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Texas, Oklahoma, and the ACC Will Not Trigger Four 16-Team Super Conferences

September 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Only the Irish can trigger monumental realignment

 

There are a lot of unimaginative people out there who have prophesied about the day when four 16-team super conferences will rule the college landscape. This writer is here to tell you to not believe the hype. There will not be a super conference consolidation Armageddon.

Sure, the ACC is going in the direction of forming a 16-team conference and the Pac-12 is on the verge of becoming the Pac-16. But where is the other “super” expansion going to come from? Each of these conferences actually has an academic mandate as well. The Big Ten, for instance, seeks state universities with high academic standards. That means they won’t be in the market for just any school. Sure, Notre Dame will always have that open invite, but the Big Ten won’t be inviting Louisville or Cincinnati to the party anytime soon.

In fact, the pool of potential Big Ten acquisitions has really shrunk with the Big East defections of Syracuse and Pittsburgh, as both were previously mentioned and, possibly, considered for the Big Ten. Also, if UConn and Rutgers follow those schools to the ACC, then the Big Ten is extremely limited in their ability to expand eastward. Without a potential New York City market school, the Big Ten would be forced to look west.

But what schools would fill the Big Ten’s profile in the West? Possibly Missouri and Kansas. But Kansas would probably require that Kansas State join them as a package deal. That certainly would be a no-go as the Kansas City market isn’t that big to begin with. Remember, the biggest motivation for the Big Ten to expand to 16 would be to add more lucrative television markets. Kansas and Kansas State only bring Kansas City and that is shared with Missouri. As a result, the Big Ten will likely remain at 12 schools, unless they add Missouri and are able to convince Notre Dame to join.

The SEC will be at 13 schools when Texas A&M officially joins the conference. The SEC has already indicated that adding a 14th school will be on the agenda once A&M joins. But the ACC just increased the departure fees for its member schools to $20M and, with a round 16, are probably safe from being raided.

Like the Big Ten, the SEC wants to focus on the large, flagship state universities and land grant schools. Unless Kentucky wants Louisville to join and the SEC makes an exception there, the Cardinals are probably left out of that potential expansion as well. West Virginia is the more likely Big East school to join the SEC, especially if they aren’t included in the ACC expansion. Missouri would be another potential candidate if the SEC wants to continue their western expansion. But for the SEC to get to 16, they would have to take a regional public school, like Louisville or South and Central Florida, or continue to expand west and bring on the Kansas schools with Missouri. See how crazy these scenarios are getting?

What is probably going to happen is that the SEC will find a 14th school to give them two 7 school divisions. The Big Ten will remain at 12 schools for the foreseeable future. The ACC will add two more Big East schools to complete their expansion at 16. The Pac-16 will be formed with Texas and Oklahoma bringing their in-state rivals, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. That leaves the remnants of the Big East and Big 12 to join in either a loose confederation where the two conference champions meet for a BCS bid or the remaining Big East football schools leave for the Big 12. The latter is the more probable outcome.

That would leave a new Big 12 with Baylor, TCU, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State, Louisville, Cincinnati, and South Florida. They would probably look to add three more schools to return to the 12-school alignment and qualify for a conference championship game. BYU, Houston, SMU, Memphis, and Central Florida would have to be the leading candidates for the three spots. Long shot possibilities would include Air Force, UTEP, New Mexico, Colorado State, UNLV, Wyoming, and Boise State in the West and new FBS school, Massachusetts, and Temple in the East. Those two eastern schools both play in NFL stadiums and would bring exposure in two major metropolitan markets.

If the Big East loses their football schools, that won’t be that bad. The Big East will remain a viable and highly competitive basketball conference nationally, like they were for the first ten years of the league. With Georgetown, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Villanova, Providence, Marquette, DePaul and Notre Dame, they would have five schools that competed in last season’s men’s basketball tournament. With eight schools, they could easily expand by one or two and play a full round-robin schedule that is more conducive to college basketball.

Two schools that would have to be on the newly configured Big East’s list would be Xavier and Dayton from the Atlantic 10. Both are private schools and can help bridge the geographical gap between the East Coast and the Chicago region schools. That would leave the Big East as a very formidable hoops league.

While all of the realignment speculation is exciting, there probably won’t be as much as anticipated due to the factors that were laid out.

SEC Basketball Overview January 12

Welcome to the first SEC college basketball overview of the New Year, taking a look at each teams results and how they are positioned for postseason play. The SEC is a tale of two divisions. The East is like a mini-Big East and the West is worse than some of the automatic qualifier conferences. Right now, it looks like there might be as many as 5 at-large types from the East and none from the West.  Here’s a quick look at the stories being followed on this overview before the updated look at the teams:

Harrellson has provided the Senior toughness that Cal loves in Lexington.

1. A new bunch of kiddy ‘Cats in Lexington.

  • Terrance Jones and Brandon Knight have the Wildcats back in contention for a high seed. But the biggest surprise has been senior big man Josh Harrellson. Harrellson is averaging 7 points and 9.2 boards per game and providing the kind of veteran leadership in the post that Calipari loves. But after stumbling in Athens, it will be interesting to see how they navigate through the tough SEC East schedule. Avoid potential stumbles against the SEC West and their games against South Carolina will go a long way to establishing their high seed credentials for March.

2. Bruce Pearl suspended for the first 8 games of the SEC season while working without a contract.

  • The wheels starting coming off for the Vols about 3 weeks before the conference season began. Then, with a 0-2 start, the Vols are now close to panic mode. This team is starting to look like they are either a potential matchup nightmare in the Big Dance, or the favorite to win the NIT. The SEC East is as good as the West is bad and the Vols will need to find a way to get back on track if they want to hear their name called on Selection Sunday. Last night’s loss to Florida was heartbreaking, but they better be ready for this Saturday against Vandy. Losses to Vandy on Saturday and at Georgia next week could make their hole too deep to climb out of. They need a 2-2 record going into their last out of conference (OOC) matchup with UConn next Saturday.

3. Can the Florida Gators shake their postseason inconsistency this season?

  • The Gators look good so far and last night’s OT win in Knoxville might make the Gators the early favorite to win the SEC East. Getting a high seed in March would help the Gators advance and they have an opportunity to get a “protected” Sweet 16 seed when the brackets are announced. There might even be a chance at climbing all the way to a #2 seed with a really impressive league record.

Team Overviews: Records are going into January 12th and the ratings that will be considered are Ken Pomeroy’s rating system, which is not perfect, but tends to be the fairest in terms of strength of opponent and the RPI. The RPI is now being used since this is one of the tools used by the selection committee to select the field of 68. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Alabama Crimson Tide

  • 9-6, 1-0 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 8-6 with no good wins and a bad loss to St. Peter’s and 8 gimmes. RPI 227, schedule 276.
  • The Tide will need to have an incredible run in the SEC to get at-large consideration. It’s probably going to take 14+ wins, including over Kentucky, Tennessee, and other high profile teams in the SEC East to legitimize their profile.

Arkansas Razorbacks

  • 11-3, 1-0 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with no notable wins and losses to UAB, Texas A&M, and Texas. They also have 8 gimmes. RPI 127, schedule 287.
  • Arkansas might be able to get into the at-large conversation, but they’ll need at least two quality wins against the SEC East and 12-13 wins overall to have a chance.

Auburn Tigers

  • 7-9, 0-2 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 7-7 with a win over Florida State and a bunch of bad losses. RPI 324, schedule 322.
  • Not this year. One of the major reasons why the SEC West, if a standalone conference, would be ranked no higher than 15th overall.

Florida Gators

  • 13-3, 2-0 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 11-3 with wins over Florida State, Kansas State, and Xavier. They also have 4 gimmes. RPI 12, schedule 11.
  • The Gators are playing for a Sweet 16 seed and should get it with 12 wins in the SEC. If they stumble, they should still be good if they only win 9 in the SEC.

Georgia Bulldogs

  • 12-2, 1-0 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 11-2 with notable wins over Colorado and UAB and losses to Notre Dame, and Temple. They also have 6 gimmes and a remaining game with Xavier. RPI 72, schedule 221.
  • The Bulldogs got a huge SEC opening win over Kentucky and they can make a run at an at-large spot with 9+ SEC wins and a win over Xavier.

Kentucky Wildcats

  • 13-3, 1-1 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 12-2 with wins over Washington, Notre Dame, and Louisville and losses to Connecticut and North Carolina. They also have 4 gimmes. RPI 6, schedule 20.
  • Playing the SEC East, it’s going to be tough for the Wildcats to get a #1 seed. They probably can afford only 1 more loss. Getting 13+ wins should get them in #2 seed territory. If the young Cats stumble, they should still be good with 9 wins.

Louisiana State Tigers

  • 9-7, 1-0 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 8-7 with no notable wins and plenty of losses. They also have 7 gimmes. RPI 236, schedule 261.
  • They don’t go dancing unless they win the SEC tournament.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

  • 8-7, 0-1 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 8-6 with no notable wins and plenty of losses. They also have 6 gimmes. RPI 221, schedule 246.
  • The Bulldogs came into the season with tourney hopes, but they have to win the SEC tournament now. That’s how bad their OOC resume is.

Ole Miss Rebels

  • 12-4, 0-1 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 12-3 with a win over Penn State and losses to Dayton, Miami (FL), and Colorado State. They also have 7 gimmes. RPI 63, schedule 137.
  • The Rebels are on the outside looking in and that Penn State win isn’t good enough. They need to win at least 12 in the SEC and win 3 against the top teams in the East, Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, and Vandy.

South Carolina Gamecocks

  • 10-4, 1-0 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 9-4 with a win over Clemson and losses to Michigan State, Ohio State, BC, and a questionable loss to Furman. They also have 6 gimmes. RPI 136, schedule 259.
  • Their solid SEC opening win against Vandy gives them hope. The Gamecocks probably need to win 9-10 to get in. Playing in the SEC East that would be no small accomplishment.

Tennessee Volunteers

  • 10-6, 0-2 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 10-4 with wins over Missouri State, Villanova, and Pittsburgh and losses to Oakland, Charlotte, USC, and College of Charleston. They also have 3 gimmes and a matchup with Connecticut. RPI 22, schedule 10.
  • The Jekyll and Hyde Vols looked like a potential #1 seed after beating Pitt. Now they need to win 9 conference games to make the Big Dance. If they get straightened out and finish with 11-12 SEC wins, they might garner Sweet 16 seed consideration. They have great OOC wins, but all of their losses are questionable.

Vanderbilt Commodores

  • 11-3, 0-1 in SEC
  • OOC rundown: 11-2 with wins over Nebraska, North Carolina, and Marquette and losses to West Virginia and Missouri. They also have 6 gimmes and a good matchup with St. Mary’s. RPI 11, schedule 39.
  • The ‘Dores are set up to get an at-large berth if they win 9+ games in the SEC. They can challenge for a Sweet 16 seed if they can get to 12 wins.

That’s this week’s SEC overview. These will come weekly and become more condensed as teams drop out of at-large contention. My other conference overviews will follow.

SEC Basketball Overview Dec. 15

December 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Welcome to the second installment of the SEC college basketball overview, taking a look at each teams results and how they are positioned for postseason play. The Vols and Wildcats have some good wins and have established themselves as top teams nationally. Unfortunately, the bottom teams, think SEC West, could drag the rest of the conference down. There is a chance that the teams in the SEC West don’t hear any of their names called on Selection Sunday. Here’s a quick look at the stories being followed on this overview before the updated look at the teams:

1. A new bunch of kiddy ‘Cats in Lexington.

  • The Wildcats have predictably been a little inconsistent at the start of the season, but there have been some good signs for Coach Cal. Terrence Jones has been really good, averaging almost 19 pts. and 10 rebounds per game. While Jones’ production was hoped for, senior Josh Harrellson’s has not. Harrellson has stepped up and played well, getting 9 rebounds per game and providing a big inside presence that was expected by Enes Kanter. It will be interesting to see if Harrellson’s game improves with increased playing time.  

2. Bruce Pearl suspended for the first 8 games of the SEC season while working without a contract.

  • Five of those games are against the weak SEC West. The two tough games against Florida and Vanderbilt are home. Georgia on the road could prove to be the biggest obstacle if they’re actually for real. The first one month plus has shown the Vols to be the team to beat in the conference this season. They also might have a good chance to appear on the top line in their region come Selection Sunday. How the Vols play during those 8 games will have a big impact on their chances for that #1 seed.

3. Can the Florida Gators shake their postseason inconsistency this season?

  • The Gators have a couple of more decent out of conference (OOC) games that can help them secure a Sweet 16 seed. Getting a “protected” seed will definitely help them advance in the first round of the Big Dance.

Team Overviews: Records are going into December 15th and one of the factors that will be used for quality of opponent will be Ken Pomeroy’s rating system, which is not perfect, but tends to be the fairest in terms of strength of opponent. The RPI will be considered as well following 10-12 games played for each team.

Alabama Crimson Tide

  • A 4-5 start with 4 gimmes and a bad loss to St. Peter’s.
  • They still play Oklahoma State in Oklahoma City with 3 more gimmes.
  • The Tide need to beat Oklahoma State to have a legitimate hope of making the Big Dance. If they do that, a 12-4 conference record or better will be needed.

Arkansas Razorbacks

  • A 6-1 start with a loss to UAB and a solid win over Seton Hall. They also have 4 gimme wins.
  • They still play Texas A&M in Dallas and at Texas. They’ve also got 5 more gimmes.
  • Their OOC strength of schedule is weak which makes those two remaining quality games important. Getting a split and coming in at 12-2 OOC will put them in a decent position. If they do that, a 10 win conference season should get them dancing.

Auburn Tigers

  • Yuck. An atrocious 3-5 start for new coach Tony Barbee. All of those games are considered gimmes, except the Rutgers loss, just not for the opponents.
  • A home game against Florida State is the only good opponent on the schedule. There are 4 more gimmes (for which team I don’t know).
  • Is there a bigger Cam Newton fan than Barbee? It’s a good thing nobody is paying attention to hoops down there yet. He better make sure he signs that contract. Auburn isn’t going dancing unless they win the league tournament. The goal OOC is to not kill the league RPI any more than they already have.

Florida Gators

  • A 7-2 start with a solid loss to Ohio State and also to Central Florida. They beat FSU and 3 gimmes.
  • They still play Kansas State in Miami, at Xavier, and Rhode Island. There are also 2 more gimmes left, but a pretty solid schedule for the RPI.
  • Remaining at 2 or having only 3 losses OOC should have the Gators in a pretty good position going into SEC play. Their OOC schedule, along with playing in the SEC East sets them up pretty well if they can get to 19-20 wins. Twenty would undoubtedly keep them off the bubble unless their opponents just don’t play as well as expected.

Georgia Bulldogs

  • A 6-2 start for the Dawgs with only 2 gimmes. Two losses to Notre Dame and Temple were solid and won’t hurt and their wins over Colorado, UAB and Georgia decent as well.
  • They still play Xavier. They also have 5 more gimmes.
  • Their OOC record should allow them to have a modest 8-8 record to get them on the bubble as long as they win a game or two in the conference tourney. Getting to 21-22 wins should get them dancing.

Kentucky Wildcats

  • A 7-2 start with good wins over Washington, Notre Dame and Indiana. They have two solid losses to surprising UConn and North Carolina.
  • They still play at Louisville and 4 gimmes.
  • If the Cats are looking for a #1 seed, then they can’t afford another OOC loss and will need at least 13 conference wins. If this is more of a transition year, the Cats can get to 24-25 wins overall and get a Sweet 16 seed. Their computer profile should be really good with the OOC schedule and playing in the SEC East.

Louisiana State Tigers

  • A 6-3 start with bad losses to Nicholls St. and Coastal Carolina. They also have a solid loss to Memphis. They have 5 gimmes.
  • They still play Wichita State in Bossier City and at Virginia. They have 3 more gimmes left.
  • They are going to need some conference magic to get an at-large bid. This schedule might not get them in with 23-24 wins. Playing in the SEC West will hurt them along with the pathetic OOC schedule. This will be a bubble team if they only get to 22 wins. Mark it down.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

  • A 7-2 start with 6 gimmes and bad losses to Florida Atlantic and East Tennessee State.
  • They still play Virginia Tech in the Bahamas, Washington State in Hawaii, then Baylor/San Diego, then St. Mary’s in Las Vegas. This is a fairly weak schedule as well. They better hope they face Baylor and beat them or Virginia Tech.
  • While not as bad as LSU, the Bulldogs might need to get to 22-23 wins to feel safe on Selection Sunday. Their affiliation to the weak SEC West could drag them down. Remember, 23 wins last year wasn’t enough.

Ole Miss Rebels

  • A 6-2 start with 3 gimmes. Good wins over Penn State and Southern Miss with a solid loss to Miami.
  • They only have four gimmes left.
  • Their OOC is a little better than some of the SEC West schools. They will need more than their 21 wins last year to make it to the Big Dance. This schedule will probably require at least 23 wins for the bubble and 24 wins to feel safe on Selection Sunday.

South Carolina Gamecocks

  • A 7-1 start with a solid loss to Michigan State and a good win over Clemson. They have 4 gimmes.
  • They still play at Ohio State and Boston College. They also have 3 more gimmes.
  • The Cocks still need a 10-3 or better OOC record to give them a chance to position themselves for an at-large. With 10 wins or more OOC, they can go 9-7 or better in SEC play and at least be on the bubble, if not in. 10-6 in league play with a win or two in the conference tourney would be needed to make them comfortable on Selection Sunday.

Tennessee Volunteers

  • A 7-1 start with good wins over Villanova, VCU, Missouri State, and Pittsburgh. They lost to Oakland and have 2 gimmes.
  • Their nonstop OOC schedule continues with games against Southern California, Memphis, and at UConn. You have to like the way they schedule. Only 1 more gimme remains.
  • Despite the loss to Oakland yesterday, the Vols schedule is still set up to make a run at a #1 or #2 seed. It looks like 26-27 wins would get them a #2 and more than that puts them in contention for a #1. The games with the Big East could be the tiebreaking games for the selection committee come March. Of course their two division rivals, Kentucky and Florida, will help their strength of schedule, beating them will help their power rating. The most important thing is that this schedule allows for a lot of margin for error and they will be a Sweet 16 seed with only 21-22 wins.

Vanderbilt Commodores

  • A 7-2 start with solid losses at Missouri and West Virginia. They have a good win over North Carolina. They also have 2 gimmes.
  • They still play Marquette and Saint Mary’s. They also play 2 more gimmes.
  • The ‘Dores are, as usual, in a good position as they play a solid OOC schedule. If they win out, they are an 11-12 win season in the SEC away from a potential Sweet 16 seed. They are also in position to be at least a bubble team with an 8-8 conference record.

That’s my second SEC overview. These should come bi-weekly until conference action gets going in January. My other conference overviews will follow.

Big Ten announces new division leading other conferences to follow suit

December 14, 2010 1 comment

Since the Big Ten decided to ridiculously name their divisions Leaders and Legends, the question arose; what if other conferences were to rename their divisions? The following are, hopefully, humorous division names for the big conferences:

ACC

Hoops Division

Trying to play football Division

Big East

Catholic Division

Global Gridiron Division

SEC

Professional Division

Vanderbilt Division

Big 12

10 Team Division

Conference USA

Who Division

Cares Division

Mountain West

2-Hour Parking Division

Pac 10 12

Cold Weather Division

Caliente Division

As for the Big Ten, they could have named their divisions after Bo and Woody. Since these divisions are only for football, they could have named them “Black” and “Blue”. But that wouldn’t have been condescending enough.

There’s also no truth to the rumor that the SEC is going to an uncapped season next year. The current salary cap will remain in place. Although Florida is looking for a “franchise” tag so they don’t have the next Cam Newton transfer away and eventually end up at another SEC school.

Urban Meyer steps down at Florida, why did he leave and who replaces him?

Urban Meyer announced today that he will leave Florida after their bowl game on New Year’s Day due to health problems. Meyer made this announcement after the 2009 season, but changed his mind after a day and just took a leave of absence. His six seasons in Gainesville resulted in 2 national championships and a 64-15 record that will improve with a win against Penn State.

There is little reason to believe that Meyer doesn’t have health problems as he has coached for the past 25 years in a profession that demands so much time that you lose sleep, eat poorly, and in a lot of cases, don’t work out enough to balance out his personal health. These are things that Meyer will need to take care of before he takes a step back into the coaching arena. Bill Parcells stepped down 20 years ago from the Giants citing health problems and said that he would never coach again. Three years later, Parcells left the television booth for the moribund New England Patriots. After coaching two more teams and running the Dolphins, Parcells still waffles on his football future.

Last year, Meyer’s departure would have coincided with Tim Tebow’s graduation after one of the greatest college football careers ever. Meyer would have left as a Gator icon and with a tremendous mystique surrounding his, then five years at Florida. Now, after a 7-5 regular season, Meyer’s legacy isn’t as pristine, especially with one-time Gator Cameron Newton having the kind of success this season at SEC rival Auburn as Tebow ever had at Florida and Alabama’s Nick Saban has taken over as the Alpha Dog of head coaches in the SEC. That beating the Tide gave the Gators back in October had to weigh on Meyer.

But this won’t affect the demand for Meyer once he decides that he’s ready to reenter coaching, at the college or pro level. Meyer will always be remembered fondly by Gator Nation as long as he doesn’t take another college job after leaving Florida. This means Meyer will most likely go to the NFL in a year or two after recharging his batteries and adjusting his lifestyle to better suit the demands of the coaching profession. Where to? Who knows, but wherever he goes in the NFL, the rumors of a Tebow and Meyer reunion will be sure to follow. In the meantime, look for Meyer to possibly hook up with an NFL team in a consulting/front office type role to keep him involved in the game before taking an NFL job. He’s spent time with Bill Belichick in the past and don’t be surprised if he spends a lot of time next summer at the Patriots training camp learning more about the NFL game.

Who are the contenders to replace Meyer?

Dan Mullen, Head Coach, Mississippi State:

Mullen is in his second season at Mississippi State after coming over from Florida where he was the offensive coordinator. Mullen has been pretty good in his two seasons in Starkville, but would not only listen to the Gators, he probably would accept the job if offered. Unless Athletic Director Jeremy Foley is looking for a big name (i.e. Mike Shanahan or another NFL type), Mullen has to be considered the favorite.

Chris Peterson, Head Coach, Boise State:

Peterson has been incredible during his five years as head coach in Boise. What is there left for Peterson to accomplish there? The BCS will most likely continue to exclude schools like Boise State from the possibility of playing for a national championship and there aren’t many jobs out there that can legitimately say that they’re actually better than Boise State right now. Peterson might face the same choice that Urban Meyer faced six years ago when he chose to leave potential BCS-busting Utah to go rejuvenate the Gator program. If Peterson feels that the Broncos can eventually play for a national championship, he would most likely stay. But if he doesn’t feel that way, he might decide to go for a championship in Gainesville or at another historically top college team (Michigan?).

Bob Stoops, Head Coach, Oklahoma:

This seems to be a stretch, despite going to OU from Florida. If he leaves Norman, it’s most likely to the NFL. Oklahoma doesn’t take a backseat to anybody in college football as far as history goes and there isn’t a season where the Sooners aren’t talked about as a championship contender.

Brian Schottenheimer, Offensive Coordinator, New York Jets:

Here’s a possible dark horse candidate as Brian S. is doing a very good job with Mark Sanchez with the Jets and is a Gator alum as he backed up Danny Wuerffel in the 90’s. The next step for an NFL offensive coordinator is a head coaching job, so this wouldn’t be a huge leap. The key for Schottenheimer would be surrounding himself with a lot of college coaches who are used to the recruiting grind, regulations and have the contacts needed to get the best players.

Jon Gruden, Talking Head, ESPN:

Can we stop the Gruden to college rumors, please? He’s obviously made lots of friends at the Worldwide Leader as he shows up on every college/pro coaching search list, despite the poor fits. ‘

The guess here is Mullen gets the job and probably won’t coach the Bulldogs in their New Year’s Day bowl game against Michigan. The bold choice, from this perspective, would be Chris Peterson and his incredible offensive coaching creativity. Both choices would be solid and could lead the Gators back to the championship.

Week 14 College Football Weekend Recap

Thoughts on this weekend’s play as I root for something to happen that bust up the BCS National Championship…

1. Oregon beat Oregon State 37-20: The Ducks finished the job yesterday and completed an undefeated regular season by winning the Civil War game against the Beavers. The only undetermined thing for the Ducks is where LaMichael James finishes in the Heisman voting.

2. Auburn beat South Carolina 56-17: Where was the Mercy Rule? This actually could have been worse which tells you how mediocre the Gamecocks are, but also how good Auburn and Cam Newton is. Newton will be confirmed as the best player in college football next Saturday unless something comes up about his recruitment before then. That national championship, while not the one I wanted, is going to be fantastic and the scoring should be early and often.

3. TCU was idle.

4. Stanford was idle.

5. Wisconsin was idle.

6. Ohio State was idle.

7. Arkansas was idle.

8. Michigan State was idle, but Coach Mark D’Antonio was not. He was out campaigning for a BCS bowl berth with a legitimate argument that they beat Wisconsin and Ohio State did not. It would be interesting if Ohio State was given the shaft because of that and E. Gordon Gee’s comments about the non-BCS qualifying schools.

9. Oklahoma beat Nebraska 23-20: The Sooners came back from 17-0 down in the first half and beat their longtime rivals in the last Big 12 championship game. That puts Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl against, most likely, the Big East champion UConn. The early line is Oklahoma minus 35.

10. LSU was idle.

Other notables:

11. Boise State beat Utah State 50-14: The Broncos completed their season at 11-1 which included the best out of conference win in all of college football against Virginia Tech. Could they beat another top team? Nobody will ever know because the corrupt BCS system will keep the Broncos out and we’ll have to watch the entitled programs of the SEC and Big Ten in the top bowl games. Boise State will be playing an unranked opponent with a .500 record or from a mediocre conference. My alternative playoff solution will be unveiled later today.

Virginia Tech beat Florida State 44-33: Tech goes to the Orange Bowl after beating the Seminoles. The Hokies haven’t lost since their first week of the season. That first week consisted of two games and torpedoed any chance of competing for a national championship. You can be sure that the Hokies won’t be scheduling 2 games in a five day period ever again.

UConn beat South Florida 19-16: The Huskies head to their first BCS bowl game after beating South Florida on a last second field goal. Ten years after moving their program to the top level, UConn wins their first major conference championship. I don’t know about anybody else, but I can’t wait for that natural rivalry between TCU and UConn to develop. Heck, they both have a “U” and a “C” in their names to fight over. UConn will probably face Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

Miami (OH) beat Northern Illinois 26-21: The MAC championship goes to Miami after their last minute comeback win over the Huskies. Although their first round game will be tough, Miami should be able to compete with Oregon for about a quarter. Oh, that’s not happening. Sorry. Miami heads to a bowl game that you will only care about if you’re doing a pool.

In another note, the Sisters of the Poor Conference (WAC) had their fourth place team, Fresno State, beat their Big Ten opponent Illinois on Friday night. No comment out of Columbus after that game.

If I had a Heisman ballot, it would look like this:

1. Cameron Newton QB Auburn

2. Kellen Moore QB Boise State

3. LaMichael James RB Oregon

That’s the final College Football Weekly Recap of the season. My alternative, playoff based solution to determining the national championship will be unveiled on Monday.

Cam Newton “Knew Nothing”, will play in SEC championship on Saturday

December 2, 2010 3 comments

Go War Eagle!

Sergeant Schultz Newton is eligible to play for Auburn on Saturday. Why? Because he “knew nothing”. If you haven’t read about this, here it is. With Auburn’s BCS championship game hopes riding on Saturday’s SEC championship game, the NCAA says that even though they have evidence of Cam Newton’s father, Cecil, asking middleman Kenny Rogers for at least $180,000 in order for Cam Newton to play football at Mississippi State.

Like many others who have followed this story, I’m confused. Why? The NCAA bylaw 12.3 discusses the issue of agents. The following bylaws under 12.3 apply in this situation:

12.3 USE OF AGENTS

12.3.1 General Rule. An individual shall be ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if he or she ever has agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation in that sport. Further, an agency contract not specifically limited in writing to a sport or particular sports shall be deemed applicable to all sports, and the individual shall be ineligible to participate in any sport.

12.3.1.1 Representation for Future Negotiations. An individual shall be ineligible per Bylaw 12.3.1 if he or she enters into a verbal or written agreement with an agent for representation in future professional sports negotiations that are to take place after the individual has completed his or her eligibility in that sport.

12.3.1.2 Benefits from Prospective Agents. An individual shall be ineligible per Bylaw 12.3.1 if he or she (or his or her relatives or friends) accepts transportation or other benefits from: (Revised: 1/14/97)

(a) Any person who represents any individual in the marketing of his or her athletics ability. The receipt of such expenses constitutes compensation based on athletics skill and is an extra benefit not available to the student body in general; or

(b) An agent, even if the agent has indicated that he or she has no interest in representing the student-athlete in the marketing of his or her athletics ability or reputation and does not represent individuals in the student-athlete’s sport. (Adopted: 1/14/97)

The NCAA declared today that although Cecil Newton was shaking down prospective institutions of higher learning, through a third party (Rogers), that because Cam had “no knowledge” of this taking place, he is still eligible. So that’s what the North Carolina players did wrong. They didn’t utilize their parents to do the dirty work while they innocently stood by and didn’t reap any benefits. Ok, I believe now that nothing happened here.

But that’s the problem. We know that something happened here. But because of the archaic NCAA rules and regulations that are designed to suppress the rewards for their “student-athletes” while signing multi-billion dollar television deals with the networks, any instance of an employee, excuse me, student-athlete, wait, parent of a student-athlete trying to give their family a little extra to help their family get by, typically results in that student-athlete losing eligibility, paying back compensation, or both. This is patently un-American and ridiculous. If an engineering student at Auburn invented something and received a patent for that invention, they would reap the financial benefits despite their “student-student” status.

I’ve already laid out my plan for integrating agents and potential endorsements into the mix for these collegiate athletes who are sometimes exploited without representation by these institutions of higher learning. I know my plan isn’t perfect, but the status quo is abysmally one-sided towards the universities and the coaches. It’s going to take a high profile situation to initiate the discussion about this topic in order to get a better system. Hopefully that becomes the good that comes out of this chaotic situation.