If you’re a fan of college football…then go check somewhere else because it is that slow time of the year. If you are a Miami fan, then you have a lot going on because of this whole botched NCAA investigation. The NCAA could be in store for a major overhaul depending on how the ball rolls with the Miami investigation. While that craziness is happening, a lot of schools seem to be improving their facilities and trying to get up to par to compete with the big dogs when it comes to recruiting. Any way you look at, this summer will be filled with news good and bad about your favorite teams and players.
1. The Miami scandal at first seemed damning to all Hurricane fans. Everyone felt the death penalty was going to be handed out again, and Miami would be lucky to even allow flag football on campus. Then the NCAA botched the whole investigation and Miami gets to play the victim card now. I bet Al Golden and the Hurricanes players wish they could have seen this coming, because then they might not have sat out of the ACC Championship Game. I am hoping this whole incident leads to the NCAA backing off in future cases. Have the NCAA stop getting their hands into everyone’s business. Yes, they need to be there to regulate, but it’s time to rethink the whole process and make some major changes for the good of the whole NCAA. I imagine after it is all said and done, Miami will receive a bowl ban and maybe lose a few scholarships. That will be a whole lot better than what could have happened if the NCAA did not run amuck.
2. Texas A&M seems to be making the news anytime we see updates for college football. They had a Heisman winner, beat national champ Alabama, landed a top recruiting class, and are doing very well for their first year in the SEC. The latest news is that they are expanding their stadium, hoping to get on the same level as their new SEC friends and also be able to continue to use the stadium as a recruiting tool. Texas A&M is doing right and striking while the iron is hot and the support is rolling in. I would like to see them carry this momentum into next season in a very tough SEC West vs. the likes of LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss. I don’t think there are any gimme games on the schedule next year in the division.
3. Texas A&M is not the only one getting into the stadium expansion scene. Colorado is also getting in on the action and looking to upgrade their facilities and stadium. They hope this will make them competitive in the Pac-12, but it is going to take a lot more than that. Cincinnati knows the Big East is falling apart, and is doing anything necessary to get out. So they are trying to make themselves more appealing by improving all of their facilities, so the next time a conference is looking to grab a school, their name will be at the top of the list. Good luck with that. While schools are at it, here a list of a few other schools that could use an upgrade.
4. So in other words, any schools you thought about joining the Big-12 backed out….for now? Big-12 looks like it’s without a title game…yet. I know this does not seem like news, but I interpret it as a lot of backdoor dealings going on, and the Big-12 does not want to show their hand just yet; especially with the rumor out their that the Big Ten invited North Carolina to join the conference….now that is crazy talk. The Big Ten might be wanting to head further south, and be the first conference to get to 16 teams and force everyone’s hand in the whole deal of going to superconferences. I always thought the SEC should invite North Carolina and Duke. It doesn’tt make sense for football, or adding a significant television market, but it would definitely make the SEC reign supreme in basketball. Imagine a conference that has Alabama, LSU, and Georgia for football and then Kentucky, UNC, Duke, and Florida in basketball. That would be a grand slam deal. Look for the Big Ten rumors to intensify all summer.
5. And now for a little trash talk over the summer. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota calls Johnny Football’s style of play “backyard”. Let’s see how far this little debate can go, since their is nothing else going on in the college football world. Who would you take as your QB between the two? Mariota? Manziel? Their numbers are so similar, it’s a tough call. I agree with the thought that Mariota would have had even bigger numbers than Manziel if he played in the second half of most games. Heck, Mariota could have won the Heisman last year over Manziel, and I would have been fine with that. Mariota lacked the signature win the USC game was promised to be, only to be outshined by Kenjon Barner and other Oregon players that day. Manziel did have the signature on the road win over Alabama, along with the advantage of playing in the SEC, which causes voters to automatically put you a level above everyone else. So after much debate and thought, my vote for picking between the two quarterbacks would be…..Manziel. (Cue the “you idiot, you don’t know what you’re talking about” comments…)
Nothing too newsworthy this week, though I will be interested to see if this whole North Carolina to the Big Ten gains any momentum over the summer. Don’t be surprised if you see the Big 12 make a run at FSU, or even another big-time school. Geography of conferences is meaning very little these days…ask Missouri about it…they are in the SEC East, and are the farthest west team in the whole conference. Let’s just hope none of our favorite players make the news for the wrong reasons while this slow offseason is upon us.
1. Johnny Football too cool to go to class.
2. ACC is cooking now
3. Big East and ESPN sticking together
4. PAC-12 mailbag
5. Mariota’s top performances of 2012