Daily Archives: April 4, 2011

Memes that make me nervous

While it’s not as prevalent as Mark Richt’s hot seat, this one’s officially got legs, folks.

I don’t think the argument is about which SEC team has the best quarterback: it’s Georgia and Aaron Murray, and any argument to the contrary — especially with his closest competition out for spring practice — should fall on deaf ears. Murray, entering his sophomore season, showed enough as a first-year starter in 2010 to earn this prestigious title, even if this looks like the conference’s worst batch of starting quarterbacks in the better part of the decade…

Again, it’s not that Murray’s at the top of his list – I’d put him there, too, if asked – it’s the no-brainer aspect of this that’s so startling.  Keep in mind that this regression to the mean statistical analysis is the most pessimistic appraisal of Murray’s 2011 season I’ve seen so far, and it’s still got him ranked as the second best QB in the conference.

A lot of people are expecting big things from him.



Filed under Georgia Football

Back in the saddle again

Tony Barnhart has taken his act from the AJ-C to cbssports.com and starts his posting there with a series of modest proposals to fix what’s ailing college football.

1. Find a way for the top 60 to 70 schools that play major college football to work independently from the NCAA. The sport has become too big to be managed within in the limitations of the NCAA framework. If a way cannot be found to accommodate these schools then they should leave the NCAA and form their own organization and make their own rules.

2. Create a commissioner of college football. My CBS colleague Tim Brando has been saying this for years, and he’s right. Somebody needs to be in charge for the good of the entire sport. On cases like Cam Newton and the Ohio State Five, the commissioner has the last word. He or she will have zero tolerance for cheating (and there is a difference between cheating and breaking the rules). Only a strong commissioner, backed up by the presidents, can bring the risk-reward for cheating back into balance.

3. Freshmen will be declared ineligible. There is a whole host of pathologies that are created by a recruiting process that tells 18-year-old children they are stars and should be treated (and paid) like one. Until 1972, freshmen were not eligible to play. There was a reason for that. Most are not mature enough, emotionally or academically, to commit to big-time college football. It’s simple. If you make your grades as a freshman and prove that you can handle college life, then you get to play as a sophomore. Would this be tough to do with only 85 scholarships? Yep. But it’s for the greater good. This will never happen, but it would address a lot of ills.

4. Football scholarships become five-year commitments by the school. In exchange for giving up freshman eligibility, the student athlete will get a five-year guaranteed scholarship if he stays in good academic standing and doesn’t get in trouble with the law. The one-year scholarship is a bad deal for the students. Red-shirting is eliminated. And one other thing: No oversigning. No gray-shirting. You sign a kid and he gets a scholarship. Period.

5. Change the scholarship to include the full cost of attendance. The top academic scholarships include a stipend for incidental living expenses based on the location of the campus. Athletic scholarships should do the same. This stipend of several thousand dollars (plus a Pell Grant that can be as much as $5,500) takes the argument off the table that athletes from poor backgrounds do not have spending money. The NCAA has a Student Opportunity fund of more than $50 million available to help students in need (clothes, trips home in an emergency, etc.).

That’s a pretty mixed bag there.  I love #1, although I’d set the number at either 64 or 80, so that you could construct a playoff format composed of conference champs only (schwinggg!).  #2 doesn’t make much sense, given that the conferences act independently from each other.  (Besides, I thought that’s what Mark Emmert was for, sort of.)  Adoption of #3 would mean that coaches would only have the services of the best players in the game for two seasons.  You can call that puppy DOA.  I like #4 and #5, because they’re both oriented towards the student athletes – which means they stand little chance of happening.


Filed under College Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Just call him Corch.

Did anybody else find it a little awkward hearing Chris Spielman during yesterday’s Texas spring game broadcast refer to the guy sitting next to him in the booth by both his first and last name?

Maybe somebody should introduce them to each other.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Adam Smith, ftw

Chris Brown explains how The Wealth of Nations provides a key to an offense’s success.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

“Forgiveness tends to come from compassion.”

Now this is rich:  an opinion column from The Arizona Republic questioning whether fans really care about the Fiesta Bowl scandal.

John Zidich, CEO and publisher of The Arizona Republic, has been on the Fiesta Bowl’s 25-member board of directors since 2005. He joined the bowl’s five-member executive committee in 2010. The Arizona Republic is a Fiesta Bowl sponsor.

I guess it hopes we don’t.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles

Methinks thou doth not protest enough.

Pete Fiutak may have a point here.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Silly season

I having a hard time deciding which of these two columns are dumber – help me out here.

  • In this corner, you’ve got John Feinstein, who’s decided that because John Junker is the “… new poster boy for college athletics, a man who absolutely defines what college athletics is truly all about…”, the bowl system needs to be blown up in its entirety and replaced with a playoff.  A playoff which would still be controlled by the same corrupt/incompetent bastards who allowed Junker to flourish in the first place.
  • And in this corner, you’ve got a proposal which time has certainly come:  a players association for college athletes.  Thinking of 17- and 18-year old kids organizing is amusing in and of itself – when I was 18, I could hardly get six friends to agree on where to go for dinner – but the idea that the players association would have any clout outside of its superstars is what really sells the deal.  And as the article notes, those are the least likely to join.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles