It is a sad day at the MRI headquarters. We have lost one of our biggest nemeses who has continually provided me with so much to rant and rave about over the two years I have been running the MRI for football and writing on the sport. No, no one has died. Instead, today I found out that Trev Alberts is no longer working for ESPN.
While I originally missed the article announcing the firing when SI.com first published it on Tuesday, I finally caught it today and was immediately shocked. Alberts has been a staple of my Saturday mornings and evenings for the past two years. Apparently, Alberts wanted a slightly bigger piece of my Saturday and this is what prompted him skipping the evening show and ultimately getting fired.
I might not always have agreed with what Alberts said (Ok, who am I kidding, I rarely agreed with what Alberts had to say), but I respected that he had an opinion and wasn’t afraid to express it.
This has gotten Alberts into trouble at times. At the end of the 2003-4 season, Alberts was called on the carpet by current Arkansas coach, Houston Nutt, after he accused Nutt of using Nebraska, Albert’s alma mater, to get a pay raise from the Razorbacks. Nutt was pursued by Nebraska after they fired Frank Solich, now the head coach at Ohio. Nutt openly bashed Alberts for his accusation and requested an apology from him. Alberts later apologized over the phone to Nutt but refused to take back his comments on the air.
Alberts has been a consistent critic of the BCS, and while he and I agree on that topic, my reasoning is slightly different than his. His belief is that the computer polls are unfairly included, allowing a machine to pick the champion rather than humans who watch the games. I know this is how he feels because every time the BCS is discussed that is usually the quote I get from him: “Let the humans who watch the games determine who plays for the championship,” or something to that effect. I can’t agree with him totally on that topic, seeing as I run one of his much maligned computers, although mine is not included in the BCS.
Mr. Alberts shouldn’t be so quick to judge those computers. Probably the brightest spot in the MRI’s jaded history with Trev Alberts was tying him at the end of last season in picking the winners of all the bowl games. After having the lead go back and forth between my computer and Alberts all bowl season, it all came down to the Orange Bowl, with the MRI being the only one of the four bowl pickers to get the correct winner in USC.
In his trashing of the BCS though, Alberts did have one bright idea which I covered last season. The Big East last season was bordering on the absurd. With a jumble at the top of the conference looming, and none of those contending being particularly good, Alberts had a plan to solve the dilemma. He suggested that the Big East send Louisville in place of their champion to the BCS. Since Louisville was going to join the Big East this season, it made sense for them to come in on a high note. Of course, with $14 million on the line, there was no way that the Big East conference was going to do that. Instead, we all got to watch as Utah embarassed Pittsburgh, in much the same fashion that Notre Dame did to them this past Saturday.
Despite all of the mental anguish that Alberts caused me over the past two years, I will be saddened to see him go. He often provided the spark for at least one of the topics I would cover while wrapping up the games each week. He and Mark May consistently had great banter over the topic of the day. As Alberts said, “We were just trying to be three guys in a frat house talking football.”
Without Alberts, some of the chemistry that was there in the studio will definitely be missing, as was evident in part this past Sunday night when Alberts was not there. ESPN is currently looking for a temporary, and ultimately, a permanent replacement for Alberts in the studio.
I will be looking for a replacement nemesis for the MRI and my Saturdays. Good travels, Mr. Alberts, here’s to hoping you find a home so that I can continue to rant and rave.
Ben Miraski writes about college football and basketball on his site, MRISports.com.
Ed/Pub:LMPowered by Sidelines