Friday, January 29, 2016
So I would love to bet on football in my lovely state of New Jersey. I can already bet on horseracing here and we have had casinos in AC for most of my life, but no sports gambling. The story is that if we could bet on sports then shady guys would appear--imagine cigar smoke swirling for atmosphere--with bags of money and these lowlifes would buy players thus making sports less legitimate than they already are now. Oh my god, not fixing games. Of course, players have been bought in every time zone of the country and as the current tennis scandal proves anyone can be bought, if willing,anywhere in the world. the sports entity that has been the loudest against sports betting in Jersey, with the NBA becoming more vocal in recent years, has been the NFL. The same NFL which has not said a word publicly about the Raiders recent interest in Las Vegas. The city that invented the sports book in this country will soon have a shiny and expensive football stadium and the NFL loves shiny and expensive toys. As for the cigar-smoking gamblers who may be tempted to buy some NFL players--you know the ones who will now live down the block from the athletes--well, we no longer have to worry about them. Everything is on the up and up in Las Vegas.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
The controversy swirling around the Michigan football program is fascinating for a number of reasons. To update you, Michigan locked up a bunch of solid prospects awhile ago--at least one was even signed by the previous staff years--and is now pulling those scholarship offers from some players (eight at my last count) to give them to higher-ranked guys. This has been unfolding for a few weeks as the Wolverines continue to attract top talent. There is nothing technically illegal here as nothing is binding until an official letter is signed and the players are free to jump programs themselves. In fact this behavior has been going on for years with some schools not even pulling the scholarships until signing day or, in some awful instances, in the summer (or they will take the scholarship from an older sub if too many players remain on the roster by August). What is fascinating is that the players can now go on twitter and complain about the situation and Michigan immediately gets bad publicity. Let's be frank here. There is nothing positive for the kid to have his offer pulled this late in the game. Sure, most land on their feet but at situations that may not be as positive for them as it would have with the time to fully seek offers. Others get screwed totally. So twitter giving these kids one recourse for some sort of justice is compelling but I also find it interesting that head coach Jim Harbaugh did this at Stanford but received little bad press for it as Stanford receives very little of the coverage that Michigan gets and he could hide there behind Stanford's more rigid acceptance standards (of course he pulled a scholarship from at least one player who could have gotten in without football but I digress). What is also funny is that when this type of behavior happened elsewhere, especially in the SEC, some Michigan fans were incensed. Now that their coach is doing it? They have become the biggest apologists. Do whatever it takes to win. It is the attitude that has dragged college football through the mud for years.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Congratulations are in store for the Tide, who have now won four national titles in seven years. The game was exciting, if not always fundamentally sound (but we cannot have it all). Clemson had a great year and should be able to hold their heads up. And props to Nick Saban for another fine coaching effort, although pretending that this team was able to overcome adversary like they were some underdog team was a bit much.
Monday, January 11, 2016
Friday, January 8, 2016
As always an excellent group of former college football stars has been elected to the college football hall of fame, with the announcement today from Arizona. Stars like Derrick Brooks of Florida State and Rod Woodson of Purdue finally received the call while there was plenty of representation for schools outside the spotlight as Randall Cunningham became UNLV's first enshrinee and highly-effective running back Troy Davis added to Iowa State's list. Also earning the nod were QB Marlin Briscoe of Nebraska Omaha, who was briefly a trendsetter as a QB for Denver before they moved him to receiver, Tom Cousineau, the linebacker and one of Woody Hayes's last great layers at OSU, William Fuller, who dominated as a defensive linemen for some loaded UNC teams in the early 80s, Bert Jones, the LSU QB who helped knock off my Irish when I was 8, Tim Krumrie, one of my favorite Badgers as a monstrous DT 35 years ago, Pat McInally, who may be the last Harvard guy to get in, Herb Orvis, the ferocious Buffs DE, Bill Royce, a backer for Ashland, Ohio, Mike Utley, who needs to be remembered for his play at guard at WSU and Scott Woerner, the ball-hawking DB for Georgia who will prove to be a popular enshrinee for the now Atlanta-based museum. Also making the cut were coaches Bill Bowes of New Hampshire and Frank Girardi of Lycomming, Penn.
Sunday, January 3, 2016
I have enjoyed attending and viewing bowl games for years. This year, not so much. The bowl match-ups were dreadful. Game after game were clunkers and the few competitive games played turned out that way due to atrocious defense. I enjoyed taking my family to see Duke edge Indiana in the Bronx but I certainly would not watch the tape of that game if I wanted to learn football. Obviously there were too many games but we need a bowl selection process that will ensure better games to help the sport continue to grow. Hopefully the title game will help wipe out the memory of this dreadful bowl season.
Saturday, December 26, 2015
62-62. Ugh. Today I iike Marshall laying 5 against UConn, am passing on the Sun Bowl, Washington -8 against Southern Miss, Duke +3 versus IU and, in a late switch, Tulse plus 14 in Frank Beamer's finale with Va Tech.