Be sure to check out:
The site has been under a lot of construction, but I finally finished the design. Hope you enjoy.
Be sure to check out:
The site has been under a lot of construction, but I finally finished the design. Hope you enjoy.
(For the Game Preview, scroll down near the bottom)
Written by Jordan Wells
As a stats lover, I try to look at all college sports teams with an unbiased look (except for my Hilltoppers of course). Stats let you look at things without a human bias, and that is what makes them so great. There is NO arguing against stats. Same thing applies to some of bigger issues facing college athletics, I look at them in an unbiased way, and most of the time I can make a pretty good argument for my side of the case.
When it comes to Enes Kanter and his eligibility status, it is literally UNFATHOMABLE to me that the NCAA did not let him play, especially after letting so many other cases slide. I can understand in some business’s, there is a no-nonsense policy. You break the rules, you are done, simple as that. But the NCAA has allowed loophole, after loophole, in certain cases, while not letting any similar loopholes apply for Enes Kanter.
One of my favorite segments for Selection Sunday is “Blind Resume”, when analysts compare two team’s stats, without revealing the team name. The analysts argue over which team they feel is better without the human bias of knowing the team, it is interesting to see many times how an unknown program matches up on paper with a well-known school. Well we are going to play a little “Blind Resume”, NCAA style. You tell me how fair this seems.
Student Athlete “A”-This athlete plays basketball, and accepted around $6,000 in extra benefits. The person he accepted benefits from is the business partner of one of the top players in the NBA. NCAA rules state that if the student athlete agrees to a client-agent relationship with an individual, that athlete is ruled permanently ineligible. The NCAA ruled that “Student Athlete A” had not entered a contract with the person, saying the athlete only accepted ineligible benefits, with no return benefit for the agent. (Do any of you readers dish out $6,000 to somebody for nothing in return? Me either…)
Punishment: Sit out 9 games, and pay money back by taking a small sum out of scholarship money monthly to a charity.
Student Athlete “B” and “C”-This duo each accepted $300 and $500 dollars (that we know of) from a local department store. The duo was given discounts on multiple items at the store, simply because they were student athletes at the school. The difference of the cost and what the students paid is what has been reported as the impermissible benefits.
Punishment: Student Athlete “B” sits out 3 games for the $300, and Student Athlete “C” must sit out 6 games for the $500. Student Athlete “B”, a preseason All-American first team candidate, tells the media he “feels like Michael Vick in some ways”. Classy.
Student Athlete “D”-This student athlete has an interesting past. Dismissed from his first school after being arrested for reportedly receiving a stolen laptop, he went to a JUCO, then ended up at his final destination this year. This student was also facing academic expulsion at his original school.
The NCAA received allegations this year that “D”s father was trying to sell him in a “pay for play” scheme while the athlete was playing at his JUCO. A $180,000 scheme. Obviously this is against the rules, so “D’s” school ruled “D” ineligible on December 1st. “D’s” school appealed to the NCAA their own ruling, claiming that “D” had no knowledge of his father’s actions, and that the school had no contact with his father.
Punishment: The NCAA agreed to the appeal, stating they had no proof the school and “D’s” father had communication, and that “D” had no knowledge of his father’s actions. “D” was declared eligible, penalty free. (Readers, if you were going to involve your son in a similar scheme, would you keep him completely in the dark about it? Riiiiiiight, I’m sure “D” didn’t know anything…)
Student Athlete “E” and pals-My personal favorite. This athlete reportedly received free tattoos from a local parlor in exchange for signed memorabilia. This athlete logged on his “Twitter” account, tweeting “I paid for my tattoos”. Pictures arise showing signed memorabilia all around the parlor. But the athlete has claimed his innocence, problem solved.
Until it is discovered that this student athlete sold his conference championship ring, Fiesta Bowl Sportsmanship award, and other items for over $1,250. The ‘tweet’ is then immediately removed. “E’s” pals (four total, three starters) are also reported for selling memorabilia.
Punishment: Suspended 5 games, but the suspension is postponed until after “E and pals” play in the upcoming BCS bowl game.
An NCAA policy formalized in 2004 allows for suspensions to be scheduled around NCAA championships or bowl games in recognition of “the unique opportunity these events provide at the end of a season.” Neat.
But it gets better. The NCAA said the punishment is only 5 games because these student athletes were “unaware” they were breaking rules by selling gear.
A former player at the school was asked by the school’s newspaper if administrators and coaches had warned athletes about selling gear. The former player responded “Oh yeah, they [OSU athletic director Gene Smith and the coaches] talked about it a lot”. Before the big BCS bowl game, Athlete “D” even shot the school and NCAA’s claim down, saying “I already knew what I shouldn’t have done back two years ago”. Oops.
BUT IT GETS EVEN BETTER. Athlete “D” has reportedly been pulled over 3 times in 3 years by local police, driving “loaned” cars from a local dealership. A famous former athlete is quoted as saying “I always had a car when I needed one”. Pictures emerge of the dealership with signed memorabilia everywhere. No NCAA investigation into these claims. This school goes on to beat Arkansas, a school with no NCAA allegations against them, in the BCS bowl game. One of the guilty players made the game ending interception, and Player “E” won MVP.
Student Athlete “F”-Grew up in a foreign country. “F” played for a professional team when he was 16, but had no professional contract. This is standard in European countries for elite young players, and is now acceptable under NCAA rules as long as you only accept necessary money. “F” accepted $33,000 over the “necessary expenses” standard by the NCAA over 2 years, most of it going to academic costs…very similar to private schools in the US (Oak Hill’s tuition is $27,000, but “financial aid” is available).
“F” moved to America and enrolled in a prep school in California in 2009. “F” had a dream to play college basketball, and chose one of the top programs after a heated recruitment.
Punishment: Permanently ineligible.
· Doesn’t matter that “F” was 16 at the time he was playing in Europe, and “F’s” Dad handled his budget, similar to Athlete “D’s” defense.
· Doesn’t matter that “F” moved to America for a “unique opportunity”.
· Doesn’t matter that “F” probably didn’t know every single NCAA rule, being in a foreign country and 16, similar to Athlete “E and pals” defense.
· Doesn’t matter that “F”s path is incredibly similar to the one that many high profile American athletes follow, by enrolling at schools like Oak Hill or Findlay Prep.
If you didn’t already know…
Student A-Kansas’s Josh Selby
Student B and C-Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen and Curtis Kelly
Student D-Auburn’s Cam Newton
Student E and pals-Ohio State’s Terrelle Pryor and teammates
Student F-Kentucky’s Enes Kanter
Conclusion: Sound fair to you? Me either…
Now for the quick preview of UK vs Georgia…this will be shorter than most previews, I’m sure if you are still reading your attention span is growing short.
Story: A lot of analysts are predicting an upset in Athens tomorrow. The arena has been sold out for a while, and Georgia has likely had this game circled all year. The CATS will need there “A” game to pull out the win.
Having said that, I don’t get all the Georgia hype. I think this is a classic case of comparing records, not teams.
Prediction: UK by 7, 75-68.
December through January. Some people call it “The most wonderful time of the year”. Anybody on the NCAA BCS committee would tell you otherwise.
35 bowls were played in 2010. 70 teams.
What do Georgia, Clemson, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, UTEP, Middle Tennessee, East Carolina and possibly Kentucky have in common?
All of these teams left their bowl game with a loss (or have yet to play), moving them to a below .500 record (6-7). But we congratulate these teams anyway, on a job well done.
The Bowl Championship Series, and subsequent bowl games need some work. Is a playoff system the way to go? Is there a way to tweak the current system to level the playing field? Do automatic qualifiers ruin the system? Help the system? This is your take.
Grant Freking: “The Lantern” Staff Writer, The Ohio State University
I’m enthusiastically in favor of a playoff. I haven’t always been a playoff proponent, but I’ve become so disenchanted with so many things in major college football over the past few years that I’ve spawned into a playoff guy. As far as a number of teams, I think an eight team playoff is plenty, 16 teams may be overkill (think Big East and ACC in current BCS format).
Although this would never happen, I’d eliminate all AQ’s and keep the BCS formula to determine the top eight teams in the playoff. They’d play the first round of games at the home teams site and then use the current BCS sites for the following games.
While I haven’t taken logistical and monetary concerns into this plan, I believe it’s time for a change. The current system is broken.
Grant’s take is a well defined playoff system. Think “Elite 8” in basketball. Four games played at the home team(s) site, followed by two “Final Four” games and a Championship game. The final three games would be played at BCS sites.
Monetary issues are probably the key concern with the NCAA. Solving this problem seems like a series of problems in itself. Scott Kyser, though, seems to have a solution to this key problem.
Scott Kyser: WCPO News Editor/Sports Anchor, Xavier 2007
Make every conference in Division I adopt a championship game. You join a conference or you’re out of luck. That gives us 11 teams by my count. You then throw in 5 at large teams and seed them just like they do in March. You can give all the games some sponsor name with the final 6 being all of the “big bowls” (fiesta, rose, etc) with them rotating the name of the ship like they do now.
They can then hold all of the meaningless exhibition bowl games like they do now outside of the championship tournament for all those not involved (just like the NIT exists). All the sponsors still get their money, a tournament finally gets held and everyone is happy.
Much like basketball there will be speculation and arguments of who the final 5 are, but thats life, we deal with it in basketball and really thats just the nature of the beast. Win your conference and guarantee your spot.
Basically, Scott would create a model of the NCAA Basketball tournament in March (16 teams, 11 are conference champions and five are at-large teams). Once you get down to the last few games—give them a fancy title/sponsor.
Outside of this “tournament” would be your Meineken Car Care bowls, and your Little Caesar’s bowls...just to make everyone happy.
16 teams would mean that there are four games for the champion to win. That’s a whole month of football. Is there enough time for this? Darin Mirante seems to think so, if the necessary steps are taken.
Darin Mirante: College Age/Young Adult Pastor, First Church of Christ
(An) 8 team playoff - would only be 2 more games for those that play in the final - time between regular season end and final game is already in place.
Mirante would later add that this as a realistic vs. ideal counterpoint.
I am thinking “next step” as opposed to ideal - going to 8 teams would be realistic - eventually having 16 teams could be ideal as it would probably include all 1 loss teams AND elite 2 loss teams(such as Alabama).
Alabama (as mentioned above) went 10-3 on the year, destroying #9 Michigan State 49-7. All three losses came to ranked SEC opponents (#19 South Carolina, #10 LSU, #2 Auburn). Realistically, with a strength of schedule like the one the Crimson Tide played, they should be in most any “at-large” scenarios.
Jeremy Brown: WKU 2013, Broadcast News Major
Take the 10 teams with highest BCS ranking and put them in a playoff. Top 2 seeds are in opposite side of brackets and get first round bye. No AQ buisness. Just the 10 teams that finish highest in BCS. If that means Boise and TCU over the third best SEC team, so be it. All teams with an OVER .500 record are then Bowl eligible. Take teams 11-12 put them in the Rose Bowl. 13-14 in Orange. 15-16 in Sugar. 17-18 in Fiesta. So thats 4 top tier bowl games for the barely non-playoff teams. Cut number of bowl games from 35 to 20. Mediocrity should not be rewarded as it is now.
Jeremy supports the current BCS ranking system, but would change the current bowl system by implementing a playoff. Seems perfectly logical to me. Any teams that are over .500 will have a chance at bowl games. Those that don’t make the National Championship tournament will still be able to play for the big name bowls.
Now looking into a separate playoff system, entirely.
Tyler Daniel: Georgetown 2012, Business Administration Major
Similar system to the NFL play offs, top 4 teams get a bye. Would be by conference, NOT overall ranking. Only one team per conference could achieve a bye, even if Florida and Bama were in the top 4 like two years ago, the 4 top seeds would be from different conferences, not excluding AQ teams (Boise, Notre Dame, TCU ect.). 12 teams make play off field, and would be seeded by final ranking. Try to avoid placing teams in same conference in the same bracket. Play just like NFL play offs, the ‘elite 8 games’ would be played at current BCS locations, as would final four. The championship game would rotate cities similar to the NCAA basketball tournament. No home field advantages, all neutral site games.
Tyler is in favor of the NFL playoff system in which the top four teams (from different conferences) would receive a bye. Having the ‘elite 8’ and ‘Final Four’ games at current BCS locations would solve the problem to how they could fill the six major bowl game slots. Very interesting idea, though.
My Take: I’m definitely in favor of a playoff system for upcoming college football seasons. I support a ten team playoff system (2 first round byes) and no automatic qualifiers. Only the best of the best go to this. Take the top-10 teams in the country based on ranking. I’m still hung up on calling certain bowls in this playoff system “Rose, Orange, etc” because in my opinion—if you’re going for it all, you have to risk it all.
How fair would it be for a team like Auburn to say they went to the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl and won the National Championship in the same year?
Now, looking into this from a monetary standpoint. The NCAA would almost have to devise a system to where teams three through ten (remember, 1-2 get byes) would delegate home field advantage for the first round. I’m not saying that any playoff team would have trouble affording trips like this, but geographic location would almost have to be taken into account for a system like this.
Smaller schools that competed this year, but might not compete on a yearly basis need something to go to. Teams like this deserve to be rewarded. That’s why you take “The best of the rest” and throw together some bowl games. The top five bowl games would stay the same, and only those teams that have an above .500 record would be eligible for a bowl game.
Just as a point of reference. There were 53 teams (excluding top-5 bowl game teams) that entered into their bowl game with an above .500 record. I’d be perfectly fine only allowing the top 40 teams (20 bowl games) to play based on strength of schedule and other NCAA ranking factors.
Reward the teams that challenge themselves. Not the ones that schedule weak non-conference opponents. If a team like TCU or Boise State knows they’re in a “below par” conference, then they should take the time during their non-conference games to prove something to a national audience. If you can’t play with the big boys, you shouldn’t be talking like one.
I see no problem setting automatic qualifier bids to bowl games if the team wins their conference, but doesn’t make it into the championship playoff or one of the top five bowl games. Reward these teams with a desirable bowl game. Maybe a game in Hawaii? Just an idea.
After all, these are just our ideas.
Let’s sit around and watch a perfectly flawed system for a little longer—while we still have the chance.
First things first: Stanford’s Quarterback, Andrew Luck, will not declare for the NFL draft. This after the Carolina Panthers said they would draft him with their first overall pick. Luck has a bigger reason to stay at Stanford, rather than just taking the money:
“I am committed to earning my degree in architectural design from Stanford University and am on track to accomplish this at the completion of the spring quarter of 2012,”
So it is possible for an athlete to care about their education! There for awhile, I was starting to just assume that money was all people cared about these days. Andrew’s father had a little more to say on the issue:
“Call him old school,” Oliver Luck said. “He comes from a faction of people who believe you go to college to pursue your degree.”
Good for him. How could he not consider this a win-win opportunity? Stanford comes back next year as a legitimate contender for the National Championship, he earns his degree/becomes an incredible role model for younger athletes to follow and won’t have to sit out when the NFL has a player lockout.
…I mean, if the NFL has a player lockout.
Second Helpings: More on Stanford. Coach Jim Harbaugh has a tough decision to make. The Miami Dolphins once showed interest in the coach, but have since ended those discussions—they’re keeping Sparano as their coach. Harbaugh turned down an offer of $7-8 million. This guy’s nuts.
It’s down to the San Francisco 49’ers, the Denver Broncos or the University of Michigan…Oh, did we mention that he could stay at Stanford?
Have to wonder if they’ll bump up his salary to stay.
NCAA Basketball: Heaven forbid I forgot the University of Louisville’s basketball game in yesterday’s ARU. They destroyed Seton Hall, 73-54. They move to 12-2 on the year.
San Diego State. Three words, 16 straight wins. Most wouldn’t know it, but this team is ranked 6th in the Nation. Why? They hit lights out from the field (.506), good enough for 5th overall in the NCAA. Only one big win for them, though—coming against the Gonzaga Bulldogs (ranked 12th at the time). The Aztecs are a fun team to watch.
Before we get to the Crosstown Shootout—I’d like to highlight one more Cincinnati team. The Miami Redhawks have played one of the more challenging schedules in the region (much more difficult than UC’s). So far, the Redhawks have played #3 Ohio State, #1 Duke, #3 Kansas, UC (now 24th), and San Diego State (now 6th)—all of which were losses.
…but, they should be ready for MAC play.
Now to the Crosstown Shootout. Outside of only a few major cities, I can’t think of a better rivalry between two inner-city schools. It’s Xavier vs. Cincinnati. Street ball thugs against over-paying college students. Big East lightweights vs. the Atlantic “who?”.
This year’s game proved to be too much for the Musketeers to handle. They’d lose to Cincinnati, 66-46. Bob Knight and Pete Rose were both in attendance. Does anyone think Rose bet on the game?
UC moves to 15-0 for the first time since 1999; albeit, they might as well have played St. Rita’s School for the blind for their non-conference games.
Speaking of the previously mentioned Miami Redhawks: They showed up for all four quarters against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders in the GODADDY.com Bowl. The Redhawks picked up their first bowl win in seven years when Ben Roethlisberger was their quarterback.
Miami would get quite a bit of help from Middle Tennessee’s Dwight Dasher. More like a lot. Dasher gave up four interceptions (all in the second half). That’s the third time this season that’s happened.
Give props to Miami. They’ve tied the record for biggest win improvement from back-to-back seasons. They went 1-11 last year, and completed this season 10-4.
Now onto some basketball: WKU took on Denver in their second Sun Belt game of the season. The Tops dug themselves a hole in the first half, being outscored by 15 points, 37-22. They’d pour it on in the second half with help from Juan Patillo-he led all scorers with 24 points; however, it wouldn’t be enough as the Tops drop one at E.A. Diddle Arena 62-59.
Denver picks up a road win, their 5th in 59 tries. There’s good news on the horizon-WKU made a 3-pointer, continuing their streak of at least one 3-point shot made in 719 consecutive games. That streak dates back to 1987. They were 1-8 from the 3-point line tonight.
What else can you say about this team?
Moving along. Elsewhere in college basketball:
Ted Williams Update: Only in his first week of the National spotlight, Williams has recorded a commercial for Kraft Cheese and agreed to do voice-over work for MSNBC.
The ultimate irony? Williams’ was living on the streets for quite some time, trying to make ends meet whenever their was an “end”. Williams’ Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercial will be played during the “Fight Hunger” Bowl. I’m thinking he won’t have to worry about hunger, anymore.
Could this story get any better?
First things first: Has anyone seen the story about a homeless man with the amazing broadcasting voice? Truly remarkable. ESPN had a story on their website.
The Cleveland Cavaliers has offered Ted Williams a paying job (including a house). NFL Films is hoping to snag up Williams as well, to take on voice-overs for their documentaries.
It’s pretty amazing to see just how fast someone’s life can change for the better. Maybe that will serve as inspiration to others who have unfulfilled dreams to get through those hardest times.
Second Helpings: Baseball’s Hall of Fame class for 2011 has been decided. Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven will be inducted in this class. Barry Larkin, in his second year of eligibility received 62 percent of the vote. That number is up 10 percentage points from 2010. It’s only a matter of time.
Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro snagged approximately 20% and 11% of the votes, respectively. It’ll be interesting to see where the steroid era takes us concerning the Hall of Fame.
NFL: The Tennessee Titans have elected to get rid of QB Vince Young. Young is 30-17 in five seasons, but only 13-14 against teams with a .500 record or better. The Titans might make a trade for Young while they still have them on the roster—there’s plenty of teams out there who could use him. Arizona, Seattle, San Francisco, Carolina…
Kudos to Jeff Fisher. He stuck up for himself, and for the Titans in saying that he could not move forward with Young on the team.
Jim Harbaugh spoke with the San Francisco 49’ers for five hours yesterday. The Miami Dolphins might have other plans for him. They’re willing to offer upwards of $7-8 million, making him the highest paid coach in the NFL.
This guy hasn’t even coached a single down in the NFL. Not too shabby.
Harbaugh now gets his pick—the 49’ers for location, the Dolphins for the money, or Stanford for pride.
NBA: Boston Celtics (27-7) 105, San Antonio Spurs (29-6) 103. Rajon Rondo grabs a triple-double (12 points, 22 assists, 10 rebounds).
The Washington Wizards are 0-17 on the road this season (8-25 overall). They’re almost as bad as any of the Harry Potter movies.
Does anyone else wish MJ could come back to play for the Wizards? I’m sure their front office does.
Heat on fire: The Miami Heat have won seven in a row, and 19 of their last 20 contests. Whoa.
College Football: Michigan’s head coach, Rich Rodriguez, has been fired. Rodriguez went 15-22 with the Wolverines, 6-18 in Big Ten play.
Auburn’s Cam Newton will have his dad in the stands for the National Championship game.
That’s all I’ve got.