Thursday, December 28, 2006

Post-Christmas and SMU @ OU

Well, I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. Me? Mine had its usual ups and downs. Santa gave great gifts. I got great bills. For Christmas presents I received, there is this ongoing problem. I ask for certain items and instead of getting those items, I get a "variation on theme." For example, imagine walking into a restaurant and ordering fried chicken. The waiter brings out pecan crusted seabass. See, it isn't fried chicken, but it was pan-fried and it does have a crust, but while it isn't chicken, it is "white" meat. Apply that to Christmas gifts: I asked for an FM modulator for my ipod so I can listen to it through my car stereo; I received a speaker so I can listen to my ipod at home through it rather than through my home stereo. This has gone on for years with my wife and for the life of me, I can't figure out how to correct it. I have tried circling items in catalogs, I have tried writing down model numbers; I have even told her where to buy something for the cheapest price.

Anyway, Matt Doherty had a merry Christmas. SMU beat TCU on a buzzer-beater. And Santa brought this:

Now, SMU faces OU in one of its toughest nonconference games of the season. I think Jeff Capel is a good coach and I think OU is a good team. I won't be surprised if OU goes to the NCAA tournament. I remember remarking that I thought Capel was an inspired hire by OU. Sure, he is young and inexperienced, but by all accounts he has a bright future and good basketball mind. It is nice to see a major athletic program willing to do something other than hire the safest choice: a coach from a lower major program.

An SMU win will likely give SMU some well-deserved regional and national attention. However, a win is unlikely. SMU has not played a lot of great teams and as I mentioned after the TCU game, OU blew the doors off TCU earlier this year. This game will be interesting to watch. Undoubtedly, Doherty has a gameplan for winning this game, rather than just keeping it close.

Oh, and TCU's Neil Doherty thinks SMU-TCU basketball can be a great rivalry. He just wishes it could be played later in the year when the students were on campus. I am sure it can eb a great rivalry, too. Too bad TCU whizzed its chance to play SMU twice a year in conference when it bolted for the Mountain West. And not like it matters, Neil Doherty isn't likely to get too many more chances to coach again SMU, anyway. After talking to my TCU and Fort Worth friends, the consensus at TCU is that nobody goes to the games and nobody cares and the basketball team stinks.


Anonymous said...

"SMU has not played a lot of great teams"

No kidding. SMU has played the greatest collection of cupcakes ever assembled. (how did Longwood not show up on the schedule?) It rivals what the aTm coach did when he started. However, SMU needed this kind of schedule to build confidence in the players. And to build interest among the alumni. Great move, but it will now be time to pay the piper.

Big Red and Blue said...

Tell me again the advantages of being in the Mountain West?

Let's see, a WAC team (Boise State) is playing in a BCS bowl. TCU dumped the WAC to go to Conference USA, which it then dumped to go to the Mountain West. Both of TCU's conference moves left SMU behind and both conference moves have not resulted in a BCS bid.

In basketball, the Mountain West doesn't have much of a reputation. Utah went to the Final Four eight years ago, but Majerus is gone. C-USA lost some good hoops teams, but it still has Memphis. Southern Miss and Houston have name coaches and Tulsa has been a really good program except for a temporary dip. Plus, in C-USA there's a connection with the Eastern Time Zone and the major media that cover and influence college basketball.

And Neil Dougherty is right. One of the best eras for SMU-TCU basketball was when both were in the WAC together. Moody and Daniel-Meyer would fill up when they'd play. It was a great rivalry, stoked by Billy Tubbs, and it got both schools a lot of media attention.

I don't expect TCU to come back to C-USA because of pride reasons. But they're wasting a lot of money playing in a far-flung league that has no benefit over the one in its neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered that your wife may not be making a mistake?