ESPN.com put together a series called Postion U in which it rates the best school for producing players at each position group in college football. The ratings are based on a scoring system that includes college award winners, consensus All-Americans, NFL first round draft picks, all-conference selections, etc. In its quarterback rankings, Oklahoma was #1 followed by Southern Cal, Texas, Florida State and then Florida. Since Oklahoma (Jason White and Sam Bradford) and Southern Cal (Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart) did produce multiple Heisman Trophy winners, a solid argument can be made for their 1-2 selection, but Florida at #5? Oh please. Florida produced a Heisman Trophy winner in Tim Tebow and a Heisman runner-up in Rex Grossman, who, by any rational thought, was screwed out of the 2001 award. Chris Leak started four years and won a national championship as a senior. Tebow was 35-6 as a starter, won a national title and had back-to-back 13-win seasons. Sam Bradford might have won the 2008 Heisman, but Tebow proved in the national championship win over Oklahoma that he should have been the first back-to-back Heisman winner since Archie Griffin. If not for 9/11 altering the schedule, there is probably a 99% chance that Grossman and the Gators would have played Miami in the Rose Bowl for the 2001 national championship. That might have kept voters from giving Eric Crouch of Nebraska a lifetime achievement award of a Heisman that he didn't deserve.
When testifying before the National Labor Relations Board a couple of months ago, former Northwestern quarterback Kane Colter claimed he couldn't major in medicine because football practice interfered with his class schedule. Just last week at the ongoing Ed O'Bannon trial in Oakland, California, former Vanderbilt linebacker Chase Garnham complained that Vandy football players couldn't schedule classes between 3-7 p.m. because they had football responsibilities. I have zero in the way of sympathy for either of them. Nobody held a gun to their heads and made them accept a football scholarship. Football practice is typically held between 3-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday at most Division I schools. Friday is a travel day and game day is Saturday. These guys knew that when they elected to sign their scholarships. If majoring in medicine was that important for Colter then he should have either given up football or found some school out there that would accommodate his schedule. The same goes for Garnham. There are some legitimate arguments being made for NCAA reform to better accommodate athletes. The arguments by Colter and Garnham aren't among them.
Jimmy Graham wants the New Orleans Saints to pay him $12.3 million a year. The Saints want to pay him $7 million. To counter free agency, the Saints have placed the franchise label on Graham and they want to pay him the franchise standard, which is $7 million a year, which is nice work if you can get it. Of course, if you are a franchise wide receiver – also nice work if you can get it – the franchise standard is $12.3 million a year. Graham and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) say that since he lined up wide two-thirds of the time that he's a wide receiver. To counter Graham, the Saints have introduced evidence from Graham's own Twitter account where he lists himself a tight end. This ongoing arbitration enlightened Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to write, "But if the Saints actually get somewhere with the Twitter bio defense then expect a lot of players to start calling themselves All-Pro quarterbacks," and added in the old George Costanza line from Seinfeld, "It's not a lie if you believe it."
Seattle's Richard Sherman, the self-proclaimed best cornerback in all of football, reared his ugly head at the NFC Championship Game last year when he ridiculed the San Francisco 49ers for trying to beat him with wide receiver Michael Crabtree in a critical situation. Lately, he's been engaged in a Twitter war with Arizona Cardinals (and former LSU) corner Patrick Peterson, who had the audacity to say about Sherman in a May radio interview, "Obviously his job is definitely much easier than mine." Sherman replied on Twitter that Peterson is "not a lockdown corner." Now Atlanta Falcons stud wide receiver Julio Jones has entered the fray, telling Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com that Peterson is the tougher of the two to catch a pass against. Jones also said that when he's healthy there isn't a cornerback in the league capable of covering "the best wide receiver in the league" one-on-one. The best, as in himself.
University of Kentucky president Eli Capilouto has done the unthinkable. He pulled Kentucky's pledge of $10.7 million a year for the next 30 years to fund the renovation of downtown Rupp Arena, claiming that the money would be better spent improving the UK campus and campus infrastructure. There have been times in Kentucky history when such a move would have resulted in Capilouto being run out of town on a rail. There there isn't a lot of statewide support for spending millions on what is already a perfectly good basketball arena when there are bad roads and high unemployment throughout the state. The now-dithced Rupp renovation plan also required $80 million in state money.
Alabama got a commitment from 2015 quarterback Blake Barnett of Corona, California. He's the highest rated quarterback Alabama has landed in the Nick Saban era. He credits Lane Kiffin as one of the chief reasons he will spend his college football career in Tuscaloosa ... LSU's expansion of Tiger Stadium has already paid off nicely. The school has sold a record 73,000 season tickets with orders still being filled and nearly all the seats in the expanded end zone have now been sold. Expanded Tiger Stadium will seat more than 100,000 ... War Eagle IV, the golden eagle who was the Auburn mascot for more than 30 years until retirement in 2006, has died from complications of eye surgery ... Missouri is using new technology from a company called Dynamic Athletics Research to reduce and possibly eliminate ACL injuries. The technology was used last year by the Australian Rules football team Carlton Blues, which experienced its first ACL-free season in the 100 years of its existence ... Remember Janzen Jackson? He was one of the three players arrested for trying to rob a convenience store outside of Knoxville back in 2009 along with Mike Edwards and one-time Gator commitment Nu'Keese Richardson. Janzen has been charged with the murder of his mother's boyfriend in Los Angeles.
The US Patent and Trademark Office, in a 2-1 decision by its Trademark Trial and Appeals Board, has canceled the trademark of the Washington Redskins name on the grounds that the team name is offensive to Native Americans. This is part of ongoing pressure to force Redskins' owner Dan Snyder to change the team name. The ruling won't force the Redskins to change their name, but it does mean that anyone can use the name and make money off it. The Redskins, of course, will appeal, and precedent says the appeal will be upheld. There was a similar ruling in 1999 that was overturned in 2003. While this case is going through the appeals process, it will be business as usual since the trademark protections will stay in force until the appeal is either accepted or rejected.
Should the Washington Redskins be forced to change their name or is that a matter for the Redskins' ownership and fans to decide?
The original Fleetwood Mac was nothing like the band that became popular in the mid-1970s and featured the vocals of Stevie Nicks. Founded in 1967 by Peter Green, who named the band after Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, the original Fleetwood Mac was a blues band that featured incredible guitar work by Green, whose fan club includes B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. Green left the band in 1970 and spent the next couple of decades battling mental illness and drug addiction. He played with the Peter Green Splinter Group in the 1990s and has done some touring in the last decade but he's never achieved the kind of stardom he probably should have. This is "Oh Well" from Fleetwood Mac's 1969 album "Then Play On."