dame loses, but here’s a piece of good news. If the Bearcats don’t beat Pitt and don’t get to play in the Sugar Bowl or some other BCS bowl, the Gator Bowl just came into the picture. I don’t care how well Notre Dame fans travel, would you want a 10-1 UC team or a possible (but improbale) 7-6 Notre Dame team representing the Big East in Jacksonville?

But that’s a story for another day.

I don’t know whether or not Brian Kelly is on Notre Dame’s radar. There are reports this week he’s not the first choice, that he’s not on their short list. Reportedly, the Irish will make a full scale charge at Urban Meyer or Bob Stoops. As much as we like Kelly, Meyer and Stoops are bigger names. And the only thing Notre Dame likes more than firing a head football coach is hiring one with a big name.

But what any coach who’s approached by Notre Dame needs to do is this: play the tape from the news conference introducing Weiss on that December day in 2005. And then, play the tape of him crying his eyes out after Uconn beat Notre Dame in overtime Saturday. Or the tape of his post game news conference Saturday night.

Then make sure you get as much money as you can going in….and even more going out. You’ll need it, because you won’t have your dignity when you depart from Touchdown Jesus. Like Weiss in 2005, the new coach will come in roaring. Like Weiss today, the next coach will leave sounding like a squeaking gerbil, ground to a ‘nub’. Notre Dame’s problems go far deeper than a head coach. It is a bad football paradigm. Buyer beware. Wake up the echoes? Better to let ‘em sleep.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hope you've had a chance to listen to my latest Broo View Podcast. My guest is Jerry Palm from We analyze the BCS from the University of Cincinnati point of view. You can hear it by heading to The podcast is on the front page. But here's a link, if you're in a hurry.
Hope you're having a Fantastic Friday....

Our pal Mike Florio from has a new video that analyzes the 7-2 Cincinnati Bengals.

Florio doesn't miss on much. Sounds like a pretty good analysis to me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Good Monday Morning!

Whoooooo Deyyyyy!

Now help me out here, Bill Belichick is a genius because......????

Travel time to Pittsburgh by car: 5 hours
Tickets to get into Sunday's game: $75.00/per
Look on Roethlisberger's face at the 0:00: Priceless

Actually, before anyone gets too carried away this morning, remember 2005. I think we'll see these guys again later this season. Just a hunch.

Charlie Weiss is dead man walking. You watch any Notre Dame game these days, that’s what you see. He’s a man who knows his fate and his fate won’t be pleasant. Maybe in a week, two, a month tops, Notre Dame will call a news conference and announce that Weiss is out, or has left to pursue other interests or wants to spend more time with his family. You know the wording. It all means the same. Charlie, here’s your hat and a version of the home game, thanks for playing.

You can say Weiss came off as an oaf. You can say that he’s just another piece of spoiled fruit from the coaching tree of Bill Belichick. You may be right. You’d also be right if you said he never had a chance. Coaches at Notre Dame never have a chance.

If Notre Dame fires Charlie Weiss, and correct me if I’m wrong, doesn’t the man have a contract through 2015, or the next six seasons after this one, at four million dollars a year? If my Ohio University math serves me correctly, that would mean Notre Dame will owe Weiss about $24 million dollars just to take a hike. Here’s a question for the Catholic church this morning, or the Notre Dame boosters who supposedly put money in the collection basket each Sunday: Isn’t there a better, more charitable way to spend $24 million than telling an under achieving football coach to walk?

We’re being honest here, aren’t we? I’m sure the school can’t cough up that cash, even with tuition and room and board at over $51 thousand for undergradutates every year. I would think the school would want to spend that kind of money on some more important things, like say, paying their professors better or cutting Mom and Dad a break on future tuition checks. What do you think, Reverend John Jenkins, school president, not a bad idea?

And if these faceless Notre Dane boosters,, whomever they are, really do have $24 million to spend on getting rid of a coach, did you learn nothing while you matriculated at that school about service to others? $24 million dollars can pay a lot of salaries for jobs that are disappearing. It’ can build parks for kids to play in, schools that are safe to learn in. While you’re working on throwing a bad football coach onto the street, how about helping some people living on the street find homes?

Look, I don’t care whether or not Charlie Weiss coaches another down of football. Notre Dame isn’t my school. I could care less if that team goes 12-0 or 0-12. But I also don’t care a lot for hypocracy. And there’s a lot of it rolling out of South Bend lately.

Let’s see, the last football coach to leave Notre Dame with an ounce of dignity was…who? Ara Parseghian? And that was when? 1974? Dan Devine lasted six year, won over 75-percent of his games but a lot of these same boosters ran him off because he wasn’t Ara….then came the parade: Faust, Holtz, Davie, Willingham and now Weiss, unless you include George O’Leary and his resume from fiction.

If you’re scoring at home, Notre Dame has had four football coaches in the last 16 seasons, not including O’Leary for about ten minutes and some poor sole named Kent Baer, who had to sweep up for a game after Willingham was bounced.. Weiss, Willingham and Davie all have about the same record.

Notre Dame football is struggling for a lot of reasons. Too many of its boosters are living in the 1950’s and not enough of the top college players today want to live in South Bend. Notre Dame used to be one of the only schools to have its games on TV. Now, just about every Division I football team has every one of it’s games on TV. To its credit, Notre Dame won’t admit student athletes who don’t meet its stringent academic requirements. But every Saturday, it seems, it’s playing against schools without the same kind of academic standards, against athletes that are simply better than theirs.

You can say all of that is the coach’s fault. But if you’re scrambling around trying to get $24 million to pay a coach to go away, what does that say about you?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just posted to the front page of my web site is the latest episode of Bengals Report Podcast. This time,'s Marc Hardin and I preview this Sunday's Bengals vs Steelers game.

Also, the latest Broo View Podcast is up and posted. I'm joined in this latest episode by best selling author John Feinstein. Our topic, the folly that is the BCS. You can find that on But, here's a quick link, if you're in a hurry.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Big shows this Sunday, both on 700 WLW and WLWT Channel 5.

Sunday morning on 700 WLW, my guests included national best selling writer, John Feinstein. We'll discuss the BCS, in light of an article John just wrote for the Washington Post. Jarrett Bell from USA Today will join me, as well to discuss the Bengals vs Ravnes game and other things around the NFL. And from the, Aaron Wilson will check. Among Aaron's many jobs is covering the Ravens. We're on from 9am-11:30am. If you don't live in the Midwest, you can always listen on-line, at

Sunday night on WLWT, or there abouts depending on how long Sunday Night Football runs, we'll be join by 700 WLW's Lance McAllister and former Cincinnati Bengal, Eric Thomas. Maybe a surprise of two along the way.

I've just posted my latest Broo View Podcast to the front page of my web site, My guest in this current episode is the national college football writer, Jay Christensen. He's got some interesting thoughts on the BCS and the UC Bearcats.

The latest Bengals Report Podcast is also on's Marc Hardin and I break down the first seven games of this season.

Some random thoughts on this random Friday...

I think Ohio State loses at Penn State this Saturday, but comes back to hand Iowa its first loss of the season a week from now.....

The official line on the UC-Connecticut game is UC minus 17. That's about right. I don't care how many close games UConn has played this season. They haven't seen any offense like the one UC will toss at them Saturday night...

Florida coach, Urban Meyer should know better. His top defensive player is caught on tape trying to gouge the eyes out of an opponent and Meyer only suspends the kid for one half of one game. That's a great message to the rest of your team, and the sporting world, where your priorities are. I don't know if it was Brandon Spikes idea to suspend himself for a full game, but it's a good idea. Maybe it was a way for Meyer to save face. But somebody that Meyer answers to need to sit him down and have a long talk about priorities....

There are a lot of bad teams this season in the NFL. I can't remember a year when we've had this many bad teams. Browns, Bucs, Titans, Seahawks, Bills, Jags, Chiefs, Raiders. Which team is the worst? It's tough to pick against the Browns, a team that's both bad AND dysfunction. But that Tampa team is plain awful....

The 2009 World Series drew great TV ratings and it was fun to watch. But by the seventh inning of game six, I began to get depressed. The Reds will never, under current structure, be as good as either the Yankees or Phils. If the threshold of competing is the $100 million per year payroll, small market teams like the Reds are doomed. You can build your farm system and win with your own players. But eventually, those players, if they're good, will cost too much to keep. So they're dealt, or allowed to walk, to the big market teams furthering the disparity.

You can always follow the blueprint of the Twins and Rays. But you'll only capture 'lightning in a bottle' every so often. The Twins have been to the playoffs five times in this decade, a very successful number. But they haven't won a World Series in 19 years.

I heard Buster Olney, an ESPN "insider" say this week that the situation for small market teams will get even worse in 37 days, when arbitration eligble players must be tendered offers. Olney predicts, rather than offering arbitration, a lot of small market teams will simply let their players walk.

Best new show on television is "Flash Forward". It's shot well, good character development and a story line that's both creative and frightening. And it's written very well. Good writing trumps everything else in the world of entertainment.

And I'm done writing for now. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Good Monday Morning!

There’s a prejudiced out there about the Big East. Which is funny, because the sports media is always accused of having an East Coast prejudice. Tune into any of the ESPN shows, radio or TV, and you get a lot of Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, Patriots. I’ll give you a good reason why: a lot of the talking heads on ESPN and the over the air networks are from the East Coast, or have lived in New York so long, they’ve developed an New Yorker’s view of America. You even seen one of those maps, a New Yorker’s view of the USA? Seven-eighths of it is consumed by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut….the rest of the country is squeezed into the final one-eighth of the map. Funny, but in a lot of ways true.

Here’s why a lot of the national media isn’t taking the Big East seriously: it has only eight teams that play football. It has a ninth team that plays football, but won’t play a Big East schedule and has its own television network. It’s a conference where it’s biggest stars play basketball and it’s celebrity coaches wear Armani and work winters. Except Huggins and that monstrosity of mustard he likes to dust off every now and again.

Dave Gavitt and Mike Tranghese after him, were magicians. They were the smart guys, the first commissioners. They took a lot of smoke and mirrors and a little bit of carnival barker and created an aura for the Big East. Georgetown’s basketball team and Virginia Tech’s football team didn’t hurt the cause either. Tranghese elbowed his way into the same room as the big boys, the suits who run the Big 10, Big 12 the SEC. He almost single handidly helped the Big East survive the major poaching the ACC did to his conference five or six years ago. It was good work. But it wasn’t enough. The Big East isn’t the Big 12. It’s just a step or two ahead of the Mountain West and Conference USA.

And that’s why today, after winning eight straight, with the most charismatic coach this side of Lou Holtz and skill players Urban Meyer would kill for, the Bearcats struggle for national love. Brian Kelly likes to say his Bearcats need to prove what’s going on right now isn’t a one year deal.

That tradition will take care of a lot of what the “Cats are battling right now. But this is a guy who knows the score.

In a month, there’s a very good chance the UC football team will be standing on the turf of Heinz Field in Pittsburgh with a Big East trophy, a perfect season and a resume with enough glitter to rightfully claim a spot in the BCS Championship game. There’s an even better chance it won’t get within a thousand miles of Pasadena. It’s not the team. It’s the conference.

Cincinnati could be at the epicenter of the BCS implosion. Because, if UC finishes the season as the only, or one of two undefeated teams from a BCS Conference and DOESN’T go to the title game, than what’s the point of belonging to a BCS Conference. You play in a certified BCS conference, you run the table and it still isn’t good enough? The system implodes.

And what does that say about the Big East?

So today, I’ve got a little homework lesson for the new Big East Conference Commissioner.: John Marinotto. It won’t help the Bearcats this season. But it might get his conference mentioned in the same breath as the “big boys”

Here’s the homework lesson: expand. Today, tomorrow, by next April. As soon as possible. And poach. Take teams from another conference and have no conscience about it. This is no game for the timid and your conference’s future as a BCS member is at stake. Don’t wait for the warning shots. Be preemptive.

Here’s two teams I’d look at today, right now. Kentucky. You’re laughing. Stop. As long as LSU, Alabama and Florida are in the SEC, Kentucky has about as much chance of winning an SEC football championship as you have commanding a spaceship to Saturn. Don’t think UK would be interested? Is the SEC a better basketball conference than the Big East? Not anymore. Don’t think John Calipari wouldn’t love coaching in that conference again? He may not say it publicly, wouldn’t be politically correct. But he’d love to.

Does UK have a better shot at winning a football conference championship in the Big East than the SEC? You already know the answer to that question.

Better chance of going to the NCAA Tournament in the Big East than the SEC if it doesn’t win the championship? Would UK be available? Maybe not today. But why not lay the ground work.

My other school to target: Memphis. It got left at the post when Louisville and UC jumped ship from Conference USA. But Memphis, continued to field competitive and sometimes, championship caliber basketball teams. The Memphis football program isn’t championship ready. But remember, recruiting big time talent to a Big East football team is a heckuva lot easier than it is recruiting talent to a Conference USA team. Kentucky and Memphis gets the Big East to ten. Two five team divisions and a playoff game and then, you’re on a more level playing field with the other BCS conferences and, most important, in the eyes of the people who vote for your teams in the polls.

Will it happen? It has to. It’s survival. It may not be UK and Memphis. It may be someone else. But if UC is standing on the turf at Heinz Field on December 5th, unbeaten, Big East championship trophy held high and on December 6th the final BCS poll has a one loss team ahead of them? Ballgame….for the BCS, for the Big East.