Rutgers decision haunts Big Ten

Pat Forde does his usually excellent job summarizing the Rutgers dumpster fire and the mess this has created for Jim Delany and the Big Ten.

But he also throws in an interesting nugget that explains some of the motivation behind targeting Rutgers in the first place. Big Ten dictator Jim Delany IS FROM NEW JERSEY, and his obsession with getting the Big Ten exposure in the New York market led him to the mediocre program.

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SNL spoofs the Rutgers scandal

This is pretty funny.

Money talks in college football

With the announcement that Maryland and Rutgers will be joining the Big Ten, we have yet another example of how tradition and the needs of student athletes no longer matter at all in big time college sports. It’s all about money. In this case, it was all about the Big Ten Network and gaining exposure to large TV markets on the East Coast.

On one level the entire situation is pathetic. Does a weakened Big Ten football conference really need to add a weak Maryland program or a Rutgers program that will struggle to stay competitive in the Big Ten? Adding Nebraska made sense from a football standpoint. But this is all about money and markets. I guess once we all acknowledge that it’s a little easier to accept. There’s an arms race going on and the Big Ten sees these dollars as adding to their muscle for the long term.

Meanwhile we have more stories of academic fraud at North Carolina. Read this article and it will make you sick, especially when you consider that UNC hoops is the darling of the NCAA and the national media. Will the NCAA be just as hard on this basketball program? Will it dare vacate a National Championship for the NCAA Tournament that the NCAA controls? How much has money corrupted the holier-than-thou NCAA? With a whistle blower coming forward at North Carolina the NCAA may be forced to address one of its sacred cows.

If Ohio State, Penn State and USC can get crushed by the NCAA for football violations, then North Carolina should get punished for basketball violations and academic fraud.

But frankly the whole system of punishment sucks. Ohio State had a minor scandal over players getting tattoos, and now they might be shut out of a national championship game against Notre Dame. Maybe the NCAA doesn’t care as the BCS controls football championships, but a matchup between Ohio State and Notre Dame in the National Championship could have been the most watched college football game ever give the huge followings from both schools.

Meanwhile, the NCAA is strong-arming former Miami football players in their investigation of a rogue booster there. What’s worse – some Miami kids getting free steaks and yacht trips or “student-athletes” at North Carolina taking no-show classes where a student adviser wrote their papers?

Finally, ESPN has won the rights to televise the new college football playoff for 12 years for a reported fee of $470 million per year. Does anyone expect things to get better? At least the BCS will get better as we can have four teams fighting it out instead of only two. Hopefully it will expand to eight teams at some point. But the dollars keep getting bigger for what’s supposed to be amateur sports.

In touching moment, Eric LeGrand leads Rutgers onto field

A little over a year after being paralyzed from the neck down, former Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand led the Scarlett Knights onto the field today for their game against West Virginia.

LeGrand has been a model for perseverance since the injury, as he continues to be a bright personality in public. He’s even done some play-by-play while he continues to recover from his injuries.

From the ESPN New York article:

LeGrand was wearing a black Rutgers jersey like the rest of the team, and rode his motorized wheelchair, with an axe on his lap — a symbol of coach Greg Schiano’s mantra of “keep chopping.” Junior defensive tackle Scott Vallone and junior linebacker Khaseem Greene — both former roommates of LeGrand’s — were on either side of him, with the rest of the players following behind.

LeGrand led the team to the 50-yard line, turned right and went to the sideline before quickly leaving the field.

Amidst the snowstorm, the half-filled stadium was filled with chants of “52!” — LeGrand’s former number.

Doctors predicted LeGrand would never be able to breathe without a ventilator after the injury, but he is now standing for 40 minutes at a time in therapy, and predicts he will walk again.

BCS Mess

Everyone is talking about Rutgers, and they certainly deserve a ton of credit for a great season, but this week’s BCS standings are a joke. If you look at the computer rankings, somehow Rutgers is ranked #2 by the computers:

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the week belongs to the new No. 6 — Rutgers. The unbeaten Scarlet Knights shocked many observers with a 28-25 comeback win over former-No. 3 Louisville. Rutgers was down 25-7 at one point in the second quarter before rallying with 21 unanswered points.

The computer rankings seem to love the Knights. The computers have Rutgers second behind Michigan and ahead of Ohio State.

Who are the morons who created these computers? Rutgers ranked over Ohio State? Are you kidding me? Ohio State would probably crush Rutgers by 20-30 points.

Fortunately, the computers only count for 1/3 of the BCS rankings.

Please, give us a playoff system.

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