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Sprints Thinks Ole Miss Fans Should Calm Down a Bit // 09.01.10


NCAA Denies Jeremiah Masoli's Waiver to Play at Ole Miss This Year
Year2's post on the basics.

Jeremiah Masoli on the decision to deny his waiver at Ole Miss:

"I graduated early, which is not easy. I enrolled in a graduate program here at Ole Miss I'm very interested in. I'm just still very hopeful that the NCAA will do the right thing in my case."

Houston Nutt:

"I want them (the NCAA) to know what kind of person this young man has been the last month. Our players want him here. All he's done is exactly what he's supposed to do. He's done everything we've asked him to do. There's no question in my mind Jeremiah is in the right place.

"We're in the people-helping business. We're trying to make a difference in young people's lives. I wish the (appeals) committee would look hard at this. He has done everything the right way. The rules are very, very clear."

Yes -- Masoli's transfer was all about "helping people," not an attempt to help a team win football games.

Amid all the hyperventilating in Oxford right now, it's important to remember that Masoli is still eligible to play -- next year. The NCAA didn't deny him the right to transfer and didn't get rid of his remaining year of eligibility. What they said is that Masoli has to play by the same rules as a normal transfer plays by -- he has to sit out a year and then can take the field.

Ole Miss and Masoli were asking for special treatment, a waiver granted for specific circumstances -- something that is discretionary on the part of the NCAA. Sure, there are rules governing what the Association has to consider, though I'm not sure there are any saying the NCAA can't consider something else.

Here's the NCAA's reasoning:

In its decision, the staff noted the student-athlete was unable to participate at the University of Oregon based on his dismissal from the team, which is contrary to the intent of the waiver. The waiver exists to provide relief to student-athletes who transfer for academic reasons to pursue graduate studies, not to avoid disciplinary measures at the previous university.

And that's the difference here. Listen, no one's going to argue that the rule hasn't been used to change football teams more so than schools before. But this is easily the most transparent attempt to do it for no other purpose than football, and the NCAA has to draw the line somewhere. Otherwise, every player who can get an undergraduate degree in three years becomes a de facto free agent. And just think about coaches (like Houston Nutt) trying to discipline students if those students know -- "Hey, I can just do what Masoli did and transfer to another school."

Remember, Masoli didn't go looking for a school that had a graduate degree he wanted and then decide which football program was the best for him. He went looking for a school that had a football program he wanted to join, then selected the graduate degree that was best for him. That's not what the rule is there for.

And if Masoli and Nutt and Co. are suggesting that Masoli won't play next year and would instead go to the NFL Draft -- well, they're just proving the point, aren't they?

You can disagree with the NCAA's decision. But to go crazy and say that the decision was completely unreasonable is going way too far. Methinks you doth protest too much.

It might be selective enforcement. But selective enforcement of some sort of bottom-line standard on this sort of thing is better for the game than no enforcement at all.


We know nothing!
Year2's first take on the Mark Ingram injury.

He will be back before Pete Rose is reinstated
Roll Bama Roll checks in with Will Carroll, whose medical knowledge is far better than his sourcing methods, to talk about the odds that Ingram will only miss the opener. Not that Nick Saban is going to tell you.

we never really know the exact nature of the injury, and not only do coaches have no incentive whatsoever to openly disclose injury details with complete honesty, they have every incentive imaginable to be as deceptive as humanly possible.

This is also known as "the only reason Bill Belichick would ever coach college football."

The Heisman chances are fine -- just ask Beano
Actually, this could go either way, even if Ingram only misses the San Jose State game. Because if he loses 100-150 yards and two or three touchdowns in that game (all of that could happen in the first half), then finds himself in a neck-and-neck contest with another player, that could be the difference. On the other hand, no one is going to go, "Man, did you see what he did to San Jose State," especially when you consider that it's the first game and those are largely forgotten when voters vote.

Or you could listen to Beano Cook.

"You look up in 1943, (Notre Dame's Angelo) Bertelli missed three or four games because he went into the Marines and he still won it," said Cook, an ESPN college football analyst and a Heisman voter. "I don't think missing Saturday's game against San Jose State means anything. If he scores six touchdowns, it means nothing. He could run for 400 yards and nobody cares. Missing the Penn State game might mean something, but he's still the favorite now."

Does Beano even know what year it is? And is he aware that the odds of Mark Ingram joining the Marines are very, very slight at this point?

We might find out if he really is better than Ingram
Trent Richardson will take over his carries -- you know, the guy who only rushed for 751 yards last year.

"I’ve just got to step it up. They took me off some special teams, but kept me on some. Other than that I’ve just got to step up and play my role," said Richardson, who noted he still expects to be the kickoff returner Saturday.

His 109 yards in the BCS National Championship Game, as we will soon see, should totally be disregarded because of something Colt McCoy said.


Sanity is so overrated, really
My first take on BYU going independent. Yeah, it was a busy day on the blog yesterday.

Dr. Saturday takes stock of the situation
And after reading some of his observations, it struck me why the SEC probably shouldn't go the realignment route unless it's really sure of what's at the end of the road

The Mountain West wanted to get Boise State, and it did. That prompted the WAC to go into revenge mode and try to grab BYU -- or, really, to get BYU to leave the Mountain West, since there's very little value added to the WAC by getting just the non-football sports. The BYU, angry at its league for a terrible deal, decided to listen. And, of course, we now know that the Mountain West responded by getting Fresno and Nevada to leave the WAC.

After it became clear that independence was something BYU was seriously considering, it looks as though Comcast (and perhaps the Mountain West) weren't willing to give up any of the television rights, especially with the WAC dying. The thought appears to have been: Why do you give someone leverage when you think you've undercut their position? The thought should have been: There's a reason you don't dare an insane man to pull the trigger when he's pointing a gun at you, because he just might follow through.

So now BYU is left with an independence that won't help much and a handful of "other teams" it has nothing to do with; the WAC is probably going to be gone inside of three years; the Mountain West's dream of an AQ BCS berth is gone; and Comcast will be airing a product worth much less than even what it would have had if it had given BYU some of its television rights back or if Comcast had made a concerted effort to expand the cable reach of its own channel.

That is why you have to be careful about realignment. Sometimes you get what you want. But sometimes you just get what you deserve.

Fallout for the Mountain West
Jeremy has a nice wrap-up here, but I'm not sure I entirely agree with this:

ESPN most likely will help BYU schedule quality late season games since they will be a business partner and want good games to program.

I'm not sure about that. Don't get me wrong -- ESPN is a powerful player in the college football scheduling machine (see: UNC playing LSU this weekend instead of South Carolina later this season). But I'm not sure that even the Worldwide Leader can completely upend the basic, structural laws of the calendar: That most conference games are played late in the season, and any nonconference games at that point are generally against cupcakes.

Sure, there could be a game against a Big East team here and Notre Dame there, but it seems likely that November is going to feature low-tier BCS programs and various and sundry midmajor teams no better (and probably worse) than those in the Mountain West -- at the very time that voters are deciding who goes to the BCS. Some of the teams that schedule Notre Dame late in the season do so out of tradition or because it's Notre Dame; BYU has none of those traditions, and is about to find out that it is not Notre Dame.

Hope any scheduling guarantees from ESPN were ironclad.

Oh, yeah, the fans. Forgot about them
Vanquish the Foe raises a pretty good question about the "other" sports now that all of their WCC opponents are hundreds of miles away.

What about the impact on fans? There are no close opponents for fans to travel and see games. The closest school is the University of San Diego. While it is a great vacation destination, it is still a 10 hour drive from Provo to San Diego, if you miss all the Highway Patrol cars through Baker and Barstow.

But just think of the ratings from the blockbuster BYU vs. Santa Clara basketball game!

Hope the WAC wasn't counting on that $10 million
As we've pointed out before, it seems to hinge on BYU signing up -- which isn't happening.


Because they have so many more players than they need
Quintin Richardson is leaving South Carolina for Hampton University. That should really help the Gamecocks along the offensive line. (HT: Garnet And Black Attack)

Wherever would they get that idea?
Stephen Garcia is likely to start for the Gamecocks tomorrow (man, that sounds good -- tomorrow), and where are you getting this idea that Steve Spurrier might think that's a bad thing.

"No, I'm not disappointed in Stephen Garcia. That's what the fans think, we're disappointed with Stephen."

Wow. For a coach who gets in trouble for telling the truth, that's about a year's worth of disingenuous talk wrapped into one quote. Don't spend it all in one place.

The only real news here is that it looks like Brian Maddox and not Marcus Lattimore will start against Southern Miss. I would have guess that if either Garcia or Maddox were to watch the beginning of the football game, it would have been Maddox.

Nike is set to show off its 2010 Pro Combat uniforms today
And Alabama will get one of them. Boy, will Alabama get one of them.

Alabama: Houndstooth check pattern incorporated into the uniform in tribute to legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.

I'm eager to see this, because I'm curious if the Tide will actually take the field in a uniform that will cause seizures across America. (HT: Capstone Report)

Gary Danielson: The spread still hasn't proven it will work in the SEC

I know Tim Tebow’s version of the spread works in the SEC. But now you have to look at Florida with John Brantley as quarterback. The SEC is the closest thing to the NFL because of the size and speed of the defensive linemen. And Brantley’s too valuable to take 15-20 hits a game the way Tebow did.

Does anyone notice that Urban Meyer won the national championship with Chris Leak? Sure, Leak wasn't exactly running "Tim Tebow's version of the spread," but it's also not like he was in a pro set every down, either.

Oh, and Jeremiah Masoli is a game changer. Not so much anymore.

'He'd had Alabama right where he wanted them'
Ladies and gentlemen, Colt McCoy, as paraphrased by a writer for the Texas Monthly: If only McCoy hadn't been injured, the BCS National Championship Game was Texas' to win.

What most angers Colt ... is that he knows he had them. The Crimson Tide were lining up in the beatable formations he'd studied for weeks. Colt knows, with an athlete's self-assuredness, how his arm and his brain would have carved them up.

Of course, there's no chance that had he started carving up those formations, Nick Saban would have adjusted. There's no chance that this is just the easy thing to say several months after the fact when you know you never have to prove it. And it completely changes the outcome of the national championship. GIVE TEXAS THE TROPHY BECAUSE COLT McCOY SAYS HE WOULD HAVE CARVED UP THE ALABAMA DEFENSE. Please. (HT: Mr. SEC)

Interview him while you can, I guess
Our fellow conference blog here on SB Nation, Big Ten-centric Off Tackle Empire, gets an exclusive sitdown with Rich Rodriguez. Of course, they don't tell you that they had to practice for the interview for 150 hours before he would agree to it.