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Comment 08 Nov 2013

Stanford loses to Utah (who is now sitting near the bottom of Pac 12 standing above only Colorado) and Oregon is subsequently dominated by Stanford, but for a unlikely blocked field goal return and an onside kick, which made it appear as if the Ducks actually had some marginal ability to score against a solid defense. 

Arizona State (who narrowly defeated Wisconsin at home with the help of a call the iced the game when the Badgers were within a field goal of winning) now sits atop the southern division. 

I see no reason to believe a Pac 12 schedule is miles ahead of Ohio State's B1G schedule.



Comment 25 Jul 2012

You're right to point this out. It's probably a matter of degrees; certainly there are those who will stand to lose if the value of Penn State football drops dramatically. My reaction was toward the tone used by posters and media commentators, before and shortly after the announced penalties, who suggested that punishing the program too harshly would leave leave the town in shambles, without considering all the factors the actually influence the local economy. But as more people have thought about it a chimed-in this sentiment has faded; most realize the situation is more complex. Beyond that we know there will be football, even if it's not the draw as it once was... 

My thinking is that State College would ramain a decent place with a thriving college-town atmosphere with or without a competitive or popular football team.   


Comment 24 Jul 2012

Thanks for your thoughts. I think you're right to assume that State College is a unique situation compared to a MAC school, which doesn't generate the type of fan support, and school like Ohio State which is located in a bigger city. Perhaps the combination of isolation and fan- support in Happy Valley has resulted in a lot of "football-dependent" business that would stand to lose if the team disintegrates or falls off the radar significantly.

However, I think you underestimate the economic anchor that a school of that size creates, even in a small community. Take equally isolated Ithaca, NY home to Cornell and Ithaca College, which combined to host about 27,000 students. There are restaurants, stores, and bars, none of which are remotely influenced by the existence of any sports teams whatsoever. Still there were stores selling Cornell tees and sweatshirts and people were buying them and wearing them around. So clearly there is some money in merchandise sales even at places where sports aren’t really a big deal. Similarly, there are obviously enough students, faculty, and staff in the area to support a thriving small-town economy ranging from the typical college dives to higher-end restaurants and boutiques all without any significant impact from sports.

There are those who will argue that this is a cultural thing: people who go to Cornell and live in Ithaca are into fine dining and vintage bookstores rather than football and tailgating -you’d be right, and I think this ties in with why the situation in State College might be unique to other cases.  However, I still think you’re underestimating the diverse impact a university has on a town with or without big-time sports. There has to be a significant amount of faculty who can support nicer higher-end establishments in the area, and there are probably students at Penn State- just like at Ohio State- who don’t really care all that much about sports, but who shop and eat-out none-the-less. 

The key question here is how football is intertwined with culture. If football falls by the wayside, will people stop buying Penn State gear? Will they stop eating breakfast on Saturday mornings? Will they even want to attend Penn State? Or, will they simply find other things to do in State College?

I realize this is a sports blog, so the thought of life without football might seem off-topic. But, this Penn State situation has raised some interesting questions, and I’m interested to hear more responses. How engrained do you think football really is in the economy and culture of a college town/city? Not just at Penn State, but anywhere.

Comment 09 Sep 2011

Okay, didn't someone run a story not too long ago about the pages of secondary violations that Ohio State self reported... stuff like Gordon Gee buying James Laurinaitis dinner and the hockey team getting Nickleback tickets? Basically the common assumption was that OSU compliance couldn't prevent everything, but as long as they self-reported things and made the guilty party pay some sort of restitution, punishments would be light if even necessary; and, I can only assume that this was the case with every other major program. Hell, Troy Smith's little $500 hickup only landed a 2-game suspention, the 2004 Alamo Bowl and 2005 opener - It was Tressel's choice to start Zwick for a thrid game against Texas. 

I'm not giving the three suspended players a pass in this case, nor am I defending our athletic department for "assuming" they would be able to play. They took illegal benefits and should serve a resonable objective punishment; if that is a one-game suspention, so be it; two games, three... okay, fine. But it appears that, starting last year, the NCAA has blown up its rule book and started shooting from the hip on sanctions without notifying anyone of how it will punish any infraction, major or minor.  

OSU has 3 players who messed up... but no one, including the NCAA, seems to know how to deal with the individuals or their voilations. Yet, it was only a few years ago when the Athletic Department and the NCAA imposed a reasonable punishment on Troy Smith for committing a similar violation without any suspense, posturing, or agonizing feet-dragging. The result was that Smith sat out a bowl game and one of the most important regular-season games in recent history... then, having paid his penance, Smith went on to redeem himself in the eyes of his team, the fans, and the media. Meanwhile Howard, Hall, and Brown sit in purgatory while the NCAA presumably hammers out the punishment that will look best for its own public image... which, I must say, is worse than sh*t right now.          

Comment 11 May 2011

Here is my concern: the problems facing current NCAA targets (USC and Ohio State) are the result of the Buckeyes and Trojans being on top in the first place, not that they "cheated" to get there.

There is no evidence to suggest that either schools' football program came to promince because cheating occured; quite the contrary, shady agents, runners, and dealers converged on the programs because they got good, had a vibrant merchandise market, and became stocked with NFL talent. (You don't, for example, see "runners" [or generous tatoo artists] anywhere near Iowa State and Syracuse). So, in essance, USC and Ohio State were victims of their own success. 

This, as opposed the "Death Penalty" warrenting Cheating with a capital "C" that SMU did... as paying recruits is the only reason they ever got good in the first place. 

I'm interested to see how the NCAA begins to see this distinction with regards to Oregon, who allegedly paid a thrid-party agrent to bring in a top recruit.

Comment 11 May 2011

UPDATE: Actually noticed that ESPN just relayed the correct info across their hompage (via Rittenberg). Doesn't quite put the toothpaste back in the tube, but I'm glad they did.

Comment 11 May 2011

How much do you want to bet the this "story" **retraction** even makes it across the ticker on EPSN.

I think we have earned our shared of criticism and am not saying we're totally innocent in the dealership matter... but claiming a player paid $0, before looking into the BMV record or considering the financing situtation seems like a way for the Dispatch to make it look like their story had more teath than it really did... 

Not to mention, it hung this player out to dry all over ESPN as a rule-breaker when it would have been this easy to look at the BMV records and see that he wasn't. 

Comment 26 Apr 2011

So according to ESPN the "honorable" thing to do would be to fire Jim Tressel in order to skirt major sanctions from the NCAA and hire Urban Meyer next spring.






Comment 11 Mar 2011

Agreed, if the jumpers aren't falling and Buford or Lighty turn invisible on the offensive end we'll always have Sully to pound the ball to down low. Opponents can either hack or leave other guys open for Sully to kick it back to. The more times Sully gets the ball down low in the second half, the qicker the refs will come around and quit letting defeners get away with fouling him. 

Oh yeah, and and we've got Diebler, who can always beat defenders off the dribble and slash to the hoop!

Comment 11 Mar 2011

Same old rough-housing passes granted to anyone defending Sully during regulation, and  Northwestern shot a 3 after the shot-clock buzzer that should not have counted. Also, they called Sully an charge that could have gone either way, then immediately called Craft, *I believe, for a block under the rim on an identical post play -got the crowd ticked a bit.

Refs started calling NW for hacking in OT and that was it. I think it had more to do with the team's resolve in getting the ball down low to Sully, and Jared subsiquently getting over his second-half frustrations. Buckeyes just looked more assertive, refs took note, and Northwestern got furstrated/desperate and started taking more, *obvious, fouls. 




Comment 08 Mar 2011

Okay, this is how I read it...

Tressel was indeed contacted in April 2010 by a "concerned party" about the five players involved in tat-gate, HOWEVER, the 'concern' at that point was about the players' coincidental involvement in a drug case, NOT that their NCAA elligability could be at risk.  

at least that was the way it was made to seem



Comment 08 Mar 2011

This could mean that the "allegations" have already been addressed, and perhaps ingnored or refuted by the NCAA. Or, it could mean that they will simply support the NCAA in upholding the previous ruling rather than reducing the suspensions. 

Either way the phrase itself seems to suggest that the allegations are not new to OSU or NCAA, which may actually be a good thing since we haven't heard that this might be a serious issue until the story broke.

Comment 08 Mar 2011

I'm failry sure that was in regards to the Oregon situation regarding street agents and AAU-like camps/recruiting services... specifically because Cowherd said the publication about to break had "bank accounts" ,ie a money trail, to back it up; The guy suspected of directing TX RB Leache Seastrunk to the Ducks was paid $25,000 by the University of Oregon and there is a check to prove it. 

Our current situation does not involve money, as it has already been proven that TP and Co. accepted benefits in exchange for stuff. 

That said, this sitution is very serious as well.

Comment 03 Mar 2011

I don't have a a problem with BYU's honor code, as the players who go there choose to live the lifestyle it prescribes... However, I do take issue with the way it was enforeced in this case. Davies could have been suspended for one or two games for a first offense and made to take religious classes, volunteer, or make some sort of social restitution on belhalf of the Church. This could have been done discretely and if the suspention was only for a game or two, ESPN and everone esle would not have enquired so heavily as to the nature of the violation. Instead they kick the kid off the team for the year, which raises serious questions, because to get that treatment at any other school in the country a player would've had to commit a major, usually criminal, offense...

This punishment embarrasses the Kid, his family, his grilfriend, and strips him of the most exciting time he'll have as a basketball player - all because of a subjective moral judgement regarding the private lives of he and his girldfirend. 

I understand that this honor code held in strict regard at BYU, and I'm not opposed to holding all students, members of the chruch or not, accountable to a beleif system - but in this case the punishment does not fit the "crime." Students can be held accountable without being totally outted and kicked off the team they love and work so hard to be a part of.     

Comment 02 Mar 2011

Gus Johnson: Basketball on the Big Ten Network is brought to you by eHarmony... LOVE STARTS HERE!!!

Comment 20 Feb 2011
Top to bottom, I'll take OSU, Purdue, and Wisc over any other conference's top 3.
Comment 19 Jan 2011

I can't apologize for Herbie, esspecially for his treatment of TP, but I think a lot of this stems from his network, which is hegemonically trying to marginalizing the Big Ten conference. Call me a tin-foil head, but I'm honestly noticing a lot of suspicious biases, and much of it started when the BIG TEN became the first conference to control the majority of the television revenue IT produces via BTN, which has become a stageringly successful ventue.  

Compare the boradcast of the Sugar Bowl versus the National Champion Game... I litterally had to turn the sound off during the Sugar Bowl because the broadcasters HAD to mention the suspensions EVERY time one of the players involved in the scandal made a play. As soon as the ruling came down (a decision made not by Ohio State but by the NCAA) It was open season on those five players - players who broke no law, and maintained satisfactory grades throughout their careers. Hell, I remember Herbie and Musbeger breaking into the Las Vegas Bowl broadcast to explicitly mention the scandal brewing at Ohio State - a scandal, which at that point, was little more than Blog rumblings.

Now, lets talk about the National Championship Game where there was little talk of what, if proven, would have been a much greater scandal involving Cam Newton - who, by the way, legitimately FAILED out of Florida for cheeting not once but twice, and who was also charged with recieving stolen property in the form of a laptop. But, in Newton's case, this is all just an example of how he matured and overcame "adversity," and how coach Gene Chizick considers him family (one year on the active roster and no degree counts as "Family" at Auburn... but Jim Tressel needs to set an example by throwing five suspended players under the bus.)

But then again, I could just be a Chicagoan with Basbosol on my face, Rotel chilis in my stomach, and Sarlet and Gray tin foil on my head...

Has anyone seen anything reported explicitly about SEC on Sports Reporters or Outside the Lines? Those programs seem to be pretty legit from a journalistic perspective.  

Comment 05 Jan 2011

...And, as for Gold Pants, maybe they should start giving 'em out for wins like this, rather than for beating that MAC school up north. Frances Schmidt's famous phrase rings true now more than ever when applied the fabled mystique of the SEC... even Ryan "The Legend" Mallet puts his pants on one leg at a time.

Comment 05 Jan 2011

Yeah, TP & Co. made stupid decisions and I would not have had any right to complain had they been suspended for this game and we lost. But the NCAA made it's decision. Given a five game suspension next season, how could Jim Tressel in good conscience  override a penalty issued by his superiors and tell these guys that missing five games during their senior season isn't enough. Jim Tressel, if you haven't noticed, isn't a guy who likes to draw attention to himself, and although no one would've blamed him for sitting said players, he seems like the man who accepts the consiquences (heavy or light) imposed by his superiors without a word of discontent - after all, overriding the NCAA's decision would've been to step out on a limb and put himself in the spotlight no doubt earning him the personal accolaids of fans and media who wanted to see an example made - but, as we saw from last night, it would not have helped the team as a whole achieve its goals.     

Oh yeah, and to think that anyone in America besides Kirk Herbstreet would've given Ohio State any kind of credit for benching the five suspended players for the game is total BS. We would have had to sit through the entire offseason hearing it from SEC Fans, Razorback Fans, and everyone on ESPN that Ohio State blew the big one, again... with little a mention that we sat five playmakers for integrity's sake.


Comment 09 Oct 2010

Illinois looked good today. last week's game might have done more than we thought to prepare the team for Madison. That said... I've been to Champagne, and Champage is no Madison. 

Should be a fun one. 



Comment 09 Oct 2010

Wow it's hard to believe that everyone at ESPN (with exception of Lou Holtz?) could be proven so fundamentally wrong during a 20-minute period in one afternoon...