Each week during the off-season we will be doing this feature that will simply be 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 have several up already. This week we previewed Ball State, Marshall, East Carolina, New Mexico, FIU, Louisiana, and San Jose State. Next week Army, Clemson, Minnesota and Western Kentucky will be among the teams that we preview. If you missed it we also took a look at the upcoming Ohio State/Wisconsin game, gave you 5 breakout players in the Big Ten this year and took a first look at Fall Practice at UGA. Now let's talk about what happened in college football this past week:
THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY CAN'T STAY OUT OF THE NEWS
Since I started writing this weekly column tOSU has given me a lot to talk about. And this one just simply isn't going to go away like a lot of Buckeye fans are hoping. Earlier this week there was an article published in The Lantern, Ohio State's Student Newspaper, that quoted former WR Ray Small as saying that everyone was selling memorabilia. Later that day tOSU fans and former players swallowed him whole and spit him out. On Friday, he changed his story to saying that it was only him that sold his ring because he needed money and says he didn't say that anybody else was doing it.
The tattoo parler owner who was connected to the "Tattoo Five" has been charged for drug trafficking and money laundering in federal court. Ouch. While that does not directly affect or involve tOSU it's a sign of the company that the players were keeping and who they were doing business with. It's a very slippery slope, as is keeping tabs on teenagers and young adults who are out of the house for the first time.
In what may be the most damning news of all this week the car salesman who has been linked to tOSU says that he has talked to tOSU compliance director over 50 times. Why is this important? Because tOSU Compliance Director, Doug Archie, told the Columbus Dispatch that he had spoken to Archie only once. That should be pretty easy to verifying if someone wants to give up their phone records. Somebody is definitely lying on this one and if it's the tOSU Compliance director then ish is about to hit the fan. Big time. Ohio State administrators have proven that they will back a liar as long as he wins. But would they back a liar whose job is to tell the truth?
USC PENALTIES STAND
Earlier this week, the NCAA infractions appeals committee notified USC that all of their penalties would stand. If you don't remember, that's 30 scholarships over the next three years and the inability to play in this year's Pac-12 title game or a bowl game. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy than Lane Kiffin. Kiffin must have really changed his ways over the last year or two because he said that he's committed to make sure USC is "winning the right way." Then again, his "right way" could be vastly different from ours. Before the scholarship losses, USC is the third best team in the Pac-12. What's going to happen after they lose all of those scholarships?
MARK RICHT PUTS LAKE HOUSE UP FOR SALE, INTERNET EXPLODES
SportsbyBrooks, who I think is generally a pretty good website, ran with a story earlier this week about Mark Richt selling his Lake House. Brooks estimated that this may be a "sign" and noted that outside of Jim Tressel, Richt had the hottest seat in all of college football. Personally, I saw it as a slow news day and something that I didn't feel was newsworthy.
Well, apparently Richt was expecting the over-reaction because he responded to AJC reporter Chip Towers. Richt said he was selling the house because of his faith and that his family wanted to be in a better position to donate money and help the needy. He sited Richard Stearns book "The Hole In Our Gospel". Richt also went on to say that he wanted to put the house up for sale earlier but knew that if he did so during recruiting season that it would be used against him.
Richt sure did have a tough year last year and he's struggled his last two years but if there is a better guy coaching college football then I don't know who he is. He makes Brooks, who I don't have anything against, look like a total bouche dag in this article by insinuating that Richt was selling the house so he could make a quicker exit out of town. Yes, I'm a Georgia guy so I'm partial but if there is a coach in college football to root for it's Mark Richt.
RUSSELL WILSON WORLD TOUR
The Russell Wilson world tour came to Auburn this week. Or did it? There were conflicted reports about Wilson being in Auburn this week for a "job interview". The former NC State QB has graduated and they released him from his scholarship so he's able to transfer anywhere he wants and can play this year (except I believe they restricted him from transferring to an ACC school). If he lands at Auburn it would most likely be a huge upgrade for them at the position as neither Barrett Trotter or Clint Moseley stepped up this spring and took the starters job. There is still hope in Auburn that an incoming freshman, Kiehl Frazier, will be the man but it's much harder to come in and make an impact as a freshman than as someone with experience. Right now, it looks like the most likely landing spots for Wilson are Auburn and Wisconsin. It will be very interesting to see where he lands. I believe he could have a strong impact if he goes to a school with the right fit.
- Former Florida RB Mike Blakely will be taking his talents to Auburn. Coming out of High School Blakely chose the Gators over the Tigers but after sitting out spring practice with an injury it seems he's had a change of heart. He will have to sit out this year but will add depth in the future to a slim but talented backfield that Auburn has.
- Yet another QB is transferring. This time it's Cody Green from Nebraska and it leaves Nebraska with little depth. The Nebraska QB battle had not yet been declared over but Taylor Martinez was in the lead and would be the starter if the season started today. Nebraska is very thin at QB and I'm not sure Martinez can be depended on.
- What in the world is going on with Tate Forcier? As you should know, he picked Miami as his landing point after his fall from grace at Michigan. Well, last week he said he wasn't going to Miami. He said it wasn't the right fit. Rumors say that it wasn't the right fit academically. Now word comes that he locked himself in a bedroom last month and the police were called as they feared for his safety. He wasn't arrested but was taken to a hospital. This doesn't sound good at all. Hopefully this kid takes care of himself and pulls himself together. On a football note he told ESPN's Joe Schad this past week that he is considering Auburn, Kansas State, Montana, USC, San Diego State and San Diego. I find it difficult to believe that Auburn and USC would be considering him. I think the other four teams are a much more likely landing spot for the talented but troubled QB.
- So is Notre Dame's Michael Floyd in or out? Brian Kelly says he hasn't made a decision yet but he's either "all in" or "all out". If I was a betting man I would bet that we would see Michael Floyd on the field come Saturdays. At this point, Kelly is probably just saying that to keep Floyd on his best behavior and out of trouble.