Well I'm back following what will be a short week of blogging before I unwind and enjoy the rest of the Christmas season.
THE HOT LIST:
1. NCAA Arms Race: What does it mean?
2. AP Player of the Year
3. Las Vegas Bowl
1. We begin with what I think is becoming a vastly major issue in College Football...the arms race. What exactly do I mean about the arms race, I'm talking about the vast development of major multi-million dollar facilities that are being built all over the country to maintain their edge. I watched Outside the Lines yesterday to get an idea of the seriousness of this problem where Rutgers University has invested 126 million dollars into a football facility upgrade when the University is struggling to maintain its funding for its academic program. Rutgers has since fired its athletic director for what it believes was loose holdings on athletic funds when the University clearly wanted the AD to bring in a name coach that could bring some luster back to its football program. The issue here is that smaller market universities are now forced to scrounge for millions in their budgets to compete with the major programs in their conference.
Just look at what Iowa State, Colorado, Baylor and most noticeably Kansas has done to compete with the likes of Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma State, and OU. Kansas went out of its way this season to remove Mark Mangino and bring in Turner Gill to ensure that their millions in improvements to their football facility wasn't a wasted investment. You can't deny that that was a major motivating factor is the school's decision to part ways with Mangino. Kansas and the other smaller market Big 12 teams feel that they must raise astronomical budgets to build facilities to compete in their respective conferences.
I feel that this is a major major problem in the sport not just with facility upgrades but with coaching salaries. It seems like the major market programs in College athletics are in a race to see how high they can pay their head coach just to coach football. It's ridiculous to think that Mac Brown will make anywhere between 5.0 and 5.25 million dollars next season, making him the highest paid coach in the sport. The NCAA absolutely has to investigate into this problem and begin to put a stop to this. If we have to make a "budget cap" then that may likely have to be the way it is done. Although that is easily said, I feel that its a monumental mountain to climb as programs hate when the NCAA goes snooping into their financial books and records. How else are we going to make sure that Texas and OSU stop generating budgets in the 100 plus million each season? Clearly when you talk about why these places and programs just continue to win, its because of the money and facilities that the program has built for its teams.
Look at what Nebraska is investigating in the future for its basketball program. It's in the works of raising money to build a practice facility for its school as its the only program to not have one, while looking to be a major factor in a convention center in Lincoln so it's basketball team has a state of the art facility for recruiting and fan support...The age of recruiting and the "bigger is better" mentality will eventually cripple the small level schools making it virtually impossible for those programs to win national titles and be successful at the national stage. For programs like Baylor, K-State, Iowa State, and Colorado winning national titles in football is virtually impossible without getting themselves consumed in the arms race since they are locked into a major conference in College Football....As conferences look to expand, universities will ultimately have to decide if they have the funds to compete with the programs in their conference to at least feel that are viewed as an equal member in their league and not a bottom dweller. If you have to answer that question with a NO, you'll likely see programs like Utah, TCU, BYU, Boise State, and Houston remain where they are, so they can keep their facilities the same and remain competitive on the national stage...
2. AP NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR: NDAMUKONG SUH
Hmmmmmm maybe we should have let the AP vote for the Heisman, as they voted Suh as the AP National Player of the Year. Suh becomes the first defensive player to EVER win the award and the second Husker to win it. Eric Crouch took home the honors in 2001 after capturing his Heisman Trophy. Kinda speaks loud volumes to a guy who won virtually every major lineman and defensive award and finished just 4th in the Heisman voting. Yea...he was really that good this year...no questions about that one.
3. College Bowl Mania continues with the Las Vegas bowl with BYU taking on Oregon State. Gotta like the Beavers here with arguably the best running back in the Pac-10 in lil Rogers...oh don't forget about his brother who plays WR and returns kicks...yea they are both pretty good. Should be a great game with lots of points scored....I'm hoping to get back on the winning track tonight...Beavers win 42-41
Back for one more day tomorrow then off till next week...Skocz Out!!!