Cavalcade: Autographs, Gurley & Jameis

Cavalcade of Whimsy, Oct. 14 - Sign your name right here. Autographs, Gurley & Jameis

Cavalcade of Whimsy

October 14

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- 2013 Cavalcades 
- Aug 26 Josh Shaw, playoff talk, and there's a new network?  
- Sept 2 College Football's big new problem  
- Sept 9 The impossible: defending the Big Ten 
- Sept. 16 More Big Ten issues, UCLA Jerry & More 
- Sept. 23 Read it right in the ...  
- Sept. 30 No, Florida State isn't No. 1 
- Oct. 7 Trevor, Katy & Ole Miss

Cavalcade of Whimsy
Part 2: Midseason - Predicting what'll happen for every conference, and midseason MVPs and top coaches

Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault … I chose to go for it, missed, and gave Bryce Petty a short field to work with rather than punt it deep and take my chances that my D could hold on with around 45 seconds left to play.

”Charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets in the Indy 500. … Sorry, but please allow the meatball fan in me to come out. NCAA types, if you have something linking Jameis Winston to this autograph memorabilia thing, please, for me, save it for Sunday morning. I want a Sean Maguire-free Notre Dame-Florida State showdown. Let me have my college football moment, and then do what you must.

The same goes for anyone who goes with No Gurley, No Problem … That’s it. We’re done here. As of right now, this moment, as it’s written at 10:55 PM EST on Tuesday, October 13, 2014, I shall never, ever, under any circumstances say or write the words More and Cowbell together again. And before it starts, I shall cease to laugh politely at the use of Stark Vegas. However, if and when Mississippi State loses, I will allow for Jump The Stark Vegas.

What’s he talking about? Alabama has a leader - Phyllis from Mulga … Awwww, Awabama … I’m sowwy AJ McCawwon hurt your wittle feelings … awwww, there, there. Here’s your sippy.

AJ McCarron might have backpedaled on his claim that Alabama get better leadership and had to let Lane be Lane with the offense, but it would’ve helped the argument on the other side had the Crimson Tide offense not come up with a fat load of jack squat against Arkansas.

C’mon, Alabama. You’re 5-1 with the three big games left against Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Auburn all at home. Win out, and you’re probably in the playoff no matter what. Act like you’ve been there before.

”Everybody doesn’t like something, but nobody doesn’t like #FreeGurley” … Fans can’t agree on anything, but in today’s day and age of enlightenment, in a time when the juvenile notion of amateurism no longer exists at the highest of levels of collegiate athletics, can we all come together on this?

Is it possible that we can all join hands and unite as one by declaring, this, the Todd Gurley incident – possibly the Gurley/Winston signing incident - the last stupid controversy nail in the NCAA’s coffin?

It’s unfortunate that the Gurley thing came to light at the exact same time that Treon Harris and Jameis Winston were in the news for real, live, actual alleged issues, because they all got lumped together when one of the stories has absolutely nothing to do with anything that truly matters to the real world. And that’s the thing to remember - no, Todd Gurley didn’t do anything wrong in the eyes of a civilized society.

No one with a working brain actually believed that Johnny Manziel signed his name a bazillion times last year just because he was bored, and he was only penalized for a half against Rice. Since there was no paper trail, he got an “oh you kids today” hair muss, while Gurley’s career now might be over simply because he was allegedly compensated for being Todd Gurley.

The ball is about to drop on the time when getting paid to sign your name and making money off of your likeness becomes a punishable offense by the NCAA, and soon, this will become a normal way for a collegiate athlete to make a little extra money. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, and there’s no one who can make a reasonable case for the other side. Best of all, on the other side, this might turn out to be the Get Out Of Jail Free card for the savvier NFL prospects who want to protect their investment.

I’m well aware of the He Owes It To Georgia And His Team And His School rationale, but as I’ve asked every time something like this comes up, has South Carolina paid back Marcus Lattimore the roughly $10 million minimum he probably lost by unnecessarily playing more than he had to for the Gamecocks? Believe me, the NFL scouts don’t need to see any more of No. 3. Any scout who’ll say he’d like to see Gurley back on the field is lying – the team that gets him will be ecstatic that Gurley will enter the league with at least 150 fewer touches.

Go do autograph signings, get caught, pretend to be sorry, become ineligible, go sign with an agent, work out, get drafted, become a multi-millionaire.

By the way, how did South Carolina do after Marcus Lattimore’s injury in 2012? It finished up 11-2 on a five game winning streak … SEC Network people, it’s not like the guy died or lost a kidney or anything. The reaction to the Gurley thing was positively funereal, but – realizing this flies in the face of everything I do for a living – it’s just a guy not playing college football. It’s going to be okay.

Bad Line 1: As opposed to the Gurley Men. Bad Line 2: This would work better if he played for the Hogs. Bad Line 3: … After Nick Chubb’s 143-yard, one score effort against Missouri, please, there has to be a Georgia fan club called the Chubb Chasers.

”Very good. Juicy. Ripe. This Joe's got some terrific fruit. I feel like I got a B12 shot. This is like a taste explosion!” … I have no idea what it says about me or my life that somewhere, about six months ago, in some conference room there was some creative director at some advertising agency who - with cold, calculated efficiency - outlined on a whiteboard in front of his cohorts the exact way to specifically target Pete Fiutak. It’s as if he said, “We’re going to up the ante on the Cialis women and make this one guy watch our Viagra ad during every football weekend commercial break.”

Let’s see if we can check off all the boxes …
- Close-up of a gorgeous, voluptuous early-40s blonde woman saying words … check
- Laying around on a cabana bed by a pool at some remote beach resort … check
- Sophisticated British accent … check
- Walking on the beach at the resort to suggest that she’ll probably say more words in a sophisticated British accent … check

All that’s missing is the product. Had this been an ad for Subway, and she’s holding a roast beef on flatbread while standing next to a fountain pop machine that only dispenses Diet Coke, it would be 30 seconds of pure perfection … (as a service to you, the Cavalcade consumer, I politely request that you spike that perfectly set up line on your own).

And somewhere, Willie Meggs is laughing, just because … So let me see if I’ve got this right. Forgetting about what any of us might think or believe, Jameis Winston was never charged with a crime after the sexual assault allegations against him came about last year. There wasn’t enough evidence to even make the first real step towards putting Winston through the legal process, but now he’s going through a sort of trial for something that society – again, forgetting about what anyone believes or thinks – hasn’t felt worthy to look into any further, much less be able to punish him for. Also, he doesn’t have to say anything during this hearing - he can just sit there and take a nap if he wants to – and if he does argue his side, there’s a chance he can go from not being in any real legal trouble to possibly opening up a giant can of worms.

Here’s what I’m totally missing. Florida State as an institution and university could potentially look really, really bad, especially in the current climate after all the NFL fiascos, and yet there’s no question about whether or not Winston is playing against Notre Dame.

If this all goes the wrong way for Winston and FSU, this could be end of the world as we know it stuff, but first, Winston’s going to run out on the field and complete 30-of-36 passes against Notre Dame. If he throws for 340 yards, Florida State probably wins, and it he throws for 270, Florida State probably loses, and that appears to be the main focus despite all the other things swirling around – there doesn’t appear to be a massive concern on FSU’s part.

Sexual assault allegations, stolen crab legs, screaming obscene things on top of a table, and now, a possible memorabilia scandal? Jimbo Fisher and Florida State University are on the line here, meaning they’re either taking an awfully big chance by playing him amidst all the swirling issues – again, though, to be fair, he isn’t being charged with any crime - or else they suspect that there’s nothing there to any of this.

Meanwhile, if he’s amazing and the Seminoles win, as a Heisman voter, the dude rockets up to the top of my list.

If he’s out on the field, and he’s able to play out the rest of the season, just like you can’t vacate wins or erase the fact that Reggie Bush won a Heisman, you have to go by what actually happened. If he has off-the-field issues, that’s for the real world to deal with and it’s the real world’s fault if he’s on the field if and when he shouldn’t be. If Jameis is being Jameis on the field, and Dak, and Bryce, and Marcus start to drop off the map, will I be happy to vote for Winston as the second two-time Heisman winner? Not really – especially since I was dead-on right that it should’ve been Tebow – but if he’s the signature player of my 2014 college football season, okay.

No Matthew McConaughey speeches required … I’ve never really done this before, but I’m going to warn you that this next blurb isn’t for the squeamish. If you find yourself easily offended, or if you’re reading this column to your child as a bedtime story, as you should, please skip and move on.

I’m now going to list to you the schedule of your 2014 Marshall Thundering Herd.

I’ve commented on this before in the offseason, but I held back thinking that maybe, just maybe, one or two of the teams on the slate would become something quirky-special, but nope. Last warning … okay, here we go.

at Miami University (1-6), 42-27
Rhode Island (0-6 and FCS), 48-7
Ohio (3-4, and without a win over a team with an FCS win), 44-14
at Akron (4-2, probably the best opponent on the slate), 48-17
at Old Dominion (3-4), 56-14
Middle Tennessee (4-3), 49-24

Up next … at FIU (3-4), Florida Atlantic (2-4), at Southern Miss (2-4), Rice (3-3), at UAB (4-2), WKU (2-3)

To make this even worse, not only aren’t there any teams from a Power 5 conference on Marshall’s schedule, but the only team on the schedule with a win over a Power 5 conference team is Akron’s over Pitt in late September.

That doesn’t mean Marshall couldn’t hang with several teams from the ACC or other major leagues, but if you’re really going to think about whether or not the Herd deserves a Group of 5 bowl bid over the American Athletic, MAC or Mountain West champs, please, reread that schedule again – at your own peril.

I'm just a Bill/ Yes, I'm only a Bill/ And I'm sitting here in Gainesville/ Well, it's a long, long journey/ To the SEC title/ It's a long, long wait/ While I'm sitting in committee/ But I know I'll win a title someday/ At least I hope and pray that I will/ But today I am still just a Bill … I’ll get into this more with my piece on the College Football Playoff Mock Selection Process, coming up next week, but one of the more interesting aspects is how schedule comparison is almost everything. When putting Team A’s slate vs. Team B’s vs. Team K’s up side-by-side-by-side, everything comes into play including overall statistics. To the discerning eye, it was important to realize that some of the stats might be a bit off thanks to a cream-puff win or two, but still, on the surface, if one team blasted an opponent that was fifth in the nation in total defense and another team blew away a team that finished 47th, that mattered.

With that in mind, along with possible bowl implications, it’ll be interesting to see if Florida’s cancelled game against Idaho turns out to matter.

Considering the Gators beat Eastern Michigan 65-0, they probably would’ve beaten the Vandals by 50, at least, and right now they’d be 4-2. Instead, they’re 3-2 and still need three wins to become bowl eligible with Missouri, Georgia, at Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Eastern Kentucky and Florida State left to play. It wouldn’t do Will Muschamp’s job security any good to finish 6-6, but at 4-2, the program could at least count on a bowl spot with Vandy and EKU layups ahead. Now, it might be a fight.

Part One would’ve been better … but the officials screwed up the clock following a penalty. Alabama was allowed to take a knee and I didn’t get the ball back.

Cavalcade of Whimsy
Part 2: Midseason - Predicting what'll happen for every conference, and midseason MVPs and top coaches

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