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Bailey's Take on Conference USA

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, December 11, 2001

By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Logan on BCS: 'Something Isn't Right'


Pirates Ready to Put Up

Just last week, I wrote that I was tired of hearing about this Pirate team saying they would win a big game. I wanted to see it.

So this week, I posed that question to a couple of Pirates, telling them just what I had written about.

Leonard Henry was one of the first players that I talked to.

“I can see why you or someone would write something like that,” said the Pirate running back. “But I’m telling you, this will be different. We will leave it on the field against Marshall, I can assure you that.”

Offensive lineman Aaron Walker agreed.

“We will make it up to everyone. I think that most people will forget the last two games, if we play like we can against Marshall,” said Walker. “We have been to Mobile before. In fact, the last time we went we spent more time thinking about material things then we did about winning the bowl game. We really want to make a statement this time out in Mobile.”

Logan Against BCS Rankings

Pirate Coach Steve Logan had hoped that his good friend Gary Barnett at Colorado would get a chance to play for a national championship.

But the BCS had other ideas, and Nebraska will play for a national title.

“I don’t know the answer, but I do know that something isn’t right,” said Logan. "I really wanted Colorado to get a chance, because I have ties there, including my friendship with Gary Barnett.”

Logan went on to make a whole lot more sense then the BCS does.

“There has to be a way that we could have a four- or eight-team playoff, and still have some type of bowl structure for the post season. It’s unfortunate, but that’s all that we have this year.” 

Rumors Apparently Not True

The hot word around town last week was that East Carolina’s athletic administration had been told not to LOSE any money with the bowl game.

From all indications, however, that will be impossible.

The pressure is on to reign in costs but, contrary to rumors, the administration is not forcing the team to stay with four players per room at the team hotel. Several players verified that on Monday.

Actually, just the thought of four, big offensive lineman in one room is pretty comical.

According to several players, the coach’s wives and immediate family won’t come down to Mobile until the day before the game. This is unfortunate, because a bowl trip is supposed to be a reward for the players, coaches and family.

Al Davis is known for his phrase, “Just win, baby.”

Some of those in Pirateland may be saying, “Just get us to a bowl.”

Herrion Still Upbeat at 2-6

Coach Bill Herrion was hoping for good news on Tuesday, when the NCAA is listening to the appeal of Gabriel Mikulas and his reinstatement bid.

Mikulas has missed the entire season to date. He may be reinstated on Tuesday. Word is, though, he may be looking at a couple of more games.

Either way, the NCAA needs to make a decision. The sad thing is that Mikulas and Moussa Badiane, who was just reinstated last week, didn’t knowingly do anything wrong.

They weren’t playing for money, but some of their teammates were. That bothers the NCAA, but with every case around the country being different, it has taken forever for decisions to be made.

Herrion had a tough weekend. His Pirates lost a heartbreaker to Old Dominion on Saturday night. But even before that, Herrion should have known that it just wasn’t going to be his day.

The Pirates were scheduled for the game walk-through at noon on Saturday. Williams Arena was busy with graduation ceremonies, so the Pirates were scheduled to hold their walk-through at Christenbury Gym on campus.

Unfortunately, no one had a key to the gym. Absolutely no one had a key to the makeshift practice site.

So, on an unusually warm day in December, Bill Herrion took his basketball team to the tennis courts to go through the final game plan.

Remember when the athletic administration was praising Conference USA basketball, that the program would be on a new level, that every game would be a sellout.

I didn’t buy it then — and I certainly don’t buy it now.

I bet Rick Pitino didn’t have his Cardinals on the Louisville tennis courts this past weekend.

Herrion’s kids played hard on Saturday night, and the coach deserves better. It’s bad enough that the squad had to move to Christenbury in the first place. But the tennis courts made for a true travesty.

The next thing you’ll see is part of Greenville Boulevard roped off, so the team can put up two baskets and get in a workout. 

Final 2001 C-USA Football Power Rankings

1. Louisville - Cards will beat BYU in the Liberty Bowl. That final will be 72-70!

2. East Carolina - Pirates prove to be best choice for GMAC Bowl after Southern Miss. loss.

3. TCU - Horned Frogs upset Golden Eagles and head to the Bowl against Texas A&M.

4. Cincinnati - Bearcats to meet good Toledo team in Motor City Bowl.

5. Southern Miss - Perhaps Coach Bower will keep his bowl comments to himself, until after the season is over.

6. UAB - Blazers came close to a bowl in 2001.

7. Memphis - Tigers should be better next season.

8. Army - Great win for Todd Berry and the Black Knights over Navy

9. Tulane - See Memphis at Number 7.

10. Houston - Cougars can’t get any worse, can they?

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02/23/2007 01:19:58 AM

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