Former Notre Dame quarterback and college graduate Everett Golson was on the Florida campus Tuesday but don’t hold your breath that he will spend his final year of college football playing for the Gators. Oh, sure, there is a chance Golson could elect to make Gainesville his home for the 2015 season, but there is a far greater chance that he will wind up at one of these four schools: Florida State, Alabama, LSU or South Carolina.
At FSU, Alabama or LSU Golson could step in as an experienced starter on a team with enough talent to challenge for the national championship. At South Carolina, he would be 90 minutes from his Myrtle Beach home so his parents and family could easily make the trip to see him play.
Yes, Golson would start at Florida. No doubt about it. But, the kid is no dummy and he’s going to look at all that inexperience and lack of depth on the Florida offensive line and chances are he’ll say thanks for allowing me to visit and then move along to whoever is next on his list of ten potential transfer destinations.
For Golson to play at Florida, Alabama, LSU or South Carolina he will have to get a waiver from the Southeastern Conference since he had to sit out the entire 2013 season at Notre Dame when he was expelled for cheating. The SEC does not allow graduate transfers who were involved in NCAA or academic matters, but since Golson was on his best Boy Scout behavior at Notre Dame last year and earned his diploma, it’s highly unlikely the league would stand in his way of transferring in.
College football’s first ever playoff delivered far more than anyone could have imagined last season. Bowl traditionalists claimed a playoff would render the regular season meaningless and would create the kind of controversy that would destroy the very fabric of the college game. About the only controversy of the new system in year one was TCU and Baylor of the Big 12 being left out of the Final Four and that wasn’t the fault of the selection committee. The Big 12 has only itself to blame for not landing at least one of those teams in the final four. The lack of a conference championship game killed the chances for TCU and Baylor while over in the Big Ten, Ohio State’s smashing win over Wisconsin in the league title game allowed the Buckeyes to overcome an embarrassing early season defeat at the hands of Virginia Tech. Had the old BCS been in place, Ohio State’s chances to play for a national championship would have been killed by that loss but a four-team playoff and the 59-0 thrashing of Wisconsin earned the Buckeyes a second chance.
It was the lack of a conference championship game that was the undoing of Baylor and TCU. That extra game played by the champs of the ACC (FSU), SEC (Alabama), Pac-12 (Oregon) and Big Ten (Ohio State) was an advantage in the eyes of the selection committee. As Ohio State proved, a win in a conference championship game can overcome an early season loss to a weak opponent or an Alabama non-conference schedule that included a D1AA team and weaklings like Southern Miss and Florida Atlantic. TCU’s non-conference schedule included a D1AA team and an SMU team that was the worst in all of Division I. Baylor’s non-conference slate featured a D1AA team and bottom feeder SMU and a MAC team.
You would think the final four selection snub would have the Big 12 scrambling to add two more teams so it could add a conference championship game but instead, commissioner Bruce Bowlsby says he doesn’t sense the league is making any move toward adding a conference championship game. “I think we all believe that one year is not a long enough trial to draw any conclusions,” Bowlsby was quoted Tuesday.
This should be a major concern of the other four power conferences just as it should be a concern that Notre Dame is not affiliated with a conference. Would it be fair for a once-defeated Big 12 team or Notre Dame get into the final four after having played only 12 games while the other four leagues have their division champs slug it out in a championship game that is their 13th game of the season? The Big 12 will probably come around if its champ gets snubbed a second straight year, but what about Notre Dame? How can the power schools continue to let Notre Dame play by its own rules?
Brace yourselves. Bobby Bowden has something critical to say about a Florida State football player. Appearing on the Paul Finebaum Show Tuesday, the former FSU head coach sounded off about Jameis Winston, whose off the field antics would have made him a fine fit with some of those Bowden characters during the dynasty years.
Said Bowden: “I think it’s a consensus among Florida State fans and boosters that he was an embarrassment in a lot of ways to the university. He won a lot of ball games, probably one of the best football players who ever attended Florida State, but he hurt himself off the field. The good news is he’s young enough to get over that, you know it? But he’s got to do that. He just can’t make those junior high decisions that he made when he was in college.”
Now, remember, this is the same coach who played Julian Pittman the last four games of the 1997 regular season and in the Sugar Bowl after Pittman spent 30 days in jail DURING the season for burglary and fraudulent use of a stolen credit card (from his girlfriend no less). After Pittman’s sentencing, FSU’s student disciplinary committee expelled him from school but miraculously the higher ups at the university overruled the expulsion and instead suspended Pittman for the spring semester. That allowed Pittman to attend classes and go to football practice while on work release during the 30 days he was in jail.
When star wide receivers Peter Warrick and Laveraneus Coles were arrested for grand theft after walking out of a Tallahassee Dillard’s with more than $400 of clothing that they paid only $21 for during the 1999 season, Bowden showed what an even-handed disciplinarian he was. Bowden publicly stated that he “prayed for a misdemeanor” for Warrick. Warrick copped a plea for misdemeanor petty theft. He got a two-game suspension. Coles also copped a plea for misdemeanor petty theft. He was kicked off the team.
The difference? Bowden knew he could win a national championship (FSU beat Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl to complete a perfect season) without Coles. He knew he couldn’t win it without Warrick.
Now, Bowden was right to call Winston an embarrassment to FSU on the Finebaum Show Tuesday but it’s obvious that his memory is – shall we say – selective. During Bowden’s years at FSU there were dozens more arrests besides those of Pittman and Warrick not to mention the Free Shoes U incident and the academic scandal.
Would you be in favor of Everett Golson transferring in to UF or do you think Jim McElwain’s best bet is to play the guys he’s got since Golson has only one remaining year of eligibility?
The Main Squeeze remains one of my favorite musical discoveries of the last 12 months. I really like the style of lead singer Corey Frye, who moves so smoothly from blues to 60’s style soul to pure funk to the Grateful Dead. Today’s music is the band’s debut album “Main Squeeze.”