Posted on: October 14, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 5:25 pm

Lone Star Showdown may survive, but when?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

After Texas A&M decided to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, it put the future of the Aggies annual showdown with Texas on Thanksgiving Day in jeopardy. For its part, Texas A&M has shown a willingness to continue the game, but Texas hasn't been nearly as willing. Well, that doesn't mean Texas A&M isn't going to stop trying.

Sure, the two schools have broken up, but that doesn't mean they can't get together for a cup of coffee, right? You know, just to talk.

According to a tweet from Kirk Bohls, Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin has authorized athletic director Bill Byrne to ask Texas out for that coffee date.

In another tweet Bohls shares that Loftin also said the game doesn't have to be on Thanksgiving if that doesn't work for Texas, and that A&M would be willing to play the game in September. "We're open to a date that meets all our needs," said Loftin.

Whether or not Texas will want to continue the tradition remains to be seen, but personally I know I'm hoping that the Longhorns agree to it. With so much history between the two schools, it'd be a shame to see their annual meeting come to an end, even if it's no longer a conference game.

UPDATE: According to Brent Zwerneman, Texas has already told Texas A&M they don't have room on the schedule until at least 2018
Posted on: October 10, 2011 5:17 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 5:18 pm

Tyrann Mathieu calls Trey Burton 'soft as cotton'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

LSU safety Tyrann Mathieu has quickly made LSU fans forget all about former cornerback Patrick Peterson by dominating games on defense. Quite simply, the Honey Badger is out there taking whatever he wants, when he wants. Still, it seems Mathieu is not content being the single biggest playmaker on defense in all of college football, but he wants to take over Twitter as well.

Which is fine by me, because when players take to Twitter to talk smack rather than just spew cliches, it makes for free blog posts. Like this tweet from Mathieu directed at Florida's Trey Burton, who made a comment about LSU's secondary not being all that good.

Now, admittedly, this does go a bit against Mathieu's honey badger persona. After all, the honey badger don't care, so the honey badger should probably just ignore Burton's comments. That being said, if Mathieu wants to tweet about Tennessee this week, that's cool with me too.

Also, when asked for comment about Mathieu's tweet, head coach Les Miles had this to say.

Posted on: October 3, 2011 2:17 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2011 2:18 pm

OU's Travis Lewis takes a shot at Nebraska

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When you're the new school in the Big Ten, there are a lot of ways to begin your first season of Big Ten play that would be a lot easier than having to go to Camp Randall to take on Wisconsin. Unfortunately for Nebraska, that's exactly what the Cornhuskers had to do, and Wisconsin leveled Nebraska 48-17 on Saturday night.

And don't think that some of Nebraska's old friends in the Big 12 didn't notice.

Oklahoma linebacker Travis Lewis took to his Twitter account on Monday afternoon and shared some sympathy and advice with his old friends in Lincoln.

Ouch, that's mean. Funny, but mean.

It'll be interesting to see what any Nebraska players on Twitter do next week should Oklahoma lose to Texas on Saturday.
Posted on: September 20, 2011 11:56 am
Edited on: September 20, 2011 11:57 am

Garrett Gilbert is done for the season

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When Garrett Gilbert looks back on his life 50 years from now, it's safe to say that the month of September 2011 will not be one he looks on all that fondly. Not only did Gilbert lose his job as Texas' starting quarterback following a terrible performance against Rice earlier this month, but now it seems that any chance Gilbert had of taking his starting role back is gone.

According to Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman, Gilbert underwent shoulder surgery on Tuesday and he's going to miss the rest of the season.

The injury apparently occurred during the Rice game.

While this isn't good news for Texas, it's not as bad as it could have been. The loss of Gilbert just means that the Longhorns will have to stick with Case McCoy and David Ash for the rest of the season, and that combination wasn't too bad against UCLA on Saturday. McCoy has taken most of the snaps, and since coming in for Gilbert against Rice, McCoy has completed 19 of his 25 passes for 225 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Posted on: August 10, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 3:32 pm

Seen/Heard at Camp: Virginia Tech

Posted by Chip Patterson

Training camp is underway in college football, with teams all over the country getting a better idea of what to expect from the upcoming season. Along with the help of CBSSports.com's Rapid Reporters, here is a collection of recent observations from Virginia Tech.

- The Hokies, who seem to be dealing with injuries at key positions every year, got bitten again early with All-ACC offensive lineman Blake DeChristopher straining his left pectoral. DeChristopher's expected recovery time was initially announced as 4-6 weeks, which would make him available sometime in September. DeChristopher was already back on the practice field this week, but wearing a blue non-contact jersey. Running back Dominique Patterson is out "a couple weeks" with a sprained ankle, quarterback Mark Leal (groin) and wide receiver D.J. Coles (hamstring) have been held out of practice and are "doubtful" for Saturday's scrimmage.

One point of concern from the injury reports are in regards to star cornerback Jayron Hosley. Hosley participated in Tuesday's practice, but was wearing a non-contact jersey. CBSSports.com's Sean Bielawski reports that the injury is "not considered serious." [Rapid Reports]

- Speaking of Hosely, his presence on the field will be a necessity for the Hokies defense. The lockdown corner is coming off a fantastic 2010 campaign, and will have an impact when every opposing quarterback drops back to pass. First-year starting cornerback Kyle Fuller knows that playing opposite Hosley will lead to plenty of looks his way.

"Teams aren't going to want to throw to Jayron [Hosley]," Fuller said. "So I think I'm going to have a lot of opportunities to make some plays this year." [Rapid Reports]

- Obviously the top question for the offense for many is how Logan Thomas will perform stepping in to a position that ACC Player of the Year Tyrod Taylor had his hands on for four years. Beamer offered some early comparison that should encourage doubting Hokie fans.

"I think he's got a lot of the same qualities as Tyrod," Beamer said. "I think he's smart. He's competitive. He works hard. I think he's a very natural leader, great character. So, he's got a lot of the same things as Tyrod, except about four inches taller." [Rapid Reports]

- Beamer also weighed in on the Twitter debate, explaining why he will not follow the likes of Boise State, South Carolina, and Kansas in banning Twitter use during the season.

"I think you educate your kids, and then they're responsible for their actions," Beamer said. "People have got to make good decisions. Part of us as coaches is to help kids get to the position where ether make good decisions." [Rapid Reports]

For more daily updates from Virginia Tech training camp follow Sean Bielawski's Rapid Reports and the ACC Blog.
Posted on: July 15, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 1:55 pm

Want to play NCAA 12 on Arizona's new scoreboard?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

We've spent quite a bit of time talking about NCAA Football 12 on the blog recently, but that's because the game is awesome and all of us college football fans need something to do while we kill time waiting for the real games to start. What better way to do that than by playing video games? I mean, it's hot outside. Who wants to go out there?

Anyway, playing the game on your television is good enough for anybody, but what if you had the chance to play it on a scoreboard at a college football stadium?

Arizona is giving you that chance.

The school's athletic director Greg Byrne has been tweeting plenty of pictures of the new video board that the school is building at Arizona Stadium, and he announced a pretty cool giveaway on his Twitter account earlier this week.

No idea what the giveaway will entail, but if you're an Arizona fan, are in the area, or are just willing to pretend you're an Arizona fan so you can play a video game on a giant videoboard, you should probably start following Byrne to find out.

Hat tip: Arizona Desert Swarm 
Posted on: June 29, 2011 11:55 am

MSU's Worthy isn't worried about Russell Wilson

Posted by Tom Fornelli

With the news that Russell Wilson had decided to transfer to Wisconsin earlier this week there has been a lot of talk about what kind of impact Wilson is going to have on the Badgers and the rest of the Big Ten. I know that here on the blog we all seem to think Wilson's arrival makes Wisconsin a better team, even if we are a bit reserved in our opinions on how large that impact is going to be. Others out there aren't, and seem to feel that Wilson makes Wisconsin the favorite in what looks to be a wide open Big Ten this fall.

Well, Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy has his own opinion about how Wilson shifts the landscape in the Big Ten, and he took his thoughts to Twitter. Jerel doesn't sound all that worried.

The limitations of 140 characters didn't allow Jerel to express his complete opinion on Twitter, but here's what he had to say in full.

"This guys on espn think that russell wilson gona change something at wisconsin. It still don't matter cause they gotta come in spartan stadium. Homecoming he will see how the big ten gets down"

Sounds like Worthy has his own plans on how to welcome Wilson to the Big Ten. Michigan State and Wisconsin play at Spartan Stadium on October 22nd. 

Hat tip: Dr. Saturday 

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)
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com