Category Archives: Big Ten Football

Shoot, the messenger

I’m sorry, but I can’t help but chuckle about the hope some of you have that this time the schools are serious about academics in pursuing the pipe dream of reinstating freshman ineligibility for football and basketball players. Why is that funny?  Because it depends upon believing people like Jim Delany.  You know, the guy who once said we’d have a college football playoff over his dead body.  The guy who once said that if the NCAA lost the O’Bannon case, the Big Ten would have no choice but to explore turning to a Division III model.

A guy who’s full of shit when the need arises, in other words.

The thing is, he’s not even bothering to bluff this time.

“We’re sort of on the clock, is the way a lot of us look at it,” Delany said in a recent interview with the Big Ten Network. “We’ve got a lot of litigation challenging intercollegiate athletics, we’ve got congressional interest and we have public skepticism. What we want to do is drive the message that education is first, athletics is second, even though these are the two most popular sports commercially.”  [Emphasis added.]

Got that?  This isn’t about serious academic reform.  It’s about optics with the public and having a sales pitch for the courts and the feds.  That’s all.

Delany as the front man is pretty amusing, too, when you get down to it.

And yet Delany is also more responsible than any other college athletics figure of the past 30 years in commercializing those sports. He annexed Penn State in the early ’90s, touching off the first massive TV-driven realignment wave. He started the influential and money-printing Big Ten Network. He touched off Realignment Mania II five years ago when the league began hunting for a 12th member that eventually became Nebraska, and then he took it to another degree with his conference’s East Coast push.

You know what would really help Rutgers’ basketball players focus on academics? Not having to travel to Iowa City in the middle of the week for a conference game, as they did last week.

Ah, c’mon.  They could always study on the plane, right?

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

In for a penny…

The proper response to this from the rest of the P5 is:  “try it out first and let us know how it goes”.

In the meantime, those of you recruiting against Corch have some ammo.

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Filed under Big Ten Football

Tuesday morning buffet

A little snow, a little buffet…

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Big Ten Football, Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino, Georgia Football, Georgia Southern Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Thanks, Delany.

Never underestimate the ability of college coaches to innovate based on new developments.

Freshman ineligibility has only been a topic of conversation for a few days now, but Ohio State head coach Thad Matta is already tired of answering questions about the topic.

“It’s been a nightmare,” Matta said Saturday. “All of our coaches are dealing with it.”

Reports surfaced earlier this week that the Big Ten was looking into the idea of making freshmen ineligible to compete in football and men’s basketball. It’s a far-fetched idea, really, but it appears there’s some serious discussion going on.

Matta, however, said he doesn’t believe freshmen will ever be ruled ineligible to play. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t already been asked about it recently on the recruiting trail.

“I tell you what, I’m dealing with more issues on that in recruiting. We’re getting crushed in this thing,” he said. “It’s not going to happen, but why they linked the Big Ten to it I don’t know. I’ve been dealing with that the last couple days trying to explain if it does happen, which it’s not going to, but if it does it’s not just the Big Ten it will be across college basketball.”

Now, if somebody would start dropping that topic on the football recruiting trail, we might just see Corch’s head explode.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, Recruiting

Friday morning buffet

Cold day, warm buffet.

  • Here’s a look at what Trent Thompson might bring to the table.  (By the way, can we stop with the “Ray Drew was a bust” crap?)
  • Bill Connelly drops his big ass spread sheet of 2014 receiving stats on us.  And, no, you won’t find any of Georgia’s guys lurking near the top of the list.
  • Regardless of where you think the truth may lie between Jameis Winston and the woman who claims he raped her, the idea of students gathering on FSU’s campus to celebrate Winston by calling her names ought to be a head shaker.
  • The Big Ten supports an early signing period, but with a caveat from a number of its head coaches that it should be accompanied by the implementation of early official visits.
  • Another tax front to open with collegiate athletic departments? (h/t Hogbody)
  • Turnover at South Carolina “… at least 36 percent of the Gamecocks scholarship roster will be first-year players. Including players who redshirted last season, 39 of the 85 players on the team will have never played a snap for South Carolina.”
  • The spread spreads – from high school.
  • “It’s a big deal to be the first to offer.”

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Big Ten Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

“All the freshmen should be redshirted.”

If you feel so strongly about this, Big Ten schools, go right ahead.  Don’t wait on the other P5 conferences.  I guarantee you’ll never sign a big time basketball recruit again, and you probably won’t do a whole lot better on the football front.

Maybe you could broadcast a freshman academics show on the Big Ten Network.  I bet the ratings would be boffo.

28 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Big Ten Football

Sometimes, the customer is right.

Brian Cook’s remarkable obituary for the sad, sorry Dave Brandon era at Michigan is definitely worth your time to read, but there’s one part in particular I want to highlight.

If Dave Brandon’s off-the-wall head coaching choice had turned out to be Nick Saban 2.0, fans would have allowed Brandon to ritually flay them on the Diag if he so desired.

But you know who isn’t being chased out of his job? Jeremy Foley. The guy who hired Ron Zook and Will Muschamp. Florida football is currently at an unwatchable nadir, just like Michigan, and Florida fans got a ‘Bama acolyte with three reasonably successful years at Colorado State with a high chance of failure. Dan Mullen is not the next guy because he doesn’t get along with the AD. Foley’s pursuit of Jim McElwain was hilariously public, committing Florida to a middling hire with a huge buyout by ignoring realities of the Flight Aware era. Florida fans are not marching on the president’s house in protest of this fact. At most they grumble a bit.

Why? Well, hiring coaches is hard. Foley’s had some successes; he’s had some failures. But one thing he has not done is drag a proud institution through a cycle of blame, incompetence, and recrimination. One day after Treon Harris came off the bench to beat Tennessee, he was the subject of a sexual assault investigation. Florida delayed its Monday press conference, released a forthright, transparent statement, and kept everyone up to date as the investigation progressed. There were no explosive revelations five days later. Nor were there marches.

That takes a special kind of incompetence, the kind of incompetence it takes to get run out of town on a rail as an athletic director. I cannot recall another incident like it. In this, at least, Brandon’s certainty that he is a unique individual is correct.

If you’re an AD and make mistakes – and let’s face it, even the best ADs are human – own up to them.  You work at a public institution and you answer, at least in part, to a fan base that you raise money from, and, accordingly, expects some answers about how you operate.  Winning at a very high level quiets the questioning.  Arrogance when your program isn’t all that is a path for, well, eventually being run out of town on a rail.

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Filed under Big Ten Football