NMSU Bowl Game Eligibility: Single And Loving It

Every college football season we’re regaled with tales of FBS programs facing the shame of bowl game ineligibility for failure to live up to NCAA home game attendance requirements. Supposedly in order to remain bowl eligible, an FBS team must average at least 15,000 in actual or paid attendance for all home football game once every two years.

New Mexico State marketing final home game as critical to future bowl eligiibility

(NMSU marketing dept. claim football team can get worse? Not so fast!)

Apparently New Mexico State, at least if you believe what the school is telling its fans this week, is in real danger of facing such ignominy going into its final home game of the season against Utah State this Saturday. From an official school release on the NMSU sports website:

This game plays an important role towards the 2012 campaign, as New Mexico State is on the cusp of making the required 15,000 in average attendance for the year. NCAA rules stipulate that New Mexico State must average 15,000 fans this year or the Aggies would not be eligible for a bowl game next year. To date, the Aggies are short of this important requirement by about 1,000 tickets.

A combination of 1,000 students and individual game tickets must be attained on Saturday, or the Aggies will not be eligible for a bowl game next year. Further, the Aggies would then have to average 15,000 fans in each of the next 10 years or they would be relegated to FCS status.

Then the school press release gets really, really ugly:

With conference changes continuing to impact every conference in the country, failing to make the required 15,000 average attendance could have catastrophic effects on the growing Aggie program.

Per NCAA rules, all purchased tickets (including season tickets) and all main campus NM State students that enter the game count towards the attendance requirement. However, the $5 child price ticket can only be counted if the ticket is actually used at the gate. Therefore, the Aggies need to generate a combination of 1,000 regularly priced single-game tickets sold, main campus NM State students entering the gates, and $5 children’s tickets being scanned at the gate to reach the required 15,000 average.

Yes, apparently New Mexico State football can, at least if we believe the school’s marketing department, somehow get worse.

Going into Saturday’s game, the NCAA official website lists New Mexico State as averaging 15,440 through five home games. But, at least based on 2010 official NCAA attendance figures and the collegiate governing body’s FBS attendance requirements, the Aggies could not draw a single fan Saturday and would still maintain bowl eligibility based on the NCAA’s FBS attendance criteria.

NMSU averaged 15,906 according to official NCAA attendance data in 2010, and schools need fulfill the 15,000 average attendance number only every other season.

Even if the school fails to reach 15,000 in average home football game attendance in two consecutive seasons, that does not mean immediate bowl ineligibility. From the official NCAA website:

An institution that fails to satisfy any of the Football Bowl Subdivision membership requirements set forth in Bylaws 20.9.7.1 through 20.9.7.4 shall receive notice of such noncompliance. After receiving notice, any further noncompliance with the Football Bowl Subdivision requirements within a 10-year period shall cause the institution to be placed in restrictive membership. While in restricted membership, an institution shall not be eligible for post season football competition.

So if a school is indeed non-compliant in respect to NCAA FBS attendance requirements, it would not be automatically ruled ineligible for a bowl the next season. It would have to be non-compliant again during a period of 10 years to suffer such a fate.

But with New Mexico State having appeared in three bowl games since 1893, whose counting anyway?

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Student Support For WAC Member School Suffers

Here’s a flyer that was circulated by the thousands early Wednesday morning on the campus of New Mexico State in Las Cruces, New Mexico:

New Mexico State student flyer

The paper messages, which were posted overnight on or at campus dorms, light poles, parking lots, bus stops, academic buildings and the main Corbett Student Center were seen by NMSU students as they went to class today - including Aggie football players.

New Mexico State student flyer

It took hours to scrub the campus of the obscene fliers, which appeared three days before the winless New Mexico State football team takes on in-state rival New Mexico in Las Cruces.

Neither team has tasted victory this season, with local and national media spotlighting the astonishingly moribund state of New Mexico football. UNM is currently 0-5 and has won one game game in two years under new coach Mike Locksley. NMSU is 0-4 in 2010 and 3-14 for coach DeWayne Walker in his second season. Read more…

SbB@3: Terrible Seats For A Terribler Economy

You! Yes, you, with the comically small amount of money! Would you like to attend an actual “sporting event” with “nationally recognized teams” and the possibility of seeing a “professional sports superstar”? Fret not! SbB@3 will put you in the cheapest seats imaginable, so you can have the privilege of squinting at millionaires who gave up on their season… often before it even began!

SbB's (Blocked) View From The Week's Cheap(est) Seats

Our first special sporting event comes from sunny Los Angeles, the city where even the ugly people are beautiful. There resides sporting’s pre-eminent international man of intrigue, David Beckham. What would you pay to watch the superstar reinvent the sport of soccer for this great country? $500? $1,000? $55,000? Nay, nay, and nay!

Read more…

SbB@3: Let He Who Is Without Sin Throw 3 TDs

Some Web sites offer you “insider” information on which teams to put money on during the week’s big football games. But only Sports by Brooks has the ultimate insider: Jesus Christ. That’s right, each week Our Lord and Savior will descend from Heaven to offer His insight into the week’s top games. And with over 60 percent of all college and NFL players attributing their success to Him, no one is more qualified to pick winners.

jesus christ, sports handicapper

I know a lot of people wrote into me (bigbettinjc@godmail.com) to give me grief for going 2-3 last weekend. To the people who doubt my wisdom, I can just say that this is a journey and not a short trip. Or as Proverbs 19:11 says, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” So instead of asking how your picks did, we’ll just use our knowledge gleaned from last week’s games to make better picks.

Read more…

New Mexico State Asking Fans To Donate Snacks

What was the best part of playing sports while you were growing up? The camaraderie of participating in team sports with friends both new and old? The thrill of competition? Those badass uniforms that sometimes bore the actual name and logo of a real pro franchise? No, no, no, and definitely no. We played for the snacks, baby.

NMSU Sno Cone
(From suicide sprints to suicide Sno-Cones. Everyone’s a winner here, folks.)

But that’s small-time athletics, y’know, and all part of the “hey everyone gets to play” low levels of competition. When it comes to real D-I, big-money sports like football, though, things are on a whole different level when it comes to nutrition and other ways of taking care of athletes. Well, everywhere except New Mexico State University.

Read more…

Mascot Mustache Mauling Spurs Team To Victory

A WAC tournament semifinal game turned watchable last night, as the mascots of Utah State and New Mexico State got into a little tussle with seven seconds left in a one point game. The trouble seems to have started when a fan put a $100 bounty on the New Mexico State mascot’s mustache.

Pistol Pete and Big Blue Bull

(It is a fine mustache. Er, was.)

What followed was an epic showdown between (foam) man and (foam) beast, unrivaled by anything save that time I saw the Temple Owl roll the Syracuse Orange halfway down a football field.

[Update:] Now with video, after the jump!

Read more…

College Linebacker, Or Now Playing At The Wynn?

Now, I’ve always been a huge New Mexico State fan, even with the departure of basketball’s most punctual coach, Reggie Theus.

Boyblue Aoelua

But this gives me even more reason to book a one-way Southwest (business select) ticket to Las Cruces. Go you hairy Ags!

Speed Read: LeBron’s Turn To Shred The Knicks

You have to give Mike D’Antoni credit for trying something innovative, even if it didn’t work out. For the second straight game, the New York Knicks rolled out their “Box and Zero” defense, which essentially challenges the other team’s best player to beat them by refusing to cover him under any circumstances. But just like against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Monday night, somehow it didn’t work out against the Cavaliers either.

LeBron James vs Knicks

Actually, I’m not sure what defense D’Antoni had his team running the last two games, but “none” comes to mind: a game after giving up 61 points to Bryant, the Knicks did the impossible: made another superstar have an even more incredible performance, as LeBron James scored 52 points in the Cavaliers’ 107-102 victory and became the first NBA player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 to score 50+ points as part of a triple-double.

LeBron James vs Knicks

James also joined Michael Jordan as the only players to have multiple 50 points games in the new Madison Square Garden. Any time you’re mentioned in the same breath as Kareem and Jordan, you are doing something right. And did I mention that this was the tail end of a back-to-back? And that the Cavaliers were without three of their players due to injury and illness?

And in case you’re wondering, it doesn’t get any easier for the Knicks. Their next opponent to come into the Garden? The Boston Celtics on Friday night. I can’t imagine what Kevin Garnett could possibly do to upstage Kobe and LeBron - perhaps pick Nate Robinson up and slam him through the basket while clutching the ball?

Raiders running back Justin Fargas wasn’t breaking any records last night, unless it was “Stupidest Appearance in a Hip-Hop Video.” Because if you are an NFL player, and you know the league is on the warpath about its image and substance abuse, I would think that appearing in a video with someone called “Yukman” as he smokes a blunt that would make Cheech & Chong quiver in their tie-dyes isn’t such a great idea.

But PRO FOOTBALL TALK says that’s exactly what Fargas did. And honestly, are we shocked by this? Not that an NFL player would be so brazen about assoicating with potheads, but that it would be Fargas. I mean, his dad was Huggy Bear, for crying out loud.  Just look at his dad:

Antonio Fargas

Being shocked that his son is involved with marijuana is like being shocked that one of Bob Marley’s kids has a taste for the ganja. The video is up at WORLD STAR HIP HOP: go grab some Fritos and see it yourself.

While you pick the seeds out of your buds, here’s some more sports wackness from last night:

What was the single greatest performance at the new Madison Square Garden?

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Speed Read: Oregon Sports Teams End Year Up

The conventional wisdom is that the Pac-10 was having an exceedingly down year. In fact, that’s probably the main reason that USC was left out of the National Championship discussion: their one loss against a Pac-10 school was far worse than a loss to an SEC or Big 12 team.

Oregon celebrates versus Oklahoma State

So what do we make of Oregon’s 42-31 victory over Oklahoma State in last night’s Holiday Bowl? Yes, the Ducks featured an explosive offense, which you would expect from an Oregon team and is apparently mandatory to play in the Holiday Bowl. But the story was their defense in the second half, which put the clamps on the Cowboys’ star QB Zac Robinson.

How physical were they? DR. SATURDAY has some video evidence from YouTube of just one of the many big hits Robinson took in the second half:

It was just a big day all around for Oregon sports teams. Along with the Ducks winning the Holiday Bowl, the Portland Trail Blazers did the improbable on Tuesday night, taking out the defending champion Boston Celtics 91-86 without the services of injured All-Star guard Brandon Roy.

Trail Blazers vs Celtics

Keeping in mind it might be foolish for the Celtics to start panicking now - they are still 28-5 - but they have lost three of four. Oh hell, where the fun of having a sense of perspective: between this, the Patriots missing the playoffs and the Red Sox getting rejected by Mark Teixeira, let’s start wildly speculating about the end of the Boston sports dynasty.

Other sports news that happened as you prepare to get your drank on tonight:

Who will you be counting down to the New Year with?

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Speed Read: USC Pays Price To Wear Home Unis

If you needed a sign about how little respect Pete Carroll has for UCLA ahead of their rivalry game this Saturday, consider this nugget from the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: the Trojans are going to be wearing their home Cardinal and Gold uniforms for the game, even though it’s going to cost them a time out each half.

USC and UCLA in home uniforms

It’s a throwback to a tradition of both teams in the Crosstown Rivalry wearing their home uniforms that lasted until 1982, when it was stopped by the No-Fun Police of the NCAA. Carroll has had a jones to restart it since he’s been at USC, and he’s apparently willing to lose a pair of time outs to make this happen.

You don’t do this unless you are a 33-point favorite against a team whose offense scored four touchdowns for the other team last week, and you don’t have a chance in making it to the National Title game. I guess the football monopoly in Los Angeles isn’t quite over yet…

Meanwhile, the NFL game that no one wanted to see turned out to not be very good. The Houston Texans made their first-ever appearance on Monday Night Football…if not memorable, at least successful, beating the similarly hapless Jacksonville Jaguars 30-17.

Steve Slaton

Steve Slaton rushed for a pair of TDs, and Mario Williams had three sacks while continuing to make you wonder just how lousy the Texans would be if they had drafted bust Reggie Bush instead of him.

Other stories to consider while thanking God that this isn’t your son:

Who was the biggest bust in the 2006 NFL Draft

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