BOZICH & CRAWFORD: Monday Morning Meeting
LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Each Monday, WDRB Sports columnists Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford bat around three recent topics from the sports headlines. This week's discussion:
1. A committee of presidents from BCS schools will meet Tuesday to hear the final proposal for a new college football playoff. Will the four-team playoff satisfy everybody?
RICK: Sorry, Mick Jagger, but we can't get any satisfaction with the football playoff. Oh, there will be initial joy that the BCS system is finally being junked, replaced by the four-team playoff.
But it won't last long -- and it shouldn't.
Teams from outside the power leagues are going to be excluded from this system as consistently as they have been snubbed by the BCS system. There is going to be fierce debate about how the four teams are selected. And once we start playing games, the teams that finish fifth or sixth are going to howl about being left out. Trust me. Satisfaction is not guaranteed.
ERIC: Satisfaction? How about this old cover from the Stones? Money. The best things in life are free. This new playoff arrangement is not. And nobody has yet said a word about how the money is going to be distributed or divided. One of the biggest bombshells of this new arrangement may be set to drop Tuesday if financial details are disclosed.
Up to now, the BCS has shared money among the six "automatic qualifier" conferences with what amounts to hush money to the rest of the smaller Football Bowl Subdivision leagues. We'll see if that setup stays in place, or if the emerging four major conferences take an even larger slice for themselves.
I agree that it won't last long. This has all the makings of an arrangement like the short-lived "Bowl Alliance," which served mainly as a transition vehicle from the Bowl Coalition to the BCS. This four-team setup, flawed though it will be, should be viewed as the instrument that gets us from the BCS to whatever more acceptable playoff form we get to.
From that standpoint, people won't be satisfied, but I think everybody understands this is just a start.
2. The NBA Draft is this Thursday. Which draft-bound UK player will have the easiest transition to the pros? Which the toughest?
RICK: That's easy. And tough.
Easiest. I will go with Terrence Jones. I thought his game grew more than any UK player last season. He's a year older than Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. And he'll go later in the draft, which means he should be selected by a better team.
Plus, I like Jones' versatility. He can play on the block and on the perimeter.
Toughest. Doron Lamb is my call. He's essentially an undersized two-guard for the pros. Don't think he has the handle to play extended minutes at the point. So he'll play shooting guard -- and give up three, four, five inches to some players he is going to be matched against night after night.
There are some scouts who believe that Lamb could slide out of the first round.
ERIC: Easiest? Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Everything he does will translate well to the NBA game. He never stops working. He runs the court like he's being chased. He rebounds. He defends. His shot isn't where it needs to be, but that's not what he's being drafted for. And it will develop. The only worry with Kidd-Gilchrist is that he plays with such abandon that the long NBA schedule might set him up for injury. Regardless, I haven't seen many NBA games this season where I thought he couldn't step onto the floor and at least make some kind of positive contribution.
Hardest? I'm going to go with Marquis Teague. I have no doubt that he made the right decision declaring for the draft. All scouts would've done in his sophomore year was tear him down. But that doesn't mean he'll go to the NBA ready-made. In fact, I think Teague needed another year to improve himself as a point guard and to polish his jump shooting. You wonder had Teague not played for the team (and coach) he played for if he'd be sitting here as a projected first-round pick. Nonetheless, he has NBA speed and is strong going to the basket. Unless his shot improves, however, he may not get as many opportunities to blow by NBA defenders. His playmaking ability isn't that of, say, Rajon Rondo, who is able to get to the rim without being a consistent threat from the perimeter. He'll develop all of those skills, because he has the physical tools. It just might take him a season to work himself into form.
3.Finally, something really important. A chicken that was purchased by New York Mets closer Frank Francisco and allowed to run around the team dugout has been donated to a sanctuary farm in New York. The team named him "Little Jerry Seinfeld." Which begs the question: Can there ever be too many Seinfeld references in sports?
ERIC: No, there can never be too many Seinfeld references in anything. For many years, I have believed that every sports event has an analogous episode of Seinfeld. I won't bore you with examples, but trust me. It would've been easy. You watch a game, you think of a Seinfeld episode, yada, yada, yada, you've got a blog entry. Anyway, that a New York team would pay homage to a Seinfeld reference is welcome. If only George Costanza could have become traveling secretary for the Mets, maybe it would've happened much sooner. What do you think, T-Bone?
RICK: I don't think there's anything wrong with it -- or with you, especially halfway to Festivus. Big Jerry Seinfeld has always been a big Mets' fan, but too much of the show was taped with the Yankees -- the fake Steinbrenner, Danny Tartabull, Derek Jeter, the jokes about trading away Jay Buhner.
But if you're going to do Seinfeld references around the Mets, you have to include Keith Hernandez and Julia Louis-Drefyus because I was never certain if Keith got beyond first base.
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