MediaStrike Banner

Saturday, December 29, 2012

B4: 2013 Discover BCS National Championship – Notre Dame vs. Alabama

The National Championship Game will truly be a clash of the titans for all 80 minutes of regulation and then some. While the clock is running, the Fighting Irish and Crimson Tide each boast more national championships than anyone else, depending on who you ask. The two programs are among the most storied and most revered; the most loved and most hated. Each can look to a tradition of legendary head coaches, and each coach in this game seeks to etch his name into that history. Alabama’s Nick Saban is arguably already there, with two championships to his credit in three years at Alabama. Brian Kelly seeks to return Notre Dame to the Promised Land in a world where no one on the team has experienced the Irish at the top of the mountain. The matchup between the Band of the Fighting Irish and the Million Dollar Band is similarly venerable, with both bands having hoisted the Sudler and each representing a history and tradition at least as proud as their football team’s. While the Orange Bowl proper cedes its halftime to a pop performer, both bands will see both pregame and halftime field time in the national championship game. Whether the Tide rolls or the thunder is shaken down from the sky, there is no doubt the earth will move when these two meet. 

Notre Dame:


Friday, December 28, 2012

B4: 2013 Bowl – Kent State vs. Arkansas State

After impressive 2012 campaigns, both of the football teams in this matchup will find themselves rallying behind new head coaches. At least one of the old guys may not be too far from Mobile, however; Gus Malzahn, formerly of Arkansas State, took the job across the state at Auburn.

Kent State:

Arkansas State:

B4: 2013 BBVA Compass Bowl – Pittsburgh vs. Ole Miss

When Birmingham earned the nickname the Pittsburgh of the South, it was because of its steel industry, not because it seems to have become the postseason home for the Pitt Panthers. The Pride of the South will meet them here in Legion Field, which may or may not predate the Civil War.


Ole Miss:

B4: 2013 AT&T Cotton Bowl – Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma

The grass wasn’t allowed to grow under the feet of this dual Sudler matchup; the two were conferencemates just last year in the Big 12 before the Aggies took their talents to the SEC. While the matchup will be in the Lone Star State, just about everyone in the stadium will agree: Go to hell, Texas. This is one of the few games not on the ESPN family of networks, so no apologies for horns down here; an added bonus is that Fox actually lets us see a bit of halftime, unlike the Worldwide Leader. 

Texas A&M:


B4: 2013 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl – Oregon vs. Kansas State

All the Tostitos is all that these two will be fighting for this time through. Each band could’ve been watching their team in Miami playing for the crystal football were it not for one fateful Saturday earlier this season.


Kansas State:

B4: 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl – Louisville vs. Florida

While I’m sure he’ll be in speaking with his team during halftime, Louisville head coach Charlie Strong is no stranger to the Gator Marching Band from his time at Florida. The Cardinal Marching Band has their work cut out for them too: The Gators are the newest member of the Sudler fraternity, having been awarded the 2013 edition of the prestigious trophy this December.



B4: 2013 Discover Orange Bowl – Northern Illinois vs. Florida State

Some would tell you that Northern Illinois is the team that shouldn’t be here, but don’t tell that to the team or the Huskie Marching Band. While I won’t disparage the band themselves, they will be outmatched sizewise by the Goliath Marching Chiefs. Neither band will play halftime though; the Orange Bowl historically farms that out to a band of the non-marching variety. Northern Illinois: Florida State:

B4: 2013 Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio – Wisconsin vs. Stanford

Who thought that Stanford would be smelling the roses only after Andrew Luck endd his college career? While Wisconsin will be threepeating in Pasadena, The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band hasn’t made that treacherous turn onto Colorado Boulevard since 2000. 



B4: 2013 Capital One Bowl – Georgia vs. Nebraska

Last year the Outback Bowl got the dubious honor, but this year, the Capital One Bowl hosts the SEC and Big Ten runners up. Once again, two Sudler Trophy bands meet.



B4: 2013 Outback Bowl – South Carolina vs. Michigan

One of my favorite bowl experiences, as a homer to my Tampa days, The Outback Bowl gives both bands the opportunity to march through Ybor City in the Outback Bowl Parade the night before the game. Expect both bands to set up additional opportunities for themselves in the days leading up to the game as well.

South Carolina:


B4: 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl – Purdue vs. Oklahoma State

Some have called this the Zombie Cotton Bowl, but I think it’s great there’ll still be postseason football played in this venue now that the bowl game that bears its name had headed to Jerry World. This year, the All-American Marching Band lost an alumnus in astronaut Neil Armstrong. Armstrong was also a member of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, founded at Oklahoma State.


Oklahoma State:

B4: 2013 Gator Bowl – Mississippi State vs. Northwestern

SEC/Big Ten matchups always have a clash of styles feel to them – North vs. South, power conference vs. power conference, and in this particular case, cats and dogs. The Wildcat Marching Band of course has a Sudler Trophy to their credit, but the Famous Maroon Band is no slouch, either.

Mississippi State:


B4: 2012 Chick Fil-A Bowl – LSU vs. Clemson

LSU and Clemson travel from their respective Death Valleys to do battle in the capital of the South, and something about it just feels like the right way to bid adieu to 2012. I set the over-under on some form of Tiger Rag being played at 150, and I’m inclined to bet the over.



B4: 2012 AutoZone Liberty Bowl – Iowa State vs. Tulsa

Iowa State and Tulsa meet again in this rematch from the regular seasons. The Varsity Marching Band watched their Cyclones prevail in Ames to kickoff the season; it might be a bit stormier on neutral turf to end if if the Sound of the Golden Hurricane have anything to say about it.

Iowa State:


B4: 2012 Hyundai Sun Bowl – USC vs. Georgia Tech

Last year, USC’s ineligibility ushered UCLA into the Pac-12 title game, and after a loss and a 6-7 record, the Bruins ultimately were granted a waiver to play in a bowl with a losing record. It was perhaps that precedent that paved the way for their Sun Bowl opponent: Georgia Tech, who I saw a few weeks ago at the ACC Championship Game, wouldn’t have made it there if UNC weren’t ineligible and Miami hadn’t self-imposed a postseason ban.


Georgia Tech:

B4: 2012 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl – NC State vs. Vanderbilt

The Spirit of Gold gets a virtual home game in this one, while the Power Sound of the South trek some 8 hours along I-40 from capital city to capital city. Both bands saw streaks broken in band on the road showdowns earlier this year; Vanderbilt beat in-state rival Tennessee, while NC State lost just a bit down Tobacco Road at UNC.

NC State:


B4: 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl – TCU vs. Michigan State

The Spirit of TCU is not too far removed from a couple of big stages: Last time the Super Bowl game through the DFW Metroplex, they played for the pregame, and of course, there’s that little thing called the Rose Bowl a couple of years back. Having face Wisconsin in that Rose Bowl, they won’t be surprised to see a Big Ten band across the field in the form of the Spartan Marching Band, either.


 Michigan State:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

B4: 2012 Valero Alamo Bowl - Texas vs. Oregon State

The eyes of Texas will be slightly to the southwest of Austin, this time in San Antonio as the Showband of the Southwest takes on the Spirit and Sound of OSU. During an earlier realignment missile crisis, we thought this may have been a Pac-16 conference game; now it'll just be a whole lotta orange.


Oregon State:

Monday, December 24, 2012

B4: 2012 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl - Navy vs. Arizona State

With the myriad opportunities to serve one's country through music, I hope I'm including a clip from the correct Navy ensemble here. Both Navy and Arizona State should be well-represented out west as they meet in San Francisco.


Arizona State:

B4: 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl - West Virginia vs. Syracuse

They just couldn't wait to give us this one back. Having been a conference matchup in the Big East just last year, there'll be no interruption since the last meeting, a Syracuse victory. Just think, by this time next year, neither school will be in the conference.

West Virginia:


B4: 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl - Rice vs. Air Force

This marching matchup will be quite the clash of styles: Rice will be represented by the Marching Owl Band, using nonstandard instrumentation and a scatter band style native to the Ivies. The Air Force Academy, as expected will be bringing their football unit, the Flight of Sound - the USAFA Drum and Bugle Corps.


Air Force:

B4: 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas - Minnesota vs. Texas Tech

With 10 out of the 12 schools holding, you'd expect that if a matchup features a Big Ten team, there's a good chance they're the one with the Sudler, but that's not the case as the Gophers head to Texas to take on the Red Raiders. Don't take the Texas in the name for granted and think that this is an easy trip for the Goin' Band, however; they'll still log over 1,000 miles round trip from Lubbock to Houston and back.


Texas Tech:

B4: 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl - Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech

As the Big East crumbles, one former member and one future former member head to Orlando. The conference title was supposed to have come through Piscataway this year, and to be fair, the Scarlet Knights did leave with a piece of it. Virginia Tech, on the other hand, had a tougher than expected road that should have pitted them against Florida State in a late Thursday night matchup for the right to represent their division.


Virginia Tech:

B4: 2012 AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl - Ohio vs. Louisiana-Monroe

Both Ohio and Louisiana-Monroe took the fight to big conference foes early in the season and walked uf victors - Ohio at Penn State, and ULM at Arkansas. On this year's B4, they'll do battle: Gangnam Style!


Louisiana Monroe:

B4: 2012 Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl - Baylor vs. UCLA

"I love GOOOOOLD" - Goldmember

The Golden Wave Band of Baylor and the Solid Gold Sound of UCLA meet in San Diego this Holiday. UCLA holds the only Sudler on the west coast-proper - the other Pac-12 trophy lives at Arizona State.



B4: 2012 Belk Bowl - Cincinnati vs. Duke

These two programs are quite divergent as far as recent history goes with bowls: Cincinnati has been to six in the past seven years, while Duke football and the DUMB haven't seen the postseason since 1994. Still, in not having to leave North Carolina, the football Blue Devils will enjoy a luxury their basketball counterparts often do, and the long drought and short trip may paint Charlotte blue. As for Cincy, I don't know if the stands at Band of America will allow for their famous run-on drill for pregame; if it doesn't, it may be for the better after the infamous fall earlier this year.



B4: 2012 Military Bowl presented by Northrup Grumman - San Jose State vs. Bowling Green

This year's military bowl doesn't feature any traditional military schools. If one chose to reach, there's a pretty clear army reference in the Spartans of San Jose State, and a less explicit air force reference with Bowling Green's Falcons, but I won't go there. I'm in the mid-Atlantic now, and may very well be in DC on the day of this game; I know there's no stranger to "football weather" in Ohio, but it may be a bit chillier than it is in San Jose.

San Jose State:

Bowling Green:

B4: 2012 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl - Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan

As a USF alumnus, it would be a bit pot-kettle to decry this as a matchup of directional state schools. I'm also familiar, as a USF alumnus, with Western Kentucky's recently departed (left the university, not this cosmic plane) coach Willie Taggart, who's now the head man down at USF. Interestingly enough, Central Michigan held onto their coach, despite a brief opening at Cincinnati, to whom they've lost their last two.


Central Michigan:

B4: 2012 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl - Fresno State vs. SMU

June Jones once again returns to Hawaii, where he once coached. This time, he'll have his current SMU Mustang squad and the Best Dressed marching band with him. Tim DeRuyter's Bulldogs are no strangers to the Hawaii trip, having shared a conference with the Warriors in the WAC, but the Bulldog Marching Band hasn't made the trip since the Aloha Bowl in 1993.

Fresno State:


Saturday, December 22, 2012

B4: 2012 MAACO Las Vegas Bowl - Washington vs. Boise State

Washington and Boise State will battle it out for the Northwest in Sin City. Boise State is battling against a school from an auto-qualifying conference for its last time before becoming one, then being thrust back into obscurity once the Big East  is relegated back to the world of the have-nots. Given the travel involved, I'm not sure how many conference games Blue Thunder will make it to.


Boise State:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

B4: 2012 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - ECU vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

The Pride of Acadiana gets to stay relatively home for Christmas, after having traveled to New York for Thanksgiving to march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. ECU's Marching Pirates take the hike on this one, but with a date of 12/22, they'll be home for Christmas as well.



B4: 2012 Beef O'Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl - UCF vs. Ball State

UCF has been known to use their neighbors to the southwest as a yardstick, and this game gives them the perfect opportunity to do so. The Knights have the opportunity to walk into Tampa Bay and walk out with a victory against Ball State, to whom USF fell earlier this year. At halftime and in the stands, both the Marching Knights and the Pride of Mid-America will have the interesting acoustical challenge of playing inside Tropicana Field's dome.


Ball State:

B4: 2012 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl - BYU vs. San Diego State

During the Big East's westward expansion, San Diego State joined up while BYU spurned the conference's advances. The two former conferencemates will go toe-to-toe in a virtual home game for the Aztecs.


San Diego State:

B4: 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - Toledo vs. Utah State

Utah State's football team and the Aggie Marching Band will be performing their final duties as members of the WAC in this bowl game. They'll be doing it in familiar surroundings: They used to share a conference with Boise State, who calls the smurf turf home. Toledo football made their sole trip to the same stadium just two years ago, although I don't believe the Rocket Marching Band joined them.


Utah State:

B4: 2012 Gildan New Mexico Bowl - Nevada vs. Arizona

It'll be a desert showdown as the flagships of Arizona and Nevada hit the field in New Mexico. With all due respect to the Pride of Arizona, the last two bands Rich Rodriguez had at his back during bowl games had Sudlers to their name. These two football teams will meet again in a home-and-home in 2014 and 2015; it may be a tall order for either band to make the nearly 900 mile trek.



Thursday, December 13, 2012

One Band. One Sound... One Decade Later

Ten years ago today, Devon Miles set foot on the campus of Atlanta A&T and marching music hit the silver screen in the form of the movie Drumline. It was and remains to date the highest profile film with a marching band as its subject, and a decade later, its impact is still being felt.

As films go, the movie was enjoyable, if not cliche. In form and function, it is essentially a sports movie with a marching band as the team. Themes such as teamwork, the underdog story, the "good guys" winning, and hero-to-zero-to-hero are prevalent. It also touched, albeit superficially, on fraternity and sorority life, hazing, and the HBCU social scene. Far more significant, however, is the manner that with its release life either imitated art or did everything in its power to run far from it.

Sure enough, I enjoyed Drumline when it came out - and I saw it on opening day - but I found myself becoming an ardent defender of it almost immediately. There were folks with different opinions of it, and that's fine, but there were quite a few arguments I had with people who were either completely unaware or refused to acknowledge that the style of marching in the film even existed. Drumline, of course, depicts a fictional HBCU marching band, and to hear some corps style kids tell it, they were marching wrong or the movie was totally fake because no one marches like that. It shone a spotlight on a rift in the marching arts that went unnoticed by many prior to the release of the movie.

From a personal point of view, I never marched with a historically black ensemble in high school or college. Still, my marching band experience came marching traditional style, which has far more in common with the HBCU show style than corps style marching. Further, at its release, I was in my senior year of college, and despite not having marched at that level, I had a pretty wide knowledge of the marching/athletic music realm, so by no means was Drumline unfamiliar subject matter to me. For corps style kids who only interacted with other corps style bands, the whole concept was foreign, and perhaps something to which they couldn't relate. The training seemed strange. The drums sounded dirty. And why in the world are they lifting their legs up and doing all of that dancing?

The rift, between traditional and corps, and in this sense, largely between black bands and white bands, was not one-sided. The movie itself features a white student - nicknamed Affirmative Action - who tries to make the drumline as well. He points out that he could have made the line at Georgia Tech or UGA easily (of note: The latter is a Sudler Trophy-winning program). One of the deleted scenes features a predominantly white band competing at the Big Southern Classic, which is clearly shown as a point of contrast and of ridicule. Even Dr. Lee's insistence on musicianship over hip hop - most notably played out with the playing of Flight of the Bumblebee in response to a rap tune from the rival band - speaks to this disconnect.

I will bring forth, once again, an overgeneralization that shows my own biases but speaks to where some of the disconnect fell. Especially at the high school level, corps style bands' primary function is to please judges, while traditional/show style bands aim to please the crowd. This doesn't manifest itself nearly as strongly at the college level, where marching band contests are no longer currency for the bands, but with overlap in personnel, the philsophies sometimes mesh. What was shown on the screen, then, was so far afield from the reality that the band nerds (I say this as one) I argued with about the movie inhabited that it surely had to be wrong.

As "wrong" as the movie was, a funny thing happened in the years to come. It started innocently enough: A drumline who heard A&T's cadence in the movie might emulate it. A student with an ear for arranging might pick out a simple bassline and pass it out to the tuba section. And suddenly, lines are being blurred. Bands that might never have ventured down the path to pop music, much less hip hop, are now playing it with regularity. It's a phenomenon I  earlier referred to as the Drumline Effect.

A subtle brilliance of the movie's design is that in order to have the bands playing the day's popular hits, a number of songs were written for the movie that were released as singles. The plan was that they would reach commercial success and the bands on the field in the movie would indeed be playing the latest radio tunes. I don't think that any of the songs reached quite the commercial success they had intended, but one song in particular, Shout It Out, has become a mainstay in the stands. Shout It Out remains popular among bands that may never have ventured down the hip hop road, and it owes its very existence to Drumline.

In a similar vein, songs that were once only performed by HBCUs are now quite regularly played by predominantly white and often corps style bands. Neck and to a lesser extent, Hay, once rarely heard outside of the confines of an HBCU stadium, have become as ubiquitous as Land of A Thousand Dances or the Hey Song. And as can be expected, they've been just as well received on white campuses as black ones. It has become a bone of contention among HBCU bandheads, some of whom see it as cultural appropriation. I think it is a direct effect of Drumline's influence on the marching arts.

Finally, how has Drumline influenced culture outside of marching/athletic music? It's difficult to say. While marching bands have been present at several Super Bowls since the movie's release, they've been there since Super Bowl I, so that's not causal. But there has seemed to be an uptick in the use of marching bands in commercials and other advertisements. Several songs sampling marching bands have made their way into the mainstream. One of which, Yung Wun's Tear It Up, samples the marching band version of Shout It Out and likely did better on that charts. In another, Destiny's Child sampled the Michigan Marching Band's drumline. The film's popularity also led to the creation of Drumline Live, a theatrical production that brought the HBCU marching experience to stages throughout America.

I recognize that I may have more of a relationship with this movie than many. I count it among my favorites, saw it on opening day, and purchased the DVD and the 5th anniversary DVD. Still, while it is debatable whether or not the film itself has stood the test of time, it is undeniable that its impact has.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All Catholic Conference?

Interestingly enough, He'll only serve
in an advisory capacity.
It's actually a bit surprising to hear it's taken this long, but the Big East's Catholic non-football schools are considering an exit strategy in light of recent changes to the conference. The conference's basketball product has been weakened by defection and diluted by expansion to the point that it bears little resemblance to the conference of which several of the Catholic schools were charter members in 1979.

As these talks grow stronger, the coming weeks and months will lead to discussion and debate on who owns the right to the Big East name and all the comes with it, including the brand and its NCAA tournament automatic bid. If the Catholic schools - currently seven of the ten voting members until new members join in July - decide to take their ball and go home, does the name go with them? Does it remain with the football members, who will again be at full and increased numbers this summer? Do the two sides make a decision to dissolve the conference as we know it?

If the Catholic schools strike out on their own, common sentiment is that they may look to team up with other urban, Catholic institutions Xavier, Dayton, Saint Louis, Butler, and Crieghton, either through merging into the Atlantic 10, where most of these schools (and several other, less prominent Catholic schools) currently reside, or through creation of a new conference.

And that new conference will need a name. While the (Pope) Urban Conference is tempting, until further notice, given its basketball focus, I'm calling the yet-to-exist conference the MarchDiocese.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

'Tisn't The Season

While it's half a year away from drum corps season, tickets went on sale this past Monday for DCI's premier events. Prior to that, the schedule was released, and there were a few things that made me go hmm... -My friend and drum corps buddy Joseph pointed the first one out to me. There are usually a few shows - at least two hosted by Carolina Crown - in NC, SC, and southwestern VA that we attend each year. This typically gives us an early season taste as well as a piece of the late season push towards Indy. This year, probably due largely to Crown beginning their tour out west, there are no shows in reach until NightBEAT in late July. -NightBEAT, typically a Sunday show, will take place on Saturday night this year. It's switching spots with the DCI Southeastern Championship, which seems a curious move, putting major regional on a work night. It also means the general trajectory of some of the major cors will go back south before heading north (though to be fair, the Murphreesboro-Atlanta-Charlotte swing did that s well) -The Tour of Champions has given rise to a yet-to-be-named "Special Series". You may recall that the "ad hoc committee" that made the first proposal that became the Tour of Champions consisted of seven corps. In the two years of the TOC, the series featured the top eight corps, which coincidentally included all of the Undersigned and one other: The Blue Stars in the first year and the Boston Crusaders in the second. This year, the seven abandoned the pretense and are going it alone, adding shows in Buffalo and Warrensburg, MO to the previous five-show lineup. All in all, some interesting changes to the season. It may take me a bit longer this season to see DCI action live, but I'll still catch them when and where I can.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

BOTR Game Of The Week: 2012 Week 15

At the Division I FBS level, there is only one game this week. It is this way be design; the rest of the college football community parts the ranks to let arguably the most traditional game the sport has to offer stand alone. It is the Army-Navy game. This year, the Midshipmen and Black Knights meet in Philadelphia, by far the most common site for the game. Once upon a time, having no ties to either institution or branch of service, I likely would have sided with Navy as a Marylander-by-association. With a brother in the Army and a cousin who is a West Point graduate, I'm far more inclined to say Go Army. Of course - and this is often stated but cannot be overstated - the young men on the field of play will be lining up on the same side in defense of this nation following graduation. In that sense, thank you to them all.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

For NFL Players, All Bets Are Off

College bowl season is about to kick off and with that means a ton of side betting on the various games.  Fans will place bets on their favorite teams and even who will take down to the national title, that is unless you are a player in the National Football League.

Most of you likely know that NCAA athletes and even college athletic departments are not allowed to make any wagers on NCAA sports.  The obvious reasoning behind this is that they feel that athletes could be influenced by bookies to throw games.  Games such as college basketball are highly prone to game fixing and the NCAA does what they can to avoid that.

The National Football League actually goes a step further than the NCAA.  If you are a  player in the NFL, you are not allowed to gamble, period.  It doesn't matter if it is football, baseball, basketball, or bingo.  According to league rules, players are not permitted to gamble.  This ban also extends to league officials and anyone working for an NFL organization. 

About the only exception that the NFL makes for this policy is charity poker tournaments.  The only reason those events are allowed to pass is because the money collected from the events goes to charity and cash prizes are not awarded to participants. 

With that said, if events are held inside a casino, those are still off-limits.  The league office snubbed an event in Las Vegas in 2011 because it was held at the Golden Nugget.  Players were allowed to go to the event as cheerleaders but could not play in the event.

The NFL takes such a hard stance against gambling because they are trying to keep the integrity of their game intact.  A game fixing scandal would not only be damaging to one team, but to the league as a whole because fans would be suspicious as to how deep the cheating goes in the game.  All you need to do is look at the steroid controversy in Major League Baseball to see how a cheating scandal can have long term effects on the perceptions of a league.

While the NFL's policy is tough, it is one that is in place to protect both the league and the players.  With the Millions being made in the league by players, curbing one's gambling activities seems like a small price to pay.

This has been a collaboration with Daniel Smith, a fellow football fan and poker fan.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Before The B4 2012: We're Back!

Save for the Army-Navy Game, the 2012 college football regular season has sadly come to a close. Bowl season is once again upon us. And here at 80 Minutes of Regulation, that means the Return of the Big Band Bowl Battle!

Last year, I embarked on the sizable yet rewarding undertaking of previewing every bowl game marching matchup. I'll be at it again this year. Before we begin, a few thoughts about the big picture of this year's marching matchups. 

-There are just four games this year that match a pair of Sudler Trophy winners: The Heart of Dallas Bowl (Purdue vs. Oklahoma State), Capital One Bowl (Georgia vs. Nebraska),  Cotton Bowl (Okahoma vs. Texas A&M) and the BCS National Championship Game (Notre Dame vs. Alabama). Two of these are in the Dallas metro area, and one, the Cotton Bowl, is televised on Fox, which means we'll actually get to see some of halftime, unlike the games on band-blocking ESPN
-Despite being notoriously fan friendly, the Rose Bowl is once again without a Sudler winner. The Granddaddy of 'em All hasn't hosted a winner since Ohio State in 2010, and hasn't had a dual Sudler matchup since Texas-Michigan in 2005.

Here they are - all 35 bowl band matchups:

Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Beef O'Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
MAACO Las Vegas Bowl
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Military Bowl presented by Northrup Grumman
Belk Bowl
Bridegeport Education Holiday Bowl
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl
Russell Athletic Bowl
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
Valero Alamo Bowl
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Hyundai Sun Bowl
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Chick-Fil-A Bowl Gator Bowl
Heart of Dallas Bowl
Outback Bowl
Capital One Bowl
Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio
Discover Orange Bowl
Allstate Sugar Bowl
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
AT&T Cotton Bowl
BBVA Compass Bowl Bowl
Discover BCS National Championship

Public Service Announcement

I am a lifelong believer in the power of music. Even without words, music has the power to stir emotion and convey a message.

When music does have words, however, its message goes from abstract to concrete. Even when played without them, the meaning behind the lyrics carries through, so it's important that whatever is being played is consistent with the message that is intended.

I say all that to say this: *ahem*


I get it. I do. The song was quite popular. Its relevance to sports is clear. It was probably extremely easy to arrange, and it gives you an easy victory with the crowd by being instantly recognizable. But its own familiarity is its undoing. The statement that's being made is clear, and if it's wrong, you just look dumb.  Does your team have a losing record? Is the current game all but out of reach? Is there a good chance that the other team will pull out the victory and make you eat your notes? If one or all of these is true, maybe it's not the right time to play this song. 

This has been a public service announcement from 80 Minutes of Regulation - because we care.

Monday, December 3, 2012

High Notes, 2012 Week 14

Having attended the ACC Championship game this past Saturday, it's no surprise that my high notes recognition come from that game. A thorough recap is on the way in a future post, but the recognition goes to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Marching Band.

Both bands were quite talented, but I think the Jackets brought a big more variety to the table. In addition to the traditional pieces, they tapped into their Atlanta roots and gave us Jeezy's I Put On (which I first heard them do at the ACC Tournament) and Mykko Montana's Do It. Throw in a few traditional pieces like the Beer Barrel Polka before the 4th quarter and Verdi's Dies Irae as a downs cheer and the Jackets are my pick for the night.

Holtz Out

In early 2010, a pair of teams met on the gridiron, in Canada, no less: USF and Northern Illinois. If someone would have said at that point that one of those teams would find themselves in a BCS bowl in the next three years, smart money would have been on the team in an AQ conference. You would have been wrong.

The two teams' paths have diverged greatly in that time. Northern Illinois has gotten better each year, progressing first to a loss in the MAC championship, then a conference championship victory, and this year winning the conference and heading to the BCS. USF, conversely, has gotten worse each year, posting 8-5, 5-7, and 3-9 records, below .500 in the Big East each year.

That bowl game was the last game that Jim Leavitt, to that point the only coach the program had ever known, would coach for the Bulls. Following his firing in response to a locker room incident, Skip Holtz was brought in less than two weeks later. In addition to the off-field issue, Leavitt's final few years had become characterized by a midseason slump, each dooming the conference season before the Bulls were even in the running. Holtz brought with him a promising track record from East Carolina and many, myself included, thought he was the pick to take USF football to the next level.

Having fallen short of that mark, expectations, and even USF's worst season to date, Holtz was relieved of his duties following the season finale versus Pittsburgh. And while I'm typically uncomfortable calling for someone's livelihood, the program had diminished into one of which it had become impossible to be proud. It was time, and while I wish him the best wherever he may land, he was not the man for our program.

Now USF's in the hunt for a head coach. Because it seems what you're supposed to do, I'll take this moment to point out that Jon Gruden has experience coaching in that very stadium. Seriously, though, USF AD Doug Woolard is currently 1-1 with our revenue sport hires, hitting a jackpot with basketball's Stan Heath. Here's hoping this next hire emulates that S. H.
discussion by