Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spurrier wants college players to earn as much as $4,000 a year

Spurrier wants college players to earn as much as $4,000 a year
Published on CBS CFB | shared via feedly
Steve Spurrier is sticking with his plan to pay players.
  South Carolina's outspoken coach first floated the idea at the Southeastern Conference's spring meetings last year. Fellow coaches and league administrators listened, but it made little, if any, progress.He trotted out his stipend plan again this week and said Wednesday that football coaches voted 14-0 to present the proposal to league athletic directors. The ADs will discuss it and decide whether to present it to school presidents and chancellors for an official vote Friday.

"We're trying to get extra money for living expense, academic expense, game-related expense to our players because of the tremendous amount of money - billions - they're bringing" in, Spurrier said.

Most small to middlin' schools don't like this idea. Their budgets are already tight and this just creates more of a divide between the larger football programs and the little guys. It also creates all kinds of equal protection/treatment and Title IX issues. But these are problems of the NCAA's own making.

Dr. B. David Ridpath of Ohio University is a noted NCAA compliance expert and author of Tainted Glory points out that the NCAA's concept of amateurism is dead.

Chances are, you don't know what a monopsonistic market is because in the real world, very few have existed and none had succeeded until someone said "NCAA" and "amateurism" in the same breath.

Sooner or later, the athletes who risk so much and receive nothing will have to be compensated.

UCLA defends football scholarship for Diddy's son

Left Coast Strikes Again
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UCLA is defending its decision to give Diddy's son, Justin Combs, a full football scholarship.
 There has been some grumbling that Combs should not receive the $54,000 because he has a rich dad. The entertainment mogul was last month named the wealthiest artist in hip-hop by Forbes, with a net worth of $550 million. And some say the state school should be handing out taxpayer money to those who are more in need.

But UCLA spokesman Ricardo Vazquez explains that Justin deserved the scholarship because of his sports talent, not his need, reports Ace Showbiz. And he explained, "Athletic scholarships, such as those awarded to football or basketball players, do not rely on state funds. Instead, these scholarships are entirely funded through UCLA Athletics ticket sales, corporate partnerships, media contracts and private donations from supporters."
Via USA Today

These people--especially the student mentioned in the original report--are dead serious. The mindset that creates such foolishness is the same utopian garbage that has the state of California one swirl ahead of Greece in the fiscal drain. 

Since Justin's dad is wealthy, Justin's scholarship should go to a walk-on, or something. Never mind that if said walk-on possessed Justin's talent, he would have gotten the scholarship and Justin would have had to either walk on, or go somewhere else. None of that matters in the land of unicorns and pixie dust. In their world with pink skies and rainbows, you don't get to enjoy the merits of your abilities or the rewards of your hard work. It's to be confiscated and redistributed to those who are "needy."

Hopenchange. Yes we can.

It's not as if Justin Combs went to UCLA and demanded that the school give him a scholarship. The school offered it to him, and he accepted it. He earned that scholarship by being a good enough football player in high school that UCLA decided it wanted Combs to play for its football team.

His father earned that money, and Justin earned that scholarship. Nobody should be penalized for working hard and succeeding.

 You may recall that last month, the Occupy Wall Street crowd protested tuition increases at University of California system campuses. In proper context that is exactly is the same as demanding scholarship funds.

College is expensive. It is not expensive because of football and other athletics programs. It is expensive because it is in demand and mostly run by bureaucratic government types.

College is also not for everybody. Not everybody needs an expensive degree to be successful, and frankly not everybody is smart enough to complete the requirements. The country needs plumbers, truck drivers, electricians and drywall hangers. It doesn't need any more community organizers with useless degrees whining about rich men getting more than their "fair share."


Les Miles, Doug Nussmeier, Scot Loeffler to speak tonight in Mobile

Les Miles, Doug Nussmeier, Scot Loeffler to speak at L'Arche event tonight in Mobile
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The 18th annual event, which also includes South Alabama coach Joey Jones, Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage, is nearing a sell-out.

Nussmeier is excited about his first season at Alabama, especially when talk turns to the Crimson Tide's offensive line.


Nussmeier and the other new offensive coordinator in the state, Auburn's Scot Loeffler, will be in Mobile tonight as they are among the guest speakers at the 18th annual DEXImaging L'Arche Football Preview Dinner at the Mitchell Center.

LSU head coach Les Miles is the keynote speaker for the event, which gets under way at with a silent auction beginning at 6 p.m.
Via Mike Herndon, Press-Register

This blog noted yesterday that Nick Saban almost never lets his assistants speak with media outside of mandated access at events such as the SEC Championship Game and BCS Bowls. So Nussmeier's appearance tonight--plus his interview yesterday--is extraordinarily rare.

Proceeds from tonight's event benefit L'Arche Mobile, an assisted living community in which people with mental disabilities reside with non-disabled people in permanent homes.

We hope to see you there.

Morning Six Pack: May 31, 2012

imageFinish your breakfast and enjoy these six college football stories from around the country.

Jeff Long Says Razorbacks Can Expect 'Something Different' From Football Uniforms

Is Arkansas getting new football uniforms for 2012? It's certainly looking that way…

Irish may need Big 12 more than they think

If Irish think they don't need Big 12, or any conference affiliation, they may be fighting reality.

James Franklin only hires assistants with HAWT wives

"I've been saying it for a long time, I will not hire an assistant until I see his wife.  If she looks the part and she's a D1 recruit, then you got a chance to get hired.”

Saban still waiting to see more leadership

What Saban hopes to see more of from his defense when the players and coaches get back together shortly before fall camp is leadership. This defense can be as hungry as it wants, but Saban knows it won't go very far without a few chiefs stepping up.  He saw progress this spring, but it wasn't enough.

Luck says playoff with four best teams is ‘the American way’

Finally, SEC commissioner Mike Slive has some support in the playoff selection format. Whether that support is eventually echoed by the rest of college football’s power brokers remains to be seen.

Big 12 standing pat with 10 teams, for now

"We are happy and satisfied with 10," acting commissioner Chuck Neinas said early Wednesday evening, as the first day of the league's 2012 spring meetings drew to a close. "And we have not reached out to Florida State." What about Notre Dame?

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

SEC schedule format decision is imminent

Schedule format decision is imminent | The Columbia Daily Tribune - Columbia, Missouri
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Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive is hopeful this week's spring meetings end with the league's biggest puzzle put together. The league's coaches, athletic directors, presidents and chancellors will continue to explore football scheduling during their stay here with a resolution expected by Friday.
"Our goal is to have a format determined while we're here and then move on to scheduling," he said.
The format most often discussed is the 6-1-1 model where teams will play all six of their division opponents, plus one permanent rival and a rotating opponent from the other division. Arkansas and South Carolina have been cross-division rivals since joining the SEC in 1992, but it's widely expected that SEC newcomers Missouri and Texas A&M will split up that longtime pairing. The new rivalries are expected to be Missouri-Arkansas and Texas A&M-South Carolina.
Read more from the Columbia Trib's Dave Matter

LSU Coach Les Miles is no fan of the 6-1-1 format, primarily because LSU is tired of playing Florida every season. South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier takes "reform" to an entirely different level, advocating a move towards having only divisional play determine the division races. Les Miles agrees with him.

Neither of these are good ideas. Eliminating permanent rivals means an end to storied rivalries like the Third Saturday in October and the Oldest Rivalry in the Deep South. The only way to really include those rivalries and make sense in the rotational time cycle is to move to nine games. That causes a whole different set of problems, including threats to South Carolina - Clemson, Florida - Florida State and Georgia - Georgia Tech.

The least disruptive route is the 6-1-1 format and it's a safe bet that it'll pass.

Alabama’s Doug Nussmeier in rare radio interview (with audio)

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban notoriously famously refuses to grant media access to his assistant coaches, raising the ire of reporters, columnists and editors across the Southeastern Conference Landscape.

Maybe he’s softening with age and experience, as incoming offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier gave an amazingly candid interview to Mobile’s WNSP 105.5 during the station’s Morning Sports Center broadcast this morning.

A few snippets:

“When you look at [AJ McCarron] and the progression he made from the start of the season last season to the end and where he started spring football, where he ended spring football, he just continues to get better and better each day. I really believe he's got a lot of upside still left in him and some things technically he can work on. I think you'll see his game continue to elevate."

"I've never been fortunate enough to be around [an offensive line] like this. Really good group of guys. Extremely hard workers. They're big… physical. Very, very excited about what they bring to the table."

Nussmeier is also scheduled to speak at the DEX Imaging L’Arche Football Dinner tomorrow night in Mobile.

The interview with WNSP is immediately below.


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Morning Six Pack: May 30, 2012

imageBeauty is in the eye of the beer holder. After these six college football stories from around the country, everyone should look a little better.

Alcorn State Hires Conference's First White Football Coach

Jay Hopson is the new coach at Alcorn State, and the first white football coach in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Steve Spurrier backtracks on Nick Saban "greatest coaches" comment

Spurrier: "No, he's a great coach. I don't know what I was talking about."

Nick Saban is tired of ‘self-absorbed people’ and their version of a four-team playoff

Nick Saban often apologizes for speaking his mind, but sometimes he can't help it, especially when the subject of a college football playoff is on the table.

Another playoff format proposal pushes playoff even further away

Four conference champions or the four best teams in the land? Maybe three conference champs and an at-large? The choices for a playoff are piling up, and Dennis Dodd says it pushes us further from a solution.

Move over, Mike Leach

A photo of Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg posing over a freshly slain bear hit Twitter on Monday, so whatever you did for Memorial Day, Vandenberg has you beat in the violence department.

Teel Time: Myths, facts about ACC football as Florida State, Clemson ponder future

The ACC soon could be under siege. If Big 12 officials meeting this week decide to expand, Florida State and Clemson are potential targets, and if the Seminoles and Tigers exit, others could follow.

Their motivation? Money, of course, real or imagined, from media rights, and potential access to the four-team national football playoff expected in 2014.

As this drama has unfolded, volumes have been spoken and written about the ACC, much of it misleading or false and ignorant of the conference’s history.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Michigan commit burns Ohio State letter, then gets death threats from Buckeye fans

Michigan commit lights an Ohio State recruiting letter on fire, then gets death threats | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports
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Michigan commit Logan Tuley-Tillman, a four-star offensive lineman from Peoria, Ill., wanted to make sure there was no misconception about his allegiance to coach Brady Hoke and the Wolverines.

So, when he received a letter from rival Ohio State, he did the most Michigan thing ever and decided to light it on fire and post the photo on Twitter. Of course, this has made Tuley-Tillman a hero to Michigan fans and a villain for those who support the Buckeyes.

Tuley-Tillman told Yahoo! Sports that ever since he posted the photo, Ohio State fans have become unruly.

"There have been a couple death threats," Tuley-Tillman said. "And they've been sending my mom messages on Facebook. I just told her you can't listen to it because it's one of he biggest rivalries in sports."
Read the rest here.

Alabama's Brent Calloway and TJ Yeldon know all about that sort of thing.

Morning Six Pack: May 29, 2012

imageMmmmm… So much more than a breakfast drink. Enjoy these six college football stories from around the country.

Football playoff, scheduling key issues facing SEC leaders

A decade ago, the Southeastern Conference spring meetings were mostly a chance for coaches and administrators to work on their tans.

No more.

The SEC's annual event has become such a hot topic with so much interest this year that league officials set aside several rooms for news media interviews anticipating what will be an overflow of attention with Missouri and Texas A&M participating for the first time since joining the conference. And that's just one topic of discussion.

Tyler Bray might have a special field trip on his July itinerary.

The Tennessee quarterback will attend the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana along with a handful of other college quarterbacks, according to ESPN NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.

Though the full invitation-only list has yet to be released, Mortensen wrote on his Twitter account that Southern Cal's Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson of Arkansas and Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas were some of the other quarterbacks expected to attend the annual camp.

FSU has reasons to pay attention to Big 12 meetings

The rumored courtship between FSU and the Big 12 Conference has - at least publicly - been reduced to a junior-high romance. (Somebody PLEASE make this go away)

Reflections On One Year Without Tressel

A year ago, my phone started to buzz just as I was regaining consciousness. Immediately, I knew what it was going to be about. My suspicions were confirmed when I saw who was on the other end on the caller ID – a media friend who would only be calling at this hour with important news.

Jim Tressel had resigned.

Kentucky Tries to Get Back on the Horse

The method for Kentucky football's rise to being a perennial marginal bowl participant under Rich Brooks was simple: play four tomato cans in the non-conference and win at least a pair of SEC games. For five consecutive years, some variation on that formula worked, including Joker Phillips' first season as head coach. At some point, it was bound not to work anymore.

SEC stockpiles titles, but does it have the most? Complete 2011-12 championship list

It’s been a big year for the SEC. It isn’t over yet, but the question is worth asking. Does the SEC rule the college sports world? The answer depends on how you measure it.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jim Brown won't STFU about Trent Richardson

More criticism for Trent Richardson from NFL legend Jim Brown
Published on Sports Impact | shared via feedly
"I think the kid is a good working back, and if you've got everything else around him he can play his role," Brown said of Richardson in an interview with WKNR radio in Cleveland. "But when it comes to outstanding, I don't see anything outstanding about him. It's not said in a cruel manner. He's very efficient, and that's what you want."

"I'm not trying to be mean. There are certain people you look at and there's something special about them. I don't see it."
Read more from Matt Scalici at Sports Impact.

Suffice it to say that Jim Brown is the only running back who impresses Jim Brown. Suffice it also to say that if he had the inkling to do so, Trent Richardson would break that spindly old fool in two. But Richardson will only take these words as a challenge, and NFL defenses might suffer the wrath of a man more than capable of proving himself at any level.

Morning Six Pack: May 26, 2012

imageBacon, eggs, grits, beer and these six college football stories from around the country. And, BACON.

Louisville primed for a Big 12 title run

Charlie Strong has the Cardinals on the rise as he enters his third season, and there’s no question that the program is becoming more marketable to a Big 12 that may eventually move back to 12 members — or more . In the meantime, Strong continues to build a solid defense, a unit that will be helped by early-enrollee linebackers Keith Brown and James Burgess as well as a very good secondary.

Don't get caught up in Larry Scott's plus-one hysteria

Despair if you like. Panic if you must. Let a few innocent comments from Larry Scott throw the brakes on your anticipation of a four-team college football playoff. (but never underestimate the ability of these people to screw this up)

Penn State’s Bill O'Brien Reviews Spring, Previews Early Schedule

With his first spring practice season in the rearview mirror, Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien is looking ahead to the beginning of training camp on Aug. 6. After spending three weeks on the Coaches Caravan in May, Coach O'Brien is back in his office evaluating spring practice, setting the depth chart and preparing for training camp.

Tennessee tight end Cameron Clear kicked off team over stolen laptop

The coach said in a statement it hurts anytime a player is dismissed but there are times when a player does something that ends his privilege of being part of the team. (Lesson learned: Don’t let football players named Cam hang out with kids who own laptops)

Frank Spaziani looking to win with 5 new assistants

Posted by: Pete Roussel on May 25, 2012 Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani will enter the 2012 season with five new assistant coaches.  It's a challenge to win consistently at Boston College, but without staff continuity, the task becomes even more difficult.

Random Thoughts: Ranking the BCS Champions

The BCS era is about to end with the almost certain creation of a four-team playoff starting in 2014. Few people will regret its demise, but this is a good time to review its history and rank the 14 BCS champions in ascending order of quality.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Richt gets extension, but no raise in new deal

No raise for Georgia head coach Mark Richt, but chance for more money | University of Georgia |
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GREENSBORO -- Mark Richt’s contractual reward for saving his job is to get a longer contract -- but not a much richer one.

Richt is not receiving a salary raise in his new deal and will continue to earn around $2.9 million annually. But he will receive stronger incentives.

The Georgia head football coach’s new deal still isn’t final, but athletics director Greg McGarity informed the UGA athletic board of those details Thursday.

“It’s about rewarding excellence,” McGarity said.

To that end, Richt’s performance incentives will essentially be doubled. He will also be given more latitude to seek endorsements, and his buyout will be adjusted. McGarity did not specify how it will be adjusted.
Read the rest here.

Last season, most observers believed that Richt's job was in serious jeopardy if he didn't win at least a division title. Opening the season 0-2 with losses to perennial Cinderella Boise State and SEC East rival South Carolina seemed to all but seal his fate.

The team rallied for a 10-4 record, won the SEC East and played decently (in the first half) against eventual SEC Champion LSU.

Good enough to save his job and earn a contract extension, but not good enough to earn him a raise and put him in the top echelon of SEC coaches. Richt ranks fifth.

Morning Six Pack: May 25, 2012

imageIn this country, we server beer cold so you can tell it from wine. On this blog, we give you six of the best college football stories from around the country just because we think you’re smart enough to know the difference between good stuff and that other stuff.

Despite Larry Scott’s efforts, a plus-one model should not be back on the table

A plus-one model keeps the bowl system and tacks on an extra game to decide the national champion. But deciding which teams should earn a spot in that coveted extra game has always been controversial and will be even more so with the Big 12/SEC partnership in the "Champions Bowl."

Barrett Jones already getting hype before starting a game at center

Barrett Jones, the 2011 Outland Trophy Award winner, is already getting some love at his new position. He has yet to play a game (except for a few snaps in the 2011 opener) at center, but the senior is already one to watch, the Rimington Trophy said.

WVU fans, friends pay tribute to late Stewart

Condolences streamed in from as far as Texas and Massachusetts as fans and friends gathered Thursday in Morgantown to pay tribute to former West Virginia University football coach Bill Stewart.

Pitt FB suffered stroke; playing days appear over

Tuesday, Pitt fullback Derrick Burns was admitted to the hospital for what was originally called a “medical condition.” Burns had been complaining of headaches. Following some tests, it was revealed Burns had a stroke. “Found a mass, a blood clot in the back of his head, and a small one on the left side which caused a stroke and left his right side weak,” Dan Burns, Derrick’s adoptive father, told KDKA in Pittsburgh.

John L. Smith: The entire state has locked up. They're on fire

During an interview on the new "Wetzel to Forde" radio show that airs on Yahoo Sports Radio, Arkansas head coach John L. Smith said he has yet to speak with Bobby Petrino.

Smith said on Thursday night, "No, I haven't.  I think this is Bobby's way of maybe keeping some separation. To be honest with you, I think he's very sympathetic in doing this to a degree, maybe saying I'm just going to wait and wait a little while until the time is right for me to reach out.  I think that's the best way to handle it at this point.  I'm going to take my lead from him and when he feels good about giving me a buzz, then he'll do that.   I think this is his way of creating a little separation and letting me get in and get going and all of that type of thing.  Kind of let things die down, you know.  Time heals a lot of things."

Al Golden still getting benefit of the doubt from Miami fans

Nevin Shapiro wouldn't be happy to hear this from his federal prison cell, but Miami coach Al Golden took 24 minutes of questions from Hurricane Club members on Wednesday night and not once was the still-pending sledgehammer of NCAA sanctions mentioned by anyone in the well-fed and openly satisfied dinner crowd.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Times-Picayune changes an omen for Alabama newspapers? UPDATE: Yes

File:Times-Picayne2-Sept-2005.jpgLate last night, the New York Times’ Media Decoder blog dropped a bomb by reporting that the New Orleans Times-Picayune was facing major cuts and would reduce publication from daily editions to three times a week.

The Pulitzer prize winning daily that survived the Civil War and Hurricane Katrina appears to have been brought to her knees by a media company—Advance Communications—owned by the Newhouse family. That company owns newspapers all over the country, including dailies in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Oregon.

It also happens to own the three major dailies published in Alabama—the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and the Mobile Press-Register.

Earlier this week, those three papers’ combined website underwent a massive restructuring, completely changing the format and layout of the site and its iconic homepage. Ominously, the Times-Pic’s own website——recently saw its website undergo a similar transformation.

Does that portend major changes in the three papers serving the largest metropolitan areas in the state of Alabama?

Jim Romenesko—a prominent blogger on all things print media and journalism—says he’s heard that it does.

The Mobile Press-Register is the oldest daily paper in the state of Alabama. Founded in 1813, it’s even older than the Times-Pic, which was established in 1837.

Its former publisher is Ricky Mathews, who was named publisher of the Times-Pic in March.

Interestingly enough, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Press-Register printed editions of the Times-Pic at its facility in downtown Mobile and transported the papers to the New Orleans area for distribution.

While saddening, these changes are a sign of the times. People just don’t get their news from a printed daily paper anymore. By the time a story is printed in the wee hours of the morning and delivered to your door or favorite newsstand, it’s ancient history. Many publishing companies sticking to old-school journalism and publishing norms exacerbate their plight by ignoring the wishes of consumers by telling readers what they should be reading instead of giving them what they want to read. Consumers respond by choosing other sources of news, including the rapidly growing social media networks, message boards and blogs like the one you’re reading now.

Times, they are a changin’.

UPDATE: Shortly after this entry was published, Advance published the following announcement at

A new digitally focused media company — the Alabama Media Group, which will include The Birmingham News, the Press-Register of Mobile, The Huntsville Times and — will launch this fall to serve readers and advertisers across the state, according to Cindy Martin, who will become president of the new organization.

The change is designed to reshape how Alabama's leading media companies deliver award-winning local news, sports and entertainment coverage in an increasingly digital age. The Alabama Media Group will dramatically expand its news-gathering efforts around the clock, seven days a week, while offering enhanced printed newspapers on a schedule of three days a week. The newspapers will be home-delivered and sold in stores on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays only.

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Ohio State has more NCAA violations to report

Gene Smith: More NCAA violations are pending
Published on The Lantern RSS | shared via feedly

There are more NCAA violations on the horizon for Ohio State, and athletic director Gene Smith said he doesn't know what the NCAA will make of them.

Smith told The Lantern Tuesday the athletic department has 12 pending NCAA violations, and he doesn’t know if they will be deemed primary or secondary violations.

“We’ve got 12 pending,” Smith said. “It may turn out to be secondary. It may not.”
Read the full story here.

Via Sports Illustrated, we also have an otherwise mundane story of a school planning to boost student-athletes’ ability to help develop study habits and improve participation. How is that going to fly with the NCAA, if this program isn't offered to the student body as a whole?

Don't forget that during the 2012 recruiting season, Big 10 coaches howled in protest over the Buckeyes' recruiting practices.

Ohio State is already serving a sanction sentence including a post-season ban for football coach Urban Meyer's honeymoon season.

May you live in interesting times, Buckeye fans.

Morning Six Pack: May 24, 2012

imageBeer won’t solve your problems; neither will milk. BUT, these six college football stories from around the country should help you deal with drama a little better today.

Leaving is the Pitts

Todd Graham's one-and-done, leave in the middle of the night, text message goodbye to his Pitt players drew national ire. But the Arizona State coach's rash decision helped him get where he wanted to go.

Five upset alerts: Which FCS program will shock college football in 2012?

Pete Roussel of Coaching Search runs down a slate of games featuring FCS vs FBS schools in the 2012 season and comes up with an alert list. No. 2: 2011 National Champ North Dakota State at Colorado State and rookie head coach Jim McElwain.

Tommy Tuberville business partner indicted for fraud

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — A business partner of former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville will go on trial Oct. 1 on charges he sold financial products without a license and misused millions of dollars of his clients' money.

Duke football players experience Ethiopia

A group of Duke football players may never see life the same way since visiting one of the poorest and most remote countries in the world.

Their mission to Ethiopia: To make a difference.

Inspired by previous humanitarian efforts of junior guard Dave Harding and his family, ten of Harding’s offensive line teammates at Duke decided they wanted to join him for the two weeks between final exams and summer football workouts digging wells and visiting with orphans in Ethiopia.

Is a Plus-One playoff system back on the table?

When the SEC and Big 12 announced an agreement last week on a bowl game that would pit their champions in a major venue, many believed it was bad news for the ACC and Big East, the two conferences generally regarded as the weakest of the Big Six. Of course, the Big Ten and Pac-12 have long held strong ties to the Rose Bowl, making the ACC and Big East the lone two BCS conferences without a strong postseason alliance and on the outside looking in. While that may be the case, there could be even bigger fallout from the deal between the SEC and Big 12: revived talks of a Plus-One playoff model.

Wade, Humphrey, Peterson Not Enrolled At Arkansas Or Part Of Razorbacks

Marquel Wade, Maudrecus Humphrey and Andrew Peterson are not currently enrolled at Arkansas and are not taking part in football activities, following their arrests for residential burglarly charges earlier ths month.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

TCU’s Del Conte chooses words poorly, hysteria ensues

image The conference realignment feeding frenzy has gotten to the point where someone is gonna get hurt. peaking at an event in Lubbock, TX, TCU Athletic Director Chris Del Conte was heard saying that the Big 12 was so vibrant that it has “schools like Florida State, Clemson and Miami trying to get in." 

There have been rumors for weeks that the new ACC media deal left some of the conference’s premier football members feeling shortchanged enough to start looking elsewhere. That was further fueled by 247Sports’ Florida State crew announcing that FSU and Clemson had informed the ACC that they were exploring options. That story remains unconfirmed. Today’s Morning Six Pack noted a story in which a CBS Sports reporter attempted to conflate a discussion between the Big 12 and Notre Dame on Olympic Sports with a full fledged courting of the storied football power.

People are stretching for stories and sooner or later, the credibility axe is going to fall on an overextended neck. So, when Del Conte issued his [ahem] “confirmation” that three of the biggest football powers in the ACC were scaling the walls of the Big 12, the innerwebs went BOOM.

“Not so fast” says Stefan Stevenson, the TCU beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.










Del Conte says he was referring to how the Big 12 had grown in stature since last year—when the 2011 realignment craze looked like it was about to gut the league—and was using the rumors of interest from ACC schools as an illustration of how things changed.

Whether you believe he’s simply walking back comments that accidentally provided the story-starved media with red meat or you believe he’s clarifying marks that were misunderstood doesn’t matter. What does matter is that in this hyper-reactive environment, doesn’t it make sense to wait until the suits call a presser before you rearrange the pieces on the board?

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NFL wants hi-speed Internet in every stadium. What about college football?

NFL wants high-speed Internet for every fan in every stadium
Published on ProFootballTalk | shared via feedly
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he wants every fan in every stadium to be able to access the Internet using whatever device they carry into the stands with them, as the NFL continues to grapple with the fact that for many fans, watching games on TV at home — for free — is a better experience than spending a small fortune to go to the game.

“We believe that it is important to get technology into our stadiums,” Goodell said. “We have made the point repeatedly that the experience at home is outstanding, and we have to compete with that in some fashion by making sure that we create the same kind of environment in our stadiums and create the same kind of technology.”
Read more here.

What a fantastic idea. This is an idea that capable college programs should embrace as well. Cell and data service issues have been a longstanding complaint at many Southeastern Conference venues, thwarting fans' attempts to interact with friends and other fans online during the course of a big game.

Big games at both the college and professional levels will always be sellouts. But that doesn't mean the experience can't be made better by allowing instant interaction.

Times-Pic: LSU Corner transferring

LSU cornerback Ronnie Vinson is transferring to Southeastern Louisiana |
Published on | shared via feedly
LSU cornerback Ronnie Vinson is transferring to Southeastern Louisiana, Newman Coach Nelson Stewart said. Vinson will be eligible to play for the Lions in 2012 and will likely walk into a starting position.

"The paperwork is in the formalized process, but he's been in the process the past couple of weeks," Stewart said. "I think for him, it's the best fit. He doesn't have to wait, and they have a scheme that he's comfortable with."

Vinson, who was entering his redshirt sophomore season at LSU, was not listed on the Tigers' post-spring training, two-deep depth chart. He appeared in seven games in 2011 and recorded one tackle.
Even with the departure of Mo Claiborne to the NFL, LSU is as rich as a Waffle House fart on defense, especially in the backfield. This transfer doesn't surprise anyone--especially after message board rumblings over Vinson's disappearance from the two-deep roster.

Located in Hammond on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, Southeastern Louisiana plays in the Football Championship Subdivision. As a result, Vinson won't have to sit a year to satisfy NCAA transfer requirements. He should compete for a starting position right away.

Rich getting Richer? Five star Georgia commit ponders switch to Bama

Five-star UGA commit Derrick Henry considering switching to Alabama
Published on Bama | shared via feedly
The Alabama Crimson Tide coaching staff has set its sights on one of the nation's top athletes, five-star recruit Derrick Henry from Yulee, Florida, despite the fact that Henry has been committed to Georgia since last July.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound star received a visit from Alabama running backs coach Burton Burns earlier this week and told BamaOnline that his communication with the Tide coaching staff has stepped up in recent weeks.

"There's nothing not to like about Alabama, really," Henry told BamaOnline. "If you look at them the past few years and the success they've had with the players, as a team and then with Coach (Nick) Saban and all the success. They bring in the top recruiting classes.
Read the rest from Matt Scalici.

"They bring in the top recruiting classes."

Recruiting analysts have long held that the real bounce from a championship season occurs in the signing class one year removed from the title.

Henry's comments indicate that he's also drawn to Alabama because of quality of potential teammates he perceives. He sounds intrigued by the possibility of playing and competing with the best. Henry will probably be a star regardless of where he lands. But being a star on a squad that is still gathering momentum is heady, tempting stuff.

Morning Six Pack: May 23, 2012

imageThe Burpfast of champions, and these six college football stories from around the country.

CBS Sports’ Brett McMurphy pulling a sleight of hand?

Headline says: “Texas AD not for expanding, but admits courting Notre Dame.” But does that mean the Big 12 courted the Golden Domers for football?

The short answer: “No.” CBS, you should know better.

Alabama Football: Game Time vs. Michigan Is Another Example of Poor Programming

You can start getting your plans for opening weekend set, because another game time has been set.Alabama will take on Michigan from Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas at 8:00 p.m. ET, in a game that will be televised on ABC, Alabama announced on Tuesday. If you're bored, or you just want something to do during breaks, you can flip over to ESPN, which will be showing the Auburn vs. Clemson game starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Tennessee player arrested for grand larceny

Tennessee sophomore tight end Cameron Clear was arrested by University of Tennessee police Tuesday evening on a felony theft charge. Clear, 19, of Memphis, was booked into the Knox County Detention Facility on a charge of theft of more than $1,000, according to jail logs. As of Tuesday evening, he was being held in lieu of $2,500 bond.

Big East decides title game will be played on campus

Big East officials spent a good portion of today’s meetings working through divisional possibilities, and on that front, little ground seemed to have been gained. Where the winner of each of those divisions will play, however, appears to have been settled.

Bahn: Hogs' Tyler Wilson Has A Read On Paul Petrino After They Team For Big Spring

Perhaps Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson can't do his relationship with offensive coordinator Paul Petrino justice with words. His spring practice performance provides as good an explanation as any of how well he and Petrino fit. It's well documented the sort of spring Wilson had. He threw no interceptions in scrimmages and capped April by completing 31 of 41 passes for 467 yards with two touchdowns in the Red-White game.

Sue Paterno receives $13.4 million for Joe Pa’s pension

Four months after Joe Paterno died due to complications from lung cancer, his widow, Sue, will start receiving a state pension of $13.4 million for her husband's 61-year coaching career at Penn State.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ESPN Loves'em some Bama football

Crimson Tide playing in 3 of ESPN's Top 10 games for 2012
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On his "100 Days Till Kickoff" notebook, Mark Schlabach put three Alabama games under his Top 10 Games for the upcoming college football season.

Alabama's game with Michigan in Texas on Sept. 1, which solidified a 7 p.m. time slot Tuesday, is ranked as the most anticipated game of the year. The Tide's game with Arkansas two weeks later ranks third, while the rematch of the BCS National Championship game with LSU comes in seventh.
Via Wesley Sinor at Sports Impact

I was going to save this story for tomorrow's Six Pack, but it bears a little more commentary than what usually accompanies the quick six.

Schlabach has the Cowboy Classic as the most anticipated game over the Alabama at LSU slugfest for a reason. The Classic will be played on ABC, ESPN's parent network while the slobber knocker in the bayou will be televised in prime time on CBS.

Clearly, the latter of the two games has a much greater impact on the national title chase because it'll be the third time these two titans have paired off in a year's time and even if Alabama slips against Michigan, it should still be squarely in the hunt for the crystal if it manages to escape a loss until November.

Still, give Schlabach some credit. He has the top four games featuring SEC teams and it's doubtful that ESPN gets to broadcast more than the first one.

100 days, y'all.

Richardson in no hurry to sign deal with Browns

Richardson is waiting for other top picks to sign
Published on ProFootballTalk | shared via feedly
On Monday night, Browns G.M. Tom Heckert said that the team has not had extensive negotiations with running back Trent Richardson, the third overall pick in the draft.  “I think he wants to wait for some other [top picks to sign],” Heckert said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal.  “They’ll all get done.  It’s not a concern at all.”

It’s not a concern yet.  But there’s no reason for any delay.  In the top five, three of the players — Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III at No. 2, Richardson at No. 3, and Vikings tackle Matt Kalil at No. 4 — are each represented by CAA.  It could be that CAA wants Colts quarterback Andrew Luck to set the ceiling at No. 1 and Jags receiver Justin Blackmon to set the floor at No. 5 before working out the deals for Griffin, Richardson, and Kalil in between
Via Pro Football Talk

In years past, even talking about signing deals before the 4th of July was unheard of. Now, many rookies are agreeing to terms and inking deals as OTA's begin. Former Bama DB Dre Kirkpatrick is one of nine first rounders to have already signed.

Silly Season: Oklahoma State's Christian Littlehead arrested for public intoxication

OSU's Littlehead arrested on complaint of public intoxication | Tulsa World
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Oklahoma State defensive tackle Christian Littlehead was arrested early Saturday in Tahlequah on a complaint of public intoxication, his second run in with law enforcement in the last six months. According to the police report, officers were called to a Tahlequah apartment complex about 4:30 a.m. on a noise complaint. They found several people drinking in the parking lot and being loud, the report states.
Via Tulsa World.

'tis the season that drives coaches crazy, keeps law enforcement busy and jeopardizes the careers of promising young athletes. It's the Silly Season--observed annually from approximately the end of spring drills until the opening of fall camps in August.

Traditionally the slowest news days of the cycle in college football, these are times when almost any incident is pounced upon and blasted coast to coast. Don't blame Twitter, message boards, the media or bloggers. It's junk food for a starving nation of fans.

Morning Six Pack: May 22, 2012

imageThere are 100 days remaining until the start of college football season? Drink to that, and these six stories from around the country on our favorite sport.

ESPN’s Brian Bennett poignantly reflects on a relationship with Bill Stewart.

Stewart never really wanted to participate in the peaceful transition of power, which became even more obvious just a few weeks later. Outwardly, though, he maintained his ever-rosy persona when I asked him what he planned to do with his life after football. "I'm only going to be 59 this year," he told me. "I was born to coach. I was born to lead."  Sadly, and incredibly, Stewart didn't have much time to write a new chapter in his life, dying of a heart attack Monday just a couple of weeks shy of his 60th birthday.

Big East still hopeful, but tectonic shifts have league's fate in doubt

The ever-present threat of realignment has again put the Big East's future in doubt. Despite that, the league maintained a hopeful outlook at Monday's meetings, says Andy Staples.

What if the SEC vs the Big 12 Bowl already existed?

Part of me believes the Big 12 cut off its nose to spite its face by inking a bowl game contract with the SEC. The Big 12 was on the verge of collapse last summer and interim commissioner Chuck Neinas desperately needed an anchor to create stability. What better safe haven than to hook up with the most prominent college football conference?

Sooners officially add ex-Arizona corner

For the second time in less than a week, Oklahoma has officially landed a transfer from a Left Coast conference. In a press release sent out Monday, the Sooners confirmed reports from earlier this month by announcing the transfer of cornerback Cortez Johnson.

Mike London would like to recruit you with LinkedIn

Mike London, the head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers, is using social media to connect to recruits. What’s weird about this? He is using LinkedIn which is targeted towards professionals trying to land employment and staying in touch with your business partners.

The maturation of Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin was despised by SEC fans (including Tennessee's) during his 14-month tenure at Rocky Top. But the USC head coach has experienced a transformation in Los Angeles.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

ESPN interview with 2013 Bama QB commitment Cooper Bateman

At 2:39 total length, this is a short but impressive interview with the quarterback that Nick Saban and Doug Nussmeier hope to have leading the Alabama offense in a few years.

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Morning Six Pack: May 21, 2012

imageOn the road again. I just can’t wait to get on the road again… But please don’t drink these college football stories from around the country and attempt to drive. You leave that to the professionals.

Hugh Freeze explains 246 scholarship offers

Posted by: Pete Roussel on May 20, 2012 Hugh Freeze is following a similar recruiting model that he learned as an assistant from 2005-2007 under former Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron. A number of players recruited by Orgeron's staff were eventually selected in the NFL draft.

Is 246 a lot of schollies to offer?

Trip to Haiti a lasting experience for Pitt athletes

Being a Division I athlete is often equated to a full-time job. Between games, practices and weightlifting sessions, any time off is a valuable commodity. Understandably, the few weeks after the spring semester ends are usually a chance to go home, visit family and relax.

For 15 Pitt student-athletes, not so much.

And, USC.

Trip to Haiti inspires, humbles USC players

Led by Matt Barkley and his family, 16 members of the Trojans football team traveled to the impoverished country to provide earthquake relief. The Haitians weren’t the only ones who got something out of it.

Cornelius Bennett vows to help make football safer, but first he'll raise funds for Children's Village

The Second Annual Cornelius Bennett/Children's Village Golf Challenge is scheduled for Monday at Greystone.

Sooners get much needed help at wide receiver

With off-field issues for a trio of players at the position, wide receivers could be in short supply at the start of the 2012 season. While the Sooners added a receiver transfer from Fresno State, Jalen Saunders very likely won’t be available until 2013 thanks to NCAA transfer rules.  Immediate help for OU, however, is on its way.

According to the Daily Oklahoman, JUCO receiver LaColtan Bester has signed with the Sooners and will play for OU this coming season.  Bester spent the 2011 season at East Mississippi Community College, where he caught 76 passes for 1,042 yards and 17 touchdowns.

ACC Commish John Swofford: Whistling past the graveyard

As he sat down with reporters following three days of meetings with representatives from the NCAA, ESPN, the conference's 14 member schools and his own staff, ACC Commissioner John Swofford appeared a tad fatigued but sounded completely confident last Wednesday morning.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Trent Richardson: “I’m not going to change my game.”

image Unfortunately, the NFL Network does not provide a user-friendly way of embedding their videos, so here’s the link, in which former Alabama running back and Cleveland Browns’ first round draft pick shares an interview with fellow draftee Brandon Weedon.

Warning: videos have a long and storied history of eating resources and driving CPU core temperatures into the 200’s, so you might want to skip around in this one as it’s 7:24 long.

In the video, Richardson explains that a lot of what he’s seen in rookie training camp reminds him of the stuff thrown at him by Alabama’s offensive braintrust, from play calls to formations, with only adjustments needed in understanding verbiage. He says that he remains a “student of the game,” which has to make Browns fans as excited to see him on the field as Bama fans were from 2009 through the BCS Championship Game in January.

But when the conversation changes to how the NFL has a tendency to wear down feature backs, Richardson essentially explains that he is what he is, and he’s not changing his game.

That exchange comes about 4:00 minutes in.

Another curious exchange comes about 6:00 in, where Richardson and Weedon are asked about NFL history. The only time in the Super Bowl era that a TB and QB were taken in the first round was in the 1979 Bengals' class.

Those two players failed to take the Bengals to the playoffs. If the Browns make the 2012 playoffs, it will be the first time in history. The reaction of Richardson is priceless.

Knowing that he can make history means something to this young man.

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Morning Six Pack: May 20, 2012

imageTo some, this is just a six pack of college football stories from around the world but to me, a six pack is a support group.

N.C. St. losing two DBs to transfer

Appearing on the wrong end of the post-spring depth chart, a pair of safeties have decided to take their collective leaves from North Carolina State.

Air Force senior Clark dismissed from academy

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) - Air Force running back Asher Clark is no longer enrolled at the academy amid a newspaper report that he was caught up in an investigation into illegal drug use.

Follow up from yesterday, but… Air Force?

New Bowl Game Heralds a Football Final Four

This is the biggest, craziest high-stakes game of musical chairs the college sports world has ever seen. For proof of that, who could have imagined 12 months ago that the creation of a Southeastern Conference-Big 12 bowl game to rival the prestigious Rose Bowl could not only signal that a legitimate football playoff is on the way, but that the ripple effect would also be wildly beneficial to both Mizzou football and St. Louis University basketball?

Ole Miss Wide Receiver is academically ineligible, apologizes on Facebook

Brassell was declared academically ineligible after the spring semester because he failed to complete the minimum 18 hours passes during the fall and spring. He will transfer from Ole Miss to a destination unknown.

Follow the link for the Facebook post.

Darius Paige, a little known defensive line recruit, has committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide....

Paige stars for Pensacola (Fla.) Booker T. Washington High School, and has been a relative unknown until this point, likely due to his film not being distributed to the major recruiting services or even YouTube. His other major offers are from Louisville and Kentucky.

 Source: 'We might be moving to four superconferences; Big 12 would be one'

"I really can't believe I'm saying this," one Big 12 school source said. "We might be moving to four superconferences -- and the Big 12 would be one of those."

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Morning Six Pack: May 19, 2012

imageFeel pity for those who don’t get their morning sixer in because that’s as good as they’re gonna feel all day. Six college football stories from around the country.

SEC-Big 12 bowl game alliance starts unthinkable change in college football

The SEC and Big 12 announced a bowl partnership Friday, one that never more clearly defined the haves and have-nots of college football. If you’re not part of the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12, you’re on the outside with your face pressed against the big-boy glass. The handful of powerful BCS teams remaining now have a clear decision to make: Join one of the four major conferences, or get shut out of the future of the game.

Former Clemson WR Brian Wofford killed in accident

The extended Clemson football family has suffered a loss as a former standout wide receiver was killed this past week. First reported by multiple media outlets, the university confirmed via a press release that Brian Wofford died Friday morning after the motorcycle that he was driving was hit by an automobile.

Miami QB Morris says he's 100 percent healthy after back surgery

Three months after undergoing back surgery that kept him sidelined during spring football, Miami quarterback Stephen Morris said Friday that he's now 100 percent healthy and has been given full medical clearance. Morris said he has been running, lifting weights and throwing with the team's receivers. "Now that it's been a couple months, I've been throwing normally. Everything is back to where it was before," Morris said.

Analysis: With Big 12-SEC Game Comes Uncertain Ripple Effect

What about Notre Dame?

The Irish appear more isolated in football independence after every reverberation, real or projected, of conference realignment. The Big East, where Notre Dame houses its non-football programs, appears vulnerable if the A.C.C. loses more teams. “We don’t think it has significant near-term consequences for Notre Dame,” the Irish athletic director, Jack Swarbrick, said of the Big 12-SEC game. He added that he would continue to monitor the landscape. Don’t expect anything to happen with the Irish until after a playoff plan is completed.

Jeff Long “not interested” in leaving Arkansas

“Although I do not consider it appropriate to discuss the personnel searches of other universities or colleges, I feel it’s important to address recent speculation about me and the athletics director position at another prestigious institution,” Long’s statement began. “Although I can’t be responsible for what others are saying or thinking, I do know that I am not interested in leaving the University of Arkansas. My interest and commitment continues to be providing leadership to the University of Arkansas and to Razorback athletics at this critical time in our program’s history.”

Video: Nick Saban welcomed to Ft. Benning by soldiers

As part of his Crimson Caravan visit to Columbus, Georgia on Thursday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban visited Fort Benning. Saban was greeted by a large contingent of soldiers, who surprised Saban with a familiar cheer.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Arkansas fans would just like Gus Malzahn to go away

Bahn: Malzahn Pitches Vision For Red Wolves In Statewide Speaking Tour
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Nearly 350 miles were covered Tuesday. Another 230 miles came Wednesday and a final 350 or so on Thursday.

None of it seemed to wear on Malzahn, the former Auburn staffer and 15-year veteran of the Arkansas high school ranks.

"We’re just trying to cover all the areas and be as visible as we can," Malzahn said. "It’s exciting to me.”
Read the rest from Chris Bahn here.

Let's be honest. Arkansas is still a good ways away from being a two-team state. But if anyone is going to put Arkansas State close to the same level as the University of Arkansas, it's Gus Malzahn. Auburn coach Gene Chizik will explain that  he is a tireless recruiter. Arkansas high school football coaches will explain that he has about as good of a relationship with their fraternity as any college coach in the country.

Fayetteville will almost always have its pick of the top talent in a football crazy state, but Jonesboro will get more of their share than they have in years past. You. Just. Watch.

Malzahn starts his inaugural 2012 season with Oregon, a team he has already beaten on the biggest stage in college football. They then host the hapless Memphis Tigers before traveling to Lincoln to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers. No one expects him to go undefeated in that three game stretch, but his team is loaded with almost the same talent that took the Red Wolves to an 11-2 record and a berth in the bowl in Mobile.

Arkansas State is gonna be good, y'all. They're just as likely in 2012 to win the Sun Belt as they were last season, and never underestimate this man's offensive wizardry. Anyone who could take what should have been a 7-5 Auburn team to the national title is a recruiting and offensive force to be reckoned with.

With new bowl deal, Mike Slive outmaneuvers Jim Delany

image Friday afternoon, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive and outgoing Big 12 Commissioner announced a five-year agreement to send their conference champions to an as-yet unnamed New Years Day bowl, if those conference champions are left out of the pending four-team playoff being considered by the college football powers that be.

With one press release, Mike Slive shows why he is the Jedi Master of The Deal and Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delany is just another politician.

The deal with the Big 12 does four things:

  1. It virtually guarantees that the conference champions of the two most dominant and demographically dynamic conferences will meet in the postseason, whether that’s in the four team playoff that is poised to replace the BCS or in the Unnamed Bowl.
  2. It guarantees that if the selection process somehow finds a way to screw the Big 12 and SEC champs out of berths in the final four, it creates a path for the winner of the Unnamed Bowl to be named the Associated Press National Champions. It weakens the credibility of the Delany-driven four team selection process.
  3. It places intense new pressure on Notre Dame to join a conference. Delany’s insistence on “conference champions only” in the final four is one thing. Cutting Notre Dame out of a second major postseason matchup with national championship implications is another matter entirely. Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick brushed off Friday’s development, telling the NY Times Pete Thamel that the deal had no near term implications. pffft.
  4. It places new competitive pressure on the Sugar Bowl, an event that traditionally hosts the SEC champion. In the BCS era however, the Sugar only hosts the SEC champion if it was hosting the BCS Championship Game or the SEC champ wasn’t playing for the title. Now, the Sugar Bowl may have to compete with another venue. There happens to be a big one just outside of Dallas.

Delany and PAC-12 Commissioner Larry Scott have both expressed strong desire to maintain their relationship with the Rose Bowl, which itself had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the BCS rotation. Their goal is to have at least one of the semifinal games in the new playoff played in Pasadena (assuming that the Big 10 and PAC-12 can both get teams in the four team field).

Hypothetically, a scenario is possible wherein the Big 10, PAC-12 and ACC all get final four berths along with Notre Dame at large. While that hasn’t happened yet, it’s certainly within the realm of possibilities. This is especially true if teams not named Notre Dame must be conference champs and the teams are selected by a human committee in some smoky backroom in Indianapolis. The folks who’ve watched six straight SEC teams win the BCS Championship were drooling over this; praying for it to happen, even.

Until Friday afternoon.

In the doomsday scenario above, a highly ranked SEC team will play a highly ranked Big 12 team on New Year’s Day, in prime time. Maybe the winning team won’t hoist a crystal ball, but it might host the AP Trophy while the two conferences rake in the cash.

Your move, Jim Delany.

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LSU assistants still smarting from BCS championship loss to Alabama

LSU doesn't want to forget loss in BCS championship game, coordinators say
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LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis knew the question was coming. Really, though, a score would have sufficed. Alabama 21, LSU 0. 

The Tigers' crushing defeat in January's BCS national championship game, played in the Superdome, just a 90-minute drive from the LSU campus, gave Les Miles' talented squad a starting point for the 2012 season.

"You live with (the loss to Alabama) a long time," said Chavis, who appeared with offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe at the Tiger Tour '12 at the Hard Rock Biloxi on Thursday night. 

Read the rest at the Mississippi Press via

Tide fans can relate. After an undefeated regular season in 2008, Alabama lost dropped two consecutive painful losses to Florida in the SEC Championship Game and Utah in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. What could have been a championship season ended in pain.

The Tide used that misery as a starting point for the undefeated 2009 championship season, avenging the loss to Florida in the conference championship rematch and demolishing Texas in the 2010 BCS Championship game.

LSU certainly has the talent to make another run at the title and the motivation is certainly there.

Ohio State admits dozens of NCAA secondary violations

Ohio State's Urban Meyer, AD Gene Smith admit 'secondary' NCAA violations; school reports 46 violations in all sports since last June 
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None of the violations, among the 46 reported in 21 sports since May 30 of last year, are a big deal on their own, nothing close to the major violations that threw the football program into turmoil during 2011. The violations were released to The Plain Dealer on Thursday in response to a records request filed to Ohio State on April 18 for all NCAA violations committed by the school's athletic department dating back to May 30, 2011. That was the date on which former football coach Jim Tressel was forced to resign.

Many are related to assistant coaches in various sports mistakenly contacting recruits they believe are older than they really are, almost laughably insignificant missteps.

But on one hand, anything having to do with violations won't help Ohio State's perception, while on the other hand, a lot of secondary violations can be viewed as a sign of a strong compliance department. 
Original story found here.

This revelation should come as no shock to Florida Gator fans. From at least 2008 forward, there wasn't a year that passed in which Meyer or his staff copped to secondary violations in recruiting. During the recent 2012 recruiting season, several Big 10 coaches whined loudly about Meyer's recruiting tactics.
The NCAA rulebook is hopelessly complex. No program is immune to occasional missteps and unintentional violations of the arcane manual.

The question is: When does a series of secondary violations become evidence of such a pattern of misconduct that it rises to the level of a major infraction? In the recent Tennessee case involving former coach Lane Kiffin's voluminous "secondary" transgressions, NCAA enforcement staff argued before the Committee on Infractions that the violations were so frequent that they constituted failure to monitor.

The COI found that argument unconvincing and did not sanction Kiffin or the school for that offense, but don't think that Enforcement walked away undaunted. 

The last thing Ohio State wants to see now is Enforcement trying another bite at the apple, this time against a program barely a year into the dreaded "repeat violator" window.

Morning Six Pack: May 18, 2012

imageOf course beer is the answer. But while you’re trying to remember the question, please check out these six college football stories from around the country.

Column: More SEC expansion coming, but where?

Even before the SEC holds a single sporting event as a 14-school conference, the possibility of further expansion is in the wind. With Florida State pondering its future in the ACC and batting its eyes at the Big 12, the intercollegiate deck soon could be reshuffled. Look for the SEC to do whatever is necessary to extend its footprint and strengthen its membership.

There Is Nothing Like LSU To Fire Up Razorback Fans

Contrary to popular belief, things DO change in Arkansas, however incrementally. In the two short decades since LSU last visited Razorback Stadium, Hog fans have experienced three bitter losses in Atlanta, two Miracles on Markham, and one season during which we were literally hanging on by a (hanging) toe. We have feuded bitterly amongst ourselves when we brought back a favorite son to be our coach, and also when we sent off a favorite son to be our president. And amazingly, many of us become the most passionate and spew the most vitriol when we talk about where to play the damned football games. Especially this LSU game.

Wisconsin AD Alvarez pursued Notre Dame series

When he suspected that fellow Big Ten schools perhaps were vacating spots on Notre Dame's schedule, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez leapt at the chance to fill them. The former Irish defensive coordinator got blocked there. But he remains open to getting his current and former employers together on the field at some point.

The burning question: What about the Notre Dame – Michigan series?

SMU fires athletic director Steve Orsini

May 17 is not a normal date to hear that an athletic director has been fired, but that doesn't matter much to SMU, which surprisingly fired AD Steve Orsini effective immediately on Thursday. School president R. Gerald Turner announced the change in a press release but did not give any specific reasons as to why Orsini was let go.

Darth Kiffin lands another top tailback

Two days after the Trojans received a verbal commitment from running back Ty Isaac (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic), USC landed another tailback, as Justin Davis (Stockton, Calif./Lincoln) announced his commitment to the Trojans on Thursday.

NCAA rules changes include 'stronger' penalties

The NCAA overhaul of its body of rules may call for the suspension of a head coach whose assistants commit violations, as well as fine a university up to five percent of its annual athletic budget based on the severity of the penalty.

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