It’s been about a week since Reggie Bush gave up his Heisman Trophy. Is this mess finally over? Anything else people want to pressure him into doing?
There’s no denying what Bush did was wrong. Even if what he did exactly is kind of fuzzy, we know he was involved with a sports agent while playing college football, a big no-no.
A Heisman-less Bush must now move on with his life. It must be tough, what with his millions of dollars, Super Bowl rings and memories of a relationship with Kim Kardashian.
Bush said his giving the Heisman back was “not an admission of guilt.” He can think what he wants. Officially, the Heisman Trust said the 2005 Heisman would be vacant.
Yet a bunch of crazy talk erupted last week that former Texas Longhorns quarterback Vince Young wanted the award.
Bush won that Heisman. By a lot. He received the second highest amount of votes ever and doubled the votes Young received. The race wasn’t close.
Who’s to say Young would have won had Bush been ineligible? Bush and 2004 Heisman winner Matt Leinart were on the same team, they could have split votes. Yet Bush still won in a landslide. Without Bush who’s to say Leinart doesn’t become the second two-time Heisman winner.
Ignorant fans say Young should have won, especially since he almost single handedly beat USC in the Rose Bowl. Guess what, geniuses? That game happened after the Heisman Trophy was handed out. You can’t use that as a case for Young nabbing the award.
The man behind this madness was none other than Texas’s Mack Brown, the world’s best (or worst) politician disguising himself as a college football coach. “I talked to Vince and told him that it would be very important for the University of Texas football program if the Heisman was brought back here,” Brown said. “Not for you, but for the university I’d like for you to stand up and say you want it because I think it would be important to bring it back here.”
In 2004 Brown persuaded pollsters to bump Texas up in the rankings in order for the Longhorns to play in a Bowl Championship Series game. It worked and poor Cal, perhaps the second best team in the nation that season (yes, including undefeated Auburn and Oklahoma) was unfairly pushed aside despite being ahead of Texas during the final weekend of the regular season.
Common sense prevailed, as Young won’t be awarded a Heisman he didn’t deserve.
Now that the Heisman mess is sorted out, I have some points to bring up regarding the entire Bush saga:
USC’s facing severe penalties is simply wrong. The NCAA has to change its method of punishing schools. Why should these players who were middle schoolers at the time pay the price for Bush’s misdeeds?
There needs to be a way to penalize the player. Make him (or her) pay back whatever tuition costs, whatever room and board costs, any fees associated with going to school for a free ride. Fine the college a hefty dollar amount.
But don’t punish players that have nothing to do with the situation. That makes no sense.
I also don’t think what Bush did was really that bad. These student-athletes make universities loads of cash. You want to know what’s bad? Using steroids, that’s bad. Having someone else do your homework, that’s bad. Cheating or falsifying grades to get into college, that’s bad.
Your parents getting a pad? Driving a new car? Travel expenses paid for? How does this help someone on the field?
Finally, who here thinks Bush was the only Heisman winner to get a little something extra? Not just Heisman winners, you know these athletes get a little something extra not just in the classroom, but in the wallet. Watch “The Program,” it’ll clear everything up.
Imagine if a Heisman winner from back in the day, maybe from the 60s or 70s, was found to be dirty. Would a media frenzy come about? Would hardware be given back?
I think every university is dirty until it’s caught. When I went to school, an instructor offered to give me a free A if I just continued writing coverage on their sport. No attendance, no work, no tests, just a free grade. I wasn’t an athlete, just a mild mannered reporter without the physique of Clark Kent.
Hell, I knew an older dude who played baseball about four decades ago, was heavily recruited by many universities, and had tremendous offers. One, which sounded very tempting, went like this: Attend our school and you’ll never have to go to class. Ever. You’ll get a degree and all you have to do is play baseball.
This was a tiny college that was hurting, but the offer was out there. Not from a coach, but from an administrator. A big shot was offering that “education.”
Temptation is out there. Bush got popped and now the Heisman is his penance. Unfortunately, USC is serving its penance for years to come.
This past weekend, I officially ran out of people to hate in college sports. All of my enemies – all the teams, coaches and players I have spent the whole of my life casting my unmitigated enmity and vitriol upon – I can no longer find cause to even dislike.
Lane Kiffin left Tennessee for USC. On Saturday his team barely squeaked by Virginia in what had to be the most pathetic USC performance I’ve seen since Paul Hackett was coaching. I was looking forward to years of hating Lane, but now – nothing.
I can’t hate Derek Dooley or Tennessee because I just genuinely feel bad about how hard they got screwed over by that D-bag Kiffin. Dooley didn’t do any preseason posturing, he didn’t make any stupid guarantees or talk about singing Rocky Top “all night long” after beating a team he knows damn well he has no chance to beat. He’s just a good ol’ down home boy who got saved from having to try to win games coaching Louisiana Tech.
I’ve tried to talk myself into hating Auburn and Cam “Lootin’” Newton, but really I just enjoy making fun of him too much. During Auburn games I love to make jokes like, “Wow, Cam threw that pass like he threw that white kids laptop out the window after he stole it,” or “Oh man, Newton looks like he’s running from the campus police out there,” or “Damn, Newton tossed that ball like Urban tossed him off the team.”
I was on the road to hating Nick Saban. What, with his national championship, destroying Florida in the SEC Championship Game and his eternal stoicism he was an easy target. But those “College Gameday” commercials with he and Mack Brown playing Hungry Hungry Hippos and the one where he eats the cookie off the ground are hilarious. Now I almost like him
I don’t even hate Mark Richt. Honestly, I’ve never hated Mark Richt and I don’t know why. If there’s anyone I should hate it’s him. He spent 14 years as Bobby Bowden’s errand boy at Florida State, he was born in Nebraska (a state I generally despise), he played college ball for Miami (FL) and he played pro for the Bills in the ‘90s. Then there was that little stunt he pulled in 2007. I should hate Mark Richt more than anyone alive. Watching Spurrier beat him on Saturday should have filled me with joy, but I didn’t really get anything out of it.
Worst of all, I can’t even bring myself to hate Jimbo Fisher, and his name is Jimbo. During Saturday’s drubbing from Oklahoma I actually found myself feeling sorry for Florida State. I have never, ever in my life felt sorry for Florida State. I’ve always reveled in watching them get beaten, but on Saturday as the Sooners scout team was scoring on them I just changed the channel and shook my head.
Maybe I’m just getting too old to genuinely hate people because they play or coach for a rival football team. Or maybe the cast of characters in college football is just not hateable enough. Maybe Urban dominating rivalry games since he got to Gainesville has mollified my passion for SEC football (the man is 15-1 in rivalry games since coming to Gainesville). Whatever the case, I need to find someone to hate soon. College football isn’t nearly as enjoyable when you don’t detest the opposition with a fiery passion.
So, last night was my annual fantasy football draft. It is not my favorite night. A friend once asked me to explain the intricacies of the National Football League. I relayed that a douche bag that is infected with entirely too much self worth throws an irritatingly odd shaped ball across the field to an even bigger douche bag with the ego the size of my tummy. He catches this ball and runs past the safety who is just as fast as the douche bag that caught the ball but he doesn’t know how to catch so the coaches put him on defense. So his job is to tackle the the doucher with the ball. They do this all game until the guy who majored in accounting comes and kicks a ball between two sticks. The game ends when one of the players robs someone or shoots themselves in the leg with a concealed pistol. Hall of Famers are allowed to engage in statutory rape where appropriate.
But all this is not my beef with the NFL and fantasy drafting. These are:
1) Forcing a Statistics based game into the NFL format. Granted this works for offense, albeit not very well. But then they throw defense in as one small, general entity of a football game. I think the 2005 Steelers would argue that defense makes up a bigger role than just one of eight specialized fantasy roles.
2) Injuries – The biggest complaint about fantasy baseball is that it takes too long. Well football may be played once a week but everyday one of my players is subjected to turf toe, abdominal strain, or just plain homesickness. Well I am tired of it. Not because I have to put in Pierre Garcon for Hines Ward every other day but because the NFL gives you cute little terms for how hurt a player is. I get IR (injured reserve), NA (not active), O (out) but the rest just frustrate.
Day-to-Day – This means one of two things. Either your featured back is going through an amputation and the team is disguising his horrible injury as a day-to-day phenomena or he is completely fine and they want you to think he is impaled with something painful. It is rarely an actual day-to-day phenomena.
Doubtful – adj. Not known with certainty: As in – Felix Jones was listed as doubtful so I kept him out of my lineup. He then ran for 500 yards and ended world hunger so I lost my weekly match-up to Teabaggers Anonymous.
Probable – adj. Likely to be the case or to happen: As in – Visanthe Shiancoe is listed as probable. I can be 100% sure that he will play which makes the probable label a misnomer and he should be fucking listed as “totes.”
Questionable -adj. inviting inquiry As in: Rex Ryan labeled Mark Sanchez as questionable this week. Rex Ryan is fat and I wish he would be more direct with his status of his players ability to play.
All this means is that you can’t trust if your stud wide out is going to play, play well, or even show up. So you scour new sources every minute to gauge if the injury report is erroneous, fact, or somewhere in between.
3) Crime – This one is bigger than you think. Nowhere else in sports do you have to draft with the assumption that your player may or may not be at some point in the year speeding across state lines with a dead body in the trunk. Please draft players with a little to no predilection to break federal and state crimes between September and January.
4) Kickers – Really. I have to really draft a kicker. These guys are semi-football players at best. You are telling me they hold almost the same weight as defense? I thought it sucked giant donkey nuts drafting three closers in baseball but drafting one kicker in any round just feels like…Well it feels a little like dying. I don’t like that feeling and I don’t like you Akers.
With that I hope to wake up tomorrow with the Rams defense solidly in tow and my first weekly match up to be against the Walla Walla Up Your Butts. They after all make the Justin Bieber Reduxes look like the Frosted Corn Holes. At least in my league they do.
I like to kick things off with a bang. I know this may sound crazy, but follow my logic. The Broncos aka Blue Magic return 21 starters on offense and defense from last season. They went undefeated last season. They’ve got a great quarterback, a very talented offensive line and a spectacular defense that is full of seniors and returning starters. Also, unlike most teams who have gone undefeated, this team still feels disrespected and still legitimately has something to prove.
They’ll put everything on the line when they begin the season against Virginia Tech. That game is literally for all the marbles, because the Broncos can’t win it all without an undefeated season. If they beat the Hokies, I don’t think there’s anyone – not even Nick Saban and Alabama – that can stop them. Don’t forget that every time this team has gotten the spotlight they’ve stepped up to the challenge.
Heisman Finalists: Jacory Harris (UMia), Kellen Moore (Boise), John Clay (Wis), Dion Lewis (Pitt), Landry Jones (Okla)
If you follow my logic on Boise, it’s gotta be Moore. Taking a WAC team to the BCS National Championship Game has to get you a Heisman. It just has to. I think there will be a legitimate argument to be made for Dion Lewis, but the voters are tired of seeing sophomores win it and that will kill his chances. As far as Mark Ingram goes, I just think Trent Richardson splitting time and Greg McElroy being able to throw the ball down the field are going to take too many of his touches this season.
Championship Game Match-ups:
ACC – Miami 31 – Florida State 6
I like Florida State out of the Atlantic division because no one else in the Atlantic should be any good. Clemson could be decent, but I think the ‘Noles have enough fire power to get by them. The real slugfest is going to be in the Coastal, where a tough North Carolina team, reigning champions Georgia Tech and the always dangerous Virginia Tech Hokies aren’t gonna make Miami’s life easy. I just like Randy Shannon’s team too much this year to pick against them.
Big XII – Oklahoma 38 – Nebraska 24
This is probably the easiest game to pick. No one from the North should challenge the Huskers this year as they prepare to exit the conference and in the South it should come down to Oct. 2 and the Red River Shootout to determine a winner. If you read my worst college quarterbacks of 2009 article, you know what I think of Texas Tech QB Taylor Potts and as much as I like Tommy Tubberville, I don’t see him pulling any championships out of that kid.
MAC – Central Michigan 41 – Bowling Green 35
I just randomly picked two teams from the Mid-American Conference. You can’t seriously expect me to have thoughts on the MAC. I couldn’t even name every team in the MAC off the top of my head. In fact, I probably couldn’t name five. And honestly, I prefer it that way.
SEC – Alabama 21 – South Carolina 16
I’m of the impression that Florida-Alabama III cannot happen. It defies all laws of SEC logic. Two teams cannot own the conference in perpetuity. The players are too good, the coaches are too good and the home-field advantages are too strong. I think Bama is too good to be stopped even with their insane schedule, which leaves Florida (a team with no senior class) as the odd man out. Also, all South Carolina needs is for Steven Garcia not to play like a complete bum and they could really be good.
If Florida does manage to beat ‘Bama when they play on Oct. 2, I like them to win the East, but I don’t think ‘Bama will recover and take the West. Either way, there is no way (read: NO WAY) that Alabama and Florida will play for the SEC title at the end of the year. The SEC Gods will simply not allow it.