Category Archives: Big Ten Football

TFW competition is unnecessary

One thing you’ve got to say for Ohio State — spring game QBR doesn’t mean shit in Columbus.



Filed under Big Ten Football

But his criteria…

Perhaps you remember this quote from Barry Alvarez I posted a couple of days ago.

But when our league is left out of the playoff for three years in a row, I’m not happy with that. I don’t think that we have followed the criteria set by the commissioners in naming those four teams.

Let ESPN, of all places, explain about the criteria to you, Barry.

Though Georgia — which also is bringing back a known quantity at QB in Jake Fromm — is a longer shot to reach the playoff than Michigan, Georgia has a better chance of actually winning the national championship. It makes sense: Most (including FPI) would agree that the Bulldogs are better than the Wolverines, but their path the top four is more complicated with Alabama and LSU in the same conference.

If the Big Ten can’t put a team in the semis this season, then, yeah, it’s time to give Alvarez what he wants, because it may never make a four-team playoff again.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big Ten Football

Maybe it wasn’t the coaching after all.

Hold on with the Justin Fields for Heisman campaign ($$).

Of Fields’ 131 passing yards, 98 came on a touchdown pass to Binjimen Victor. Fields flashed his quickness and athleticism on a few zone reads, one of which went for a 5-yard touchdown. Other than that, there were a lot of batted balls, hesitation on throws, overthrows and everything else you’d expect from a sophomore who is going through his first spring at Ohio State.

The TD pass came against the third-string defense.

Because Fields was a former five-star prospect ranked higher than any recruit signed by Ohio State in the modern era of recruiting (since 2001), the expectation was that Fields was going to “save” a program that just lost one of the best quarterbacks to ever wear a Buckeyes uniform. Fields was supposed to walk into Columbus, get his NCAA hardship waiver approved and waltz into the season primed to break records. This was supposed to be a seamless transition.

That still may be the case. After leaving Georgia, Fields did come to Ohio State and earn immediate eligibility, but this spring was a reminder that he’s a sophomore with limited playing experience (he threw 39 passes last season for the Bulldogs).

Just a reminder that Fields was 18-of-33 passing for 207 yards with a TD in last year’s G-Day game.

Fields has a rocket arm and oozes athleticism, but he clearly was worried about throwing interceptions and he was off the mark quite a bit.

That’s the sound of massive expectations being adjusted.  Maybe even Fields’.

“I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface,” Fields said. “If I had to grade myself out today, it would be like a C-plus. I am very hard on myself. I am kind of a perfectionist. I definitely see myself as having a bright future. … I know I can do better. I’ve done better in practice and of course there’s always room to improve. So I’m just going to go to work.”

C+ wouldn’t be enough to unseat Fromm, but with a wide-open field at Ohio State, maybe it will be enough there.


Filed under Big Ten Football

In defense of Jim Delany

This appears to be the best anyone has to offer.

“People will talk about Rutgers’ competitive performance,” Smith told me. “However, when you think about our presence on the East Coast, it’s significant. Whether Ohio State goes to play at Rutgers or Michigan plays at Rutgers, the revenue generated significantly impacts our young people. I hope that people will pause and just think about the great things that [Delany’s] done to help our young people and institutions.”

He added: “Here’s one thing that people seem to forget about our move with Rutgers and Maryland. At the time, the ACC was looking to expand. Part of our move was to protect Penn State. Everyone forgets we had a teammate and partner institution that was on a [geographic] island, so what we did, beyond gaining exposure, is we further brought in a valued partner in Penn State. Had Penn State defected to the ACC, what would the conversation have been then?”

Let me see if I’ve got this straight.  The Big Ten was worried about losing a team to the same conference that lost Maryland to the Big Ten over financial concerns.  Does that bullshit actually fly with anybody?

Smith does get bonus points for wedging some sweet doing-it-for-the-kids phony justification in there.

With regard to that whole “What profiteth a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” premise to the linked piece, the author makes the mistake of ascribing a soul to a college athletic conference.  Those people would happily gain the whole world with no regrets over whatever path led them to Rutgers.  That’s what cutting edge college football management is all about these days.

Enjoy your retirement, Jim.  You’ve earned it.


Filed under Big Ten Football, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, It's Just Bidness

Riding off into the sunset

Welp, long-time GTP foil and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is hanging ’em up next year.


I’m just happy for Delany that he’s able to retire before being forced to take his conference Division III.

And how many Pac-12 presidents do you figure are on the phone to their Big Ten cohorts begging recommending they take Larry Scott off their hands to lead the Big Ten to even greater heights?


UPDATE:  For Dan Wetzel, playoff expansion hammer, Delany’s retirement is just another nail.


Filed under Big Ten Football

When in doubt, panel.

The University of Maryland has instituted the majority of the recommendations from the two investigations that stemmed from the death of Jordan McNair and is creating a panel to monitor their progress, university President Wallace Loh told the Board of Regents on Friday.

If there’s one thing bureaucracy is consistent about, it’s showing faux concern by creating panels and commissions.  Idiots will applaud while nothing changes.

In a year’s time, I expect Loh to create another panel to monitor this panel’s progress.


Filed under Big Ten Football

“Jarring price tag”

What’s wrong with profiting a little off tragedy, I ask you?

Leading lawmakers Tuesday pressured the University System of Maryland to divulge more details on how it rang up a “jarring price tag” while investigating an allegedly toxic culture at the state’s ­flagship football program.

In a letter to Chancellor Robert L. Caret, the House of Delegates’ fiscal leaders expressed their “renewed and increasing distress” over the university system’s response to the death of Jordan ­McNair, a 19-year-old lineman who suffered exertional heatstroke at a team workout in May. The letter states the lawmakers’ “serious concerns” about the circumstances surrounding the tragedy “but also about the inconsistent, inadequate, and opaque response” by the university system and its board of regents, who took control of the investigations from the College Park campus in August.

The letter is signed by the six House of Delegates leaders with the most influence on the university system’s budget, including House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) and Del. Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore City), the chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

While the regents oversaw the investigation, the $1.57 million tab rung up by the eight commission members was passed on to the College Park campus.

If that’s the shot, here’s the chaser.

Some more people need to lose their jobs over the debacle.


Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness