BayouJim

2014 NCAA Football Thread

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Sometimes institutions fail. And sometimes when institutions fail, people who have a vested interest in those institutions look for ways to blame individuals. The thinking is that if it's just a few no-goodnicks that messed everything up, maybe then the institution isn't so bad to begin with.

But the fact is that when institutions fail -- when institutions provide cover for years of child rape -- everyone in a leadership position, as well as anyone who has the potential to gain from the institution's successes, needs to be responsible for that failure. Especially when that failure is on the scale of Penn State.

It's so depressing that barely a couple of years later, people are so intent on whitewashing the whole scandal and blaming it on a few bad actors, while convincing themselves that the underlying institution is still good. I'm sure there are a lot of good people at Penn State, but there were a lot of monsters too. Because of the severity of what happened at Penn State, the football program and the school's administration needed to suffer far more than it did. And certainly the mild punishments originally instituted needed to, at the very least, stick.

This. Thank you for being able to say what I could not.

Yes, the right people were fired (I assume). The people that turned the other way are gone. But this is not just about the people involved; it's about the institutional culture. Pulling a few people out and replacing them with other people does not necessarily change anything. It's possible that PSU may still have the same "football wins and revenue above all" culture from before.

Now, the NCAA has essentially said "we were wrong about anything, PSU is cool." The University itself feels pretty vindicated...certainly Happy Valley and the fans do. So much so that they are actually parading the number 409 around as if to say "our hero's been cleared." How long until the statue comes back?

Time was moving on. While I thought that in a good world the University would have shut the football program down itself, they were moving on with a (second) new coach. Paterno was kinda in purgatory there and while sports reporters and fans were still too "Go State; get back to football prominence!" for my taste, the story was kinda fading away.

Then the NCAA restored the wins (a move that I am essentially indifferent about) and the tone-deafness of that school, those people, and that town just surfaced. So no...it should not go away. It should forever be recognized as a depressing glimpse into the negatives of hero-worship and unchecked power. (Unfortunately, looking at the internet comment pages tells me otherwise; Either America loves PSU/Joe or Keystone residents are flocking to the comment sections).

We have seen the hockey helmet pictures. In fairness, there has been some recognition that this was crass. But that was due to public pressure. This sticker came from the Athletic Department. That sentiment can't be entirely taken back.

Google "Penn State 409" and you'll find a ton of T-shirts. Again, this is all non-affiliated. It's more a reflection of the fans/community than the school.

I find it all depressing and scary:

  • That there are people like Sandusky around.
  • That someone could actually witness this and not go to the actual authorities.
  • That he could share it with others, who could pass it around with nobody actually doing anything.
  • That several people could go to bed and wake up every day with what appears to be a pretty good reason to believe that someone like this was coming to their facilities with children and just let it go.
  • That sports are so big and important that not only will schools break the "normal" rules that schools break but they'll (and the people within) will just ignore the ruining of lives.
  • That while this happened at Penn State, there really is no reason to believe it could not happen anywhere else.
  • That in the aftermath, the national dialogue was totally devoid of any critical thinking ("let's not punish the current players," cuz that's who its about) or understanding of the difference between "bad seeds" and "institutions."
  • That googling "Penn State 409" turns up what it turns up.

Penn State had an opportunity. It had an opportunity to admit that it was more than "bad people" but a "broken culture" that allowed this. Yeah it would have cost them money and a bit of athletic prestige. Yeah, it would have required admitting that the institution failed. It would have been harder. But maybe, just maybe, we and other broken institutions would have learned something from this. But all we really learned is that winning games makes a man great (regardless if he spends a decade knowing that lives are being ruined and sitting on his hands) and that quickly eliminating the bad eggs and moving on is fairly painless.

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I'm not sure how I feel about the reinstatement of the wins.

I'm not sure they should have had the wins taken away. That is my major issue with the NCAA when it comes to discipline for non-on-field penalties. They still played the games. They still were the better team 409 times. I think the only way wins should really be taken away is if you gained a competitive advantage, i.e. more practice time, more film time, more organized team activities, drug enhancement, offering players money to come to that school, etc.

That being said, I think if the penalty comes down, it should be seen through to the end. They shouldn't come back later and say oh well, we were too harsh or we didn't really mean that.

Its tough. Again, I'm not sure how I feel about it.

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You don't think "win with honor" and all that other bull :censored: gave Penn State a recruiting and donation advantage?

They gained on the field and off from covering Sandusky up.

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You don't think "win with honor" and all that other bull :censored: gave Penn State a recruiting and donation advantage?

They gained on the field and off from covering Sandusky up.

To be honest... I don't think "win with honor" did anything for recruiting. It may have appealed to some people, but I don't think it had any bearing on the actual game. I'm talking like money, cars, hookers, tattoos, alcohol, merch, gear, etc.

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You don't think "win with honor" and all that other bull :censored: gave Penn State a recruiting and donation advantage?

They gained on the field and off from covering Sandusky up.

To be honest... I don't think "win with honor" did anything for recruiting. It may have appealed to some people, but I don't think it had any bearing on the actual game. I'm talking like money, cars, hookers, tattoos, alcohol, merch, gear, etc.

Clearly Penn State thought it was beneficial. Otherwise Paterno would have likely have been gone after 2003 and certainly would have been gone after 2004. Penn State was bad in the early 2000s.

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First sign of Power Five autonomy.

CMU's Dan Enos resigns as HC to become OC at Arkansas for a $200k raise.

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That's why I hate the era of the mega conferences. Playing your conference rivals every 5 to 7 years is ridiculous.

16 game seasons? Whether or not we want it -or it negatively affects academics- I suspect the regular season will eventually be extended or the playoffs just made larger.

The only other option might be to eliminate the idea of "conferences" and move to a division type arrangement like the NFL, with maybe 4-6 teams in each pod. They'd have to group up schools based on rivals - so for example in the Big Ten you could easily lump Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota together. Yes, classic rivalries would be lost, but it's all in the name of progress.

On the pro-progress argument I'm sure people said the same thing as we moved out of the era of the Ivies and Army/Navy winning all the football games during the Pre-WWII era.

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Well, we also have Round 1 of ESPN vs. College Football Playoff Corp.

Since the Rose and Sugar are locked into their January 1 timeslots for the length of this playoff contract, in the years which the Rose and Sugar do NOT host the semifinals, ESPN would like to move the semifinals to January 2 as opposed to New Year's Eve in order to have better ratings. Note that January 2, 2016 is an open Saturday.

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And Conference realignment has taken us through the looking glass.

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That's a great idea. If the SEC ever breaks up the cross-divisional rivalries, I hope Georgia and Auburn do something like this to keep the annual game alive.

One caveat, though. I think the game should count as a conference game in the event of a tie for the division championship.

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That's a great idea. If the SEC ever breaks up the cross-divisional rivalries, I hope Georgia and Auburn do something like this to keep the annual game alive.

One caveat, though. I think the game should count as a conference game in the event of a tie for the division championship.

Really, it's not that bad of an idea. This looks a lot better if (probably when) Duke and NC State does the same thing. It could also lead to a few higher profile games, such as Florida State-Georgia Tech, and Clemson-Miami being played more often.

This, or Notre Dame comes into the ACC and ruins the whole alignment. Then, you either roll with 15 and uneven divisions, or snag a team that probably has no business being in the conference, and go North-South.

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Rece Davis to be new host of College GameDay.

http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2015/02/rece-davis-signs-multi-year-agreement-espn-named-new-host-college-gameday/

Fowler to concentrate on PBP. He needs to as he's really bad, err dry.

I'd rather see Corso retire.
The ESPN employee age 70+ and Orlando-based coach who is retiring isn't Corso, it's Lou Holtz.

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Rece Davis to be new host of College GameDay.

http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2015/02/rece-davis-signs-multi-year-agreement-espn-named-new-host-college-gameday/

Fowler to concentrate on PBP. He needs to as he's really bad, err dry.

I'd rather see Corso retire.
The ESPN employee age 70+ and Orlando-based coach who is retiring isn't Corso, it's Lou Holtz.

I was just about to say, I hope Corso takes Holtz with him.

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Rece Davis to be new host of College GameDay.

http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2015/02/rece-davis-signs-multi-year-agreement-espn-named-new-host-college-gameday/

Fowler to concentrate on PBP. He needs to as he's really bad, err dry.

I'd rather see Corso retire.
The ESPN employee age 70+ and Orlando-based coach who is retiring isn't Corso, it's Lou Holtz.
I was just about to say, I hope Corso takes Holtz with him.

Holtz publicaly said he was retiring in April 2014, but ESPN never officially said he would.

That said, Corso's last contract expired after this season.

They could need more time to renegotiate with Mack Brown, who seems best placed to pick up from Lou. Butch Davis is still under their thumb too.

I don't watch GameDay, but I do watch College Football Final, so I am more interested in who will replace Rece Davis?

Matt Barrie? Zubin Mehenti? Robert Flores?

Edited by dfwabel

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I always thought Rece would do great as a replacement for Fowler. I think it'll be a smooth transition.

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