St. Petersburg Times
Online: Tech Times
 tampabay.com
Print storySubscribe to the Times

Opinion

Rant, Rave

By PETE YOUNG
Published November 2, 2003

Mississippi State should lead color-blind search

There would be unavoidable irony in Mississippi State being the first SEC school to hire a black football coach, considering the state's history and reputation in race relations.

But there's a larger reason why hiring an African-American would be nice - it would be a desperately needed step in the right direction in an area that has had exceedingly few steps in the right direction.

There are four black head coaches in Division I-A football out of 117. It is an appalling figure, for sure. That's one out of every 29. Adding just one will increase the black coaches fraternity by 25 percent.

Those figures make it seem like 1963 instead of 2003. Seventeen schools hired new coaches for this season. Only UCLA's Karl Dorrell was African-American.

Mississippi State, and every other school in search of a coach, needs to hire the one it thinks is best for the job - white, black, purple, green, polka-dotted or other. But considering the ratio of black applicants is much better than one in 29, or one in 17, something smells funny here.

A number of respected and successful black coaches have expressed interest in the Mississippi State job, which will come open when Jackie Sherrill retires after the season. The Bulldogs' brass should get to know them. They might find one they like; they might not. If they do, they will begin to remove the stench from a festering situation.

Boise State thriving in football anonymity

They wear orange and blue and ring up ridiculous scores with an ultra-efficient passing attack. But Steve Spurrier is nowhere in sight.

They play on blue turf and have their SportsCenter highlights mocked by Stuart Scott, who sings the Gilligan's Island theme song for star receiver Tim Gilligan (a walk-on from football "hotbed" Nevada) and mispronounces the name of 187-pound star quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie (Dinwiddle, he said).

But nothing can diminish the Boise State phenomenon. For consecutive seasons, the anonymous Broncos are accruing staggering statistics.

Dinwiddie's passing rating last season was 188.2; next best in Division I-A was 157.1 by Iowa's Brad Banks. This season Dinwiddie has 20 touchdowns and two interceptions.

More mind-boggling numbers: Last season Boise annihilated Fresno State, which was on its way to a nine-win season, 67-21. Then the Broncos got hot, winning their final six, including the Humanitarian Bowl over Iowa State, by an average 44-8. They finished 12-1 and No.15 in the Associated Press Top 25. In the only loss, at Arkansas, Dinwiddie was injured.

Boise State is rolling again, improving to 8-1 Thursday with a 50-12 dismantling of BYU in Provo. The lone loss was 26-24 at Oregon State. They've won the past three games by an average 57-9.

Boise State, football powerhouse? Believe it.

[Last modified November 2, 2003, 07:26:04]


College football

  • Alive and Kicking
  • Hokies ground Hurricanes
  • Seminoles return the favor against Notre Dame
  • Pitt WR sets touchdown record
  • State: Opportunistic FAMU stops Hampton 34-23
  • Banner day for Seminoles backup CB
  • FSU by the numbers
  • FSU game balls
  • Seminoles' D clamps down on command
  • Trojans force their way into Sugar Bowl picture
  • USF: Banks battling a tough standard
  • Michigan runs over MSU
  • Sooners leave no doubt with intrastate thrashing
  • Nation: NIU gets D back on track in easy win
  • The fill-in fills big shoes
  • UF game balls
  • Ailing Bulldogs defense finally runs out of gas
  • UF by the numbers
  • UF: Ratliff gets INT No. 7 to tie mark

  • Conferences
  • Big East: Trick play helps Pitt seal Eagles' fate 24-13
  • ACC: N.C. State QB surpasses Cavs QB
  • C-USA: Win places Memphis in bowl hunt
  • Pac-10: Cardinal upset brings UCLA back to pack
  • Big Ten: Buckeye rally extends Nittany Lions' misery
  • Big XII: Texas gives Nebraska taste of its medicine
  • SEC: Arkansas survives in 7 OTs

  • Golf
  • Hnatiuk can live and die by 'The 125'
  • Sunday showdown
  • Up in the air, nearly down in the dumps
  • For today's caddies ...
  • Petrovic poised to reach top 30

  • In brief
  • Cohen tops in Canada

  • Motorsports
  • Hamilton Jr. wins, points race tightens
  • NASCAR's diversity goals get lineman-sized push

  • NBA
  • Pippen back where he belongs: Chicago
  • Pistons still have Magic's number

  • NFL
  • Bottom line
  • Picks
  • Reviews in: Coaches back replay
  • Things that make you go hmm ...

  • NHL
  • Friesen's goal spurs champions to victory
  • Slapshots

  • Opinion
  • Rant, Rave

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • Fall hunting season in high gear

  • Preps
  • Friendly rivals vie for title
  • Bishop Moore takes boys, girls titles
  • Nauta follows sister's tough title act
  • Three Cowboys are riding high on state trail
  • Zephyrhills scores at Class A meet

  • Running
  • Kenyans can make names in NYC run
  • Letters: Your turn
  • Rays
  • Lee testing market by his choice, not Rays'
  • Bucs
  • Saying 'when' no easy call
  • A one-for-all, all-for-one free-for-all
  • Bucs-Saints matchup ...
  • Kickin' back: Now just tell the doctor what you see
  • Sideline
  • Letters: Chat: Johnson's throws look a bit wobbly
  • Lightning
  • In the end, it's another win
  • St. Louis, team steamed about slash
  •  


    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111