Tag Archives: terrelle pryor

It’s Miller Time In Columbus

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4 years ago I sat in the north end zone row AA at a night time tilt between Ohio State and Penn State. It was the kind of game that would’ve made Bo and Woody proud, it was a 10-6 ugly defensive struggle that drained every ounce of energy and alcohol from my body.

The lasting memory of the game was watching Terrelle Pryor, the overhyped freshman sensation from just outside of Pittsburgh, PA hoist a bomb in the end zone only to have it intercepted right in front of me.

Pryor was a cocky cat who wasn’t used to failure much in his high school days and the end result had him crying with his helmet on as he sat on the OSU bench as time expired.

Pryor never did match his hype at OSU. Sure he won two BCS games and went 31-4, but in the big games when we needed a boost Pryor couldn’t provide it. He was a great numbers QB but you couldn’t count on him in the clutch (ahem Purdue game).

Fast forward to this past weekend. Same scenario for the Buckeyes but different situations. These Buckeyes were not a top ten force like they had been in the Pryor era. They were a 4-3 team trying to make something out of a season that started with scandal and morphed into a nightmare. They were facing a Wisconsin team that was coming off of a heartbreaking loss to Michigan State yet still had a shot to win the Rose Bowl.

The game was reminiscent of the Bucks loss to Nebraska earlier in the year, they looked better than their opponent but had allowed them back into the game thanks to poor defensive breakdowns that led to two Wisconsin scores in two minutes and a 28-26 deficit.

As the offense took the field for the last time I finally got a look at Braxton Miller the much ballyhooed QB from southwest Ohio who was a four-star recruit but lacked the national appeal that Pryor had. I had heard a little bit about him but hadn’t really seen him due to my work schedule (not having saturdays off sucks). He seemed decent but his stat sheets showed that he wasn’t a good passer at all (hence that 1-4 classic versus Illinois that OSU somehow won). Yet here he was taking the field trying to salvage what little bit of a season OSU had left.

With under a minute left Miller guided OSU into Wisconsin territory and set us up with a first and ten with under 40 seconds left. Miller took the snap dropping back deep, he felt the pressure collapsing around him and spun out and began to run for the first down as he approached the line of scrimmage Miller slowed up and right before he crossed the line of scrimmage he tossed a perfect bomb into the end zone that landed in freshman wide receiver Devin Smith’s hands. To say it was nuts at the bar I watched the game at would be an understatement. Pandemonium ensued and OSU was back on top for good thanks to a defensive stop in the last 20 seconds.

Miller saved our season but he did so much more than just that.

Miller did something no OSU QB since Craig Krenzel of all people could do, he came through in the clutch and in the process gave the Buckeyes hope for the future whether it’s next week or two years from now.

Miller came of age under the lights as a freshman and began his legacy. Unlike Pryor who was made off of his name alone Miller has done something to warrant the hype that is about to surround him at one of the biggest football schools in the country.

He put the team on his back for the final drive of the game, made a dazzling play and gave the Buckeyes a win and if they play their cards right the Buckeyes can still find themselves in Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game and Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. Not bad for a kid who I wasn’t even sure was able to run an offense two days ago.

Honestly I like Miller more than Pryor, and not because of the scandal and backlash. He’s quicker, has a better arm and doesn’t seem hesitant in his decisions where as Pryor likes to take off at the first sign of danger. Miller seems like a natural at the position. If he can put the passing together next year then Miller could find himself as a darkhorse Heisman trophy candidate.

He has a long way to go interns of production numbers before he starts dreaming about awards but after this past Saturday he’s off to a great start.

Miller did what Pryor couldn’t do under the lights at The Shoe. He led the Buckeyes back from the dead and gave us all a reason to party until four in the morning.

Pryor got his hype from his name, Miller is about to get his from his play. The stories have already begun too. Just before he took the field Miller apparently looked at embattled coach Luke Fickells and winked at him before leading the winning drive.

Did it happen? Who knows. But with the result of the game it’s a hell of a story to tell people and a great way to begin a career.

I wish I was in the south end zone this time to see it.


Random Thoughts Vol. 3

OH GOD THERE'S MORE?!?!

Beginning of the month, been watching a lot of sports… yep, it’s time for another round of random thoughts.

Fernando Torres has scored one goal since being acquired by Chelsea in January… one. I always pick the best teams to follow don’t I?

The Yankees wouldn’t trade for Ubaldo Jimenez due to concerns about his velocity. In a possible trade the Rockies would’ve wanted Ivan Nova as part of the deal… Jimenez hasn’t made it past the 5th inning in 3 of his 7 starts with the Indians, Nova hasn’t lost since June… I think Cashman got that one right.

Losing to a FCS school should be like relegation in soccer shouldn’t it? Hi Oregon State.

Me at 8:30 pm last Saturday of the Boise State-Georgia game: “those Georgia uniforms are hideous.”

Me 48 hours  while watching the Maryland-Miami game: “those are the worst uniforms I have ever seen.”

Nyjer Morgan called Albert Pujols “Alberta,” does he realize Pujols is 4 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than him?

Oregon State should probably leave this out of the recruiting package.

Baylor is mad that Texas A&M is leaving the Big 12 and possibly breaking up the conference leaving them in football limbo. Somewhere Rice, TCU and SMU are uttering to themselves karma is a mother.

Wait a minute, Kevin Durant has tattoos?

At least David Garrard and Byron Leftwich have something in common to be mad about.

The way that analysts were criticizing his QB skills you would’ve swore Tim Tebow was black.

Appalachian wants to join the FBS… after getting drubbed 66-13 by Virginia Tech they should reconsider.

Tom Brady said he would welcome back Randy Moss with open arms. I’m not saying that’s in some way related to Chad Ochocinco… but I’m saying.

So if John Isner wins the U.S. Open is his career a bigger success than Andy Roddick’s?

Utah State almost beat Auburn, BYU beat Ole Miss, and Utah beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl years ago… maybe the SEC should stop playing teams from Utah.

Stephen Strasburg’s back, and he looks good.

(honestly it didn’t matter if the Nats lost that game or not, all that mattered was if Strasburg looked like he was the same pitcher he was before he left or not and he was. His movement and velocity were pretty darn good, he made everything look effortless and dominated a decent Dodgers lineup. If I’m the Nats and I look at a rotation with Strasburg, a rejuvenated Chien-Ming Wang, Jordan Zimmerman and John Lannon at bats like Ryan Zimmerman and Mike Morse then I’m feeling good about next year. that is if Jayson Werth can hit with that $18 million per year salary on his back.)

That Carlos Beltran deal isn’t working out so well for the Giants… shocker.

Who’s the next program to get stung by the NCAA? I’ll take South Carolina.

I’m still blinded by Maryland’s uniforms.

TIki Barber is shocked that no one threw him a bone this offseason. I mean who wouldn’t want a 36 year-old running back that hasn’t played in 5 years with tons of public baggage?

Ndamukong Suh is not dirty, he’s just playing football the way Deacon Jones would like.

It might be time for Tiger Woods to consider new career options.

This hasn't gone exactly as planned.

I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett.

Aaron Rodgers called out Mark Sanchez for his GQ pictures. What can Sanchez respond with? Rodgers just won a Super Bowl he can say what he wants.

I think we might actually have a season without Brett Favre.

I have a feeling Luke Fickell might be more conservative than Jim Tressel.

By the way, how does Tressel get a six game suspension from the NFL for his NCAA violations?

(Goodell needs to keep college problems in college. Their penalties don’t transfer to the NFL. Tressel quit/ got fired by the Ohio State University so his 5 game suspension is pretty much obliterated. The fact that Tressel and Terrelle Pryor for that matter have carry over suspensions from college shows that maybe Goodell has too much power when it come to these disciplinary actions and should some of that power stripped. And it will be… in ten years with a new CBA. Good job NFLPA.)

Doesn’t it seem like Lance Briggs and the Bears have been beefing since 2006?

Apparently the NBA is making strides to getting a CBA done real soon. How does Wilson Chandler feel about that?

If the Philadelphia Phillies don’t win the World Series it would be a Greek tragedy.

I have a few choice words for how the Baltimore Orioles handled the makeup games with the New York Yankees and the results of those games. I can’t say them on this blog but I’ll let your mind wander.

After all of the controversy surrounding Ohio State this year how do three more players get suspended for taking benefits? I should’ve went to Ohio University.

I expected more from the Winnipeg Jets jerseys.

Mike Fisher you lucky son of a gun.

At least they weren’t Maryland’s.

(you know what’s even scarier than what we witnessed on Monday night? There are more than 12 color combinations that Under Armour has in store for this year. Under Armour is based in Baltimore, Maryland and I guess they are doing to the Terps what Nike did to the Oregon Ducks… except Oregon’s outfits look extremely cool. Oregon’s designs have flair and eye popping designs, Maryland’s are a horror show. There was way too much of the Maryland flag for any human being to take. A message to UA: emulation is the sincerest form of flattery but leave the flashy stuff to Oregon. By the way Maryland’s football team is going to make some noise this year and you should pay more attention to Danny O’Brian than his jersey.)

What Ana Ivonivic could’ve been.

Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly broke up… hide your girlfriends New York.

NHL training camps start this week…

That mean we’re a month a away from Rachel McAdams shots at Vancouver games and Carrie Underwood at Predators games.

God I love hockey.


Your Scandal-Free College Football Preview

Way to continue the trend Jordan.

You know why I started to watch sports as a kid? Because every time I watched the regular news all I saw was murder, poverty and scandal. After a while you get sick of looking at poor kids starving in Africa, someone shot in Brooklyn or some greedy CEO going to jail for screwing over his company.

In my head sports was simple and true. Just guys scoring goals, touchdowns and making shots. There was no greed in athletics, no horrible occurrences and no death. Was I naïve? Of course I was but I hadn’t hit 10 yet.

The harsh reality of sports hit me in 1992 when Mike Tyson went to jail for rape. I couldn’t really fathom how it happened and even today still can’t. How can an athlete do something wrong I thought? All he does is box. What does rape have to do with sports and who would do something like that?

Once Tyson went to jail Michael Irvin got caught with cocaine, Rae Carruth killed his baby mother and hid in his trunk and the steroid scandal began. Naivety went out of the window, sports is no different than any other thing in life. Athletes and institutions screw up just as much as the guy that robbed the 7-11 last night and looked into the camera, that’s just a reality.

The worst culprit of all I’ve come to realize is college sports in particular college football. As much as I love the pageantry and craziness of football on Saturdays it might be the most corrupt association in all of sports.

I’ve given the notion that no school is clean and everyone cheats. With all that’s at stake in job security, getting the best players and getting to a BCS game AD’s, boosters, coaches and players do what they can to make sure that they win whether it’s pay for play, turning the other cheek when your players commit crimes, taking benefits or whatever. You have to win, winning keeps you employed, winning makes recruits want to come there, then when they get there they have to be happy hence the benefits of cars, tattoos and free bar tabs.

I’ve come to accept this in the last ten years or so, but honestly after this year it is getting out of control.

Even without the guy on the right Luck has Stanford ready to compete.

How many scandals can the NCAA have in one year? dating back to October of 2010 Auburn has had a pay for play scandal with Cam Newton, Georgia and Florida have had issues with arrests, USC was sanctioned for the Reggie Bush scandal, Tennessee has had ongoing investigations due to violations under Lane Kiffin, Ohio State… (I won’t get into this any further 5 blogs on them is enough), Oregon suspended its top corner Cliff Harris after an arrest, North Carolina is still awaiting its punishment for its players receiving improper benefits, Miami’s scandal looks like an episode of Miami Vice and now LSU is in hot water after Jordan Jefferson and company got into a huge bar far in Baton Rouge and he’ll miss time including opening night versus Oregon…

AND THIS IS IN ONE YEAR!!!

College football is at its opening weekend and there is barely any talk of the games being played but the scandal that surrounds it. Big time matchups will not have marquee names, the eye of the NCAA is fixed everywhere and honestly, I’m watching ESPN everyday to see who slips up next.

This year could be a wide open year as far as the race for a national champion goes and you wouldn’t even know it. Florida State is back in the top 10, Nebraska is in the Big Ten, Utah is in the Pac-12, Texas A&M is acting like a spoiled child, Syracuse might be back, Oklahoma could run the table and it’s all about scandal.

Well I’m sick of it. let’s talk about the football people because that’s all that matters. this is a scandal-free college football preview where football is the only discussion. let’s talk about who’s number one, who can contend and who can take down the SEC (hopefully someone because I’m sick of the SEC.)

ACC

The conference is the worst of the big 6 (yes worse than the Big East), however it looks to get better this season.

Florida State is back in the top 5 coming off of a 10-3 season and has high hopes for a run at the national title behind QB E.J. Manuel. Once mainstays in title hunt the Seminoles have had it rough in the last ten few seasons but clearly have the edge in the conference this year.

One team to look out for is Maryland. Returning QB Danny O’ Brian is a beast under center and new head coach Randy Edsall should whip this defense into shape.

It’s still a weak conference (hi Wake Forest and Duke) but Florida State’s returning star power should give the conference something to hang its hat on

Non-conference game of the year: FSU-OKLAHOMA

Conference game of the year: Conf Champ. Game VT-FSU

Conference winner: FSU

Player of the Year: Danny O’ Brian

BIG EAST

You all know I’m overly geeked that Syracuse is good again (and you especially know this after they came back to beat Wake Forest last night) but the conference is on its way up again with TCU entering next season.

Yeah, I'm excited for SYracuse football too.

West Virginia returns QB Geno Smith, who is a dark horse candidate for the Heisman trophy and Louisville may finally have a defense that can keep up with its offense.

The key to the success of the conference this year lies in its top 4 though. West Virginia, Pittsburgh, South Florida and Syracuse have big non-conference games that can showcase whether or not this conference is truly worth being a BCS conference.

However… THE CUSE IS BACK!!!

Give me reason to have hope after a 8-5 season, a huge win last night and the possibility that Ryan Nassib can have some magic in that arm of his. In a conference that has been mired in mediocrity it needs Syracuse to be good again. The Orange may be neck and neck with West Virginia for best football history in the conference and it needs to rekindle its rivalries with WVU and Penn State. You have to cheer for the Cuse to come back the conference needs it.

Non conference game of the year: Syracuse-USC, South Florida-Notre Dame, West Virginia-LSU, Pitt-Iowa

Conference game of the year: Pitt-WVU

Conference winner: WVU

Best Player: Geno Smith

BIG 12

The best team in the country resides in Norman, Oklahoma; the best offense resides in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The team that could make noise more than any school is in College Station, Texas. Sure the conference cut two teams, but it made the conference better.

Oklahoma at number one followed by Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, combined with an underrated Missouri, a comeback year for Texas and a growing threat in Texas Tech makes this the second best conference in the country.

They have the best arms in the nation in Landry Jones and Brandon Weeden, a great hybrid QB in Robert Griffin and don’t forget about Kansas State getting Bryce Brown, who transferred from Tennessee.

The question is can anybody in the conference finally play some defense?

Texas A&M lost standout linebacker Von Miller, Oklahoma won’t have its leading tackler Travis Lewis for Florida State and the Cowboys (and every other team in the conference for that matter) can’t stop anyone.

Catch us if you can.

If the Big 12 wants to climb past the SEC and be the big dog on Saturdays then one of these teams has to allow less than 35 points a game and get physical up front. Until that happens, as much as I like this Oklahoma team, I can’t pick them to win the national title… but I can pick them to get there.

Non-conference game of the year: FSU-Oklahoma, Texas A&M-Arkansas

Conference game of the year: Texas A&M-Oklahoma

Conference winner: Oklahoma

Best player: Landry Jones

BIG 10

The Big Ten has been Ohio State’s personal punching bag for the last ten years… not anymore.

With Nebraska and monster defensive tackle Jared Crick coming to the conference it’s a new day in the Midwest. Nebraska comes off a disappointing finish to last year where it looked like the Cornhuskers were going to ride Taylor Martinez to the Fiesta Bowl. However, as with most freshmen QB’s he faded.

This year however he and the Huskers are reloaded and ready to contend for a national title… if they can get by Wisconsin.

After watching last night’s beat down of UNLV it looks like new QB Russell Wilson will fit right in at Madison. Behind a monster offensive line and Monte Ball in the backfield the Badgers, if they don’t make it to New Orleans, could still find themselves in Pasadena.

Watch out for Northwestern too (yes, Northwestern) they are primed to make a run to the top with Dan Persa returning from an Achilles injury. Also, Michigan might be making a comeback with new coach Brady Hoke at the helm. The days of a punch less Michigan defense might be over.

(Ok so I have to say a few words about Ohio State. This year is such a disappointment already even though there hasn’t been a game played yet. when Joe Bauserman was named the starter yesterday it hit me that this is what’s left at Ohio State.

The scandal has left the team spinning and it hasn’t stopped. Three more players were suspended for the opener against Akron for accepting improper benefits adding to the four suspended starters from the tattoo scandal and Terrelle Pryor going AWOL to the NFL. All that’s left is Carlos Hyde, Bauserman and Block O.

It’s been such an embarrassing turn of events leading into what was supposed to be a legendary new beginning to the Big Ten. The Buckeyes were supposed to collide head on with the Huskers for supremacy of the conference early on. It was supposed to be a new rivalry brewing that would decide the Big Ten for the next however many years. Now Ohio State is a non-factor., an afterthought, and it’s hard to swallow.

College scandals were way easier to deal with when it wasn’t the school that you went to.)

Non-conference game of the year: Penn State-Alabama

Conference game of the year: Wisconsin-Nebraska

Conference winner: Nebraska

Best player: Jared Crick

PAC-12

LaHeisman?

 

Welcome to the conference Colorado and Utah… now watch Oregon blow by all of you.

Much to the contrary belief that this is a two team race I highly disagree. Stanford is highly overrated thanks in part to Andrew Luck (though it is a good reason because Luck is a beast). Stanford lost a lot on both sides of the ball and they may need Luck to throw up 40 points a game to have a chance at winning 10 games…

And 40 won’t be enough to beat Oregon.

They only lose Jeff Maehl on the outside  and Casey Matthews on defense, however LaMichael James, Chip Kelly’s silly cards and the most high octane offense in the NCAA is all back. Getting through the Pac-12 will be a little bit of a problem, but just a little problem.

Non-conference game of the year: Oregon-LSU

Conference game of the year: Oregon-Stanford

Conference winner: Oregon

Best player: Andrew Luck

THE MIGHTY MIGHTY SEC

Were the 2 mighty’s necessary? Um… they’ve won the last five national titles so yes. I’ve finally given in and given the SEC its props and rightfully so. It’s the best conference in the country by a mile, no one recruits as good as them, is as fast them or as tough on defense as them.

Their top 6 teams year in and out could win any conference by a game or two, they routinely run over competition and make the best in another conference look bad (hi, Big 10 and Big 12) and they are bigger and faster than anyone in the nation.

However there are some concerns all over the conference. Besides the LSU hiccups there are issues in Georgia as they come off of their first losing season since the 80’s, Florida adjusts to a new coach in Will Muschamp and people in Gainesville are still skeptical of John  Brantley, Auburn and Alabama have to replace national champion QB’s and Tennessee is still trying to climb its way back to respectability.

However the news is all rosy in Starkville, Mississippi and Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Bulldogs are looking to build on a 9-4 season as Dan Mullen enters his third year as coach, and the Razorbacks are a dark horse national title pick. Bobby Petrino has to reload at QB after losing Ryan Mallett but Tyler Wilson should ease some concern for fans of the Hogs if his year mirrors his 332 yard 4 TD performance versus Auburn last year.

The wildcard here is South Carolina. Steve Spurrier after 6 years finally has the Gamecocks in position to win the SEC and make a claim as one of the best teams in the conference as well as the nation. Troubled QB Stephen Garcia looks like he’s getting his last shot at redemption and with the help of the best defense in the SEC (which gets better with the freakish Jadeveon Clowney coming to Columbia, SC) and Marcus Lattimore who is gaining buzz for a run at the Heisman.

If South Carolina can survive road tests “Between the Hedges” and at Arkansas then they should be dancing to Atlanta for the SEC title game and to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.

Non-conference game of the year: Arkansas-Texas A&M, LSU-Oregon, Florida-Florida State

Conference game of the year: LSU-Arkansas

Conference winner: South Carolina

Best player: Marcus Lattimore

South Carolina may finally be the cream of the SEC crop.

 

As for the Non-AQ schools it’s all about Boise State. TCU is in its last year in the Mountain West before runs through the Big East and Boise looks like the only challenger to a BCS bowl game. However, a number 5 ranking after losing Titus Young, Austin Pettis and half of your defense is tough. As much as I like the Broncos (and Kellen Moore especially) I don’t see them getting to the BCS this year even if they beat Georgia this Saturday. TCU even without Andy Dalton is still no slouch and they have to travel to Fresno to take on a always frisky Bulldog team. it looks like this will be the first year without a BCS buster in sometime.

So with all that said who plays in the national title game? Oregon and Oklahoma.

Yeah I know the SEC is the best conference and that they’ve won the last five titles but it’s got to end at some point. Last year while watching Oregon-Auburn I saw Oregon not only keep up with the Tigers but they beat them in certain areas. If that game were played a week or two after the end of the season then the Ducks would’ve been national champs.

I like the Sooners but I don’t know if they can stop anybody outside of their conference on defense. Landry Jones will have a huge year and look like a first round draft pick under center, but do they have the speed to keep up with a team from the SEC or Oregon? I don’t think so.

So there it is the Oregon Ducks will win the national title and Puddles the Duck will be doing celebratory pushups in New Orleans. Hopefully that’s what we’ll remember this season for is the action that takes place on the field and not the calamity and chaos that happens off of it.

ACC- FLORIDA STATE (DARK HORSE- MARYLAND)

BIG EAST- WEST VIRGINIA (SYRACUSE)

BIG 12- OKLAHOMA (OKLAHOMA STATE)

BIG 10- NEBRASKA (NORTHWESTERN)

PAC 12- OREGON (UTAH)

SEC- SOUTH CAROLINA (FLORIDA)

HEISMAN- LAMICHAEL JAMES

BCS CHAMP GAME- OREGON VS. OKLAHOMA

ROSE BOWL- NEBRASKA VS. STANFORD

SUGAR BOWL-  SOUTH CAROLINA VS. WEST VIRGINIA

ORANGE BOWL- FLORIDA STATE VS. WISCONSIN

FIESTA BOWL- TEXAS A&M VS. FLORIDA


Hurricane Damage

U are in a lot of trouble.

Well damn Miami… way to one up every other NCAA program with your own violations.

North Carolina just had a couple of players take illegal benefits in one year; you had 72 in ten years.

Ohio State had players exchange tattoos for gifts, your guys got everything that sat in front of them; orgies, abortions, money… you sure there wasn’t a ki of coke just floating around there somewhere? I mean it is Miami.

Miami took the phrase go hard or go home a little too literally. The university is under investigation by the NCAA after Nevin Shapiro, who is serving a 20 year sentence for setting up a ponzi scheme that netted nearly $1 billion, pulled one of the biggest snitch jobs since Henry Hill brought down uncle Pauly in Goodfellas.

He told federal officials any and everything dirty about the school that he became a huge booster for in 2001.

Meet the man that brought down "The U"

Shapiro gave money, gifts, threw boat parties for players and set up elaborate sex parties for 72 different members of the school’s football since 2001. The list includes past players like Devin Hester, Jon Beason and Vince Wilfork and even an array of current players such as starting QB Jacory Harris.

It casts another dark cloud over an institution that had had more than its share of hard knocks and bad press over the course of its existence… the real question is are you really shocked?

“The U” has always toed the line of controversy and football since it was known as “Thug U” in the late 80’s and the early 90’s. The school was under heavy scrutiny years ago after a huge brawl against FIU that features a helmet swinging safety, a stomping of a kicker and more than a few punches thrown.

However, that misstep and its aftermath is a mere side dish to this heaping helping of trouble.

How in the wild blue yonder do you not know about a fifteenth of this? How does no one from Butch Davis to Randy Shannon to Frank Haith the basketball coach (oh yeah… The basketball team got some scratch too) not be the least bit suspicious in any of this? You always hear college coaches say that they can’t watch everyone every single second of the day, but you can at least be aware of some things.

The fact that the AD’s, staff and coaches were ignorant of all of the wrong doing that went on with Shapiro is downright laughable. They had to be aware of whom Shapiro was and all of the problems that come along with boosters as have been seen all around college sports.

Shapiro specifically had to have had a ton of red flags on him from the get go. I mean a few pictures of him partying with various ‘Canes like Hester and Kellen Winslow and pictures of players partying on his yacht had to float around the offices of Coral Gables at some point. They had to know this guy’s motives and why he always was around. The guy was called “Lil Luke” in homage to Miami rapper Luther Campbell because of how much of a huge fan he was of the Canes and because there were early rumblings that he was providing handouts to Canes players.

(Funny story; Campbell was part of an early investigation in the program in the early 90’s because he was being accused of the same things as Shapiro. Shapiro actually dimed Campbell during his confession saying that Campbell was still providing benefits to “The U” even though Campbell has denied having anything to do with the current scandal.

However, this is what I’m talking about with Miami. Why would you still deal with Campbell after the heat that he brought on your program already in previous years? Where’s the recognition by the AD and school chancellors that these people still have influence on these kids and why didn’t they keep a close eye on it?)

Miami AD Paul Dee and Donna Shalala should be ashamed of how this has happened.

As much as you can blame Shapiro, Campbell or anyone else that provided these extravagant extras it still falls on the school. The school knows about compliance, they know the rules and they know that that they have to keep an eye on anyone in or around the school that could bring trouble to the institution. They just didn’t care.

Once again we have to go back to this notion; these aren’t student athletes, they are not amateur athletes, they are money pots. Miami’s biggest money makers are the 80+ kids that rumble out onto the field every Saturday and put on a show for 60 minutes. The school needs them to make money, so in reality it doesn’t matter what they do off the field and honestly you know that the front offices don’t care. If they did, this wouldn’t happen.

So what should happen to “The U?” What should the NCAA do to the university after this embarrassment in a year full of dirty money, violations and constant reckless abandon for the rules?

Ever since Ohio State players sat at a table to answer questions about money for tattoos… no wait Auburn was questioned for pay for play… no North Carolina players were investigated for taking illegal gifts… no since USC… you see where I’m getting at?

Understand that no program is truly clean, heck, Boise State lost scholarships due to secondary violations this year, but this is ridiculous. College football is out of control and there has to be some sort of hammer laid down to prove a point. That’s why the NCAA has to throw the book at Miami and out every school on notice that this type of reckless behavior will not be tolerated.

The NCAA has to give Miami the death penalty.

But not the SMU 2 year penalty… Miami should get a 5 year sentence.

Come on now, ten years of unsolicited, out of control behavior with a laundry list of violations that would make Tony Montana blush. You can’t just punish Miami at this point, you have to make them pay and pay hard.

Since there was no care for the rules on their part then why should the NCAA care that Miami needs football to pay its bills? If you did care about rules and going about things the proper way then you would’ve done it. However, since Miami has no sense when it comes to the rules then they shouldn’t be allowed to play. Simple as that.

Will they get the death penalty? I don’t think so. Ohio State pulled the NCAA by its tails and got away, hell USC got off kind of easy with the Reggie Bush scandal. Miami will probably just lose scholarships, won’t be allowed to play in bowl games and lose some TV money and that’s it.

Former Cane Vince WIlfork is one of the 72 implicated players in the scandal.

I have no faith in the NCAA that they will do what’s right because they don’t do what’s right 85% of the time. Terrelle Pryor shouldn’t have played in the Sugar Bowl, Cam Newton shouldn’t have finished out the season at Auburn, Lane Kiffin shouldn’t have gotten off scot free at Tennessee… after all of that how can I have faith that they’ll get this right.

I feel bad for college sports right now. My buddy Andrea put up a Facebook status saying she’s “losing faith in college football” and “what happened to love for the game?” Who knows which program will get popped next, who knows what other dirty laundry will be exposed from some school. The game and the institution is broken and being run by a lot of ignorant entities as seen in the past year.

The NCAA may have one upped baseball when it comes to scandal. At least with steroids there was a solution and it has quietly moved to the back of the room. NCAA scandals are the elephant in the room, it’s not moving and no one is trying to make an effort to move it.

As the season approaches there is more talk about the “Year of the Scandal” instead of the chase for the national championship. We’re still talking about the “Tat 5,” North Carolina doesn’t have a clue what to think about this year’s team and now this. How much more scandal can the NCAA take after a year like this?

After reading an article on Shapiro he seems bitter that no one from Miami has contacted him, sent him money, or even cared about him in prison. That was part of his motivation to get snitch on the program and bring all of these revelations to light.

He thought Miami actually cared about him and that they would be there for him. He should’ve known that in college football the institution doesn’t care about the rules, or rule breakers. Miami had no regard for anyone but itself and walked all over the NCAA and in Shapiro’s own head him as well.

In turn the NCAA needs to do to Miami what Shapiro has already done to the school… bury them.


Why The Dallas Cowboys Should Snatch Up Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor might make a good NFL QB after all.

You all know my feelings about Terrelle Pryor, you know how I feel about him in connection with the scandal at my alma mater Ohio State University, and you also know that I don’t think that right now he is a viable NFL QB and that he will flop as soon as he hits the field…

Ok let’s go back to that last part…

In watching Pryor on the field at Ohio State you saw a tremendous athlete who was great at escaping defenders and making plays with his feet. His arm was another story as Pryor was up and down throwing the ball in an offense that was more predicated on the run. Not only was his arm a concern but his footwork as his mechanics was as well. In my eyes he was basically a work in progress that needs more fine tuning.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when Pryor left the school and began private workouts with NFL receivers like Chad Ochocinco. Ocho announced that after catching passes from Pryor that Pryor was “the best quarterback that he’s caught passes from in years.” That can be viewed in three ways; one, a slight towards Carson Palmer (which honestly is well-deserved), two, he said it because he and Pryor are clients of Drew Rosenhaus (which I wouldn’t doubt) and three, he actually meant it.

Now knowing Ocho and Rosenhaus for that matter, none of us took it too seriously nor should we have taken it seriously, until we actually saw the tape. After watching the tape Pryor looked extremely comfortable in his release, throwing motion and accuracy. His footwork looked like it had improved dramatically and he was on point with every throw. He looked like a different guy than the one that I had seen at “The Shoe” for the last three years. Of course this was with no defenders in his face or Darrelle Revis blanketing his receivers, but it looks like Pryor has been improving as a pro football quarterback.

Ocho thinks Pryor is a pretty good passer.

Now, is he ready to play in the league? Hell no. I still think that he needs to learn an actual playbook, know when to improve and when not to, and understand the game more by watching from the sidelines. But I have changed my tune in the sense that I now think that he could be an NFL quarterback. The question remains as to who should pick Pryor and keep him on the bench for a year or two and let him learn how to be a professional…

The answer… The Dallas Cowboys.

You probably just read that and went “what the hell?”

Yes I know that this is the same team that employs Dez Bryant, Mike Jenkins and Roy Williams who are spoiled malcontents and the Cowboys have a recent history of being a playpen more than a NFL team.

However, new coach Jason Garrett is a lot tougher on his players than Wade Phillips or any coach before him. Garrett knows how to push his guys’ buttons and get the most out of them. Just look at what happened with that team after Phillips was fired and Garrett took over. They were a much tougher team with a little bit more discipline. Garrett is the kind of coach that Pryor needs to get his head straight in and out of the huddle.

And also there are veterans like Jason Witten, Terrance Newman and DeMarcus Ware who can show him how to properly conduct himself and be more professional than he was at Ohio State.

Now the football answer to the Pryor query. Let’s say that the Cowboys do take Pryor in the Supplemental Draft this month. You sit him behind Tony Romo for two years and let him watch the game and learn the playbook while he gets some reps in with Miles Austin, Witten and Williams and gets acclimated to a pro style offense. He learns the ins and outs by sitting on the bench and eventually he can understand the proper to go about things and will be ready to go in 2013.

(So what about Romo you ask? What about him? I’m sorry to say but Romo is not leading the Cowboys back to the promise land as long as he is under center. He is too unpredictable, too inconsistent, and not the most accurate QB in the league.

With Romo back under center whenever the NFL starts back up I think that the Cowboys are still the third best team in the division behind the Eagles and Giants.

To be honest, if Romo doesn’t show more consistency and leadership in the next two seasons it’s highly possible that Romo could be gone. Hence the need for Pryor.)

Garrett could be the guy to turn Pryor into an NFL starter.

It would be the best situation for each side because Pryor gets great teaching, and the Cowboys get their QB for the future, who honestly could be better than any QB taken in the NFL Draft.

That’s a far cry from how I felt about Pryor a few weeks ago.

Am I overreacting to a few pieces of footage that I saw? Maybe. Do I think he could’ve been a little more boastful in front of Jon Gruden during that ESPN session? Yes I do.

However I think that with the proper team Terrelle Pryor can become a very successful NFL QB and right now he is taking the proper steps to making that happen.

To me The Dallas Cowboys are the team that should step up and take a chance on developing Pryor and making him their QB of the future.

Of course I have been wrong before.


The Curse Of Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor leaves OSU as a villian instead of a hero.

There is an air circulating over the city of Columbus, Ohio. It’s an eerie calm that rest over the city especially near the downtown region where The Ohio State University rests.

 

It’s finals week where some kids are studying hard to get through one last exam so they can hit the pools and the beaches and enjoy a summer in the sun, and others are preparing to finish out their scholastic careers and receive their diplomas at Ohio Stadium this Sunday.

 

One student is in between both scenarios. He will leave Ohio State with a myriad of memories that range from nostalgic to dreadful. He’s leaving school without a diploma and uncertainty as to where exactly he will land even though he boasts a pretty good resume.

 

One thing that stands out about him is not his talent in his field of study but all of the damage that he has done to himself and to the University that he called home for the last few years.

 

That man is the soon to be 22 year-old Terrelle Pryor. Former Quarterback of The Ohio State University.

 

Tuesday evening after his last final of the quarter, Pryor packed his bags and decided to leave Columbus after a 3 year career that featured more lows than high despite his statistics on the field.

 

Pryor was a winner on the field. He went 31-4 and won 2 BCS games including MVP honors at the 2010 Rose Bowl and the 2011 Sugar Bowl. However, let’s be honest, Pryor will be remembered for the comatose state that he will left OSU in upon his departure.

 

Let’s be clear about a few things; one, it’s not all his fault. Gene Smith deserves blame, E. Gordon Gee deserves blame, Jim Tressel, Mike Adams, Devier Posey and Dan Herron, the tattoo parlor, Aaron Kniffer, Ray Reitz and everyone involved in turning a blind eye to Pryor’s transgressions, and giving him everything he wanted and game him every excuse to be who he was.

Both of these deserve equal blame in the downfall of OSU.

 

Ever since high school Pryor was given everything and told how great he was and it continued all of the way to the end of his college days. Tomasina Pryor should’ve known that your kid doesn’t need cars in 3 years, Smith should’ve suspended him and his teammates for the Sugar Bowl, Tressel should’ve reported these violations when they happened. Why didn’t they? Because they all felt that they needed Pryor for whatever reasons there were. Pryor was their bread winner; their prized possession and they treated him like that. How would you act as a teenager when everyone allows you to do whatever you wanted and rewarded you?

 

Two, as much as I am not a fan of Pryor or his actions these rules are stupid. Bob Knight said it, Jay Bilas has said it over Twitter, the rules broken by these players are absolutely foolish. The fact that big time universities can cash in on their star “amateur” players yet the players cant is foolish.

 

The players themselves are merely pawns in a game to get their schools more TV money and revenue while most of the players never see the light of the NFL and even worse they never graduate. If Pryor or any of those players wanted to sell their memorabilia or signatures for money then they should have the right to do so.

 

With that said, rules are rules and Pryor broke them, continuously and without any care for them.

 

Pryor sold his name for thousands of dollars thanks to signatures for memorabilia. He sold his Big Ten Championship rings and Gold Pants given to the winner of the OSU-Michigan game for tattoos. He got deals on more than eight vehicles in three years… sure no one stopped him or got in his ear but he knew better.

 

The thing is that Pryor really didn’t care. He always talked like cared about OSU or how he was maturing and learned from his mistakes, but it all turned out to be just here say.

 

The fact is that Pryor didn’t learn much at Ohio State University, he didn’t learn to obey the rules, didn’t learn to respect the game, didn’t learn that when you do something harmful that it affects more than you or the team but also the institution, but most of all, and this is what will hurt him most, he didn’t really learn to perfect his craft.

 

Pryor leaves OSU without a clear vision of just where he will play or what position he’ll play. He’s neither accurate nor skilled enough to be an NFL QB right now and it doesn’t look like he’ll be a high pick in its supplemental draft, if there is one. He has an opportunity to play in the CFL or UFL but will it be as a QB or a wide receiver.

 

Right now Pryor is a man with no real direction as to where to go or what to do with himself.

 

Terrelle Pryor's last appearance in a OSU unifrom was at its annual spring game.

Then there is the mess he leaves behind him at OSU. 3 years ago he was hailed as the next big thing to come to OSU a legend in the making that will bring OSU another national championship and restore the pride that was taken away by the SEC in the previous two title games.

 

Now he is vilified, hated and most people wish that he had never come to Columbus. To the students and residents of Columbus he will be the man that brought down the institution that they grew to love. He cursed the school with so much tradition and pride and made it a mockery all over tattoos and cars. He brought shame to Ohio State University and left a stain that will remain on the campus long after he’s gone.

 

You think general managers and owners wont take a look at that whenever Pryor comes to tryout for a job?

 

Whatever the case maybe Pryor’s life in Columbus is over and he now joins the professional ranks of the United States of America. He will no longer be coddled, or worshipped. There will be no handouts or benefits for his services unless he performs to his talent level, which he hasn’t.

 

He will be picked at, overanalyzed and criticized for every little mistake that he makes from now until his playing days are over. All things considered he still has a bright future ahead and can still make something of himself.

 

However, what he left behind at Ohio State will never be forgotten. Terrelle Pryor came to Columbus to make an impact on the university and to have his name remembered for ever and ever.

 

He certainly did, but not in the way that he could’ve ever imagined.

 

Instead of blessing Buckeye Nation with his talent he cursed it with his immaturity and greed. He was supposed to be Ohio State’s quarterback Jesus; instead he became its Judas.


USC Gets One Final Blow

After yesterday's ruling, this technically never happened in 2004 for USC.

Yesterday afternoon the final blow of the Reggie Bush investigation was landed to the USC Trojans as the BCS took away their 2004 National Championship.

 

Their 55-19 beat down of Oklahoma officially never happened and one of college football’s greatest and most recent dynasties now becomes mentioned with an asterisk.

 

It was an incredibly sad moment in my sports life. I remember falling in love with that team and its young adult star power that captivated college sports and made it even more fun to watch.

 

That USC team should’ve been ranked with the likes of those 40’s Army squads, Barry Switzer’s Oklahoma teams, Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler’s Ohio State and Michigan national champions and Jimmy Johnson’s Miami Hurricanes.

 

We should be telling stories about how Matt Leinart looked like a sure pro prospect as he led USC’s stellar offense up and the field with ease against what looked like feeble opponents. We should look at how Frostee Rucker, Shaun Cody and Lofa Tatupu made life a living hell for offenses and how they shut down future NFL running back Adrian Peterson in the Orange Bowl.

 

Instead this team will not be remembered for any of that. It’ll be just another example of how the outside factors of college football from greedy agents to overly generous boosters to anyone else giving handouts can turn a program from glamour to shame.

 

It happened to SMU in the 80’s with the “Pony Express” and all of the benefits that they received, to the “Fab 5” at Michigan and now it’s happened to USC.

 

To be a football program with such a rich history and watch it go from the elite of all college programs to another school with a bad reputation is hard to swallow. For Reggie Bush has to be even worse.

 

The biggest loser in this whole mess is the same person for whom it all took place.

Look at everything that has happened to Bush ever since this investigation has started and where he stands now; he cost his university a championship, had his Heisman trophy vacated, is now known as a first-round bust because he cant stay healthy and isn’t a regular contributor to the New Orleans Saints and once the NFL lockout ends he’ll likely be out of a job. Not to mention he lost Kim Kardashian.

 

Bush has taken this on the chin harder than the university has. He went from being the next big thing, a revolutionary figure in the NFL and one of college football’s most electrifying players ever to being the man than brought shame to his school and couldn’t cut it in the NFL.

 

Bush’s fall from grace weighs heavier than that of Terrelle Pryor and anyone of the “Tat 5” at Ohio State and their scandal. Pryor had all of the hype coming in and never matched it. Bush built up his hype and just looked like he couldn’t miss. Both brought shame to their schools but Bush cost USC a piece of its legacy. They cant show off one of their 11 national titles, his Heisman wont sit with Matt Leinart’s, Charles White’s or Marcus Allen’s on display at the school. Speaking of Leinart his incredible Orange Bowl performance of 2004 will never talked about because now it technically never happened.

 

Bush cost his school and his teammates a piece of history that they deserved to be apart of and now cant take with them.

 

For USC the investigation and its aftermath finally and mercifully came to and end yesterday but not without one final blow.

 

A legendary team and a legendary performance have been wiped away from the record books and will never be discussed among the greats of their sport. The 2004 USC Trojans never happened and that’s a hard pill for everyone associated with that team to swallow.

 

Especially Reggie Bush.