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 have started our Pre-Season Previews and we have several up already. This week we previewed Baylor, Boston College, Miami (Fl) and Texas Tech. Next week Duke, Fresno State, NC State, Northwestern, Penn State and Wake Forest will be among the teams that we preview. There were three big happenings in the world of college football this week so we will get to those first and then add some quick hits on the back side:
DANA HOLGERSON TAKES OVER AT WEST VIRGINIA
Last week we briefly touched on "coach in waiting" Dana Holgerson being in some hot water due to an incident that happened at a casino. Then we started hearing rumblings about then Head Coach Bill Stewart asking a local reporter or two to "dig up dirt" on the new coach in waiting. I've never liked the "coach in waiting" position and I've yet to see it really work in the world of college football outside of Jimbo Fisher and even then there were some tremendously awkward moments and Bobby Bowden had to be forced out against his will (so I guess you could chalk that up to "not working"). Bill Stewart was a surprising hire from the beginning. I would compare him to the Ray Goff hire at Georgia. He was generally thought of as a good guy but in no way should have been given the keys to a college football team. Oliver Luck's decision to hire Holgerson was a great decision but his decision to keep Stewart on for another year as Head Coach and tab was Holgerson as the coach in waiting was a colossal failure.
In the wake of this scandal, Bill Stewart resigned and the reigns were turned over to Holgerson one year early. This is great news for Mountaineers fans as it means that the Holgerson era is here a year early. I've been high on West Virginia for a while as they were part of our 5 Team To Watch in 2011. Obviously, the way this happened wasn't what West Virginia wanted but I think that the outcome will be the best thing for the Mountaineers. Geno Smith and Tavon Austin running a Dana Holgerson offense should be pretty exciting to watch this fall and could give the Big East some National recognition that it so longs for.
TERRELLE PRYOR WON'T RETURN FOR SENIOR SEASON
Terrelle Pryor and the Ohio State University have been a lightning bolt this off-season. Now the much maligned QB is skipping his senior season. In a statement through his lawyer he said it was in the best interest of his teammates. Since when did Terrelle Pryor start caring about his teammates? I'm not one to throw a guy under the bus, unless his last name is Petrino, but Pryor has proved to be one of the most selfish college athletes of his era. I'm not going to go into all of the dirt that's been dug up or all of the violations he has caused, you can use google for that. It's one thing for college athletes to want to be paid and it's another to make it a side-business.
Leaving Ohio State with a myriad of NCAA violations and a "lack of institutional control" investigation Terrelle Pryor has turned his attention to the NFL. I personally don't see Pryor as an NFL QB but I've been wrong before. I'm sure someone will take a flyer on him in the supplemental draft but I just don't see his game translating to the next level. The one thing he did do at Ohio State was win, so like Tim Tebow he could be someone that 3-4 years down the road could make someone an adequate NFL QB but I think he might find success at the next level at a different position unless he wants to go to the CFL and dominate.
USC TROJANS STRIPPED OF 2004 CHAMPIONSHIP
On Monday the NCAA stripped the USC Trojans of their 2004 BCS National Championship due to the extra benefits received by Reggie Bush. Talk about moving your feet slowly folks! I mean c'mon...it's 2011 and the NCAA is just now saying that USC is no longer 2004 champions? Sure, Reggie Bush cheated and took extra benefits but if it took the NCAA this long to gets it's head out it's ass then I'm just going to go about my day and not worry about their ruling. What is a fan supposed to do? Go back and in their mind give Oklahoma or Auburn the championship? USC won the game on the field and in my mind they will always be the champion. And like Pete Carroll when he heard the NCAA was coming....I'm out.
- Former NC State QB Russell Wilson continued his world tour this week in Wisconsin. By all reports the visit went well and Wisconsin might even be in the drivers seat for his commitment. However, the Badgers did get zapped with a secondary violation when WR Nick Toon spoke to the media about the possibility of bringing Wilson aboard. While I'm not sure that Wilson would be a great fit for the Badgers style, I do believe that it would make them the team to beat in the Big Ten (if they aren't already).
- Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton has finally resigned. I've heard Hamilton is a really good guy but man he was a horrible judge of character. He hired Lane Kiffin and Bruce Pearl? Talk about a guy who loves slime balls. In the world of business and sports it's all about people and you can't surround yourself with people who have no morals no matter how good of a guy you are. This is a year or two too late.
- Gene Chizik got a raise this week from $2.2 million to $3.5 million. I can't say I can blame Auburn as he delivered them a National Title. Chizik found lightning in a bottle last year in the form of Cam Newton and Nick UnFairley and I think as long as he keeps Gus Malzahn around he should be able to field a pretty good team year in and year out on the plains.
- Kind of under the radar is the story of James Rodgers. He's the brother of Atlanta Falcons draftee Jacquizz Rodgers and is a WR on the Oregon State football team. Rodgers season was cut short just four games into 2010 and he applied for and received a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA to play this year. The question has been whether or not he would be able to play this year but it looks like his rehab is going well. If the Beavers could get him on the field this year that would be a huge win for them. In 2009 he caught 91 passes for 9 TDs and also ran for over 300 yards. Now that's impact!