Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week 6 Thoughts

Some thoughts following Fordham’s 34-12 win over Georgetown:

Extra Credit. So, 34-12, what did you think? Some figured closer to 56-12 and if Fordham had converted its red zone opportunities, it would have been a lot closer to 56 than the 13 points it scored after the first . Credit was earned and due the Georgetown defense, battered most of the season, for giving Fordham’s 1st (and admittedly, 2nd) string units  a competitive game, even if the outcome was decided.

Stopping opponents in the red zone, forcing turnovers, stopping third down conversions, learning to play under pressure—it might not mean much for this season, but it’s a valuable lesson for those Hoya teams of the future, particularly when facing deeper opponents as future schedules appear to foretell.

Now Playing, Number 14: Yet another name to add to the long list of Georgetown quarterbacks in the PL era: Tim Barnes, though he probably made it to the field two years early.

Barnes’ opening appearance for the Hoyas was neither remarkable nor awful, but it speaks to the level of injuries and turnovers that the quarterback position has faced over the past two years. Five quarterbacks played last season (Kempf, Aiken, Skon, Nolan, MacPherson) and more names could see action this season should injuries continue to be a problem. Experience is great but it’s doubly difficult to plan an offense around a quarterback that isn’t there. As a result, fans are seeing an initial burst by the Georgetown offense, then a much more repelled attack as defenses adjust.

It will be interesting to see how the coaching staff plays the position going forward. Isaiah Kempf still represents the most likely option, but there will be no sixth year for the Glendale, CA senior. What will be left for 2014 will be numerous and, across the board, inexperienced.

3. Talk About It. Some interesting commentary over at the HoyaTalk about  a subject near and dear to this blog: Multi-Sport Field. Presented without comment:

Eb59: “I wanted to get people’s thoughts on the concept of putting a “Locker Room Building” in the End Zone where the ugly retaining wall currently stands. In my personal opinion, this could be done it a relatively low cost, its basically just two large open rooms with some bathrooms and electrical. My thought it that it could be cut into the current slope of grass and dirt in front of the retaining wall, providing a HUGE functional upgrade by providing a locker room area for two teams; as well, as a really significant visual upgrade to an area that I don’t think will ever look quite right as a grass seating area b/c of the differences in levels all the way across that back area.”

P.S. - Why can't the "Stadium" be built in segments? Take on an improvement every 1-2 years, make the goal, project plan and timeline known to people upfront and collect towards that improvement. The simple fact is that in the past 3k days that nothing has been done (aside from new turf - absolutely needed), we could have been chipping away at improvements like I have suggested above. My guess is that this addition would cost between $250k and $500k, which could have been built and done at this point without needing to gain the approval of the Neighborhood Board more than likely. Why can't we do a little each year (Locker Room Building & Move the Electric Boxes on the Home Side preventing Growth, Added Stands Home, Build Press Box, Concession & Restroom facility, Added Stands Visitor, Etc....) We could have a pretty nice facility in my opinion if the past 10 years were not wasted waiting for the Big Bang improvement - lets eat this Baby Elephant in annual improvements.....Thoughts?

Well, there are many, but add them to the message board. I’m sure someone at Georgetown has considered this any plenty of other scenarios, but they remain just that, scenarios. No one seems comfortable stepping forward and saying: “this is important to us.” It’s IAC or bust, and raising money for a woebegone field is a distraction, because, um, you know, IAC or bust. It doesn’t have to be, of course, but it is.

Meanwhile, try selling that to football and lacrosse recruits.

A Real Disappointment: I came across this link the other day from the online issue of the Duke magazine titled “Why Football Matters”. At last, I thought, a spirited defense of why schools like Duke (and by extension, Georgetown) consider football within the course of a college experience, rewarding and worth its time and treasure.

Instead, the article was a half-hearted defense of the need to go big time to avoid becoming, well, Georgetown.

“They saw what the Big 12’s near-death experience might have meant to a kindred college basketball powerhouse,” writes Jon Scher.  “Kansas almost wound up in Conference USA,” [deputy director of athletics Chris] Kennedy says. “We were looking at that and thinking, ‘That can’t be us.’ We need to anticipate. We don’t want to wind up in Conference USA. I don’t want to insult Conference USA, but we want to be in the in crowd.”

The “in crowd”? An administrator really said that at Duke?

“There are two questions here,” says Charles Clotfelter ’69, a public policy professor and the author of Big-Time Sports in American Universities. “The bigger question is: How necessary is it for Duke University to have big-time basketball? If you assume it is necessary, then you have to start talking about how important is football for the basketball. I don’t think anybody’s asking the first question.”

Adds Kennedy: “When all this stuff started, we were looking at each other saying, ‘Boy, the Georgetowns and the Providences and the Villanovas are screwed.’ ”

Law professor Paul Haagen poses this question: “Why do you want to be one of the sixty-four [BCS] teams? If you are competing with the sixty-four, and you are at least moderately successful, then this becomes a proposition that actually pays for itself. Risks are high—you’re putting money into facilities, you’re running the risk of scandal—the risks are not trivial. But trying to compete at a level other than the top is extremely expensive, because people don’t watch, there is no national media attention, and then we get beyond that to the practical question: Is there another group of like-minded schools that wants to operate [a football team] at this reduced, controlled-competition level, and is the controlled competition stable?”

Oh, there is…but they’re “screwed”, right?

At some point in the next two weeks, I’ll sharpen up the spell check for an article worthy of the name: “Why Football Matters”. And it does.

I’ll post it here.

Recommended Reading: With the Lehigh game approaching, an unsolicited endorsement for the dean of online I-AA columnists: Chuck Burton, host of Lehigh Football Nation. With equal doses of detail, context, and fairness when covering the Engineers, it’s always a must-read for Patriot fans but this week as well, when he reviews the visiting Hoyas. Check it out.