2017 Crowley Sullivan’s Thoughts & Prayers
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 as EVP, Planning/GM, Sports for MandtVR, a content creation platform that emphasizes Virtual Reality initiatives.
Bother Crowley at @CrowleySullivan
Thoughts & Prayers – Week 10
Thoughts & Prayers – Week 10
RINGLING BROS. AND BARNUM & BAILEY CONFERENCE
When football programs of the SEC dominate in the “Circus Behavior” categories off of the football field, do their fans wave SEC flags and chant “SEC! SEC! SEC!”
What has happened in Gainesville, Florida over the last week or two is straight out of – sky point – Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey.
The striking thing is that this is standard for this conference.
The Hugh Freeze/Mississippi “thing” is still echoing in our ears.
Boom Muschamp has several people thinking that he’s leading his Gamecocks to the Promised Land at some point.
Paul Finebaum thinks Butch Jones is a Championship Coach.
When Ed Orgeron speaks, there is a number of people that try to translate his words into English because they think that what he’s saying carries meaning.
Kentucky has a football team.
But this Florida stuff has set a new standard for this clown show.
The Florida athletic director stood up there and sounded smart, looked perfectly business-like yet comfortable and almost-relatable since he went with the well-calculated no-tie approach, and he said all of the things that come straight out of the Sports Administration MBA handbook.
And everyone deserves an ice cream cone for continuing to refer to McElwain as “Coach Mac,” as if he’ll still be welcome at the Thanksgiving dinner table in a few weeks because of his dedication and commitment to the ideals of the Gator Nation.
But if anyone thinks any of this qualifies as “normal,” please contact me and explain to me why and how any of this is normal.
As for the ensuing coaching search – here is my “free advice” that the Florida athletic director alluded to:
Go after Nick Saban. Full throttle. Sure, he has a pretty good job right now. But you’re FLORIDA. He’d be a fool not to jump at the opportunity.
If Saban decides to stick with his current job, call Bill Belichick.
If Belichick decides that he’d like to stay in the NFL and continue to coach the New England Patriots, go after Urban Meyer. Meyer loved his time at Florida and he’s probably hoping to get a call even though he’s biding his time elsewhere.
If Urban Meyer decides that the Florida job is too much of a pressure cooker and that his current job is the sort of cushy job that he was looking for, immediately call Hugh Freeze.
If Huge Freeze decides that he’d rather focus on his relationship with God, call Ed Orgeron.
And if none of these approaches lead to success, contact Ron Zook.
There you have it, Gator Nation. That’s the roadmap you should follow.
RAT POISON COMEDY
I’m dying for more humor from Tom Rinaldi – just in general – since he’s hilarious.
But, more specifically, I’m really anxious for more comedy from Tom Rinaldi and other TV people that focuses on Nick Saban’s “rat poison” line from a few weeks ago and his most recent reference to the CFP polls being “poison” to his team.
These guys – Rinaldi and the like – are great at comedy and great at letting their hair down and great at just having a little fun with these sorts of things.
The whole “comedy” thing on the part of guys like Tom Rinaldi reminds me of some of the best comedians and their craft.
Don’t go halfway, ESPN and Co.
Just go ahead and get Gallagher on your broadcasts.
Gallagher has a very clever, timeless watermelon bit that kills.
TRUE CRUSADER, TRUE STUDENT ATHLETE
Bob Cousy isn’t the only man to have demonstrated that The College of the Holy Cross churns out good men – and good student athletes.
We all like to fete the big boys that expect to be paid for offering their talents to Tech State while they visit a class from time to time.
But there are schools where student athletes not only play real football – they also don’t snicker at the term “student athlete.”
Holy Cross is a place where “student athlete” actually means something.
Jimmy Murray is a lithe 6-5, 300+ pounds.
This past Saturday, he started his 39th consecutive game at left tackle for the Crusaders.
While he’s an All-Conference performer in the Patriot League and has earned more academic accolades than classes Johnny Manzie ever attended, he’s an All American kid who knows how to read, he can solve a jumbled Rubik’s Cube in less than a minute, he can name the capitals of around 27 of the states of our Union, he understands that his commitment and endless hours of hard work are elements of a tremendous opportunity he’s had to be a student athlete, and he has never accepted free tattoos in exchange for Holy Cross Football memorabilia.
There are more guys like Murray out there than there are guys who swipe crab legs and whine about not getting money from the jersey sales with their number on it. And when Murray meets someone for the first time, he shakes their hand firmly, looks them in the eye, and says, “Very nice to meet you.”
And here’s the best part – this kid is probably going to be on a NFL roster a year from now.
But, I actually lied – that’s not the best part.
I have not seen him do this, but I’m told that Murray can consume 25 Chalupa Supremes from Taco Bell in less than fifteen minutes.
The only debate regarding Jimmy Murray is, Who’s more proud of him – the folks on Chicago’s West Side or the folks on Chicago’s North Shore?
One thing’s for sure – his grandfather, Big Bob Murray, is smiling down on him and quietly touting him out of the corner of his mouth to any West Siders within earshot….
One suggestion, Murray – get with the equipment manager about a jersey that fits you.
BEWARE – COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS ARE HERE
Georgia – congratulations.
The Georgia Bulldogs get the top spot in the initial rankings.
Undoubtedly, the Dawgs are claiming the November 1st National Championship.
It’s a lot like laying claim to the #1 recruiting class each February (or whenever that stuff gets announced and people lose their minds about why their school didn’t sign more 8-star guys).
Before the Dawgs fall all over themselves, here are just a few other juggernauts that earned spots in the Top 4 rankings in the past:
Here are some programs that have earned spots in the Top 8 in the past:
Dawgs – you twisted the dagger into the Gator Nation a few days ago and that’s something you should celebrate since The Biggest Spaghetti Dinner Rivalry Game is a big deal to several people.
But, don’t be Mississippi State or Mississippi or UMAA or Texas A&M or UCLA or Arizona and let this October 31st CFP ranking thing be the highlight of your season.
You’re at the Big Boy Table now.
Don’t let the grainy footage of Herschel Walker get in the way of what actually matters right now. There’s plenty of grainy Ray Goff footage too.
Stay focused. Stay grounded.
And keep siccing ‘em!
Welcome to the party, Iowa State Cyclones!
You were a very rude guest when you visited Norman earlier this season and now you’ve de-horned the Frogs.
You get extra credit for de-horning TCU by the score of 14-7.
The Thoughts & Prayers Research and Social Media teams especially appreciate when games are won by these sorts of scores since, among other things, a score like this makes people who use their discretionary income to wager on these events get really, really mad at the football players and coaches since the football players and coaches are, after all, really doing all of this for the speculators.
If this gang wins out – a tall order, for sure – with wins over Oklahoma State and West Virginia, in addition to Baylor and Kansas State, they’ll participate in the first Big 12 Championship Game.
If the Cyclones face, say, Oklahoma in that Big 12 Championship Game and win that battle by, say, two touchdowns, how does that factor into the CFP’s final vexing?
Matt Campbell is currently sitting comfortably at #15 in the initial CFP rankings.
If this team wins out and claims the Big 12 Championship with TWO wins over Oklahoma as well as wins over Oklahoma State, TCU, West Virginia, how does this team not make the CFP?
Whatever happens, try telling these people that this stuff isn’t fun and that only the big boys “matter” –
COASTAL CONVERGENCE CONTINUES
And, while it may not seem like the Coastal has an impact on Iowa State’s surge toward CFP relevance, this Coastal conundrum warrants our thoughts (and even some prayers).
Notre Dame appears to have a hold on its claim to Coastal supremacy.
I know – Notre Dame is only a 76% member of the ACC (which makes perfect sense, of course) and their continued success against their sort-of conference rivals is giving the Irish more and more reason to lay claim to the top spot in the Coastal.
However, those ACC football programs that are 100% members of the conference have some real work to do.
Follow me here:
Dabo has hurdles ahead and he doesn’t have much room for error. NC State, Florida State, and Boom Muschamp await. The Citadel is the only gimme left on Dabo’s slate.
Virginia Tech has The U this week and then some manageable contests.
It’s not crazy to suggest that the winner of the Coastal and the winner of the Atlantic enter the ACC Championship Game with two losses.
If Dabo or the Hokies are winners of the ACC with two losses and the CFP is looking at that ACC Champion against the Cyclones with two losses, who has the more impressive resume?
Just when hurricane season has finally wound down for the poor folks in ACC land, it’s very possible that a Cyclone ruins the conference’s potentially short-lived position as supreme conference of the land.
For anyone that doubts the ACC’s greatness, simply check out the video in the link below. It’s great – the only things I’d change would be the length of the video (obviously, it should be much longer), the first “song” that serves as the video’s initial soundtrack, the second song that serves as the next part of the video’s soundtrack, the highlights, the sound mix, the insistence of including pedestrian moments and plays, and the poor editing.
It’s going to be fascinating to see how David Pollack reacts to the final CFP rankings that include an undefeated, Big Ten Championship Wisconsin Badgers team.
Here are some potential elements of Pollack’s reaction:
The black hair coloring in his hair melts and starts to drip down his face.
He starts to talk so fast that his standard below-standard use of the English language becomes unintelligible.
He disrobes since he is unable to think of anything else he can do to show his disgust.
He punches Kirk Herbstreit in an eyeball.
He unintentionally announces – blurts it out – that the reason his weight while a player at Georgia was roughly 80 pounds greater than his current weight is was due to the use of “enhancements.”
He announces that he will be leaving the GameDay team to devote the necessary time to a co-production of a “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” revival that he, Jemelle Hill, Curt Schilling, and Kevin Spacey have been playing around with for the last few years.
HEARTBREAKING LOSSES SOMETIMES ARE RELATIVE
Tremendous football game played at The Shoe in Columbus this past Saturday.
Unbelievable performance from JT Barrett.
This guy was 33-for-39 and he led the Buckeyes back from two different 18-point deficits.
Lots of talk about how heartbreaking of a loss this was for James Franklin, his players and coaches, and the Penn State community.
Here’s something that might help the Penn State gang be a little less heartbroken about the loss and put the loss into its proper perspective:
Face it, Sooners – the Red River Whatever with Texas is nice and there’s a carnival thing going on adjacent to it or something – but it’s not really as important to you as Bedlam is.
It’s okay to say it out loud.
And you’d actually be right in saying it.
This is the type of rivalry that’s real.
The best rivalries are about three things:
Hatred, contempt, and disrespect.
Bedlam has all three.
I don’t think the radio announces for the Pokes get misty-eyed and fraudulently nostalgic when they open up the broadcast to this war every season.
I think the radio announcers for both of these football teams would like to open up their respective broadcasts with something along these lines:
Road team announcer – “Okay, folks – let’s get to it so I can get out of this hole as quickly as possible and can we please beat the crap out of this vile football program that thinks it’s crap doesn’t stink?”
Home team announcer – “Okay, folks – let’s get to it so we can get these turds out of our stadium and away from our campus as quickly as possible and let’s destroy this football team so we can stick it to them for the next 365 days or so.”
No cocktail drinking in Stillwater or Norman.
Does Oklahoma Territory law even allow for the making of and/or consumption of “cocktails?”