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Sprints Applauds Boise State-Ole Miss But Not John Calipari // 05.14.10

Boise State put second decent team on schedule for 2011
As someone who gave the Broncos their fair share of criticism (but no more) for their 2009 schedule, it's time to acknowledge that Boise will likely deserve to go to the national title this year if it does undefeated. In 2011 -- not so much, even with the addition of Ole Miss -- an announcement greeted with apparent enthusiasm by One Bronco Nation Under God.

Circle your yet-to-be-purchased 2011 calendars for September 3, 2011 ...

This rounds out Boise State's 2011 non-conference schedule.

at Ole Miss, September 3
vs. Wyoming, September 10
at Toledo, September 17
vs. Tulsa, September 24
vs. Utah, October 1

Let the strength of schedule complaining begin.

Okay. There are two and maybe three real games on that nonconference schedule, combined with one or two in WAC play. Teams in the Big East play more difficult schedules than that. Heck, Kentucky plays a more difficult schedule than that. Most years, anyway.

Aside from lowering the price of the guarantee game slightly and taking off the table an earlier insistence on a return visit to Boise, there's one other thing the Broncos can do to increase their chances of being considered a solid national title contender in years like 2011: Play in a better conference, something that just might be available by the time the Ole Miss showdown is played.

Here's the encouraging thing for Ole Miss fans: Boise State has never defeated an SEC team. And they'll be playing on green grass during this game.

The future of a humanitarian
Kentucky head coach and noted humanitarian John Calipari's name is emerging in more NBA head coach searches than Larry Brown's. Rocky Top Talk throws the latest candidate out their -- the Cleveland Cavaliers -- but does so with mixed feelings.

Cavs coach Mike Brown is a virtual lock to be dismissed if Cleveland loses tonight. If you want to do everything you can to keep LeBron, could that include making an offer to LeBron's "close personal friend" John Calipari? ...

And here's the other question -- as Tennessee fans, isn't there some part of us that, secretly or openly, enjoys having Calipari in our lives? If he left Kentucky, there is no one else they could hire that would make this rivalry as passionate as it is right now for us.

On the other hand, they might hire another Billy Gillispie. Admit it: That would be just fine with Tennessee fans. Or any other SEC East fans.

Not that UK's administration seems overly concerned.

"I'm very confident he's going to be our head coach next year," Barnhart said after a UK Athletics Association Board of Directors meeting. "... and I feel very confident good times are ahead."

Meanwhile, Kentucky fans continue to defend the humanitarian against attacks real and perceived -- except, of course, those that don't count just because they don't want them to count.

Certainly, Coach Cal has is issues, but unlike most of his detractors, I'm going to touch on the ones that are actually germane, not the fact of his two vacated Final Fours. Those errors were made by others, and Calipari is just a convenient figure to blame.

I'll go back to the metaphor I like to use in this situation: If you met a woman whose two late husbands had died of what police determined to be "natural causes," would you be likely to marry that woman? I belong to the Leroy Jethro Gibbs School on Coincidences: I don't believe in them, at least not until there's overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Otherwise, you have to admit that Lou Holtz is just as unlucky as Calipari, and not the rule-bending Machiavelli that he is.

In any case, Tru continues to list and rebut several criticisms about the Humanitarian before concluding:

But all these things do not justify the current level of wrath and derision aimed at Calipari, in this writer's opinion. Even so, Kentucky fans are left to take the brunt of it, and asked to defend their fanhood over and over again in the light of this lengthy, if factually feeble indictment.

Who's asking Kentucky fans to "defend their fanhood over and over again"? No one expects them to stop cheering for Kentucky just because their coach is either (a) willing to interpret the rules in his own way (or look the other way while others do) or (b) the unluckiest person this side of Roy Sullivan. And of course they should defend their coach. But to ask everyone else to suspend disbelief just because is expecting a big much, no?

There is no way this ends well
Some rival fans have suggested a write-in campaign for Auburn's decision to hold a vote on the intro music for the football team. But, really, is that necessary? Wouldn't just voting for "Eye of the Tiger" be enough?

Let's calm down a bit
Mississippi State season ticket sales are up 13 percent over the same period last year. Good to see that the expectations aren't getting too high in Starkville.