R.I.P., JUNIOR SEAU
Junior Seau, 1969-2012
It's hard to know what to say about stories like this anymore. They've become tragically commonplace, and each one forces us to do a little more soul-searching and a little more examination of our sport and whether it's worth it. I'll have a lot more to say on some of the general issues this brings up next week, but for now all I can think to say is that my thoughts and prayers are with the Seau family.
Beyond that, I'm running out of words for situations like this.
A team's pain
Eight members of the 1994 Chargers have died over the last 17 years.
THE DEATH OF THE BCS
Jim Delany has an idea that might not be altogether dumb
But he's also doing it for entirely the wrong reasons. The proposal would have the top four conference champions play for the national championship if they were ranked in the Top 6. So why would the Up North Conference commissioner favor this idea?
The top four ranked conference champions among the top six would qualify and if less than four conference champions were among the top six teams then the remaining spots would be filled by the highest ranked non-conference champions or an independent (Notre Dame, BYU, Army or Navy).
So if Notre Dame were No. 1 and there were conference champions at No. 2, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 -- too bad for the Irish. Or even if No. 1 gets an autobid, let's say that the independent Irish are No. 4 one year and conference champions sit at No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5. No Notre Dame? Finally, imagine the pressure on Notre Dame to join a conference if a No. 5 Notre Dame team gets left out in favor of a No. 4 at-large team -- when an Irish team with the same ranking that had a conference championship to go along with it would have gotten into the tournament.
In other words, Delany is trying to use the four-team playoff as a form of leverage against Notre Dame's reluctance to join the Big Ten. And while the idea has some merit on its own, that's not why Delany is proposing it. When you're Jim Delany, even the BCS is just another tool to further your own ambitions.
CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT AND ITS DISCONTENTS
Texas A&M and Arkansas will play a home-and-home starting this year
College Station in 2012, Fayetteville in 2013 and then back to Cowboys Stadium in 2014. Why? Because otherwise Texas A&M would have just five true home games this year. It could also be related to the plans for scheduling in 2013 and how that might affect Arkansas.
All of this will presumably be fixed in the 2014 schedule. Or they're counting on us forgetting that they said any of this by the time that rolls around. I'm still not sure we're ever going to see this as a neutral site game again, at least not in the near future.
Bill Byrne might be gone for A&M's SEC entrance
Again, he was reportedly not a fan of the move to the SEC, so this would make sense.
Missouri readies for SEC-related capital campaign
They hired a new deputy athletics director for just that purpose.
The Big 12ish finds another sucker
Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby is apparently eager to oversee the college football equivalent of the Balkans for some reason.
Utah State and San Jose State are going to officially announce they're going to the MWC
Not that this is any surprise to anyone that's paying attention. Meanwhile, Boise State is trying to join San Diego State in the geographical absurdity of having its football team in the Big East and all of its other teams in the Big West. Really.
Side note: Were it not for the Boise State tidbit, I wouldn't have linked to the ESPN article at all. They continue to snub the journalistic tradition of saying "As first reported by ... " because the ego of the Worldwide Leader can't take the fact that they didn't get the story first. It's petty and it's stupid and it's not fooling anyone who actually knows anything about what's going on in college football. It's just making ESPN look small.
Texas State officially to the Sun Belt
Get ready for them to come to an SEC stadium near you.
New Mexico State aiming for a Sun Belt membership?
It looks very much like the Aggies could end up in the Sun Belt, which would obviously keep them high on the list of confectionery treats for SEC athletics directors.
Can we call it the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party now?
Michael Adams, the president of UGA who did several good things for the school but also launched the attempt to get rid of the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" as a name for the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, is retiring next year. He's also one of the first people to present an actual plus-one plan to the BCS brass -- which was promptly knocked down.
The Mayor is happy
Apparently, too happy for words, which is a pretty rare state for him to be in.
Kyle actually does have some thoughts here.
Making sure that your team's momentum continues without a bowl ban? Priceless
South Carolina spent $535,000 in its largely successful handling of the Hotelgate and benefits investigations. The money came from private donations to the school's foundation, which is not unusual in situations like this, because taxpayer from Clemson would likely be annoyed if they found out their tax dollars were being used to fund these efforts.
LSU-Arkansas is officially the Thanksgiving Friday game
Not that there was ever any doubt. I've said before that this is when the game should be played; it kind of feels like a tradition now.
This is funny
Or is it actually real?
Randy Shannon is suing Miami
This is notable because his name occasionally crops up in relation to SEC coaching searches.
The NCAA's War on Native Americans has reached a new low
The NCAA has ordered the University of North Dakota to change its Fighting Sioux nickname because the mascot is offense. Someone really out to inform the Sioux of this, since several tribal members are suing the NCAA to try to block the Association from banning the name.
Yes, the NCAA is more offended by the Fighting Sioux nickname than at least some of the Sioux are.
The policy is now officially sending the wrong message. Instead of making sure that Native Americans' likenesses are not being used against their will, the NCAA is now saying that it's not going to allow Native Americans' likenesses to be used even if they want their likenesses to be used. The NCAA is now using political correctness to institutionalize discrimination against a certain kind of mascot. How quaintly Orwellian of them. And how hypocritically arrogant.