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Basketball

MONDAY MUSINGS: Winter is coming, my problem with the CFP, Hoiberg’s next move 

Jan 6, 2019; San Jose, CA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban and Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney pose for a picture during the head coaches press conference before the College Football Playoff Championship at San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

It’s January 7 and an Iowa State basketball team has yet to lose inside of Hilton Coliseum this season. In addition to that, I walked from my truck to Hilton on Saturday and it was 60 degrees.

With both teams hanging out in the top-25 and wrestling on the rise, this is how January in Ames is supposed to be.

Bring on winter!

In case you missed it, I emptied out my notebook from the Kansas game on Saturday night. There is a lot of “stuff” in there that normally would have made it into Musings. 

We will have a lot more basketball coverage coming your way on CF over the next 48 hours but until then, I’ve got some thoughts on a few other things…

David Montgomery declares for the 2019 NFL Draft

On the future of the College Football Playoff 

College football’s power brokers will meet in San Jose today to discuss the future of the College Football Playoff. According to Dennis Dodd of CBS, expanding the Playoff will not be discussed but the way in which we select participants in the “tournament” will. 

I’m going to cut through all of the BS and write what I have been saying for almost five years now. 

Until everybody is on the same playing field in this sport, we are always going to have the same problems. You can’t have three Power 5 leagues (Big 12, Pac-12, Big Ten) playing nine conference games and two (SEC, ACC) playing eight and then expect to have an exact conversation at the end of the regular season.

I try to do it every day and let me tell you when different leagues are playing by different sets of rules, it is impossible to accurately and objectively analyze who belongs there.

Ultimately, my biggest problem is with the “league champions should be in” crowd. 

No, teams should not be rewarded for playing in a crappy division. 

Had 7-5 Northwestern beaten Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game, they did not deserve a spot in the College Football Playoff. 

Had Pittsburgh, who lost to Stanford in the Sun Bowl, beaten Clemson in the ACC title game, they did not deserve a spot in the College Football Playoff. 

I always hear folks talk about preserving the importance of the regular season in college football. Allowing just any conference “champion” to get in, regardless of merit, would throw that priority out the window.

I am all for expanding this thing to eight teams. 

Let in the five Power 5 champions but only under one condition: They all do it the way the Big 12 does. Blow up these uneven divisions and have the two best teams in your league play one another. That’s the only way I will be on board with guaranteeing that conference champions get in.

I want to see the best teams play one another, regardless of which conference they come from.

Now I will argue that having each conference represented is best for the sport. You want the College Football Playoff to be a national event, not a regional one. But there absolutely cannot be a route for a 6-6 Pitt team to make it in. That can’t happen. 

And finally, most of the chirping lately seems to be coming from the Big Ten. I’m ok with this because Jim Delaney swings a big stick and can likely get some things done. Going to an eight-team Playoff would ultimately help the Big 12.

However, he should have thought about the perception of his league before he watered it down by simply chasing eyeballs and dollars a little under a decade ago. 

In a way, this problem (the Big Ten champion has been left out three years in a row) is a symptom of his own actions. 

Iowa State at No. 20 in newest AP Poll

Hoiberg’s next move?

Let me simplify this for you…

Fred Hoiberg left Iowa State to replace Tom Thibodeau and coach a Chicago Bulls team that was built for Thibs. Not surprisingly, because of that and also inept management at the top, Hoiberg didn’t win in the Windy City. 

Thibodeau’s next job was in Minnesota coaching a team that was essentially built for a coaching style like Fred Hoiberg’s. Thibs and his hardline approach were way too overwhelming for this group and he was fired on Sunday. 

Fred isn’t going back to college, folks. 

I’ll be surprised if he isn’t the next head coach of the Timberwolves next season. It just makes too much sense. 

I hope that this is the case.  

I denounced my longtime favorite team – the Bulls – after they fired Fred last month and have been a fan free agent ever since. 

Heading north to Minnesota would be a perfect fit for my family and me. 

Respect my wishes. I am not giving any interviews at this time. 

Last but not least…

I bleed purple, which means that I was bred to hate the Chicago Bears. 

However, I have a soul and God bless you all. Even your arrogant fan base doesn’t deserve to experience how you lost that football game yesterday. 

Having been there and done that more times than I want to remember, my heart goes out to you. 

Now go off and have a terrible offseason. 

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