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Division title pursuit must begin this Sunday

Matt Flynn, white shirts in the sun and the Big 10, too


Matt from Binghamton, NY

Midgame "Ask Vic"? I always wonder what your opinion is while the game is going on.

It's called "Ask Vic Halftime" and we kicked it off unpublicized in Cincinnati. Fans are asked to submit questions they might have from the first half of Sunday's game before the first half is over. Don't cut it too close, please. I'll try to address the top issues from the first half of the game.

Kevin from St. Louis, MO

With Chicago and Detroit playing as well as they are, do you think the Packers can pull it together and win the division?

Yes, I do, but I think it has to begin this Sunday. Head-to-head games are the equivalent of two games.

Paul from De Pere, WI

I liked the edge from Mike McCarthy, too. He will have the Packers ready to play on Sunday. Vic, what are the elements you would consider in determining whether a coach has his team ready to play? What are the indicators in game that are manifest by a team that is well prepared?

Fast starts, in my opinion, are all about preparation. If a team needs to feel its way through the first half, then something's wrong. It doesn't have to be the coach's fault, but the coach is ultimately always responsible for the performance of his team.

Bill from Pittsburgh, PA

Vic, so with Maryland and Rutgers athletic programs hurting, do you think that influenced their decision to become part of the Big 10? Of note, being a faculty member at Pitt, our faculty bring in over $460 million in total grant funding, while the football program brings in $5 million and basketball $7 million.

Discovering a cure for polio is very rewarding, in a lot of ways. Research money is where it's at for the think-tank schools, and they are not going to risk losing that federal grant money to a reputation sullied by unscrupulousness in the athletic department. Maryland is a charter member of the ACC, and leaving the ACC has been met with resistance among alumni that love the school's ACC roots and traditions. So why are they doing it? Because Maryland's athletic department is in deep financial doo-doo and the Big 10 promises greater financial reward. However, the ACC is imposing a huge exit fee on Maryland; it's in the courts now and if it sticks, the Big 10 could find itself having to help pay for Maryland to leave the ACC. Rutgers not only needs the money the Big 10 will provide, it also needed a conference to call home after the Big East folded. What does the Big 10 get? Two big TV markets for its Big 10 Network, but now there are drum beats about cable TV going a la carte, and that would nullify the Big 10's gain. This is going to be interesting to watch. Keep an eye on Texas, too. I see the day when they join the Big 10.

Pat from Altoona, WI

Vic, do you have a preference between home or away games?

I prefer home games because I can go back to my office and write my stories on a real computer sitting on a desk, instead of writing on a laptop perched on my lap while I'm sitting on a bus that's bumping along on the way to the airport. Away games are hectic. My game story has to be done and sent by the time we reach the airport.

Carl from Madison, WI

Correct me if I'm wrong but I remember Sunday and Monday night games being reserved for good teams. The Jets playing this Monday? The Dolphins play on it twice (they're good now but have done nothing in previous seasons to earn it). What happened?

TV wants good teams and/or big markets. It's always been that way. New York and Miami are big markets.

Andy from Sapporo, Japan

Well, I don't think you remember me addressing last year that black is better in the sun. Let me copy and paste from a website addressing this. Heat is not just coming in off of the sun. It's also coming off a person's own sweating, warm-blooded, mammalian body, which is a lot closer than the sun is. When all that body heat hits the white clothing covering it, it gets reflected right back towards the body. When we wear white, we cook ourselves.

It's about time we got the truth on that. I'm sure everyone will agree.

Phillip from Chicago, IL

Hey, Vic, do you see a situation where the Jaguars will make a move to get Matt Flynn? I'm still convinced he has the potential to be a franchise QB and, like you said, the Jaguars need a franchise player to build the rest of a team on.

I'm inclined to believe Flynn will be back in the free-agent market next March.

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