Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Some positive media coverage

Two good columns about Illinois' Rose Bowl performance in the Tribune today by Greenstein and Downey.

Every national writer should pay attention to this key excerpt from Greenstein's story (thanks for getting it right, Teddy):

This result was so lopsided, it begs the question: Should Georgia have been here instead of Illinois?

ABC/ESPN officials, mindful of the southern TV markets that would tune in to watch SEC players do situps, pushed for the Bulldogs to receive strong consideration.

But Georgia really wasn't an option after Missouri lost in the Big 12 title game, boosting LSU into the BCS championship. Without LSU, the Sugar Bowl lost its Southeastern Conference anchor.

The Rose Bowl retained the first at-large selection because Ohio State finished ahead of LSU in the BCS standings. But Rose Bowl CEO Mitch Dorger said he would have had to ask the Sugar Bowl for permission to release Georgia.

Dorger wasn't about to do that because the Sugar Bowl is its partner in the BCS. And with Hawaii in the game, the Sugar Bowl needed a SEC opponent to fill seats in New Orleans.

Ok, everyone repeat after me for the 3,409,512,368th time: "YET ANOTHER REASON WE NEED A PLAYOFF."

You can take a look at Downey's column here. Key excerpt:

Juice Williams and the Orange got crushed, beaten to a 49-17 pulp Tuesday by a Southern California team that continued to kick the visitors while they were down.

A greedy Pete Carroll had his Trojans try to score another touchdown on the game's final play instead of taking a knee. Gee, thanks, coach. What a gracious host.

An unfortunate end to an ugly game.

Unsportsmanlike conduct was everywhere. There were yellow flags galore, whether it was for a somersault into the end zone by a fourth-string USC showoff or for late, nasty hits by a number of frustrated Illini.

"I love these guys," coach Ron Zook said, "but we're not going to have that."

History is going to document this 94th Rose Bowl game as a painfully one-sided piece of cake for the sixth-ranked, way-too-good Trojans over the 13th-ranked, in-over-their-heads runners-up from the Big Ten.

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