26 August 2012 261.1 – The Professor and Paul Gamble kick off the program with Sportzfan Stan still out of the side injured. They start the program looking at the parlous state of rugby union with the Wallabies failing to trouble the scorer for the first time in fifty years against the All Blacks. They consider that Robbie Deans tenure must be on shaky ground. Dan Butterly comes on to talk US sport and looks at the Lance Armstrong decision not to contest the USADA charges, the start of the college football season and also the start of the NFL season. The Gelding talks racing and reviews the results from yesterday’s Moonee Valley and Warwick Farm meetings.
22 January 2012 233.1 – With Dan Butterly’s first appearance of 2012, he recapped the end of the U.S. college football season with the deluge of bowl games involved and discussed the pros and cons of underclass men leaving college in the hopes of being drafted to the NFL. Dan expressed surprise at teams in the NFL Championship game after the Green Bay Packers lost to the Giants and the San Francisco 49’ers defeated the New Orleans Saints. He thought the match up would have been between the Saints and Packers. Dan says the Ravens will fall to the Patriots this week and the home advantage going to the 49’ers over the Giants for the Superbowl. The NBA strike has been the cause of numerous early injuries to players and predicts that the accelerated schedule will increase that number. Also, aging players might fall prey to being traded as teams will have to weigh whether or not they can keep up with the season’s gruelling schedule. Less than a month until pitchers and catchers report for spring training in the MLB! The Gelding was back in form this weekend selecting three winerss and two placings from his five choices. It took Sportzfan Stan thirty-eight minutes into the show before he called for the first sacking this week. He also observed that “some horses are faster than others”. Daniel talks NBL and felt that Ayinde Ubaka’s sacking with eight games left in the season was the worst timing by the Melbourne Tigers.
11 December 2011 230.1 – The Panel comprising the Professor, Daniel Eade, Paul Dalligan, the Gambler and Sportzfan Stan lead off the show talking US sport with Dan Butterly including the NBA nixing the Chris Paul deal. He also looks at Major League Baseball talking about the recent free agent moves with the Miami Marlins leading the pack. Paul Dalligan talks NFL with Dan and Paul says he likes the New Orleans Saints. Dan says any team can win on any given day. Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders also discussed. Dan revisits the College Football championship game and says every game can’t count in the regular season if Alabama is playing in that game. He likes Robert Griffin III from Baylor for the Heisman trophy. The Panel look at Barry Hall’s announcement that he intends to enter the boxing world and the Professor says he is already 4-0 following his AFL career. There is a discussion about the second test and another poor batting display by Australia. Sportzfan Stan says there are some players in the baggy green who are not good enough and they should be sacked. Mark Fiorenti comes on to talk soccer and he starts with a review of the Melbourne Victory/LA Galaxy game featuring David Beckham. He also looks at how the Victory are travelling at the moment and says they are not getting enough from Harry Kewell.
4 December 2011 229.1 – The Panel start with a look at the first test against New Zealand. Daniel also reviews the Melbourne Tigers recent performances and says with the game on the line in the last four matches, they couldn’t get it done. The Gelding queries whether they are missing Patty Mills already. Dan Butterly comes on to discuss US sport talking College football including who will qualify for the National championship and the other BCS bowls. Once again Dan argues that there should be a playoff in College football. He also looks at the coaching carousel with a number of Colleges firing their football coaches and says it’s not good to be a coach at this time of year. Dan says Tim Tebow is a winner and Tebowmania has overtaken Denver. He thinks the Packers can run the table and sees the Colts going 0-16. The Professor and Dan discuss the bid by Jerry Kramer’s daughter to have him admitted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Professor learned about it on Twitter. Dan says it is an amazing story and he encourages the fans to learn more about the cause and Kramer’s career. Dan thinks Bobby Valentine’s hiring to coach the Red Sox is a great one. The Gelding talks racing and reviews both his selections and the Sydney Colts. Unfortunately for the Gelding his tips were just off the mark with four seconds. He awards an s-hit ride to Danny Nikolic for his ride on Starchine. Sportzfan Stan is upset that the Gelding has been invited to the Ladies at the Tennis club’s Christmas party but he hasn’t. Mark Fiorenti talks A-League soccer and says the Melbourne Victory are a ‘little bit’ back in crisis. The Professor reviews Mark’s pre-season ladder predictions, especially Adelaide on top and the Newcastle Jets on the bottom.
13 November 2011 226.1 – Due to a technical glitch at Southern FM with the logger we come in during the US report with the Panel speaking with Dan Butterly about the huge story developing at Penn State University and the sacking of football coach Joe Paterno. Also to lose their jobs were the University’s President and Athletic Director over the sex abuse charges laid against former Penn State defensive co-ordinator Jerry Sandusky. Is it co-incidence that Paterno became the winningest coach in NCAA Div 1A last week and the scandal broke this week? Dan encourages those who want to know more to read the Grand Jury testimony. He also discusses the NBA lockout and feels if things keep going the way they are there will be no winners and no losers. Dan thinks there will not be a season as the owners aren’t worried if there is no season. Finally, Dan reviews the tip off of the College basketball season with the opening game pitting UNC against Michigan State played on an aircraft carrier on Veteran’s Day. The Gelding talks racing and reviews both his selections at Sandown and the Sydney Colt’s Rosehill tips. Sportzfan Radio tipsters picked 6 placings including 2 winners from 7 selections. Sportzfan Stan asks the Gelding how Danish Rock’s preparation is going but the Gelding says it will be a while before he races again. The Professor has trouble playing Dr Leslie’s community service announcement and the Gelding questions whether she may have fallen off her stool.
16 October 2011 223.1 The Professor and the Gelding talk about their respective days at the Caulfield and Traralgon races yesterday. The Professor believes that Danish Rock would have beaten the horses in the first five races at Traralgon. Sportzfan Stan and Daniel eventually get introduced and make up for lost time. There is a discussion regarding the televising of NBL games and how they select the games as Daniel thought it would be Perth v Melbourne on Friday night but it turned out to be Townsville v Cairns. Sportzfan Stan asks why people aren’t watching the games on TV and the overall feeling is that the games are on too late. Dan Butterly comes on to talk US sport and looks at the situation in Boston after the Red Sox meltdown with both their coach Terry Francona and GM Theo Epstein leaving. He also looks at the revelations that three pitchers were in the clubhouse during games eating fried chicken, drinking beer and playing video games while their teamates were out on the field. Dan looks at the ALCS and NLCS and believes the Texas Rangers and St Louis Cardinals will play off in the World Series. He comments that hitting is dominating at present. Dan discusses Pete Carroll’s attempt to get LeBron James to play wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks via twitter and the shock teams so far this season in the NFL. He also looks at the ‘almost’ play of the year in College football by Brad Wing, LSU’s Aussie punter and finishes with a review of MWC basketball media day. The Gelding talks racing and reviews yesterday’s races at Caulfield. He got two selections up for the Ladies at the Tennis Club and also awarded an s-hit ride. The Gelding has also put together a Sportzfan Radio stable of horses for the listeners to follow for the Spring carnival.
28 August 2011 216.1 – The Professor is back behind the microphone with Daniel Eade and Brett. Dan Butterly comes on to talk US sport with the College football season about to start next week. He is keen to see how the Mountain West Conference teams go. He also talks NBA, NFL and MLB. The Gelding is away on holidays in Hawaii so the Gambler calls in to talk horse racing and defend his selections for yesterday’s race meeting at Caulfield. Mark Fiorenti talks soccer and previews the Socceroos World Cup tie against Thailand on Friday.
16 January 2011 185.1 – The Professor, Daniel, the Gambler and Sportzfan Stan are back for 2011, bigger and better than ever. There is some discussion to start the show about Sportzfan Radio’s Christmas party and the Gelding now being a greyhound expert as well. They also discuss the first radio broadcast of an ABL game in Victoria from the previous evening by Southern FM. The Panel then discuss Stan’s call for the sacking of the AFL’s Andrew Demetriou over the decision of choosing Virgin Blue over Qantas as the airline transporting the teams. Dan Butterly talks US sport including the NFL playoffs and selects New England to beat the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons over the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears over the Seattle Seahawks. Dan also talks about some of the coaching changes at NFL teams who haven’t made the playoffs. He wraps up the College football season and says it will be interesting to see what the NCAA do about the Cam Newton situation and possible rule infractions as it could be that Auburn may not hold the national championship they won. He is still all for a BCS playoff series whether it be an 8 or 12 team series and would like to see that in place sooner rather than later. The Gelding talks racing from Flemington and discusses the winners and losers in racing from the weekend’s meetings. The Panel then look at the Australian cricket team, the chairman of selectors, the CEO and the coach. Stan calls for an inquiry to be headed by Ric Charlesworth. Daniel says it’s good that Stan is finally giving someone a job given that he has sacked so many over the last few months. Stan says Tim Nielsen’s record as a coach on a win/loss basis is terrible and he should be sacked.
For the record let it be known that the TCU Horned Frogs (from the Mountain West Conference and ranked #3 in the NCAAF rankings) defeated the Wisconsin Badgers (from the Big 10 Conference and ranked #4) 21-19 to take out the prestigious Rose Bowl. Also for the record, TCU had a perfect season and finished with a 13-0 win loss record.
Only the vagaries of the NCAA/BCS (Bowl Championship Series) system could allow an undefeated team to not play for the #1 spot. Currently there are three undefeated teams in NCAAF play. Auburn, Oregon and TCU. Auburn and Oregon play off for number one spot on the 10 January 2011 in the ‘so called’ BCS Championship game.
My question to both the NCAA and the BCS is “How can the winner of that game possibly be crowned number one?”. If nothing else, at least the game will eliminate one of those teams from contention as one will suffer defeat and that will leave only two teams with perfect records. No amount of computer or human prediction will ever be able to tell us whether the TCU Horned Frogs could beat the other undefeated team.
Countless people, including President Obama have called for urgent change to the BCS system…and with good cause. The BCS is the equivalent of an exclusive club – in this case six BCS conferences who are guaranteed automatic berths to the big money Bowl games. These six BCS conferences are supposedly ‘stronger’ than the other conferences and therefore somehow have a greater entitlement. Let me say that in my years following NCAAF, that assessment can only possibly have been made on an historical basis. Clearly, that is not the case today.
Let’s for a moment take a look at the BCS Conference Wisconsin hails from – the Big 10. In Bowl games yesterday that Conference went 0-5 – a big duck egg!! If we now take the time to also review the Mountain West Conference, they are 4-1 in Bowl games this year, the fourth consecutive year they have sent five football teams to bowl games, posting the best win percentage among the eleven FBS conferences for the fourth time in seven years. The MWC will also claim the 2010-11 Bowl Challenge Cup, becoming the only Conference to win the trophy four times since the award’s inception in 2002-03.
So you tell me…on those figures alone, are the Big 10 stronger than the MWC? The answer is a resounding “No”! Do the Big 10 deserve preferred treatment over the MWC? The answer is also a resounding “No”!
As I see it there is only one solution to this impasse. Change the system! Bring in a playoff system between the top ten ranked teams. This could be done within the current Bowl calendar. It would also mean that many of those Bowl games would gain some relevance rather than be as they are now, a match between Colleges who managed to scrape together a .500 season. Hardly riveting, prime time viewing!
Fairness demands that parochial vested interests be set aside for a fairer system. Will it happen? Not unless the sporting public brings pressure to bear on the people controlling the system. Aside from the vested interests of the BCS conferences maintaining the status quo and hanging on to the big money Bowl games, perhaps more worrying to those Conferences is the spectre of being required to regularly compete against MWC colleges in the big games!
I am certainly looking forward to discussing this topic with our US correspondent, Dan Butterly, when Sportzfan Radio resumes on 16 January 2011. Our show won’t rest until the system is changed for the better!
12 December 2010 183.1 – Sean makes a rare appearance in studio and Daniel starts with an apology as it took him five days to read Mark Fiorenti’s blog so he knows nothing about what happened in the sports world for the week. He also adds his favourite Qatar player after some research is Eric Clapton and Sean adds that FIFA’s new game Qatar hero. Stan gets into Daniel again about basketball asking him how he thinks the Melbourne Tigers will go against Perth. Sean thinks as it is Al Westover’s 200th game it may get the Tigers across the line. Their is also a discussion about the the test cricket side and Stan is for sacking all the player sand the selectors. Dan Butterly talks US sport and commences with his view on the Heisman trophy and who will win it. He thinks Cam Newton from Auburn will win it, even with all the cloud of suspicion over him regarding the behaviour of his father. Dan also talks about the Bowl matches coming up with 35 being played over three weeks. He likes Oregon to beat Auburn in the Championship game and TCU to beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. There are moves afoot within the Conferences and Hawaii has now decided to leave the WAC and join the MWC in 2012. The Professor asks whether the MWC will play a game in Australia given Hawaii is halfway here. Dan agrees that it would raise the MWC profile. Sean says AAMI stadium would be perfect to host such a game. Dan feels Brett Favre’s streak will end at 297 as he will not recover in time to play in tomorrow’s game.
The Professor thinks there may have been a first last week when the Gelding was not on the show at all. The Gelding talks cricket first discussing the problems with Victorians trying to get into the Test side. He then moves on to racing and reviews his selections for the Flemington meeting. Although he got off to a great start tipping Aloha to win, it was all downhill from there with his other three selections failing to even be placed. The Gelding’s favourite Qatar player is Jimmy Page from Led Zepplin.
The Panel discusses Gary Ablett’s revelations during the week where he hadn’t spoken to his coach, Bomber Thompson since March this year. Sean talks about a rumor that James Hird and Thompson had been talking about getting together for 2012 but because Essendon’s coterie groups wanted Matthew Knights out, everything got moved forward twelve months. Daniel starts talking about Bob Costas (NBC sportscaster) but he really means the Geelong president, Frank Costa. Stan is swinging the axe again and Sean observes he is going to put Centrelink out of business as everyone is getting the knife.
Mark Fiorenti talks up the local Melbourne derby between the Heart and the Victory with over 23,000 at AAMi stadium. Sean went to his first game during the week to see Heart play but they went down in front of around 2,000 people. Mark says it was the lowest ever at an A League game in Melbourne. He says the FFA must address this as mid week games don’t work.