Slightly retooled (because what fun would anything around here be if I didn’t constantly change things for no apparent reason) to college football only for your reading pleasure.
We can no longer call it the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, but we may be able to call it the Jim Beam Florida/Georgia Battle. As part of the contract being worked out with the city of Jacksonville, the schools would be given control of all marketing and merchandising. If they wish, that could include corporate sponsorship; although it’s highly unlikely it would ever come to that. Under the new contract, the game will remaining in Jacksonville annually through 2016 and the city will have the first opportunity to negotiate with the schools for future games. The Bulldogs will also reap a few benefits from having to travel farther than the Gators. Georgia will be reimbursed by the city for their flight costs. Apparently that’s Jacksonville’s attempt the level the playing field despite the Gator-heavy location.
Jim Leavitt and attorneys are fighting to…uh…well…get about every last cent they can from USF. Actually this time it’s to make the records of USF’s investigation into the former head coach public. A hearing will occur on June 9 that will hopefully clear up the deal with the records. Leavitt and team hope that by revealing the accounts of the entire investigation, their side of the truth will come to light. Whatever that truth may be. A number of USF officials have been subpoenaed to appear at the hearing. Yet another hearing – this time regarding Leavitt’s lawsuit – will occur toward the end of July. Consider this the firing that never ended. We should take bets now to predict if we’ll still be talking about this into the 2010 season. Or better yet, that the issue still won’t be settled.
Go ahead and give the SEC Newcomer of the Year Award to Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton. Could a player have a better situation set up for him in 2010? It’s highly unlikely. Newton was one of the top high school quarterbacks in the nation when he signed with Florida, but his Gator career ended before he ever got a chance to fight for a starting job (you all remember what happened, no need to reiterate it here). After tearing up the junior college ranks, Newton decided Auburn was the best fit for his huge frame and rocket arm. He digested Gus Malzahn’s offense in the spring, was named the Tigers’ starting quarterback and the rest will, soon enough, be history. A team on the rise and a passer (who can run) with all the talents to succeed. If Auburn makes strides forward in 2010, Newton will be a big reason. Literally. Welcome the Tigers back to the top half of the SEC.
Two Big Ten giants and a national hero are among those that make up the latest class to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard was a star at Michigan before bouncing around the NFL. Barry Alvarez is the face of the Wisconsin football program. And Arizona State’s Pat Tillman, well, there’s nothing to really add to what’s been said about him over the years. The three, along with 11 others – including former Alabama head coach Gene Stallings) – will be inducted into the Hall in December.