Posted by Adam Jacobi
I just got done with an appearance on the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast with J. Darin Darst and Adam Aizer, and we had a lot to talk about today. The Channing Crowder situation, the issue of paying players at all, what Russell Wilson means to Wisconsin and the Badgers' division title chances (HINT: they're better!), and the other putative Big Ten division leader Nebraska's shot at success.
Now, I understand my stance on the Crowder situation is a little extreme, and I understand that there's something unseemly about businessmen lining the pockets of "amateur athletes" on the sneak. But that situation is scarcely different from what happens now -- it's just that the boosters are lining the pockets of the athletic departments and not the athletes, and that is totally acceptable in today's sports climate. I personally don't see much more honor in someone donating $2,000 toward a weight room instead of toward an athlete's single mother's rent bills, but the NCAA does and they're still the ones wielding the stick, so here we are.
As for Nebraska and Wisconsin, one aspect of the situation that should have gotten more than a passing mention is the fact that this is the most wide open the Big Ten has been in lord knows how long. Michigan's down, Ohio State is in the process of getting gut-punched by the NCAA, and Penn State doesn't look like an elite team (especially on offense). It's basically Michigan State, Nebraska, and Wisconsin on the top tier, and that seems just plain weird. So that has every bit as much a role to play in why we're taking Wisconsin and Nebraska to win the two division titles as anything dealing with those two teams themselves.
Anyway, listen away. And don't mind Darin's fingernails.