This weekend is the annual float trip weekend and we are super distracted. The annual event down in the Ozarks leads to all sorts of cathartic releases and gets us ready for the football season to come. For those of you not in the know, a float trip is basically an all day canoe or raft run down a river with food and beverages. This can be known as a Booze Cruise. This year it’s running a little late, but thankfully the weather isn’t too bad, sans any chance for rain. If you ever get a chance, find the closest river and spend a weekend camping. It’s a great way to get away. Here’s this week’s Crib Sheet:
- Right after the Crib Sheet say the Mountain West Conference’s beef with the BCS wouldn’t be over until the beginning of the college football, a new press release came out last week stating that they finally signed with the BCS on the new television deal. Wow that was fast. So they trotted the BCS out to Washington with Utah buddy Orin Hatch to shake them up before finally giving in and signing. Trying to save face much? Time to dust the hands off of this topic.
- Western Carolina junior defensive back Ja’Quayvin Smalls died after a voluntary workout last week. This may be along the lines of the sickle cell issue that have been the cause of the number one death among college football players in the last decade. Our condolences go out and we hope that this builds the case even stronger for mandatory sickle cell tests for colleges.
- We’ve usually ignore player arrests here on the Crib Sheet because, let’s face it, a player or two gets arrested every week. Let’s take a look at this. We’ll give a nice even 100 for the number of division I football teams. There’s about 50 players per team. Those are both conservative numbers. So there are about 5,000 football players. Take that and add in college life. There’s about 6 months in the off season. Two players arrested per week is about 48 players. Or less than 1% of the total amount of players. That seems reasonable to us for the college population as a whole. So while it makes news, there’s nothing exciting about it except that they play a big time sport.
- ESPN and ABC are switching up announcers this year. Michael Hiestand points out that Matt Millen will come to the fray and Paul Maguire will be out completely. WOO HOO! Maguire was about as bad as announcer as they come. There’s a reason they dropped him down on the field and didn’t allow him in the booths for the games last year.
- It looks like after the fiasco of the Bob Krause/Ron Prince fiasco last year and the massive audit fiasco involving the university, Kansas State and their new athletic director John Currie will do what they can to rebuild the fan base. One such way is to sell 1,989 tickets for $9 at the home opener this year in Massachusetts, in honor of Bill Snyder’s first game as head coach. It’s a nice little ploy, but the opponent and the number of tickets for sale don’t do much in terms of a rebuild. It’s a nice start, but they’re going against a weak non-conference team so chances of a sell out are nill. Currie and Co. have a long way to go but it’s a decent first step.
- Urban Meyer let the cat out of the bag this week and told the whole world he’ll never coach for Notre Dame. Never say never. Granted Charlie Weiss will have to make a bowl to keep the job, but with what Florida giving Meyer everything he wants, including national titles, an open Fighting Irish job and a pot of gold won’t be enough. Then again, he did say never.
Independence Day came and went and we escaped with a couple of scratches, bruises, and about six pounds of weight. While we are recovering, we are reminded that we are inching ever closer to start of the new college football season. Sooner or later, I have to get started on some site improvements and my previews. Until then, we keep on chooglin’ to another Crib Sheet:
- Former Hawaii, and record breaking, quarterback Timmy Chang was arrested for robbery. I completely forgot the guy. When that happens, one can guess that crime is heading their way. Especially since he fizzled out like he did. It’s pretty terrible that a record holding qb gets released from a Canadian football team.
- The New York Times is now profiling the case that Sam Keller filed against Electronic Arts and the NCAA. He makes a good point about players being used to take in bucket loads of cash for EA Sports and the NCAA. If he wins, it may open the door to some other types of compensation for the players.
- ESPN’s Tim Griffin points us to a company that sifted through the stats to produce the five common traits BCS Championship teams and which teams fall under that for this year. Texas is in the mix but so is Iowa, surprisingly. Florida’s there too, however. The safe bet I guess is Texas vs Florida this year.
- So another hearing on Capitol Hill took place the pitted Senator Orin Hatch from Utah against the BCS. It stunk very much of grandstanding, and nothing came of the hearing. Many columnists gave their reaction, so I will give mine. This will continue on until the start of the college football season and then it will go away. Hatch is rattling swords for his state and really thinking so much of the other smaller schools. The best part, that Tim Griffin pointed out, was when Hatched asked Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman what more could Utah do and Perlman suggested that Utah play a tougher schedule. Utah president Michael Young responded that the school wishes Nebraska would play them. Tim Griffin points out that Utah backed out of a chance to play Texas last year. End of story. Case closed. The roar of the crowds on opening day will overcome the whimpers and cries coming from the state of Utah.
So some news outlets are saying that May is the black hole of news for college football. We here at the KCCGD are diligent in digging up interesting news and actually found enough to fill a column this week. We’ll weather this storm together and hopefully ride out into June when practices start. For now let’s do our best to ignore all of this lame-o baseball, weak basketball and hockey playoffs, and a post NFL draft hangover. Here’s this week’s ration:
- Holey Toledo! Some football players including some basketball players from the University of Toledo were indicted on point shaving charges. Nobody likes to see players go at it light. Especially if they are getting paid for it. Okay, I give in. I just wanted to say Holey Toledo!
- The Big 12 coaches decided to keep the tie breaking rule. Huh? Bo Pelini goes on the comment about how no matter what the 3rd team left out will get the shaft. Okay, that’s understandable. Is there a better way to break the tie? We say rock, paper, scissors.
- It looks like the Utah Attorney General is trying to push for a Senate run with his latest comments about the BCS. Let’s look at it from a point of view perspective. An undefeated team in football and no national title. They have the right to be upset. The way they are going about it? Mmmm not so much. A more clever way would be to rally support from all the non BCS conferences and begin to push as a whole on the BCS conferences. If you really wanted to shake their boots, don’t schedule games with them. Play outside of the BCS. The BCS conferences would then freak becauces of the lack of weak team warm ups at the beginning of the season.
- Sam Keller, a football alum from Nebraska, is suing EA Sports and the NCAA for using the likeness of athelets to make money off the games. This is a hard one to call. More and more the argument is growing for student-atheletes to be paid for promoting the school through sports. While there is a pandora’s box of enabling that, surely the least they can do is up the stipend in terms of the scholarship and toss in a couple of Xboxes to boot.
- ESPN blogger Tim Griffin takes us on a trip to the past and review a lesson taught to us by Mark Mangino of Kansas. The old quote talks about how Mangino wanted to keep the spirit of the rivalry in tact. Now that the tables are turned it seems that maybe this rivalry will be alive an well in Manhattan this year. Snyder and Mangino go at it again. I was at the game last year and as a Wildcat fan it stung hard. Now there’s a fresh start and we hope that at the very least it is competitive because Kansas is the definite favorite.
- So someone is selling a 2005 Rose Bowl ring belonging to former Texas Longhorn lineman Austin Sendlein on eBay, including his 2004 ring. It looks as though he left it in the hotel room he was staying at in Columbus, Ohio to watch his brother play. Seems that Buckeye fans don’t take to kindly to Longhorn folk. Although he did goof and leave it in the hotel room. Linemen are supposed to be smart.
In case you didn’t notice, the professional baseball season is under way. Isn’t that great! Just like what Beano Cook says, it just means that the football season is getting closer! We here at the KCCGD do not cover college baseball but we’re sure it’s really exciting. If the major leagues didn’t draft all of the real talent first, we’re sure it would be better. This is the same problem basketball suffers from. Which we don’t cover too (yet). At some point, once the staff gets filled out, we’ll cover the more important college sports for the Kansas City area. Until then, here’s this week’s college football news:
- The vaunted, Charlie Weiss led, Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football Head Coach, er, Charlie Weiss confirmed that we was thinking about leaving the program. He asked his family about after weighing options and a major lumping from USC to close out last season. Last year, they were 7-6. If they can bump that up a win or two and win the bowl, he should be safe. If he dips, he’s a goner.
- Michigan was offering Greg Paulus a chance to vie for quarterback this year. Paulus, who didn’t even toss a ball around when he was visiting the campus, now has the option to join the graduate program and the football team. This is turning into a crazy situation. Is Rich Rodriguez desperate? Or does he see a golden opportunity. This story wasn’t done, however. Paulus skipped the Wolverines and now is visiting both Nebraska and Syracuse. Good luck to whoever wastes their time on the guy.
- The Big 12 comes in at number 3 in terms of attendance broken out by conference last year. It’s a 3% jump whereas number 1 SEC grew by about 2% and number 2 Big 10 dropped by about 1%. It looks like that trend may continue next year, which will keep this writer happy and bring hope to eventually passing the Big 10 in attendance.
- Oklahoma can’t surf the internet as much, due to NCAA voliations and a new policy from the administration. If you are an Oklahoma Sooner, athlete or alumni, this site is safe to use. Tell your friends and family. We are So0ner friendly. Kinda.
- Colby Whitlock from Texas Tech gives major props to wrestling, as Tim Griffin writes. As a former high school football player/wrestler I can attest to how much more an athlete can gain by participating a wrestling. Balance, speed, and endurance will raise up, which is important for the the fat middle guys like myself. The actual wrestling part I didn’t like, but the condition part was great.
- The Mountain West Commissioner did a song and dance to argue for the proposed playoff structure for the BCS. It seems Utah won’t let this go. Hopefully a nice little press release will send this one away. Methinks it won’t go, but one can hope.
The Crib Sheet returns! Now that we’ve finally shaken off basketball, congrats North Carolina, we can start focusing on college baseball. Psyche! We’re still talking football. This last week saw some interesting cruft float by. Springs practices are going on and we’re starting to get some news trickle out about who’s doing well and who’s tanking. But more on that later. Here’s what else that happened in the past week:
- Rugby is making its presence known in college football with the Texas Longhorn’s punter Justin Tucker. Last year he tried some rugby styled punts and it proved successful. So this year they are asking him and the rest of the punters to try it again both right and left footed. It’s a little dizzying indeed, but it’s great to see some innovation come out of a kicking meme that’s been around forever. Now all Tucker needs is some knocked out teeth to fully bring the rugby pain.
- Tim Griffin reports that a top quarterback recruit from the Wichita area, Blake Bell, has committed to Oklahoma. This stings a little more because he’s right in K-State’s backyard. Oklahoma is the mean machine in the Big 12 so why not go there.
- The New York Times has a piece about Army’s new football coach Rich Ellerson. Apparently his orders are to win now. Seems easy, right? I watched Army play Navy last Thanksgiving and their camoflague uniforms were tight. That’s the only reason I’m rooting this guy to succeed. It sounds kinda gay so don’t tell Rich.
- Chase Daniels looks good as a coach. He was hanging out at the Mizzou practices helping out the new offensive coordinator, Dave Yost. He’s not really gonna make it in the NFL so coaching would be the next best thing for Chase. Just don’t teach them how to eat boogers.
- The Texas Longhorns assistant coaches feel like champions today. They pocketed an extra bonus for the Big 12 Championship, even though technically Oklahoma won the title. Apparently the athletic director talked the school president into the pay. Mack Brown didn’t dip into his bonus. They are sounding a lot like Utah when it comes to titles and championships and such.
There’s not much in news this week as we have college basketball and March Madness to fight with. I’m also fighting a nasty food poisoning bit. That said, some news eeked by and we scooped them up. It’s short and sweet but will give you something to stare at besides all of the red ink on your bracket. Here’s this week’s news:
March madness is fully underway and this week again we check out a school that has some aspirations this year in the tourney. We also have the added benefit the mascot and school being more topical because of the news they created in college football for that last couple of months. That’s right, this week we are all about the University of Utah’s Swoop! There’s not much to chew on history wise, so we’ll write some up as we look at this fresh young entry into mascot-dom and maybe learn a little something about being big time.
Continue reading Mascot Monday: Swoop