Monday, July 11, 2011

Catching up is brief due to All-Star obligations

The perfect comparison: I'm not sure my post Friday properly summarized my incredulity at Ohio State's self-imposed "punishment." Blaming everything on Tressel and then refusing to punish him in any way, shape or form (apparently because he looks so sad) is something I just can't reconcile. Trying to understand it makes my head asplode.

Fortunately for me, MGoBlog reader WolvinLA came up with the most perfect analogy in the history of analogies:
What if I did that to myself when I got in trouble - no punishment for the future, but only past punishment:

"Honey, I know you just caught me sexting my ex-gfs, so I'll punish myself. Instead of you denying me sex for the next year, I'll no longer take credit for any of the sex we've had for the last year."

That's the equivalent to how OSU punished themselves.

I have nothing to add here.

Caleb King's relatively disappointing career comes to an end: Three years ago, Caleb King was the next big thing at Georgia, ready to take over and be Knowshon Moreno (or something of similar quality). That never happened, and after three uninspiring seasons, King was ruled academically ineligible on Friday, effectively ending his career. He shuffles off the college coil with all of 1,241 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.

King ended up getting stuck behind Washaun Ealey the last two years and was more or less the change-of-pace guy, so his departure wouldn't be a huge concern ... except for the part about Ealey getting kicked out of school (or "leaving," depending on whom you believe) in May. Having zero experienced running backs is a problem, yes?

When Mark Richt says there's an opportunity "for others to step up," he's looking squarely at one 18-year-old kid: Isaiah Crowell, last year's top-rated running back recruit in the country. Crowell has yet to play a game but has already been anointed (a) the presumptive starter and (b) The Absolute Most Important Player in the History of Georgia Football (this year, anyway).

If he's not Herschel Walker, some people will be massively disappointed. And even if he is, unless he has Lance Armstrong-esque endurance (insert EPO joke here) and is made of Teflon, the complete lack of depth at running back will be an issue.

No pressure, kid.

LSU and Cal join the party: We already knew this from the Yahoo investigation, so I'm not sure why it's coming out as "news" again, but LSU and Cal each paid Willie Lyles around $5,000 for some sort of 2010 recruiting package that may or may not have included anything legitimate.

Whether or not they did anything wrong is up to the NCAA to find out, but their level of culpability doesn't approach Oregon's for the following reasons:

  1. There's no record or accusation of the coach signing off on massive payments for nothing in particular.
  2. Lyles said those schools -- unlike Oregon, obviously -- kept careful inventory of exactly what was being provided, either to actually have a record of the information (if there was any) or to cover their asses in the event of an Oregon-style disaster. Either way, consider their asses covered.
  3. Those $5,000 payments are far more in line with legitimate recruiting services, so it's at least plausible that they were getting fair value, whereas Oregon was either blatantly cheating or just getting bent over.
The most interesting thing in ESPN's update was the last freakin' line of the story (something I must have missed earlier):
Lyles also told Yahoo! Sports he was interviewed by the NCAA for six hours last month.
If he sang to the NCAA like he sang to Yahoo, it might not be as long as we thought until a notice of allegations comes out and Chip Kelly's collar gets a little lot tighter.

Work-related site note: As you may have noticed, the postings have gotten a little less frequent. This is not due to a lack of effort on my part; blame the Diamondbacks for hosting the All-Star Game (the one nobody wants to play in), which has piled endless amounts of work on me this week. I'll be basically out of commission through Tuesday, so unless Ohio State explodes off the face of the Earth or Nick Saban signs a billion-dollar contract with (insert NFL team here), don't expect anything more on the site until Wednesday. But definitely come back then.


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