Pocket Change – Preseason Week 2

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I know it’s still early, but I’m pretty much OVER the “35 yard line” kickoff already.  Should we even bother to field a kickoff team anymore?  The league is “worried” about subjecting the players to injuries, so why not just go that extra mile and start every team at the 20 and call it even?  I mean, you don’t want anyone pulling a hammy while running down on “touchback” coverage do you?

The University of Miami has their own Hurricane to deal with now.  By all accounts, this is going to get much, much worse before it’s all over with.  Attempting to discredit a convicted felon’s story won’t change the fact that there seems to be some element of truth here, and where there’s smoke…

Speaking of Miami, any penalty the NCAA decides to levy against the school will go a long way in determining future penalties for other offenders.  Somehow this doesn’t seem like it’s an isolated case.  Somehow I get the feeling that this is only the tip of the iceberg.  This could potentially be the beginning of the end of college athletics as we know them.  Or just how those offenders hide their dirty laundry.

Maybe that’s a good thing if we’re talking about the BCS.  It’s not like that organization has been known for giving everyone a fair and equal chance.  As the Fiesta Bowl scandal has come to light, it appears there could be more going on with all the bowl games.  More disturbing facts COULD just be waiting below the surface that, if exposed, could bring the downfall of the BCS.

What’s with the “mega conference” fascination in college football these days?  I know the big money is with the six major football conferences, but come on.  Are we headed for a college football landscape where only a few huge conferences exist?  It sure looks like that could be happening.  All those who continually argue against a college football playoff in favor of bowl games are always citing TRADITION as one of their major reasons for keeping things as they are.  Tradition?  Maybe they’re only interested in tradition when it helps their argument.  Having only a few large conferences where TRADITIONAL rivalries are sacrificed in favor of “bigger money” agreements is nothing short of SELLING THE SOUL of college football.

By the way, those who are interested in the “big money” in college football need only to observe March Madness to see what kind of interest and monetary return they can expect from a college football playoff.  This is something I just don’t get.  Football is king in this country.  With the added “drama” of a one-and-done scenario, like March Madness, it could be bigger than any bowl season has ever been.  More post-season games would actually count for something.  If done right, this could blow the roof off of any playoff in any sport – if only they would go there.

Is anyone really all that shocked that it was Oakland that took the chance on Terrell Pryor?  In days gone by, the Raiders were the last bastion for NFL rejects or malcontents that couldn’t play anywhere else.  It was a haven for these guys to resurrect lost careers.  Guys like Jim Plunkett and Lyle Alzado are two great examples of these players.  Both were veterans whose careers seemed over before signing with the Raiders, only to help win Super Bowls.  Maybe the Raiders have lost their mystique over the years, but taking a chance on a guy that has had issues before ever playing in the league is right out of their playbook.  I’m not convinced he’s going to be a great pro, but if Pryor can have any kind of NFL career it could be worth it.  You never know.  Low risk, high reward.

So there’s a few thoughts for the last week.  Next week – more “Pocket Change” on the (ugh) preseason.  Hey, at least college football season is only a couple of weeks away…