Archive for category college football

The Thundering Blurb Football Show – 7/5

Jammed packed show last night and a lot of ground covered – the 1 hour format is getting a bit crowded.

First the link – check the show out here at BTR or on Itunes (and subcribe won’t you?)

Second – I promised a big announcement and so here it is. In one week I will be launching a new website called Big East Gridiron whose aim will be to give you full coverage and analysis of all eight teams in the Big East ranks.

Big thanks to Jim Day (aka Fantasy Taz) who tweaked my logo/header from very good to awesome. You see the results above.

The site will contain a lot of analysis of all the teams, some video and audio links (including to the Blurb show) and I’m hoping to do a weekly roundup of college football news from around the web.

I’m very excited and look forward to sharing everything with you next Monday. Spread the word to anyone you know who loves College Football and especially the Big East.

After that Earth Shattering Pronouncement, we move on to the the business at hand.

Last week I read an article by Evan Silva at Profootballtalk.com about how QB “Guru” Tom Martinez blames the Raiders for JaMarcus Russell’s struggles. Of course he backpedals to say Russell needs to improve his work ethic as well but all in all on a better team – say the Jets – he might flourish.

You can imagine my issues with this. (Side note – this is Silva reporting on an article from the NYTimes, not Silva’s opinion.)

You can also imagine I go a little long on it. Sure, Martinez makes some good points about it but let’s be honest – Russell’s biggest problem (pun intended) is Russell. Even his teammates say so.

It isn’t brain surgery kids. And oh bye the way – someone tell Martinez that a run first team with a guy picked at #5 in the 2009 draft is not a perfect situation for Russell.

Just sayin’.

After that I talk about Phil Steele’s College Football Preview Magazine, one of my favorite pieces of reading material every year. We talk about how the Top 25 and how Rutgers isn’t in it, though Pitt is.

We’ll use it a lot more as a touchstone and common point of reference throughout the summer. (PS – I love Phil’s work but the website is a little painful to look at – don’t let it dissuade you. You’ll be missing out if you do.

Finally we touch on the Listener’s Segment, this week’s topic provided by frequent chat denizen GMoney.

G asks :

Was wondering what your thoughts are on why this off this off season it seems so many football players and front office personnel are getting into legal trouble.

Every day it seems someone is in the police blotter. I don’t understand why these guys want to jeopardize their careers. Love to hear what you think tonight on your podcast.

It’s funny but as I talked about it and thought about it, I started thinking maybe there isn’t really THAT much more being reported. I feel as though I was thinking the same thing last year and as soon as the season started, we forgot.

Regardless though, I touch on a few reasons – everything from a lack of follow-up help for incoming rookies (who are still young men and prone to silly decisions) to ever present media out of sensationalist stories.

There’s no single easy answer I think – more like there are many factors which make the news seem bigger, though there are certainly some serious issues.

Also, Goodell better be ready for some repercussions if Lions president Tim Lewand skates easier than players have.

That about does it – as always thanks for reading and listening.

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The Thundering Blurb Show – 6/14

A big hello to new folks following, reading or stalking the show. We saw a bit of an uptick in listeners and I hope you all stick around for the duration – we’re going to have a lot to talk about before both the NFL and CFB seasons begin and we’re just a little while away from a big Blurb announcement.

So STAY TUNED! *cue ominous music*

As for this week, I welcomed InTheBleachers.Net’s own Michael Felder to catch up on some of the huge NCAA CFB news raining down upon us.

I had expected to do a lot of speculation over where Texas might end up, but they hosed me (along with the Pac Whatever and probably the other teams in the Big 12) by about facing again and deciding they would remain in the Big 12.

It’s a last second miracle and the rest of the teams who had been ready to bail on the Big 12 are staying too. Before we call Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe a genius though, let’s see what he sold out the rest of the teams for to keep Texas. We know Texas gets it’s freedom to start it’s own network as well as gain revenue from any Big 12 deal. The Big 12 gets money and a little more prestige.

As Michael and I mention, Texas also has a clear shot at a Bowl Bid and perhaps National Title contention with a week Big 12 field just about any year.

Texas is now Notre Dame, but in a conference with some solid revenue.

What does Oklahoma do? What does Nebraska mean to the Big Ten? Might there be more changes coming?

Michael and I also jump into the Pac-10 (11? 12), talk about Colorado and potentially Utah joining up and what that might mean. At the top of the show we also talk some USC Sanctions and what that will mean for the school.

We also talk about the SEC and Big Ten a bit and segue into some ACC/Big East talk. Can either conference breathe a sigh of relief? Neither of us think so.

I want to thank Michael for coming by and urge you to check out InTheBleachers.net (and it’s awesome IPhone app) for some great college football podcasts and articles.

And of course, thank you for coming by and listening in.

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USC CFB Sanctions – Here Comes The Hammer

So – and really it’s not officially official until the press conferences happen – but there are reports are that the NCAA has finally gotten it’s courage up and bringing the hammer down on USC.

As far as sanctions go, it’s not too far over the top. It’ll hurt but it’s not a killing blow.

First off, a few things. One, I went to USC and I am a Pac 10 fan. So I’m not gunning for USC and I’m no hater.  Two, I’ve been super critical about the ‘first not best’ reporting of the media for the last month. I stand by that.

Listen, either get it right or don’t print it. If people worried about getting a story right and doing it well, maybe they wouldn’t catch crap when the story is wrong because they jumped early.

Also, it’s almost depressing how quickly some of the media gets their knives out about stuff like this. I understand fans hating USC. But some national level columnists are acting like bitter kids.

As a country we both crave and hate success – and oh how we love the fall.

Media is no different. It’s already tiresome to read column after column of ’USC got away again’ because the NCAA didn’t drop nuclear missles or something.

Maybe it’s tired because  this has been dragging on for nearly five years. Which is stupid. This isn’t a FBI investigation into a crafty serial killer. It’s not an episode of CSI: Miami.

It’s an investigation into a) whether Reggie Bush took money during college and b) whether USC knew.

I’ll give you two years. On a morning where I’m in a good mood, you could talk me into three years. Four? Five? Come on.

You know what dragging your feet does NCAA? Here it is – in caps so I KNOW you can see what I’m saying:

IT LETS EVERYONE RESPONSIBLE LEAVE AND ESCAPE YOUR WRATH.

Who is getting punished by the ban? Not Pete Carroll. He bugged out as soon as investigators finally looked serious. Not Reggie Bush – he was gone before you started your investigation. 

So a bunch of students – none of which were even at school when USC screwed up – are now hosed. Just like the OJ Mayo debacle, it’s not the guilty who are punished, but those left behind.

Except Lane Kiffin, who was there for the Bush fiasco, left, then ran back in time to get sanctioned. So one out of at least three, probably more?

Nicely done NCAA.

But enough about the broader aspects of this. Let’s talk details.

Assuming this is all true – and I’m giving benefit of the doubt since reports are coming out of Los Angeles this time – here’s the nitty gritty.

According to ESPNLosAngeles:

The USC football program will receive a two-year postseason ban, a reduction in scholarships and a forfeiture of wins from at least the 2004 season when the NCAA releases its sanctions on Thursday, a source told ESPN’s Shelley Smith.

Let’s examine this point by point. Before I go further though, the article mentions that it is possible (I don’t know about likely) that the school could be considered a repeat offender as they were sanctioned in 2001.

If you get sanctioned again within five years of your first sanction, the NCAA can lower an even bigger hammer on your head. Now you may ask yourself ‘Self? How could a violation in 2001 cause repeat offender status in 2010?’m

Your ‘Self’ may not have an answer but I’ll point to the snail-like pace of the NCAA again where the violations happened way back in 2004 but they only just got their act together.

Clearly this is stuck in my craw, so let’s acknowledge I think it was way too long and move on.

Assuming the repeat offender thing isn’t a reality then the penalties are harsh for those still at USC, but aren’t earth-shattering.

1) The two-year postseason ban – This sucks for the kids there (and new staff not named Kiffin) but it isn’t that terrible. Also, if the Pac 10 expansion happens, I’m not sure if this applies to any BigPac Championship games (that title is Pat. Pending by the way) so USC may still have a crack at a Title of some sort.

Again, who does this hurt? The people at USC who weren’t when Bush and Carroll violated NCAA rules. This is why I think anyone calling for tougher sanctions needs their heads examined.

Matt Barkley should be punished more for something someone did when he was starting high school? Isn’t it enough he’s going to miss the post-season for two years?

For some, nope. Hate of USC trumps sense I guess.

I think many of the players will stick it out, but I can imagine some other schools are drooling over maybe stealing a few players. That could be a problem for USC, but they seem to be able to hold onto recruits far longer than you’d think.

People go to USC because it’s USC – that’s why they can have three great running backs and a host of linebackers – all of whom could start elsewhere – on the bench and recruit more of the same.

Speaking of recruiting, this will hurt a little in the short term but long term, it will be a blip. USC was able to withstand the defection of Carroll, the knowledge something was happening with the NCAA and the arrival of Kiffin just fine.

I think in the end, the brand will recruit the kids regardless. And some of these kids will barely even see the sanctions – guys recruited for 2011 and 2012 might not care. It’ll be over by the time they reach the atatus of starter.

As a whole the school could lose out on money from a major bowl (which despite the above linked article’s opinion, isn’t that far fetched for USC) and that will affect the entire conference.

But again, definitely something you can recover from.

2) A reduction in scholarships – This also isn’t a disaster although it isn’t great. I read somewhere in the last few days that USC was well under their limit of scholarships so it might sting less, but it’s never good to lose more than 20 scholarships.

Will this lose them recruits until they earn them back (I don’t even know right now how long they lose them for)? Perhaps. But USC has recruited well for years and if you think that the cream of the crop will be the ones without the full ride, you’re dreaming.

This might hurt the bench depth more than anything. And like the post-season ban, totally surmountable.

3) Forfeiture of wins from at least the 2004 season – this hurts the present team the least as – sure losing a shiny trophy sucks, but history is history. Various Pac 10 teams and Auburn will likely feel a bit smug, but they still didn’t really win a title because let’s face it – at the end of the day they lost and you can ‘what if’ it to death and nobody outside of those groups really will care.

I think it’d be nice for the players from way back when to get their rewards, but no recruit is going to go ‘Wait you lost games in 2004 due to sanctions? Let me get Michigan on the phone…’.

So again, not a crisis.

Really, as far as USC is concerned the sanctions aren’t pleasant but also not insurmountable. So long term, not horrible.

Couple that with the news that the Pac 10 is likely expanding, including perhaps Texas – and you can almost breathe a sigh of relief.

It’s over – although you can guess USC may contest the ruling which would mean more nonsense and likely 14 more years of deliberation.

But for NOW it appears to be over. Like most sanctions, everyone is probably unsatisfied. There are some who feel USC got off lightly and there are some who may think the sanctions are too much – there are some walking around blank eyed and sure that all is well *COUGHNCAACOUGH* even though it took so long to be dealt with.

In the end, USC shouldn’t have much trouble rebounding two years from now and we’ll move on and forget this happened. Could the sanctions have been tougher? Perhaps. I don’t have all the details so I don’t know what they had to judge on. 

It seems to me the length of time says they had to work awfully hard to prove anything – and so I imagine that it’s a fair amount of punishment even if there isn’t enough bloodletting for some.

Besides, Texas will remind them Vince Young beat them in the Rose Bowl in 2006 every time they see each other.

That might be painful enough.

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Blurb TV – Ep 10 – College Superconferences

Check out all the great college football stuff over at In The Bleachers…

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Big East Football Talk w/In The Bleachers.net

Last night I had the distinct pleasure of chatting college football with Michael Felder of InTheBleachers.net. I don’t get as much time to talk college football – especially Big East football – nearly as much as I like and Michael was kind enough to let me run my mouth for close to an hour.

You can check it out here on the ITB site.

We talk a lot of Big East football, chiefly about the problems facing the Conference with the Big Ten sniffing around Rutgers and potentially one or two other schools. What they can do to avoid it – and what they can do to survive it – are both topics we air out a good long while.

Check out the podcast and stick around for the great content they have about everything CFB.

Thanks to Michael for having me on – I look forward to returning the favor as we approach CFB season and returning again to talk more college ball in general.

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NEW DRAFTGUYS SITE UP

Hey guys

VERY excited that Draft season is here and to announce the all new, all sexy Draftguys.com site. Check it out – I have a couple articles up and the guys already have Shrine Game notes.

www.draftguys.com

Believe it yo!

Pioli named GM for the Chiefs

Quick update – first off I know it’s been slow even with the college prospects declaring left and right (Crabtree of Texas Tech is going, Taylor Mays is staying at USC) but as I have mentioned before, my family is undertaking a large move – the month of January is pretty crazy. So we’ve been behind on the news.

And honestly with the exception of Mays and Tebow staying, none of this makes a huge difference. What will matter is the workouts between now and the draft – and we’ll cover that plenty here and on Draftguys and NFLDraftbible. So bear with me please.

Second, Scott Pioli has left the GM post of the Pats for one in Kansas City. It’s a crazy job he’s undertaken and there is a ton of work to do. Plus, we’ll find out how much he did vs Belichick when it comes to drafting and other stuff. Herm Edwards may be on the clock – we’ll see whether he is going to be escorted out of the building soon. With a change at the GM spot and perhaps one at the coach position, one wonders what else will happen.

Will Gonzo and LJ get their wish to be traded or will they get sold on the new regime? Will the defense switch to the 3-4 when everyone they drafted of late is for the 4-3. What abotu Thigpen?

Should be interesting and we’ll talk abotu that and much more tomorrow night at the all new time of 7:00 PM PST/10pm EST on Blogtalkradio.com’s fabulous Fantasy Sports Channel.

Eben Britton to the NFL – good or bad?

Hey folks

Here’s my latest article on NFLDraftbible – Arizona OT Eben Britton declared for the NFL draft on Jan 3rd and this article covers why I think it was the right decision for him. Feel free to discuss in the comments here or on NFLDraftbible.com.

Also, my pick for tonight’s game is Oklahoma. If the Sooners contain Tebow – and I feel they will – and if they get ahead…. well, it’s going to be hard for Tebow, a great athlete but not a great QB (boy will I get hate mail), to throw them back into a game.

Should be a good game though. Dunno how people are calling for a Gator blowout.

Mark Sanchez – Decision Time

Hey folks

Another edition of NFLDraftbible’s Decision Time – this time I was talking about USC quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Check it and many other awesome articles over at NFLDraftbible.com.

For those of you waiting, Draftguys.com will be back up and moving forward soon, so I am told. Am already working on a few things for them.

God I love Draft season.

Taylor Mays – Should he or shouldn’t he?

Hey folks. as we move into the non-playing season, we here at the Blurb (which would be me and…. well me – it’s a small staff) shift into a college prospect place. I will be doing a ton of draft coverage for Draftguys.com, NFLDraftbible and various other outlets. So you’ll be seeing a ton of links over the next months as I tell you where to find what i am doing.

First up is the beginning of a series of articles for NFLDraftbible about Underclassmen who may apply to enter the draft – it’s called Decision Time. There will be a bunch of these by various writers over the next week to ten days, so make sure you check the site out often and not just when I link.

Most of my stuff is going to be on Pac-10 juniors – but there are many great writers covering the whole NCAA spectrum so head over there.

Here is my first piece on USC junior Safety Taylor Mays.