You are using an old web browser. Such browsers do not support modern web technologies and do not offer proper security. Please update your browser or download one of the others suggested for free.
Mozilla Firefox |
Google Chrome |
Internet Explorer |
Jay Christensen covered college football, among other sports, for the Los Angeles Times and produces the popular college football blog TheWizofOdds.com.
If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying. That’s the mantra in college football these days.
The insatiable greed of the sport’s marquee programs and an NCAA that lets any cheater not named USC off the hook has created a cesspool never before seen in - ahem - amateur athletics.
And although the season has started, off-the-field events will continue to dominate football discussions around the country. Just imagine the chatter next week when Ohio State plays Miami in the "Infractions Bowl".
To keep pace with all the shenanigans, here are the Wiz’s odds on the teams most likely to be next in line for a hearing before the NCAA committee on infractions:
Nevin Shapiro will haunt the Canes for a long time.
Miami Hurricanes (2/1): Payments to players and impermissible benefits from 2002-10. Cash bounties on opposing players, trips, jewelry and prostitutes — all of these allegations make the Southern Methodist scandal of the 1980s look tame. Booster Nevin Shapiro is at the center of this scandal and to top it off, all of this activity is said to have taken place under the nose of athletic director Paul Dee, who was chairman of the NCAA committee on infractions that put the hammer down on USC. The Trojans look like choirboys next to the unfolding developments at Miami. Imagine how USC fans feel about Dees, his former school and the committee on infractions.
Oregon Ducks (5/2): The Ducks are being investigated for a $25,000 payment to Willie Lyles and his Houston-based recruiting service. Lache Seastrunk, a player Lyles is said to have mentored, ended up signing with Oregon last year after the alleged payment. Lyles, in an interview with Yahoo! Sports, said Oregon asked him to send retroactive player scouting reports so it would have paperwork to match the $25K payment. In August, Seastrunk transferred to Baylor. I guess $25K doesn't get you much these days.
North Carolina Tar Heels (7/2): This started over a year ago when offensive line coach John Blake was accused of working for late sports agent Gary Wichard. The NCAA got involved and a bunch of players were suspended. Then the school launched a probe and uncovered academic improprieties. Butch Davis held onto his job through all of this and defended his program at the ACC media days in late July. Two days later, he was fired. The investigation continues.
Auburn Tigers (4/1): By now, you know the story. Cecil Newton, father of quarterback Cam Newton, was shopping his son around to the highest bidder. Although the school has not received an official letter of inquiry, coach Gene Chizik reportedly had a testy exchange over the summer with Julie Roe Lach, the NCAA vice president for enforcement. Chizik wanted to know why the NCAA had not publicly announced the investigation was over. “You’ll know when we’re finished,” Roe Lach reportedly said. “And we’re not finished.”
LSU Tigers (5/1): Another program that got involved with Lyles. The Tigers paid $6,000 to Lyles and his scouting service. The NCAA has to decide if the money went to secure access and influence with top players or for scouting information. Lyles’ scouting service is now out of business.
Florida, Georgia and Alabama (8/1): As the saying goes, you can’t spell cheaters without S-E-C. Shaprio, the disgraced Miami booster, has implicated assistants or players at the three schools in wrongdoing. Although it appears to be minor stuff compared to what they were getting away with in Miami, it’s enough to make the list. Besides, anytime I put NCAA and Alabama in the same sentence it gets the Crimson Tide fans fired up.
Now if you are asking about Ohio State or Michigan, each school has already appeared before the NCAA committee, so they are off the board. But stay tuned because, in the current world of college football, it’s only cheating if you get caught.
Week 1 impressions: Watch out for Arkansas and Mississippi State in the SEC West. The Razorbacks play at Alabama on Sept. 24. The Bulldogs play host to Auburn Saturday and LSU Thursday, Sept. 15. And yes, we need more cowbell....
It's clear that Stanford is the team to beat in the Pac-12 after Oregon was exposed by LSU….
Missouri’s level of play at the quarterback position is taking a hit after a brilliant run of Blaine Gabbert, Chase Daniel and Brad Smith, all of whom are in the NFL. The Tigers opened as slight underdogs at Arizona State Friday.
The ACC went 7-3 in season opening non-conference play last week.
Six of the seven victories resulted in 40-plus point scoring efforts. The only team that failed to register 40 points in its victory was Florida State, which blanked Louisiana-Monroe 34-0.
Clemson QB Tajh Boyd was named the ACC Player of the Week by Rivals.com. Boyd completed 20 of 30 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns.
Miami was 21-4 SU and 15-4 ATS in season openers until its 32-24 loss at Maryland Monday night.
When North Carolina Sate travels to Wake Forest to take on the Deacon Demons, the Wolfpack will be going into a game against its oldest rival Saturday.
North Carolina State leads the series 62-36-6, but has really struggled in Winston-Salem of late.
A 17-14 win in 2001 at Groves Stadium is the Pack’s only victory on this field since 1995. Wake is 6-1 SU and 7-0 ATS in the past seven meetings as a series host.
North Carolina State won 38-3 in Raleigh last year.
New offensive coordinator Chad Morris was disappointed with Clemson’s effort against Troy Saturday.
The Tigers had six three-and-outs in the first half and trailed at the break.
"There were too many mental errors from the quarterback standpoint all the way down," Morris said to reporters. "It's going to be a process.”
Saturday was the first time since 2004 that NC State QBs coach Mike O’Cain called plays during a game.
“I didn’t sleep very well Wednesday and Thursday,” O’Cain told the media. “But Friday, after the plan was in place and we had everything on paper and the so-called hay was in the barn, I slept very well (Friday) night.”
East Carolina scored 37 points and threw for 260 yards on 56 passes against South Carolina Saturday.
“This offense, to me, is very scary,” Virginia Tech DC Bud Foster told the press. “It spreads you out where they dink and dunk, and if you miss a tackle, it can turn into a big play.”
On the ball
North Carolina interim coach Everett Withers defended his decision to give the game ball to former coach Butch Davis after the Heels 42-10 win over James Madison.
He went on to say that he’s not worried about repercussions from the administration.
“That was my decision,” he told reporters. “Coach Davis is a friend of mine. That’s how I felt. That’s why it was done.”
Believe it or not
It’s strange to see but the Yellow Jackets rank No. 1 in pass efficiency with a 322.3 rating.
Quarterbacks Tevin Washington and Synjyn Days combined to complete 11 of 16 passes for 365 yards and three TDs against Western Carolina. Washington’s performance in the opener (8 of 13 for 271 yards, three TDs) translates to a passer efficiency rating of 312.8.
West Virginia’s Geno Smith posted the highest rating in the FBS.
“That would be a good stat at the end (of the season),” coach Paul Johnson said.
From the database
• ACC coaches: Jim Grobe is 13-8-1 ATS conference home dog… Johnson is 20-5 ATS away versus an opponent off a loss… Tom O’Brien is 27-12 ATS off a double-digit win versus conference opponents… Frank Spaziani is 4-0 ATS off a loss versus an opponent off a win.
• ACC versus other conferences: 3-9 ATS off win versus the C-USA off win… 34-20 ATS regular season versus the Big Ten… 0-3 ATS away versus the Sun Belt Conference.
• STAT OF THE WEEK: ACC favorites of less than 10 points are 15-40-1 ATS in Game 2 of the season, including 4-20-1 ATS off a double-digit win, and 3-21-1 ATS versus an ACC foe.