Category Archives: Big Ten Football

“Friday night football is beautiful,” he said, “and no one wants to disrupt that.”

Well, except for the Big Ten and its new television agreements.

After all, those $20 million bonuses to your programming director don’t pay themselves, boys.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness

“Recruiting moral high ground” is an oxymoron.

I don’t follow Wisconsin recruiting, of course, so it’s interesting to see what utter nonsense the program’s decision to revoke its offer to Ben Bryant is, based on its recent track record.

Yes, the contact, offer and tweet could have been contributing factors, but if those were the reasons, the Badgers are hypocrites. A player being committed to another school hasn’t stopped Wisconsin from going after them, most recently offering defensive tackle Apu Ika (Salt Lake City), who has been committed to BYU since last summer. And the tweet thing? Doesn’t hold water, either. Safety Reggie Pearson (River Rouge, Mich.) committed to the Badgers in August 2016, and a week later tweeted an offer he received from Arkansas. He remains a member of Wisconsin’s Class of 2018.

The author goes on to surmise that the real impetus behind the revocation was that Bryant no longer fit into Wisconsin’s plans, a conclusion that doesn’t require a huge leap in logic to make, and then adds this observation:

No matter what, this is an unfortunate black eye for Wisconsin. Pulling a scholarship is a rarity for the Badgers. The program, especially under former coach Bret Bielema and current coach Paul Chryst, has carried itself as being somehow morally superior when it comes to recruiting. Bielema once famously called out Ohio State coach Urban Meyer for “illegal” recruiting tactics, and saying, “We at the Big Ten don’t want to be like the SEC in any way, shape or form.” Bielema was in the SEC less than a year later, but his point stands. Wisconsin has recruited the right way.

This latest move, though, suggests the Badgers may not be holding that moral high ground any longer.

A message that will no doubt be reinforced on the recruiting trail.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, Recruiting

Mighty touchy, ain’t we?

The latest recruiting fooferaw involves a quarterback from Illinois neither you nor I likely would have ever heard of, except for (1) he received an offer from UGA and (2) that offer set in motion a bizarre chain of events… well, maybe more curious than bizarre.

The story begins with the offer, and the kid’s polite acknowledgement.

From there, the going gets weird.  Wisconsin, which held his commitment, didn’t take kindly to the news.

There’s a giant “wait, wut?” trying to emerge here.  Surely Wisconsin wouldn’t yank an accepted offer merely because another school offered, would it?

Oh, yes, it would.  And don’t call it Shirley.

Understand, this was unsolicited.  There was no visit planned.  No talk about keeping options open, let alone jumping ship.  It wasn’t even his second offer.

This is the Johnson Doctrine on steroids.  Or it’s the move of a program that grabbed the first shabby excuse it could get its hands on to jettison a recruit in favor of a better option.  (“Honestly, communication with UW and my feeling of being a part of ‘the family’ has been subpart at times and during several visits,” is a pretty good hint Wisconsin lost its loving feeling.)  Either way, you’d have to expect this little story is about to become weaponized on the recruiting trail.  With good reason.

By the way, young man, you’ve done nothing to beat yourself up over.  Better luck with your next college choice.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, Georgia Football, Recruiting

Virtue is its own reward.

Man, the educating young minds the conference broadcast business is kicking some righteous ass these days.

Big Ten Conference commissioner Jim Delany is set to receive more than $20 million in future bonus payments, according to information in the conference’s new federal tax return and a comparison of that document to prior years’ returns.

Yep, everybody’s going broke.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness

Today, in headers

Somebody thinks he’s pretty clever.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Let’s play two!

Apparently, almost every human being in the state of Maryland had better things to do yesterday than watch a spring practice game.

https://twitter.com/SBNationCFB/status/856186152352595969

Remember, Jim Delany had to have this program to grow the Big Ten Network with more eyeballs.

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Filed under Big Ten Football

Bert’s all about doing it for the kids.

I’ve discussed the strategy behind the NCAA’s Proposal No. 2016-116, a package of rules changes designed to temper some of the flaws in the recruiting process, at least as the NCAA Division I board of directors sees it.  The hope is that there’s enough in the package that’s acceptable to coaches, such as adding a tenth staffer, to offset what’s less palatable.

Judging from this, that may be a tough balancing act.

The conferences appear to have found consensus on all of the above — except for adding April-June official visits. The Southeastern Conference and other leagues in the South are reluctant to sign off on the change.

They have proposed an amendment that would limit spring official visits to April, a month already congested by ACT exams and Easter. There’s almost no way a prospect could use all five of his official visits in April.

It’s easy for prospects from, say, Atlanta, to take unofficial visits to Georgia, Auburn, Alabama and ACC schools such as Georgia Tech and Clemson in the spring. Not so much to Penn State and Nebraska, especially if the prospect and his family have limited means and cannot afford to fly.

“It’s like Trump,” one Big Ten official said. “Except the SEC wants to build a giant wall around the Southeast.”

The SEC’s justification for its stance is what really has Big Ten coaches steaming — academics.

“It’s a joke,” one Big Ten coach said.

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, in an interview with the Tribune, said it’s no joke.

“The North wants recruiting and signing day to move up,” he said. “I get it. But on the same account, you’d have kids potentially not focusing on getting good grades to end the school year, and to me that’s really dangerous.”

Fake unctuousness from Bret Bielema?  Why, Miz Scarlett, I nevah.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Bert... uh... Bret Bielema, Big Ten Football, Georgia Football, SEC Football