Making Tuesday Fun Since 2006!
Politics-Free! Er, see last week to get this.
--- ESPN's Bruce Feldman lists the best quotes in college football history. It's impossible to single out any particular quote, so do yourself a favor and read all of them.
Also: Friday Mailbag. More great quotes, best announcers among current head coaches and the slowest month(s) for CFB media.
Feldman gives him wayyyy too much credit for what amounts to a tired, stone-age rant. The heart of his argument isn't so much that the SEC is the best (quite possibly true this year), but rather the SEC's superiority is so clear so as to exclude any argument from USC or anyone else about who should be in a title game. PS the rest of y'all are inferior. Lame.
--- ESPN's Ivan Maisel completes the rest of last week's "The 100" top moments in college football history.
--- ESPN's Pat Forde reviews the college football preview magazines.
But Phil Steele owns the genre. How valuable is his book? I left mine on a plane during the 2006 season and nearly had a seizure when I discovered it was missing.The 46-year-old uses a cookie-cutter layout for every team, and his writing will never be nominated for a Pulitzer. But he does author every two-page team preview himself, and he crams stats, facts and figures into every nook and cranny. "If I see any white space, I ask, 'What information can I put in there?'" Steele said. "I try to make it 119 different media guides rolled into one."
--- ESPN's Mark Schlabach unveils the first in a three-part series: Key Dates to Watch for 2007 Season.
--- Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel writes about the Big Ten Network's distribution battle.
A lot of people are watching how this all goes down. Sounds like one major snag is the Big Ten Network's asking rate of $1.10/head to cable providers, and that the network be carried on basic cable and not a premium sports package.
This probably means I'll personally see a few less Big Ten games this year that otherwise might've been on ESPN GamePlan. No es bueno.
Also: College Football Mailbag. Phil Fulmer's fall, the NCAA's ridiculously severe punishment against Colorado for mistakes in its training-table program, Penn State fans falling for the "bowl win trap", Mandel's daily routine, an ETA on the return of his blog, Kevin Weiberg's departure from the Big 12, silly bowl names, Texas' motivation in playing a roadie at UCF, and next week's unveiling of Mandel's "Celebrity Crush".
My money's on Brittany Snow as his crush, but I don't exactly watch enough TV to put together much else with his "All american beauty" clue. She was on that American Dreams show and is an under the radar celebrity which seems to fit his clues. If so, blame it on those blue eyes.
--- CBS SportsLine's Dennis Dodd completes his series on college football's early-enrollment phenomena by profiling Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.
--- The Sporting News' Matt Hayes writes Terry Hoeppner and Randy Walker were the best men for their jobs.
Also: Inside Dish - look out for Oklahoma State, Brian Toal's status, Joe Paterno further cements his status as a crank, reconsidering the text messaging ban and real intrigue in the San Jose State/Arizona State season opener.
I'm not going to disagree and say the SEC isn't the better conference. It was last year, and will be again this season. But I certainly won't take shots at Cal and UCLA -- or Oregon and Oregon State, for that matter.
No matter what you think of those teams -- and I'm sure SEC snobs now are piping up about Tennessee's beatdown of Cal last season -- it's a different game when you're playing teams on a yearly basis, and when teams know your personnel and strengths and weaknesses.
Hayes then goes on to say UCLA will be one of the nation's two best defenses (along with USC). Don't count on it, this is UCLA we're talking about.
--- The Sporting News' Tom Dienhart catches up with Big Earl Campbell. He's not doing so well, but it's good to see he's making the best of it. Campbell is just one more reason the Heisman Trophy will never be "dead" or "tired" to me.
Also: Florida State Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher is cool under pressure.
Also: The Texas defense will thrive under new Defensive Coordinator Duane Akina.
Also: The top 40 ACC players.
--- The Sporting News'/Rivals.com's Mike Farrell argues for an early signing period.
Programs hold aside scholarships for players who have committed, and they stop recruiting that position. Pitt is still recovering from the signing day loss of quarterback Anthony Morelli a few years ago. Many feel that Joe McKnight would be an LSU Tiger right now if he could have signed early. Those are just a few examples of players who likely would have signed elsewhere had there been an early signing period. Others in the same situation include Jevan Snead, John Brantley, Josh Freeman, James Wilson and Chris Culliver.
Coaches know better than to stop recruiting positions once a player has "committed". That's just false in most cases and the coaches for whom it is true couldn't be more naive. A smart friend once told me that recruiting is a yearlong job interview. There's two parties at work and conditions, values, opinions, behavior and performance all change constantly over that period of time. For some recruits, they know where they are going and won't change their mind. But a protracted recruiting period helps them come closer to "perfect information" and ending up with the appropriate school. The same for the schools, whose feelings about a recruits character or abilities can change over time.
Also, from talking to some people who know some people who robbed some people, Farrell may be off in his McKnight assessment. USC felt good about him from the get-go, they didn't turn him around from LSU late in the game. For obvious reasons, McKnight had to play things cool and remain "open" during the entire process, but his mind was fairly made up about his destination. Blame the football politics and people of Louisiana for him stunning so many people about his decision, not the signing period.
In the end, I think Wilson, Snead, Brantley and co. all made decisions that they felt were the best for them.
--- CSTV's Trev Alberts answers the mailbag about Big East vs. Big Ten, who should be the nation's highest-paid coach and the chances a non-USC/Michigan team from the Big 10/Pac-10 makes a BCS game.
--- CSTV's Adam Caparell notes that Big 12 folks are talking about adding more conference games.
Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne likes the idea as well, on one condition.
"If we do that, it can't be unilateral," Byrne said. "It has to be across the board with all the conferences - the SEC, the ACC, the Pac-10, the Big Ten - all have to schedule more."
Uh, Bill, the Pac-10 already is maxed-out with conference games. There's that whole round-robin thing. The ultimate solution if we truly want to be equitable is to reduce the 12-team conferences down to either eight or ten teams so as to allow for round-robin play and the death of the hideous conference championship games. It wasn't all that long ago that the SEC was a 10-team conference and the Big 12 wasn't a creation after the dissolution of another conference.
Also: the "homes" and stories behind several Heisman trophies (not every Heisman sits in a winner's living room).
Then you have Johnny Rodgers. He's the 1972 Heisman winner whose trophy sits proudly on his mantle above his fire place for all to see at his home in Omaha. That is, when he's not taking it with him all over the state of Nebraska. His trophy, maybe more than anyone else's Heisman, may have the most mileage on it."It's on the fireplace in my foyer," Rodgers said. "(It's displayed prominently) when it's not traveling, it travels with me quite a bit so we don't have it up there all the time. We show it off to everyone in Nebraska all the time."
--- CSTV's Brian Jones breaks down the Big
--- Rivals.com's Olin Buchanan finds out from fans what is the best emerging rivalry in college football.
Caveman mentality rules again for those choosing Auburn/LSU:
youngcorli added: "I think if you saw the LSU-AU game last year then you understand that is what football is about. I guarantee you every single body that touched that field at any time during that game was hurting the next day. It was absolutely smashmouth and that's what makes a great rivalry."
Many other fans agreed with that.
If all you're paying attention to is the hitting, you're kind of missing out on what's actually going on in the game.
The winner? Oklahoma vs. Nebraska. Gotta love those 12-team conferences ...
Also: answering the mailbag with questions about Texas overhype, a Florida/Georgia marriage is a house divided, Boston College or Wake Forest in the ACC title game, Cal's expectations, Ryan Perilloux, USC's receivers and South Carolina's 2007 prospects.
--- USA Today's Kelly Whiteside says Arkansas' Darren McFadden is one pig that can fly.
--- The Austin-American Statesman's Kirk Bohls recommends some more names to fill the open seat as Big 12 conference commissioner.
--- The Mobile Register's Paul Finebaum says the hiring of Nick Saban is this year's top story to date in Alabama.
[T]he school last week rewarded the mastermind of the Gator program, Jeremy Foley, with an unprecedented contract, paying him $1.2 million a year for 11 years.
In a day when college coaches are making as much as $4 million a year, the dollar amount didn't knock anyone over when this was announced. But it should have, considering Foley, who was already the best athletics director in the country, was making $515,000 before the Brinks truck backed up to his garage.
This could dramatically change the dynamics of college athletics directors who for years were mere pawns of either the football coach or the board of trustees. It was common practice for people to be kicked upstairs to the corner office because they were either passed over as head football coach or simply in dead-end administrative jobs.
To read articles and blog entries from many other college football writers, be sure and visit CFR's "The Punditry" links. You can either bookmark that link or find it via CFR's College Football Links section on the menu at left.