Each week during the off-season we will be doing this feature that is simply called "This Week In College Football". We will cover the biggest news and stories of the past week and give some opinions and analysis. In addition to covering the weekly happenings we also have started our Pre-Season Previews and we are already about 1/3 through all of the FBS teams. This week we previewed Arizona, Duke, Fresno State, NC State, Northwestern, Penn State, and Wake Forest . Next week it's Cincinnati, Purdue, South Florida and UCLA that are among the teams that we will preview. Enough chit-chat, let's talk about what happened in college football this week:
UNC PARKING FINES
Butch Davis has had a really tough last couple of years off the field. Last year 14 Tar Heel players were suspended (by either the NCAA or the University) for a total of 123 games. That is a lot of missing manpower when you are trying to win football games. It's also a lot of team and/or NCAA violations. A couple of weeks ago we talked about Quinton Coples being under investigation for attending a former teammates draft party. This past week it came up that 11 UNC players have racked up more than $13,000 in parking fines over a 3 and a half year period. That's a lot of parking tickets! Parking tickets and college kids go hand in hand but it's not something to brush off completely. Even though this amount owed is astronomical it shouldn't be that big of a deal unless something is traced back to the cars that were being used and how they were paid for (see also: Ohio State). The University says that the players will not receive special treatment and that they are expected to pay the fines. The big issue here is that things just keep popping up with UNC. Butch Davis needs to be careful and needs to tighten the reigns before he's looking for another job based on what is happening off of the field at Carolina.
CLIFF HARRIS CAN'T DRIVE 55
Cliff Harris did his best Sammy Hagar impersonation as he was ticketed for going 118 mph in a 65 mph zone last Sunday morning. But that might not be the worst of it as it seems he borrowed the car from a University employee. The individual who rented the car says she is a friend of Harris and that he paid her the money to rent the car for him (she has bank deposits as proof from that Friday). This is another kids will be kids but it might affect the availability of Harris for a game or two. Oregon's first game is in Arlington against LSU, and if Oregon loses just one game this year that could be enough to keep them out of the National Championship hunt. Let's be honest, as teenagers how many of us took the car out and tried to see how fast it would go? My guess is probably all of us. 118 is probably a lot faster than any of us went but I think you get my point. This isn't a big deal except how it might impact the Ducks on the football field and like UNC, how it combines with other things that came out earlier this year in and around the University (for Oregon it was it's recruiting practices).
LUKE FICKELL KNOWS NOTHING
Ohio State has replaced one coach who claimed to "know nothing" in Jim Tressel with yet another in Luke Fickell. Luke Fickell, who has been on the Ohio State staff for ten years, said in his introductory press conference that he knew nothing of the Ohio State violations and that he had "blinders on". Not exactly what you want to hear if you are looking for someone to come in and clean up Tressel's mess. Tressel and his deceitful ways have put tOSU in a bind in more than one way and one of those ways was finding a quality coach for the upcoming year. Fickell might do fine but it was obvious that tOSU needed to promote from within this year before conducting a longer coaching search to find their coach for next year. It was just bad timing and tOSU really only has itself to blame as it should have cleaned up the Tressel mess a long time ago. If there is one major thing that tOSU needs to correct, and fast, it's who will be choosing that coach because Gene Smith is not qualified to make that choice in my opinion.
In other tOSU news, it looks like Fickell is about to lose one of his top recruits. LB Ejuan Price has requested a release from his LOI because of the lack of stability in Columbus. From what I'm reading Price is heavily leaning towards Pitt (in his hometown state) if he's able to get his release. Scout.com ranked Price as a 4-star prospect and listed him as the #14 overall prospect at his position.
- Some horrible news came out of Nevada on Saturday as one of their WRs Brandon Wimberly was shot once in the abdomen by an unknown person after a fight in downtown Reno.
- Janoris Jenkins had earlier been reported to be headed to play football for the North Alabama Lions this year. But now it seems that some people close to him are trying to talk him into entering the NFL Supplemental Draft. I don't know the kid but I have to think that another year of college would do him some good and give him some time to mature versus immediately going the NFL route.
- Former Georgia Bulldog and current Kansas City Chiefs player Leonard Pope committed a heroic act last Saturday when he dove into a pool to save a six year old boy that was drowning. The mother was out by the pool and started screaming when her child went underwater and Pope emerged from the house and dove into the pool fully dressed with his cell phone and wallet still in his pockets as he came to the rescue and saved the boy.
- Former Florida Gator Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel has been receiving treatment since the Friday before last for a disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome. The good news is that most people are able to fully recover from this disorder but it was said that it could be up to a month before he can return to his normal everday life.
- First year Head Coach Jerry Kill received some bad news this week. His leading rusher DeLeon Eskridge has left the program to be closer to home to attend to a family member. It's not clear right now if Eskridge would be transferring to a school in that area. It's probably going to be a pretty rough year up in Minnesota for the Golden Gophers and now it might just be a little rougher.
- Former Miami Hurricanes RB Storm Johnson has made the decision to transfer to UCF. As a freshman last year Johnson only got to tote the rock 9 times but he is a talented kid who can and should make an impact for the Knights in two years after he sits out this year to transfer.
- Jim Kelly's nephew, ESPNU 150 QB Chad Kelly chose Clemson this week. Chad Morris from Tulsa takes over at Clemson this year as OC. If he can't make an immediate impact then Chad Kelly might be playing for one Rich Rodriguez next year.