Trouble in paradise ………
College Football’s season is well under way , with schools now heading into the fourth week of their scheduling . Alabama remains atop of the AP Poll , as the number one ranked team in the nation. Nick Saban and his team survived a minor scare when they were pushed by Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M (Aggies) in a game played at College Station, Texas . Manziel proved once again, why he might just be the most electrifying player in college football at present. Far be it for me to suggest that the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner can repeat as a back to back winner of college athletics’ most prestigious individual honor .
Amongst the collegiate football landscape, there does not seem to be any bona-fide standout nominees at present, to perhaps challenge Johnny Manziel as a repeat winner of the Heisman, , albeit that there seems to be the ridiculously over-hyped hyperbole surrounding South Carolina’s defensive tackle Jadaveon Clowney. And as good as Clowney is said to be , unless Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks are in the midst of the SEC championship aspirations, little if anything , is likely to come out of the arguments and sentiments that now surrounds the player . For the defending BCS national champions, this season has seen the showing something of an immense drop off in terms the play in comparison to last season . Granted when a program loses that many players to the NFL by way of the NFL Draft , it does become something of a boon as well as a boost to the school’s notoriety ,while adding to Nick Saban’s already illustrious legacy .
At 2-0 , Alabama’s next game will be against Colorado State (Rams) to be played in Tuscaloosa , Alabama at the cavernous Bryant-Denny Stadium. The match-up itself , will be the Crimson Tide’s home opener, and there is likely to be a packed venue to see the highly favored national champions make a statement as to their intent , of making a successful defense of their national title. For juniors and seniors such as A J McCarron , Cyrus Kouandjio , Kyle Zazakevicius , Kevin Norwood , Kenny Bell and Deion Belue , this game can be seen as an initial audition for many of the NFL’s scouts , general managers and head coaches. While I believe that Alabama are likely to be tested , I do not think it will prove such a competitive contest, wherein they are likely to be on the wrong side up an upset defeat . We tend to see that sort of complacency shown by the likes of former top-fifteen ranked Florida and their inexplicable loss (21-16) to instate rivals the Miami (Hurricanes) . Florida coach Wil Muschamp now has to reassess where the mistakes were made beyond the defensive lapses and errant plays by quarterback Jeff Driskell during this game .
. If Florida are to have any hope of regaining their momentum, then every effort will have to be made to remedy their mistakes , as their next game will be at home against SEC rivals the Tennessee Volunteers (2-1) coached by Butch Jones . The Volunteers are a team that should not all be taken that lightly , at this point of the Gators’ season . A second slip up , especially in a conference game is likely to put any chances to their own conference championship aspirations as well as an appearance in a major BCS Bowl match-up into a tailspin . Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, will be packed with two sets of intensely rabid fans showing their support for their respective programs.
The hiring of Urban Meyer to replace the now disgraced former head coach , Jim Tressel at Ohio State (Buckeyes) did not come as a great surprise ,but the coach’s demeanor since his being installed into the position, has left many people wondering how conceited Meyer has become. Beyond his criticism leveled at his former employers , Florida, it has also emboldened the coach to deny any culpability of a program that he coached for six years , where he won two national titles , but also this was a program mired in controversy, which Meyer and AD Jeremy Foley may well have clandestinely sought to cover up a great many of the misdeeds carried out by the players under his tutelage . Allegations of sexual assaults , drug use, theft , grand larceny and academic fraud , much of it unsubstantiated , but there were also clear indications that Foley had boosters intervene to smooth things over with local law enforcement and specifically with the Gainesville Police Department and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Department , where there was said to be misconduct by members of the team .
Meyer having taken over a program that itself was mired in its own controversy , with much of the facts coming to the fore, only after a state and federal investigation was undertaken after it came to light that several players were known to have accepted illicit monetary payments from a known felon , gambler and drug dealer. A great deal of the subterfuge was actually enacted by Tressel , to cover up his own misconduct, web of lies and deceit enacted by himself , and assistant coaches players. While this was going on, both university President , Dr E Gordon Gee and AD Gene Smith stood steadfastly by and vehemently defended the beleaguered coach as the mountain of evidence grew and was then substantiated .
The NCAA , long thought to be the moral voice of reason, saw fit to punish Ohio State, only after the somewhat ridiculous self-imposed sanctions that the program’s Athletics Department was said to be willing to impose upon itself. A mere slap on the wrist for Tressel, with the coach being given a punitive monetary fine and having to sit out a six game suspension, was prescribed by Gene Smith and sanctioned by Gordon Gee. Take into consideration that a $250,000 fine and being told to stay away from the program for six games should be deemed somewhat laughable , when you are made aware that Jim Tressel’s annual salary with Ohio State at the time was in excess of $3.5 million a year . The Infraction’s Committee’s investigation and findings, concluded that there was gross negligence on the part of the Athletics Department’s compliance office, as well as by several administrators . That level incompetency went to the very top of the school’s hierarchy and showed also the complete lack of oversight by Gene Smith in its entirety . The fact that both Gee and Smith are still in the employment of Ohio State, either should be seen as a worrying sign or the fact that Gene Smith would be true to his word and actually make the changes recommended as well accepting the academic probation , with the loss of several scholarships and the forfeiture one year of non-appearance in College Football’s postseason jamboree .
A year removed, from having undergone their sanctions and prohibited from postseason play in 2012. The Buckeyes went through their schedule unbeaten , compiling a 12-0 record with a team , filled exciting players . This season brings about new set of challenges and a chance to see whether or not Braxton Miller is in fact the real deal . With Miller having to sit out the last game in Ohio State’s somewhat lopsided 52-34 victory over the California (Golden Bears) , it was left to Kenny Guiton take over the reins and guide the team to the win . Say what you will about Urban Meyer , but I believe that it is his intent to prove this season that the Buckeyes are justifiably the number two ranked team in the country . although based upon the recent performance of Oregon (Ducks) , some might believe that the Pac 12 program should be fitting of that role, as the second best team in the nation . . Oregon’s 59-14 pummeling of Tennessee, shows that they have no intention of being overlooked in the polls that matter the most, the BCS and AP Polls . The racking up of victories and the piling up of stats seems to be the thing that generates the most votes amongst the adjudicating officials . For Ohio State their next scheduled game will be against Florida A&M in Columbus , Ohio , this upcoming Saturday , at the program’s state of the art facility Ohio Stadium .
Since succeeding Pete Carroll as the head coach of USC (Trojans) , it would be easy to suggest Lane Kiffin has under-achieved in his position as the football program’s head coach. From my own perspective, Kiffin has been controversial from the very day that he was formally announced in that role . Within eighteen months of succeeding Carroll, Lane Kiffin was already within the cross-hairs of the NCAA for having violated several minor infractions. All this , while the program was still under probation in the aftermath of the improprieties of both the basketball and football programs coached at the time by Tim Floyd and Pete Carroll . Mike Garrett , the former AD was either simply naive or was somehow collusive with many of the actions that brought the program into disrepute. With former Heisman Trophy honoree, Reggie Bush , having to return his trophy after bringing dishonor to the school. It has to be said that a great deal more was expected of Lane Kiffin as a head coach. Instead it has been one pratfall after the other , with countless apologies being proffered and the excuse of being unaware as the NCAA requirements . Much to the embarrassment of present AD Pat Haden , who in having succeeding Mike Garrett, has done his leveled best to clean up the program and bring back some respect to one of college athletics’ most high-profiled and visible names .
Last season , was far from being deemed a successful year for the Trojans , who finished with a rather average 7-6 record overall and a 5-4 mark within the Pac 12 . Suffice to say, that with expectations being high, this misstep was seen as step backwards , rather than forward. Off to a 2-1 start in 2013, the team’s first loss (10-7) came by way of Washington State (Cougars) and much to the chagrin of the local media and boosters alike. When you are said to be one of the powerhouse programs of the Football Subdivision (FBS/D1) , these types of losses will not be tolerated easily. Kiffin for his part and his coaching staff seem to be at a loss to explain another haphazard and lackluster performance by the team. With the constant rumors now swirling and calls for Lane Kiffin’s ouster, you simply now get the feeling that his days in Southern California could very well be numbered. And you can bet that those call will not waver, should the situation become more dire for the program, with university President C L Max Nikias likely to be attuned to any changes that Pat Haden might well deem necessary to make . I do however, believe that Lane Kiffin will be allowed to fulfill his obligations for the year and then a decision will be made at the end of the season, concerning his long-term future with the program. There is no denying that Kiffin can recruit , but it would appear, that he has been unable to harness the talents of his players and the get the best possible performances out of them .
Utah State awaits Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans, this upcoming Saturday , in a game that they must win emphatically. The home crowd will be there at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California, to show their ravenous support. The question however, will it be all in vain ?
Jaded, condescending, conceited and complacent. All of these traits, I believe best sum up Mack Brown and the University of Texas (Longhorns) ! Granted , Brown and DeLoss Dodds seem to have a stranglehold on the entire athletics’ program and the way that it is ran . With annual revenues conservatively estimated at between $120 million to $145 million annually , this does not take into account the joint ownership of the Longhorns Network between the school and the ESPN sports and cable broadcast outlet, where the two parties share jointly in the revenues derived of the agreement . Suffice to say, that Brown’s and Dodds’ imprints were all over that deal , with the football program undoubtedly being the biggest beneficiary of it all .
Off to an inauspicious start the Texas Longhorns are 1-2 , uncompetitive and Mack Brown has taken to apportioning the team’s shortcomings on his coaching assistants , rather than accepting the brunt of the responsibility in not having his players prepared . Losses to BYU , 40-21 and Ole Miss , 44-23 , now has the boosters , fans and analysts questioning the direction of this program and even the coach’s own mindset and that of assistant coaches. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was summarily fired and replaced by Greg Robinson , but the question will remain . What happens, if the Longhorns suffer another embarrassing and lopsided defeat over the remainder of their schedule ?
Courtesy of Yahoo Sports & AP
By Pat Forde , Yahoo Sports
Reeling after surrendering 40 points and 550 rushing yards in an upset loss to Brigham Young on Saturday night, Texas coach Mack Brown didn’t waste any time making a change. Yahoo Sports sources confirmed what was originally reported by Orangebloods.com: Brown fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz on Sunday afternoon.
Diaz was replaced by former Texas defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, who was last in that role at the school in 2004. After several unsuccessful tenures elsewhere, Robinson returned to Texas this offseason as a program analyst. His presence and availability probably shortened the leash on Diaz, whose Longhorns defense last year was among the worst in recent Texas history, allowing more than 400 yards and 29 points per game.
“Our performance on defense last night was unacceptable, and we need to change that,” Brown said in a Texas release issued Sunday evening.
[Related: Mack Brown looks out for Mack Brown]
The dismissal of Diaz may only be a prelude to bigger changes if this season continues on a disappointing path for the Longhorns. Brown, who has won 151 games and a national title in 16 seasons at Texas, will be under serious pressure.
Brown told Yahoo Sports last month, “I’m not going to (be fired).” He also said he wants to coach through the end of his contract in 2020. But Brown acknowledged that his program’s performance the past three seasons – a 22-16 record, just 11-15 in Big 12 play – was not up to the standard he’s set at Texas.
Coming off a 9-4 record last year, Brown was optimistic heading into 2013 that he had his best team since going 13-1 in 2009.
“We could win nine again and be disappointed,” Brown said. “Or we could win all of them.”
Click on link to read in full .
With a slew of games set for week four of the College Football Schedule , it will be interesting to see how a number the top programs fare. The Texas Longhorns will play host to Kansas State (Wildcats ) at the Darrell K Royal/ Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. That contest should give us a clear indication as to how Mack Brown will intend to ride out the rest of the season with this team and their aspirations within the Big 12 .
Picture gallery .
Though I have not always been an avid College Football fan, I do believe the game in its purest form is one of the most exhilarating pieces of sports’ entertainment to be found on the sporting landscape . Now while we will continue to question the integrity of the NCAA and the tenure of its President Mark Emmert, I have to admit that the biggest I have within collegiate athletics at present , has been the lack of oversight and leadership provided at all levels within the college sports. Billions of dollars on annual basis, finds its way into the coffers of the NCAA and the college programs nationwide. Yet at the end of the day, there seems to be nothing tangible to show for it all , beyond the lavish and palatial venues and the continued controversies that envelopes college sports by way of corruption and unabated violations that continually takes place . What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised in this article and your expectations for this College Football season ? Your comments are greatly welcomed, so by all means chime in with your thoughts.
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) College Station , Texas , a fan of Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel poses near the stadium before the start of the game between the two SEC programs Alabama (Crimson Tide) and Texas A&M this past Saturday at Kyle Field . Alabama would go on to defeat the Aggies 49-42 in what was a thrilling contest , with Manziel giving an exceptional performance that saw his team come up just short in defeating Alabama for the second successive season . Getty Images / Scott Halleran ….
(2) Head Coach Kevin Sumlin (L) of the Texas A&M Aggies and Head Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide talk before the game at Kyle Field on September 14, 2013 in College Station, Texas . Getty Images / Scott Halleran …..
(3) Johnny Manziel (2) of the Texas A&M Aggies throws a pass as Brandon Wilson (36) and A’Shawn Robinson (86) of the Alabama Crimson Tide bears down on him at Kyle Field on September 14, 2013 in College Station, Texas. Getty Images / Scott Halleran …..
(4) Florida coach Wil Muschamp wipes his face during the game the Miami Hurricanes , a clash between the two in-state rivals played at Sun Life Stadium , in Miami , Florida . Errant plays , turnovers and inconsistent play led to the Gators’ defeat by Miami 21-16 . AP Photo / Alan Diaz …
(5) Stephen Morris (17) of the Miami Hurricanes celebrates with teammate Shayon Green (51) celebrate after a touchdown during the first half of the game against Florida played on Saturday , 7th September , 2013. AP Photo / J Pat Carter ….
(6) Devin Smith of Ohio State, out-runs Damariay Drew of Cal, as he makes his way to the end-zone for a touchdown in the first quarter of a game played in Berkley , California on the 14th September , 2013 ,.. AP Photo / Ben Margot ….
(7) Teammates Kenny Guiton (13), Devin Smith (9) and Andrew Norwell (78) celebrate another touchdown in the Buckeyes’ 52-34 romp over the Cal (Golden Bears) in Berkley ,California . AP Photo / Ben Margot …
(8) Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer , right, is seen here with the program’s AD Gene Smith . Coming off academic probation this past season , Meyer hopes to have his team challenging for a Big Twelve championship as well as the BCS national title . Currently ranked at number three in the nation behind second placed Oregon and the number one ranked Alabama , Urban Meyer knows that the road to the national title will warrant an unbeaten season . Critical of his former employers , Florida, Meyer has been courting controversy over the past ten months . AP Photo / Andrew Matthews …
(9) USC Trojans’ AD Pat Haden is seen here at the Trojans Galen Center , home to the basketball program . Haden has some real issues concerning the poor play of the Trojans’ football program and their lackluster performances this season . Lane Kiffin is now under a great deal of pressure to succeed but there are growing calls for the head coach’s removal of the football team . LA Times / Paul Garcia ….
(10) Head coach Lane Kiffin of the USC Trojans reacts during the game against the Washington State Cougars at Los Angeles Coliseum on September 7, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Cougars won 10-7. Kiffin remains now under a great deal of pressure in spite of the team’s rout of Boston College in a 35-7 victory . The Trojans are 0-1 in the Pac 12 but 2-1 overall , yet they are seated at the bottom of the South division .
(11) DeLoss Dodds AD of the Texas Longhorns is seen here at the Darrel K Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin , Texas. Dodds in conjunction with Mack Brown have been the architects in the program’s joint deal with ESPN for the Longhorns Network , for which the derived revenues would be shared equally . The Longhorns’ AD will be placed under a great to deal with the now growing calls to fire the head coach of the program , calls that are significantly coming from boosters of the University of Texas . Paul Walsh / Summit Enterprises ….
(12) Head coach Mack Brown of the Texas Longhorns waits on the sideline during the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Oxford, Mississippi. The Longhorns’ head coach has seen the team’s season turn upside down as they are now 1-2 , and facing mounting criticism from the press and boosters alike for the Longhorns’ lackluster performances this season . Brown fired Manny Diaz and promoted Greg Robinson to become the new defensive coordinator . It remains to be seen whether not , there will be an improvement from the team’s secondary . Getty Images / Matt Shaw ….
Hot chic pic of the day model , Sheneka Adams .