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Tag: "NCAA football"

The Pac-12: Screwing Over the Little Guy

[ 24 ] February 21, 2014 |

Building on the model of professional sports, where immensely profitable owners squeeze the wages, reduce the benefits, and undermine the pensions of everyday workers because they can, the Pac-12, flush with cash from the Pac-12 Networks, refuses to provide health insurance or retirement benefits for its technicians and relies upon unpaid internships for students from the member schools to train for jobs that do not pay standard or living wages.

This of course on top of Pac-12 schools, like the rest of the NCAA, stealing the labor of their athletes. And god forbid those athletes eat too much pasta.

‘Merica

[ 63 ] November 4, 2013 |

In the face of Texas A&M painting its team name in the end zone red, white, and blue, Northwestern has upped the ante, going with full on flag uniforms. Clearly proving that Northwestern loves America while Ohio State and Michigan are affiliates of Al-Qaeda.

Pays to Be Rich. Pays to Be White.

[ 75 ] August 29, 2013 |

Johnny Manziel has to serve a suspension of one whole half of football for selling his autograph. Which, whatever except that Ohio State was put on multi-year probation for a few players doing the same thing, players who happened to be black. As part of his “punishment,” Manziel has to give a speech to his team about what he learned. Whether he has to stand in a corner during recess or not remains unknown. Anyway, Dave Zirin imagines the speech:

I’m happy to finally have the opportunity to tell you everything that I have learned this summer. It comes down to one big ol’ life lesson. I learned, after much reflection, that if you are Johnny F—king Football and you put butts in the seats and your school is ploughing $450 million into decking out your college stadium so it will seat 100,000 people and be a “megaphone to the world” and boosters will pay $20,000 to smell your chair when you get up to go to the bathroom, then you can do pretty much whatever the hell you want. Hell, I could sign my name on [NCAA President] Mark Emmert’s head in a “Free Jerry Sandusky” T-shirt while T. Boone Pickens shoves hundred-dollar bills in my pants, and I still would have gotten only this bullshit half-game suspension. Pays to be rich. Pays to be white. Pays to be QB One. Pays to be me.

I mean, you had sports columnists out there who wanted that Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor—a black dude—tarred and feathered a couple years ago for trading his own jacket for some free tattoos, and those same sports writers are comparing me to Rosa Parks! Me! Johnny Manziel! I’m Rosa Parks, beeyotches! I had to ask my boy Drake who that even was. He didn’t know, but when I looked it up… Damn! Media peoples are crazy! Shit, I guess I’m buttering their bread too.

Look: most of you grew up poor as shit and after four years as a Texas A&M Aggie, you won’t graduate and you will still be poor as shit. That is, assuming if you make it four years. You get injured on that next play, they’ll have campus security to keep you from even going to class. Also, a whole bunch of you are black. And that’s cool. My boy Drake is black. And I’m Rosa Parks, so we cool. But straight up, if you did what I did, your ass would be on the next bus back to whatever ghetto or shit town you were born in. Dang the NCAA is more gangster than my boy Drake and my girl Miley combined. I know DRAKE, yo!

This is Just All Some Horrible Nightmare I Just Want to Wake Up and Stop Screaming

[ 113 ] January 16, 2013 |

No…

Oregon coach Chip Kelly will be the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, league sources told ESPN.

Kelly re-emerged as a candidate recently and an agreement was just reached Wednesday.

The Eagles had interviewed Kelly early in its search for a replacement for longtime coach Andy Reid, talking to the coach in Arizona after the Ducks’ 35-17 Fiesta Bowl victory over Kansas State.

But sources had told ESPN after the meeting that Kelly had decided to stay at Oregon. The school never made an official announcement regarding Kelly’s employment with the team, however.

Jesus. Does this mean I have to cheer for the fucking Eagles?

LGM Bowl Mania Championship

[ 7 ] January 8, 2013 |

At the end of this dreariest of Bowl seasons, a champion emerges from the muck:

1 Jimmy Chitwoodexecutedtoday
471 98.9
2 Peter Grimesthom0909 470 98.9
3 Lafayette’s FinestUKEvan 463 98.1
4 dalempert 1dalempert 454 96.6
5 Granny Starversjohnrauchman 451 96.0
6 jordan_BSU 1jordan_BSU 443 94.1
7 failed2menace 1failed2menace 441 93.5
8 slemieux99 1slemieux99 433 91.0
9 Missouri Buckeyeadmiraly 431 90.3
10 The North Will Rise Againwitlesschum 424 87.5

 

Unlike Alabama’s treatment of the “Fighting” Irish, it was a close run thing. Mr./Ms. “Chitwood” should contact me (e-mail on the far right sidebar) regarding prize information.

LGM NCAA Challenge

[ 2 ] December 14, 2012 |

1pm tomorrow is the deadline for finalizing your LGM NCAA Bowl Challenge entries.

League Name: Lawyers, Guns and Money
Password: zevon

LGM NCAA Bowl Mania

[ 2 ] December 6, 2012 |

Let us ring in this grim, joyless bowl season by renewing the LGM Bowl Mania Challenge.

Group Name: Lawyers, Guns and Money
Password: zevon

We’ll be using the “confidence” system again; make sure you understand it before finalizing your picks. Or don’t.

Big 10 Expansion: In Case You Thought Its Brand of Football Wasn’t Boring Enough

[ 92 ] November 19, 2012 |

The Big 10 expanding to include athletic powerhouses Maryland and Rutgers makes very little sense. If there’s one thing Big 10 football needs, a conference for which no single person outside the Midwest has actually watched an entire game this year, it’s 2 exceptionally mediocre programs in places that don’t care about football. I was pretty whatever about the Pac-10 adding Colorado and Utah but at least those programs have been really good in living memory. Maryland had like 2 good years in the last 30 and Rutgers is technically “good” this year playing in a joke of a conference and having lost to Kent St.

If you were dying to see Purdue play at Maryland or Rutgers to visit Minnesota, you are in for a treat!!!

And OK, I picked some mediocrity of the conference there. But Michigan-Rutgers? Who cares?

The idea of course is to add big media markets. There’s an obvious problem with that. No one in the New York area cares about Rutgers. Are people really going to pay more in their cable package for the Big 10 Network? I am highly skeptical. The Northeast is hard core professional sports country. Even as Rutgers is having a good season, does anyone in New York or New Jersey actually care? The amount of conversations I’ve heard about UConn or Boston College sports since I’ve lived in Rhode Island add up to 0. Maryland I know less about. Except that they are terrible. And you can’t just build college sports support out of nothing. It is a decades long process.

It’s hardly better in basketball. Rutgers is a non-entity. Maryland has declined significantly since their national championship a decade ago.

Seriously, all the Big 10 did was make their product even less appealing. Who knew that was even possible?

Duckgistics

[ 48 ] November 10, 2012 |

Dunno how I missed this:

Curious to see how Kelly handles Barner in this game. Cal has played Oregon tough in the past, but I’d be stunned to see this game in any meaningful doubt beyond the early third quarter. Barner has a legit shot at the Heisman if he gets enough touches, but it’s unclear if Kelly cares enough about that to risk his starting running back.

Incidentally, I don’t see how the Ducks don’t drop 50 on Alabama, other than the Alabama-probably-not-gonna-go-to-the-BCS-title-game problem.

Trojan Fail

[ 24 ] November 8, 2012 |

I’m just gonna come out and say it: The failure rate of Trojans is way, way too high for comfort.

From ESPN LA: “USC fired a student manager for deflating five game balls below regulation levels for the USC-Oregon game last Saturday, the school announced late Wednesday.”

Deflated balls are easier to catch and hold on to, so the idea is the manager was trying to help the Trojans offense. The Pac-12 has fined and reprimanded USC.

USC also reported this:

When informed of this allegation by the Pac-12, USC investigated it immediately. The student manager confirmed that he had, without the knowledge of, or instruction from, any USC student-athlete, coach, staff member or administrator, deflated those game balls after they had been tested and approved by officials prior to the game.

So this unnamed manager acted alone and without the knowledge of anyone else. Hmm. Pause for a second and allow your credulity to catch up. Now slap your forehead and shake your head. My guess is you just duplicated what USC AD Pat Haden did when he first learned of this small but notable embarrassment.

Chip Kelly was uncharacteristically laconic: “”This story means absolutely nothing to Oregon Ducks.” However, I’m sure that Marcus Mariota was thankful, and that Kenjon Barner found it much easier to run for 321 yards with the deflated pigskins…

Go Ducks!

[ 30 ] November 3, 2012 |

I would like to withdraw any suggestion/implication that Darron Thomas may have been better in any way than Marcus Mariota in critical road games.

By the way, Kenjon Barner is pretty goddamn obviously the Heisman Trophy favorite at this point.

Der Tag

[ 34 ] November 3, 2012 |

Today is the day that was supposed to set the terms on which Pac-12 and the SEC would be decided. The SEC has mostly held serve; if LSU wins at home they’ll likely knock Alabama out of the SEC championship game, and (probably) out of national title contention. Not so much in the Pac-12, where USC’s losses to Stanford and Arizona mean that the Ducks will probably host the Pac-12 championship game regardless of today’s outcome.  Still, USC could effectively end the Ducks national championship hopes, so it remains a pretty important day.

Were I a betting man I would probably take the Ducks -8.5, but I wouldn’t give much more than that. Marcus Mariota has played well, but I wouldn’t say at this point that I’d rather have Mariota running the offense against USC than Darron Thomas. Mariota appears to be more talented than Thomas, but holding it together in a critical game against an excellent opponent on the road is a thing, and Thomas had that as part of his skill set. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mariota turns out to be brilliant, but he has demonstrated a tendency to try to force passes into triple coverage, which won’t play against the Trojans.

Then again, the Trojans lost 39-36 to a team that the Ducks beat 49-0, so it’s hard to be bullish on their chances.  Even in the wins they haven’t looked great.  Barkley has demonstrated a surprising tendency to make significant mistakes, and I don’t like his chances against the Oregon secondary.  That said, USC is sufficiently talented to pull it together for a single game and beat anyone in the country, so there remain grounds for concern.

I’ll also say that the Ducks defense has been even better than I expected.  The 2010 defense was deeply underrated, mostly because surprisingly few people could make the connection that even an excellent defense will give up a lot of points in Chip Kelly’s scheme.  But this is really a fabulous defense; shutting out Arizona (which scored 39 against USC), and holding ASU and UW to seven each in the first half are genuine accomplishments.  USC probably has the best offense the Ducks has faced so far (although Arizona is close), but I’d be pretty surprised if they put up the same 38 that they did last year.

As for the other game, Alabama looks really, really good, and LSU has struggled in a couple of victories.  I think that the nine point spread is fair, in that it would leave me sorely tempted to bet on LSU.  I hope that LSU wins, as that’ll make it less likely that the Ducks will get pushed out of the national championship game in favor of one of the other undefeateds. Incidentally, Kansas State was scheduled to play at Autzen this year, before they opted out; coulda been a great game, but serves to demonstrate the disincentives that elite teams have for playing one another in the preseason.

…[EL] Here’s a great story about the nation’s best running backs coach, Oregon’s Gary Campbell. The underrated reason Oregon is so dominant is an amazing assistant coaching staff, especially at the running backs and offensive line. I’ve followed Oregon football for 30 years, almost the exact same amount of time Campbell has been there. I don’t think they’ve ever had a year with a bad running game.

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