Dear Reader, the following was my response to a suggestion that all teams including Florida International, play in a postseason bowl game and a criticism of the ridiculously bloated post season. Florida International University, Bowls for everyone? All 128 schools play a...
The Game of the Year is right around the corner –
Arizona started the upset bus, and the state of Mississippi took over from there. Many had their top four penciled in for the playoffs, but after today they can just throw that list out....
These are the weekends we live for as college football fans. The drama off the field this week, however, was just as good as on the field thanks to Jameis Winston. This week showed a lot of top teams struggling for the victory while others took care of business. Let’s get into the Top-25 action from this weekend. 1. Winston needs …
What a great weekend of college football with so many Top-25 match ups. The PAC-12 was on center stage this weekend with key matchups for the country to watch and enjoy. While the PAC-12 was celebrating its success, the B1G will be looking on to next week after a couple of humiliating losses. All of these great matchups are something fans should …
The moment you all have been waiting for is finally here! Kickoff! No more talk of lawsuits, arrest reports, or players hurting their ankles. We can finally talk football, and we may have been hoping for a few upsets today — but nothing really came as a shock. Let’s get right into the Top-25 to get caught up on this week’s …
Finally some more news to talk about thanks to the PAC-12, ACC, and BIG-12 all stepping up to the plate and holding their media days. We have commissioners telling us cheating is okay, coaches saying it is okay to steal and so much more. It was an eventful week.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby fired off at the NCAA that nothing is happening to those who are cheating. He basically told everyone that schools are cheating, some are even getting caught, and the NCAA is barely giving them a smack on the wrist … (Miami)!
I think the NCAA must have their hands full with all the lawsuits pending against them so they aren’t worrying too much about anything else. We will see if they respond to this jab anytime soon. While you’re thinking about that, let’s take a look at some highlights from an NCAA violator who did get caught and punished:
I have come to think that Alabama fans are the most die-hard fans around. What makes me think that is, no matter what the situation, they express their loyalty to the team. Here are some clips of “Roll Tide” quotes from people who were in the public light for all the wrong reasons but still let everyone know they were Alabama fans.
A little more fire has been added to the SEC vs PAC-12 rivalry. Yes, there is not much there except that former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel called out the SEC for their cupcake schedules. No big news here but it’s always nice to remind the nation that the SEC rolls out Alabama vs Western Carolina or LSU vs Sam Houston State. Just because the SEC is scheduling cupcakes … doesn’t necessary guarantee a win … ask Florida or Ole Miss.
Jimbo Fisher took the time this week to let everyone know that for his star QB, Jameis Winston, shoplifting was just a misunderstanding. I agree with him … sure … when you take food out of store and you don’t pay for it … it was just a mess up … I’m sure that happens all the time … NOT! Hey Jimbo, let Winston’s lawyer defend him and you stick to the X’s and O’s. We all know you need him for Week 1 and then he can be suspended once ACC play starts. Winston is a perfect example of your typical “I am a football player at a major university and I am above the law and everything else” type of player. If FSU is not doing so well this season … who will really care about defending him if he gets in trouble again?
Down in Texas everyone is getting to know Charlie Strong really well. Sports Illustrated had a great write up about who he is and what he represents. A lot of his players need to read the article so they know where he is coming from when it comes to obeying team rules. This last week Strong dismissed four players from his Texas team and disciplined a few more. A major culture change is going on down there and I think the fans and players have to be patient since it will pay off in the long run.
Any guesses on how the Longhorns do under Strong’s first-year leadership? Looking at Texas’ schedule, I see it going two ways … they win early and often … and everyone is happy … or by the time they are finished playing Oklahoma, they could be 2-3. The eyes of Texas will be upon Charlie Strong and his team come kickoff time.
We had a lot of interesting news and topics come out this past media week. I encourage you all to take a little more time to dig deeper into some of the interviews and news from the PAC-12, BIG 12, and ACC media days. We are just a little more than a month away from kickoff. Week 1 will provide some great action as top teams such as Wisconsin takes on LSU and FSU heads to Dallas to play Oklahoma State. That will be a great way to greet College Football 2014!
1. Week 1 matchups
2. Florida needs a go to
3. FSU is the best
4. Is Washington coming back?
5. Texas going after Florida
Thank you to all of the brave service men and women who defend — and have defended — our country and freedom. Without your service we would not have all that we have today. Here’s a Shout Out to America!
But, thanks to those freedoms, it seems like a few players and coaches were taking their first amendment rights a little too far this past week.
Clemson took some time out of their busy schedule to remind South Carolina that they actually went to a BCS bowl game. I feel like Clemson should be able to beat their in-state rival before they start slinging grenades down to Columbia. As a Florida fan, I would much rather beat Georgia or Florida State and then lose the bowl game (unless it’s a national championship). Give Steve Spurrier a few days to retaliate, I’m sure he is learning how to create a Twitter account.
In other news, ‘free agent’ wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham committed to the Oklahoma Sooners (as a transfer) after visiting them this week following his dismissal from the Missouri Tigers. I guess he really missed playing in the Big 12. Or maybe he just likes the new Big 12 logo they created. The conference seems to be in the headlines this week, but I really only want news from them when they add two more teams to actually make it to 12.
Looks like Arkansas’ head coach Bret Bielema wanted to be in the headlines this week, also. He called the move of Green-Beckham something he would “never do.” In other words he doesn’t take players with character issues. Someone needs to get him the memo that he’s not in the B1G (Wisconsin) anymore, he’s in the SEC. And in order to play there, you need a little ‘nasty’ streak to win.
On a somber note, Auburn’s former tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen passed away this week as a result of a car accident. Always sad to hear things like this — our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. In his memory, here is one of his top plays while playing at Auburn.
For the rest of the summer, we’ll speculate about what happens in the Ed O’Bannon-led antitrust suit against the NCAA. It’s all over now and we’ll soon get the verdict – and later on an appeal. Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated wrote a great piece about how the NCAA basically mishandled their whole defense and deserved to lose. He also wrote how Marcus Mariota would have been a great witness for the NCAA. Take some time to read it, and leave some thoughts if you could.
Another thought about paying college athletes — all summer during the off season you saw news of players being arrested for drugs, DUI, fraud, domestic violence, etc. Look, it is a very disturbing list to see what trouble some of these players get into, and now you want to give them some extra money on the side. IMHO, that surely won’t end well!
I hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July weekend. I know that we’re less than 2 months away from the season, but once that first ball is kicked, all this off-season drama will be put on the back burner and then the playoff drama begins. So, we are all looking forward to Sat, Aug 30, against South Dakota in Eugene, Ore., at 7:30 p.m. Don’t be late!
Main photo courtesy of Amerigo Vespucci
1. Week 1 upset
2. Elite players to watch
3. The Final College Football Mailbag
4. Paterno family going after NCAA
5. Tough Texas Tech cheerleader
World Cup fever is all over America right now so I am sure everyone couldn’t care less about the NCAA trials or the off season action. The excitement soccer fans are experiencing with the world cup will be the same felt by college football fans when the playoffs start. While the world cup is going on, we have Les Miles taking on the golf world, the NCAA being compared to the “cartel,” and the media keeping the “SEC hype machine” alive and well.
Plenty of news coming out of the court room to keep your news feed filled — as if you are paying attention. The NCAA is now using some mathematicians and economists to defend their case against not paying athletes. They have even polled America and 7-out-of-10 Americans do not want to see college athletes paid. After testifying, it looks like the B1G is in line to compensate the “student” athletes with a salary, but are they only doing this because it looks like their hands are tied?
It will all come down to how the judge rules and then we go from there. Me? I am still with the don’t-pay-them crowd. The NCAA does need to wake up and do better with their “student” athletes.
Now – if you are tired of the courtroom drama then turn your attention to the putting green. It looks like Les Miles is improving his golf game during the off season. Usually we hear about arrests and suspensions from his direction about this time of year, but it is good to see he and his players are playing nice and enjoying the off season. Les Miles is media gold, and I am sure a lot of schools would want him as their coach. I wonder if Michigan might make a run at him if Brady Hoke does not turn things around quick?
I have figure out why the SEC is so great and powerful. Yes, the SEC won 9-of-the-16 BCS championships, but that is besides the point. The SEC is only great because the media makes it great. I have not been able to get through any college football website without them hyping how great the conference is. Have they forgotten that FSU beat Auburn just a few months ago?
I think it’s time the media takes a break from giving love to just one conference, and it is time to spread the “media attention” wealth. Do they not realize football is played in other places besides the southeast? Have they seen the other players that will be competing for the Heisman this year and are not at an SEC school? Time for some love for everyone else.
For example, Oregon has Marcus Mariota in position to break a bunch of Duck records. This is also Oregon’s best chance to win the National Championship before they have to begin reloading. Then there is Braxton Miller, at Ohio State, who led them to a 24-game win streak. Ohio State is also in position to be in the playoffs this year and make some noise. Urban Meyer does not take losing lightly and will lead Ohio State back with a vengeance this year. Plus, let’s not forget about Oklahoma. They are the same team who made the “unbreakable” Alabama SEC defense look invisible. Trevor Knight made his case for Heisman this year along with Oklahoma by being in the National Title talk.
The media says the SEC will most likely put 2-3 teams in the playoff every year, but how great would it be for the SEC to knock itself out of the playoffs this year and have a non-SEC playoff. Now that will make for great headlines. Or dull headlines, depending on who you want to promote.
With all of that behind us, let’s see what we have to look forward to in the first week of the upcoming season. First, I think a big-small game that is not getting a lot of attention is between Boise State vs Ole Miss. It will be Boise State’s first game since the Chris Peterson era. We will all get to see if the Broncos are still the Giant Slayer they once were or will fans in Boise need to reevaluate their expectations? The last time Boise State played an SEC team, they smacked them in the mouth and rode right over them. I think the results will be a little different this time. Ole Miss is looking to make some noise this season and what better way to start it off then roughing up Boise State.
Watching those highlights makes me just love college football even more. I hope by the end of the summer, the game we have all grown to love is not destroyed by lawyers, new laws and greed. One thing we have to appreciate is that college football brings so many people so much joy and excitement. I hope everyone involved keeps this in mind as the (NCAA) trials continue. We will cover some more Week 1 match ups along with keeping you informed of all the college football news.
1. NCAA trial information
2. Top units returning
3. UNLV is back
4. College football mailbag
5. Notre Dame to the SEC
If you are a soccer fan then you are just about in heaven right now. You will have your next couple weeks occupied and not realize all the college football action is happening in court rooms and police reports. I will put in my two cents about the World Cup and the NBA playoffs since that is really all their is to watch … Man, can those guys act!
The reason I bring this up is because I am glad football is a tough sport. A football player’s job is to knock the other player on their butt. I can’t even imagine how bad it would be if, say, Oklahoma and Texas are playing and the players are flopping all over the place from just a little touch. Thank goodness for football! Now let’s get into some news and thoughts from this past week.
Week 1 in the O’Bannon vs NCAA case was focused on what we all thought it would be focused on … money! O’Bannon is basically saying they go to school to play ball and then get an education. He also talked about how much money is brought in because of the athletes and they should get a share. He even took it a step farther and said Little League World Series kids should get some of the money they help bring in when ESPN is airing their games.
University of San Francisco economist Daniel Rascher states that there is even a way to pay athletes just off their television revenue like the pros. Really?!?!? You all know my stance. Let’s take better care of all the athletes but do not pay them. I think that Oregon’s Women Golf team can’t possibly bring in the revenue to pay them and their sport.
The NCAA does need to wake up to increase scholarship funds, medical coverage, and basic cost of living. A part of me just wants this lawsuit to go away and let us get back to focusing on the upcoming playoffs. If you want to read more about the trial, here is Alabama’s Tyrone Prothro’s testimony. They are pulling out the big guns for this trial. Leave no doubt!
The Joker is out at Florida. Gators’ wide receiver coach, Joker Phillips, has abruptly resigned for personal reasons from his position at UF. It later surfaced that he was out with a recruit during a period which the NCAA prohibits any contact with recruits. It was even stated it was a Miami coach who reported Joker on the violation. Let’s just wait until all the facts come out, but he just may be guilty of something, what with the way recruiting rules are often befuddling. Besides, the Gators wide receivers are better off, at least now, they will finally have someone to teach them how to block the other team.
It is going to be a long time until Florida can forget that play and that loss. Oh the Horror!
Last week, I thought my idea of having BYU join the BIG-12 was going to be a sure thing, but this week, it looks dead in the water. BIG 12 ADs stated they are okay with 10 teams right now and will not be seeking further expansion. Come on – the BIG 12 needs 12 teams. I think it is just a smoke screen for right now, the BIG 12 probably wants BYU but does not want to invite them until they have a 12th team to pick up at the same time.
Once those teams are in place they will realign the divisions, get a bigger TV contract deal, and return to actually being the BIG 12. I am thinking they get Cincinnati along with BYU but are just trying to keep the deal under wraps. Once again, BYU is more than capable of hanging with BIG 12 teams.
One last thing. Lousiana-Lafayette has extended their coach, Mar Hudspeth, for another 6 years. Great move! He has lead them to three straight 9-4 seasons. He should have been coaching a BCS program by now. Anyone who can make that school a winner deserves to be in charge of a program such as Texas or even USC. He does so much with so little. Imagine what he could do if he had the resources like the bigger schools. Well, I will be paying attention to him if Florida’s Muschamp flops again this year. Here is a little look on how he does things with his “Rajun Cajuns”:
So far, it doesn’t look good for the NCAA in this lawsuit. Even if the NCAA somehow pulls out a “victory,” you better believe change is coming. The NCAA has this trial to deal with and at the same time has all the “BCS” schools wanting to break away and reform. Tough time to be working for the NCAA.
Until next week, check out the highlights from the 7-on-7 camps featuring the Rivals Top-100 recruits.
1. Another Bulldog to Auburn
2. Kansas losing players
3. NCAA reaches video game deal
4. LSU CB arrested, what else is new?
5. College sports is big business