Look what the Starks gave me, dad! They said I could have it, and we could be champions again!
If Any Know of Just Cause Why These Two Should Not Be Wed: As it happens, I do. Brett McMurphy reports that our nationwide dream of Mount America is dead, for the moment. Alluded to, but not explained, is that the tournament payouts would remain with the individual schools which earned them rather than the leagues should the Mountain West and CUSA dissolved in order to merge. Thing is, that means that a lot of money which currently belongs to those leagues would fly out the door in the hands of schools which aren't in them any longer or won't be later (looking at you, Memphis, and you, Brigham Young, and you get the idea). I would expect that once the rolling payouts clear the hurdle of "belonging to folks who aren't involved", the merger will suddenly be on again, as the main reason for the merger is to get out of Really Bad television contracts and into a much more flashy and comfortable one.
Paying the Iron Price: When Nick "Theon" Saban returned home from his fostering in New Orleans, he brought with him a shiny bauble. Looking upon that bauble, his father -- the only being in the universe capable of striking fear in Nick's heart -- was offended because Nick had actually been given the trophy. So... he sent a lackey to destroy it. An Iron Bowler from Alabama does not accept that which is given them; Bill "Hancock" Stark is not going to "give" them a championship, they'll claim it themselves. They're pretty good at that, too.
Farewell, Queen Vol: Pat Summitt has stepped down from head coaching duties at Tennessee, taking the title of "head coach emeritus". Holly Warlick will succeed the grand dame as head coach, while Summitt will remain part of the program doing things like assisting in on-campus recruiting, serving as a mentor for future players, and probably shielding her beloved program from the AD's office in her role as liaison. Summitt departs with over a thousand wins and almost as many national championships as Alabama claims.
This Is Why He's Not My Favorite Person: At the rate he's going, Bo Ryan will have the list of schools to which Jarrod Uthoff may transfer down to teams in the Atlantic Sun and America East. On finding out Virginia was interested in Uthoff, Ryan summarily added the entire ACC to the list of schools he wasn't allowed to transfer. I have an idea: whenever a coach lists a school as a place to which a player may not transfer, they should themselves be barred from ever coaching there. Not that this would make the situation fundamentally less unfair, but it would at least be something.
The Ol' Ball Coach Is Still Pretty Sharp: Steve Spurrier is good for entertainment, good for what are seemingly drunken quips even when sober, and apparently good at dropping good ideas on occasion. Really, it only makes sense that division champions should be determined by divisional record (and there are several conferences below the Division I level which do exactly that). What I like about Spurrier throwing down the suggestion: it would have worked against his own interests the last two years.
We Should All Be Wishing for This: Apparently, Arkansas contacted Phil Fulmer. Apparently, Phil Fulmer is interested, as long as it's a permanent hire and not a placeholder. Apparently, this would be fabulous for all of us. Except maybe Arkansas fans, but the entertainment needs of the many outweigh the celebratory needs of the few. BUT! If we can't have that, maybe we can get a coach in Arkansas who's capable of winning in the SOUTHEASTERN. FOOTBALL. CONFERENCE. And in scandal news, Arkansas has apparently made the problem go away by giving Jessica Dorrell $14,000.
You know, I don't think enough has been made of the other side of this scandal. Someone noted that Dorrell was sort of the Arkansas version of what Shalee Lehning is in Manhattan, but now she's suddenly persona non grata in Fayetteville. And financially, all she's getting out of it is $34,000 plus less than a month's pay... and pretty much no hope of ever working in college athletics again. I don't feel all that sympathetic for her, so much, but it's just another bitter cup for the Razorbacks to swallow.
Looking Forward to Playing Notre Dame, Y'all: Charlie Weis has secured his third transfer from Notre Dame since taking the job at that community college down the river, as Mike Ragone will be joining the Chickenhawks. I have always wanted to play Notre Dame, and it looks like we're getting closer to fulfilling that dream.
Maybe Jared Lorenzen Should Have Played Left Tackle: Minnesota has a 290-pound quarterback. Although not anymore, because he's decided that maybe, just maybe, he'd be better suited at tight end. Setting aside the small joke here, what with Tuggle moving to linebacker right here in our own backyard does it seem to anyone else that we're seeing more and more of this? Or am I just noticing it more?
Perhaps He's Not Getting the Idea Here: I like Tim Beckman. I liked his team last year, who came oh so close to making a MAC team truly relevant for the first time in a few years (since Brady Hoke led Ball State to an undefeated regular season before slipping up). But really, Tim... I think in their hearts of hearts Illini faithful have higher ambitions than to be archrivals with... Northwestern.
Please Leave Austin, He Said... "Well, okay": Former four-star recruits Darius Terrell and Eryon Barnett are packing their things to leave the Longhorns. Meanwhile, the man whose completion rate to players in Kansas State uniforms ranks among the best in history has apparently lost his mind, as Garrett Gilbert is taking twenty-seven hours of classes this spring in order to graduate so that he can immediately play for SMU in the fall.
Yeah, That's a Lifetime Contract: I think we can forever put to rest any speculation about Chris Petersen jumping from Boise. Take a look at the details of his new contract, and I think you'll be forced to agree.
THIS JUST IN, literally: Toledo's men's basketball team will joining UConn on the sidelines next season, banned due to poor APR.
And Finally... As Long As We're Not Chasing Guys Named Wheat, It's All Good: Oh, Bugeaters. Never change. (EDIT: Link fixed.)