- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
College football enters November this weekend and as wild as the season has been thus far, it’s only going to get wilder … particularly with the release of the first College Football Playoff selection committee top-25 rankings.
So we welcome in Ian Fitzsimmons of ESPN Dallas to provide measured perspective and calm, rational analysis of the situation. Or to make fun of coaches – there’s even a discussion of Dana Holgorsen’s hair.
The conversation is a bit erratic, so rather than recap, here are just some of the people, places and things mentioned:
TCU, Texas, Nick Saban, Kliff Kingsbury, Bill Snyder’s purple windbreaker, Gary Patterson’s mock turtle neck, Willie Meggs, some farm in Louisiana that Fitzsimmons claims he grew up on, Jimbo and Jameis, the Ole Miss milk-slamming woman, ditch digging, the Longhorn Network, Lil Dooey’s in Starkville, SEC conspiracy theories, Tony Romo, Clay Travis, the ever-polite Tallahassee Police and who even knows what else.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
NCAA President Mark Emmert has kept a low profile of late, or at least as low of a profile as his position allows. It’s likely for the best.
Next week marks the start of his fifth year on the job, a tenure that began with big ideas and bold talk but has descended into controversies, calls for his firing/resignation and general angst as the public and legal tide has turned against the NCAA model of amateurism.
They’ve overwhelmed the moderate (yet notable) reforms Emmert has worked to install. Yes, most came under extreme threat, legal or otherwise, but still.
These days, many see the NCAA on the verge of collapse, a once great bully on the last days of relevance. Emmert is merely the captain of the Titanic.
It doesn’t need to be this way. It probably shouldn’t be this way.
There is ample and overdue room for wholesale change, but the need for a central governing body on college athletics remains. And so too does a place that upholds basic standards of reasonable behavior, because left to their own devices, college sports can reach some awful, horrible depths.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – It was a press conference notable only for not being notable, Michigan players well-trained in the art of saying nothing that might further motivate rival Michigan State ahead of Saturday's game.
Then came a question that encapsulated this entire flipped script and reminded Devin Gardner just how strange it had all gotten nearly five years after he arrived here as a hot-shot recruit to the winningest program in college football history and, it goes without saying, the undoubted king of instate programs.
It served as a verbal milestone of what happens to a good kid when a great program breaks bad all around him … and there isn't much he can do to stop it.
"We know you want to win … [but] are you capable of beating Michigan State?" a reporter asked, respectfully. "And would you like to ruin their season?"
Capable ? Yes, capable.
This seems like something you ask some low-budget, small-conference team headed for a nonconference payoff at Alabama. Not Michigan. And not against Michigan State … right?
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
On Monday, USA Today published an article in which reporter George Schroeder spent a day following Arkansas athletic director, and chairman of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, Jeff Long around.
It detailed how Long watches up to 25 hours a week of game footage, even running slow mo through specific plays. On that day, he tuned in to two early games at once, including Iowa at Maryland, even though neither has any chance at all of making the playoff. He said he takes notes from what gets said on the preview shows.
The entire thing seemed like some strange public relations show of force. Yet it is apparently real. Bless Jeff Long and the other members for attempting to consume that much football, data and opinion, but it is a horribly inefficient, exhausting and pointless exercise for a group whose sole job should be to pick four teams at the end.
At least, that’s the conclusion from this week’s Dan Wetzel College Football Podcast, which features the ever entertaining and occasionally insightful Chris Vernon of ESPN Radio Memphis as a guest.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports14 days ago
In the 11 months since allegations that Jameis Winston sexually assaulted a Florida State coed first surfaced, Jennifer Dritt has sat through countless meetings with rape survivors, including plenty from the FSU student ranks itself, and watched a disturbing trend grow right before her.
"All of them say the same thing now, 'I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever report a sexual assault after what has been said of the victim,'" said Dritt, the executive director of the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, which is located in Tallahassee, Fla. "After seeing how this has been handled and seeing her dragged through the mud, they just can't imagine coming forward now.
"There's been a chilling effect," Dritt said. "It's damaging. It's so damaging."
The Winston case remains in the news as Florida State now attempts to hold a disciplinary hearing concerning the star quarterback's role in the alleged assault that occurred in the early morning hours of December 7, 2012. It plays in the backdrop as the Seminoles push for a second consecutive national title and host Notre Dame on Saturday in the big game of the week.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports15 days ago
Rex Ryan famously announced his arrival as an NFL head coach by going straight at Bill Belichick, straight at the biggest bully on the AFC East (if not league) block.
"I never came here to kiss Bill Belichick's, you know, rings," Ryan told WFAN back in June of 2009. "I came to win."
This was and remains Ryan's way, of course. He's more than willing to say things he is certain he can back up, if only because he believes his players will revel in the talk.
He also, perhaps, knew better than anyone else that his career with the New York Jets would be defined by how he fared against the Belichick-Tom Brady dynasty up the road.
When Ryan arrived the Pats had won six of eight division titles, captured three Super Bowls and only lost a fourth when an 18-0 team was beat on a helmet catch.
Ryan was determined to change that and felt poking the bear and expressing supreme confidence through the media would be the route to eventually beating New England on the field.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports15 days ago
There's really only one truly big game this weekend: No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 2 Florida State. Whomever wins clears the biggest hurdle – on paper at least – toward getting to the playoffs. The loser, particularly Notre Dame, still has work to do but wouldn't be automatically eliminated. Should be pretty wild.
As always when it comes to FSU, however, much of the focus is on Jameis Winston. He's facing a school disciplinary hearing concerning the allegation of sexual assault that took place in December of 2012. He is under compliance department investigation for any links to the same autograph authenticator that caused Georgia's Todd Gurley to be suspended.
It's a circus. Always. So much so that a couple of sports books have taken the game off the board because no one knows if he'll make it to kickoff without being suspended for the autograph deal.
Why Jameis Winston's latest off-field pressure won't affect him against Notre Dame (provided he plays)Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports16 days ago
Let’s recap everything that fell upon Jameis Winston in the last week, despite that no matter how long this list gets, it probably isn’t going to bother him a bit in Saturday's clash against fifth-ranked Notre Dame.
• Was informed that he will face a Florida State disciplinary hearing on up to four charges stemming from an alleged sexual assault of a female student in December 2012. Winston will, at some point this week, schedule an information hearing where the process will be explained to him. The disciplinary hearing will follow another day fairly soon.
That the disciplinary hearing was coming was not a surprise. Last month an attorney advising Winston announced in a letter to FSU that the quarterback would cooperate with the process. The only unexpected development is that three people not directly related to FSU will make the decision.
Still, even if Winston is 100 percent innocent, being pulled into the disciplinary process can be unnerving. Winston has reason to be confident after state prosecutors failed to charge him with any crime (a very low legal standard) in 2013. The actual hearing will hold to a higher standard.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports19 days ago
College athletics was spinning off its axis, mangling conferences, destroying rivalries and spitting in the face of tradition in the endless pursuit of market shares and Tier 1 cable subscribers.
Down in the Southwest, Texas A&M had just bolted the Big 12 for the SEC, in part to get away from the University of Texas. The Longhorns, meanwhile, were running a power play fueled by overconfidence that their new Longhorn Network would give them an insurmountable competitive advantage. The University of Oklahoma saw enough writing on the wall to stop being conciliatory.
“I don't think OU is going to be a wallflower,” school president David Boren said as he announced the Sooners would look at “various options” for conference membership, including a proposed Pac-16.
That was Sept. 2, 2011, a bleak day for the Big 12 and a panicked one for schools that appeared on the verge of being left behind and relegated to second-class status.
Two of those schools played football that night: Baylor, which was fearful its conference was about to collapse, and TCU, which had just put together a 13-0, Rose Bowl champion season, but was still seeking a viable, long-term home.
- Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports22 days ago
Clay Travis of Fox Sports 1 and OutKickTheCoverage.com returns to the Dan Wetzel College Football Podcast this week in the wake of one of the most exciting, raucous and unpredictable weeks ever. So much for a playoff rendering the regular season meaningless.
The start of the discussion, however, centers on Katy Perry's appearance on GameDay. The highlights included acting wild, ripping a mascot head off Lee Corso, begging Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight to call her and later chugging beers and diving off an Oxford, Miss., bar.
There were a lot of complaints and handwringing on Twitter when it was announced Perry would appear on GameDay because she is a pop star with nebulous ties to football or Ole Miss. Her presence, however, continued to signal a slow but long overdue change in the way the sport of college football is "covered" in the media. (She also went 6-1 in her picks).