|by Pigskin Prophet|
I watched with fascination - the kind of expectant and morbid fascination you get from watching a drunk girl stumble around a bar, waiting for her to fall – in watching the press conference where the NCAA handed down its penalty sanctions against the University of Miami this week.
You see, I am old, and I remember the old days when the NCAA had teeth and they handed down some serious penalties, so I was expecting to see that kind of show.
In case you missed it, Miami booster Nevin Shapiro allegedly used investor funds to finance donations to the University of Miami's athletic program, and claims that he gave an estimated $2 million in prohibited benefits to at least 72 current or former football/basketball players and coaches from 2002 to 2010.
Heck, that’s some serious stuff!! And they aren’t even in the SEC, where stuff like that is perfectly legal!!
Back in the old days – remember SMU? – the NCAA would have come down with a serious hammer on the Hurricanes, starting with making Shapiro change his first name from Nevin (I always think of Snkteve Martin as Navin in “The Jerk”) to something a little more normal. Like Rhubarb.
SMU did all kinds of bad things, and the NCAA ordered all of the coaching staff to move to Canada, where they were put in charge of the national healthcare system (snicker, snicker – illegal benefits.)
The coaches and university administrators still gather together – over 20 years later – every Friday night, where they are forced to listen to replays of Craig James and Jesse Palmer in the same booth on ESPN’s Thursday night football.
That is almost criminal in its severity.
So I watched in fascination as the NCAA handed down the sanctions to Miami, and they were hit by a ferocious haymaker – they have been forced to reduce next season’s media guide by seven pages, and each administrator involved has been told they have to watch Nicholas Sparks movies with John Swofford every Friday night until he goes to the big blue wine tasting in the sky.
Speaking of Swofford, the University of North Carolina committed academic fraud, and their penalty was also extremely severe…their colors have to be baby blue for eternity (the horror!! The horror!!).
So yes, the NCAA is as toothless as an old Englishwoman. And I have found my new job – NCAA investigator. Because they obviously get paid for doing nothing.
On to the picks, and remember, it’s all in fun.
KENTUCKY at MISS ST.
I have been waiting on this SEC showdown all week!!! I can’t wait to watch these powerhouses show us what SEC football is all about. Nah, I ‘m just kidding. I am gonna delve a little deeper into the Affordable Care Act and read about a thousand pages. Way more fun than this crud. In fact, and this might make SEC fans mad, but this would be more fun to watch if it was basketball. MISS. ST. 33, KENTUCKY 21.
CLEMSON at MARYLAND
This is the last game for the Tigers at Capital One What’s In Your Wallet Byrd Stadium at College Park in the Suburbs of Washington, or whatever it’s called these days. This place has been a house of horrors for the Tigers, especially when they had to see Ralph Friedgen on the opposing sideline (see what I did there?) The last two years, the Terrapins have claimed the top spot in two categories – uniforms that are worse than third world soccer teams, and most injuries by one team. The team still has those hideous Halloween uniforms, and they still have a lot of injuries. CLEMSON 35, MARYLAND 21.
WAKE FOREST AT MIAMI
The Hurricanes will play in celebration of avoiding watching movies with Swofford, and those great fans in south Florida will show up in celebration. Heck, there might even be 47 actual students at the game, all of whom are studying hard to be the next Rhubarb Shapiro and can provide strippers and limos to their heroes. On the other hand, Wake Forest is awful. RHUBARBS 38, WAKE FOREST 16
LOUISVILLE AT SOUTH FLORIDA
The Fighting Pizzas were exposed as frauds last week, and head to South Florida, a directional school that doesn’t know directions. I say that because they are South Florida, and they are located nowhere near the south of Florida. They are in Tampa, which is the middle of the state. That would be like Southern Cal being located in San Francisco. Now I have a headache. PIZZAS 31, TAMPA UNIVERSITY 14
GEORGIA TECH AT VIRGINIA
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson took back his Greatest Coach That Ever Lived title last week when his Bumblebees beat Syracuse. It matters not that everybody beats Syracuse. He is the best ever. This week, they travel to Virginia, which is known for……..for…..for…Thomas Jefferson. I think. BEES 28, VIRGINIA 20.
TENNESSEE AT ALABAMA
How about those Vols, who beat Steve Slurrier’s group in a visor toss last weekend? Or it was a football game. Butch Jones and his group dashed all National Championship hopes for South Carolina in the win (snicker, snicker), and now hope to deal another championship blow this week. Unfortunately, Alabama is actually good, and they own all of the championship trophies that South Carolina fans claim. Won’t be close, because good teams beat bad teams. ALABAMA 41, TENNESSEE 10.
UAB AT UTSA
FURMAN AT LSU
Who says the SEC doesn’t step out and play some darn good non-conference games? Me, that’s who. LSU A LOT, FURMAN NOT SO MUCH.
SOUTH CAROLINA AT MISSOURI
This is for all the marbles baby!! Yes, the winner of this game gets to claim that their Columbia is superior to the other Columbia. Of course, those of us who have been to both places realize there are really no winners in this contest. In the actual football part of the contest, however, the belief here is that there will be a visor toss at some point midway through the fourth quarter. MIZZOU 28, VISORS 24.
UCLA AT OREGON
In case you missed it, Oregon’s defensive coordinator threw a Steve Spurrier type of fit last week when the opposition – are you ready for this – actually tried to score points. Yes, he was mad at an opponent for trying to score. You can’t make this stuff up.
Here is link
I wonder what will happen this week when UCLA tries to score? My guess is that he will call in the NCAA to deliver the punishment – marshmallows at the head. OREGON 45, UCLA 24
Pigskin Prophet can be reached at email@example.com