What’s Interesting About the Missouri Protests

cropped-9898602293_c42e30e1ce_b.jpgI’m sure most of you have already read about the Missouri football team joining in a campus protest and refusing to play or practice until the University President resigns.

I’m not going to analyze the protest itself, that’s been covered, and frankly, I’m not on campus and don’t really have anything to add.

What I do find interesting, however, is what this says about football programs at the college level. This is a group of athletes recognizing their position at the school, and placing significant financial pressure on the university. If nothing else, this is a tacit acknowledgement of the financial importance of football. Not being able to play football games would be a huge financial loss, and a black eye to the school’s reputation.

So, if the university wants to continue to profit from playing football games, they are going to have to step in and do something to get the team back on the field. If they do, we’ll have the one thing that the NCAA has pretty much refused to publicly say for all these years, official acknowledgement by a university president that football is a for-profit business.

After all, if football players are just students who happen to play a sport, the correct response to this protest would be to simply shut down the program for this season, take away all of their scholarships, and start over next season. That won’t be the response, but if the NCAA wants us all to view football scholarships as “payment” for playing the game and bringing in millions of dollars of revenue for the school, isn’t that the only choice they have? Or do the players actually have more power than the NCAA wants to admit?

What I’m Reading – College athletes at major programs benefit from confluence of factors to sometimes avoid criminal charges

College athletes at major programs benefit from confluence of factors to sometimes avoid criminal charges

I think this is something that we all sort of suspected, but seeing the details and hearing the stories is still pretty stark.

Perhaps the worst part of this is how many “fans” are willing to harass and threaten people who are the victims of a crime in order to win games. If that’s you, you are a screwed up human being.

The Inexplicable SEC

SEC logo photo

We’ve been told that the SEC West is the most amazing collection of great football teams ever. I’ve been skeptical of this claim for a while now, and this week provided more fodder. Here’s why:

 

  • Missouri beat Texas A&M to maintain their lead in the division.
    • Victories by other SEC West teams over A&M have been considered quality wins, but they currently stand 7-4 and do not seem like a good team
    • Missouri is 8-2, with a blowout lass to Georgia, and a home loss to Indiana. (INDIANA?????)
  • Georgia blows out Auburn
    • Yes, the same Georgia team that has inexplicable losses to South Carolina and Florida beat one of the “quality” West teams, badly.
  • LSU gets shut out by Arkansas
    • LSU, also one of those “quality” West teams, gets shutout by a team that had lost 17 straight SEC games and whose signature win this year is against 3-7 Texas Tech.

What to make of this? Perhaps, this is more evidence that Auburn, A&M and LSU really aren’t very good football teams.

Is that’s true, what does that say about Alabama, Mississippi State and Ole Miss?

State gained their #1 ranking in large part by beating LSU, A&M and Auburn is consecutive weeks. They got a lot of credit for a stretch against teams with a combined 21-11 record before finally losing at Alabama.

Ole Miss beat Alabama, which they deserve credit for, but losing to LSU and Auburn? Ugh.

Alabama seems to be the best team of the bunch, but it’s a fairly mediocre bunch, in my mind.

To be fair, however, every other conference in America is just as mediocre, and is being led by teams that don’t seem very good. This includes Florida State, who somehow has won a bunch of games they had no business winning. So I’m willing to admit the SEC is maybe the better collection of teams when compared to other conferences right now, but I think college football, in general, is pretty mediocre right now, full of wildly inconsistent teams. Maybe that’s the reality of kids leaving early and having to play at a younger age, or perhaps their all just point-shaving? 😉

 

Photo by Roger Smith

Gator Fail

Florida gators photo

Photo by bjmcdonald

Statistically speaking, Florida played a great game against Missouri tonight. They had 8 minutes more time of possession, ran 35 more plays, gained well over twice as many yards and were given 11 penalties against Missouri.

So how did they lose 42-13? A kickoff return and punt return for touchdowns and 6 turnovers will do that.

Honestly, Missouri couldn’t have played a worse game on offense than this, but Florida mistakes helped them to a 42-0 lead anyway.

I don’t even know how a team can make that many mistakes. You can blame the starting QB, Jeff Driskel for some of those turnovers, but he doesn’t cover kicks. This mess of bad football goes much deeper, and I know Gator fans seem willing to dump much of it on the head coach. Can’t really argue with them.

Can history repeat itself and the Gators find the perfect replacement the way they did after the Ron Zook era? If they do, does that mean Muschamp will be at Illinois next year? 😉