Thursday, March 08, 2012

Catching up wears a hilariously extravagant ring

WOO TEMPLE! Yes. Temple.
NEW YORK -- Nearly a decade after Temple's moribund football program was pushed out of the Big East, the revitalized Owls are rejoining the conference -- and bringing along their potent men's basketball team.

Temple football played in the Mid-American Conference last season, while all other programs, including men's basketball, are in the Atlantic 10. The Owls will pay an exit fee of $6 million to the MAC and $1 million to the A-10, with the Big East providing financial assistance in the form of future revenue distributions.
Great googly moogly: The Big East is dishing out an unknown amount of future revenue entirely to get Temple's 2012 football team. Mind-bottling. To repeat what I said roughly a week ago, I can't believe we're talking about a nominal BCS conference buying Temple, especially when that same sort of kickback could've bought Boise State for 2012 and eliminated the need for Temple as anything other than long-term insurance against defections (thus no buyout).

Anyway, the Big East will now include the following teams next season: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple and USF. Gack.

Bonus amusing excerpt:
Temple was a Big East member in football only from 1991 to 2004 but was forced out because the program was one of the worst in major college football. The Owls failed to meet minimum requirements for membership, most notably in attendance, facilities and fielding a competitive team.
What else is there? Al Golden should really be getting a cut of that $7 million.

The legend of Dillon Baxter: Ah, Dillon Baxter. It's so unfortunate that playing college football requires following general college-student guidelines:
Troubled running back Dillon Baxter has been dismissed from San Diego State University, according to a report.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Wednesday that the former USC tailback was kicked off the team, quoting Aztecs coach Rocky Long as saying he was "no longer part of the program" for "various reasons."

He had been suspended from spring practice last week but was still supposed to be a part of the team after sitting out the 2012 season per NCAA transfer guidelines. But Baxter will not be back with SDSU at any point, according to the report.
Baxter was an uber recruit a couple years ago thanks to a head-asploding highlight video and was all the rage last spring as 2011's version of The Next Reggie Bush. He then got 12 touches in four games at USC before various shenanigans got him suspended by for the rest of the year. Details:
While at USC, the ex-San Diego prep star ran into a number of off-field problems, including his acceptance of a golf-cart ride by an NFL agent and a suspension for misconduct during fall camp. He also frequently complained about his lack of playing time before not making the trip to Notre Dame last October and subsequently leaving the team the following week.

One thing Baxter always did do was apologize for his actions and remark that he was a changed man, calling himself a "knucklehead" and mentioning multiple times that he had learned from his mistakes -- only to commit the same sort of mistakes shortly afterward.
Motion for an official nickname of "Knucklehead" passes. Obligatory video:


I'm not sure Bill O'Brien understands the rules: This is a very odd response from Bill O'Brien in a relatively standard Q&A with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (not sure why the AJC is interviewing Penn State's coach, but whatever);
Q: Your opinion of over-signing?

A: “We’re in the process of evaluating our roster right now. We’re trying to get a real hold on what exactly our needs are for next year. And then, at that point, we’ll make a decision on whether we’ll do what you’re talking about. There’s some definite advantages in doing that. Right now, we haven’t made a decision on whether we’re headed in that direction.”
Ummm .. yeah. The Big Ten has a limit of 25 enrollees per recruiting year; you can sign up to 28, but that only applies if three or more players enroll early and therefore can be backdated to the previous year's class (assuming that one had 22 players or fewer). You can't just cut a bunch of guys you don't like and then replace them with a ginormous recruiting class unless you're Nick Saban. I'm pretty sure he should know that given that coaches have to pass an NCAA recruiting test when they get hired.

At least the actual recruiting part doesn't seem to be a problem: Penn State already has commitments from three relatively big-time 2013 dudes, including four-star QB Christian Hackenberg, and is almost definitely gonna get a commitment from in-state five-star tight end Adam Breneman when he announces on Friday.

This is surprising inasmuch as I thought Penn State was gonna be a de facto leper for about the next five years; apparently not. The actuality of the situation is obviously good news for everybody who wants the Big Ten Whatever Division to have the talent distributed among more than one school, which is basically everybody outside the state of Ohio. Whether that talent actually results in a good team remains to be seen and depends largely on the complete unknown that is O'Brien's development ability. We'll know in about five years.

She probably kicks like a girl: So ... this LSU women's soccer goalie is trying out for the football team. Standard intro:
Tuesday was the first day of LSU walk-on tryouts, and the most famous female athlete in Baton Rouge — a girl-next-door beauty and homecoming queen whose face has appeared on billboards and recruiting posters — put on a helmet and attempted numerous field goals and kickoffs.
Surprisingly, this is not your standard girl-trying-out-for-football story. This not-so-little lady apparently has a huge leg -- she reportedly hit a not-teed-up 51-yard field goal last year and is getting kickoffs to or near the goal line -- and has overcome some presumably awful depression after her LSU-fan father committed suicide a couple years ago in the face of some serious IRS charges.

The story's worth a read regardless of whether or not she makes the team, which would be swell if it didn't mean we'd all be forced to suffer through the same feel-good feature repeated every week by every media outlet in existence.

Insert Tate Forcier joke here: This is actually from almost two months ago but (a) went totally unnoticed when it happened and (b) became relevant again today for reasons I will explain momentarily:
Just confirmed that Tate Forcier is done at San Jose State. The former Michigan starter has withdrawn from school, according to a source close to the situation.

I spoke with Forcier’s father, Michael, who said there were a lot of issues, including family financial concerns (Forcier was not on scholarship).

“He’s not going to continue. There’s too much pressure, too much stress. ...

“We have a family business (a bus and limousine service). It hasn’t been a good year, like for a lot of people. Tate’s helping us out right now, in fact. ...

“It wasn’t a clean thing, like he didn’t like school. He loves football and he loves San JoseState. He has a lot going on in his life and wants to take time and find it."
Those explanations are all pretty odd and vague and therefore appropriate since "odd" and "vague" accurately describe everything surrounding Tate Forcier's personal life. It seems safe to assume that he's done with college football.

The sad thing is that I wouldn't have even known about this if not for Joe Schad's tweet Thursday morning:
Former UM QB Tate Forcier says he’s training w Jeff Garcia in San Diego; there are a few CFL teams interested.
There are supposedly a few CFL teams interested. Hard to believe it's only been two and a half years since this:

Good times.

Kyle Padron headed to Eastern Washington: What the headline says. Padron threw for a bajillion yards (roughly) with 31 touchdowns and 14 picks for SMU in 2010, then flamed out spectacularly in the season opener last year with two picks in four passes. That was basically the end of his season and SMU career; J.J. McDermott took his starting job and won five straight games, and while McDermott's out of eligibility, Garrett Gilbert is in the process of transferring from Texas and should be eligible to play immediately due to the grad-school loophole. Sticking at SMU would give Padron pretty limited senior-year options (beat out Gilbert or eat bench, essentially).

FYI, Eastern Washington has a pretty good FCS program that won a national championship in 2010 thanks mostly to (coincidence alert) Bo Levi Mitchell, who transferred from SMU before Padron took over and threw for about 400 yards a game. Padron would probably be satisfied with a similar fate.

Pat Fitzgerald is hilarious: No other coach could possibly use this word combination and be taken seriously (this is a comment regarding bowl eligibility, obviously):
"I'm not for five-win teams even being able to receive a waiver. That's tough noogies. If you have a losing record, you are out. A .500 record should be the benchmark."
Yessssssss. Hat tip to MGoBlog.

What if they like porridge? This is ... ummm ... different:
The seriousness of new Illinois coach Tim Beckman's disciplinary methods were quickly introduced when porridge was set in front of many players.

Those who followed the rules, arriving at classes 10 minutes early and never missing a rep during winter workouts, were treated to steak and eggs at the "All-In Banquet." Those who missed a beat were treated to an Oliver Twist breakfast.

Twenty-one players earned the steak and eggs. Beckman, who clearly wants to set a tone of accountability in his first season, ate at the porridge table after missing a workout to speak at an alumni event.
Outstanding. Pizza would be a better college-kid motivator (at least from my experiences) but probably lacks the nutritional qualities of steak and eggs. I have no idea what porridge tastes like; I assume it's not good.

Please explain this ring: This has no relevance to anything current but was posted on some random website I stumbled across and needs to be shared:

That's Florida tight end Trey Burton's ring from the Gator Bowl. The Gator Bowl. The freakin' Gator Bowl. I have nothing else to add here.


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