Crowley Sullivan

Sullivan's Thoughts & Prayers: After Week 11

Crowley Sullivan is a 20-year sports-media veteran having spent ten years at ESPN as a producer, programmer, content creator, business developer, and brand manager.  He now serves a EVP, Planning/GM, Sports for MandtVR, a content creation platform that emphasizes Virtual Reality initiatives.

Bother Crowley at @CrowleySullivan

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Thoughts & Prayers After Week 11

RIGHT AT HOME?

Really?

Maybe instead of spending all of that time putting up all of that stuff in the visiting locker room at Kinnick Stadium that Hayden Fry long ago made pink – one of the coolest and funniest things a college football coach has ever done –  you might have focused more on winning the football game.

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor football has a very healthy ego.

I’m not saying that UMAA should give serious consideration to having Gwyneth Paltrow serve as the university’s chief brand ambassador.

I’m just saying that Prince Naseem Ahmed and Anthony Bourdain should each have an honorary degree bestowed upon them from the university.

The words in the tweet above are an example of where it sort of hits you in the face.

People of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor – you haven’t won a football game at Kinnick Stadium in over a decade.

Kinnick Stadium is anything but home for you.

And now the season that everyone said – rather confidently – was going to be the season when The Victors reclaimed the universe may not even yield a division championship.

Has anyone bothered to point out that JIM HARBAUGH – Schwartz to most of us, with apologies to my editor – has now yakked away two humongous games in the waning moments with a lot on the line?

This isn’t the first game that slipped through Harbaugh’s fingers.

Gain a first down on the final possession and this game would have been won.

Maybe those bifocals get too tight on Jim’s face in the late going of a tight game that actually means something.

As for the tweet in which UMAA announced that they were “right at home” in the Kinnick Stadium locker room, I thought Dave Brandon was now the CEO of Toys R Us after being kicked out of Ann Arbor….

BOB MIGHT BE ABLE TO OUT-WIT HIM, BUT…..

I think it might be time to give Clay Helton a little bit of credit.

In a very un-Troy-ish, under-the-radar manner, the Men of Troy have won six straight and just pounded UDub in Seattle.

Troy squares off against their old cross town rival this weekend and the Trojans are starting to look like they want to matter again.

However, I watched and listened to a really smart and important TV guy who talks about college football say that a USC/Alabama matchup would be a great one right now.

You know what else would be a good matchup right now?

A YMCA-sanctioned boxing match between Chuck Bednarik in his prime and my 91-year old step-father-in-law, Bob.

WEDNESDAY MORNING QUARTERBACKING

Do all of the Finebaumers see that approximately 50% of the top 8 teams in the most current College Football Playoff Committee’s rankings are football teams from the Big Ten Conference?

For Finebaumers, this is sort of like walking into a Piggly Wiggly and being greeted by a Chinese man dressed in a clown suit with a plaid-colored sombrero sitting atop his head.

THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE

As all of us were enjoying one of the most exciting Saturdays of college football in recent memory, the people of Baylor had to remind us all of how incompetent and fraudulent they are.

I saw the news appearing on the bottom-of-the-screen ticker.

It said something along the lines of Baylor acknowledging that Art Briles and whoever the athletic director was some time ago both failed to address sexual misconduct reports involving Baylor football players.

This, of course, comes a week after the entire Baylor community unveiled an ART BRILES MATTERS type of campaign with #CAB emblazoned on black shirts worn by coaches, gigantic #CAB banners hanging from the windows of cozy luxury suites at McLane Stadium, and lots of bluster about how Art Briles was being wronged.

In other news, Art Garfunkel held a press conference this week in which he said that many years ago he failed to address the fact that he never had any talent.

Garfunkel added that he failed to recognize that he personifies what it means to be pretentious.

I’ve offered in this space that Dave Bliss be brought back to Baylor to lead their athletic efforts.

Perhaps Art Gunfunkel is the right man for the job.

Art Garfunkel as head football coach, athletic director, and president of Baylor University makes just as much sense as anything and everything Baylor University is doing, saying, singing, chanting, praising, espousing, emblazoning, demonstrating, illustrating, and being.

Baylor’s Garfunkel administration might start with this address from Garfunkel:

BUCKEYE BRAVADO

Some Buckeye Bravados laughed out loud earlier this season when I suggested that Wisconsin was a College Football Playoff contender.

That was before the Buckeyes escaped Madison wearing only their jock straps.

It was also before Wisconsin became, in fact, a College Football Playoff contender.

But the really interesting scenario for Buckeye Bravado pertains to Ohio State’s matchup this Saturday.

The Buckeyes enter their tussle with Michigan State as the #2 team in the CFP rankings.

Michigan State enters the game as a forgotten team.

Saturday’s weather forecast for East Lansing calls for a high temperature of 41 degrees, a mix of snow and rain, and 20-30mph winds.

Buckeyes – it’s okay to admit it.

It’s actually healthy to admit it.

You are unable to sleep this week because you have visions of a windmilling Michael Geiger running through your head in a constant loop this week.

TOO MUCH BIG TEN?

Too bad.

Nfm.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?  A LOT.

I’m as interested in hearing Booger McFarland’s thoughts, analysis, tweets, observations, and general offerings on the College Football Playoff rankings as much as I’m interested in hearing Stephen Baldwin weigh in on the recent election that some people are still talking about.

I’m sure Booger is a good man.

And the fact that Booger played football gives him some credibility.

But I just have a hard time watching and listening to Booger talk about anything without thinking that I’m confused with the way in which Booger McFarland has become some sort of expert on anything at all.

Maybe (probably) Booger’s colloquialisms just don’t resonate with me due to me not being dialed in properly.

The Booger thing is just sort of a head scratcher.

I have a pal who played football for Tech State.

His name is Urine McCallister.

He knows his stuff.

But I think he’s made the right decision to not be a college football analyst and expert.

I like Urine.

But I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of Booger.

And as I’ve mentioned here in this space, I think the whole Jake Butt thing is pretty stupid.

WEDNESDAY MORNING QUARTERBACKING, PART II

Biggest beneficiaries of this past Saturday’s earthquake:

JFRANK & HIS FIRST MILERS

Earlier this season, things looked bleak for JFrank and the program.  He treated the game against Pitt as if it was a pre-season scrimmage against an all-star team featuring promising youngsters from The Second Mile’s intramural league.  Aside from a forgettable appearance in Ann Arbor, JFrank’s student athletes are on the brink of a possible appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game.  Win out and it’d be tough to shut the door on them.

BOBBY PETRINO & HIS GYPSY JOKERS

Late in this past Saturday’s duel with the Demon Deacons, it was looking like Petrino’s hog had sustained two flat tires.  I looked up five seconds later and the score looked far more like a Louisville Hessians football game.  If I were a college football head coach, I wouldn’t want to have to face Petrino in a playoff scenario.  And I’m not saying that because I think Petrino is a scoundrel.  I’m saying that because I think Petrino is a scoundrel that is very good at coaching his football team.

BOOGER MCFARLAND

Looks like Booger will have plenty more to talk about again throughout the week.

JIM DELANY

Does Northwestern still have a shot at this thing?

THE LORD

Dabo takes a kick to the gut from Pitt’s Chris Blewitt and yet Dabo is still right where he wants to be.  No harm, no foul Dabo.  Win the rest of them and you’re in, Dabo.

PAUL REVERE MIGHT ADVISE YOU KEEP A LOWER PROFILE, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

If I were Bill Simmons, I don’t know if I’d be firing shots in Chris Collinsworth’s direction right about now.

We know, BS – your Pats are having a tougher time than everyone is accustomed to.

And we know that you really don’t know anything beyond what happens in the center of the Milky Way (Boston, of course).

And we all know that the real issue isn’t that your television program wasn’t any good – it’s that you need a broader platform and more money in order for your vision and wisdom to resonate with the regular folks that need you.

But when Spiro Agnew’s HBO show was cancelled five seconds after it premiered, he didn’t fire off critiques of Howard Cosell’s commentary during the very next Monday Night Football broadcast.

But great interview with Affleck.  Good stuff.

POPPING OFF

Thankfully, Gregg Popovich graced us all with his wisdom this week.

All of us have been told more than enough times that Popovich is among the smartest men in the Western Hemisphere so we all waited with bated breath for his views on the world’s recent events.

And he gave them (in between discussions with his basketball players related to how to play basketball more effectively).

I have no problem at all with anything Popovich said since he’s a very smart man.

As a matter of fact, I think he should be on the College Football Playoff Committee.

In other news, Kellyanne Conway held a press conference in which she shared her views on why the San Antonio Spurs during the Gregg Popovich Era have actually underachieved and would have won more NBA titles had Stan Albeck had been the head coach.

PROGRAMMING IDEA

If the recent election that some people are still talking about told us anything, it’s that the American people are starving for viewpoints and opinions and general expertise from people like Gregg Popovich.

I’ve crafted a programming treatment that I’ll be submitting to the chief programmers at MSNBC that basically consists of the following concept:

Gregg Popvich, Booger McFarland, EJ Dionne, Gronk, Howard Fineman, Newt Gingrich, and Joy-Ann Reid sit at a round table where they analyze the College Football Playoff rankings for the first fifteen minutes.

The next two segments feature the ensemble giving the American public their expert views on foreign policy, the murder rate in Chicago, and how the country should handle illegal immigrants.

Then the final segment will focus on income inequality since we all must assume that these folks give vast sums of their salaries to the less fortunate.

Each show concludes with Gregg Popovich and Laura Ingraham bowing their heads and leading the ensemble in prayer on behalf of a viewer-selected issue that caused someone to be wronged.

Not quite sure what to call the show but I’m thinking we go with a straightforward approach in order to bring in as many viewers as possible – how about “WEEKLY SPORTS SHOW WITH OTHER TOPICS?”

ON TAP

Washington State at Colorado

This game must be celebrated.  These programs are both coming into this one with 8-2 marks and they’re a welcome splash of fun.  Maybe The Pirate will don a parrot in his shoulder for the game.

Alabama A&M at Auburn

How does War Eagle look itself in the mirror in advance of this football game?  Is the strategy to put Alabama A&M on the slate in the hopes of making people think that Auburn is courageous enough to battle Alabama twice in the same season?  What is Alabama A&M even?  Is it a school?  A company?  A Political Action Committee?  If Alabama A&M is a PAC, is Chuck Todd going to serve as the sideline reporter and is he going to shave the few hairs that surround his mouth that make it look like he just ate a bag of Cheetohs?

Florida at LSU

Prior to the season, this game loomed large.  Now it looms in the way the Auburn – Alabama A&M battle looms.

Maryland at Nebraska

Ohio State treated Nebraska like it was still being coached by Bo Pellini.  But it’s worth acknowledging that Nebraska is 8-2 and eyeing a possible appearance in a New Year’s Six Bowl.  A possible 10-2 season for the Huskers means free shoe shines for Coach Riley all winter long.