What’s a Hall of Fame pitcher anyway?

Happy New Year, everybody.

This doesn’t have anything to do with the Braves, but in accordance with the rules of the Baseball Bloggers Guild, I endorse the Hall of Fame candidacy of Bert Blyleven.

So, what does it take for a pitcher to get into the Hall of Fame? There aren’t any cut-and-dried standards, of course, nor should there be, but one obvious one is “a lot of wins“.

Twenty retired pitchers have 300 or more wins: all of them are in the Hall of Fame. Fifteen retired pitchers have 260 or more wins: eight are in the Hall of Fame. Of the seven who are not, four were nineteenth century pitchers who piled up some or most of their wins in leagues whose claim to Major League status is borderline at best. The other three are Tommy John (288 wins), Bert Blyleven (287), and Jim Kaat (283).

I think all three should be in the Hall of Fame, but Blyleven is the best candidate and has the best chance. Why isn’t he in the Hall? Well, one thing is a lack of big seasons, or rather a perceived lack of big seasons. Blyleven won 20 games only once, when he was 22 years old, in a year in which twelve American League pitchers won 20 or more games and Blyleven lost seventeen. He never won an ERA title, won one strikeout title (in a year in which he pitched for two teams), and made only two All-Star teams. He scores at 16 in the Black Ink Test, which is good for a tie for 131st all-time.

This perception is somewhat unfair. Blyleven didn’t lead the league a lot, but very few pitchers have finished among the league leaders as often. He scores 237 in Gray Ink, 24th all-time. Every eligible pitcher ahead of him is already in the Hall except for Bobby Mathews, one of the 19th century guys whose baseball really can’t be compared to ours. The next three guys after him are all also in the Hall of Fame. Blyleven finished second in ERA twice, in the top ten ten times.

Another reason Blyleven isn’t in the Hall of Fame is that he spent most of his career in Cleveland and Minnesota. This hurt him two ways, because those teams were off the beaten path, and because they were generally poor teams that didn’t give him the support of, say, Don Sutton. The one really good team he played for was the 1978-80 Pirates, and he didn’t pitch especially well those years. (He did play for a World Champion Twins team in ’87, but that wasn’t really a great team.)

There’s one other reason Blyleven isn’t in, or rather six reasons: Steve Carlton, Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, and Don Sutton. There are 23 pitchers with 300 wins, with Randy Johnson needing thirteen to make it 24. Six 300-game winners, more than a quarter of the current total, debuted in the major leagues between 1962 and 1967. Blyleven debuted in 1970. (Kaat debuted slightly before, in 1959, John in 1963.) These players created a perception that 300 wins was the Hall of Fame standard, which it hadn’t been. Jim Palmer (268 wins) was able to make it in on the strength of three Cy Young Awards; Fergie Jenkins (284) had to wait three extra years despite a Cy Young and six twenty-win seasons. The guys who didn’t have the big years didn’t make it.

The line, by the way, seems to be about 235 wins. If you have more than 235 wins, you’re probably a pretty good Hall of Fame candidate. If you have less, you better have a lot of big years. That may not be the case now, though. There are two active pitchers between 287 and 235 wins, Mike Mussina (250) and David Wells (239). Mussina might get in, might not; I don’t think Wells, or Jamie Moyer (230), has much of a chance.

140 thoughts on “What’s a Hall of Fame pitcher anyway?”

  1. I wanted to add that Blyleven’s most-similar list is:

    Five of the six contemporary 300-game winners (Ryan is the exception);
    Two Hall of Famers of the previous generation, one of whom was a 300-game winner (Early Wynn and Robin Roberts);
    Jenkins, Kaat, and John.

    You can make too much of this, of course. Sutton is Blyleven’s closest comp, and was for the last ten years of Blyleven’s career, but Sutton’s W/L record is better and his closest comp, by far, is Perry.

  2. Was he a little unpopular with the media at the time? That may make a difference with the sportswriters.

  3. Happy New Year everybody! That was some nice analysis Mac. What made it even better is that you didn’t cap it off with some stupid comment like, “plus, the guy had one of the best curveballs in the game” or “and besides, he would be the first player born in the Netherlands to enter the Hall.” I hate it when writers or announcers use BS criteria like that to support the candidacy of some borderline player. If you have to resort to arguments like that , then you probably should not be in the Hall.

  4. The HOF voters are so inconsistent. On the one hand, they seem to want players that are dominant, yet they also will vote for guys that weren’t or that were dominant for a couple of years. I guarantee Don Mattingly will make it, first, because he was a Yankee, and, second, because he had several huge years before he hurt his back, which really carried his reputation long after he ceased to be a dominant player. It seems to be more of a “feel” thing; I think a lot of voters don’t “feel” that Blyleven is a Hall of Famer. As for me, I think Goose Gossage ought to be a lock for the Hall; the guy was a dominant relief pitcher, who actually pitched lots of innings and did it in big games. Yet, of course, he didn’t pile up the save totals that guys like Eckersley and Sutter did because he was on teams where the starters actually pitched a number of complete games.

  5. Isn’t Blyleven 5th all time in strikeouts. That’s kind of an eye-opening accomplishment. Before Clemens and Randy came around, Bert was 3rd all time. I’d vote him in.

  6. Only two all star teams is I think the big drag on his candidacy. There is a certain star factor that you need to be an HOF’er, and Blyleven didn’t have it.

  7. I think the star factor is a large part of HoF candidacy, but it can’t be the only thing. For one thing, Oscar Charleston wasn’t exactly a star among the majority of baseball fans. For another, if a player was plainly exceptional for a remarkably long time, that is frankly what the Hall of Fame is for, no matter how they were regarded in their own time.

    Rob Neyer’s convinced me that Blyleven deserves to be in; I’m not quite as much of a big-Hall guy as Mac, so I don’t think Tommy John does. (Dr. Frank Jobe, on the other hand, absolutely should be.) Raines definitely should be; Hawk probably shouldn’t, but I wouldn’t mind him being in. Gossage probably has to be elected after Sutter. Alan Trammell ought to go in, but there’s really no chance of that. Jim Rice just wasn’t good for long enough, in my opinion — I think of him as an AL Dave Parker.

    I’d love to see Dale Murphy go in, of course, but if my standards were a wee bit less subjective he’d probably fall just shy.

  8. I’m definitely way late on this, but did you guys see the Mark Teixera Tribute by those two guys? It’s pretty funny. Here’s the link:

  9. It’s absolutely insane that the fumble review has taken so long in the UT/Wisc game. It’s a no-brainer reversal.

  10. It’s absolutely insane that Arkansas got matched up with Missouri. I forgot about them when I thought about the SEC going undefeated. Who the heck decided on that match-up? The #6 team versus an unranked team that’s 5th in their conference.

  11. I don’t think Mattingly gets into the HoF—ever. And most die-hard Yankee fans I know don’t make a big beef out of it. He just didn’t have enough big years.

    And really, what was going on in that Tenn/Wisc game? It was like Larry, Moe & Curly were the refs.

    Rob,
    Remember, Arkansas beat LSU. They’re just getting whipped today.

  12. Arkansas beat LSU because McFadden had a career game. Felix Jones is legit, but the rest of the team outside of McFadden and Jones stinks. I suppose it’s unfair for me to say that since they’re definitely not as good as the #6 team in the country. Why they matched Missouri and Arkansas for another reason than geographical considerations is beyond me.

  13. Blyleven did have lots of “being personable” issues. He carried out his own version of Operation Shutdown too. Being a surly sob to sportswriters does eventually affect your HoF votes ( in theory it shouldn’t, yada yada yada ).
    If you look at raw stats, Blyleven should be a shoo in. His neutralised stats are awesome. Even though he played for teams with decent offences, he never got much run support. Guess teammates didn’t think he was worth the greenies. And the lack of black ink really hurts him. HoF voters like that.
    This issue of “milestones/black ink” is going to come up a lot in the next few years. Mussina and Chipper are going to suffer from similar issues.

  14. Arkansas is more like 6th in the SEC (maybe even 7th or 8th or 9th). That they were killed by the Big 12 #2 is no surprise.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/confstandings?confID=8&year=2007

    Missouri should have been in the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech, but their Athletic Department wouldn’t promise the tickets like Kansas’ did, from what I understand. Essentially, Kansas bought its spot in the BCS when Missouri didn’t step up. Weak.

    Speaking of stepping up, Gators?! I expect they will in the 2nd half, but down 14-21 at half to Michigan.

  15. Both teams are shooting themselves in the foot a ton.

    Florida will win if they make an adjustment to pick up Michigan’s blitz. Tebow is facing a lot of pressure from the defense.

    Michigan needs to somehow keep scoring and getting TDs instead of FGs. Henne is throwing a good ball today.

  16. @22

    Cary,

    I am a student Mizzou and have been in the middle of this for almost two months now. I’d like to put this down because the whole system has been extremely frustrating to all of us in Columbia and there have also been many misinterpretations about the entire issue.

    The following is an excerpt from an interview from Missouri athletic director Mike Alden:

    Q: Could you explain how the bowl selection process worked? (Kansas Athletic Director) Lew Perkins made the comment that he worked the phones with bowl officials, and there was the perception that his discussions had an effect on Kansas getting a bid to the Orange Bowl.

    A: Let me say this. From what I understood, at least from talking to (Big 12) Commissioner (Dan Beebe) and then also a gentleman named Eric Poms, the executive director of the Orange Bowl, is that their rationale, according to the commissioner and Eric Poms, for selecting Kansas to the Orange Bowl was the loss to Oklahoma and how we lost that game. Had it been a closer game instead of losing it by 21, we could have been a much more attractive team for them. Their thought was that perhaps our fan base wouldn’t have been as excited and enthused to travel to the Orange Bowl coming off the loss. We communicated to Dan Beebe, we said the way our fans showed up to that KU game — 50 percent of that house was the Tigers, and the stadium was 30 miles from the Kansas campus — and the way we sold out our allotment of tickets for the Big 12 championship game within 2½ or 3 hours from when they were put on sale shows the enthusiasm our fans have.

    Our role was to make sure that Dan, our commissioner, communicated that to the Orange Bowl, because that’s the process of how we’re supposed to operate in our league. My understanding is that the board took a look at that and said, “A one-loss team in Kansas could be a more attractive team for us in the Orange Bowl.” They have a right to select whoever they want as long as they’re from the top 14 (in the BCS standings). They elected to exercise that, and that’s what sent us to the Cotton Bowl.

    So I’m going further than what you asked, because I purposely wanted to. Our understanding of the policies and procedures of the Big 12 is that any communication — and I believe the handbook states that — any communication with bowl representatives must be coordinated through the Big 12 Conference. Everything we did was communicated through Dan, our commissioner.

    Q: Does it burn you up to find out everybody wasn’t playing by the same rules?

    A: I would rather not even go there. With us, we’re excited to be going to the Cotton Bowl. We really are. Our fans are. We sold out our tickets within an hour of when they went on sale. We’ll have 20,000 people there. The Cotton Bowl will be a great game for us. While it would have been nice to go to the Orange Bowl, they made their decision. Best of luck to them

    What he implies and what has been going around here on sport radio stations is that the Kansas AD, Lew Perkins was pimping his team to the Orange Bowl officials illegally. The way that the system is supposed to work is that the AD’s make their case to the Big 12 commish (in this case Dan Beebe) and then he consults with bowl officials to determine the best selections. Apparently, KU made the case that their team would travel a lot better than Missouri.

    Saying Missouri didn’t “step up” is absurd. One, you can’t “promise” tickets. Each team is allotted a certain amount and in fact, all of Missouri’s allocation of Cotton Bowl tickets sold out within 24 hours. Kansas, on the other hand, still had tickets available for the Orange Bowl at discounted prices on their website as of December 17. http://www.columbiatribune.com/2007/Dec/20071217News005.asp

    Two, Mizzou got screwed because they followed the rules. They beat both Kansas and Illinois on neutral fields and are also ranked higher than both. They are a better team.

    The system is a joke. Every year a deserving team gets screwed so bowls can line their pockets. While that is extremely frustrating for me as a both a fan and student at Mizzou, what really fires me up is the perception that Missouri somehow dropped the ball in handling the situation. Really, Dan Beebe, the Big 12 commissioner, should be flayed for allowing the Orange Bowl to pick an inferior team over a more deserving one.

  17. Sorry, after the second answer, the paragraph starting with “What” is me and not the interview from the Columbia Daily Tribune. My error on the italics

  18. Ethan –

    That’s why I’m done with college football. I can’t do it any longer. Obviously, this is a year that is particularly disgusting on several levels – not least of which is the legit claim from numerous teams to be playing for the championship – but even in an ‘uneventful’ year the system fails on numerous levels. Without a playoff these conversations will continue, and finger pointing will ensue, because even if the system wasn’t a joke it would still fail. The system is by definition a joke, even discounting the fact that certain programs don’t play by the rules and don’t get penalized for it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love watching teams fight to be 7th best as much as the next guy. It’s just too much for me to stand idly by while teams fight their whole season only to be failed by the very system that has been erected to reward them. I’m glad Mizzou showed up today – and I hope Kansas gets blitzed.

  19. @24

    Ethan,

    Thanks for the info. My apologies. If what you’ve indicated is true, Mizzou fans have every right to be completely pissed that the Big 12 Commissioner failed them. I had read articles that stated otherwise.

    Missouri is clearly more deserving than Kansas to be in the BCS, having beat the Jayhawks and all.

    Will Kansas face any negative repercussions from the Big 12 though? If not, then why shouldn’t all other Big 12 teams pitch their cases directly in future seasons. And if not, then the Kansas AD has a right to brag and the Big 12 offices are a joke.

  20. Is it me or has the SEC been completely underwhelming, with its best performance coming from Mississippi State against a Conference USA team?

  21. The Big 12 offices have always been a joke, but this is more a problem with the system. The bowls have the final choice (combined with the crooked Conference Commissioners), and their suspect choices should make everyone realize how corrupt the bowl system is. It’s a racket.

  22. David,
    i guess if you aren’t really playing for much, it’s hard to get up for a game. it always seems o happen that we with SEC teams. In my opinion there really hasn’t been a SEC squad that has been super dominant in all phases of the game this season. State, Bama, AU looked like they have all season: State took advantage of mistakes; Alabama roared off to a lead only to try and give it away and the end; and Auburn did just enough to win.
    LSU, UGA, and Florida have all shown potential to dominate but UF and UGA are still very young. I see the the dawgs coming out strong tonight and hopefully LSU will show up after a long break.
    Give it to Michigan and Missouri, they came out and made plays. Arkansas looked flat from the start and Florida forgot what defense was.

  23. Kinda surprising how limited Florida’s offense actually is. If Tebow wasn’t incredibly good they’d be incredibly bad. Michigan actually looked fast.

  24. The other teams are playing for just as much (or little). Rob’s right, UF didn’t play defense all year. A great deal of the SEC was the same way. Kentucky can’t stop anyone, which is why it only won by 7 against half of FSU. UF was terrible all year against the pass while playing in a conference with basically two other quarterbacks who played good football all season.

  25. The SEC is undisputedly the best conference in America, but the gap is not as great as most SEC fans think it is.

  26. @32

    No problem, I kinda snapped, but the whole thing had been annoying me.

    With regard to your last point, part of me has to give it to the KU AD, especially if he gets away with it. It looks like the league is going to deal with this internally (if at all)to avoid embarrassment. This translates to nothing happening to anyone. Also, no argument here about the conference office being a joke.

    Addressing the strength of conferences, I agree that from top to bottom the SEC is the best. I’d rank them: SEC, Big 12, Pac 10, Big East, ACC, Big 10. I do think though, that the top tier of the Big 12 (Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, Kansas) would be very competitive in the SEC. I would equate Oklahoma to an LSU, Missouri to a Georgia, Texas to a Florida and Kansas to a Auburn.

    Obviously I’m biased, but K-State was horrible in the Big 12 this year and gave Auburn all they could handle this year on the road.

    Oh, here is the link to the previously quoted Alden interview.
    http://www.columbiatribune.com/2007/Dec/20071226Spor001.asp

  27. Pleased to see the Gaytors lost. I think that a large part of that had to do with Carr’s retirement/firing? and the emotion of his players and quality seniors along with it. Either way a UM victory was sweet to witness. In re: bowl politics – lay off the whining; bowls invite who they think will provide the most fans and funnel $$ into the city and economy. Until they create a system otherwise, it’s not about matching up teams with = records.

  28. Is it me, or is this Sugar Bowl taking forever?

    Hawaii’s a nice story & I’d like to root for them, but they weren’t ready for the bright lights tonight. Too jumpy, too many penalties & they’ve never come across a running game like this.

  29. Happy New Year to everyone & GO DAWGS.

    And ububba, you are correct…it’s EFFING FOX. They are the worst. They promised an 8:30 PM EST Kickoff (which is still too late for those of us on the east coast) and they kicked off at 8:54 PM. Ridiculous.

    So, as a Georgia fan on the east coast (like most Dawg fans), I guess I will be up to 1 AM, the night before returning to work fulltime after being away a lot of December with the baby. And I am already exhausted…

  30. re: SEC performance

    I also echo ububba – 5-2 and hopefully 6-2 after tonight (though not wanting to jinx that great first half) and I assume 7-2 after SLOW-hio State loses on Monday.

    If we got 9 of our 12 teams in Bowl games and 7 win, I don’t see how you can’t say we’re not the dominant league?

    And methinks Michigan won today on the backs of the emotion of the Carr exit. They deserve credit but if they played Florida 5 more times, Florida wins all 5.

    The Arkansas loss was obvious to all SEC fans ahead of time – it was the one game that an SEC team was clearly playing a better team so hat’s off to Missouri, who should have been playing in a BCS game ahead of freaking Kansas.

  31. beedee,
    Sounds familiar. I was there from 1981-90. Was he there then, too?

    Alex,
    Yeah, Fox is setting the record for commercial breaks. This is like the Super Bowl.

    But, I can’t say I’m not enjoying it. Let’s just score first, demoralize them further & not get anyone else hurt.

  32. Yeah, agreed, ububba. Hawaii does still make me nervous but I do feel Richt, Bobo & Martinez have done a fantastic job preparing for this game.

  33. ububba, its just like when they played Bama before. They just act like they’re out of place and dont belong.

  34. yeah, i think he was there 79-83ish. spent time dong the dj thing (mostly disco lol)…but probably not your scene. just wondering tends to be a small world.

  35. I don’t want to jinx us, but I don’t think our defense is helping Colt Brennan’s NFL draft status ;-)

  36. Am I crazy or did I just hear moron Brenneman call us the ‘Gators’?

    Wow….why the need to insult us?

  37. And methinks Michigan won today on the backs of the emotion of the Carr exit. They deserve credit but if they played Florida 5 more times, Florida wins all 5.

    *laughs*

  38. Alex that’s kind of crazy to say Florida would win all 5. It was obvious that Florida didn’t have enough options on offense once Michigan got pressure on Tebow. Why wouldn’t that be the case every time? I’d say the result of the game shows Florida was overrated. They have no pass defense whatsoever, no options on offense after Harvin and Tebow. They lost a game in which they were +4 in turnover margin.

    And Michigan’s offensive performance wasn’t a fluke, the players are that good. The fluke was the way in which the players were utilized. Michigan never does that stuff. Ever. If the coaches would have had the team prepared all season like they did for todays game Michigan may have deserved it’s preseason #5 ranking. The result today just confirms what I already knew, which is the team needs a new coach and attitude.

    Lloyd only gets creative when its his last game and there’s nothing to lose. Thats as frustrating as can be.

  39. On ‘College GameDay’ today, Corso and Herbstreit were sure about Florida blowing out Michigan and Corso picked Hawaii. They also said after the Gators ‘sure fire’ win, they would absolutely be pre-season ranked #1.

    I have no need to retort the lack of genius on that show, but I just wanted to point out how hilariously wrong those two usually are.

  40. Ive just never seen a team get this dominated upfront in a BCS game. They’re only rushing 3 on Hawaii right now and getting a ton of pressure

  41. Dix,

    I give Michigan a lot of credit for the win today – a good game plan and Florida’s secondary is easily exploitable and sorry, but this win felt that these guys laid it all out one more time for Carr – I commend them bceuase they beat a better team & sent out a nice guy (Carr) a winner.

    Look, I wanted the SEC to go 9-0, but I was happy for Carr and considering how I normally feel about Florida, can’t say I wasn’t happy for you.

    And there’s no way to prove Florida would win the next 5 over Michigan, just my personal opinion but after seeing some of the Michigan performances this season, this wasn’t your best team.

  42. csg – amen.

    And I can safely say as a Georgia fan, this is the best defensive gameplan I have seen from Willie Martinez since he became DC after Van Gorder left 4 years ago.

  43. You know, I still think this Michigan offense was the best one since 2000 when we had Henson, Terrell, Walker, Perry, and an O-line that put all 5 starters into the pros. We were never put in position to maximize our skills due to a predictable scheme and poorly designed running game. Henne also separated his shoulder, before that he was playing good ball.

    I’m just glad Michigan proved that it can hang with the SEC elite still and isn’t relegated to second class status just yet. Even if we had lost, all I wanted was to be competitive. I was affraid of a major blowout.

  44. I think it’s rather incredulous for Brenneman and Charles Davis to criticize Georgia fans for chanting “over-rated”.

    While I am not a fan of negative chants like that and I wouldn’t do it myself, I think Georgia fans can chant whatever they want and it’s not completely unfounded considering the score.

    And considering Fox has absolutely nothing to do w/ college football all season long until the final week of Bowl season, I am more angered when one of these so called professionals can’t even get our nicknames right on national television and refer to us as our hated rivals.

  45. Jeremy,

    I don’t agree – Michigan played really well, but they didn’t exactly stop Florida.

    I agree that Michigan outplayed them and deserved the win but physically dominant, not so much.

  46. Hawaii is so overrated. They beat Louisiana Tech by one, San Jose St in OT and Neveda by two. Their only good win was Boise, who lost to East Carolina in their bowl game. They don’t belong anywhere near a BCS bowl game, undefeated or not. Embarrassing.

  47. UGA is in a completely different class than Hawaii. I feel bad for Hawaii’s players, it isn’t their fault they got ranked 10th and made a BCS bowl. They’re getting embarrassed and they don’t deserve to be put in that situation.

  48. Michigan played bigger, stronger and dare I say it, faster than Florida today on both sides of the ball.

    We didn’t exactly stop Florida, true, but we also turned the ball over 4 times, and pooch kicked the entire first half giving Florida the ball at midfield. Two fumbles on the goal line at that. Florida easily could have been blown out badly. It took 2 goal line fumbles, a 30 yard line INT, and a fake punt on 4th down just to get it within one score. Tebow had the ball twice needing only a TD to win at the end of the game and got zero first downs, due entirely to Michigan’s pass rush.

    It felt nice to actually have people wanting us to win for a change. There is so much Tebow hate that it actually overcame the usual Michigan hate around here.

  49. I watched the Mich/Fla game. There was very little defense at all until Michigan got those stops at the end. Both team rolled up a ton of yards.

    Michigan won. Good for them. But you can’t dominate anyone when you’re giving up 400 yards.

    Dix,
    I can’t feel sorry for Hawaii. They’ve made big strides this year, but if you wanna play with the big boys, you gotta take your licks sometimes. Hawaii’s just getting outclassed. Happens.

    Not to beat a dead horse anymore, but can we have a playoff please? Wouldn’t a Southern Cal-Georgia semi-final sound sweet?

  50. Brennaman (apporox): “Georgia fans take this however you want to take it, but I just think it’s a shame for the nation that they didn’t get to see Hawaii’s offense blah blah blah…”

    I take it you’re a prick, Thom.

    And now he’s bitching about a challenge taking so long in a game that started 25 minutes after it was scheduled. This guy…this is not my kind of guy.

  51. Michigan outgained Florida by nearly 150 yards and stuffed the Tebow running game. Florida’s O-line got whipped.

  52. Fine, Michigan didn’t dominate.

    If Hart doesn’t fumble twice on the goal line and the score read 55-35 with the same stats, you’d probably say Florida got dominated though.

  53. Michigan won. Good for them. But you can’t dominate anyone when you’re giving up 400 yards.

    Michigan won despite being -4 in the turnover battle which is a pretty tough trick. Michigan dominated, the two Hart goalline fumbles made the game closer than it was.

    Wouldn’t a Southern Cal-Georgia semi-final sound sweet?

    Yeah. After spending my day going up to Pasadena and back, I would take any real team. Illinois belonged in the Rose Bowl like Britney belongs at a MENSA meeting. Ditto for Hawaii.

  54. Michigan also blocked a FG and rushed for 150 yards (180 before sacks come out).

    Florida outgained Michigan on the ground by only 50 yards. Florida’s yards per carry was 7.3 though, which is pretty insane.

    Florida was 2-11 on 3rd down. Michigan 10-15.

    When looking at the stats it wasn’t a dominating performance, I’ll concede that. But Florida only had a chance because Michigan shot itself in the foot.

  55. Ububba, I only made that what-if to demonstrate that the reason the game doesn’t look like Michigan domination is because of the final score. After looking at the stats though, I think I’m wrong. It would only have been domination IF those drives ended in TDs instead of fumbles.

  56. When you fumble on the goal line twice, that doesn’t somehow become a positive for your team. It’s like having a million penalties that prevent you from winning. The penalties count just like the fumbles count just like the touchtowns you didn’t score don’t count.

  57. I haven’t seen Henne throw the ball this well ever. It’s hard to have a 180 from that Ohio State game, but he did today.

  58. When you fumble on the goal line twice, the fact that you overcame it becomes a positive for your team. It also becomes a negative for the losing team.

  59. You can frame the aspects of a win or loss however you like, but when I played football, fumbles were bad & recovering them was good.

    OK, finally Fox offers something worth hearing: An obscure REM tune that actually fits the moment.

  60. news flash…florida is not a running team…we now return to more fox babble.

    rush attempts: 455
    pass attempts: 327

  61. Hit submit before I meant to..

    Of course fumbling is bad. Never said it wasn’t. The conversation was about whether Michigan physically dominated Florida and the fumbles are relevant to both sides of the argument.

  62. Brenneman and Davis have been downright awful.

    Brenneman has been ripping on Georgia all night and the cherry was calling us ‘Gators’.

    I’m not sure what Brenneman’s problem is. I don’t think I can listen to this prick again and I am going mute him now.

    Ububba-

    I just got off the phone w/ my brother and among the topics we discussed was that between the USC blowout of Illinois and now the Georgia blowout of Hawaii, wouldn’t a USC-Georgia Rose Bowl game have been downright awesome?

    I felt we should have been in the BCS title game, but if it’s not gonna happen and we’re gonna be in another BCS Bowl, why not get some sexier matchups?

    Then again – it’s the Rose Bowl and those people continue to have their heads up their collective a—s about it having to be Pac 10 vs. Big 10, no matter how undeserving or outmatched Illinois was today.

  63. Also, I suspect the Fiesta Bowl is going to be a blowout tomorrow, especially with Rodriguez now out at WVA, Oklahoma is probably going to lay the wood to WVA.

    I think the same thing will happen on Thursday when Kansas gets exposed as a complete fraud for a 2nd time and Virginia Tech waxes them.

    If I were Missouri, I would still be pissed about Kansas getting the Orange Bowl instead of them. A Mizzou-Va. Tech game would have been a lot better.

  64. @101
    i will amend my comment and state that florida is not a power running team…they have a qb that runs a lot and the other backs block and catch.

  65. Urban Meyer’s spread is a running based attack. It’s designed to stretch the field and chew clock.

    And you can’t really dismiss the numbers by simply saying they have a QB that runs a lot. Those Tebow runs are designed plays.

  66. Dix,
    Then we have distinctly different definitions of domination.

    Alex,
    I’d prefer to see a playoff that involved the top teams. But, yeah, I think a UGA-So. Cal game would’ve been a blast no matter where they played it.

  67. Then again – it’s the Rose Bowl and those people continue to have their heads up their collective a—s about it having to be Pac 10 vs. Big 10, no matter how undeserving or outmatched Illinois was today.

    It was the BCS rules not the Rose Bowl committee that prevented a USC-Georgia Rose Bowl.

    When you fumble on the goal line twice, that doesn’t somehow become a positive for your team.

    Sure but it’s relivant to whether you are dominating the game. Michigan scored 41 and left 14 (at least) on the field. They dominated the game but still almost let it slip away with silly mistakes.

    Would any of you guys raise Henne on your QB draft charts after today?

    Nah, he is what he is. If he would have been in Pasadena today instead of Orlando he would have looked like the same old Chad Henne. It makes a big difference facing NFL caliber defenders as opposed to that crap defense Florida fielded today.

  68. Robert,

    It was the Rose Bowl people that pushed to keep the “traditional” Pac 10-Big 10 match-up.

    So you end up with a 49-17 rout.

    ububba,

    I completely agree – I am a 100% tournament man.

    That being said, with the current system, they could have done a lot better than they did with the BCS match-ups we have.

    It’s extremely possible that all 5 BCS games end up as blowouts – 2 down, 3 to go.

    The BC-mess gets what they deserve.

  69. And you can’t really dismiss the numbers by simply saying they have a QB that runs a lot. Those Tebow runs are designed plays.

    I now refer to any short TD run as a ‘Tebow’. That little stat padding manuever won him the Heisman.

    I will be amazed if Tebow and/or Harvin make it through thier junior year intact. Those guys carry an incredibly heavy load in that offense. They were just pummeled my Michigan today and were just out of gas by the end of the game.

  70. Robert,

    It was the Rose Bowl people that pushed to keep the “traditional” Pac 10-Big 10 match-up.

    So you end up with a 49-17 rout.

    Totally not true. Georgia was contractually obligated to the Sugar after LSU was picked for the NC game. The Sugar must have an SEC team. That left the Rose picking through the muck (Miz, Kansas, Hawaii, Illinois). USC was going to blast any of them, so they kept it traditional.

  71. I now refer to any short TD run as a ‘Tebow’. That little stat padding manuever won him the Heisman.

    I’m no Florida fan, but try telling Tebow he’s padding his stats when he’s out there getting hit a dozen more times per game than any other quarterback, running it up the middle as he does.

    There was every reason to believe the Sugar Bowl would turn out this way, but I still had doubts going in. Turns out they were unfounded.

    Brenneman and Davis have been downright awful.

    I’ll always cherish the moment when Brennaman called Richt’s third quarter challenge “ridiculous”. And not ridiculous as in “the result of the play is obvious”, but ridiculous as in “how dare he prolong my workday by not allowing these plucky Hawaaians to march right down the field”. He didn’t have much to say when the call was reversed, did he?

  72. Totally not true. Georgia was contractually obligated to the Sugar after LSU was picked for the NC game. The Sugar must have an SEC team.

    Wrong. The Sugar is obligated to take the SEC champion, unless that team makes the BCS Championship game. If that happens, the Sugar has no obligation to the SEC, as the SEC has no right to automatically have a second BCS team in that circumstance.

  73. Because the Rose Bowl was first in the picking order to replace any team it lost to the BCS title game, it could’ve picked Georgia, but it chose not to.

    The Sugar could’ve allowed the Rose to have Georgia & picked Tennessee instead to play Hawaii.

    The following isn’t the best explanation of the situation, but it’s the best I could find on short notice:
    http://www.latimes.com/sports/college/usc/la-sp-rose3dec03,0,4892375.story?coll=la-home-center

    Robert,
    I’m assuming you’ve heard of Emmanuel Moody, right? He transferred to Florida & will play RB for them next year. I don’t think their offense will look the same.

  74. Hopefully after tonight’s Sugar bowl, there will be more sympathy for Adam Dunn. He has to put up with this prick badmouthing him for nothing over 162 games.

    Is this going to be the worst bowl season ever?

  75. @120

    No, because then Tennessee would have been the third team from the SEC in the BCS

    From what I understand, the Sugar Bowl gets “first dibs” on Georgia as they lost their conference tie in (as the Rose Bowl gets first dibs on a Big 10 team, which is really irrelevant.) For the Rose Bowl to pick Georgia, they would have to request a release of rights from the Sugar Bowl. However, they did not per Sugar Bowl officials, instead going for the classic rivalry. Moreso, the Sugar Bowl probably would not have released a Georgia team that is incredibly appealing right now unless they could get a guarantee that they would not get stuck with Hawaii. So it is technically the Rose Bowl’s fault, but had they wanted Georgia, it would probably then be the Sugar Bowl’s fault.

  76. Bill has it exactly right above. The Sugar gets dibs on Georgia and there is no way they would have released them, unless you think they wanted a Kansas-Hawaii game. That’s just the system.

    Robert,
    I’m assuming you’ve heard of Emmanuel Moody, right? He transferred to Florida & will play RB for them next year. I don’t think their offense will look the same.

    Moody’s ok. Dropped like a rock on SC’s depth chart this spring. I’m skeptical he’s a difference maker.

  77. If Florida had gotten McKnight from USC, then I’d be impressed and more sure that Tebow wouldn’t be the leading rusher again next year for Florida. Moody is an upgrade, however, over the current backs @ Florida.

    But as a Georgia fan, I hope Urban keeps Tebow as the main rushing weapon. It started to wear him down and it led to the various minor injuries he had. If Meyer keeps running Tebow, I think Georgia can do the same thing to him in Jax next year.

    re: Brenneman

    I already said what I wanted to say on the subject of Thom Brenneman in the Blog last night during the game, but waking up the next day, he made our dominant win a little less sweet with his spewing hatred towards all things Georgia last night.

    And again, I point to the fact (as ububba and my brother confirmed hearing as well during the broadcast) that Brenneman called us ‘Gators’ as further evidence of the national media bias consistently in favor of Florida and LSU when it comes to the SEC.

    I can only hope last night’s a– whipping of Hawaii may finally open up some more eyes towards what Richt is doing in Athens. Enough of people perpetuating the lie that we are some sort of second tier program. That’s poppycock.

    I have no doubt in my mind that the 2 best teams in the country are Georgia and USC as the season ends, and either would beat those teams playing on Monday.

    But as I said last night, I hope to hell that the BCS gets 3 more blowouts to further underscore what a completely flawed and asinine system we have.

  78. Ubbuba,

    I already said I don’t think Michigan dominated. Came to that conclusion as a result of the actual discussion which involved remembering the game and looking at the stats, not quibbling over semantics and whatever other pet peeves you railed me on.

  79. It seemed to me that Brennaman wasn’t so much anti Georgia as he was trying to pump up Hawaii and pretend that it was a competitive game. It was obvious from the first snap that Hawaii had no business being on the field with Georgia but a play-by-play guy isn’t going to say that and chase all the (non-UGA) viewers away. But I agree with him that it was ridiculous to challenge that call with the score 38-3; there was no way in hell that Hawaii was going to get back in the game and Richt could have been a little more gracious. I also thought the UGA fans didn’t need to start chanting “overrated” at Hawaii–in fact, doesn’t that detract from the team’s victory if the opponent is no good? This SEC paranoia that everyone hates them is getting a bit old. Frankly, I think people were charmed by the idea of a team from Hawaii with a miniscule recruiting budget playing what is essentially a semi-pro team. Actually, if I were the Hawaii fans, I would have responded to the UGA taunts by saying, “yes, but we live in Hawaii and you live in Georgia.”

    And, go Blue. I love it that they beat those damn Gators.

    SC-UGA would have been a hell of a game. And Hawaii-Illinois probably would have been entertaining too. Too bad the BCS or the bowls or whomever makes the decision don’t care about things like that.

    Now let’s get back to real professional football where the players get paid over the table–the NFL playoffs.

  80. At the great risk of annoying the Georgia faithful, and I pull for the Dawgs …. it just seems intuitive that to be the National Champion, you need to be the Conference Champion.

    I know Nebraska didn’t make that gate a few years back, but that doesn’t make it right.

    I am quite impressed with Georgia. Very good team. In fact, at the end of the season they may be one of the two best teams in the country. Losing to the local USC (as opposed to the national USC) didn’t help ….

    Is the system flawed? Without a doubt.

    But even if the system is changed, does a team that didn’t play for their own conference championship, get into the changed system? I have to think … no.

    I heard the “Gator” reference to Georgia and was quite surprised. Not sure if it evidence of some vast intellectual conspiracy … maybe … but doubt it.

    I live in Colorado. Georgia is not viewed as a second tier program here … not at all.

    Georgia didn’t get into the BCS Championship game because it lost two early season games: USC (and I call South Carolina that for humor) and UT. Games in September and October DO matter …

    **

    Baseball (this was a baseball question, yes?) — The voting on HoF has clearly shifted over time. Sandy Koufax has less than 200 wins and retired at 30 (THIRTY!) due to chronic pain in his left elbow. He gets in because he was THE gold standard forr pitching during the prime 6 to 8 years of his career. The greatest pitcher of his era …

    Gale Sayers has a similar place in Canton for NFL HoF — short career, but what a career …

    Do I think Bert makes it? I don’t know.

    Should he? Given his record with less than breath-taking teams? Probably, but I won’t lose any sleep if he doesn’t.

    Gossage is a Colorado Springs resident, even now. Should he make it? I think yes … The Closer in his era …

  81. But I agree with him that it was ridiculous to challenge that call with the score 38-3; there was no way in hell that Hawaii was going to get back in the game and Richt could have been a little more gracious.

    Oh, bull. Richt might not have challenged if it was a second down play, we’ll never know, but this was a fourth down play, so possession hinged on the outcome. If he’s correct (and may I remind you that he was), then UGA gets the ball back and, by running the ball, reduces the time they all have to spend on the field.

    I also thought the UGA fans didn’t need to start chanting “overrated” at Hawaii

    Not a great moment, but it was also past midnight in New Orleans.

    –in fact, doesn’t that detract from the team’s victory if the opponent is no good?

    Of course it does, that’s why UGA fans were clamoring for the Rose Bowl matchup.

    This SEC paranoia that everyone hates them is getting a bit old.

    That’s certainly not my stance, so I can’t defend what I didn’t say. Brennaman sounded peeved that the narrative he’d constructed didn’t hold up, so he turned petulant. I’m requesting professionalism, not homerism.

  82. I know that USC had to play in the Rose Bowl and GA had to play in the Sugar Bowl, but it would have been better for college football if USC and GA had played one another. The Hawaii and Illinois could have played each other.

  83. csg-

    And let me add to what you just said and that Hawaii/Illinois would have been a competitive and exciting game.

    It’s all about the level of competition and an Illini/Rainbow Warrior game would have been high scoring and close, IMHO.

    #131

    Sansho-

    Your criticism of Brenneman is spot on and accurate. I was becoming disgusted with his negative barbs aimed at Georgia, but I agree with you that he was petulant because this wasn’t Oklahoma/Boise State Part II, electric Boogaloo.

    It was obvious Brenneman wanted a close game that would have resulted in a Hawaii win. And yeah, that probably would have been better for FOX to appeal this game to a national audience.

    Brenneman was probably pissed because he knew by the end of the game, the only people left watching were us overjoyed Georgia fans and a few diehards in Honolulu.

    #129

    Marc-

    That was even more bitter than what I usually see from you.

    Having grown up in Savannah and lived in Athens, I can confidently say what a gorgeous state Georgia can be.

    Hawaii maybe the mosst gorgeous place on Earth, but most people who live in Georgia like the state. Well, they like the state except for MARTA. MARTA sucks.

    Also, Marc, no fan base should be chanting anything when your team is getting your butts handed too. And I didn’t feel sorry for Hawaii.

    You want to play in a big boy game like the Sugar Bowl, then be prepared to face tough opposing fans if you lose. If someone buys a ticket and isn’t throwing things, they have every right to chant whatever they want (though I woyuldn’t have engaged in that myself).

    Plus, Hawaii pissed off Georgia early with that dangerous helmet to helmet hit one of their players delivered on Mikey Henderson, who’s a really great kid. I didn’t feel sorry for Hawaii or their fans and I hoep they enjoyed their visit to New Orleans, otherwise.

  84. #132

    I’ll bow to Bill’s explanation of how the process works, but I still think it was possible to make a deal between the Rose and Sugar. They could have made a quid pro quo arrangement by which the Sugar could take a more highly ranked Pac10/Big10 team the next time it had dibs.

    I suppose I’m positing an alternate reality in which the bowl officials care about matchups….

  85. that dangerous helmet to helmet hit one of their players delivered on Mikey Henderson

    That dude was a complete nutball all game long. I used to watch a lot of Hawaii football when I lived on the left coast — they always had a few loose screws, and got in more fights than most teams. The flip side of mahalo can be a lack of discipline.

  86. #135

    Very accurate. Hawaii, overall, was not a very disciplined team.

    Had they been more disciplined and less scared by the bright lights of a BCS game, they could have possibly been more competitive, but all in all, our size and our speed was just overwhelming.

    I think the win over Boise by the Dawgs in Sept. 2005 was good foreshadowing.

  87. Alex,

    I’m not bitter, I just get tired of the constant whining about how the SEC doesn’t get enough respect. I didn’t see the need for the UGA fans to rub it in. Everyone (except apparently the bowl organizers)pretty much knew that Hawaii didn’t belong on the same field with Georgia.

    As for why the bowls didn’t match SC and Georgia, which would have been better for college football in general, all I can say is that when self-interest goes up against the collective interest, bet on self-interest all the time, especially in college sports.

  88. Someone had to take Hawaii, but the Rose Bowl’s invite of Illinois wasn’t self-interest, it was just stupidity and arrogance by an entity that has long outlived its glory days. (Kind of like Alabama!) Surely they could have worked out something to invite a better team.

    There is a new thread.

  89. The kid that illegally hit Mikey Henderson was completely insane. Every Hawaii punt ended with him running around the field looking to start a fight as he searched for his helmet. I believe his name is Keenan Jones. That kid could not keep it together.

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