Posted on: November 5, 2010 10:26 am
Edited on: November 5, 2010 10:37 am

Breaking down the Cam Newton scandal

Here is video of Auburn coach Gene Chizik saying Cam Newton is "eligible, end of story," Thursday night.

While he may be eligible now, we'll see if Newton actually takes the field against Chattanooga on Saturday. Remember, supposedly the SEC has had this information since at least the summer . Former Mississippi State player John Bond says he was visited by NCAA officials in early September. That means Auburn had to know since at least then, right?

Would the school have allowed Newton to play at all if it knew there was the slightest hint of impropriety? If your answer is anything but "no," this scandal might have just gotten bigger.

USC's Reggie Bush was determined to be eligible when he played, too. His transgressions were discovered after the fact. The NCAA eventually determined that USC should have known about the relationship between Bush and the would-be marketers and agents. Could the NCAA do the same with Auburn?

If you think this is much ado about nothing, consider that the NCAA has an active investigation going. That doesn't suggest to me that the NCAA has exactly wrapped up this case.

There are many issues floating out there:

--Already one prominent columnist has said he will not vote Newton for the Heisman.

--Was Auburn solicited for a cash payment to get Newton?

--If so, did someone pay?

--Will this scandal have an impact on voters in the AP, coaches and Harris polls? We'll find out about that as soon as Sunday.

--An already over-the-top Iron Bowl just got taken to the next level. You can imagine Alabama fans waving Monopoly money at Newton.

For starters.

Posted on: September 2, 2008 7:25 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2008 2:18 pm

The pollsters get a conscience

In the old days -- OK, 2006 -- the major pollsters fell in line like those lemming Obama supporters.

If USC was No. 1 -- as it was in AP for 32 consecutive weeks from the end of 2003 to the last regular-season poll of 2005 -- then, well, by God that's where it stayed no matter what. What I'm trying to say here is that there isn't much original thought in the human polls. Check the Harris polls. Instead of voting in the moment, the BCS pollsters who debut in October usually fall in line with what the AP and coaches are spewing at the moment.

That's why Tuesday was somewhat of a big day in the polling business. USC jumped Georgia for the No. 1 in both major polls after one week of play for no apparent reason. The Trojans punched a punchless Virginia. Georgia ripped Georgia Southern. Ohio State, which fell from No. 2 to No. 3 in AP, pimp slapped Youngstown State.

Really, I didn't see much difference in quality in the opponent except that the Trojans traveled across the country to play a real, live BCS team. Call it the frequent flyer advantage. USC picked up nine more first-place votes and 49 points overall in going from third to first in AP. It also picked nine first-place votes in the coaches' poll outpointing Georgia 32-4.

That last time something like this happened, No. 2 LSU lept over No. 1 USC in the AP poll of Sept. 30, 2007. That week the Trojans won at Washington 27-24. Meanwhile, LSU beat Tulane in New Orleans, 34-9.

Maybe the pollsters couldn't stand Georgia getting another injury. Maybe USC looked that good. The latest shift seemed to be a reaction to some of these powers playing body bag games. Suddenly, the pollsters have a concscience. What a concept! This is what poll critics wanted, now they've got it.

Here's the preseason AP top 5 fared

1. Georgia beat I-AA Georgia Southern and fell to second losing two first-place votes and 22 points overall.

2. Ohio State beat I-AA Youngstown State and fell to third losing six first-place votes and nine points overall.

3. USC beat Virginia and went to No. 1 picking up nine first-place votes and 49 points overall.

4. Oklahoma beat I-AA Chattanooga and stayed in fourth losing two first-place votes and 12 points overall.

5. Florida beat Hawaii and stayed in fifth losing one first-place vote. Its point total stayed the same.

--If you were dialing into the George O'Leary's weekly teleconference with reporters at Central Florida on Monday, you got a phone sex hotline.

"Hi sexy you've reached the one-on-one fantasy line."

Insert your punch line containing the words "spread option", "deep coverage" here.


Oh, by the way, it was a mistake. An SID entered the wrong phone number for reporters to dial in on.


--Glad to see Frank Beamer see the light. Dual-threat quarterback Tyrod Taylor will play this week against Furman. Taylor was a candidate for a redshirt until Sean Glennon showed against East Carolina that he wasn't ready to fully lead the Hokies.






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