Tag:North Carolina
Posted on: July 8, 2011 10:40 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 10:53 am
 

Bronko Nagurski Watch List released

Posted by Chip Patterson

The "Watch" Watch continues on as the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club have released the first watch list for the 2011 Bronko Nagurski Trophy.

The award is given annually to the nation's best defensive player, as selected by FWAA All-America Committee members. Players can be added or deleted from the watch list at any time throughout the season, a player not on the list can work his way on by being name Defensive Player of the Week by the FWAA.

Check out the full watch list below. Any snubs? Who's your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below.

2011 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST (87)
Ray-Ray Armstrong, Miami, S Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State, S
Mark Barron, Alabama, S Mike Martin, Michigan, DT
Jake Bequette, Arkansas, DE Chris Marve, Vanderbilt, LB
Brandon Boykin, Georgia, CB Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy, DE
Nigel Bradham, Florida State, LB Michael Mauti, Penn State, LB
Tanner Brock, TCU, LB T.J. McDonald, USC, S
Arthur Brown, Kansas State, LB Chase Minnifield, Virginia, CB
Zach Brown, North Carolina, LB Charles Mitchell, Mississippi State, S
Vince Browne, Northwestern, DE Roosevelt Nix, Kent State, DE
Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State, LB Donte Paige-Moss, North Carolina, DE
Miles Burris, San Diego State, LB Dontari Poe, Memphis, DT
Tank Carder, TCU, LB Tydreke Powell, North Carolina, DT
Morris Claiborne, LSU, CB Shaun Prater, Iowa, CB
Quinton Coples, North Carolina, DE Kheeston Randall, Texas, DT
Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State, DE Kendall Reyes, Connecticut, DT
Jared Crick, Nebraska, DT Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, CB
Vinny Curry, Marshall, DE Adrian Robinson, Temple, DE
Lavonte David, Nebraska, LB Josh Robinson, UCF, CB
Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska, CB Keenan Robinson, Texas, LB
Tony Dye, UCLA, S J.K. Schaffer, Cincinnati, LB
Marcus Forston, Miami, DT Kawann Short, Purdue, DT
Jerry Franklin, Arkansas, LB Mychal Sisson, Colorado State, LB
Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina, CB Shayne Skov, Stanford, LB
Zaviar Gooden, Missouri, LB Harrison Smith, Notre Dame, S
Logan Harrell, Fresno State, DT Akeem Spence, Illinois, DT
Cliff Harris, Oregon, CB Sean Spence, Miami, LB
Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt, CB Alameda Ta'amu, Washington, DT
Dont'a Hightower, Alabama, LB Keith Tandy, West Virginia, CB
Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech, CB Kenny Tate, Maryland, S/LB
Jaye Howard, Florida, DT Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech, LB
Delano Howell, Stanford, S Devin Taylor, South Carolina, DE
Bruce Irvin, West Virginia, DE Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, LB
Malik Jackson, Tennessee, DT Taylor Thompson, SMU, DE
Brandon Jenkins, Florida State, DE Danny Trevathan, Kentucky, LB
James-Michael Johnson, Nevada, LB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama, LB
Coryell Judie, Texas A&M, CB Prentiss Waggner, Tennessee, S
Mychal Kendricks, California, LB Bobby Wagner, Utah State, LB
Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama, CB Brian Wagner, Akron, LB
Jake Knott, Iowa State, LB Korey Williams, Southern Miss, LB
Luke Kuechly, Boston College, LB Nathan Williams, Ohio State, DE
Robert Lester, Alabama, S Billy Winn, Boise State, DT
Travis Lewis, Oklahoma, LB Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati, DT
Brandon Lindsey, Pittsburgh, DE Jerel Worthy, Michigan State, DT
Brad Madison, Missouri, DE  
By conference: SEC 19, ACC 14, Big Ten 10, Big 12 9, Pac-12 9, Big East 6, Conference USA 5, Mountain West 5, Independents 3, MAC 3, WAC 3, Sun Belt 1.
Players may be added or deleted from the list before or during the season
Posted on: July 5, 2011 3:18 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 3:35 pm
 

Former UNC DE McAdoo suing school, NCAA

Posted by Chip Patterson

Ruled permanently ineligible last November, former North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo has filed a lawsuit against the school and NCAA seeking his reinstatement.

McAdoo's ineligibility is tied to the academic-related allegations against the North Carolina football program. He was one of the 13 players who missed the season opener against LSU and remained on the sidelines awaiting word from the school or NCAA until he was ruled ineligible near the end of the season.

More on the suit from McAdoo's lawyer, via InsideCarolina.com
“All told, McAdoo has been declared permanently ineligible to play intercollegiate athletics because he received $110 in improper benefits (which he has since paid to charity), and because his university-assigned and trained tutor provided McAdoo with too much assistance in formatting his citations and ‘works cited’ page on his paper for one class in the summer of 2009. This punishment is grossly disproportionate to the facts of McAdoo’s case, and is inconsistent with the NCAA’s own guidelines and the punishments meted out by the NCAA in other cases with similar facts.”
McAdoo was ruled ineligible at the same time as fullback Devon Ramsay. Ramsay was able to win his appeal with the NCAA in February; McAdoo's was denied.

When McAdoo's appeal was denied, athletic director Dick Baddour called the decision "unfair." The argument around Chapel Hill is that sitting out all of 2010, in addition to punishment issued from the university, should suffice as proper punishment for his academic misconduct.

Whether McAdoo ever wants to play another down for the Tar Heels could be debated, but regaining his eligibility in the eyes of the NCAA is clearly a top priority. After a promising sophomore season, he entered 2010 ready to compete for a starting spot on the defensive line. If the 6-foot-7, 245 pound pass rusher is still in top shape, he could be a great addition to any program.

Seeking reinstatement from the NCAA could be his way to re-enter the competition for snaps in Chapel Hill or the first step in taking his talents elsewhere.
Posted on: June 27, 2011 3:03 pm
 

Mum's the word at Texas regarding Bryant

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Texas is not talking about what led to the dismissal of longtime assistant Cleve Bryant in March.

Bryant first came to Texas in 1991 as an assistant under then head coach John Mackovic. In 1995 Bryant left with Mack Brown for North Carolina before returning to Austin with Brown in 1998. He had been employed as an aide at the school ever since. While Bryant still appeared on Texas' website as associate athletics director for football as recently as Friday, the Austin-American Statesman reported that same day that Bryant had not been an employee of the school since March 23rd.

As for what led to the change in Bryant's job status at the school, Texas is not saying.

The president of the University of Texas said Friday he could not discuss the case of a dismissed official with the football program because of legal, procedural and propriety reasons.

"That is still our position, but not because we don't just want to talk about it," UT President William Powers Jr. said of the case involving Cleve Bryant, former associate athletics director for football operations. "It's in a process that makes comment by the university inappropriate."

Bryant's lawyer, Tom Nesbitt, said this week that his client was unjustly terminated from university employment in March and promptly filed a request for a hearing with university officials. The hearing is expected to take place in mid-August, said Nesbitt, who added that Bryant is fighting for his job.

Of course there's a reason that the school can't talk about Bryant's status at the moment, and that reason is likely related to the internal investigation the school held of the athletic department following allegations by a now former female employee. While the school will not elaborate on what the allegations were, the former staffer did hire Gloria Allred as her attorney, and Allred specializes in cases involving discrimination and sexual harrassment. 

Posted on: June 23, 2011 1:59 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Welcome to Compliance 2.0

Posted by Chip Patterson

North Carolina's Notice of Allegations, delivered to the school earlier this week by the NCAA, is certainly stocked with all kinds of facts, figures, and redacted information to be discussed and debated between now and the Oct. 28 hearing with Committee on Infractions. The case will end up being a standard for NCAA enforcement in modern college football history. It may be buried well below the lede on Sportscenter, but trust me: we will remember this case.

One aspect of the case that is particularly notable is in alleged violation 9b.
In February through June 2010, the institution did not adequately and consistently monitor social networking activity that visibly illustrated potential amateurism violations within the football program, which delayed the institution's discovery and compounded the provision of impermissible benefits provided in Allegation Nos. 4-a, 4-c, 4-d and 4-e.
This is where the entire investigation started. All 42 pages of letters and allegations can be summed up in a series of 140-character tweets from Greg Little and Marvin Austin. Well, technically, it was a combination of tweeting some Rick Ross lyrics, TwitPic'ing pool parties and expensive dinner bills, along with some other loose evidence of misconduct.

So the NCAA is wondering how North Carolina's compliance office did not see a red flag when their star student athletes were living a lavish lifestyle in big cities the summer before their senior season. Now, being charged with Failure To Monitor, this case becomes the NCAA's official acknowledgement of social networking in collegiate sports.

Unfortunately, they are probably entering the game a little too late. Acting reactively, as usual, the NCAA has essentially let compliance offices all over the country know that this is something they should be monitoring closely. Here's the thing: it's really not that hard.

Make Twitter lists, download Tweetdeck, organize the accounts however you choose -- there of plenty of options. If the "search" function is too difficult to figure out, then require athletes to include their Twitter handle at the same time you get the rest of their contact information. Most of these student-athletes (particularly the ones most at-risk of impermissible benefits) will want as many people as possible to have unprotected access to their Twitter accounts. Amateurism rules prevent an athlete from benefiting off their own likeness financially, but Twitter allows a pro prospect to begin marketing themselves while in school. Certain athletes enjoy building their brand, interacting with fans and getting a more hands-on approach to shaping people's perception.

All the compliance office has to do is watch, and ask questions.

Recently Maryland defensive lineman and Twitter extraodinaire A.J. Francis (@The_Franchyze) tweeted a lyrics from a song by Rick Ross (surprise!) and Kanye West -- "Live Fast, Die Young."
Seems like we getting' money for the wrong things,
Look around Maseratis for the whole team.
Now, someone with a common knowledge of the lyrics on Ross' 2010 release Teflon Don might recognize that quote. But none of those people are in Maryland's compliance office. To them, this seemed like a questionable Twitter-post that could possibly be dealing with impermissible benefits. No need to launch an investigation, but the office took action.



Now Francis was asked to remove the post, but I think once Compliance explained the situation he understood. There could be a discussion about free speech, but we have yet to see a Chad Ochocinco-type character challenge the authority of his school on those grounds. But the point of the matter is that if North Carolina's compliance office had been keeping an eye on the profiles of its star athletes, there could have been more immediate action to nip the wrongdoing in the bud.

So the message has been sent to compliance offices everywhere. It's time to wake up and follow your student-athletes on their social networking sites. The fans are, most of the media is, and for both of those groups to find out about a potential violations well before the compliance office is unacceptable.

Go ahead, just follow them. Trust me, most student-athletes will be happy to raise their follower/friend count.

(Image Credit: Twitter)
Posted on: June 23, 2011 1:53 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 10:29 pm
 

Ex-USC WR White admits taking illegal money

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Lonnie White, a former USC wide receiver and kick returner, wrote at TheDaily.com on Thursday that he frequently received large sums of money while he was playing for the Trojans in the mid-'80s. White, whose name is probably more familiar to California residents as a longtime Los Angeles Times writer (a skill on display in his article here), said he received a total $14,000 in illegal payments. He detailed one $5,000 transaction, saying he waited in "an empty lot ... sitting alone in a parked car late at night" and that he was given a "small brown bag filled with money."

That part in and of itself is a bit troubling, but not entirely surprising; the big thing there is that there's someone willing to put their name to it (and under no pressure to do so) instead of it being the stuff of rumor or allegation. No, the real key to White's story is that according to him, this type of behavior was commonplace across generations -- and he has his family to back him up. White's father Elwood told him such bending of the rules was prevalent at Morgan State as far back as the late '40s, and White's older brother Tim also played for USC's football team and introduced him to their "money man" in Lonnie's first year on campus:

We would use the meeting as a joyous occasion, but for most of my freshman year, I didn’t exactly know how the process worked. This was before cell phones, and my brother kept me in the dark when it came to details. I just remember taking a variety of items, from signed footballs to player-issued season tickets, to our benefits source in exchange for money, usually cash.

Even though I knew what I was doing was wrong, it seemed like everyone I knew who played college football enjoyed some type of extra benefits as a player.

Fortunately for USC, this story isn't going to lead to NCAA investigators hounding the White family and the USC athletic department for details. The statute of limitations for NCAA violations (absent a continuing pattern of repeat violations) is four years, so unless the NCAA finds a pattern of misbehavior going back 25 years, this is irrelevant to their current casework -- and let's be honest, if the NCAA finds that type of historical rule-breaking with USC, that program is getting nuked regardless of what White says.

Also, the Trojan athletic department and coaches, which White doesn't implicate, would catch the most heat in situations like these. Here's what White had to say about why the coaching staff doesn't merit criticism in this instance:

It must be noted that all this went on without the coaches’ knowledge. That seems hard to believe. It is true, though. At major programs, the pressure to win and the time commitment the coaches put forth toward the program itself leaves major opportunities for players to interact with people who have a different agenda.

That's a valid and underreported point. When North Carolina head coach Butch Davis tells NCAA investigators that he had no idea John Blake was a prolific runner for Gary Wichard while coaching for the Tar Heels at the same time, he probably meant it ... and the NCAA (no shrinking violet when it comes to sanctions, as USC can attest) clearly believed him, opting not to hit UNC with the dreaded Lack Of Institutional Control in its notice of allegations earlier this week.

At the same time, though, Davis did get a Failure To Monitor charge, which is still pretty bad, and ignorance is hardly a valid defense for coaches. White closes out his piece by noting that he knows at least five BCS-level players from last season who believe that the impermissible benefit problem is much larger than is being reported. That's probably because the coaches, by and large, still don't know when it's going on.

The worst part is, this will go on forever. It's an inevitable result of trying to instill and enforce a code of strict amateurism in a capitalist society. You can't get people to stop wanting money, and the stricter the consequences are, the greater lengths the athletes will go to to conceal the activity. Hence Lonnie White, sitting in an empty lot late at night, trading season tickets for a bag of money. Basic capitalism turned into an act of shame. That's obviously not the NCAA's stated goal, but it's the clear end result.

Doesn't seem right, does it?


Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:43 pm
 

UNC releases statements following NOA

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As Chip reported about here on the blog earlier on Tuesday night, North Carolina was hit with a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA. You can read all about it here, but following the notice the school released statements of its own.

From Chancellor Holden Thorp:

"I deeply regret that Carolina is in this position. We made mistakes, and we have to face that. When the investigation started a year ago, we pledged to cooperate fully with the NCAA, to go where the facts took us, and to face the issues head on. Our level of cooperation is evident in the allegations, some of which arise from facts that we self-reported to the NCAA. We will emerge with a stronger athletics program, and we will restore confidence in Carolina football."

Athletic Director Dick Baddour:

"We are disappointed to be in this position because it goes against everything we believe in, but we are thankful to get to the next step in the process. These are the issues that we have been dealing with since last summer. We will gather the information the NCAA has requested and prepare to address the notice with the NCAA in the fall. We have a strong staff that will help get us through this and put us in a position where we will be a better athletic department as a result. Our fans have been through a lot this past year, and we appreciate their continued patience and support as we work through these next steps with the NCAA."

Head coach Butch Davis:

"I feel terrible that these allegations occurred under my watch. I especially regret that the university has had to endure this scrutiny because of the football program. The responsibility for correcting any problems that put us in this position is mine, and I take that responsibility very seriously.

"I want to thank our fans for the tremendous support we have received. Their loyalty and support has been especially appreciated by our student-athletes. The opportunity I have to serve the University of North Carolina is one that I cherish, and I will continue to focus on improving every aspect of our football program."

North Carolina will appear before the Committee on Infractions in Indianapolis on October 28th. 

Posted on: June 17, 2011 12:33 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 9:41 pm
 

Records show Blake spoke to players during trip

Posted by Chip Patterson

A whopping $13,000 in parking tickets wasn't the only interesting revelation from North Carolina's release of documents on Thursday. Phone records show communication between former assistant John Blake and former players Marvin Austin and Cam Thomas during their trip to a California training facility before the 2009 season, J.P. Giglio of the News & Observer in Raleigh reported.

Cellphone records were obtained as part of the lawsuit filed by several local media outlets to release information withheld by the university. They show that Blake contacted numbers tied to Austin while he and Thomas were training with former UNC teammate Kentwan Balmer at Proactive Sports Performance in Westlake Village, Calif. -- a location frequently used by Gary Wichard and Pro Tect Management.

If Blake, or anyone else at UNC had knowledge of Austin and Thomas being with Balmer in California, it would be the responsibility of the North Carolina compliance office to investigate whether the trip was permissible.

Austin has contended as recently as March that no one at UNC knew about his trip with Thomas, but the communication between Blake, Wichard, Austin and Thomas suggests otherwise. Hotel receipts financially link Austin to Wichard's agency and show the dates of the players' stay as July 23 to Aug 1. From July 20 to Aug. 3, Blake's records show 20 calls or texts to Wichard's cellphone, 10 to Austin's and eight to Thomas.

While some have argued that these potential violations can be pinned on Blake, who resigned from the program one game into the 2010 season, the reality is that we may be far from the end of these allegations. Local media has a lot to gain from drawing dots together to try and find something that the NCAA may have missed in their investigation. North Carolina received their Notice of Inquiry from the NCAA on June 7, and sources have reported that the Notice of Allegations could come as soon as this week.

Once North Carolina receives their notice from the NCAA, the closure process can finally begin. It has been reported that the school is expecting the notice to highlight nine different infractions, including failure to monitor charges in relation to Blake, tutor Jennifer Wiley, and former player/runner Chris Hawkins. The notice will also include a suggestion of punishments for the allegations, which could include the loss of scholarships, probation or even a postseason and/or television ban. Once the notice is received, the school will have 90 days to respond and then there will be a date set for the school to appear in front of the Committee on Infractions.

For Tar Heel fans, the hope is that no additional allegations can be drawn from the information released as a result of the lawsuit. The faster that notice comes, the faster the hearing can be set and the entire process can finally be settled.

Posted on: June 7, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 9:42 am
 

CBSSports.com College Football 100: 20-11

By the Eye on College Football bloggers

To celebrate the (now fewer than) 100 days remaining until the first Saturday of the new college football season, this is the CBSSports.com College Football 100: our countdown of the 2011 season's 100 most influential players, coaches, administrators, venues, or any other related
things in college football. It's like that other "most influential" list, but, you know, more important. Also: it's supposed to be fun.

We're now down to the nitty-gritty: Nos. 20-11 below, 10-3 tomorrow, then No. 2 Thursday and our No. 1 unveiled Friday. Stay tuned.

20. OLIVER LUCK, athletic director, West Virginia. Luck's influence on college football is two-fold. The first (and most important) has been his effect as the athletic director of West Virginia. Recently, his role as the face of this athletic department has become much more challenging due to the ongoing Bill Stewart/Dana Holgorsen soap opera. In the next few weeks, Luck will have to clean up a he-said/she-said that could end up defining West Virginia football -- and the entire "coach-in-waiting" strategy -- significantly for the near future. If Luck decides that Stewart was trying to convince reporters to dig up dirt on Holgorsen after his hiring in December, he may be faced with the decision of promoting Holgorsen early or -- as some have suggested i- bringing in an entirely new head coach. Somehow, Luck will have to find a way to juggle all of this responsibility while instituting the first year of beer sales at West Virginia athletic events. Despite a negative reaction from many fans, Luck is convinced that the selling beer at the games is going to be the best way to discourage binge drinking before the games and at halftime. It is not entirely uncommon for schools to make this decision, but the logic is often difficult to explain to fans who disapprove of alcohol at college events entirely.

Oliver is also the father of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. The overwhelming favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Luck shocked the professional ranks with his decision to return to Stanford for (at least) another season. His return shakes up the entire Pac-12 race, and with Terrelle Pryor's off-field issues has made him the frontrunner for next year's Heisman Trophy. The decision for a college player to come back almost always is a family one, and while the elder Luck has kept himself out of his son's affairs for the most part, his influence on Andrew's decision has no doubt changed the football landscape for next season. -- CP

19. THE NFL LOCKOUT, potential season-dissolver, NFL. Think the NFL lockout isn't hugely important to the college game? Watch what happens if/when college games are the only games in town. Watch what happens when all the "Monday morning quarterbacks" are still talking about Saturday instead of Sunday. The fact is that college football is uniquely positioned to siphon tens of millions of football fans from the NFL, even if it's just on a temporary basis. And unlike college basketball and the NBA, where the pro version is a vastly superior product to the amateur version (sorry, but it's true), college football can be every bit as enjoyable as the NFL.

Of course, the lockout situation is still fluid, and there's certainly a possibility that pro football will be "back" well before the college football season starts. And yet, the antitrust lawsuit filed by Tom Brady and friends has a hearing that's scheduled for September 12... four days after the NFL's regular season is supposed to start. The NFL is gearing up for a long work stoppage; college football teams should take full advantage. That means courting the newly disenfranchised fans and filling as many stadiums as possible with them, even if it means dropping ticket prices. That means openly promoting celebrating the fact that college football is never going anywhere, never relocating to another city 1,000 miles away, never locking players out and threatening to cancel a season, and never treating fans half as poorly as the NFL is treating its own right now. -- AJ

18. VONTAZE BURFICT, linebacker/eater of souls, Arizona State. Burfict has developed a bit of a reputation for being a cheap shot artist. It's not exactly an unfair label, as any search of his name on YouTube will provide the evidence of his work. Yet, having a linebacker on your defense that plays with a chip on his shoulder isn't exactly a bad thing, especially when that chip complements the heap of talent that comes with it. Through his first two seasons with the Sun Devils, Burfict has made 151 tackles, leading Arizona State with 90 last season.

Entering the season, Arizona State seems to be a trendy pick in a lot of preseason top-25 polls, and Burfict is one of the reasons why. (Our colleague Dennis Dodd named him the national Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.) While Arizona State's defense was middle of the Pac last season, the rush defense was third best in the conference, and an even better Burfict could make for even better numbers this season. If the Sun Devils are going to live up to the preseason and make some real noise in the Pac-12, the defense is going to have to do its part. And that defense will be led by Vontaze Burfict. -- TF

17. BUTCH DAVIS, head coach, North Carolina. When Davis arrived in Chapel Hill, his charge was to make North Carolina football relevant on a national level. In 2010 North Carolina football has had as many headlines as all the perennial powers--just for many of the wrong reasons. In a year that has been filled with NCAA-related scandal, the Tar Heels are preparing to finally wrap up an investigation on impermissible benefits and academic impropriety that began last summer with Marvin Austin and Greg Little. Throughout this entire process, Davis has remained steady and confident in his team and his job. One year later, Davis has dodged all of the attacks and still stands as the head coach in Chapel Hill.

But despite promises to right the culture of wrongdoing, Davis continues to catch criticism for his ignorance. Defensive lineman Quintin Coples is already a topic of interest after being spotted at a DC-based NFL Draft Party. Considering the "sign-out sheet" that was going to help keep tabs on players, Coples' misstep in judgement reflects poorly on Davis and the program leadership.

But unlike other head coaches in charge of troubled programs, there has been no hard evidence to show any kind of cover-up by Davis. When a player's eligibility has been put in question, the school has pulled the player from the active roster and relied on a "next man up" mentality until NCAA clearance. Not only have Davis and athletic director Dick Baddour been cooperative with the NCAA, but North Carolina won their first bowl game since 2001. With no hard evidence yet to surface, Butch Davis continues to avoid the pressures of investigation with ignorance and wins. As long as both factors continue, Davis will be on the sideline in Chapel Hill. -- CP

16. JIM DELANY, commissioner, Big Ten. The man who stands atop college football's most prosperous conference is back again, and he's got quite a production to unveil this year. The new-look Big Ten has a slew of changes, and all of them--from newcomer Nebraska to the newly named trophies and division names--have Delany's fingerprints all over them. As such, the success or failure of these changes are going to be laid directly at Delany's feet, for better or worse. We're banking on "better."

More CFB 100
Related Links
So why is he only 16th on this list? Because when push came to shove and Ohio State (Delany's flagship football program) started to melt down in the wake of Jim Tressel's transgressions, Delany was nowhere to be found. Sure, he held a teleconference last Sunday, after Tressel was already gone, but remember that it took five months for the Ohio State brass to go from "notified of Tressel's problem" to encouraging him to resign. If Delany was truly upset about what happened in Columbus, shouldn't he have at least put a little public pressure on OSU to move on? Yes, Ohio State should be encouraged to deal with its own problems, but this is the conference of Legends and Leaders, right? Do those names actually stand for anything, or are they just meaningless labels? And if they do stand for something, shouldn't the commissioner enforce them a little more actively than Delany did with OSU? -- AJ

15. MACK BROWN, head coach, Texas. Since becoming the head coach in Austin in 1998, Brown's teams have gone 133-34, won a national title, and earned two Big 12 championships and six division championships. Brown has won the Bear Bryant Award, Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award, and has been the Big 12 coach of the year twice. That's a lot of notches in the belt, but those accolades don't mean much in Austin right now, as a lot of Longhorns fans can't see past 5-7, Texas' record last season. It's hard to believe that a coach who has had as much success at Texas as Brown has could be considered on the hot seat, but if Brown doesn't turn things around this season, he will be.

Brown made the changes he felt were needed after 2010, firing Greg Davis and hiring Bryan Harsin, but he also lost the man who was supposed to replace Brown himself, Will Muschamp, to Florida. So in 2011 Brown will not only have to lead Texas back to its winning ways, but do so with two new coordinators. If he can, Texas will be back in the national title picture. If not, there may even be a job opening in Austin this winter--one that would have a seismic impact on the rest of the college football world. -- TF

14. RUSSELL WILSON, quarterback, free agent. Wilson is worth paying attention to, first and foremost, because he's a quality quarterback whose addition could single-handedly change the fortunes of whatever team he happens to join. But his situation is also worth watching because -- like some sort of sci-fi superhero experiment -- Wilson is the first and possibly last of his kind. Never before has a player of Wilson's impeccable on- and off-field credentials been available as a no-strings-attached, one-year free agent. And judging by the SEC's decision last week to eliminate single-season transfers like Wilson's and Jeremiah Masoli's, one may never be available again.

That alone makes Wilson one of the year's biggest stories. But the impact he makes on the field could be just as key. Wilson has already visited Auburn (reportedly) and is due to visit Wisconsin soon (reportedly). Given the ample (if unproven) offensive talent that would surround Wilson in either location, both teams would suddenly see their expectations rise another rung up the ladder and would become dramatically more dangerous threats to the favorites in their respective divisions. Wilson's free agent adventure might still come to nothing (returning to football from the minor leagues means giving back a huge portion of his Colorado Rockies signing bonus), but until it reaches its conclusion, we're going to be riveted all the same. -- JH

13. TRENT RICHARDSON, running back, Alabama. There's no polite way to say it, so we'll just say it: the state of Alabama has dominated the sport of college football for the past two years. Each of the last two Heisman Trophies are sitting in Cotton State trophy cases. They just happen to be a stone's throw away from each of the last two BCS championship trophies, also in those same cases. In 2009, Alabama gave us the sport's most complete, dominant defense in years. In 2010, Auburn gave us the sport's most dynamic, polarizing player in years. So what are they going to do for an encore?

Thanks to Trent Richardson, they might just make it three-for-three on both the BCS title and Heisman Trophy fronts. Even as Mark Ingram took home the famous stiff-armer in 2009, Richardson was bullying his way into the backfield (as a true freshman) all the same; he finished the season with 144 carries, many of them coming in critical situations in the season-saving comeback against Auburn and the national title tilt against Texas (where he topped the 100-yard mark). After a productive 2010, Richardson now has the starter's job to himself, one of the best offensive lines in the country opening holes for him, and a defense on the other side of the ball that could be the equals of 2009 (and should give Richardson ample opportunity to close out nationally-televised wins). Deja vu all over again, for both Alabama the team, and Alabama the state? Definitely possible ... and possibly even likely. -- JH

12. CHIP KELLY, head coach, Oregon. Chip Kelly hasn't been a head coach for long but he's already accomplished quite a bit. He's taken a program with only recent success and turned the Ducks into the Pac-12's flagship program after a couple of off-years from USC. With back-to-back BCS bowls under his belt and a high flying offense that he gets the lion's share of credit for, it's no wonder he was recognized by Fast Company and several other organizations for his creativity and genius on and off the football field.

2011 will put Kelly's coaching abilities to the test, though, as the Ducks look to finish what they couldn't last season. Oregon has to replace several starters along the offensive and defensive lines but returns starting quarterback Darron Thomas and Heisman Trophy finalist LaMichael James at running back. This will be the first year for the Pac-12 and Kelly would like nothing more than to have his name on the inaugural trophy. His reputation has taken a hit this offseason after allegations regarding payments to Will Lyles for his scouting service, and the head coach would like nothing more than to put those things behind them--with the same quickness with which Kelly attacks everything he does. -- BF

11. MARK EMMERT, president, NCAA. Since taking over less than a year ago as the NCAA's new president, Mark Emmert has barely had time to catch his breath. He walked right into a widening agent scandal at North Carolina, had to deal with the fallout from the severe sanctions at USC, and handled the controversial reinstatement cases involving Kentucky basketball's Enes Kanter and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton. Needless to say, Emmert has had a lot on his plate ... and that's not even getting to the mess at Ohio State.

Emmert has been criss-crossing the country lately, meeting with administrators, student-athletes and others to get a sense of what is going on in college athletics since he took over. He has a big year upcoming as he looks to finally make an imprint with a new NCAA legislative cycle. Emmert has constantly said the organization won't pay athletes under his watch but he has talked with the SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten and others about full cost of attendance scholarships, so that could be a significant push he makes this year. On top of that, he'll have to deal with an inquiry from the Department of Justice into why the organization doesn't run an FBS football playoff. With all that is on his plate, Emmert will continue to have a regular presence in the headlines. -- BF

The 100 will continue here on Eye on CFB tomorrow. Until then, check out Nos. 100-91, 90-81, 80-71, 70-61, 60-51, 50-41, 40-31 and 30-21. You can also keep up with the 100 by following us on Twitter.



 
 
 
 
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