2016-09-14 08:12

OK, I have to talk about money.

ESPN just posted some preview pictures of the new 55 million dollar football facility Clemson will open soon and I just thought 'wow, a facility for football only with a value of maybe 11 full seasons of a small FBS football team, while on the other hand it is an NCAA VIOLATION when you spend your book money on some needed stuff other than books when you were told to spend it'.

I'm not sure I can makes this clear so maybe I start piece by piece.

I have nothing against Clemson to build a new facility.
If that cost 55 million, fine.
Has it to be a football ONLY facility?
Well, that is a good question, because what happens inside the facility if the players are on the field, or in school or studying?
That sounds quite ... wasted.
But obviously the money is there and it can be ... spend that way.
Or is the house full, day in day out?
Then I could understand that no other sport can use the weight room, the plunge pool, the locker room and all the other fancy stuff. Sure.
But ... when do they study and have school?
I'm sure missing insights here, but I'm also sure that smaller schools do manage their facilities a bit more wide spread regarding sports using it.

But OK, if you want pro-like athletes, you need a pro-like facility, right? Only that they are not supposed to be pros.
But what about the can't-be-called-pro-players? They should be without worries, right?

I mentioned in my review of last the gameday that Charleston Southern did suspend 14 players for 1 game for using book money for other stuff when they were told to spend it, but were not told how to spend it and were not told that a misuse of that money for other stuff would be a NCAA violation.
OK, they are officially students, fine.
They get a full ticket to study at the school, called sport stipendium, which includes book money. Fine.
First question coming up to me was, why do they get book money in real cash, instead of just ... books? Or some kind of credit card only useable FOR books?
That has probably administrational reasons. Fine.
But why do they get book money at all?
Why not just ... money? And then the student is self-responsible to use it as needed. Whether that is beer, books or bread, his choice.
But giving them money without purpose would probably destroy the amateur status, right?

And why do they have that status? Because they get education for playing sports?
No, to save taxes from the revenue.

OK, CSU is far from being Clemson but the rules are the same for CSU players and Clemson players.
Now ask yourself, is it OK that the school is able to spend 55 million dollars on a new facility, while the players have to watch every nickel and dime they spend and earn to avoid NCAA violations?
And what funny violations we had in the past.
An Ole Miss OL had a violation because he asked for money to pay a 3 figure electricity bill of his mom.
An Ohio State QB had a violation because he got a tattoo for nothing (if I remember right the coach did fall over the whole issue which included a bit more that that tattoo, but still …)
And so on and on.
It’s even a minor violation when Alabama gives its players a cigar after a Tennessee victory, a tradition they keep since ages. Cigars!

I think something is very wrong in that system.
The schools do spend the extra money they get not on the players, they spend it on facilities, coaches, athletic directors and other fancy stuff.

Yes, some of the players of the major schools will turn pro. Great.
The majority does not, but still worked hard every day to sell that brand the schools now are.
And not every pro makes it big and even those who do are so pre mature that 2 out of 3 are broke, once they are no longer pro.

I love that sport, but I hate it, how the schools are acting on the players, in general.
Of cause the schools do care about the players, they are their invest, their product, but do they care about them the right way?
Players got kicked from a team when they had an NCAA violation, but when they were accused of sexual violence, rape, theft or whatever the coaches were … slow. At least that did change a bit in the past few seasons, but that violation stuff is still ridiculous.

I think small changes in the system would help and I think a honest discussion about the money in the system and who is profiting out of it would help.

Now let's talk about week 3.

There will be some great games and some great road blocks for the so called competitors.

We have not entered the main conference games phase, but we the beauty contest for the playoffs is already ongoing and some of the leading candidates did struggle already at the introduction.
Some teams will get another hit this week, some will set themselves up from some other schools and will rise in the rankings.

Let's have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 3

Sat. Sept. 17 - 12:00 AM ET
#2 Florida State @ #10 Louisville
That one got big over the past 2 weeks, thanks to the great play of Louisvilles QB Lamar Jackson.
Vegas gives FSU a 2 point lead, which is basically nothing and just says, ‘we think the Seminoles will win’.
I’m not convinced.
The lost a crucial defender and will face a very potent offense.
I think both teams can win here, but my gut says, Florida State will lose on the road in a high scoring game.
Don’t miss it, could become an epic game.
Louisville wins.

Sat. Sept. 17 - 1:30 PM ET
#1 Alabama @ #19 Ole Miss
This is very likely a small fear-game for the Alabama guys.
Twice did the Tide play Ole Miss in the past 2 seasons, twice they were the favorite and twice did they lose.
Now we have a -10.5 line for Alabama, so they are again the favorite which could be crucial for the division crown.
Last season did only some Ole Miss losses later in the season lift Alabama into the conference final and into the playoffs to win the National Championship, and if they lose here, again, they might have to hope again for an Ole Miss Meltdown.
The Crimson Tide had a great first game and an average game in the second, Ole Miss lost their season opener against FSU and won last week in a meaningless game.
Can Ole Miss win again?
Will they win?
Don’t know, probably not.
I doubt that a Saban led team will lose 3 times in 3 seasons against the same team. Period.
I pick Alabama.

Sat. Sept. 17 - 7:30 PM ET
#12 Michigan State @ #18 Notre Dame
Is this a great game?
Many do like that MSU – Notre Dame rivalry, but I’m just fed up on this.
For me, it just don’t back up the hype around it.
MSU was killed last season in the playoffs and Notre Dame is far from their golden past, conserving an image they have basically lost over the past 20+ seasons.
Will it be a game to watch? Yes.
Worth the hype? Probably not.
So far I can’t figure out MSU and I think Vegas has the same problem, giving therefore Notre Dame a 7.5 lead to win this.
It’s played in South Bend, but I think they key factor will be, whether that MSU team can show up on defense and offense, or not.
At the moment I think Notre Dame will create enough opportunities to win this, which MSU will be limited in scoring.
Notre Dame wins.

Sat. Sept. 17 - 7:30 PM ET
#3 Ohio State @ #14 Oklahoma
Surprisingly gets Ohio State only a Vegas line of -2.
I was totally stunned how Oklahoma was taken apart by Houston and I expect to see something similar by Ohio State, the former home of now Houstons HC, since he was the OC at OSU for some time.
We might see a resurrection of the Sooners, similar to their last season turnaround after the Texas loss, but I have doubts about this.
Ohio State does look better coordinated than the Sooners did so far and I can’t believe they can fix this in a week.
So, Ohio State wins.

Sat. Sept. 17 - 8:00 PM ET
USC @ #7 Stanford
Stanford got a -9 from Vegas on this one and I think they will beat it.
USC might become a big player again, even under the current coach, but Stanford is a machine, USC wants to be, but is far from to become.
The Cardinals did so far look good enough to tackle this first challenge while USC did lose against Alabama as if they were a FCS school and not the biggest school on the West Coast.
So my pick is simple, Stanford will win this.

Other interesting games:

Fri. Sept. 16 - 7:30 PM ET
#6 Houston @ Cincinnati
Interesting game, because it’s between two contending teams inside the conference. Houston is a 7.5 point favorite, I think they will beat that.
Houston wins.

Sat. Sept. 17 - 12:00 AM ET
#25 Miami @ Appalachian State
Another nice game, with Miami favored only by 3.5 points, since the Mountaineers did almost win against Tennessee. I’m divided here, I would love to see Appalachian State win here so they get the credit they deserve, but Miami under Richt seems to make fast progress and it’s still the Goliath in that matchup and I think the Mountaineers did leave the sling somewhere else.
Miami wins.

Sat. Sept. 17 - 1:30 PM ET
#22 Oregon @ Nebraska
Nebraska is favored to win this (-3.0) and I do agree here. Oregon did not show the dominance they had in the past so far.
Nebraska wins.

Sat. Sept. 17 - 1:30 PM ET
Pittsburgh @ Oklahoma State
I like Pitt in this game. Oklahoma did lose by a bad rev decision last weekend, but did on the other hand not have enough in the tank to separate themselves from Central Michigan in the 4 quarters before, while Pitt did win against Penn State. Vegas backs the Cowboys by 6, I do not.
Pittsburgh wins.

Sat. Sept. 17 - 10:45 PM ET
Nice game here, two 1-1 teams face off against each other. Vegas sees UCLA 3 points ahead, I think they can get a better margin. If this would be in LA, I would expect a blowout, in Provo we will likely only see a 2 score win by UCLA.
UCLA wins.

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