Running off at the typewriter. …
UCF football coach George O’Leary seems to have ruffled some feathers around college football when he had the audacity to challenge powerful SEC Commissioner Mike Slive on his threat to break away from the rest of major college football and start a new division.
“They sound like the South during the Civil War,” O’Leary said of the SEC and the other mutineers in the so-called Power 5 conferences. “If they don’t get their way, they’re going to secede and start their own country. … I think college football is in real trouble.”
My thoughts: If the Power 5 leagues truly want to break off into their own division then they first need to jettison the dead weight and add more deserving schools like UCF before setting sail for the brave new world of college football.
Example: The SEC should dump Ole Miss and Mississippi State and invite in UCF and USF to take their place. It’s crazy that the Mississippi schools get to be part of the most powerful league in college football in a day and age when the sport is all about cable television subscribers, recruiting base and growth potential.
Why wouldn’t the SEC or Big 12 want to dominate the I-4 corridor that runs through the center of one of the most populated, recruiting-rich states in the country? Combined, the Tampa and Orlando TV markets are the fourth-largest in the country whereas the TV markets of Oxford and Starkville don’t even show up on the list. Mississippi’s largest city — Jackson — is nation’s 94th-largest market.
With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy: How can you tell if a Mississippi State fan is on vacation in Orlando? He’s the one trying to take his fishing pole into SeaWorld!
Let’s face it: The only reason Ole Miss and Mississippi State are part of SEC today is that they happened to be at the right place at the right time 100 years ago when the conference was formed while UCF and USF weren’t.
If the big boys of the Power 5 truly want to start their own division then how about first getting rid of the irrelevant schools in their own conferences?
SHORT STUFF: Thank goodness the NBA didn’t listen to the wimps who were calling for Game 1 of the Finals to be postponed because the air conditioner broke. Good grief, what’s the world coming to when people want basketball games canceled because the gym’s too stuffy? The wussification of America continues. … Hey, did you see that on-line video of Jameis Winston completing a Hail Mary pass to himself? In related news up in Gainesville, Gator quarterbacks were caught on video throwing interceptions to themselves! … Former University of North Carolina basketball player Rashad McCants tells ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that tutors wrote his term papers, he rarely went to class and he remained able to play only because he took sham classes designed to keep athletes academically eligible. Memo to ESPN: This isn’t a scoop; it’s the norm.
Tweet of the week came from Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated on the anniversary of D-Day: “Thanks to all the brave men who stormed the beaches 70 years ago and proved Germany hadn’t played anybody yet.” … By the time you finish reading this sentence Donald Sterling will have changed his mind three more times about suing the NBA. Question: Is there any part of you that feels sorry for the doddering old fool? … San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the happiest man in the NFL when he signed a deal earlier this week worth more than $110 million — including a record $61 million of guaranteed money. The second-happiest man in the NFL: Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, who is up for a new deal next season. … Speaking of big-money contracts, Alabama’s Nick Saban became the first $6-million-a-year college football coach earlier this week. Some critics say Saban is not worth that much money, and they are absolutely right. He’s worth twice that much money! … Conan O’Brien: “A new study just came out that shows that hurricanes named after women are more deadly. Mainly because when they leave, they take half your stuff.” … Which horse will win the Belmont Stakes today? Mark my words, it’ll be the big, brown one.
MAIL BONDING: Most interesting reader retorts, radio rabble, tangy tweets and message-board mockery:
On two 20something interns on our Open Mike radio show who didn’t know what D-Day was when quizzed about it on Friday: “That’s because we stopped teaching history, civics and other ‘unnecessary’ classes and turned kids into test-taking drones!”
“Sad and depressing. What shallow lives they must have.”
“No, but they can Snapchat and twerk, so there’s that.”
NOTABLE QUOTABLES: In honor of California Chrome trying to win the Triple Crown today at the Belmont, two of my favorite quotes about horse-racing:
“A racetrack is the only place where windows clean people.” —Former Michigan State football coach Duffy Daugherty
“He’s everything I’m not. He’s young; he’s beautiful; he has lots of hair; he’s fast; he’s durable; he has a large bank account; and his entire sex life is before him.” —Sportswriter Si Burick on Secretariat