"I love it that Ivy League coaches are coming to our camp and Big Ten coaches are coming to our camp. South Florida is coming. We've got about 70 schools that are coming to our camp."
So i just noticed an AFC East preview on ESPN.com. It's on the front page if you want to check it out. However, what i got to thinking is while I know we will be focused on Michigan, I was wondering if there are any conferences in the NFL that people will be following. I for one follow the Lions and therefore the NFC North, but we all know what a futile and painful existence that is.
As I was reading the article i realized that aside from the fact the AFC East is incredibly competitive and worth following in its own right, it also is the one conference that features a plethora of high profile former Wolverines, David Harris, Braylon Edwards, Jake Long, Chad Henne, and of course Tom Brady. Therefore I will be sure to follow the conference quite closely, any one else have a favorite conference?
Alright, time for a little thought exercise here: The College of Football
What if a university, likely private with a relatively well funded scholarship base, were to give the big middle finger to the NCAA and do the following:
Establish a College of Football as a degree granting program within the school.
Offer Academic Scholarships to the most gifted players, and allow those not granted scholarship to enter the program and pay their own way if they like.
The college of football would entail taking classes in various football areas, both in the classroom and on the practice field, and in games, with the objective of being a Pro Football/NFL Prepatory program.
The best players could be lured in with the promise of excellent NFL and CFL contacts, and the freedom to be directly in contact with pros and agents at all times.
The NCAA could simply completely bar them from competition in NCAA events, and it wouldn't matter. The school could play games as exhibitions against semi-pro teams and the like, even offering payment to those teams to do so, and fund its future by A: Selling Tickets to games in a Pro-Football fashion, and B: Donations and contributions from the vast number of players that would eventually be well paid in the pros, and C: Student athletes who pay their way into the program.
Student athletes wouldn't be discouraged from attending because it's still a college and they're still earning a degree in the event that a pro-career does not materialize.
Obviously, the NCAA schools would hate that, because it would hugely cramp their ability to recruit the best (and most paycheck oriented) players. But, how would they stop such a thing?
There are very few people I hate more than Rosenberg (I am looking at you Drew Sharpe) and we never miss a chance to hold him over the coals for his usual BS columns so I thought it is only fair to also point out a sensible column that he mistakenly wrote:
I am VERY happy that he seems to be moving on to bigger fish ( Goodell) and will hopefully leave RR alone.
Watch it man, Goodell will not think twice before letting the dogs loose on you, not everybody plays nice like UM.
Answer: Antwaan Randle-El, Pat White, Kordell Stewart.
Question: Name three athletic college QB's who excelled at the position in college but were moved to other positions in the NFL.
Would these players have been drafted higher, and been better prepared to contribute in the NFL, if they had made those position switches in college?
Would Denard Robinson be better off (e.g. drafted higher, bigger contract) if he were to switch to WR or CB now rather than insist on playing QB in college when he has virtually no chance of playing the position in the NFL?
NOTE: This is NOT intended to start a Denard vs. Tate QB discussion. I am genuinely curious about the opinions of the board as to the advisability of Denard's remaining at QB in college vis-a-vis his NFL future.
Here's a Rivals high-level look at the Big 10's draft results from '00 to '09:
Can we assume that the number of players drafted by the NFL is a reasonable reflection of the talent base? (I think we can, but I'll leave that to the reader.) If so, Ohio State's dominance the last few years becomes easier to understand.
I find it interesting that Wisconsin is right there with Michigan even when they've trailed them most years in the recruiting rankings. It's probably also fair to say that Northwestern has done some overachieving on the field.
Some detailed views (say, at the ultimate destination of 4-star offensive line recruits) would be revealing. Maybe later...
ESPN 2 is promoting a 2-hour SportsCenter Special on the NFL Schedule release for Tuesday night at 7. It's on ESPN.com's TV Schedule as well.
It's always interesting to see some of the matchups... I guess the Lions Thanksgiving game is already set against the Patriots.
But just for information for anyone who cares.