Each week during the off-season we will be doing this feature that will simply be called "This Week In College Football". We will cover the biggest news and stories of the past week and give some opinions and analysis. In addition to covering the weekly happenings we also do a weekly roundtable where we discuss varying topics and we give several opinions on each topic. If you haven't read it yet then check out this weeks roundtable, it's all about the Big Ten. It was a pretty busy news week so let's get started...
HBO Real Sports
Earlier this week Bryant Gumbel and HBO took on college sports as they discussed corruption and the NCAA. Overall, I was very disappointed by the presentation. HBO brought forth four Auburn players who made accusations but never named names and didn't have any proof other than their word. There were no follow-up questions asked (or at least shown). They did a segment with Ed O'Bannon (former UCLA basketball player) about a class-action law suit against the NCAA for using players likeness in video games. If I was HBO and I was trying to make a point then I would have never spoke about the NCAA basketball game.
The NCAA basketball game was so profitable for EA Sports that they didn't even put out an edition this year! Seriously, guys get your stuff together. Using the football game here was a no brainer as that's the money maker in terms of this scenario but HBO dropped the ball on that one. HBO also glossed over the two biggest accusations on the program. The first was an Auburn player receiving envelopes of cash from a coach. No coach was named in the accusation. The next was Stanley McClover saying that on his trip to Ohio State he was taken out by players and asked to pick a girl of his choosing. It was said that sex was included in this visit. We all know girls are used by the schools (see also: Lane Kiffin) in different ways but to actually come out an accuse a school of providing a woman to have sex with on a recruiting trip is a bombshell. Too bad HBO didn't bother to follow up on any of this or give us any facts.
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Corruption in the Fiesta Bowl
Fiesta Bowl CEO, John Junker, was fired this week amid a 284 page internal report. It was reported that Junker instructed employees to make political contributions and then reimbursed them with bowl funds, received payment for taking politicians on expensive out-of-town trips, covered up reimbursements and fundraisers that violated the bowl's nonprofit status, expensed strip club visits, personal and family trips, golf club memberships, gifts, etc. And we thought Stephen Garcia was the only one who knew how to party during bowl week. Seriously though, this scandal brings into question the Fiesta Bowl as part of the BCS. Here's the good news, if there is any...the Fiesta Bowl conducted an internal report so they are the ones that dug all this up. Because of that I believe that they will be able to keep their status and try to rebuild their image. If they can't then look for Jerry Jones to make a play to get a BCS bowl because of his money. As much as I'd love to see the Chik-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta (not just because of the location but because the team that does the Chick-fil-A bowl is top notch) get the nod I don't think you can ignore Jones and how much political clout he carries.
Patrick Peterson and Will Lyles
Will Lyles made the news earlier this year when it was reported that he received $25,000 from Oregon for "recruiting services rendered". This week it was alleged that he told Texas A&M it had to beat $80,000 if it wanted to sign Patrick Peterson. Patrick Peterson has denied this saying "I have never had any type of relationship with Willie Lyles and he had no influence on my decision to attend LSU or any other school for that matter." However, there are sources saying that Lyles went with Peterson on his trip to A&M back in 2007. Obviously there is more here than meets the eye. This will be an interesting story to watch. I'm sure these guys like Lyles do provide some sort of "recruiting" services for colleges but I also think that they are out for their own and are going to try and get every dollar they can.
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News And Notes
The column this week has been all about corruption so let's talk some actual football in this last segment. Here's some stuff that intrigued me that you college football fans should know about:
- I'm sure my blogmate will chime in on this one but Alabama has received a commitment from former Ohio State WR Duron Carter (Cris Carter's son) to play for the Tide this fall. Carter is 6'5", 210 and has all the physcial skills to be a big addition for Saban and his crew. I thought they were over-signed as it was? Guess someone is going to be told he has a career ending injury in the next few weeks...
- Ole Miss got some good news this week when Kentrell Locket was granted a sixth year of eligibility. Lockett only played in four games last year but he was an important piece in 2009 when he tallied 39 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 5 sacks and 13 QB hurries. Lockett should help out the Rebels defense that gave up a whopping 35.2 points per game last year.
- Mississippi State landed a huge get in Clemson LB Brandon Maye last week. When we profiled Mississippi State we said their biggest question mark was at LB. Well they just found an answer. Maye was a three year starter for Clemson and should slide right in and start for the Bulldogs.