Wednesday Skull Session

By Chris Lauderback on November 10, 2010 at 4:00a

 Cam You Dig It? Not that he's been a huge disappointment but we're still waiting on a dominant 2010 performance from Cameron Heyward. He definitely faired well against the 'Canes with a huge INT and drunken scamper down the field but he's stil missing that signature game from this year's resume. While I'd prefer that effort come next week at Iowa, there's reason to believe it could come Saturday against Penn State.

Coming off a six tackle, one pass breakup effort in '08, Cam straight blew up last year in State College totaling a team high 11 tackles, 3 TFL and 2 sacks. Though Joe Pa's likely forgotten Cam's dominance last year, the offensive line and coaches born well after Joe Pa witnessed Murderers' Row sweep the Pirates to claim the '27 World Series likely remember the carnage enough to focus their efforts on slowing Heyward's assault.

Word of caution to the Lion staff, be careful paying too much attention to him because Nate Williams will be ready to take full advantage.

 God Fordid We Compromise The Bowl System. With this year's expansion to 35 bowl games, that means the NCAA has to locate 70 teams who can lay claim to being bowl-eligible. As the azcentral notes, that might be a tall task thanks to some early season upsets at the hands of FCS teams. The article notes 47 teams are currently bowl-eligible with another 51 still in the running and 22 already eliminated. Seventy-one teams qualified for 68 bowl slots a year ago.

With concerns for this bowl season at the forefront, the NCAA Football Issues Committee (?) has already met to discuss alternative bowl-qualifier plans and could meet again, if necessary, to decide if they'll need to allow 6-6 teams with more than one win against FCS schools or maybe even allow 5-7 team into the bowl mix. They better hurry, the bowl season starts in roughly 38 days. Lame.

 The Other Cam's Jam. First, it was a stolen laptop that seemed to be the reason he fled Florida. Then, reports surfaced that The Gambler Kenny Rogers, a dude representing Newton as he shopped for programs following his one year of juco, asked for 180k worth of chickens for Newton's commitment to Mississippi State. This particular event, though denied by the Newton family, has sparked an NCAA investigation expected to involve state and federal officials. Now, a source tells the world that Newton "had three different instances of academic cheating" and was looking at possibly getting the boot from Gainesville. Just another day in the SEC.

The brush fire has since fallen into a swiss bank account brimming with kerosene as rumors circulate that Urban Meyer or someone on his staff / close to the program leaked the info while both Newton and his pop have chosen not to deny the report, with Cam saying, "I don't want to beat a dead horse talking about it. It's not going to affect me." Sounds like words of a cheater, to me. Similar to early Brett Favre comments about Jen Sterger - he didn't deny it, just tried to avoid it whereas most of the population would issue staunch emotional denials if they were innocent. Of course, deciding to sidestep the issue with a more wordy version of "no comment" doesn't guarantee guilt but, c'mon, man.

Now, it's 11:15pm Tuesday as I type and the 4 letter just reported a source indicates both Cam and his daddy admitted in separate phone conversations that Cam's services were of the pay-for-play variety. The source says pappy Newton told a Mississippi State recruiter it would take "more than a scholarship" to obtain his son's services and Cam, after changing his commitment from Miss. St. to Auburn, told an MSU recruiter that his father had chosen Auburn for him because "the money was too much." Nice.

Admittedly, I'm growing older and more cynical as the days go by and in this day and age it's hard to truly be surprised by any of this stuff and even harder to assume innocence until proven guilty. I'm not sure what's worse, the fact myself and countless others have already assumed him guilty of the academic and pay-for-play allegations due to being hardened by the sins of players past, or that if Cam isn't proven to be completely innocent in the next few weeks, he can wave goodbye to the Heisman. Time will tell, but I'm pretty sure I won't feel bad about my assumptions in due time. Especially after this latest bombshell.

 It's Almost Time For Gift Giving Receiving. With your favorite gift receiving holiday about a month and a half away, it's high time you start planting seeds as to which gifts you'd like so your mother, wife, kid, mistress doesn't choke in the clutch. That said, I'd like to introduce you to Shoot A Brew, "the world's only remote controlled, beverage tossing cooler". Unfortunately, the Shoot A Brew production team needs to be Six Sigma'd as I just noticed it'll take 6-8 months to have your $295 cooler delivered.

 Go Coach Intramurals, Brother. It is with heavy hearts that we must say goodbye to Dan Hawkins. Colorado finally pushed aside their financial woes and sent Hawkins packing despite the fact they'll owe him a roughly $2 million buyout on a contract that was set to run through 2012. That may seem like chump change to Buckeye fans but CU is broke; the athletic department was still in debt with Gary Barnett's $4 million buyout in 2005 still hurting the Buffaloes bank.

Already sporting a 19-32 record during his tenure, Colorado squandered a 28 point lead in the 4th quarter to Kansas on Saturday resulting in a 52-45 loss. Oh, and they've now lost 17 straight games outside the state of Colorado. Yikes. Despite his record, we'll always love Hawkins for his tirade after receiving a letter from a parent protesting players only getting a two week break from off-season conditioning, down from three weeks in previous years. Hawk, you will be missed, brother.


Comments Show All Comments

blazers34's picture

Interesting that the Cam Newton 'cheating scandal' is just now coming out when his team is undefeated and he is a heisman trophy candidate.  I also dont know that it will have any affect on anything. 

Now the pay for play is a whole different story, but it sounds like nothing has been proven.  Who knows.

nickma71's picture

My first thought was good ole Urban Meyer. Mr 5 wide with an empty backfield if you are only up 4 scores in the 4th against Western Lafatette Louisianna. Yet he says no way.


...where there is smoke, there is fire.  The fact that NOBODY is denying anything tells it all.  Look at what papa is saying.....  he wont confirm or deny it.  A father who knows he is innocent would go on the Today show to shout it to the world.....   the saddest part is that Miss St. supposedly reported it to the SEC offices in January--and it is just now news???  Seems to me that the SEC may have tried to just keep this quiet as long as they could to see what would happen....  can the whole SEC get sanctions???

btalbert25's picture

There's definitely something fishy going on here.  I think it's highly unlikely that Cam will win the Heisman because of all the allegations.  He isn't going to win it just to have it taken away in a couple of years.  Especially, this year with all the Reggie Bush fall out.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Typical Mike Slive SEC bullshit. Dude is a criminal and has sold his soul (assuming he had one) over the last 3 seasons to get the BCS title. Obviously this season is no different. And not surprised at all the Urban Cryer and staff reported this stuff now that they are out of national title contention. That whole conference is a disease to college football.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

ATL Buckeye's picture

Doesn't look good for sir Newton. The thing that kills me is that NCAA officials had this information back in January, and all of the sudden pull out the 'full court press' to prosecute him. The timing indeed seems suspicious, but with everything that has gone down in College football (especially with the Reggie Bush saga), I agree with 11-Dub... this doesn't pass the smell test. It's the SEC... Scandals (always) Evolving Conference.


Now, although the vest owns a nice Nov. record, I'm not ready to see what I saw the lpst 2 seasons in this month. I saw play-calling that resembled HS the 80's! Toss sweeps, Power-I, and double TE sets that screams were running Boom 40x in the game. PSU looked dead just 3 weeks ago, but with the new QB in place, they are scoring at will. Please Mr. Vest, throw the ball on 1st down to a good group of receivers, please hit the fastest TE in the country at least 4-5x, please throw in some designed runs for #2, and please don't go ultra conservative at the first hint of a fumble or INT...or else this could be an upset special in the making.


Cam Heyward cost himself the 1st round (maybe even the 2nd round), of the draft this year. That D-line is not getting any push. 

M Man's picture

So now they tell us that 5-7 might get a bowl bid.  Sheeesh!

thePhilipJFry's picture

nice one m man.

Paul Rhoads over at Iowa State was glad to hear that news (as well as a few people in South Bend).

btalbert25's picture

The bowls are ridiculous.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching a lot of the 2nd tier bowls, but seriously it's ridiculous to me that a 6-6 team can get into a bowl.  Now there is the possibility of 5-7 teams making it.  It really means nothing to make a bowl anymore.  They absolutely should just do a 64 game playoff and let every crappy team in America play put a bowl name on each of the playoff games and be done with it.  Do people really like seeing Toledo vs Troy as a bowl?

tomcollins's picture

I'd rather watch that than Dancing with the Stars.

KenK's picture

That's one heck of a forced choice you've got there, Tom.

Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

BuckeyeChief's picture

Almost more important to just avoid embarresment and be eligible for one. Thinkings about today's write up...we lost 1 game and ended up in the Holiday Bowl!!!

"2014 National with it!!!"

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I don't understand why fans complain about marginal teams making bowl games. Just don't watch the lower tier bowl games - problem solved for you.  

I could see if televising these games were interferring with other events that might otherwise have been shown on the same channels, but that's not a problem in December, is it? Unless you're one of those NBA junkies, and - if you are - please explain to me why the 10th game of a 182 game NBA season between Oklahoma City and the LA Clippers is higher quality t.v. than Troy versus East Carolina, etc.?    

Chris Lauderback's picture

To me, the difference is you are supposed to earn a bowl bid whereas a NBA regular season game isn't earned. It's the principle. From fan / tv viewer perspective, I agree with you, just turn the channel if you don't want to watch. The crux of this from my vantage point has nothing to do with TV, it's the fact teams are "rewarded" for sucking. It's like the article says, now even in supposed big time college football, every gets a participation trophy. It's just stupid to me.

Since you brought it up, I'd much prefer to watch OKC v. LAC in December than Troy vs. ECU. Durant vs. Griffin sounds like good TV. At least with the NBA, I'm familiar with the players I'm watching instead of knowing 99% of the players are garbage helping make up a garbage team that doesn't deserve a televised bowl game reward for their suckiness.

thePhilipJFry's picture

here! here! to overpaid self absorbed prima donnas going through the motions!

JakeBuckeye's picture

You just explained the opposite of what Kevin Durant is. Dude is one of the best guys for professional sports in a while

thePhilipJFry's picture

My comment is directed at the NBA in general not Kevin Durant specifically.  But if you tell me I can watch four guys stand still while the fifth guy dribbles into the middle of four guys, throws up an awkward shot and whines to the officials about a foul I'm totally in.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Actually, your "participation trophy" point is a good one - maybe the only compelling point against 6-6 and 5-7 bowl teams. I agree that's a problem, but I guess I've already given up on that battle. The self-esteem protectors have been running up the score on us for 3-4 decades now. 

btalbert25's picture

I don't think anyone actually believes the self esteem crap about bowl games.  I mean sure it rewards the kids for going through a long tough season, but it's not exactly like the kids think they are a great team or even feel like they've won something important.  They all know the Poinsetta bowl is a joke, it's just a free trip to San Diego.  Anyone who has played sports knows that a consolation game is just that, a meaningless game.  I guess in a sense that's what all bowls are except for the BCS title game, and they always have been for that matter, but as I said, to some winning the rose bowl or cotton bowl was more important than being named the national champ.  Not sure people say the same thing about the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Sorry, I was probably being a little cryptic, which is not a good way to write, unless you're a spy, or something. 

I didn't mean that teams/fans of cfb necessarily believed the "self esteem crap," but that I was agreeing with Chris that the 5-7 bowl team trend is part of a larger societal trend toward rewarding mediocrity, and that further loosening the standards would be yet another - albeit small - contribution to that slide. Basically, it would be one of 1,245,345 signals (alert to Jakebuckeye: that is a made up number for rhetorical purposes) to kids and young adults that (almost) "everybody is a winner." Nobody really believes it and yet this mentality has a creeping effect, I'm afraid.

I see that as a bigger issue than complaints about bad t.v., bowl clutter, and whatnot. 

On the other hand, we also send the signal to the big time programs that if they don't win the MNC, the season was a bust and they're all a bunch of losers - but that's a topic for another time. Actually, the old pre-1980s bowl system was probably ideal in terms of standards & rewards: it rewarded high achievement without making it an all-or-nothing situation, but alas it was seen as problematic in other respects (no "true" champion, it limited some of the financial possibilities, etc.).           

btalbert25's picture

I just assumed that sending a 5-7 team to a bowl game meant that someone was making a butt load of money to do so.  These bowls generate a ton of revenue, not always for the schools involved but for the cities, stadiums, and bowl committees.  Not to mention TV and advertising dollars.  That, to me, is what pushes the bowl season to include 70+ teams and those with losing records.  America likes bowls, and there is a ton of money being made off of them.  If they want to market it using the participation trophy excuse, maybe they will, but let's not be fooled, it's all about $$$$$

btalbert25's picture

I'm not disagreeing with  the "everyone is a winner" mentality being a problem.  At the same time, once you get older than about 12 years old, do you really believe you are a winner when your team has a losing record  and you get stomped by everyone?  Personally, I've been both the fly and the windshield when it comes to sports.  Even though we got a trophy and a round of applause at the banquet it was a much much different feeling being the champ, than years where we got the at least you showed up award.

btalbert25's picture

I know the landscape of college football has changed drastically over the years, but it did mean something to make a bowl game.  In fact, in many cases making it to, and winning your conference bowl game was more important than being named national champion.  I know the bowls have been diluted, and I guess that's my frustration.  Why should a team like Kentucky get a bowl simply because they put 5 teams like WKU or Miami of Ohio on their non conference schedule and they usually beat Vandy and eek out one other conference win every year.  Is that a team that's really bowl worthy?  I just don't think so yet they get into one every year, and they travel well so they will continue to get one. 

I do turn the channel when there are crappy bowls, which probably half are that.  I guess one good thing is the Capital One bowl is going to be quite a matchup between Bama and the Buckeyes this year.

JakeBuckeye's picture

The NBA has an 82 game season, not 182. Probably a type error of some sort, but I'm just saying. And yeah, OKC vs. LAC interests me much more than Troy vs. East Carolina, but I wouldn't really care if one overlapped the other either way.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

It was a joke, not a typo. It feels like the NBA plays a 182 game season, but the 26th game of the NBA regular season is usually just as irrelevant to the big picture in that league as is the 82nd game, when the mostly foreordained (16 different) playoff teams are resting their starters, knowing that they'll need to win 102 more games during the playoffs to win the trophy (another joke, not a typo). Look, we all know they're awesome players, blah, blah (even I don't dispute that), which makes it all the more baffling that NBA games are so painfully, freakin' boring to watch.

At least at the end of the Troy v. ECU game, one of the teams is going to be ecstatic and the other is going to be bummed out.       

Chris Lauderback's picture

You might be right, but since I haven't seen the end of a crap bowl game since OSU's Liberty Bowl days, I can't say whether or not I agree one team is "ecstatic" or not!

btw, espn has an NBA double header tonight!

Buckeye in Athens's picture

Personally, I enjoy watching crap bowl games simply because it's football. I know that I'll have to go a whole 9 months without seeing it anymore, so I might as well soak up all that I can get. OSU's bball team is the only one I can stand to watch 

Chris Lauderback's picture

To each his own. I can certainly understand where you are coming from. I know most of my friends would much rather a meaningless early December bowl game than a meaningless early December NBA or NCAA hoops game.

nickma71's picture

That is because there is over 1200 games between the 30 teams that play 82 games.

Kyle's picture

RE: Cam Newton - It would be unfortunate if the allegations of pay to play were true, but hardly surprising coming from the SEC and the state of Alabama in particular.  The NCAA and the SEC seem to have sat on their collective asses with this information for 11 months.  Now they've gotten themselves into a situation where an incredibly talented guy is leading his undefeated team to a possible BCS Championship appearance and Heisman trophy. 


If he is inelligible the NCAA owes it to the other Heisman and BCS candidates to find out BEFORE he Newton or Auburn wins anything.  But it is the NCAA and they pretty much suck at life so don't expect any kind of action or ruling until 2014.