Monday, March 29, 2010

WEEK IN REVIEW, Mar. 21-27

Let's get right to the headlines.

1. Urban Meyer is back, but he isn't taking it easy. Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer lashed out at a journalist from Orlando this week for suggesting that one of his players was taking a stab at Tim Tebow when he called John Brantley a real quarterback. I watched the video and read the quote and the journalists' writings that offended Meyer. I think both went to far. I can understand why Meyer would be mad, and I can understand why the journalist wrote what he wrote. Although I think the journalist was irresponsible to twist Deonte Thompson's words as he did, he did it in a way that was not condemning. He merely suggested that one could read that meaning into what he said. I can't fault Meyer for wanting to talk to the reporter about it, but I don't think Meyer went about it the right way. Meyer has since apologized.

2. The International Bowl is no more. What a relief, one less bowl, except the reason the International Bowl has folded is because it lost its deal with the Big East to the new Pinstripes Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

3. TCU to the SEC? This column on makes a persuasive argument for the SEC to think expansion and grab TCU. If the SEC picks up on this and expands, the organizational structure of college football, as we know it, will be history.

Monday, March 22, 2010

WEEK IN REVIEW: Mar. 14-20

This week things seemed to slow down a little. I guess it was March Madness. It took full control of the sports world this week. Three stories, however, stood out to me.

1. The University of Florida Pro Day. Tim Tebow unveiled his new throwing motion at the UF pro day on March 17. Maybe this is the real reason all the news stopped in college football this week. We all were paying homage to Tebow. Reports are positive, and the little video footage that I have seen, his throwing motion looks really good. I do agree with most, however, that the best case scenario for him is to beable to back up someone for 1-2 years to better solidify that throwing motion and all the mechanics that change ever so slightly with it.

2. Oregon AD switches coasts. Mike Bellotti left his post as Oregon Atheletic Director for an ESPN gig. Pretty unexpected, but if you read Ivan Maisel's article about it, it is understandable. Then again, Mr. Maisel works for ESPN, so why would expect anything but a positive spin on the move. I admit that Bellotti's move raises questions since the timing of this move comes at the same time that ducks by the barrell are trading jearseys for jail. I can't think that Bellotti and Chip Kelly weren't working well together through this athletic department crisis; they worked together for two years before Bellotti became the AD. In the end, I side with the timing of all this as coincidental. It is one thing for him to resign, but another to resign and immediately accept an analyst position with ESPN. Switching jobs takes time, no matter who you are.

3. Lights go on in the Big House. The Michigan Wolverines will finally have lights on their stadium. What is the bigger story here, that there will be lights, or that Michigan went all this time without lights. I can't immagine that this move is cheap, or that it will increase attendance. That means, there must be TV money involved. I have never heard of it before, but I guess ABC/ESPN pays you more money for broadcasting a night game than a traditional afternoon clash.

As for an update on the "BCS Bash" it is ready, but I am delaying it for a short time as I am working on some changes to my blog that should improve this and all future features. Thanks for your patience.

Poll results: How important is spring training?

The lastest poll closed, and the results were split 50/50 on how important spring training is for college football. Half of you said it was critical, and the other half voted that it was very important.

The next poll is the question everyone wants to know the answer to: When will Tim Tebow be drafted? (Read more about Tebow in the Weekly Review, March 14-20.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010


When this week began we were less than six months away from kick off. No wonder the spike in newsworthy headlines.

1. 'Bama meets Obama. The 2009 National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide were welcomed to the White House by President Obama on Monday, March 8.

2. Oregon head coach Chip Kelly has suspended starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli for one year after he plead guilty to second degree burglary charges. Star running back LaMichael James will miss one game next year. Some think that losing Masoli is not a big deal and Oregon should still be the front runner in the Pac-10. I think it blows the Pac-10 wide open. USC is still a big question mark, Stanford lost Toby Gerhart, Washington is a wild card that will impact who wins the championship. Maybe this will be Oregon State's year. Mike Riely consistently overachieves with his players, and the Rodgers brothers are back. I applaud Coach Kelly for being as bold as he is with disciplining his players. If more coaches adopted his strict standards we would see a great improvement in society.

3. Wisconsin running back will miss all of spring practice. He is recovering from ankle surgery, and the recovery is slower than originally expected. I don't think this will impact him come fall. It is a fairly common practice for veteran players with any questionable health issues to participate minimally in spring drills. He knows the offense and has plenty of experience. Since he is not in tip top shape he does not need to be subjected to the physical part of spring practice. Let him come back in the fall ready to go.

4. Mike Leach testified as part of his lawsuit against Texas Tech. Nothing has been resolved yet, but his attorney's are increasingly confident. There is no question that Mike Leach did not act with prudence, but were his actions enough to justify his dismissal? A video of Leach using profane and derogatory language with his players after two games last season was released this week. While this is another "bad judgment" by Leach to talk like that with cameras rolling, I can't imagine he did anything different than most of the other coaches across the country. Maybe this negative exposure of Leach will bring a change in the language used by coaches, which would be another improvement to society.

5. The BCS and Congress go at it again. Another round of government involvement with the BCS started this week. Senators Orrin Hatch and Max Baucus. This one centers around financial disclosure to determine whether the BCS is withholding money from government funded schools. Every time the government starts to get involved the debate over the government involvement starts again. I have stated my general feelings on this before. I just want to counter all those who argue that the government has more important things to worry about. If that is how you feel, why are you worrying so much about it? Don't you have more important things to worry about?

6. Notre Dame Athletic Director hints at Notre Dame giving up independent status. He said that conference expansion may force the Fighting Irish to relinquish its independent status. The only thing that would force Notre Dame to join a conference is years of mediocrity. Win and the money takes care of itself.

7. Paying college football and basketball players. Ed O'Bannon has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA for not paying him and others for using their likeness in video games. You can read the full story here. That brings up the question, should college athletes get paid? We all accept that college football is a big cash cow. In many indirect ways, college players are compensated for their efforts. Most of them are on scholarship. They don't pay a dime for their education. The best players are drafted and given millions of dollars by professional teams. Players can be busts in the pros, but they still get those mega dollars because of their play in college. How about the all-expenses paid trips? How much would you pay to visit President Obama in the White House? I don't think anyone from Alabama paid anything. The Universities are providing free access to personalized training and to top notch facilities (in most cases). The rest of us have to pay for these. Of course, I have not seen a break down of "profits" for universities or the NCAA, so maybe the athletes are not being fairly compensated. Then again, how many of us are being "fairly compensated" at our day jobs?

That's it for this week. Don't be shy with your feedback, but do be polite and respectful. As for those waiting for the BCS series, that should be ready in one week.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

WEEK IN REVIEW, Feb. 28-March 6

First, to follow up on last week's inquiry. The new excessive celebration penalty is still just a proposal. It was passed by the NCAA Rules Committee and will now go before the Playing Rules Oversight Panel. I am unable to find the date that that panel will consider this rule, but my guess is that the panel will support it and it will go into effect in 2011. To clarify the rule, the only change that it will bring is for "taunting gestures" on the way to the end zone. The penalty will be assessed from the spot of the foul and the points will be taken off of the board. Celebrations after a player crosses the goal line will still be dead ball fouls and assess on the extra point or kickoff. I agree with this proposed rule change, in principle. Any violation of the rules that happens in the field of play while the play is live should be charged that way. My problem with the rule is the language. What exactly is a taunting gesture? Some are obvious, but others are not. Can this rule be invoked if an official thinks that a player is taunting the fans? Are their rules of proximity and direction? If a player is 15 yards away from the nearest defender can any gesture really be interpreted as being directed at the defender? If the ball carrier has his back turned to the defender can any gesture by the ball carrier be interpreted as taunting the opposing player? The possibilities are endless. I am all for sportsmanship, but the language of this proposed rule needs to be clarified before it is implemented.

Now, on to this week.

1. The big event this week was the commencement of spring ball for some schools. Yes, you read that right. The first official day of spring is still two weeks away, but teams have already started practicing. That includes Air Force. Why the cadets have already started spring football beats me. I can understand if teams in the south want to get an early start to beat the heat, but Air Force is in Colorado Springs with an altitude well over 5,000 feet, plus the Academy is situated up against the mountains. I used to live in Colorado Springs and it doesn't get warm until May. Can the practices really be that effective? Maybe President Obama is going to deploy all the cadets on a top secret 3 month mission later this month, so the only time to do spring ball is now.

2. If you didn't believe it already, expansion is imminent for the Big-10. A report is out confirming what we all suspected. This is being done for money. As a side note, the report lists Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Missouri, and Rutgers as the prime candidates.

3. The NFL scouting combine concluded. Nothing too earth shattering happened there. Just one more step in the process. Players impressed, players disappointed, but with pro days and individual workouts for another month and a half, a lot of changes in projections will be made.

Those are the stories that stuck out to me. Go ahead and use the comments section to weigh in on them or put forth your own take on additional stories that you are following.

Just one other thing to add, I am working on a series of posts on the BCS, so in a not too distant week I will have daily editorials about the BCS.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

POLL RESULTS: Who will make the biggest impression on scouts at the NFL draft combine?

Ryan Matthews received 66 percent of the vote in the latest poll: Who will make the biggest impression on scouts at the NFL draft combine?

Don't forget to vote in the new poll: How important is spring training?