There is one thing about the SEC that really is more challenging than the Big 12, Gary Pinkel: talking to those guys in front of the podium. (Kelly Lambert-US PRESSWIRE)
SEC Media Daze: I'm not going to get too deeply into this, because I'm not there and due to the nature of the beast, covering Media Days is something that sort of requires it. The only really interesting thing at this week's hoedown was Gary Pinkel, who totally pulled a Mizzou by accidentally trying to join the party early (no word on whether this followed an unsuccessful attempt to get an invitation to Big Ten Media Days), and who then got in trouble for talking about Joe Paterno.
One-Stop Shopping for SEC Media Days coverage:
- Coverage from the mothership, including Spencer Hall's observations
- si.com's Holly Anderson (be sure to hit "older entries" at the bottom of the page to get to the early goodies)
- ESPN's coverage
- There's also lots of coverage at CBS, although it's scattered rather than neatly packaged.
Stuff About Nonsense: Pat Forde rants about it being time to rein in college football, and we have an uproar about the possibility of the Big Ten tossing Penn State out and giving itself the power to fire coaches. Both of these items display a horrifying lack of historical perspective (or maybe just research), and I will bloviate at length after the jump.Forde doesn't have bad ideas or anything; the problem is that he actually thinks a de-emphasis at Penn State will send any message at all. Look, we've had schools do this before, some of them in the wake of crazy scandals. Chicago, Washington (MO), Sewanee, Drake, even teams still in FBS like Tulane and Tulsa... they have all taken steps in the past to de-emphasize athletics for the sake of education, and the only result of any of that was that their competitors swarmed in to fill the void. CCNY, NYU, Manhattan, Long Island; those guys all backpedaled down from the lofty heights of big-time basketball in the wake of the massive point-shaving scandal of the early 1950s, and the only impact there was that St. John's and Seton Hall took over as the kings of New York. The only thing a de-emphasis at Penn State will accomplish is to lessen Penn State. That may be a noble enough goal in and of itself, but let's not pretend it will be an agent of change elsewhere.
As for the Big Ten's reported proposal, it's not even news. It's something they already have the power to do. In 1967, the Big Ten presidents demanded that Illinois fire football coach Pete Elliott, basketball coach Harry Combes, and basketball assistant Howie Braun for their involvement in a $21,000 slush fund to pay athletes, with Illinois being thrown out of the Big Ten as the punishment for failing to comply. Illinois was prepared to fight back, but the three coaches resigned rather than put the school through the wringer. So this story, not so much a story really. Just like with the NCAA having the ability to ignore their enforcement by-laws and punish Penn State by a vote of the membership, the Big Ten can force its schools to do whatever the hell they want simply by getting the presidents in a room and having them pass down an edict.
Not Diablerie, Just Quick Hits: It didn't take Pitt long to decide an extra $2.5M wasn't too much to pay to get out of the Big East, so they'll be joining Syracuse in the ACC in 2013. ... TCU's also in the clear now, as the Big East has dropped, with prejudice, their lawsuit. That's because TCU has paid them the $5M they were arguing about.