As the college football season gets closer it seems like the news just keeps coming. Last week on the site we had a pretty wide variety of content. We continued our "15 Games That Will Decide The National Championship" series by taking a look at the Arkansas/LSU game. We continued our Top 25 countdown with the addition of #12 Nebraska, #11 West Virginia, #10 Texas A&M, and #9 Boise State. We also debuted our first Conference Preview as we predict FSU over Virginia Tech in the ACC. For our SEC fans we took a look at how every, yes EVERY, team could win the SEC this season. Our Auburn contributor, Tom Blaz, also kept us up to date on a couple of commitments that the Tigers got over the last week. Make sure you check out our site over the next two weeks as we will be finishing up our Top 25, our "15 Games That Will Decide The National Championship" series and also taking a look at all of the BCS Conferences. Until then, here is our take on the major things that happened this week in the world of college football...
YAHOO DROPS A BOMB ON THE MIAMI HURRICANES
Yahoo Sports and writer Charles Robinson dropped an absolute bomb on the University of Miami this week when they detailed the 72 student athletes that received improper benefits from former booster Nevin Shapiro. We have all of the information right here, as well as links to the Yahoo story, so make sure you check that out as it's an explosive situation. Heads will roll at Miami. Miami's President Donna Shalala is shown receiving a check from Shapiro. It will be real though for her to keep her job. Former AD Paul Dee, who was on the Committee for Infractions that nailed USC and Reggie Bush, was the AD when all of this was happening. In reference to the USC case he said "High profile players demand high-profile compliance". Well he was sleeping when he was on the job at Miami as he let his high profile players run wild with Nevin Shapiro.
Let's get this straight, keeping tabs on 85+ teenage/young adult college football players is just about an impossible job. There are always going to be people out there like Nevin Shapiro who want to be a part of the action and there are always going to be kids who make bad decisions. That's not going away, but when you have something this big and this wide spread you have think the administration at some point turned a blind eye to several warning signs. And it is a schools' responsibility to make sure that wide spread violations as this don't happen. You can't stop a kid or two or three taking something that is against NCAA rules but when you have 50+ kids doing it someone needs to be held accountible and the administration needs to be held responsible. At the mininum, you should be the one that discovers the mis-deads, not a sports reporter. A lot of people are floating around the Death Penalty. Let's just stop that chatter right now. It's not going to happen. What will happen is scholarship reductions, bowl suspensions, vacation of wins and maybe even the ability for some of the players to transfer (like happened at USC). One thing is for sure, this isn't over and the biggest thing to watch in the short-term is the 12 players from this years team (including a bunch of starters) that are listed on the Yahoo report.
LSU'S JORDAN JEFFERSON AND TEAMMATES IN BAR FIGHT?
LSU QB Jordan Jefferson will allegedly be arrested on Monday for his part in a bar fight Friday morning. LSU had a curfew of 10:30 in tact for Thursday night but instead Baton Rogue police say that 15-20 LSU players were involved in a fight at Shady's bar near campus, but had left before police arrived on the scene. The word is that Jordan Jefferson and OT Chris Davenport will face second degree battery charges and starting DT Josh Downs and WR Jarvis Landry will be charged with simple battery. The second degree battery charges are the ones that should worry LSU fans and coaches as those are normally the result of a trip to the hospital or broken bones.
At this point we are just in the "allegations" stage and we don't know the whole story behind what happened. The big issue on the field for LSU is that they don't open with an easy game. They open with the runner-up to the National Championship last year in the Oregon Ducks. If Les Miles makes the decision to suspend Jefferson that leaves his options with Jarrett Lee (in that case I just mark it down as a victory for the Ducks) or Zach Mettenberger (a strong-armed highly touted recruit who got in trouble at Georgia and had to go to junior college for a season). Mettenberger has a much higher upside than Lee and give them the best chance to win the game if Jefferson is unable to go. Stay tuned to the newswire early this week as there will be a lot more on this case as it continues to break.
MONTEL HARRIS OUT 3-4 WEEKS
Montel Harris is the leading returning rusher in the ACC and ran for 1,242 yards last year. It was his second straight year running for over 1,000 yards. Harris is the key to the Boston College offense this year as they continue to break in a young QB and they also have a new Offensive Coordinator that surely was planning to lean heavily on the veteran RB. On Wednesday, Harris had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is expected to miss three to four weeks. He is unlikely to play in their crucial opener against Northwestern. If Harris can't make that game then pencil that one in for Dan Persa and the Wildcats of Northwestern.
LACHE SEASTRUNK GIVEN RELEASE FROM OREGON
On Saturday Lache Seastrunk asked for and was given his release from the Oregon program. In the short term this is not a major issue for the Ducks as they have studs LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner that will play the RB position this year (and possibly next year in the case of Barner). Seastrunk was a five-star prospect and if he sounds vaguely familiar it's because he was the player that was involved with the Willie Lyles investigation. I'm sure Oregon fans won't be sad to see him go because they hope that the stench that is the Willie Lyles mess goes with him. I think Oregon is still on the hook for something in that case although they could just get off with being known as the team that caused a change to the NCAA rulebook in this case. Lache will most likely be transferring somewhere close to home, which for him is Temple, Texas so keep an eye out to see where he lands.
- Highly touted QB prospect Bubba Starling had a make a decision this week on whether to attend the University of Nebraska or play minor league baseball with the Kansas City Royals. When it came down to it he was offered a three year contract worth $7.5 million by the Royals and no one can blame him for taking the cash. College Football will still be open to him in the future as we've seen guys like current Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden play baseball and then come back and have successful college football careers. That being said, with the depth at Nebraska in the QB position this hurts a lot for the Huskers.
- This week the defending National Champions finally named their starting QB. I was expecting true freshman Kiehl Frazier to make a run at the position because of how late the coaches waited to announce the decision but it was veteran Barrett Trotter that gets the unenviable task of replacing Cam Newton.
- Michigan freshman LB Kellen Jones has transferred to Oklahoma and will be eligible to play this season. Jones is a three star prospect so he should add depth to an OU LB corps that has not had a good off-season.
- Former Atlanta Falcons CB "Big Play" Ray Buchanan's son Ray Buchanan Jr picked Arkansas over Ole Miss this week. Kind of odd that someone who used to play for the Falcons would have a son who would go on to play for Bobby Petrino, huh?
Make sure you check out the site this week as we continue our Top 25 Preview. Here is #9 through #25, just click on the hyper-link to get taken to the preview for each team...
CFBZ Top 25 (9-25)