Burning questions until MrCFB returns

If we needed any further proof that college football is now a year-round sport, we just got it.

The Braves are in first place and are the hottest team in baseball.

Chipper Jones, a lock-solid Hall of Famer on the first ballot, is thinking about retirement.

The NBA Playoffs between the two most storied franchies in the history of the league are headed to seventh and deciding game.

The Atlanta Hawks just hired a new coach.

But what has been the hottest story in sports for the past three months? College football and the possible changing of the landscape.

Fortunately for the college football fan, cooler heads prevailed and the change will be minimal. And there will be no change for 2010.

What it all means is that this is going to be a very short summer for all of us who care about the sport. SEC Media Days in Birmingham begin on July 21. I have a feeling that is going to get here in a hurry.

So, in order to keep some promises to Mrs. Barnhart, I’m going to take another shot at a vacation that was interrupted by conference expansion. Unless something fairly dramatic happens (and I think we’ve had enough drama for one summer), I’ll be back on July 12.

Until then, let me share some burning questions to get us to the preseason meetings:

1. How would you like to go on the road with Nebraska this season? The Cornhuskers will be playing their final season in the Big 12 and will have conference road trips to Kansas State (Thursday, Oct. 7), Oklahoma State (Oct. 23), Iowa State (Nov. 6), and Texas A&M (Nov. 20). The trips to Stillwater and College Station could be very interesting.

2. Are we really supposed to believe that Pete Carroll was shocked–SHOCKED–at the NCAA penalties against USC? To hear the Carroll tell it, the NCAA just basically made this stuff up about Reggie Bush. He didn’t take the handouts from an agent. His parents didn’t live in a house for which they did not pay. Old Pete, who bolted for the Seattle Seahawks before the sanctions went down, just doesn’t understand how the NCAA reached the conclusions it did.

I heard that somebody else drew this analogy first, but when Carroll went public with his amazement at the NCAA penalties, I was reminded of this famous scene from “Casablanca,” the best movie ever made. Pete Carroll is playing the role of Captain Renault (Claude Rains).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gf8NK1WAOc

3. Does everybody completely understand what a game-changer the USC sanctions are? Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports made this point and I completely agree with it.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/news?slug=dw-uscfindings061010

Every now and then the NCAA says “Enough!” and slaps somebody hard. They did it to Alabama in 2002. And it doesn’t have as much to do with overt cheating as it does with the kind of culture schools allow to grow and exist for the sake of recruiting expediency.

This is a very simplistic explanation but it goes something like this: “Come to our school and we’ll treat you like an NFL star BEFORE you become and NFL star. We can’t give you stuff, because that would be wrong. But if you just look hard enough, it’s out there. Now don’t be obvious about it because then we have to do something. But at our school (wink-wink, nod-nod) we’re not going to be looking very hard to catch you doing this stuff.”

Kids are not stupid. They know where the rules are tight and the rules are loose. They are kids. A lot of them want to go where the rules are loose. That’s why the adults have to enforce the rules.

Here’s the big change: Schools have been put on notice that if they recruit an elite athlete like Reggie Bush, they have to double the guard on him. At at the slightest sniff that he or his family have their hands out to anybody, you sit him  down and declare him ineligible. Can you stop it? Of course not. But if you find out about it or even suspect it, you’d better do something about it. That’s the new standard created by the USC case.

The culture, of course, has its roots back in high school and is fostered in the recruiting process with children having press conferences. That’s been going on a long time and that’s not going to change. But the colleges have been put on notice. They have to change.

4. Was conference expansion all about the money? Of course it was about the money. And that is not always a bad thing.

I’m always amused when people say schools shouldn’t go for the money. That’s easy for them to say because they don’t have to pay the bills.

The same people who complain that schools want more money would be the first one standing in line to fire the athletics director if he let a top notch assistant coach get away to a competitor because the AD didn’t want to double the coach’s salary. Those fans who decry the role money plays in the sport would be the same ones who complain that their school doesn’t have an indoor practice facility which puts them at a disadvantage in recruiting.

Are their excesses? Sure there are. Schools are certainly chasing the money so that they can continue to pay their football coach $3 million-plus and build NFL style weight rooms.

But you can’t have it both ways. You can’t demand that your school compete at the highest level and then complain about the steps your school has to take to stay at that level. You are either in or out. There is no middle ground in this game.

Have a great summer, friends. See you on July 12.

Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

260 comments Add your comment

GADAWGGIRL

June 16th, 2010
2:40 pm

G8R GRAD, You can try and explain it til the cows come home…if they aren’t a part of the SEC, they just don’t get it! I love my Dawgs, but if we don’t play for all the marbles, (and unfortunately, it has been a looong time), I will root for the Gators, LSU, any SEC team who gets there! Go SEC!

SOOHSO

June 16th, 2010
2:43 pm

152rd. Your ritr. its all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Delbert D.

June 16th, 2010
2:54 pm

Knoxville does have a river. Everybody has forgotten about the “Volunteer Navy?”

G8R GRAD

June 16th, 2010
2:56 pm

jj:

It’s a little known philosophy taught by every coach in every sport:

Good Sportmanship.

5IML

June 16th, 2010
3:04 pm

jj,

If it will make you feel better, I (and all the BAMA alumni & fans I know) could not and would not ever root for Auburn, even in a bowl game. Even if an Auburn win would directly benefit BAMA, I can’t do it.

(Please note: In the previous statement, “Tennessee” can be substituted for “Auburn” and the same holds true).

Delbert D.

June 16th, 2010
3:04 pm

USC will be very relevant for 6 years or so, as Exhibit A. I say Mike Garrett doesn’t survive the year as AD.

jj

June 16th, 2010
3:04 pm

sure im such an angry young man…no i just would not root for rivals im glad u would

jj

June 16th, 2010
3:07 pm

5IML

thanks at least some people here think clearly

and G8R IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SPORTMANSHIP ROOTING FOR A RIVAL

jj

June 16th, 2010
3:09 pm

G8R GRAD=the last band-wagon fan

5IML

June 16th, 2010
3:14 pm

jj,

I will root for other SEC teams in their bowl games–just not Auburn or Tennessee.

G8R GRAD

June 16th, 2010
3:16 pm

jj

June 16th, 2010
3:18 pm

i agree 5IML i could never root for uga.

G8R GRAD

June 16th, 2010
3:21 pm

Have a good one, gentlemen.
I’m off to enjoy cold adult beverages with, God help me, an Alabama fan, two Auburn fans, several Georgia fans, a couple of West Georgia fans and anyone else I’m privileged to share the air with!

GO GATORS!

and

GO SEC!

5IML

June 16th, 2010
3:23 pm

jj,

I’ve come to realize that my prohibitions against rooting for other SEC teams is sport-specific as I have found myself pulling for Tennessee’s women’s basketball team, occasionally.

G8R GRAD

June 16th, 2010
3:25 pm

Forgot my Georgia Tech buddy and, yes, even my Half-A$$-U friend, too!

POAD

June 16th, 2010
3:25 pm

I root for all the teams I hate to win if my team can’t be playing against them! What kind of crap is that. I root for other teams to lose. SOS don’t matter to me. I want the dawgs to lose no matter who they play. Yes, it would be great to play an 11-0 UGA when we play and beat them. I would; however, be rooting for UGA to lose in every single game along the way. If UGA were to ever play for the MNC there would be no way in Hell I would say anything but P.O.A.D the whole game. That would be like pulling for Hitler to be winning the war until the US could Kick his butt.

Alphare

June 16th, 2010
3:30 pm

Did Da’Rick get paid to go to Tennessee with Nance? Just saying.

Good for Reggie Bush

June 16th, 2010
4:20 pm

He took a hypocritical college football system that was going to screw him, making billions off his talents while grossly underpaying him, and screwed them right back.

Good for him.

Delbert D.

June 16th, 2010
4:37 pm

“$10 million a year to the BCS conference that is willing to take Memphis”

For how long? Why did FedEx deny it? They are a publicly-traded corporation. Does that imply that Smith would be using corporate funds?

Pickens made 2 donations to OK St., $100 million several years ago, and $200 million the most recent.

Yeppie

June 16th, 2010
5:50 pm

Atlanta Gator
What I was referring to is the other big 12 teams can earn more money if they get more invites by TV media for prime time games. The money is shared but the perks for having more scheduled key invites goto the institution. That is not shared. So that is what I referred to as it is not all share as social society. If kansas goes 10 wins and NBC wants to air the final game… they get the money.

TV network.. Lots of people would watch. Just as Florida has its own network. Do they share that money with the SEC… no.. so it the concept.

If kansas, Iowa state want more money then they can.. They just have to earn it.. Go and beat a Texas and Okalahoma and they will make more money in addition to the shared revenue. Hence then a network would ask to air the game since it will prove significant.

Partnership.. They ought to be happy to have a home. They make more money with the Texas, OU and atm then without. If they would bring more value they would get more money. It is fair. Kansas is a great basketball program.. That program makes more money than Texas basketball. Does Texas cry about that….. no..

Yeppie

June 16th, 2010
6:01 pm

Reggie Bush must not have a full deck. Saying that he will battle the NCAA and do what ever it takes to aid USC.

Bottom line… He knew what he was doing and knew it was wrong. I think he is just trying to make himself look good to the USC alumni. No character. Should just admit his wrong doing… He should stay in the Heisman club and should get an endorsment deal with Enron and BP.

Yeppie

June 16th, 2010
6:05 pm

USC gave him an opportunity to present his talents. Yes they made money, but they gave him the opportunity. He should be thankful for that and not arrogant. He is just made because he was CAUGHT and was guilty of mis conduct. Don’t forget where your cleats have been. He did that and USC should forbid him on campus. I have a feeling kiffin being the assistant coach was well aware of it and did nothing. He got what was deserved too.

Yeppie

June 16th, 2010
6:11 pm

Nobody truly cares about what the SWC did or the south conference did 30 years ago. 50 years ago Navy, Syracuse, and Army where two of the best college football programs in the country. Texas, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama have a 100 years of winning tradition. New comer is Florida and USC. The past 20 years. FSU got lost in the shuffle but will return with Miami and Penn State.

Yeppie

June 16th, 2010
6:17 pm

Correction.. Reggie Bush should NOT be in heisman club. He puts it in a negative light. Just as (not sure, going off memory) USC should not be the AP natioanl champ. Should goto Auburn.. I hope the BCS takes away the 2004 champ. Be glad Texas and Vince Young Beat USC and reggie bush in 2005. Even with USC cheating.

Tide Rising

June 16th, 2010
6:30 pm

Good for Reggie Bush

June 16th, 2010
4:20 pm

“He took a hypocritical college football system that was going to screw him, making billions off his talents while grossly underpaying him, and screwed them right back.

Good for him.”

Dude, In what way, shape or form did USC screw Reggie Bush? If you’re talking about all the hot co-eds on campus that gravitate towards the star football players then I see what you mean. And that’s just one of the many fringe benefits you get as a superstar college athletes. Otherwise your claim that he somehow got screwed because they don’t make money as “amateurs” is ludicrous.

If Reggie didn’t want to “get screwed” by playing football he could have just paid his own through college, won an academic scholarship, gone into debt to go to college, or done what a lot of students do and get a part time job or work during the summer to help pay for college. Do volleyball or girl’s softball or men’s golf team athletes also get screwed because they don’t get paid?

USC gave him a full scholarship for playing football and on top of not having to pay for room and board, tuition, books, food, etc. they provided a training ground for several years for him to hone his schools before making millions in the NFL. He was supposed to be an amateur not a pro and if he didn’t like it he could have just stayed out of college for a few years and then went to the NFL.

Incidentally, USC made millions off the efforts of the whole football program and not just Bush. They did not make billions off Reggie Bush as you allege. That is absurd. And now the money USC will lose off the selfishness of this one player will cost them millions of dollars. I’m not absolving USC of any responsibility since they weren’t on top of things. But Reggie’s selfishness, greed, and his family’s greed had a lot to do with USC getting screwed.

Yeppie

June 16th, 2010
6:34 pm

Your right Tide Rising.
He got free tuition to a very respectable academic institution in USC. Also USC gave him a platform to become an NFL player. He screwed USC by his actions and USC did nothing to stop it. They both desever what was handed out by the NCAA.

Yeppie

June 16th, 2010
6:37 pm

Atlanta GATOR
Your comment about PARTNERSHIP.. You ought to give a definition of partnership. If the schools in the SEC have such a great partnership and share…. ONE QUESTION about the PARTNERSHIP
Does Florida share its revenue from its TV network???? I dont think so… Is that a partnership???

Atlanta Gator

June 16th, 2010
6:46 pm

Yeppie—-

USC is a “newcomer,” huh? Do you know anything about college football? Southern Cal is one of ten winningest major college football programs—-ever. Tenth in total number of all-time wins, eighth in all-time winning percentage. Southern Cal can claim 10 consensus national championships between 1928 and 2004. That’s fourth in the modern era, after Notre Dame’s 13, Alabama’s 12 and Michigan’s 11.

“USC is a newcomer?” Why do you continue to just make stuff up? Do you understand how that just destroys your credibility? BTW, do you know how many national championships that Texas has won in the last 30 years? One, Yeppie. Exactly one. Since 1980, here are the totals: Miami (5), Florida (3), Nebraska (3), Alabama (2), FSU (2), LSU (2), Oklahoma (2), Penn State (2), Southern Cal (2*), BYU (1), Clemson (1), Colorado (1), Georgia (1), Georgia Tech (1), Michigan (1), Notre Dame (1), Ohio State (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (1), Washington (1).

See: http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/national_championships/nchamps_team.php

Look at that list, Yeppie. It’s a who’s who of American college football on the last 30 years.
You see where Texas is? For the last three decades Texas is dangerously close to all hat and no cattle. Can you say “barely relevant?”

The Longhorns’ outsize football ego has no basis in reality. Please don’t go away angry. Just go away. Please. And spare us the goofy pronouncements.

Yeppie

June 16th, 2010
6:50 pm

Who cares about what happened 30-50 years ago.. Lets stay in the decade. According to the info you listed.. FLorida is not even on the college football radar.

Partnership??? Still waiting. If the Florida is such a partner of the SEC then why are they not sharing that revenue with the othe SEC ?partnerships???

Atlanta Gator

June 16th, 2010
6:50 pm

No, dork, the Gators do not share our revenue from the Sunshine Network. Sunshine is pretty much a football repeat and minor sports network for hardcore Gators. It also shows FSU sports and some of the other Florida universities. That’s not where the real money is, anyway. The real money is the SEC’s ESPN and CBS television contracts. And every SEC member gets a 1/12th equal share of the ESPN and CBS contracts. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yeppie

June 16th, 2010
6:52 pm

Atlanta Gator
Just admit it… dont be angry, just do not over extend yourself with slants.. It is okay to reconsider ones thoughts. Not recommended but better than not doing such action.

Atlanta Gator

June 16th, 2010
6:53 pm

Florida not on the radar this decade? Have you slept through the last five years? The Gators won two NCAA men’s basketball tournaments AND two BCS football championships.

Thanks for playing. No put your little Shorthorn tail between your little steer legs and go.

Yeppie

June 16th, 2010
6:54 pm

Atlanta Gator..
Admit it you were wrong about Big 12 not sharing and the socialism of equal conference revenue sharing. Here you go.. Your claim about the SEC being such a great PARTNERSHIP does not hold water…

Yeppie

June 16th, 2010
6:57 pm

Ahh finally we are in this decade and not looking at 30-50 years of irrelevant stats… About time…
partnership in the SEC.. yea right. Tell that to the ACC, but lets not because that would take us out of the current world of college football.

Atlanta Gator

June 16th, 2010
6:58 pm

Hell, Yeppie, I’m not even sure the Sunshine Network actually makes money, since it doesn’t have live broadcasts of any Gators football and basketball games. But, hey, if Vanderbilt or Alabama or whoever wants a 1/12th of the Sunshine proceeds, they can if they kick in 1/12th of the operating costs. It ain’t real money. What Florida does not share, and will never share, is the royalties from licensing Gators sportswear. The UAA earned that fair and square.

If you don’t believe me, look it up. I’m done doing your homework for you.

Atlanta Gator

June 16th, 2010
7:00 pm

Rhetoric doesn’t win over facts. Raising your voice and repeating yourself doesn’t trump facts. The SEC has equal revenue sharing from its television contracts. Period. Now, go back to Austin and beat up some of the skinny kids for their lunch money.

I’m done with you.

Atlanta Gator

June 16th, 2010
7:12 pm

Hey, everybody. Sorry about the tirade. I just kinda reached my annoyance toleration level with the Little Shorthorn fella who has been lurking around the blog singing Longhorns Uber Alles all week.

I really came back to the blog to take an SEC victory lap on behalf of my favorite college sports program, the Florida Gators. Not sure how I missed it (I guess I was paying too much attention to the realignment chatter), but the Gators won the SEC All-Sports Trophy for the 20th time in 24 years, recognizing the best overall sports program in the conference. That includes best men’s program, best women’s program and best overall program.

ESPN link: http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/10990/florida-wins-sec-all-sports-trophy-again
AJC link: http://blogs.ajc.com/uga-sports-blog/2010/05/25/uga-no-2-in-sec-all-sports-standings/?cxntfid=blogs_uga_sports_blog
Gainesville Sun link: http://www.gatorsports.com/article/20100524/ARTICLES/100529719

Go Gators!

Okay. I’m done gloating.

Yeppie

June 16th, 2010
7:26 pm

Kids.. At least the kids question why they have to call it “toothpaste” versus teethpaste..?
I tell them it was invented in the florida swamps where the kids only have one tooth. Thus they called it toothpaste…

Rhetoric– is good for plato and greek studies..

jumbeauxtiger

June 16th, 2010
8:27 pm

AG, there is nothing wrong with gloating. That’s an impressive run by Gator sports.

Tide Rising, Bush will end up costing USC millions of dollars. He didn’t like driving a pickup truck, wanted new wheels and got them. He wanted new rims and got them. He got a free education at a private school and used it as a springboard for millions. I have zero respect for that guy.

Ray Goof

June 16th, 2010
8:38 pm

As a friend of a Fed Ex employee who hears all the doom and gloom loss of profit’s stories of Fed Ex ..who’s employee’s have taken pay cuts or did not recieve a raise for 2 years…this Fred Smith ..Memphis , story is enough to p*** someone off

Tide Rising

June 16th, 2010
8:39 pm

What up jumbeaux?

While I hold reggie and USC equally responsible-USC for not minding the store and Reggie for his selfishness, greed, and not giving a damn about screwing his school- there is one more point to make to the guy defending Reggie Bush.

Reggie’s actions also cost his teammates- these guys will now miss 2 bowls, miss the opportunity to compete for a national and I think conference title, and they will probably have reduced exposure as far as making all america teams, individual awards., bowl exposure, etc and this indirectly translates into reduced millions for the guys currently on the USC roster who will one day make it to the pros.

Lets face it. When you make all america or achieve awards such as outland trophy, etc because of the exposure of your team and hence your play making skills your agent has more leverage in getting more money for you based on your college accomplishments. Can’t back it up with empirical evidence- just my opinion but I think its a valid point nonetheless.

Tide Rising

June 16th, 2010
8:47 pm

Ray Goof,

I just can’t see Memphis being asec member. Ever. It just seems like a pipe dream for this one CEO and that’s it. Memphis has great jazz and barbecue but other than that it is one of the most politically corrupt and crime ridden cities in the US. Memphis is also a tier 3 or worse school and we already have enough of that in the SEC. Memphis has serious attendance and competitiveness problems and its facilities are horrible. They could never hold their own against the rest of the sec in football. Just can’t see it.

Good for Reggie Bush

June 16th, 2010
9:09 pm

When the NCAA stops making billions off of players while paying them pennies on the dollar for what they bring in, then you pat the NCAA on the back for their moral stand.

Until then, good for Reggie Bush, good for Derrick Rose, good for OJ Mayo good for the rest of them. The NCAA knows they have them over a barrel as far as pay; the players know they have the NCAA over a barrel as far having no recourse against them personally for getting paid.

The NCAA getting on a moral high horse over so called student athletes is like a shark criticizing a barracuda for preying on a big fat juicy sea bass.

Reggie Bush isn’t doing anything different than the NCAA. He’s putting getting paid over the charade called student-athlete. Good for him.

cloudy

June 16th, 2010
9:38 pm

Tide Rising- Preach on brother.

Tide Rising

June 16th, 2010
9:54 pm

Good for Reggie Bush,

If Reggie, Derrick Rose, and OJ Mayo don’t like the fact that they don’t get paid as amateurs and play by the rules then they need not enroll. Its that simple.

Tell OJ to go straight to pro basketball as opposed to going to college as an amateur, go pro rathter than being an amateur and breaking the rules and ruining it for USC, ruining it for USC’s fans, and worst of all ruining it for his teammates and future athletes at USC Tell Reggie and Derrick to do the same. If you want to be an amateur then play by amateur rules whatever they are. You’re not entitled to play as an amateur but get paid as a pro. Everyone else in college athletics from girl’s gymnastics to men’s golf to swimming or diving play by the rules. Why can’t these guys do the same? Don’t like it then go pro and skip college. .

Tide Rising

June 16th, 2010
9:59 pm

Good for Reggie Bush,

One last thing. Is Reggie Bush or OJ Mayo going to apologize to the 30 young men, mostly black young men, that will no longer be able to go to college on an athletic scholarship to USC because USC now has 30 fewer scholarships to hand out due to NCAA probation. Where is the fairness to the 30 young men who now don’t have an opportunity because of these 2 greedy clowns? Is Reggie going to pay for their college tuition since he ruined their opportunities at USC?

Good for Reggie that he got his money. The 30 young men who will not be able to go to USC on scholarship as a direct result of Reggie and OJ’s actions? Not so good.

cloudy

June 16th, 2010
10:00 pm

Reggie BUsh is just another big headed athlete who thinks the world owes him big time because he plays football. But it matters not to him that he lied all through the hearings and in fact would not answer the questions that were asked of him. He could not defend what he and his family had done so he did not try to do anything except stonewall and lie. And he continues to lie. And now the University will pay for their part in not controlling the players – lack of institutional control. Bush and his parents got what they wanted from USC. BUt don’t play the victim card for Bush and his family. THey definitely were not victims. THey went there looking for handouts and cash payments from the get go. I would not be surprised if they had received payments when Bush was in HS. Until the rules are changed to pay cash to the players while in college- it is just ludicrous for you and others like you who poor mouth those “poor kids” who didn’t get paid by the school.

Good for Reggie Bush

June 16th, 2010
10:23 pm

Tell OJ to go straight to pro basketball as opposed to going to college as an amateur,

Tide Rising, that’s all well and good; until you realize the NCAA and NBA rigged the system so that was no longer an option.

Of course Bush, Mayo and the rest are selfish, and only motivated by the money. The NCAA was their role model for that, and they learned well.

76-Dawg

June 17th, 2010
12:40 am

In college football it’s all about the money. The revenue the football team brings in has to pay the salary’s of the coaches and the expenses of all the other men and women sport’s teams that are losing money, which are 90% of all the other teams, on campus.

#2 BAMA FAN

June 17th, 2010
5:15 am

The best thing to come out of Memphis is the other king Jerry Lawler. The Memphis wrestling was great back in the 70s and at best in the 80’s with Jimmy Hart and Andy Kaufman going up against
Lawler and his buddies!! It is great to see the Braves back in ist place where they belong!! RTR