O'Brien...SECRETS. Dustin Hockensmith tells us that BOB has picked a winner in the quarterback race, and it's Matt McGloin. I'm going to keep my "$50 on Doug Strang" betting slip, just in case.
#RIP5DH. Truly, it is impossible to determine the most tragicomic aspect of Craig James' disastrous Senate campaign in Texas. First, it exists. Perhaps we should stop there. Regardless, his campaign manager actually had to -- on the record -- deny that James killed five hookers. Now, with the election just a few weeks away, he's polling at a solid 7%.
Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News cut James no favors in a column last month.
"James is not unlike other celebrities who skip steps to run for high office," Harvey wrote. "They lean on name recognition. But that's the catch — James' name gets recognized the way the guilty do in a police lineup."
Police lineup? YOU DON'T SAY.
The Ride Will Never Come To A Complete Stop. Frank The Tank spells out the current and, perhaps, immediate future of conference realignment. Aside from his wise insight regarding the Big East, ACC, Big 12, and ESPN's influence over the whole thing, Frank leaves us with some very smart words:
If there’s one rule in conference realignment, it’s this: Shit ALWAYS rolls downhill. When you’re at the bottom of that hill, you’re the WAC.
The money involved here is too astronomical for this carousel to ever stop. ESPN just paid $3.6 BILLION for ACC rights through 2026-27, and that was probably a bargain. ACC schools will get $17 million per year as a result of the new deal, which puts them in college athletics' upper middle class, at best. Just wait until some other conferences get their deals. What does the ACC really get? Long-term financial security and anti-raiding protection thanks to ESPN's muscle.
Here's Your Cardboard Box. JoePa's Doghouse has beef with BOB's suggestion of marquee neutral site games, and I agree. Granted, these deals aren't all negotiated the same way, but see MGoBlog for how a neutral site game can go horribly wrong:
Michigan got no more money than they would for an average regular season game and is charging their fans 60% more (at a minimum!) to attend it. There is no way to read the contract other than this: Dave Brandon got ripped off.
So when Dave Ablauf tells AnnArbor.com that they're treating Dallas like "any other road game," it's because they have to. This supposed financial windfall simply does not exist. At best it's a break-even proposition even without the band. They will probably make more against Air Force the next week. Michigan gets a "bowl game experience" in an NFL stadium without its band at "neutral site" Michigan is twice as far away from as Alabama.
On CTE And Concussions. Um, Malcolm Gladwell and Buzz Bissinger? Read this Football Outsiders post by Mike Tanier. All of it:
We assume a concussion after every big hit, then accuse the team of covering up the concussion, based on zero evidence (other than an instant replay) and zero medical knowledge. We sometimes speak out of compassion or concern, but sometimes we speak out of cynicism or in the name of self-promotion, and at times we ourselves cannot tell which is which.
We are not performing a service to anyone when we behave in this matter. We become like Helen Lovejoy shouting "think of the children!" Concussions and CTEs are medical issues, with social and economic overtones, that are best approached analytically, critically, and skeptically. I ask my colleagues to make themselves part of the solution. Respect the scope and importance of this issue by not turning it into a 140-character bon mot.
I have witnessed terrifying collisions on high school fields, and have also seen hundreds of young boys use football to enhance their self-esteem, community pride, and character, in addition to their ability to run fast and hit hard. Banning football or restricting our young people from the sport is not the solution. Becoming smarter, safer, and saner is the solution.