Cavalcade of Whimsy: Enter Jameis
Posted Sep 3, 2013

2013 has a new superstar, but the 2012 version is still the main man.

Cavalcade of Whimsy

College Football For the Handsome

E-mail Pete Fiutak
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- August 27 - Kickoff Cavalcade  
- Sept. 3, Part 2 - Ten stupid predictions of things that have absolutely no chance whatsoever of happening  
Sorry if this column sucks, it's not my fault … I'm busy trying to convince my wife we need to have more kids so I can name them all Jameis. It's not going well.

Whatever you do, Famous, DON'T … SIGN … ANYTHING ... I am so desperately ready to push Johnny Manziel out of the first-freshman-to-win-Heisman category. America, welcome to Jameis Winston. And not a moment too soon. This is going to be a fun ride.

"I met her on Monday, 'twas my lucky bun day" ... The half-game suspension was one thing, but it was hardly fair that the NCAA punished Manziel for violating bylaw by making him switch to lite beer for the rest of the football season and permitting him to only date "slightly dumpy 7s, or lower."

Or, if you're Texas A&M and you're through the rain, you just say "thank you," and go on your way ... Google Braxton Miller ebay. Now Google Jadeveon Clowney ebay. Marqise Lee ebay. AJ McCarron ebay. Marcus Mariota ebay. Taylor Martinez ebay. Jameis Winston ebay. And on and on and on and on and on.

If I'm Texas A&M, and the NCAA couldn't find anything concrete on my guy in terms of taking payments for autographs, and the precedent is now set at a half a game suspension for, technically and by the spirit of the extremely silly rule and bylaw, someone else selling an item that a college player signed, whether or not the player had anything to do with the sale after he literally signed off, then I'm asking why every other Heisman hopeful with a signature being sold doesn't have to sit for a half, too.

"Mmm, not bad, nice hot mustard, good bread, turkeys a little dry... THE TURKEY'S A LITTLE DRY!!!" ... Here's the deal, State Farm. I will absolutely switch insurance companies immediately if, at the snap of my fingers, you really can provide a hot tub, the girl from 4E and a sandwich.

And there's whining over an alleged $7,500? Okay ... While terms have never been disclosed, at least I couldn't find them, the rough guess is that addidas paid Texas A&M somewhere around $40 to $50 million over the life of their apparel deal, but again, that's just a guess. Head coach Kevin Sumlin got a contract extension and a raise this offseason from $2 million a year to over $3 million. Texas A&M football reportedly brings in over $100 million a year, and it's been estimated that last year Manziel provided close to $40 million in exposure for the school. Meanwhile, according to the Sports Business Journal, Texas A&M, now being the cool program, and partly due to the move to the SEC, sold a school-record $70 million worth of licensed merchandise.

During the first half of the A&M game against Rice, in a sold-out stadium with No. 2 jerseys being worn all over Kyle Field, and with ESPN reaping the advertising benefits of all the eyeballs waiting to watch the most exciting player in the game take the field, Manziel was on the sidelines in an addidas sponsored visor and uniform with a white towel around his neck sporting a massive Gatorade logo.

Sign away, Johnny Manziel. Sign away.

And then ask about CTE concerns. Good luck ... Ask any current or former football player about receiving "benefits" while in school and you'll get a stern lecture about how it was an honor simply to wear the uniform. Ask a player about steroid or PED use, and be prepared for a look like you asked to borrow $200 so you could take his mom on a date. Ask former players about Manziel and whether or not they buy his story that he signed autographs just for the heck of it, and the response so far has been a mixture of 1) laughter, 2) "are you nuts?", 3) "do you have any idea how much it stinks to sign your name 100 times, much less 1,500?", 4) more laughter.

"Don't let your mom smell that beer on your breath, she'll take it out on me. I better get moving if I want to get us out of here by dark." ... At some point around 1981, my dad came into my room for the birds and bees talk. I sort of saw what was coming and instantly got a case of the giggles, all but ending the discussion on the spot when I lost it on the syllable, pen. I suspect that's sort of how it went as Manziel, as part of his NCAA-mandated "punishment," had to speak to his teammates about the "lessons learned" from his autograph ordeal.

Jameis Football has a nice ring to it ... I'm putting a stop to this right now, because I've already done it, I've gotten it out of my system, and I hope we can all ignore it so we can move on as a people and a species. Do not, under any circumstances, refer to anything Manziel does as a "signature moment."

"Ah, yes, but I'd trade it all for a little bit more." ... Manziel's money and family situation has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the autograph controversy. You know who wants to make more money? You know who needs more money? Everyone.

By the way ... Hesitation Marks. Yup. It's really that good.

 "Oh. Wow. Gee Whiz. Looky here. You know we're always fascinated when we find leg irons with no legs in them. Who held the keys sir?" ... As expected, there's now a backlash against the backlash against Manziel's moronic on-field actions and behavior against Rice, and it might seem like the squares are the ones who have a problem, but the anger is justified.

Fine, tell the NCAA and the rest of the world whatever you want, Johnny. Fine, put your coach, your football program, your teammates, the student body, and the reputation of the entire university on the line, and if you say you didn't do anything wrong, we'll all sort of let it go since no one wants to flat-out call you a liar. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter if you took money or not. However, this entire situation completely and totally stinks, so don't rub our noses in it. More importantly, don't keep embarrassing the people who are standing by you while putting their professional lives on the line by believing everything you're saying.

I will remain in relentless pursuit of continuing my lifelong dream of convincing the world that Tim Tebow isn't an NFL quarterback. ... Johnny, take note of what's going on with Tim Tebow and his pro career. That's you in four years. Enjoy the moment.

"That sounds good, Peter. Uh, and we'll go ahead and, uh, get this all fixed up for you later." ... Kevin Sumlin, you're the head of the Texas A&M football program. Act like it. Right now, to the outside world, it looks like your quarterback gets to do anything he darn well pleases because he's Johnny (bleep)ing Football and you're not. We all get it. You don't want to make waves with the Jim Bobs, and you're just waiting out your one more year before you're off coaching somewhere in the NFL, but in the meantime, you need to show who's boss. Suspend No. 2 for the Sam Houston State game for his actions against Rice. He's obviously in midseason form already and doesn't need the reps, and he certainly doesn't need to expose himself to the shots he was taking last week. All Sumlin has to do is say how it's about the team and not one player, and all he has to do is say that there's a way Texas A&M football players need to conduct themselves on the field, and everyone will respect the call.

"Good Lord, what has this buffoon done now?" ... To California head coach Sonny Dykes and to all coaches who utilize some sort of an up-tempo, warp-speed offensive attack, here's the deal. If you're going to base your offense on a gimmick that exploits a glitch that gives you an offensive advantage, then you can't complain to an official or roll your eyes if a defense wants to also exploit the rules to its own benefit to slow things down. To Dykes' credit, he didn't say a thing about this and did nothing but praise Northwestern after the loss, but going forward, defenses should get just as much right to use the rulebook as offenses do, and that means they should scream wolf whenever they want to slow things down. Now, you're not allowed to fake injuries and delay the game, but good luck trying to determine who's dinged and who's not in today's day and age of concussion awareness. It didn't matter if the Wildcats were faking injuries or not, that's a part of the game now, just like it is for an offense to try quick-pitching a defense.

Meanwhile, Eric Fisher has a dinged up shoulder ... Seriously, college football world, have you ever actually watched a defensive end play before? The stat line of the greatest defensive ends in the history of the planet is usually four tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss, if it's a good game, and then, once in a while, a top-shelf pass rusher will spend an afternoon sitting on a quarterback's head. Jadeveon Clowney didn't come up with 20 sacks against North Carolina. He made three tackles and was winded on a hot, humid day in the first game of the season – he had a normal evening for most college football defensive linemen. Of course, Clowney isn't just any normal defensive lineman, but he's not going to win the Heisman, he was never going to win the Heisman, and to think he had a "bad" game because he didn't blow up someone's brain is just plain wrong.

Two Gamecock losses, and there's a seat open right here, Jadeveon ... Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to officially welcome Georgia running back Todd Gurley to the Marcus Lattimore Memorial Shouldn't Play One More Down Of College Football Than He Has To list. If you want to know what the textbook definition of an NFL franchise running back looks like, that's it.

"Oh, honey, he's teasing you. Nobody has two television sets." ... The most fun Christmas gift I ever received was a Sony Watchman, a handheld black and white TV with a 2" screen and a long antenna. As I got older, it was a huge deal to get a small black and white TV in my room. We were one of the last families to have cable, and even then I watched it on a 1979 RCA that kept shorting out. Fast forward to my wedding in 1999, when all my friends and co-workers at Pro Football Weekly chipped in to help buy a huge old school Mitsubishi big screen TV which still gets used in my basement. Of course, now it's all about high definition that provides out an incredible picture that goes beyond anything I could've ever imagined as a kid. All of these brilliant advancements in television technology were painstakingly created, tweaked and improved just so we, as Americans, could now get the sharpest, crispest, crystal-clear close-up of Jordan Matthews power-barfing all over all over the Vanderbilt Stadium turf.

36 games against FCSers this weekend? Booooooo. Boooooo. ... Always, ALWAYS root for the FCSers over the FBSers no matter what. If an FBS team is too soft to schedule another FBS team, it deserves to lose in season-crippling fashion to an unknown school.

Baker, l'd like you to meet Mohammet, Jugdish, Sidney, Clayton and Timmy Chang. ... Get comfortable for the next four years as welcome you to the start of the Baker Mayfield NCAA Record Watch Of Whoopee. With the right coach and the right team, everything is set up perfectly for the Texas Tech true freshman to obliterate Case Keenum's NCAA passing records, but it's still not going to be easy.

Let's assume Mayfield plays in every game for all four years of his career, and let's also assume that the Red Raiders will go bowling and play 13 games a season. After throwing for 413 yards and four touchdowns against SMU, that means Mayfield has to average 369 yards and three touchdowns a game, every game, to be the greatest statistical passer in the history of college football. To put this into perspective, it took Keenum 57 games, conference championships – which Mayfield won't have – a sixth-year of eligibility and three extra games, 636 yards and five scores in an injury-shortened 2010 to get there.
COUNTDOWN TO KEENUM: 18,804 yards, 151 touchdowns.

No pregame show should ever be longer than the actual event ... I'm writing this on Monday afternoon at 4:06 CST. I'm trying to hurry so I can catch the beginning of the newly-expanded College GameDay, which starts in approximately ten minutes.

"So please please please let me, let me, let me let me get what I want this time" … Welcome to my shameless and impossible quest to be on the committee that helps pick the playoff. Why do I deserve a spot? I actually sat through the entire GameDay.

- Sept. 3, Part 2 - Ten stupid predictions of things that have absolutely no chance whatsoever of happening