Cavalcade of Whimsy
College Football For the Handsome
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August 27 - Kickoff Cavalcade |
Sept. 3 - Enter Jameis Winston
Sept. 10 - Trying To Quit Texas |
Sept. 17 - Trying To Help The NCAA
Sept. 24, Part 2 - Breaking Down The 4-0 Teams
Sorry if this column sucks, it's not my fault … as my floundering fantasy team can attest, I'm obviously not providing Arian Foster with enough "money on the side."
12 days since … the Yahoo Sports allegations against D.J. Fluker, Tyler Bray, Maurice Couch, Fletcher Cox and Chad Bumphis, along with the Sports Illustrated allegations against Oklahoma State.
"Just keep it still back there, lady, or we're going to have to, you know, shoot you." ... If you're sending your 16-hour pregame show to Fargo, then the entire 16-hour pregame show has to be about why the matchups on a college football Saturday sucked so hard that you have to do your 16-hour pregame show in Fargo.
But everyone gets a trophy for participating!!! Who wants a juice box? ... No, no, NO. There should be no running clock, and there should be no modified fourth quarter ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. Miami and Louisville, you paid for the right to beat the living besneezers out of your respective opponents, so you go right ahead and do just that. Use it as a time to get your third-stringers some live reps. Use it build up the stats. Use it to hang 100 and get everyone talking about you. And you, your poor patsies like FIU and Savannah State, be better at playing college football or don't schedule games against teams that are a million times better than you.
No, BTN, you don't get to profile Irving Fryar in your MUST-be-sponsored-by-Cialis, Forever B1G series ... There's no truth to yet another gift-wrapped rumor to Deadspin that Bo Pelini was caught blaming Nebraska's early 17-14 deficit to South Dakota State on the lack of support from Earl and Maude Haywood from Hastings, who left early to beat the traffic.
But, after his first three throws, the odds were still better than if he had tried to complete a pass ... You know those computer programs that run a college football season simulation 40 million times and occasionally spits out a world-comes-to-an-end wacky scenario for Eastern Michigan to win the national title? You could create a program and run it 400 million times, and it would never, ever, come up with any way under any circumstances that Michigan State quarterback Andrew Maxwell was going to run for a first down against Notre Dame on 4th-and-20 in the final moments.
1) Countdown to the Gary Patterson era in 114 days, 12 hours, 14 minutes and 23 seconds … 114 days, 12 hours, 14 minutes and 22 seconds, or 2) Texas, if you want to show who really has the biggest longhorn in the room, throw an $8 million offer to Kevin Sumlin ... There was never anything to the Nick Saban-to-Texas nonsense, but the biggest misfire was the notion that Texas needs rebuilding in any way. It's the absolute, 100% opposite. The program is loaded with every advantage, every type of talent, every facility, every recruiting tool and everything and anything any coach with any chops could want to step in, turn the key, and win, win, win. That's why there's so much angst against Mack Brown – there aren't excuses whatsoever to not be in the national title hunt.
The NCAA should've punished Penn State harder for originating this as part of the football culture ... Bands will once again be relevant and necessary to the college football experience once they stop playing "Seven Nation Army" during every - every - lull in the action. And Notre Dame, no more "Crazy Train" over the loudspeakers. You're Notre Dame. Act like it.
And throw in the part about how USC and Ohio State fans keep bothering me about why their programs got hammered while everyone in the SEC is alive and kicking ... To make it easier when the next "controversy" – in quotation marks because no one really seems to care about any of the Yahoo! or Sports Illustrated stuff - is unearthed ten minutes from now, here's the Naughty Football Scandal playlist so you can follow along at home.
1) (Insert media outlet here) comes out with a scathing report about how (insert college football program of your choice here) has been caught in violation of NCAA rules. In the extremely detailed and well-vetted piece, former players and people close to the program give their account of exactly what went down.
2) Fans of (insert college football program of your choice here) immediately circle the wagons and go into deep, deep denial mode, even though they'd be twerking if the exact same report came out about their most hated rival.
3) Fans of (insert college football program of your choice here) cling to one article written several years ago by the author/reporter that turned out to be a wee bit off. Fans of (insert college football program of your choice here) then assume that because of this, the report has no credibility whatsoever and (insert college football program of your choice here) is, of course, clean.
4) Realizing that life, as they know it, is over, those quoted in the report get blasted so badly by (insert college football program of your choice here) fans that they immediately issue a statement saying they were misquoted. They then wonder aloud where the author/reporter ever came up with such lies.
5) Fans of (insert college football program of your choice here) then go crazy wondering why their program is being targeted. Fans of (insert college football program of your choice here) admit that there might have been some parts of the report that could be slightly true, but "everyone does that."
6) The dopey squares of (insert college football program here) that didn't get in on any of the shenanigans issue statements saying that they didn't notice anything untoward during their time. "Go (insert college football program of your choice here)!!!"
7) Fans of (insert college football program of your choice here) – wrongly assuming that school pride and supporting the football program are the same thing - all put on their colors and sing their songs and do their little chants and hand signs, using some catchphrase like "We Are All (insert college football program of your choice here)."
8) Some professor and a few (insert college football school of your choice here) students speak out about how there's more to (insert college football program of your choice here) football. No one listens.
9) The NCAA sends investigators to (insert college football program here), and they do the impossible by interviewing everyone ever associated with (insert college football program here) football who, magically, had nothing whatsoever to do with the controversy.
10) Even though it could rule based on circumstantial evidence, opinion and reasonable judgment if it wanted to, the NCAA issues a report saying it found no proof or evidence of any wrongdoing, or, there is proof, and the NCAA eliminates a few scholarships for a few years and erroneously pretends that hitting the delete button to erase a few (insert college football program here) wins off the record books means that (insert college football program here) didn't actually win those games.
11) Fans of (insert college football program here) thump their chests in a fit of self-righteousness and sleep well knowing that all is right with the world.
"Ooh, a head bag. Those are chock full of... heady goodness." ... Ladies and gentlemen, let me show you exactly how this is going to go.
Players: "We're not asking for the world. By wearing the letters APU, for All Players United, we're making a statement that the business of collegiate athletics isn't fair for the players, and we'd like some reasonable, rational changes. Forgetting for a moment that we don't receive a representative piece of the billions of dollars generated by us and our talent, we want better protection, treatment and analysis of concussions and related symptoms from head trauma – we all realize that there's a life after and outside of football, and a mind is a terrible thing to injure. We want to be students and not just student-athletes; because playing major college football is a full-time job, as is being a student at a top university. We want insurance and assistance when our collegiate playing days are finished, but our pain and injuries aren't. And yes, we should benefit more financially beyond receiving a scholarship, room, board and stipend – we should be allowed to profit off of our likenesses and names. We love college football and consider it a privilege and an honor to play it, and we love representing our respective colleges, student, alumni and fans, but we also want to show our solidarity among players and be represented in a more fair, honest and equitable way."
Check out my 2002 interview with Ramogi Huma , done right after his appearance on 60 Minutes ... Players, Ramogi Huma and the National Collegiate Players Association, be very, very careful.
I'm all for you and your cause, and most parts of the right-thinking, rational public are going to be on your side, too. The reaction to the Johnny Manziel autograph thing proved that America, for the most part, agrees that it's silly for a player to not be able to capitalize on his fame and talent, and the yawn regarding to the reports of player involvement with agents goes to show just how out of touch the NCAA and its policies are.
However, and here's the tricky part, when it comes to the machine, there's a huge, huge difference between the importance of the players in college football and the importance of the players in professional sports. Fans cheer for uniforms in every sport, but you can't have an NFL without the best of the best players in the world. You can't have an NBA without LeBron, Kevin, Tim, Blake, Carmelo, etc. College football can and always will survive and advance without its brightest stars, because the system is built to love a guy and leave him after 2-to-4 years. The sport thrives on teams, schools and big moments more than individuals. In other words, players, you don't really have any leverage.
What are you going to do, go on strike? The NCAA put Ohio State and USC into a coma and all but left Penn State dead on the side of the road, and you think it's going to care about a bunch of players staging a sit in?
Again, I'm all for your fight, players, so here's how you do it …
"They're young. They may not realize it yet. They've got the same raging hormones, the same self-destructive desire to get boldly trashed and wildly out of control. Look out that window! That's not a protest! That is cry for help!" ... They're not going to do this because players aren't going to risk the biggest moment of their lives to become trailblazing pioneers, but if they really, really wanted to come up with a change, the morning of the BCS championship – this would actually work better the night before the basketball national title, since the NCAA doesn't handle the bowls – all the players on both sides would unite together with what would amount to a ransom note. They don't play unless ESPN – or someone else with a vested interest - ponies up $100 million dollars to be distributed evenly among all the scholarship players at all the 123 other FBS schools - which comes out to under $10,000 per man – while asking for none of the money to go for themselves.
"We can go settle this ourselves on a high school field down the road, so if you want us to put on a show for you, let's party."
In the Week Four episode 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. I'm not switching this bit to Davis Webb … I'm not switching this bit to Davis Webb … After playing just a little bit against Texas State, the banged up Mayfield now needs to average around 387 yards and just over three touchdowns a game. Oh no, this isn't stopping for the next four-to-five years, so settle in.
COUNTDOWN TO KEENUM: 18,464 yards, 150 touchdowns.
"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 teams. Why do I deserve a spot this week? Apparently, I'm the only person in the college football world who actually realizes that Kenny Guiton of Ohio State's record-setting six touchdown performance CAME AGAINST FLORIDA A&M. Seriously, cut it out with this whole "Should Braxton be starting?" thing after Guiton took target practice on a woefully overmatched FCSer. I'm not saying Guiton isn't a strong player, but Terrelle Pryor's gold pants trinket would've completed 72% of its passes against the Rattlers.
Sept. 24, Part 2 - Breaking Down The 4-0 Teams