May 28, 2006

Free Transfers, no waiting. Must have sheepskin.

In what can only be described as evidence of eternal ignorance of its constituents, CBS Sportsline reports the NCAA has passed a by-law that allows a fifth-year senior to transfer schools without penalty if he/she has earned their bachelor degree.

Very little proactive communication on the part ot the NCAA - West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez admits he knew nothing about this rule a month after it passed.

Sounds good in principle - allow any student-athlete who has completed his four years of undergrad to move to a different university's graduate program without sitting out a year of sports action. Sounds horrible in a worst case scenario.
"It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out," said Brian Lutz, Toledo's compliance director. "It's the potential of bigger schools cherry-picking smaller schools. It's not something that happens a lot."
I, like the commenters at the bottom of the CBS story, do not expect it to have much impact except in an extreme hypothetical case.

Imagine if in 2005
Bruce Gradkowski of Toledo would have chosen to move out of the MAC and to a BCS school desparately in need of a one-year solution at QB (Maryland, Florida State, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee come to mind with the benefit of hindsight). That would have quickly changed the balance of power in two conferences. But here are variables that would make this case moot in real life...
  • Gradkowski's academic standing as a marketing major
  • The quality of the graduate programs at the schools mentioned above
  • How many marketing majors go for a masters anyway? Most jump right into junior analyst roles or begin sales careers immediately after college.
See, it would take a perfect storm of opportunities to have a major effect on a football team, and in the end it might be best for a true academian with a little football talent to finish up college in style.

May 27, 2006

I always thought Lee Corso was a nice guy...

seems one fan in particular disagrees...

Certainly more impactful than "Lee Corso is an elbow" or "Lee Corso is a myelin sheath"...strange the impact of certain body parts...

How did I miss this from last Halloween?
thanks to We Must Ignite this Couch, a stellar blog for the WVU Mountaineers

May 25, 2006

Saturday Nights just got better

ESPN and ABC announce a nationwide package of prime-time games in 2006 for Saturday Night!

If the getting out and mingling with the opposite sex isn't working, have friends over for the multitude of Notre Dame away games. If the pickup line "You're with me, leather" isn't closing deals for you, block off the September 9 game of Ohio State at Texas.

While a full list of talent assignments are on this link, I want to rank the gamrtime announcer teams (play-by-play followed by analyst):
  • Brad Nessler with Paul Maguire and Bob Griese
  • Mike Patrick and Todd Blackledge
  • Chris Fowler and Lee Corso
  • Brent Musberger with Bob Davie and Kirk Herbstreit
  • Dan Fouts (not a typo) with Tim Brant
  • Doug Flutie in studio
Nessler is as smooth as a glass of sweet ice tea on a summer day, a scene familiar to me since Nessler has covered many SEC broadcasts over the years. I will however miss Mike "Paddington Bear" Tirico... see the resemblance?

May 12, 2006

Chucky Mullins Courage Award succumbs to individualism

Color me old-fashioned, but when I read between the lines that some recipients of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award at the University of Mississippi were unsure about accepting the #38 jersey, I simply shook my head - yet another story of youth not appreciating the heritage before them.

If you do not know the Chucky Mullins story, click here and here …Mullins was paralyzed in a 1989 game between his Ole Miss Rebels and the Vanderbilt Commodores, but had the strength to return to campus for studies and inspire the football team until his death.

Usually in these instances, teams will retire a number, forever to be linked to the hero known by that numeral. The uniqueness in the Mullins tradition is that someone different each year earns the privilege to wear #38 and make use of the symbolic power of an inspiring teammate even when wheelchair bound.

The SI story linked first here states that…

“Some players have expressed concerns about the award to head coach Ed Orgeron. It’s about keeping their own identity in a sports where 22 players are on the field at the same time.”
Note, the motivation to move the number to retirement hasn’t come from a trustee who has rethought the inspiration behind the award - it has come from young men seventeen years removed from the tragedy and who are more concerned about Reggie Bush-like attachment to their jersey number as if it were the source of their immense talent.

Easy there oh Samsons of the gridiron - there are insidious forces at work. By declining to wear #38, you are really suggesting that the team and university are secondary to your desire to stand out as an individual. You are truly suggesting that the name on the back of your jersey is more important than the name on the front.

Granted, a retirement ceremony for the Mullins #38 will be special in and of itself, but it isn’t of itself. I hope Ole Miss isn't yielding to recruits that fear not wearing their traditional number who threaten not to attend the university.

“We want to preserve the legacy and integrity of the award and make a decision that will be best with those factors in mind,” Walker Jones, the associate athletics director for internal affairs, told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal newspaper.

Before Ole Miss and Mr. Jones change this award, they should check with Brad Gaines - I do not think you want to be on his bad side on this issue.

May 01, 2006

First Round Fill-ins

Ten of the 32 picks in the first round of the NFL Draft were used for offensive skill position players - here is an update to the position battles left behind for college football with a fantasy perspective.

Originally posted on

#2 USC RB Reggie Bush to the New Orleans Saints
Imagine the issues here if Chauncey Washington actually had transferred to UNLV with QB Rocky Hinds? With LenDale White also going pro, the USC backfield erupted in enormous turmoil (see pick #10 for the QB) as projected starter Hershel Dennis tore up his knee in spring. While Washington made grades today (per an unconfirmed report, official date is May 19), do not be surprised if one of the freshman recruits (Stafon Johnson, C.J. Gable and Emmanuel Moody) steps in immediately - Coach Pete Carroll loves to let the youngsters compete for jobs fresh off the plane. “Absolutely, heck yeah there is. We are counting on having that kind of competition,” said Carroll.

#3 Texas QB Vince Young to the Tennessee Titans
Redshirt Freshman Colt McCoy is the incumbent and a pocket passer, but true freshman Jevan Snead is on the case as well and provides more mobility. At this early stage, I have to think that the winner of this duel will do well with one of the best O-lines in the nation and a cupboard chock full of athletes at the skill positions, especially my early sleeper WR Billy Pittman. If you see Ryan Perriloux moping around Baton Rouge because he can'’t get ahead in the LSU QB race, remind him how quickly he left Austin, Texas when he realized he wouldn'’t get a chance to unseat Mr. Young as a true freshman in 2005. Youth is so wasted on the young…

#6 Maryland TE Vernon Davis to the San Francisco 49ers
No human can fit into his shoes as a Terrapin TE. Davis led the team in receiving in his sophomore and junior years. Jason Goode and Dan Gronkowski are two names to watch at TE, especially if Coach Ralph Friedgen takes out ads in the school newspaper for WRs again.

#10 USC QB Matt Leinart to the Arizona Cardinals

The next Timm RosenbachWhile the Cardinals seized an amazing opportunity to draft Leinart, his underlings at SoCal have only dropped the ball in the chance to take over a pretty good offense. John David Booty has a bad booty, er, back and may require surgery. Mark Sanchez cannot keep his own booty out of trouble, as is well documented anywhere on the web. Of course, Coach Carroll is non-commital. From the “Ain'’t No Mountain High Enough” department, junior Michael McDonald got more spring snaps than he ever dreamed possible just a couple months ago and is the sleeper at the position.

#11 Vanderbilt QB Jay Cutler to the Denver Broncos
Fair to say that future Vanderbilt signal-callers will not be on the fantasy cheat sheet anytime soon.

#21 Minnesota RB Laurence Maroney to the New England Patriots.
Amir Pinnix looks to build upon his 206 yard effort versus Michigan State in 2005 as the starter. Remember Gary Russell? 1130 yards last year splitting time with Maroney gave him an early edge on the job, but now the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports he is taking classes at Inver Hills Community College hoping to get his grade point average high enough to be readmitted.

#25 Ohio State WR Santonio Holmes to the Pittsburgh Steelers
While Ted Ginn gets all the media attention, Anthony Gonzalez may be the better player if not athlete. If Coach Jim Tressel can find get Ginn more than five touches a game from scrimmage, Ginn could get invited to the Down town Athletic Club.

#27 Memphis RB DeAngelo Williams to the Carolina Panthers
Williams graduation isn'’t the only reason that Coach Tommy West had pains in his chest - he won'’ see any talent like Williams for years in the Liberty Bowl. Junior Joe Doss had a nice spring, but that is about it.

#28 UCLA TE Marcedes Lewis to the Jacksonville Jaguars
Drafted for more than to have another skill position guy stare down at Matt Jones…the Bruins have highly recruited senior JJ Hair ready to step in. Bigger question marks are Coach Karl Dorrell replacing top players at QB and RB - Ben Olson and Chris Markey, time to smell the coffee!

#30 LSU RB Joseph Addai to the Indianapolis Colts
Perfect situation to play from Day One if he can stay healthy. Alley Broussard (who missed 2005 with a knee injury) and Justin Vincent (who missed 2004 and 2005 due to a bad attitude after an amazing 2003) look to be the early contenders. Coach Les Miles has never feared a rotation (hell, he would rest Tatum Bell at Oklahoma State all the time), so this is one of the key positions we will track the closer we get to August and fantasy draft day.