B I G News in football!

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College football:

As the Big 12 sinks slowly in the west and sun pulls away from the shore we say goodbye to another college conference.

If you want to know where college football is going–follow the money! Nebraska will sign with the Big 10 Friday. That will allow the league to become the Big 12 because the majority of other teams in the conference formerly known as the Big 12 are deserting like rats from a sinking ship. Colorado has already gone to the PAC 10. It is expected to be followed by the Texas and Oklahoma teams soon. The PAC 10 will become the first “Super” conference with 16 teams.

The question is why is all this change going on? The answer is money. Nothing is more greedy than the college presidents around the country. That is why not only do they regularly demand more money from the state legislature but college fees to students have increased at 10 times the rate of inflation over the last 25 years.

The Big 10 gets 88 cents for every subscriber to the conference TV network. With the addition of a big name football school like Nebraska, look for that fee to go up. The viewers in Nebraska are out of the “primary” market so the conference will get only 8 cents for each subscriber there. However, the Big 10+2 will likely vote the newcomer a full share of the booty.

The Big 12 had a lousy TV contract. The teams that are leaving to go to the PAC 10+6 believe that conference will get a REALLY good TV deal under the new configuration.

Look for the ACC to bring Miami into their league plus someone else.  That would help them be less likely to be savaged by another league.  The funny thing is that had Notre Dame agreed to be the 12th Big 10 team, none of this might have happened.

The one thing you won’t see ANYWHERE else.

When the Big 10+2 becomes 16 and the PAC 10+6 get together, they will be able to put a great deal of pressure on the NCAA.  Most media people are complaining about the demise of the Big 12.  This change could well get us closer to the NCAA BcS Playoff that we all want.  The super conferences are going to be in a much more powerful position to push the NCAA into making changes to help the game.

USC gets its comeuppance!

The NCAA has hit the USC football program with a 30 scholarship reduction and a 2 year ban on bowl games as a result of the 5 year study into their lack of institutional control. When you lose 10 scholarships each year for 3 years, it will greatly impact your program.  This will really take USC out of the running for the top athletes for the next 2 years because a top 100 kid would not want to be banned from a shot at a bowl.

The USC basketball program was excluded from the NCAA tournament for a single year.  That was served last year by the team with a self-imposed penalty.

The NFLPA sues the NFL over the TV deal in 2011.

This is another “I told you so.” Over 6 months ago, I predicted that the NFLPA and DeMaurice Smith would sue over the TV deal that will pay the league even if there is no football in 2011. I will keep an eye on this for you but you can bet the farm that it will not move the league and the union any closer to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: College football,NCAA,Big 10,Big 12,PAC Ten,USC,NFLPA,DeMaurice Smith,NFL,CBA,Collective Barganing Agreement,TV Deal,Nebraska,Oklahoma,Texas,Colorado

Niblets for May 2010

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Best comment of the month: A Tale of two NCAA Violations

From justbuster

Good job on listing just a few of the violations at USC. Reading the blogs and comments that USC fans have left on other sites, I hope you’re prepared for the avalanche of infantile and just plain dumb invective that the minions of Troy are about to hit you with. They talk among themselves about ‘losing a few scolies’ and/or ‘minor probation’ but they just don’t seem to get it. They’re four square against ‘punishing the kids of today for the sins of yesterday’. Keep telling it like it is.

Having the political site Fryingpanpolitics.blog.com, I am used to people taking shots at me verbally. So far no shots from a gun. I do my best to let my readers know exactly what I think and really appreciate you and everyone else that has taken the time to leave a comment.

Updates on previous columns:

First round QBs in the NFL Draft may disappear.

The Raiders have filed a grievance against former QB and top overall pick JaMarcus Russell. The team claims in the filing that he owes 9+M of the money he was paid because his contract was changed and that money was intended to be advances on his salary for 2010-2012. Davis better sue Burger King because chances are they have more of Russell’s money than he does. One of the reasons he looks more like a NT than a QB is that he has 2 double Woopers as a snack between meals.

The Steelers are having off field problems with their players.

QB Ben Roethlisberger has been cleared by the league to rejoin the Steelers and participate in preseason activities. However, he must be away from the team from the end of the last preseason game until his suspension is over or Commissioner Goodell reduces it and again allows him to return.

Niblets fresh from the cob:

It looks like the NBA Western Conference Finals will go 7 games.

Both teams have held in home games. But Los Suns almost stole game 5 in LA coming back from 20+ down to take the game to OT. The Lakers will lose tonight at Phoenix then we will see who is the tough guy in game 7. I think the Lakers will win but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

Look for the Magic to make some changes in 2010-2011.

The Magic looked bad, horrible, OK then bad again in losing to the Celtics. The Magic just had no answer for PG Rondo but neither does anyone else. Right now he is playing the best ball in the post season. But the Magic need to get some help for Howard or look to lose again next season.

The Black Hawks look like the favorite in the NHL final series.

While the Flyers have been magic this playoff season, the Black Hawks just have too much talent to be denied. IF they can keep this team together financially, they could be a favorite for the next couple of championships.

Political Correctness strikes the NFL again.

The owners voted to give the 2014 Super Bowl to New Jersey. Enjoy the city of New York but they had better hope that Obama is right about global warming. They will need a lot of it to have a reasonable day in February.

Cowboy WR Patrick Crayton is in limbo. The Cowboys don’t really want him because he at best figures to be the 5th WR but is making 2M. But the Boys don’t want to trade him either even though he has asked to be dealt. They are waiting to see if they get a really good trade offer if a team loses a player.

Reports from Raider land say the O looks much improved.

The replacement of Russell with QB Jason Campbell has to have improved things. I could be more accurate than Russell and I am 62 years old.

RB LenDale White is cut by his college coach.

Former USC Coach Carroll traded for his college RB White during the 2010 draft. But despite losing 45 pounds, White was not in football shape and was cut. White is also facing a 4 game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy. If the guy that recruited you out of high school doesn’t think you can do the job, good luck getting another contract.

NFL RBs are struggling with injuries.

Titan RB Javon Ringer and Texan RB Ben Tate are both suffering with hamstring injuries. Dolphin Ronnie Brown is recovering from foot surgery. He will take part in the team’s minicamp even though he is a RFA. The problem is greater for Tennessee because star RB Chris Johnson is holding out and RB LeGarrette Blount may not be there for minicamp.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: USC,Michigan,NCAA,Rule violations,NFL,NBA,NHL,Playoffs,Finals,Raiders,Russell,White,Seahawks,Magic,Lakers,Celtics,Suns,Los Suns,Political Correctness,Super Bowl,New York,Cowboys,Obama,Crayton,Texans,Dolphins,Titans,Black Hawks,Flyers

A tale of two NCAA Violations.

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Both the Michigan and the USC football programs have been sited by the NCAA and are under investigation. However, that is where the similarity stops.


The second most impressive fact about the Michigan football program is that it has the most wins in NCAA history. The most impressive fact is that the Michigan program has never before been sited for a violation. This time they were investigated for having practices during and before the regular season that exceeded the permitted length.

Coach Rich Rodriguez was ratted out by a couple of his former players. They didn’t like the practices but more than that they didn’t like the system that Rodriguez bought from West Virginia. The biggest problem for the program is not the NCAA but the fact that the Michigan faithful don’t like Rodriguez or his system much either.

Rodriguez changed the system from the Big 10 traditional run first and pocket passing to the unique quarterback-centric run and shoot style. That has cost him top recruits by the former staff including now Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett who will compete for the top QB in the 2011 NFL Draft. Michigan fans that had seen their team lose year after year to “that team down south” (Ohio State) were thrilled when Mallett signed to play for the Blue. The fans demanded that Coach Carr be fired after the Blue lost to Appalachian State 34-32 on Sept. 1 2007. Those same fans were furious when Mallett left and sat out in 2008 to be able to play for another BCS school. He knew he would never shine in the Rodriguez scheme.

Rodriguez didn’t have a Michigan pedigree never having coached or played for the team. Strike 1.

No change in the basic system in football has an immediate improvement in the bottom line–the win and loss record. In his first 2 seasons, Rodriguez was 8-16. That was strike 2.

And now despite the insignificant nature of the NCAA violation, it may well become the 3rd and final strike. As trivial as this violation is, it might be the excuse to fire Rodriguez.


In total contrast to Michigan, USC is the champion of the R E A L L Y B I G NCAA violation. If you need any evidence about how serious the list of infractions at USC are, just consider that Coach Pete Carroll beat feet out of town. He left a 4M salary despite 2 national championships, a 34 game winning streak, 3 Heisman Trophy winners, 6 BcS bowl wins, 33 straight weeks as #1 in the AP, and a total record of 97-19. USC hired Tennessee HC Lane Kiffin who was a walking talking violation himself.

USC has now had 6 “substantial” violations since 1953 when the NCAA began tracking school’s records. That also makes them #1 but this list is not so prestigious.

The “latest” problem, if you can call something that started in 2006 recent, is the parents of Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush getting the rent of a house and other gifts totally a reported 280K. A federal investigation of extortion claims by Bush against a “want to be” sports agent resulted in the discovery tapes of conversations about the payments and gifts. There are also allegations that 2009 star RB Joe McKnight received illegal payments and gifts. The NCAA has yet to decide the guilt or penalty if any for the case.

The violation bug must be contagious because the basketball team caught it. Prize recruit O.J. Mayo was in trouble more than he was not. The NCAA investigated a claim by Yahoo Sports that Mayo received money and gifts in the amount of 200K from a sports agent. USC notified the NCAA that it was imposing sanctions on itself and nothing else resulted.

What were the sanctions? The loss of 1 scholarship for 2 years, the vacating of the wins in 2007-08 (when Mayo played) and a reduction in recruiting days and number of coaches that can recruit for 2 seasons. That is a very light penalty.

There is no question that the violations of USC far outstrip the single violation of Michigan. In addition USC has had a history of academic issues, money to recruits and other problems including arrests of players. And yet the NCAA seems to give USC a pass for their problems and I can not explain why.

When in doubt, follow the money. The problem with the NCAA is they are too interested in money and not interested enough in the welfare of their players and basic fairness of the game.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA,NCAA Football,USC,Bush,Mayo,Michigan,Rodriguez,Mallett,Carr,violations,McKnight,Yahoo Sports,NCAA Investigations
  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 18th, 2010
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Editorial: USC made a HUGE mistake in picking Lane Kiffin.

Editorial: USC made a HUGE mistake in picking Lane Kiffin.

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Let me put it this way. If you are being audited by the IRS, would you call a convicted tax cheat to represent you? I don’t think so.

There is no doubt that USC is in for some heavy penalties from the NCAA for recruiting violations. RB Bush’s parents reportedly got free housing, OJ Mayo reportedly got paid for a job he never did, and now there is the case of RB McKnight. The basketball program announced “self inflicted” penalties. That is like sending your 10 year old to his room for not doing his homework when he has his play station, lap top and television to keep him entertained. Nice idea but it doesn’t hold water.

So what did the pinheads at USC do? They hired the walking talking poster boy for foot in the mouth Lane Kiffin to be the new HC. Understand that this is the same Kiffin that got a reprimand from the NCAA for mistakenly claiming that Florida had committed a violation by contacting a player on a visit to Tennessee. This is the same Kiffin that after the first year of his tenor at Rocky Top has the NCAA starting an official investigation into his recruiting practices. This is the same Kiffin regime that is being looked at already for contacting recruits committed to Tennessee after he was named the pick of USC. Those calls were supposedly made by some of the staff he is taking with him. He has only been the USC guy for a week and already he is being checked out by the NCAA.

I hate to break the news to the folks at USC but hiring Kiffin is just going to make the NCAA mad.

That will hurt their chances of preventing stiffer penalties not help convince investigators they are doing their best to correct previous problems.

Given the number of investigations into multiple sports, there is clearly an institutional problem at USC. The Kiffin hire is going to throw gas on a fire that has already consumed most of the Trojan house. You can bet that Kiffin will stumble into another few violations before the NCAA is finished with their investigation. Most of the rest of the College football world is hoping that Kiffin will give himself and USC just enough rope to hang the future of the team for years to come. No matter what happens, by hiring Kiffin the school deserves whatever it gets.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: USC,NCAA,Investigation,violations,Kiffin,Tennessee,Taxes,IRS
  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 19th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What did we learn from the College weekend 7?

What did we learn from the College weekend 7?

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Ohio State is struggling badly on offense. The problem is 65% the O line or absence of one and 35% QB Pryor. The O line has been a problem for the last 5 years. The lack of pass protection has been a major contributor to Pryor regressing this season. He loses his mechanics because he is running for his life even against a 1-5 Purdue team. The lack of run blocking has put much more pressure on the passing game. The 5 man blocking sled is pushed up against the wall of the OSU practice facility. It’s way past time that it gets used a lot. If the Bucks could generate any kind of running game, the pass rush would be slowed and Pryor would become more accurate.

Alabama looked a lot more impressive than Florida this weekend. Florida struggled with a hot but unranked Arkansas team and most of their problems were self inflicted. Bama rolled over 22 South Carolina 20-6 but the game was not that close. Alabama is good but I wonder if they can get over the hurdle of beating Florida in the SEC Championship game.

20 Oklahoma v 3 Texas was everything we hoped it would be. But as I said before the draft this year QB Bradford made a mistake by not going pro. Unfortunately he was hurt again in the game. Every injury costs him millions of dollars in guaranteed money because the NFL will be less and less comfortable with his injury status. The two injuries that the scouts worry about the most are concussions and injuries to the passing arm/shoulder/elbow of a QB. A perfect example of this is Pennington. His 3rd shoulder injury may well end his career. Each operation has reduced his already below average arm strength. The shoulder capsule injury is difficult to judge and any doubt will hurt Bradford’s draft status.

Texas looks OK on D as does Oklahoma. The game was a defensive struggle all day. Texas QB McCoy averaged only 3.3 yards per throw with 21-39 for just 127 yards. In addition the running game averaged 3.6 per attempt. That is not enough O to win against either of the SEC teams. The Sooners hung in the game very well but did not have enough O with QB Jones at the helm to win.

4 Virginia Tech let 22 Georgia Tech jump out to a 14-3 lead. When they can continue to run the ball and pass when they want to, the Jackets are very hard to stop. VTk fell to the Jackets and are out of the Championship game race with 2 losses.

5 Boise St. has not impressed me much. They have one really nice win over Oregon at home. That is all. They do not have any other big game on the schedule. Frankly even if they do win out, I would take a 1 loss SEC or Big 12 team over an undefeated Boise club.

6 USC seems to play down to the level of their competition. They let the 25 Notre Dame hang around way too long and almost let them come back to win. Early in the 4th USC was up 34-14 but let ND score twice and threaten a 3rd time. That did not impress me. The USC D is over rated and the win over Ohio State is looking less and less impressive. Both QBs looked OK but the difference was the USC running game. But the USC D let ND QB Clausen march the ball into the red zone at the end of the game.

I do like 8 Cincinnati, 9 Miami (FL) and 11 Iowa. All three look good and have chances to improve their position with big game coming up. Iowa really needed Ohio State to win until they play to get the maximum advantage from a schedule against the weak Big 10.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: Ohio State,Pryor,Purdue,Alabama,Florida,Oklahoma,Texas,Bradford,McCoy,Jones,Virginia Tech,Georgia Tech,Boise State. Oregon,USC,Notre Dame,Cincinnati,Miami,Iowa,Clausen

Analysis: Mangini is defensive about the Defense.

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Yesterday we reviewed the problems of the Browns on offense. Today we look at the D.

Defensive line:

One of the things that you have to do in a 3-4 is protect the linebackers. Last year with the exception of NT Shaun Rogers, the D line couldn’t protect an ice cube on the North Pole. Rogers was double and triple teamed on every play all year long. That is enough to make anyone cranky. He played at a pro bowl level but got no help against the run or the pass.

Corey Williams and ex-Jet Kenyon Coleman project to start at DE. These two started a total of 31 games last year and had a combined 1 sack (.5 sacks each). That indicates that the DBs are going to have to cover the opponent receivers all day long because the pass rush is non-existent out of the front 3. Williams starts because there is little behind him. Coleman will start because Eric Mangini wants to prove that he is the smartest guy in the building in bringing Coleman with him from the Jets. There is very little quality depth in any of the three spots.


OLB Kamerion Wimbley was drafted in 06 to be the rush linebacker in the 3-4. He totaled 11 sack that year but has only had 9 sacks in the last 32 regular season games. He makes tackles against the run but usually 5 or 6 yards down field. That doesn’t get the job done. His running mate on the other side will be ex-Jet FA David Bowens. Bowens had 4 sacks last year and is decent but has very little tread on the wheels because he is going into his 11th year in the league. He only started 5 games for the Jets last year and was not in the Jets plans in 09.

The inside backers are changed from last season. Another ex-Jet FA, Eric Barton will join last year starter D’Qwell Jackson. Barton replaces Andra Davis who was allowed to go to Denver. Barton is serviceable but is also 31 and in his 11th year. Jackson is solid and has a chance to become a pro bowl backer. He needs to get under control at the point of attack more often.

Despite having drafted several linebackers in the past, there is little quality behind the starters. ILB Leon Williams (2nd round 06) is at best a part time fill in. We haven’t seen enough of Beau Bell (4th 08) to know if he can play. Rookie Kaluka Maiava (4th round 09) looked good at USC when he got on the field. He was the 4th USC LB prospect and has had an injury before the 08 season.


Without a pass rush, these guys are going to have a rough season. Eric Wright will start at one CB. He has played well but suffers from brain cramps at times allowing WRs to get open. Last year starter Brandon McDonald will vie with new comers Roderick Hood (ex-Cardinal) and ex-Jet FA Hank Poteat. McDonald had 5 picks last year but Hood started 14 games and only got 1. Poteat was a nickel back and got 2 picks without a start.

Long time starter UFA SS Sean Jones is gone. The Browns made a contract offer to restricted FA Jet Abram Elam but the Jets matched it. Then the Browns traded down in the draft and got Elam in the deal. Elam started 9 game for the Jets last year but has had only 1 int in 3 years. He will start at SS. Brodney Pool starts at FS again in 09. He has recorded 7 picks in 4 years with the Browns. Depth will be provided by Mike Adams and Nick Sorensen.

Overall Analysis:

The Brown/Green defense will have another tough year. There is very little pass rush, and with the O struggling to run the ball, the D will play a lot of snaps. Browns fans should stock up on antacids in plastic bottles. That way when you throw the bottle at the TV, you won’t break the screen.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,Browns,Jets,Mangini,Wimbley,Rogers,Coleman,Williams,Bowens,USC,Broncos,Barton,McDonald

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