The NCAA created a monster when it awarded its prestigious Heisman Trophy – deservingly so, too – to Johnny Manziel after just his freshman season. Oh, Johnny Manziel isn’t a monster to any- and everyone. Just Mark Emmert and the rest of the NCAA bunch. In fact, he’s not a monster to anyone else. The rest of us, we’re all cheering him on.
Three conference championships and a cloud of dust marked the end of Bret Bielema’s tenure as head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. Gone to Arkansas and the glamor of the SEC, he left a bittersweet taste in the mouths of the Badger faithful, a fan base that loved much of what he produced in the win column despite routinely calling for his dismissal as head coach.
Two of college football’s most renowned offensive minds are teaming up, and it could make for an explosive combination. Famed former Hawaii and NFL coach June Jones, who’s been the head coach at Southern Methodist University since 2008, has brought the legendary Hal Mumme in as offensive coordinator for this season.
The endless years of NCAA realignment discussion seem to have died down for the moment, and the SEC has come out on top. That’s not surprising. The conference has been the dominant NCAA football power for most of the last decade, winning the last seven BCS championships, and that success arguably carried over to the realignment realm, where they didn’t lose anyone and added two impressive schools in Texas A&M and Missouri. Considering how disastrously realignment went for many, that’s not bad at all.
The news came out late last week that an elite athlete can’t participate in his sport for a year. That’s hardly uncommon: heck, it even happened more than once last week alone, but things tend to get weirder and more unusual when you’re talking about college sports, though, and that’s what makes the case of Everett Golson stand out. It all begs the question of what role academics ought to play in the NCAA.
There once when a time when Mike McNeil was a proud member of the 2011 BCS Championship-winning Auburn Tigers, now the former safety is serving a three-year sentence for armed robbery. Charles Blouin-Gascon takes a closer look at the scandal, how it will impact the college football program and vice versa.
Nobody seems to know what to make of Manti Te’o. He had a historically great season as the leader of a Notre Dame defense that led the Irish back to national prominence and he finished as the runner-up for the Heisman trophy, becoming the closest thing to a purely defensive player the award in history… but then the National Championship Game and offseason happened.
In the fourth quarter of the 2013 Outback Bowl, Michigan running back Vincent Smith ran into the wall that goes by the name of Jadeveon Clowney. The South Carolina defensive end hit Smith for a loss of eight yards, and the impact was probably equally awesome, scary and hurtful. It was the hit of the season in the NCAA, and as I watched the replays of the collision with the helpless Smith I had only one thought in mind. Get Clowney in the NFL.
For sports fan, the holiday traditions this time of year includes the college football bowl season. With almost three dozen bowl games on the schedule, there will be no shortage of holiday cheering. Even as the NFL regular season winds down, it will take second place to the prime time bowl games which rarely fail to impress, unlike last weekend’s NFL schedule.
When Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy, he proved that freshman players are capable of playing at an elite level. Does this mean that the NFL should revise its rule that draft-eligible players must be out of high school for at least three years, or should Manziel continue to excel, proving his first season wasn’t just a flash in the pan?