Tuesday, November 01, 2005

'The Odds Of Notre Dame Ever Being Invited Into the Big Ten Now Are Somewhat Less Than My Chances of Spending A Night With Julia Roberts'

Barry Crist of West Des Moines, a longtime Iowa fan, writes to me about the renegotiated contract first-year Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis [pictured on the right] has signed:

"Any Division I athletic director who did not hate Notre Dame prior to this blockbuster contract, certainly does now. The odds of Notre Dame ever being invited into the Big Ten now are somewhat less than my chances of spending a night with Julia Roberts."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Weis, whose eighth-ranked team has a 5-2 record, agreed to a 10-year extension that will be worth an estimated $40 million--making him the highest-paid collegiate coach in the nation. Not bad for a rookie in the college game. Weis' timing is perfect. Notre Dame, which has its own TV network [NBC], is desperate for a winner, and would seem to have one in alumnus Weis. Notre Dame's brass obviously was fearful that Weis would head for the NFL after this season, so tried to lock him up with money. I use the word "lock" loosely because there's no lock on any coach--Weis, Kirk Ferentz, Bobby Stoops, anyone. When a guy wants to go, he'll go. Naturally, every other coach in America is happy Weis got such a great deal from Notre Dame. That's going to drive the salaries up across the nation. And the way the colleges will pay for it is to raise ticket prices. Again. By the way, Barry, I don't want to think a whole lot about you spending a night with Julia Roberts [pictured on the left]. My guess is, neither does she].


Mike Mahon tells me that coach Tom Davis and his Drake basketball team will be playing a very difficult schedule this season.

"There is no other team in the Missouri Valley Conference that will play a stronger non-conference schedule than Drake," Mahon said.

"The Bulldogs are the only team in the Valley that will play three teams ranked in the USA Today/ESPN preseason top 25 poll in the non-conference. It all starts with a Nov. 25 game against No. 11-ranked Boston College [25-5 in 2004-05] in the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational. Drake also will host No. 23 Iowa State [19-12] Dec. 5 and travel to No. 20 ranked Iowa [21-12] Dec. 20.

"In addition, the Bulldogs could also play Montana and Oklahoma State, which were both in the 2005 NCAA tournament. Drake will face either Oklahoma State or Texas Christian Nov. 26 in the Las Vegas Invitational. Drake also could meet Montana in the Drake Regency Classic Dec. 10 in the Knapp Center."


More from Mahon:

"On Wednesday at 1 p.m. the FieldTurf part of the Drake Stadium renovation project will be completed and we will have a 'field day' in the stadium. FieldTurf representatives will be on hand.


Gordy Scoles e-mailed me with the latest from down South:


"I don't know if ABC-TV carried South Carolina-Tennessee in Iowa, but the Ol' Ball Coach [Steve Spurrier] got the best of his buddy, Philip Fulmer. When the season is over, that game may be the one that folks will look back on as the one that cost the Volunteer coach his job. South Carolina will be bowl-eligible if it can whip up on Arkansas. Amazing what ISU did to Texas A&M. I take back what I said earlier about the Cyclones moving to the Gateway Conference. Maybe Nebraska should be the one to move in with UNI, Western Illinois, etc."

Gordy Scoles

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I think the Huskers would look pretty good in the Gateway. I wonder how Bill Callahan's West Coast offense -- what the hell ever that is -- will do in the Gateway].


An e-mail from Californian Uncle Bob, who is the uncle of Iowa tight end Scott Chandler:

"After viewing the Michigan-Northwestern game, I think the Hawks should be OK. If only they would have beaten Michigan... If, if, if. If my aunt had a wiener, she'd be my uncle.

"Go Hawks!


"Uncle Bob"

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Thanks for writing, Uncle Bob. I hope Scott Chandler is a big-time factor this week in the game at Northwestern. He's been under-used so far].

I hope you're paying attention down there on the fourth floor at 715 Locust.

Twelve percent of the news and editorial staff of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch just accepted a voluntary retirement incentive that will save the newspaper's new owner, Lee Enterprises of Davenport, up to $7 million a year.

Tim McLaughlin of the paper writes that the "one-time offer was designed to cut operating costs amid an advertising slump that has rattled newsrooms from New York to Los Angeles.

"The newspaper offered the buyout in August, making it available to most employees age 50 and older with at least five years of service.....A total of 130 Post-Dispatch employees took the buyout....."

The local paper has had some buyout offers in the past. There will be more.

Remember the old rule. Don't bring your lunch to work.


Bud Appleby of Des Moines sends some news from the Waterloo Courier about Dennis Rodman:

Kelly Beaton of the Courier writes that, "A renegade league might just be about to secure the services of an ideal attraction.

"The International Basketball League -- hell-bent on presenting wild, break-neck basketball - and the Waterloo Jaguars appear to be a few formalities away from the perfect marriage in the form of the league and the player about to be inked.

"And, considering the man in question once wore a wedding dress to a promotional appearance for his 1998 book, “Bad As I Wanna Be,” and happens to be covered in ink [i.e. tattoos], those words should be a pretty strong hint. Yes, it appears Dennis Rodman is close to signing a deal to play two early season contests with Waterloo’s pro basketball franchise in 2006.

"The 44-year-old former perennial NBA rebounding champ -- currently playing overseas in Finland -- is close to finalizing a deal to be in a Jaguars uniform early next spring, according to Waterloo owner Eddie Diaz.

“'We just got the contract today, and it’s going to get mailed,” Diaz said Friday. “So we can ... start doing promotions.'”