Tag Archives: ncaa football

College Football Committee

By Kia Tyus

Dan Wetzel wrote an article on whether the College Football Playoff Committee is making fair choices, and if their choices are influenced by outside behavior.

Wetzel made a host of great points throughout the article, one of them being whether or not there is there a point in the Top 25 poll? Wetzel made suggestions that there is no longer a point in the Top 25 polls because of the recently new playoffs. With the new playoffs, the top four teams in the nation make it. Therefore, if I chose to agree with this thought, I would suggest maybe that the NCAA should start doing a top seven-team poll. That way the nation would have an idea of who would be the first four teams in and the next two teams out.

Another suggestion Wetzel had was criticizing how fair it would be if there were three to four Southeastern Conference (SEC) teams to make the playoffs. Wetzel stated that the teams that should make the playoffs should deserve to be there. My question to challenge this would be to think about the other undefeated teams in the nation. Many teams can’t help the conference that they play in.

I feel personally that the committee recycles the top seven or eight teams until they have two or more losses. Which isn’t fair to the few teams that continue to win games week in and week out.

Wetzel suggested that the committee might be influenced by the outrage that pours in each week. I feel like he may have a point because in a scenario of a low-level team matching up with a team with the skill level of Alabama, it wouldn’t be as entertaining for fans to watch. While there is a slight chance that the public influences the committee, it is still a thought to think about.

The final point that Wetzel made was the fact that the ranking system will probably not be changed in the near future. I completely agree with Wetzel with this. In reality, the top 25 ranking system gets college football fans talking every week. More and more people tune in every week to watch college football and every Tuesday to see who is ranked in the top four.

SEC Bias

By Nick Muhl

This past week the SEC became the first conference to ever place four of its teams in the top five of the College Football AP Poll. The poll, which is released each Sunday following the week’s games and is voted upon by sports writers who are members of the associated press, has been around since 1936.

#1 Mississippi State, #3 Ole Miss, #4 Alabama, and #5 Auburn are all members of the SEC Western Division. All of the teams still have to face each other, with the exception of Ole Miss and Alabama (Ole Miss beat Alabama 23-17 earlier this month). This fact may save the voters from facing controversy from the world of college football once again.

Since 2009, the SEC has placed 3 teams in the top five in the AP poll 16 times. The SEC conference has become the power conference in college football, repeatedly recruiting the best players in the nation and winning national championships. It is also well documented the bias that many fans believes exists towards the SEC compared to conferences including the Big Ten and ACC.

This week’s poll is no exception in providing further evidence of what some consider being an SEC favored bias by the media. Michigan State, Kansas State, TCU and Ohio State all with one loss moved only slightly or not at all in the rankings after earning victories over conference opponents. Meanwhile Alabama, Auburn and Georgia all with one loss on the season and playing conference opponents as well, climbed into the top five and 10 of the AP rankings.

The establishment of the new 13-person committee to select the 4 teams for the new college football playoff will eventually replace the AP rankings at season end and put a silence to much of the criticism. However, the AP poll has been an influence on the teams considered for the championship for a long time and it is hard to imagine a team outside of the AP top 5 making the playoff regardless of a committee.

What does this mean for teams like Michigan State, TCU or even Marshall? The Thundering Herd are currently 7-0, but only ranked #23 in the latest poll. The Duke Blue Devils, that’s not a basketball typo, are 6-1 and remain unranked – same goes for the Big Ten’s Minnesota Gophers. In fact only 5 of the Top 25 teams are from the Big Ten and ACC.

The existence of an SEC bias isn’t just located in the AP poll. It is also well documented that many college football fans believe ESPN and the NCAA have favoritism towards the conference. Fans on many forums make claims that the entire thing is a play just to make money.

The truth is, like in all sports, it will always come down to the play on the field. The SEC has won 8 of the last 11 championships since 2003 and someone will have to beat them before anyone can be silenced.

Rank Team Record Pts Last Week
1. Mississippi St. (43) 6-0 1480 1
2. Florida St. (14) 7-0 1433 2
3. Mississippi (3) 7-0 1404 3
4. Alabama 6-1 1235 7
5. Auburn 5-1 1231 6
6. Oregon 6-1 1142 9
7. Notre Dame 6-1 1133 5
8. Michigan St. 6-1 1066 8
9. Georgia 6-1 1055 10
10. TCU 5-1 962 12
11. Kansas St. 5-1 905 14
12. Baylor 6-1 858 4
13. Ohio St. 5-1 753 13
14. Arizona St. 5-1 643 17
15. Arizona 5-1 639 16
16. Nebraska 6-1 537 19
17. Oklahoma 5-2 461 11
18. East Carolina 5-1 445 18
19. Utah 5-1 437 20
20. USC 5-2 356 22
21. Clemson 5-2 283 24
22. West Virginia 5-2 272 NR
23. Marshall 7-0 184 25
24. LSU 6-2 177 NR
25. UCLA 5-2 118 NR

Famous Jameis: Where is this Star Heading and the Dark Cloud Circling Florida State Football

By Kaleb Page

Nobody can deny the talent they have seen from game to game by Jameis Winston over his short time at Florida State. On the field his precision passing, passion for the game and command of the team has those at the next level drooling at what they could get. However, the star that is Jameis Winston could be on a collision course with a fate that nobody expected when he burst on the scene.

It all started on December 7th, 2012 when a female student was allegedly a victim of sexual assault by a male the morning after going to a local night club in Tallahassee, Florida. It took 34 days for the police to identify the man who did this and it was the victim who identified who it was, not police; the man identified was Jameis Winston. Prosecutors then waited another two weeks to contact Jameis about this, and then went on to do an even bigger baffling move. Without even interviewing witnesses or getting a DNA sample from Jameis, the case was closed on February 11th, 2013. But wait there is more. After letting nine months pass, on November 14th, 2013 investigators finally took interviews and a DNA sample from Winston. Ultimately leading to a ruling by the local prosecutor to not prosecute Jameis due to lack of evidence.

This whole thing from the start reeked of fishy methods and things done not in the sake of justice and truth but rather in the best interest of the school and its athletics. This event also brought into question the character of Jameis and how could he possibly do something like that or even put himself in that situation. This event is getting more press of late due to a report issued by The New York Times on October 10th, 2014. This report had shocking evidence as to how bad the university and law enforcement handled this situation. The school and law enforcement should be ashamed of how this all was handled and is still being played out. This made me think of a big question that could be added into this situation: How far will schools go to keep their star talent on the field?

Even though that event is the most serious and needs more attention, that was just the beginning of things that left people around the country wondering: What is Jameis thinking?

The same year of the alleged sexual assault (2012), Jameis and teammates had a BB gun fight in their apartment causing damages up in the area of $4,000.  Then in April of this year, Jameis went to a local grocery store and was caught stealing crab legs. He went on to make an apology and said “he forgot.” Then in the student union of Florida State he was seen on top of a table screaming an explicit phrase that got him suspended for the entire game against Clemson.

The straw that could break the camel’s back might be on its way. Recent developments are showing that the compliance department within Florida State athletics is investigating more than 950 autographed items by Winston found on the same site as Georgia’s suspended running back Todd Gurley, who had 500 items on the site. With this being a relatively new development it will be interesting if Winston will receive the same punishment as Gurley and be suspended for the rest of the season, thus possibly ending his Florida State football career.

Will the punishment happen though? From the track record of little to nothing done to discipline Jameis for his actions, my answer to that question would be no. Now Jameis may be a good person deep down and since I don’t know him maybe I should step back on my judgment. However with that said, it is hard to look at the list of bad judgment that follows him and not make a judgment of my own about the person he is. I wish Jameis for all his talent he had on the field, had just the equal amount of talent to think before he acts.

As for the big storm cloud building by the day around not only Jameis but around Florida State athletics and Tallahassee law enforcement, only time will tell the implications of their actions. It will most certainly get worse before it is all over, and for all that Florida State has built in the past years that made them into a premiere place to be, it all could come tumbling down. The investigators and prosecutor as well could see their credibility and reputation tarnished. But this all circles back to one person: Jameis Winston. Now is the time for this star to either wake up and become something better on and off the field, or continue on this path.

It is either he goes on to shine like so many of us believed when he just began, or this star will become like so many stars before it and implode on itself, turning into a black hole full of mystery. Mystery as to what could have been of Jameis Winston.

 

Kentucky Hosts NBA Style Combine for Scouts

By Nicholas Muhl

This past Friday, Kentucky Wildcats Men’s Basketball coach John Calipari hosted an NBA-style combine for his players to show off their skills prior to the start of next spring’s draft. The combine was attended by over 90 NBA scouts and general managers, and each team had at least one representative present.

This coming year, the Wildcats squad is home to six McDonald’s All-Americans and is coming off a runner-up performance in last year’s NCAA Tournament. The two-hour combine, which was televised live on ESPNU, included both individual and team drills , which are included in the NBA scouting combine each year.

The move by Calipari to host such an event is not surprising, considering a record six Kentucky players were taken in the 2014 NBA Draft. The Wildcats head coach has produced many high level NBA players including Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Eric Bledsoe and the list goes on. More recently, former Wildcat players Anthony Davis, Julius Randle and Nerlens Noel were all selected in the top 10 picks in recent drafts.

Unlike many of his peers, Calipari embraces the one-and-done college basketball player. With his padded resume he continues to send 18 and 19-year-old young adults into the NBA, where the average player age is around 27 years old. Calipari was quoted this past weekend acknowledging that many of his players are already considering the NBA, long before they even attend their first class on campus.

“Someone said, ‘You’ll make them think about the NBA.’ Excuse me? They all do. Even the walk-ons. It creates a base for me to build with each individual kid and what I need to do.”

This brings to light a serious issue in sports culture today. 18-21 year old young adults are still maturing as they gain new responsibilities with age. In today’s sports society, these young student-athletes are exposed to fame, fortune, massive media coverage and many other things a typical young adult does not experience at such an age.

Through social media networks like Twitter, major TV networks like ESPN, and other media outlets, student athletes who achieve even most smallest amount of success are household names by the end of the week.

It isn’t just college basketball, as this goes for football and all other major college sports. One can argue that the added attention, such as Kentucky’s combine, can only bring upon more success for the student-athlete. At the very least, they receive recognition for the great achievements and talents they posses.

However, there is an opposite side to the coin. As much as fans love their young talent and phenoms, is the media and college sports as whole bringing too much added attention to student-athletes at such an age? Young superstars like Wildcats Derrick Rose and Anthony Davis are great examples of how successful a student-athlete can be from the additional attention they received at a young age. 

Examples of Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston, both who have been surrounded by media coverage since the start of their college careers, can be given as to why student-athletes at such a young age are exposed to too much early on in their bright careers.

The Michigan Debate: Should Dave Brandon be Fired?

By Savannah Malnar

“Go Blue!”

Any college sports fan will recognize that as the signature cheer for the power-house that is University of Michigan. This Big 10 school is known for its strong athletics teams; so when students are suddenly rallying and calling for the athletic director Dave Brandon to be fired, it’s going to make the news.

Brandon is under fire from students and media alike. People are unhappy with the rising costs of tickets to sporting events, especially football. Along with ticket prices, the media and fans have actively been criticizing Brandon’s decision to hire and retain football coach, Brady Hoke. Hoke has been head coach for four years, and is 28-17; a record that may look good, but in reality is disappointing for the winningest college football team in history.

The most recent event that has spurred a media outburst was Hoke’s decision to put quarterback Shane Morris back in the game after sustaining a head injury that was later diagnosed as a “mild concussion.”

Ty Duffy, a senior writer for the sport media site The Big Lead, states that “The school’s response to the crisis has been a farce.” He predicts that Hoke will be fired following this season. But he also recognizes it would cause a lot of turmoil to fire Brandon simultaneously.

Besides Duffy, the media, both local and national, have remained extremely neutral on this debate. Every outlet you will look at has been strictly stating facts and not going any farther on the subject. I think this is the proper way for these media outlets to act, especially the national ones. This allows the fans to form their own opinions for or against both Brandon and Hoke.

One interesting aspect of this incident is both Hoke and Brandon’s resistance towards the media. In fact, Brandon told Detroit radio sports anchor Tom Leyden that he wasn’t publicly answering questions because he has “more important” things to do. This is extremely surprising. You would think that as an AD for a famous college, not a lot could be more important than attempting to explain yourself and your decisions.

The fans, the media, and most importantly, the students are waiting. Brandon is in the spotlight. How will he choose to portray his role as AD in a positive light, despite rising ticket costs and a failing football team?