(*Author’s note: Yes, this is a complete rip-off of a Mark Schlabach Column for ESPN.com.  You can consider this post the Deep Impact to his Armageddon.)

With the NCAA Football season rapidly approaching, and yes I do have a countdown on my phone that ticks by the days until the Huskers take the field in case you were wondering (*Author’s note: you weren’t.), and all the sports dweebs like myself gearing up for the Media Days that are soon to sweep the nation, I figured now was as good a time to reflect on the off-season of football that was.

Without further ado, ladies and gentleman of Burnpoetry, I give you: the offseason’s most talked about events.

Liar Liar Vest On Fire

Turns out Mr. Buttoned Down, Mr. Conservative and Mr. I-Wrote-A-Book-Titled-
Life-Promises-For-Success, Jim Tressel might have gone all Lane Kiffin in the offseason.  Is Tressel a closeted badass?  Was Tressel pulling a Keyser Soze on all of us?  Underneath his graying combover and his carefully monotone voice, was there a middle-finger-to-the-to-the-NCAA-ing beast?

Probably not.  But seeing Ohio State and one of the most revered college coaches in the game today get de-pantsed by the NCAA, for violating more rules than a tweenager with their parents out of town for the first time, was a shock.  Tressel had an almost Osborne-like reputation in today’s game.

His players were running rampant, pushing fly whips and trading paraphernalia for tats at a local drug dealers tattoo parlor.  In short, they were the Miami Hurricanes North.  Alright, they weren’t that bad, but when Tressel tried to sweep the whole scandal under his rather cushy, 3.5 million dollar rug.

Terrelle Pryor, in his infinite wisdom, decided that he would aid Tressel in the coverup by driving as many new vehicles as he could get his hands on.  Terrelle appears to have merely pointed to a page in Auto Trader and just said, “All of these.  I want them all.”  He even showed up to a team meeting about Tressel and was photographed getting out of a fresh, tinted-up 350Z on his way inside. 

Terrelle will undoubtedly be the guy at his own divorce hearing who shows up with lipstick on his collar.  He may bear a striking resemblance to Chris Brown, but they also both have publicly slapped some people.  Tressel still has Pryor’s handprint on his face, somewhere. 

Will the Ohio State recover from this?  Personally, I hope the hell not.  However they probably will due to the boatloads of cash and prestige.  Enjoy Columbus next year, Urban Meyer.

The Rest of the NCAA Must’ve Read Tressel’s Book

It seems like every thirty seconds there’s a new squad getting pounded with NCAA sanctions.  LSU just got popped.  Oregon seems like they’re about to get Nintendo Duck Hunted right into probation and North Carolina just keeps cheating their way to mediocre records.  Suddenly SMU in the 80’s seems like they were merely ahead of the times.

Don’t get me wrong, it would be hypocritical of me to not mention that Nebraska got into a little trouble of their own with the NCAA this offseason.  The Huskers really sunk to a new low this summer.  They got so seedy and downright dirty that even Charlie Sheen might need to Purell his hands after reading about the Big Red’s violation.  John Calipari and his used-car-salesman-haircut might feel the urge to shower up after reading what Nebraska got caught doing.

They were giving out too many textbooks.

That’s not a typo.  The Huskers violated one of the 20 billion NCAA by-laws by giving some of their student athletes the “recommended” books on their teacher’s syllabi instead of just the “required” books.  And, frankly, I’m appalled.

Are we really going to waste some of LaVonte David’s time making sure that he also reads Maya Angelou instead of just Hilda Raz?  Can we really risk Taylor Martinez sustaining a back injury lugging around another 10 pounds of Geometry?  Think before you act, Nebraska. 

The ramifications of this scandal have been vast and far-reaching.  Why, what if Jared Crick gets called a nerd and the other teams give him a swirlie at Big 10 media days?  I can hear the student section at Happy Valley taunting us now: “Do some homework. . .do some homework. . .”  I shudder to think.

The Real Housewives of West Virginia

My fiance likes to watch The Real Housewives of ______ (fill in random city with insanely wealthy people).  I’ve watched a few episodes along with her.  More than my masculinity would care to admit, actually.  It seems like the episodes are filled with, and I hate how overused this term has become, drama.  And I’m not talking about the kind of drama that we see people constantly claim to “not be down with” or “want to be left out of” on Facebook every day.

This is an insidious, soul-sucking, worming kind of backbiting and rumor-mongering that makes Othello‘s Iago seem like a truly kind and decent person.  Which reminds me a lot of the insanity that has been Morgantown, VA for the last few months. 

After Rich Rodriguez packed up his bags and skipped town, showering himself in cash thrown at him by the University of Michigan and being showered with death threats from the ever-classy West Virginia fans, the school hired Bill Stewart.  Stewart, an elderly “company man” who was desperate to stay true to his roots as a longtime assistant, did a passable job.  But the Mountaineers had been to the mountaintop and gotten a taste of BCS glory.  Like many who drink from the gilded cup of big-time college football winning, they were instantly hooked.

Then West Virginia hired another head coach.  Before they fired Stewart.  Deciding to roll the dice on the whole “head coach in waiting” thing that had suddenly, and inexplicably, become a trendy move at major college programs with predictable results.

Hiring a “head-coach-in-waiting” is a lot like using a lighter to find your way around when you’re investigating a gas leak.  It never ends well.  Dana Holgerson, the mastermind behind Oklahoma State’s offensive juggernaut last season, immediately started to make Stewart uncomfortable. 

So Stewart did what any good, Housewife of _____(fill in the blank) would do.  He went behind Holgorsen’s back and started trying to spread rumors.  He asked newspapers to “dig up dirt” on Holgorsen and generally tried to stir the West Virginian pot.  I’m not sure if Stewart has been watching the same shows I have, er. . .that my fiance has, but he certainly took a book out of their potentially-scripted playbooks.

The whole mess of a coaching situation exploded.  Holgorsen took over and Stewart left a school that may never have fully appreciated him anyway.  The entire thing made me long for a Basketball Wives spin-off featuring coaches wives.

Stephen Garcia and Michael Floyd Have a Binge-Drinking Contest, No One Wins

Garcia and Floyd are too of the pre-eminent names in college.  Note, I didn’t say “college football.”  These two gridiron stars have made offseason headlines for all the wrong reasons.  Garcia, who plays quarterback for the resurgent and potentially highly ranked South Carolina Gamecocks, has been suspended for his fifth time by Steve Spurrier. 

The “Old Ball Coach” seems to have found a QB who has a penchant for JD.  Garcia seems to have been racking up the wrong kind of acronyms while at South Carolina.  He’s been more DUI and MIP than TD and BCS.  (*Author’s note: with the way he drinks, and given the fact that he’s a star quarterback on a large college campus, let’s hope for his sake that STD isn’t included in the list.) 

Michael Floyd, a wide receiver for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, has joined Garcia on the “Hunter Teafatiller Hall of Fame” ballot.  He’s taken the whole “Irish are heavy drinkers” stereotype and really run with it.  The talented wide receiver is currently still suspended from the team.

It remains to be seen whether these two stars will put up better numbers on the field than the .20 they routinely have blown into Breathalyzers off of it.

Russell Wilson Lands in Camp Randall

Wilson, who has thrown 59 TDs in the last two seasons for the NC State Wolfpack, ended up leaving NC State for greener, and much colder pastures this offseason.  Wilson found out that his decision to play minor league baseball this summer, and the progression of Wolfpack backup Mike Glennon, had led the coaching staff to declare him a backup for the impending season.  He quickly took off.

For a few weeks the football world was waiting to find out what schools the athletic, strong-armed QB would decide on.  After narrowing his choices down to Auburn and Wisconsin, which at this point in both the programs’ lives is like choosing between a Ferrari and a Lamborghini, he ended up choosing Wisconsin.

It remains to be seen what kind of impact he’ll have on the team, but it seems that his presence will merely strengthen an already formidable Badgers team. 

I’ll be coming soon with more college football talk, but I simply can’t let myself get too geeked up in July so I’ll have to physically restrain myself.


  1. d says:

    hahaha the bit about the Husker violation cracked me up.

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