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Link – Lawsuit says Baylor University football players in Waco, Texas videotaped a gang rape, which was considered a ‘bonding experience’

A new Title IX lawsuit filed against Baylor University was filed Tuesday night, according to the Waco Tribune, and it includes details of a gang rape by as many as eight football players.

The Tribune story said that the suit alleges:

… the football team had a system of hazing freshman recruits by having them bring freshman females to parties to be drugged and gang raped, “or in the words of the football players, ‘trains’ would be run on the girls.”

Considered a bonding experience by the players, according to the suit, the rapes were also photographed and videotaped, and the plaintiff confirmed that at least one 21-second videotape of two Baylor students being gang raped by football players had circulated.

I know a lot of people want to say that Art Briles was just a scapegoat for problems at Baylor that he had no knowledge of or anything else, but as the stories keep trickling out about what went on at Baylor in those years, I can’t feel sympathy for anyone who was involved in the football program. That place was a disaster and everyone involved in it needed to be fired. They’re lucky the program doesn’t get the “death penalty” honestly.

And a lot of the players should be in jail.

http://www.star-telegram.com/news/nation-world/national/article151054487.html

Photo by DHuiz

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Link – Investigation of Baylor University said Art Briles failed to alert police of allegations

“In May, Philadelphia-based law firm Pepper Hamilton released a scathing report about Baylor’s handling of sexual assault allegations. That report led to the demotion and then resignation of former university president and chancellor Kenneth Starr; the firing of football coach Art Briles; the suspension and then resignation of athletic director Ian McCaw; and the firings of multiple athletic department employees.

The Journal on Friday quoted Baylor regents who detailed some of the Pepper Hamilton findings for the first time. According to the regents, in at least one case, Briles “knew about an alleged incident and didn’t alert police, the school’s judicial-affairs staff or the Title IX office in charge of coordinating the school’s response to sexual violence.””

This is the sort of information that had not bee n public before and had led many people to feel that Art Briles was simply a scapegoat and would have no problem working in the NCAA or even NFL again as soon as this attention sort of blew over.

If he knew about a sexual assault involving even one of his players and didn’t report it, neither one of those organizations should ever want to be connected to him. Hiring Briles at this point would only go to show that you don’t care about sexual assault. Probably not a good image.
http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/17912838/investigation-baylor-university-said-art-briles-failed-alert-police-allegations

College Football Chaos

tcu photo

Photo by ..Russ..

And just like that, the 4 team playoff that was supposed to prevent college football from being a mess, is itself, a total mess. TCU and Baylor are 11-1, co-champions of the Big 12, and Ohio State is 12-1, champion of the Big Ten, and there’s one spot left.

Let me just say, no matter who the committee picks, it’s wrong. It was wrong to design a system that pitted 4 teams when you have 5 conference champions, the committee was wrong to ever rank TCU higher than Baylor after Baylor beat them and had the same record, it was wrong to “wait and see” with Ohio State’s injured QB situation, because now that the last week has happened, what do they do now? What did they not see from Ohio State that would keep them from the top 4? How did TCU remain ahead of Baylor when they lost to Baylor, and how do you flip flop them now? How do you reward the Big 12 for playing one less game? How do you choose a team that lost to Virginia Tech over teams that lost to Baylor and WVU for their one loss? Why does Oregon get ranked above all of them with what turned out to be a relatively easy Pac-12 North schedule? Is their 19 point home win over Michigan State more or less impressive than Ohio State’s 12 point win at Michigan State? Is TCU’s 30-7 home win against Minnesota more impressive than the Buckeyes win at Minnesota? Is the fact that OSU trounced Wisconsin with their 3rd string QB show that they are a better team than people give them credit for?

How do you possibly pick one? The committee did itself no favors by having TCU ranked third, and claiming that Baylor’s head to head victory wasn’t being considered yet. Is it being considered now? And if so, how much? How does that move Baylor 3 spots to get ahead of TCU based on what happened this week, or will the committee punt that decision and put OSU at #4?

If Ohio State winds up at 4 will it be because the committee truly things they are better than either of the Big 12 entrants, or will it be because of the TV ratings and tickets sales? And if it does, do we care?

Of course, the biggest question of all will be why not move to an 8 game playoff, which would leave us in the same situation. Who are the last two teams in? Michigan State and Mississippi State, mostly by virtue of not making it to a championship game to lose this week?

Besides, that is exactly what the NCAA wants us to do, demand more teams in the playoff, forcing them to make even more money on the games, and force supposed student athletes to put themselves at more risk without seeing any of it. Don’t fall for it.

For the record, my prediction is that Ohio State gets in, and the money absolutely has something to do with it. I say that while fully acknowledging that I am an Ohio State fan too. (If I had a vote, I’d have Baylor in that 4th spot, beating TCU means something and Ohio State does not have an equal victory, on top of that albatross of a loss.)

I also say that knowing that my system forces each conference to name a champion and all of those teams to play in the playoff, and no one else. How simple, how eloquent, how boring for the talking heads!

 

It Might Be Bias But It’s Also a Problem with Preseason Polls

Southeastern Conference photo

By now, most of you have probably seen the Rolling Stone article in which they claim to show the bias of ESPN toward the SEC.

I’m not here to agree or disagree with the premise. There is definitely some cheer-leading going on with certain ESPN talking heads, but I don’t know that there’s an institutional bias. I think you can absolutely make the case that ESPN being an investor in the SEC network is a conflict of interest, but if there’s one thing we know about ESPN, apparent conflict of interests have never stopped them before. (They are the broadcast partners of many of the leagues they claim to “cover” from a news perspective after all!)

The one thing that the article really pointed out to me is the way that preseason polls create a real problem when it comes to ranking the teams properly.

Case in point, South Carolina was ranked #9, on the basis, I guess, of being a decent SEC team last year. When they got beat by Texas A&M in the first week of the season, the Aggies were credited with a victory over a top 10 team and rode that, and a few ridiculous non-conference wins, all the way into the top 10 themselves. As A&M lost to Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama in consecutive weeks, they were all, as the article pointed out, credited with beating a “juggernaut” in A&M. But here’s the thing, A&M’s reputation this season was based on beating a South Carolina team that, in fact, stinks. They stand 4-5 after losing to Tennessee this week. (The Vols FIRST conference win by the way)

So in reality, A&M really isn’t a good college football team, nor is South Carolina. The Gamecocks, in turn, beat Georgia, who’s other loss was the embarrassment against Florida on Saturday, another team that isn’t really any good.

Now as it stands, right now, there are some teams from the SEC who are probably overated. I don’t think it is a huge problem for the final four playoff teams as of right now, but moving forward, these 4 teams are going to change, and there’s a good chance that there will be those who argue for a two-loss SEC team, because, “SEC”, when they might not be all that good, due to the teams they’ve beaten being ranked too highly at the start of the season.

As of now, Mississippi State and Florida State are undefeated, and I think if they stay that way, they deserve to be in the playoff. Going undefeated is an accomplishment in any of the Power 5 conferences. I also don’t have much of a problem with Alabama and Auburn because of a couple of impressive non-conference wins. (Bama over WVU, Auburn over K-State) But, TCU, Oregon, Baylor, Kansas State and Michigan State are right behind them. I don’t think, if everything remains the same, either one can afford a loss.

For the record, just to show that I’m not biased, the Preseason Polls also had these rankings that were ridiculous and as these teams started losing, the teams beating them were given too much credit:

#5 Ohio State (ranking was pre-injury to Braxton Miller, clearly not the reality of that team early in the season)

#7 UCLA

#9 South Carolina

#11 Stanford

#15 USC

#23 North Carolina

#24 (Coaches Poll) Texas

Let’s ditch the preseason poll, and let the teams actually show us something before we start ranking them and giving teams extra credit for quality wins that aren’t.

Photo by Diamondduste

Why the SEC Should Embrace My Playoff Plan

Jordan Hare StadiumI first introduced it last season, but as I watch the SEC devour itself this season, I can’t help but wonder if SEC fans would maybe, just maybe, like to think about the benefits of a playoff where the conference winners advanced to the playoffs regardless of record. strength of schedule and so on.

Mississippi State and Ole Miss may look like the darlings of the SEC West right now, but remember, not only do they still play each other, but State also has a date with Alabama coming, and Ole Miss has dates with Auburn and at LSU too. This race ain’t over, although frankly, there’s also a really good chance Auburn or Bama is going to get hung with a second loss too, before they play each other.  In the end, it’s not a real stretch to imagine that the winner of the West could end up a two loss team. And then we have to assume they actually win the championship game, which may be against another 2 or even 3 loss team from the East. Wouldn’t it be something if the SEC wound up with an upset champion, like Georgia, and had to go out and try to claim a spot in the final four with undefeated Florida State sitting out there, and undefeated Baylor, and one-loss Oregon, Michigan State and Notre Dame out there as well? Now, that’s probably not going to be the case, but wouldn’t you feel better knowing that whoever wins the SEC, they’ll advanced to the 10 team playoff, against the other conference champs? Suddenly the regular season clashes that are tremendously exciting already take on so much more meaning, and we can stop worrying about how the preseason polls got it all wrong, but made it easier for some teams to stay ranked highly, and so on.

SEC fans could watch the carnage taking place thanks to the wins being piled up by the state of Mississippi, without the fear that neither of those teams is going to make it out of the regular season with a record impressive enough for the final four. Like I said, I feel like that is probably how they are watching it now, but not evey season is going to be this season. Eventually, some conference is going to consume itself and wind up outside the final four. Let’s fix that now before it happens!

Who’s Number 4?

One of the things I hear often about the BCS is that, as of right now, this is the nightmare scenario, three undefeated teams from the top conferences. Only 2 can play for the National Championship. But, college football experts are quick to point out that this won’t be a problem next year, thanks to the 4 team playoff.

I’d like you to think about that for a minute. Then look at the BCS rankings. Sure, Ohio State would get into a playoff and have a chance to play for the championship that they may not get this year. (ed note: there is still a lot of football to be played…) If this is next year though, who else makes the playoffs? How much controversy would there be over that 4th spot in the playoff. Clemson, Auburn, Missouri, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Michigan State all have 1 loss. Which one deserves the spot?

Granted, some of this will play itself out. MSU still has a trip to the Big Ten championship game against Ohio State coming up, Auburn has the Iron Bowl, and Missouri has a likely match up in the SEC championship game with the winner there. Clemson still has South Carolina coming up, and Oklahoma State and Baylor also have tough games coming up. Of course, all of this opens up the possibility that none of these teams would end up with only 1 loss, and then who’s the fourth team?

Honestly, the BCS just traded a huge controversy between numbers 2 and 3, for an equally ridiculous argument between 4 and 5. That’s not improvement, it’s the same, tired, system with an extra couple of game’s worth of sponsorship/TV money. Yay for us!