Category: Michigan Football
|February 24, 2012||Posted by Allen Francis under Al's Blog, Baylor, Michigan Football, Ohio State Football, Penn State Football, University of Miami, USC Football|
If the last few years in college sports have been anything, they have been interesting. Actually, maybe disturbing is the better choice of words. The last few year have been riddled with scandals. There is no doubt I will miss a few, but in recent memory I recall the following:
Ohio State (2003): Remember Maurice Clarett? Unfortunately, so do I. As a freshman, Clarett scored the game winning touchdown for Ohio State in the 2002 National Championship game. In 2003, Clarett was suspended for falsifying a police report. When the heat was turned up (hey nice cars, guns and Vodka) Clarett dropped out of school and sued to t be in the 2004 NFL draft. Because the rules applied to everyone back then, Clarett was denied entry to the NFL. The rest of his story doesn’t matter, but he spent 3 years in prison before recently returning to Ohio State for his education. Needless to say, had the Ohio State administration paid even a little attention to what was happening, theY probably could avoided the Jim Tressel led Tyrelle Pryor issues years later.
2003 (see below):
USC (2010): USC and Reggie Bush plead ignorance regarding the rule prohibiting payments to student athletes. Using its typical punish someone else policy, in 2010 the NCAA suspended USC from post season play for two years. None of the players serving the suspension were involved and none are named Reggie Bush. Further, although current USC coach Lane Kiffin is no angel, he was not involved in the Bush scandal. The only thing Bush had to do was open the door for the Heisman repo man. Unfortunately, that punishes the rest of us as we will be denied the opportunity to bid on the trophy in 15 years when Bush would have sold it on Ebay.
Michigan Practice (2010): Considering the real scandals that have occurred, the fact Michigan football practiced a few extra minutes is less than minor. It was ridiculous at the time and is even more so now. The NCAA wasted a lot of time on this non issue. If it helped lead to the dismissal of Rich Rod, Michigan fan should be glad it happened.
Auburn (2010-11): Cam Newton was declared ineligible after it was determined an agent shopped him around to colleges. Incredibly, Auburn, the top payer (oops, I mean the college of his choice), was able to get Newton reinstated before the SEC championship game. The buzz with this story calmed down, when other scandals started to hit. However, apparently the higher ups believe Cam Newton’s dad and buddy shopped Cam around to every school but Auburn. Auburn can thank Ohio State, Miami and Penn State for taking the heat off.
Miami Hurricanes (2011): It seems like forever ago we learned about how, the worlds largest hanger on, Nevin Shapiro, supplied drugs, women, parties and cash to Miami football and basketball players. In exchange, the U allowed Shaprio to hang out on the field, involved him in coaching decisions and basically gave him anything he wanted. No problems there.
Ohio State (2011): This time around, the Buckeyes stepped up their game. Free tattoos, cars and, well, the investigation apparently stopped there. However, I doubt the cheating did. This time there was no Maurice Clarett to be Jim Tressel’s scapegoat. Despite valiant efforts by the President of the University and unexplainable support from B1G Ten Commissioner, Jim Delaney, Jim Tressel was forced to resign. Ohio State lost their coach and it looked like they would be set back a bit. However, they hired Urban Meyer, who has not been caught cheating yet, but certainly runs in the gray areas. It appears Ohio State’s down time may be limited. The one year bowl and championship game ban was merely a slap on the wrist.
Penn State / Syracuse (2011): Penn State and Syracuse did not get caught cheating per se, but they got caught employee terrible human beings who (allegedly) did terrible things. In the case of Penn State, the cover up / inaction, may run deeper than we will know for awhile. We do know Penn State allowed a suspected child molester to have access to facilities with children and permitted him to gallivant around campus as if he were a member of the program. That’s what happens when you let a senile old man (sorry JoePa, it’s true) run a program for 10-15 years longer then he should have. In retrospect, it seems odd that Jerry Sandusky, a top tier defensive coordinator, retired in the prime of his career (after undisclosed molestation allegations were made) never to be heard from again. This is not supposed to be about those perverts, so I will move on.
I am sure I forgot some scandals and a few secondary violations. Among other things, I know players at the University of Toledo took money from bookies sometime during the above time frame. But the point of this is not necessarily to dwell on what happened, it is to figure out what’s next? I am not Nostradamus. In fact, I am not even sure what a quatrain is. Nonetheless, I am going to make an educated guess, a prediction, on what’s next.
Disclaimer: I excluded all SEC schools from this prediction as picking one of those programs would be like shooting fish in a barrel. I also excluded Kentucky Basketball. Considering Calipari is their coach, saying they will have a scandal in the near future is to easy.
Without further adieu, there is only one school left, Baylor. Before you call me out, I realize Baylor is somewhat of an easy target as it is coming off of one of the only recent scandals on par with Penn State and Syracuse. In case you forgot, Carlton Dotson, a Baylor basketball player, plead guilty to the 2003 murder of his teammate Patrick Dennehy. After Dennehy’s murder, the NCAA began investigating improper benefits and drugs allegations regarding the Baylor basketball team. Turns out, Baylor basketball coach Dave Bliss, who was out of scholarships, paid Dennehy’s tuition as well as the tuition for another player. During the investigation, Bliss pretended to be the father of the other player he paid for, but whom was still alive, in an attempt to learn what information the NCAA discovered. In one last pathetic act, Bliss instructed players to lie and tell investigators that Dennehy paid his tuition by selling drugs. That’s not the whole story, but I think you get the point, even though it is not talked about much the happenings at Baylor were kind of a big deal.
It seems like such actions would keep a program and a school down, at least for awhile. I am not sure how long I was asleep, but when I woke up Baylor had strong football and basketball programs. I even heard a rumor that Baylor now has a Heisman winner and that its basketball team is in the top 15. When the hell did this happen and, more importantly, how?
Baylor, located in Waco, Texas, is a private baptist school with only 12,500 undergrad students. Certainly, Baylor is one of the top small, private baptist colleges, which is located in a town known primarily for blowing up a cult compound. Throw in a teammate on teammate murder and a completely reprehensible basketball coach and Baylor is in a category all its own. The question is not so much how Baylor got to where it is. The question is how Baylor got there after where it was. Unfortunately for Baylor fans, it seems impossible to accomplish that type of comeback while playing by all the rules.
If Baylor runs a clean program, more power to them. However, in an era where it seems everyone is playing fast and loose with the rules, Baylor’s return (or better stated arrival on) the national scene is too remarkable not to question (sorry, it’s the Barry Bonds effect). My belief, Baylor was to far in the hole not to get out so fast. I maybe wrong about Baylor, but I am sure another major college scandal is just around corner.
|January 21, 2012||Posted by Allen Francis under Al's Blog, B1G Ten Football, Michigan Football, Michigan State Football|
Admit it, you thought you wouldn’t hear any good college football stories for awhile. Aside from the inevitable few decommits and draft prospects caught getting high, it’s a fairly slow time for college football news. Maybe you could use this time to get some stuff done around the house, finally take down those Halloween decorations, enjoy time with your family, read a book, watch some college basketball, run to Lowes and pick up that ballcock you need to fix the toilet you let run all season. This is a good time to relax and spend time looking for a new drug of choice to help you make it through the NBA season. Put down the pipe and return the ballcock my friends, college football is still here.
|December 6, 2011||Posted by Fletch under B1G Ten Football, Fletch's Blog, Michigan Football, Michigan State Football, Rivalries|
On October 15th, MSU beat Michigan 28-14 as a Denard Robinson led 4th quarter comeback bid fell short. Amid swirling stadium trash, an ESPN sideline reporter snared Mark Dantonio and asked him what four wins in a row over Michigan meant. In the smug, self-serving fashion thatâ€™s grown typical of his comments regarding Michigan since he arrived in EL he replied, â€śtimes have changedâ€ť before heading off to celebrate with soon to be suspended William Gholston and the rest of the Spartans. Six weeks later, Big Ten Coach of the Year Brady Hoke is taking the Wolverines to their 5th BCS bowl game since its inception 14 years ago (5 appearances ties UM with LSU, and UM has more than Texas, Alabama and Miami, amongst others). The Spartans are headed back to central Florida, still searching for that elusive, first BCS bid.
|October 28, 2011||Posted by Jeff under B1G Ten Football, Michigan Football, Michigan State Football, Oswald|
(From Spartan Nation.Â A long, but worthwhile read)
In a week from Hell, Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis goes toe-to-toe with B1G Commissioner Jim Delany!
B1G Commissioner Jim Delany Faces Standoff with Mark Hollis and Michigan State
In the interest of fairness I need to state that I am not a fan of B1G Commissioner Jim Delany.Â Friends who presently work for him and who have in the past, tell stories of working for the conference which are unflattering and do not encourage me to come away with a positive opinion.
That being said, I have done as much research as possible to explain to fans what really went down with the suspension of William Gholston and the public admonishment of Pat Narduzzi the Michigan State defensive coordinator. My overview follows.
With :01 left on the clock in the third quarter of the Michigan State vs. UM football game here is what happened.Â Michigan had just run a second and seven play from their own 24 Â˝ yard line.Â Dennard Robinson ran the play out of the shotgun for a first down completion to Roy Roundtree.Â On the play, MSU DE William Gholston was going against the OT Taylor Lewan for Michigan.
When Lewan jerked Gholstonâ€™s helmet (and head) to the ground as Will was getting up, the Spartan DE threw a punch at the Wolverine.Â Gholston lost his cool and was flagged for it, incurring a 15-yard personal foul penalty. It was not the first time Lewan would grab the facemask of a Spartan, nor the last for this game.
|October 25, 2011||Posted by Jeff under B1G Ten Football, Michigan Football, Michigan State Football, Oswald, Wisconsin Football|
Do Football Gods really exist?Â You donâ€™t have to look any further than East Lansing to find your answer.Â Last week hundreds of thousands of Spartan fans around the globe cheered triumphantly as the Football Gods blessed MSU with a game for the ages.
When MSUâ€™s 2011 football schedule was released last year, at first glance Spartan nation saw a brutal slate of October games.Â Ohio State.Â Michigan.Â Wisconsin.Â Nebraska. Four iconic programs in a span of five weeks.Â What did MSU do to the Football Gods to warrant such a rough stretch of games? Maybe they were upset about how Coach Dantonio handled the Chris L. Rucker situation? But thatâ€™s the funny thing about the Football Gods. Â For years they seemingly rooted against MSU.Â Making late game collapses and mid season swoons more commonplace than a chubby kid in a candy shop.Â
And now with just one road game left in that mid season gauntlet of games, MSU is sitting nicely at 3-0 over that stretch. After years of the Football Gods raining terror down upon Michigan State, it looks as if theyâ€™re starting to become fans of the Green and White.
Now, the Football Gods arenâ€™t a physical being a la Touchdown Jesus, but, rather an idea or a state of mind.Â To steal and twist a quote from Doc in Back to the Future, “The football gods are what make games like Michigan State and Wisconsin possible.” They are what make a game seemingly destined for overtime to become an Instant Classic.Â Chances are every Spartan will remember where they were when Keith Nichol hauled in the Hail Mary from Kirk Cousins.Â Quick side note, isnâ€™t it interesting that a Hail Mary is what won the game.Â Coincidence?Â The Football Gods think not.
The naysayers and critics out there will dismiss any talk of the Football Gods and will instead point to luck. But, judging from last yearâ€™s â€śLittle Giantsâ€ť and â€śMousetrapâ€ť to this years â€śRocketâ€ť thereâ€™s one word for the doubters…blasphemy.
What if after spending an entire Saturday on the couch watching ESPN, ABC, BTN, ESPN2, etc. the Football Gods decided it was time to catch up on the latest episode of The League instead of tuning into the Michigan State, Wisconsin game?Â Then what?Â Well, for starters, no instant classic.Â No MSU rising in the polls.Â Instead of a win, Spartan nation would have spent the next week lamenting a blown 14 point fourth quarter lead and stewing with anger at the fact that once again the Football Gods were not on the Spartanâ€™s side.Â But, alas, the Football Gods seem to be on board with where Coach Dantonio has this team heading. That and they probably have The League saved on the DVR.
Making things even better for Spartan fans (and Big 10 fans) is that after years of being in Big Blueâ€™s corner, it seems even the Football Gods have grown tired of them.Â How else could one explain the Rich Rod era?
Hopefully the Football Gods make another appearance in Lincoln this weekend.Â Â
And for that, can we get an amen?
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|October 24, 2011||Posted by Allen Francis under Al's Blog, B1G Ten Football, Michigan Football, Rivalries, Wisconsin Football|
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We learned some things after the Michigan State vs. Wisconsin game Saturday night.
1. Â FormerÂ Spartan and NFLer Robaire Smith has a a bad ass truck. Â It is likely this machine is only surpassed in the Ohio State University player lot.