Will Auburn have all its players eligible for the title game?

SPORTSbyBROOKS has news that will make many Auburn Tiger fans spit up their Cheerios this morning.

All indications are that Heisman winner Cam Newton will be eligible to play Oregon in the BCS National Championship Game in two weeks. But there have been reports that indicate that some Tigers could be facing academic issues for the game.

But just when Auburn fans thought they could relax, a cryptic comment by head coach Gene Chizik last week indicated the barn door on eligibility issues for the Tigers hasn’t swung shut just yet.

The MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER reported last week:

Chizik said Auburn is “still getting some things cleared up academically” and isn’t yet sure if all players are in good academic standing.

Jay Coulter at the Auburn website Track ‘Em Tigers reiterated the lingering concern today in a blog entry:

There’s still no word on whether Auburn had any academic casualties that could cause some players to miss the championship game. Auburn coach Gene Chizik has been mum on the subject for the past month. You can bet the rumor mill will be in overdrive this week if Chizik doesn’t address the issue. Keep your fingers crossed…

It’s not fair to speculate at this point which players may be ineligible because none of them may be. If you read between Chizik’s comments it certainly seems that he could be without some of his players, but maybe he’s misleading the media. Or maybe the issues will be cleared up by January 10th (whatever that means).

Of course, if Auburn is without Newton then it changes the entire landscape of the game. But as of right now, Tiger fans seemingly have nothing to worry about.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

New BCS Committee Chief rips playoff idea

The Nebraska State Paper.com sat down this week with University of Nebraska-Lincoln chancellor Harvey Perlman, who was recently appointed as chairman of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee, which ultimately decides how the BCS is set up on a year basis.

So in other words, if college football were to ever have a playoff, this is the man who would give it the green light to happen. And considering he crapped all over the idea in the interview, it looks like we fans will be waiting a long time for BCS to adopt a playoff system.

Why is a playoff not a viable alternative? Is it because it would cut too many teams out of postseason play?

It would diminish the bowl structure and it would reduce the number of opportunities for student-athletes to play in the postseason and that’s not a good thing. If you look at college football now, it’s the greatest sporting event spread over September, October, November, December and a little bit of January that the country has. A playoff would seriously diminish the regular season, as it has in college basketball.

I don’t think it’s good for college football, I don’t think it’s good for student-athletes and I don’t think it’s good for fans. I don’t see fans travelling around the country three weeks in succession between December and January following their team. So you’re either going to have to play at home sites – which I’m sure everybody will want to play in Nebraska in December and January – or you’re gonna have to travel, which means that bowls will cease being intercollegiate events, but will become corporate events, where everybody in, you name the city, will be there except the fans of the teams.

This isn’t basketball. This isn’t March Madness. Football’s a different game, different environment. We have different traditions. It’s hard to see why a playoff is a good idea.

A playoff would diminish the bowl structure? How ironic, Harvey – because the bowl structure diminishes the college football season.

This whole notion that a playoff system would diminish the regular season is absolutely ridiculous and is the worst argument that BCS-supporters have made to date. Is the NFL regular season diminished by a playoff? Hell no. So why would a playoff diminish the college football season? Teams still have to fight to get into the playoffs, making every week just as exciting as it has ever been.

Sure, nobody is interested in Bengals-Browns in Week 17, but that’s unavoidable. Nobody cares about Washington-Washington State when both teams are lousy either. Whether there’s a playoff format in place or not, there are going to be bad games on the schedule.

The traveling argument makes sense, but if they regionalized the games as best as they can, fans will still travel to see their favorite teams. Hell, look at how Pittsburgh Steeler fans; there are often more Steeler fans in opposing stadiums than there are fans of that city’s team. Granted, it’s a little different when we’re talking about poor college students compared to adults with jobs, but the students would still find a way to pack the stadiums.

But I digress. Perlman has already made up his foolish mind and we’ll once again be where we always are come December and January – frustrated and wanting more. The BCS is a joke, the arguments for it are a joke, and the people that are running it are a joke.

Poll: Who is the best college football team in the country?

Depending on the poll, 85%-90% of football fans would like to see some sort of a playoff. For now, we’re stuck with the BCS, which gave us Florida and Oklahoma in the title game. The problem is, now that the bowls are finished, there are three other teams (not including Florida) that have a legitimate argument that they are the #1 team in the country. Utah finished the season undefeated and beat two teams that are ranked (or will be ranked) in the top 10. USC beat up Penn State and looked great doing it. And Texas put away a feisty Ohio State team in the Fiesta Bowl…oh, and they beat Oklahoma as well. Or is the #1 team Florida, who only looked so-so in their win over the Sooners?

Poll Answers

Couch Potato Alert: 11/7

Alabama vs. LSU
How ironic is life…Nick Saban coached LSU to a BCS national championship in 2003, only to take the money and run to the NFL. He became frustrated at the pro level in Miami, and then brokered a deal to return to college football at Alabama. This weekend, Saban returns to Tiger Stadium with the nation’s top-ranked team. LSU’s offensive line could have a tough time opening holes for running back Charles Scott against a Bama defensive front that ranks second in the nation against the run. It would be the Tigers best interest to grab an early lead, as Alabama has dominated their opponents at beginning of games all season. National coverage begins Saturday at 3:30 PM on CBS. Click here for official Alabama vs. LSU smack thread.

Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech
Another week, another contest in the Big 12 that matches two high-powered offenses in a game with BCS national title game implications. The Red Raiders are coming off a last second victory over then No. 1 Texas last weekend, but they cannot afford to relax as a game in Oklahoma looms ahead later in the month. Texas Tech’s 9-0 record is their best start to a season since 1938, and the Red Raiders haven’t been undefeated in conference play this late in the season since 1953, when they were a member of the Border Conference. Regional coverage begins Saturday at 8 PM on ABC.

New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
A road win over the surging Philadelphia Eagles will secure the New York Giants as the class of the NFC and established them as the conference favorites to return to the Super Bowl. Many in the media have downplayed the Giants 7-1 record because of their relative easy schedule, as they have faced teams with a combined record of 27-40 on the season. The Eagles are second in the NFC behind the Giants with 27 sacks and will look to pressure Eli Manning in the backfield all Sunday evening. The Giants’ only loss in their last four trips to Philly came in their 2007 wild-card playoff meeting. National coverage begins Sunday at 8:15 PM on NBC.

Ready for another Big Ten team in the national championship?

Penn State-Ohio StateIt’s probably fair to say that most college football fans would rather pull off one their arms and beat themselves with it than see another Big Ten team play for a national championship. But that’s exactly what might happen after Penn State defeated Ohio State 13-6 (their first win in Columbus since 1978) on Saturday night.

Joe Paterno’s bunch has just one road game left on its schedule (at Iowa next Saturday), before wrapping up the 2008 season with home contests against Indiana and Michigan. And while the Hawkeyes are an improved team, there isn’t a whole lot standing in the Nittany Lions way of running the table and finishing the year undefeated.

Those who watched Saturday night probably didn’t come away too impressed with PSU, but don’t forget that the Buckeyes have one of the most experienced defenses in the country. They held tough runner Evan Royster under 100 yards and even though Daryll Clark completed 12 of 20 passes for 121 yards, OSU’s defense battered him all night. (He even had to come out for most of the fourth quarter after taking a legal hit to the head.)

This game came down to Terrelle Pryor’s fumble early in the fourth quarter that PSU eventually turned into a touchdown. On a 3rd and 1 from the 50-yard line, Pryor tried to make a big play by bouncing outside instead of rushing forward for what should have been an easy first down. He had the ball stripped and in the end, it was the key play that turned the game around in the Lions favor. Still, he’s only a freshman and he’s got an incredible future ahead of him because despite the loss and what ESPN’s Mark May said earlier in the season, Pryor is clearly ready for prime time.

Penn State might not stand a chance against the best in the Big 12 or SEC, but outside of a bad half against Michigan last week, they’ve soundly beat opponents all season. They’re not flashy, but they play hard and do the little things right. General college football fans might not want to see another Big Ten team play for a title, but they might not have a choice after Saturday night.

Related Posts