Despite today's setback home loss to Iowa, Northwestern basketball coach Chris Collins is playing spoiler to his Big Ten conference rivals. The "spoiler role" is a shopworn sports media cliche, yes I know that.
However, it also truly what the ‘Cats are doing right now. The Wildcats inflicted critical blows to the NCAA Tournament hopes of the Indiana Hoosiers
, (tournament resume/chances
) Illinois Fighting Illini
(don't feel they have a NCAA resume worth writing about right now, hence no link)and Purdue Boilermakers (updated tourney profile
). And that’s all just in the past two weeks.
Here's what the tournament chances and resumes of each of those three traditional B1G powers looks like now: Purdue, Illinois, Indiana. In his debut year of transition, Chris Collins has beaten all three of these programs, who are regular annual attendees to the big dance. As it stands today, the Illini, Hoosiers and Boilermakers are in the same boat as the Wildcats. They all need to either a.) very improbably win about 90% of their remaining games or b.) win the Big Ten Tournament in order qualify for the NCAA Tournament...
I know it’s hard to think about college basketball
when a.) it’s so freakin hot outside and b.) college football
appetizers are served tomorrow night, with the main course just two days after that. However, the Big Ten
announced its 2013-14 basketball conference schedule, with at least 49 games to be televised by CBS
Sports or an ESPN
Network. Remaining network assignments will be announced at a later date.
Obviously, this will be highly subject to change, depending on how the teams perform, but if you want to grab your day planner and write down what you want to do in February and March, yes on a Late August afternoon, I won’t stop you.
I’m certainly not expecting you to do that, but I won’t stop you either. Let’s look at where the Illini
You've heard the old adage "win the press conference." Yesterday when Northwestern
University officially introduced Chris Collins
to the media
as the 24th head coach
of NU college basketball
...He definitely "won the press conference."
First of all, Wildcat basketball had the full attention of the Chicago sports media as the presser was held in the larger, wide open area of Welsh-Ryan Arena instead of in the small, cramped media conference room. It was actually on the hardwood court itself. The press conference was broadcast live nationally by the Big Ten Network and locally by Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
Journalists and reporters from all the local television stations and newspapers were there, and they saw Chris Collins wear his heart on his sleeve because that's the kind of guy he is. He got choked up a bit when talking about his family, in one of the press conference's most powerful moments. His father, former Chicago Bulls coach and current Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins, was in attendance.
And Collins the Younger is excited to get his new regime in place. "I had an opportunity last night to have dinner with the current players. My first goal was to build a connection," Chris Collins said.
And he'll be able to constantly tap a great basketball mind in Collins the Elder.
"We talk daily. As I have gotten older, it has been more give and take," Chris Collins said of his Dad...
basketball was flirting with the first NCAA Tournament berth in school history last March it became a huge local story. It was also a sizable national story. NU
possibly taking its first ever steps into the big dance was a large story partially because it would have meant history; partially because there are A LOT of very prominent Northwestern
alums working in media
The Medill school of journalism at Northwestern
is as prestigious as it gets. I’ve had quite a few Medill kids as interns for me at The Sports Bank
, and they usually leave pretty quickly for greener pastures. Now we'll look at what the large network of Northwestern
alums in the media
/Hollywood has to say about the new coaching hire: Duke Blue Devils
Assistant Chris Collins, local guy and son of former Chicago Bulls
coach Doug Collins. It's official.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers
were interested in Collins concerning their current coaching vacancy
, but they will have to look elsewhere. Regardless, NU
fans should be rooting for Michigan State
Friday night versus Duke
. Not just for Big Ten
pride, but to expedite the process of regime change. It'll be a late tip on CBS. And that's GREAT for Northwestern! They'll probably mention the Chris Collins hire multiple times during the telecast. You can't buy program publicity like that.
And CBS did brilliant marketing by breaking this story first. Now they can better sell MSU-Duke in Chicago, the nation's 3rd largest market. Chicago guy (Collins) coaches perhaps his final game under a Chicago born coach (Mike Krzyzewski), before taking over a Chicago program.
Now I could have tried calling or emailing all these famous alums for their insight, but that would be so 2007. Instead I did things the new-fashioned way. I got their public comments from Twitter. (And I didn't have to deal with being rejected by publicists)...
If you follow Big Ten, or even college hoops at all, you know that Northwestern fired Bill Carmody t
oday. There will be an official press conference tonight, when the fate of Carmody will be made official. It's a new direction for the Northwestern basketball program.
Indiana coach Tom Crean
was asked about the firing today during the Big Ten Tournament after Hoosiers were eliminated by the Wisconsin Badgers.
Crean spoke very highly of Carmody and even referenced the famous comment made by Rob Ryan, the former Defensive Coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys. After Dallas dismissed Ryan, he arrogantly said: "I'll be out of work for like 5 minutes."
According to Deadspin
"If you take Rob Ryan's original statement as being about how long he would be unemployed during the entire NFL offseason, he missed the mark by about 38,641 minutes"
Of course, Carmody would never publicly say anything even remotely close to braggadocio like this, but the point is Crean believes Carmody will be highly sought after for coaching vacancies.
Here's the full transcript...
You listen to Tim McCarver, Skip Bayless, or even worse yet, Jemele Hill and it makes you wonder “how does this person have a job?” Not only do they have a broadcasting gig, but it’s one with a very large footprint. There is no justice in the world.
The Big Ten
Network version of that is Tim Doyle. Like Dick Vitale, he ruins every game he calls. He’s so bad that he makes CBS 2′s Ryan Baker look good by comparison. And that’s really hard to do because Baker pulls off the impossible combination of being both bland/boring and annoying/irritating at the same time.
Remember this is a criticism of Tim Doyle the broadcaster, not Tim Doyle the person. I don't know Doyle personally, he could be a great guy for all I know. However, his work I cannot know, and his work I cannot stand. So, let's be civil and remember there's no need for fist-fights.
In Doyle's exact own words “The business that we are in, sometimes we have to be hard on people or give our opinions.”
Update: Doyle discussed the altercation on 670 The Score Friday morning, and his spot is a MUST LISTEN.
Modern media publications review movies, television shows and rock albums, but no one reviews blogs, the question is why? Obviously, it’s easy to review static mass media items that aren’t changing once they initially are produced much more easily than the dynamic and the evolving world of blogs. Of course, some aspects of certain blogs... Read more »