this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Unverified Voracity Has Shark Week Analogies
I'm not sure if this good news or not, but the Big Ten Network and Time Warner are proposing a free preview in Ohio for the opening weekend of the season:
Time Warner Cable might show Ohio State's football opener against Youngstown State, even though the cable company hasn't reached an agreement with the Big Ten Network.
Time Warner, which serves two-thirds of wired homes in Ohio, including some 600,000 in central Ohio, said it would consider showing the Youngstown State game Sept. 1 and the Akron game Sept. 8 on one of its basic cable channels without a Big Ten Network deal.
"We would be happy to facilitate a 'freeview' of the live games on expanded basic cable," a Time Warner spokeswoman said.
Mark Silverman, president of the new network, didn't rule out the idea.
"I can't comment on that specific solution, but we're trying to get this (overall deal) done," he said. "I'm open to coming up with creative ways to solve this."
This would seem to be a step towards getting a deal done with Time Warner and an indication that negotiations are progressing more slowly than optimal, or a negotiating ploy that would strip the BTN of much of its leverage by putting the big-ticket Ohio State games on without committing to the network. I don't think the BTN would go for this without the framework for an agreement in place.
Oh snap. Mark Snyder also takes issue with the Forde article and Harbaugh's comments in the Free Press:
Forde stated that "only one junior has declared a major, according to the guide (in movement science). In 18 years of covering college athletics, I've never seen virtually an entire junior class without a major."
That's outdated information. That was from the spring media guide, before most juniors declare majors in the summer. In the fall media guide released last week, only two juniors (of 19) remained undeclared, and one is Antonio Bass, who has missed significant school time because of his leg injuries.
And to use a media guide as the basis for the research is a bit limiting and selective, given Forde has no idea why some majors are listed and some are not.
Would it be better to list a variety of majors, as Ohio State does, and rank in the 40th to 50th percentile of the APR? Or Michigan State, in the 30th to 40th of football programs?
There's more; worth a read.
Game times. ESPN's put out a press release announcing a bunch of television start times. Relevant notes:
- Oregon and ND are both national ABC games at 3:30.
- Illinois will be at night but the network its on is still undecided.
- The national telecasts of regional ABC games get a little more clarification:
Eight Saturday afternoon windows will feature innovative coverage in which ESPN or ESPN2 will regionalize two games on ABC to markets not receiving the telecast. For example, on September 1, ABC will televise Washington State at Wisconsin and Wake Forest at Boston College at 3:30 p.m. ET. ESPN will "reverse mirror" ABC's coverage, televising Washington State at Wisconsin in markets receiving Wake Forest at Boston College (on ABC) and Wake Forest at Boston College to the part of the country receiving Washington State at Wisconsin (on ABC).
Older than Greg Oden. Georgia Tech blog Ramblin' Racket thinks "the Rose Bowl's tradition is largely bogus" because the Big Ten-Pac 10 matchup was not instituted until 1947. Because a tradition that's only 60 years old is no tradition at all. Weird.
Like Shark Week but without the sharks. It's Big Ten week over at SMQB, and all posts are highly recommended. Nothing on Michigan yet, but a discussion of Tresselball in the post-Smith era and the possible fates of Penn State and Iowa in the middle of the pack.
Grate. Badger Tracker has an excellent post about this Bielema-Ikegwuonu thing that summarizes why I'm beginning to detest the guy:
And of course, it is unwise to to talk to the press about active legal proceedings. But there's a right way and a wrong way to address the situation. The wrong way is what Bielema did: to be antagonistic and standoffish to the press, lecturing them about what they can and cannot ask, acting like there is something to hide. What Bielema did goes way beyond the laudable goal of protecting a player. The right way is to prep Ikegwuonu before his media time, telling him, "You know the off-the-field stuff is going to come up. Tell them it's an unfortunate situation, it's not going to affect your preparation for the season, and you can't comment because the legal proceedings are ongoing."
To preempt questions about the incident and then threaten Ikegwuonu's departure if the coach's directive is broached is an annoying way to go about things. And maybe none of the offenses here require kids to be booted off the team, but felony trespass and burglary should warrant a meaningful suspension. I seriously doubt one's coming.
(No doubt there will be some glass houses accusations, but to compare this to Adrian Arrington's situation -- an unspecified violation of team rules believed to be pot possession -- or Carson Butler's -- he was acquitted -- is ridiculous. Ikegwuonu hasn't been convicted of anything yet, but if he is there should be some discipline from the University. I'm not holding my breath.)