There are a few rules to complaining about officiating: Do So Sparingly. There are varying timelines regarding how long people want to discuss a game’s officiating and its effect on the outcome, from those...
With spring ball over, football fans have now turned their attention to the NFL Draft. This is a special time where schools and conferences can brag about who’s going to the NFL, while still on the recruiting trail. We then have Kentucky going all out for football … which is a first, since it is known more for its basketball. Finally there is Nick Saban — the football coach that makes headlines for anything he does.
1) All we hear about is the SEC this, the SEC that – bor-ing. Well, get ready folks because after the NFL draft you are gonna hear it even more. The SEC led with 11 first-round picks. Most impressive was Texas A&M, who had three while Auburn and Alabama both followed with two each. How can you go wrong walking into a recruit’s living room if you’re Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin.
The kid asks “can you get me to the next level?” and without hesitation Sumlin says “yep, just come to College Station and we will take care of the rest.” That is going to make recruiting wars much more interesting around the state of Texas and if you didn’t get your fill of Johnny Manziel over the NFL draft weekend … then here is a little more:
2) When we think of Kentucky, we think basketball. We think about all of the one and done recruits, but it looks like the school is turning its attention to football and trying to help their fans care just a little bit more about what is going on with that team.
The ‘Cats wanted to show fans they are invested in Coach Mark Stoops and that he is the man to turn things around by extending his contract through 2018-19. By doing that, you give the fans, recruits, and players the faith needed to see that he will be around and lead the team long term.
But can you really have faith in a coach who just went 2-10? Time will tell if it is a good move. For now, I think we can all respect the fact that Kentucky is willing to stick things out with him instead of letting him go a few seasons and then firing him.
3) As for the PAC-12 — they are mulling around the idea of moving the Championship Game to a new pro stadium in Santa Clara. Having a permanent site in a pro stadium would be a nice upgrade for PAC-12 fans, but I feel it will take time for it to catch on and we will see a lot of open seats in that stadium.
The SEC championship game has never hosted a game with fewer than 73,000 in attendance, while the PAC-12 championship game at Stanford barely drew 31,000. If Stanford/Oregon vs UCLA/USC happens, then it could be a pretty good crowd in Santa Clara. I do like how Larry Scott is a visionary man and is always thinking about the future for what will better the PAC-12 and keep the conference in the main spotlight.
Time to wrap it up again for another week of college football. We have had a lot of back door dealings and appeals going on with the NCAA and their lawsuits this past week. With time, that will be all the headlines seen. If you are still looking for your football fill, I suggest you check into the Arena Football scene. I have been watching it more and more and man, it is a fastpace and high-scoring game. At one of those games, the teams combined to score five touchdowns in the final minute of the quarter. Trust me, you will enjoy it until college football is back.
1. Virginia Tech going big
2. UNC focusing on academics
3. Jim Tressel is the BOSS!
4. Future NFL prospects
5. Spring ball wrap up
Main photo by Amerigo Vespucci
The news of Michael Sam being gay has come and gone, signing day has passed, and now we can just live off the gossip and “trash” talk amongst players and coaches until August. With no games going on there is little action to report on, unless you have Steve Spurrier as your coach. He keeps things interesting by speaking what’s on his mind. Ask him about the new “Saban Rule.” Those are the kind of stories we can expect this summer along with news about conference realignment, and the playoffs.
1) Let’s just get right into the “conference realignment” talk. I am sure this topic will come up multiple times this summer as conferences have time to do some back door dealing and weigh in on their options. With the playoffs looming, every school will be looking to put itself into a prime position to claim one of those playoff spots, and right now, according to this article, might find itself left out.
The Big 12 only has 10 teams and might find it hard to get itself to the 16-team amount that most power conferences look to be shifting to in the near future. I find the article interesting because I think the Big 12 has some good teams and can put itself in a good position for the playoffs.
You have Oklahoma, which beat the pants off of Alabama; Baylor, which got the school’s first ever BCS bowl bid; Oklahoma State, which has become a consistent 9-10 win school; and Texas, which will always be a national brand despite going 8-4 or 7-5 these past few seasons.
So if you’re the commissioner of the Big 12, who do you go after? That would be my question this summer. Do you sit idly by at 10 teams while conferences such as the SEC, PAC-12, and B1G have their conference championship games and look to expand, or do you get after some schools?
Who can the Big 12 realistically go after that would make geographical sense and also bring good recognition for the conference? Does the Big-12 want another national brand? Go get BYU. They are the Notre Dame of the West and draw a crowd wherever they go. So there’s one school down and five to go — except I can’t think of any other schools worth grabbing.
As PAC-12 commissioner Larry Scott reads this, he is thinking of the possibilities and knows that he can remake the PAC-12 into the PAC-16 by making another offer to Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and another BIG-12 school. That would be the super conference!
2) Let’s keep things in the Big 12 for right now. Did you hear Oklahoma is in big trouble with the NCAA? Just kidding, but they did get in “a little” trouble. A few Oklahoma athletes ate more than they should have at a banquet and had to pay $3.83 to the charity of their choice to make up for the wrong doing.
My real question is . . . when are we going to say enough is enough with the NCAA and their outdated and horrible rule book. If you think that incident is bad, did you hear about the student athletes who got in trouble for washing their car with the university’s hose and water? Forget making MORE RULES, let’s first work on getting rid of some of these dumb rules that just make the NCAA seem like a tyrant! Warn all athletes to not eat too much wherever they go and to just let the rain falling from the sky to wash their cars instead of using water from “unknown” sources . . . geeze!
3) The younger they are the better. That is what Les Miles must have be thinking as he offered a scholarship to a middle school kid this past week. I guess Miles knows the only way he will beat Nick Saban on the recruiting trail is if he starts on the prospect before Saban even knows they exist – so middle schoolers look out. Got to love that Les Miles.
We laugh about this now but if you look at college basketball, you see coaches looking at 5th and 6th graders and are serious about making offers and sticking with those kids as time goes on. I wonder how long it will be until news like this for college football becomes routine.
With Lane Kiffin at Alabama I expect offers to 12-year-olds happening very soon. Recruiting is still a “crap shoot” and you never know if the kids will keep growing and get better. That is the world of recruiting we live in and it makes for a fun story here and there.
So a slow week for news but a few fun things going on. I think the Big 12 has to make some moves now before Larry Scott comes in and makes an offer the power schools of the Big 12 can’t refuse. Keep an eye on Spurrier because I think he is about to do some serious stirring of the pot with the “SABAN RULE” they are trying to get into effect.
A big story to follow will be going on at Northwestern as they try to unionize. I know the athletes think it is a way to make things better for themselves, but really, they are just trying to find another way to get paid.
Enjoy another week of the off season as we have about one month left until spring ball!
1. Minnesota making investment
2. Miami in hot water . . . again
3. Northwestern going to the union
4. Black colleges expiring
5. Alabama going to court
Larry Scott will be the commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference for at least another five years.
Scott, who has held the position since 2009, was granted a contract extension Monday that will last through the 2017-18 academic year. The decision was voted on by the Board of Directors, which includes Pac-12 university presidents and chancellors. Scott was also named the executive chairman of Pac-12 Enterprises, something that helps provide exposure for the athletic programs and student-athletes.
Scott’s tenure as commissioner has seen some of the biggest changes in conference history. During his time, the Pac-12 has expanded, launched a cable and digital network and started an annual football championship game. The 12-year television contract he negotiated was worth about $3 billion. Scott has even looked to take the conference overseas with the Pac-12 Globalization Initiative.
In a statement, Scott said that he is “honored and gratified by the support” of the league.
Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti was reprimanded and fined $5,000 Monday after his negative comments regarding Pac-12 officials and Washington State head coach Mike Leach, Ryan Thorburn of the Register-Guard reports.
Following the Ducks’ 62-38 victory over Washington State, Aliotti voiced displeasure with how Leach executed the final minutes of the game, calling it “low-class” for Leach to advise his team to repeatedly heave the ball down the field against a group of reserves.
Aliotti later apologized for those comments Sunday, admitting that his adrenaline was still pumping during the post-game press conference. However, those public comments in addition to derogatory statements about the conference’s officiating before and after the game were enough for Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott to reprimand and fine Aliotti.
“The Pac-12 has specific rules that prohibit our coaches from making public comments about officiating, and this prohibition specifically includes comments that create doubts about the credibility of the Conference’s officiating program,” Scott said. “His comments also showed a lack of support for the Pac-12′s policies on Sportsmanship and Standards of Conduct, which call for our coaches to treat opponents with respect.”
Aliotti’s defense currently ranks 12th nationally in points allowed (17.3) and his secondary will be up for another challenge this week against UCLA’s quarterback Brett Hundley, after Washington State’s Connor Halliday attempted 89 passes last Saturday.
The Pac-12 Conference has officially suspended Oregon State Beavers running back Jovan Stevenson for the first half of the Beavers’ next game for a late hit on a defenseless Hawaii player on Saturday, September 7, as was announced by Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.
The Pac-12 performs weekly reviews of all unsportsmanlike conduct and player safety fouls. Stevenson’s penalty occurred with just 26 seconds remaining in the first half when he drew a a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness penalty.
Stevenson will be ineligible to return until the third quarter against Utah this Saturday in a game that should be highly contested. His absence could be a big loss.