The Cornicopia of HotTakes: College players being paid, Deals with the Devil, and How to Build a Fun, College Program

6750fe_189886dcffed4a2b99d9c8a42974d3ed-mv2By: Will Stevenson

If you are Desaun Watson, do you want to be paid? I ask this question because today on most sports talk radio shows, the discussion was that Watson is an inconsistent passer, sort of in the realm of Jameis Winston. If that’s so, he’ll be among the top quarterbacks taken in the draft, but at what cost? Say he drops to the late second round, third, or even the bottom of the first round, the maximum money he could earn on his rookie contract isn’t as much as you think. While the rookie wage scale allowed veterans to earn more money long-term (allegedly), it allows teams to be not-so efficient with their draft selections. Money invested or not, the wrong high-selection at quarterback will hinder your team for years to come. This brings another question: Would a college quarterback rather be in a system that wins them the most games in college, or gets them ready for the NFL?

When you watch college football, you see college coaches that coach to win games. They do this because this earns them the most money, recruits, facilities, and the opportunity to get a better coaching job or leverage for a raise and/or buyout clause. Let’s take the coach at Kentucky. This coach is in the SEC, a conference that we all know isn’t going to fare well in wins or recruits and will probably lead to them being fired in two years, because they’ve gone winless in the conference. If you’re DeSaun Watson, do you go to Kentucky when you have other offers? Matter of fact, what would drive you to go there in the first place? I would assume as a college coach your priority is to appease the boosters. Being on a campus, you already have a built-in fan base with students, faculty, alumni, and family members of student-athletes. Why not build a program that sends players to the NFL or excites the players and fan base? We all know that the star Middle Linebacker at Kentucky won’t get the same pub as the backup from Alabama, but if your school can become a pipeline to the NFL, then why not. When I speak of the pipeline, I mean the type of offense, defense, and flair that would excite a college program. With college rosters being in the 80s up to 100s in number of player, this disallows the player guy in the 70 to 100 range to go elsewhere as a freshman. The allure of the big college or a specific coach gets them to Oregon, USC, FSU. Ohio State and the like. It doesn’t make much sense for the same 4-star recruit, that knows they won’t play much at Florida, will wait until they are a junior to transfer because they aren’t seeing the playing time they expected. I say just sign to another “lesser” school as an incoming freshman to get pub you deserve.

Saying this I realize things like this don’t happen the way you think. There’s more to why a 3-star recruit goes to Alabama instead of Alabama State, or why a walk-on at Tennessee isn’t waling on at Ball State. I get it. I also realize that when Ole Miss was climbing the charts in the polls, ratings and recruits, we all sat back and waited for the sanctions to come: And they did. So, if you are Kentucky, what do you do? How do you get DeSaun Watson to come to your school? Do you “He Got Game” it and have the seniors fill their visit with drugs, partying and naked girls? I’m 32 and I’d go to Kentucky for that (In this hypothetical I am single, kid-less and am in no need for a testosterone boost). You can’t pay players to come, even though you can. You can promise or elude to playing time. You can’t promise wins, because your conference is too good. You can’t promise the NFL pipeline because there’s no faux-evidence to be presented. How Sway?

  1. Hire NFL Assistants to your coaching staff
  2. Pay off as many recruits as possible
  3. Look at the Miami teams of the 80s and build
  4. Have your stadium on campus (Don’t be like the Miami Hurricanes and build your stadium off campus)
  5. Look at what Michigan did with Jim Harbaugh and relevancy with Hip Hop culture
  6. Install a moxy that doesn’t care about unsportsmanlike conduct penalties
  7. Purge every 3 and 4 star in high school
  8. Purge every 3 and 4-star freshman and sophomores
  9. purge your local and state JUCOs
  10. Purge every college coach dismissed for reasons other than wins and losses
  11. Remove your ethics code book
  12. Forget the facilities upgrades until you can pay coaches and buy recruits
  13. Build your offseason perks packs (money, side jobs, women or men, trips, destinations, parties, alumni perks)
  14. Don’t share your stadium with an NFL team
  15. Be exciting as a program, a school, a team. We know the sanctions and allegations will eventually come, but get as much done in the process

I know, I’m the Devil. Who cares? Did Ole Miss care? Did UNC care? If you’re not going to be a national title contender or even a division contender year in and year out, be a pipeline to the NFL or a program that is fun to go to at the least. I understand winning is tied to the pipeline but it’s not exclusively tied to it.

This should be an organizational effort. From boosters, to athletic directors, students, coaches and right down to the players. The pitfalls of a college campus will remain: Classes, rape, sexual assault, bullying, hazing, arrests and the like will still be there: sad, but true. If a school can maneuver itself and remove these things that plague our collegiate societies, it could work. wouldn’t you want to cheer for a team that handles these crises efficiently and empathetically while paying off coaches and players? Maybe? If somehow we can get our football players to not have orgies and gangbangs, the campus culture could be welcoming to some NCAA rulebook breaking? Maybe for once we our coaches and ADs can be fired for what’s on the field rather than cover-ups.

I also understand I have gone all over the place, but that’s fine. A plethora of topics lead to a plethora of ideas and things to talk about.


Clemson vs Alabama Aftermath: Deals with the Devil We Don’t Mind Doing

si680_tk1_05277By Will Stevenson

*Cue 80s slow-motion montage music*

College Football is an enigma for many that follow the sport. It is entangled in unfairness, unethical business practices, and narratives that could make your head spin. Like many of the things we deal with in our life, the process and the actual product differ in emotional response. I like driving a new car and I’m sure you do as well. It’s awesome to ride out with that new car smell, showing off pictures on social media on how you’ve made the “come up” from that crappy vehicle you once had. Likewise, the process of getting a new car is a headache. We should deal with finding the right car, a dealer, insurance, taxes, model, car payment, a loan, the bank and is this car good enough to make it under the warranty. You see, process versus product.

The process of College Football is something we debate daily: Should college players be paid more than their given stipend, transfer requests, coaches being paid ridiculous amounts of money, rape culture, suspensions, institutional control, AD’s moving at the drop of a dime, coaches taking jobs during bowl season and earing bonuses while your redshirt sophomore must sign in blood to move to another program. You see, process.

Somehow, someway, none of that matters once the championship game is being played. It’s like sex with your ex. You know deep down this is the wrong thing to do. You don’t want to text them, talk, see them or even randomly bump into them. But, we like sex, and if it’s good, then why not. So, when Clemson and Alabama kicked off on Monday Night, we were in for a rematch of College Football’s alleged two best teams. I was interested to see if there would be any hand-puppetry by the Clemson defense and which coach would get the reddest in the face while disputing a call by the referees. I was excited for the both quarterbacks: Both were black, both were skilled, but I knew only one was seasoned. Hurts was in the same category as Sims, but Hurts is a freshman, which he has shown that he is a freshman quarterback of a team that specializes in defense and their run game. Watson, has it all: running backs, NFL ready wide receivers, and a vaunting defense.

I watched most of the game with the sound off. I have nothing against the commentators, they just have so many narratives to blabber about that I can’t stand to hear them over and over. Alabama’s 28-year-old running back scored two touchdowns and then broke his leg, which allowed Clemson to mount a comeback. Now, it wasn’t fully on the Alabama defense since they were on the field for almost 100 plays. That’s right, 100 plays. I don’t care how good your defense is, if you’re on the field for almost 100 plays you will suffer in the second half. I’m not particularly high on either coach, so I wasn’t cheering for either to hold up a trophy. It sucks that the loser of this game will be vilified by the fan base as “not being able to win in crunch time” as if it matters. Clemson ran a pick play on the final play to win the game. The receiver ran straight into the defender, and the defender held the receiver. So, if they throw a flag for offensive pass interference, does that change the narrative of the game? Of course, it does, for the media. For me, not so much. The game was filled with mishaps as Clemson punt returners continued to fair catch inside their 5-yard line. Hurts couldn’t complete passes to save his life until the final stages of the fourth quarter. I’m always amazing at the passing offenses in championship games. Watson struggled with his accuracy against the blitz early on, and Hurts was efficient late in the game, but struggled on third down.

All in all, it was an ok game with a good finish. Greatest game? Who cares. Saban will get another raise while Sark will be entrusted with another offense after his offensive nature at USC. What’s with Saban hiring these coaches who are a-holes in life? Beats me. Dabo is king, which makes me sad. He’ll be in front of the microphone more than ever which will consist of God, faith, hope and belief which overshadows the fact that the team is talented. Narratives will be passed along as the Clemson team won because, “They love each other.” These are the sort of narrative driven nonsense that makes me watch these football games more seldom each year, but I’m not the target audience they are trying to reach.

Saban and Dabo will once again going into homes and explain the prospects why they should attend their respective schools, knowing this business doesn’t allow for their coaching power to ever be limited. None of that matters though, so I guess they should trust the process.

From ESPN to Fox: Sloppy Seconds Anyone?

By Will Stevenson
Usually when an entity or organization monopolizes the industry, they buy everyone out and only leave you with a few choices here and there to receive their content. Whether it’s a television service, a phone company or an auto parts store, they make sure that all other options don’t come close to matching the resources they have acquired. When we look at the ESPN empire, they have definitely monopolized the industry, but they have somehow allowed their viewers and listeners to access every possible sports niche there is to offer. It seems as if ESPN Radio has landed in every major city nationwide, and locked in every state with at least a station or two that is affiliated with ESPN. Over the years the ESPN Network has had it’s share of Sportscenter hosts, analyst, guests, shows, and radio hosts, but what they have been able to do is replace the faces with no drop-off in ratings or growing power. With their partnership, or being owned by Disney, those that leave ESPN are able to move to CBS, NBC, and ABC seamlessly. Over the past few years, when the contracts go into their final year, the rumors begin to surface and individuals begin to look for work elsewhere; but where else could they go that would have the same shine as ESPN.
And that’s where Fox comes in.
It seems as though Fox has been on the outside looking in when it comes to sports content, although they do have Fox NFL Sunday that usually brings the NFC contenders to table every week. The last time I watched something on a Fox network was “The Best Damn Sports” show and “The Man Show” on FX. If you’ve every watched a show on FX, then you are aware they bend the lines of censorship for mainstream television. The things they are able to show and get away with are very different from what ESPN can do now that they are under Disney’s supervision. After Colin Cowherd’s contract and “ethnic misquote” combined for the right fire, Fox was more than willing to take him on. The Le Batard Show, based out of Miami, slid into his 10am to 1pm time slot and haven’t missed a beat. One person leaves, another shows up and everything keeps rolling. Fox has been trying for years to match the level ESPN has reached, but haven’t been able to take over in numbers, viewers, mentions and downloads. Fox has been able to throw money at previous ESPN employees and provide an atmosphere that will allow them to have less censorship and more freedoms with their shows.
Can Fox grow their brand of talking heads to the heights of ESPN while doing the same exact thing ESPN has done and is already doing? Probably not, but all it takes are a few gasbags saying the right things and the right people paying attention. Television viewers are one thing, but clicks and downloads are something totally different in this social media driven world we now live in.

I seriously think you should jump on this wave!

By Lawrence Edwards

OK, before I get started let me tell you that this isn’t a fad that will quickly fade out, nor is it a get rich quick scheme. It’s simple, I am not forcing you or trying to persuade you to do anything. I just want to share with you something that I know sports enthusiasts every where will enjoy and offer you the opportunity to be apart of something or get ahead of everyone else on a trend that is about to take the world by storm. From Football to Cricket we have something every sports will fall in love with. You have two options: Affiliate or Player. I will go in to great detail about both and most importantly the coming of a game changing sports app by United Games that is going to absolutely blow your mind!

Now what we are talking about here is an app that will let you enjoy your favorite sport interactively while watching the game. This app is going to bring a new dynamic way of playing of enjoying sports. It’s not just going to focus on the major sports but every sport.  The point is to get everyone to enjoy sports better, not just the people who have time for drafts and 4 different fantasy leagues or the ones who are good at selecting the right combination of players in order to enjoy the experience.

Now, as I previously mentioned you have two options to join this wave, either as a player or an affiliate. If you want to just be one of the first to enjoy the experience of this game changing app then sign up as a player for free. You will be a pre-registered player and once the app launches within the next 5 weeks you can begin enjoying your interactive sports experience and start earning some rewards and points. I don’t know about you but once I started playing fantasy football and basketball, the game became THAT much more interesting to me. I began to pay attention to things that I didn’t before. This interactive app will award every real sports fan the same experience but much better – did I mention that some of EA Sports former developers are building this thing? – Get ahead of the trend, this app is coming and it’s going to change the way we enjoy sports forever and it will be the first of it’s kind, share it with your neighbors, share it with your family, if they love sports, chances are they will love this!

Now if you are interested in becoming an affiliate of United Games and getting the opportunity to not only get ahead of the trend but earn some money while doing it, then this the route you want to go. Now let me tell you this isn’t a pyramid scheme or something wild like that, if you don’t want to be an affiliate then you don’t have to. We aren’t trying to recruit people for money, we are just offering an opportunity to earn some income based off of people just playing the game. Now when this was brought to me a few weeks ago I had my initial negative thoughts. I was told that I can become an affiliate for free, feel it out see if I like it and if I do I would have to pay a one time fee of $30 to stay an affiliate and $9.99 a month to maintain my affiliate site and if I don’t just simply cancel no harm done. Now I’m no easy person to convince to join things, so I did my own research before I agreed to sign up for anything. Now I hate selling things, I’m terrible at it, so the fact I didn’t have to sell a product and it was an app – I’m a huge tech junkie – helped me decide to really read up on it. So I did my research and found that this app could really be something special and I don’t have to pay my fee until the app launches in 4-5 weeks at the time of this writing. I figured, what can I lose? I can jump on board playing a new fantasy app and maybe earn some money while doing it. Every time you share the app and someone signs up, whether as an affiliate or a player, and starts buying or earning tokens, you get a piece of the pie, NICE! Another selling point for me was the fact that in order for you to earn income you have to fill out tax form 1099. That right there let me know it was legit. Now United Games is offering this opportunity only up until the app launches in 5 weeks. Once it goes live, the affiliate opportunity will be no longer offered. You will only be able to download and use the app.

Whether you sign up to be a player or an affiliate I can assure you that this app is going to change your sporta experience. The point of this blog is to get the word out that a Giant is coming and to offer, what I believe to be a grand opportunity to be apart of the next big thing. If you like what you heard here today feel free to drop a comment, email me ( or if you got here through my Facebook link, just shoot me a DM and I will happily send you a link to be an affiliate or a free player so you will be all set to go when the app launches. Once you click the link there will be more information for you to read through to get an even better understanding. You’re going to love this!

Here is a one page info sheet you can look at to get more information. Feel free to contact me with questions.


It’s time for Fournette to Shine

Written by Henry Mitchell Jr

One of the best running backs in college is back to make history for the mighty LSU Tigers. Leonard Fournette started last year on a tear.  Running for 1034 yards and 10 touchdowns in his freshman year. Fournette came back his sophomore year to run for 1953 yards and 22 touchdowns in a spectacular season. Fournette ended up finishing 6th in the Heisman voting.  

Unfortunately with poor quarterback play, opposing defenses stacked the box and stopped the running game. Shutting down LSU’s powerful offense and Fournette.

This is their year to overthrow the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide, I feel this is the year of the LSU Tigers.Fournette will have his way.

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SpursUp! Q&A with Perry Orth


Last year was a trying season for our beloved Gamecocks. We had not had a season like that in a long time. I think in the back of our minds we all saw the HBC stepping down within the next couple of seasons, but nothing could have prepared us for the way he left. It had been a QB by committee, but once Shawn Elliott took over, the team just had a different feel. There was a fight to them. Sure there were a bunch of tough losses, but the team fought every step of the way. QB Perry Orth was a perfect embodiment of coach Elliott and his mentality. Perry was able to throw for almost 2000 yards despite only logging considerable game time in 8 games. I was fortunate enough to ask Perry a couple of questions regarding his time at Carolina. #ForeverToThee

See the highlight of his big run at Texas A&M here

1.) Growing up in Rural South Carolina, we had talent, but I never realized just how different the talent levels were in other areas. I realized that when I first moved to Jacksonville and caught a Fletcher game watching your teammate Jamari Smith. How did that prepare you for the level of competition you face at the collegiate level?

Perry: Playing against top level high school football talent in Jacksonville helped prepare me for the next level because each and every week we were playing against at least two or three Division I players and possibly more. 

2.) What was it that attracted you to the University of South Carolina?

Perry: South Carolina gave me an opportunity to walk on and potentially earn a scholarship. And when Coach Spurrier calls you and asks you to play quarterback for him, the answer is usually yes. Then everything that comes with South Carolina football: the atmosphere, 2001, Sandstorm, and the tradition that Coach Spurrier built.

3.) What are some must-go places for students and athletes alike at USC?

Perry: Places I really enjoyed to eat besides the stereo typical chain restaurants. For lunch you can’t beat Andy’s Deli in Five Points, and for dinner, Pawley’s Front Porch has incredible burgers. 

4.) We lost a truly iconic figure in the Old Ball Coach, what is one of the memories that really stands out to you with Coach Spurrier?

Perry: With Coach Spurrier there are so many moments that I could talk about but overall it was his personality which separated him from your normal football coach. His sarcasm and jokes were as funny as they come. What you see in his interviews, is the exact same as how he is in person.

5.) Coach Boom…I’ll admit I was a little hesitant at first but his energy is contagious from a distance, just how influential has that been having that renewed energy in the locker room?

Perry: Coach Muschamp has got us believing. That’s what has made him so great so far. He is tough on the field, but as soon as we are off the field, he is one of our friends. He laughs and jokes with all the players and that goes for our entire coaching staff as well. We have a great relationship with them.

6.) The defense has taken its share of lumps, but there are plenty of talented athletes donning the garnet and black on Saturdays on the defensive side of the ball. Who is a player that you fear or respect the most on that side of the ball in practice?

Perry: I’m expecting Marquavius Lewis to have a big year. He has put in the work in the weight room and in the film room. He has got all the talent he needs to be a big-time player for us this season.

7.) Coming into Carolina with two of the greatest QBs statistically in the history of the program, you paid your dues and waited for your time to shine. How good did it feel to finally lead the team out as the guy?

Perry: Being able to start at quarterback for a school like South Carolina is a dream come true. It was incredible to play in the places that I did and in front of our fans, but losing all those games left a sour taste in my mouth. Fortunately, it has kept me hungry through the off-season to get ready to turn this season around.

8.) I think we can all admit that we love Coach Shawn Elliott. His passion is evident on the sideline each game. How did that assist in the transition during the second half of the season?

Perry: Coach Elliott’s style of coaching is very similar to how Coach Muschamp handles things. Working hard, attention to the small details. And playing with a fire and passion that the game of football is supposed to be played with. It was unfortunate we couldn’t finish some of those games that we were in because Coach Elliott is a phenomenal coach and will be a head coach again one day.

9.) If you had to pick one memory that really stands out in your playing career at South Carolina what would it be? A certain game, play or series?

Perry: Right now I would say the Kentucky game. Because it was my first opportunity to play consistently throughout a game. Storming back in the second half and coming just short of which would have been a 17 point comeback victory was very exciting to be a part of.

10.) Is there anything you want to say to Gamecock nation?

Perry: Expect our team to be more disciplined and play with a lot of energy! We are all ready to get back out there and get our program back on the map. 

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Big 12 Conference Preview


By Antwaun Sumpter

The Big 12 Conference is a GREAT conference. You could catch someone from these ten teams in the picture and in the conversation for the College Football Playoff.

The Baylor Bears had one of the worst off season by far in College Football history. The first game of the season against the Southern Methodist Mustangs are going to show us what team the Baylor Bears are. The Bears are basically in a rebuilding year, so if they have a losing record in 2016 we would not be surprised.

The Iowa State Cyclones finished the season last year with a record of 3-9. Of course, that was a bad season to say the least BUT the future is bright in Ames, Iowa for the Cyclones. Tough road games for the Cyclones in 2016 with trips to Iowa City, Fort Worth, Stillwater, Austin, and Lawrence. If the Cyclones can steal at least two of these games on the road, they can protect home field, which we all know it is hard to get a win in Ames, if you are the road team.

Lets just face the facts, the Kansas Jayhawks had a VERY BAD season in 2015, going 0-12. Yes, the Jayhawks are growing and yes, they had to get some of the “bad taste” they had there when the former coaches were there. The Kansas Jayhawks are on the move and it’s a good move with Head Coach, David Beaty. If you are a Kansas Jayhawks fan all they will need is time and the Jayhawks are going to be okay. Yes, the Jayhawks have a tough road schedule, at Memphis, at Texas Tech, at Baylor, at Oklahoma, at West Virginia, at Kansas State, BUT if they can steal at least two or three wins on the road that’s a win for Kansas fans.

For the Kansas State Wildcats this is going to be the year to see if this would be the final year for Head Coach Bill Snyder or not. They have a very difficult road schedule and it kicks off on right on September 2nd with Stanford. Kansas State had quarterback troubles last year and this they hope that they have found the one that have been looking for or its going to be another long season for the kids in Manhattan, Kansas.

The Oklahoma Sooners had a bad end to their season last year losing in the College Football Playoff to the Clemson Tigers. Coming into 2016, the Sooners will definitely be in the conversation again to go back to the College Football Playoff. All of their key games are at home and if you are the Sooners you do not underestimate your first opponent, at Houston. If they come out soft against the Cougars, the Sooners can probably kiss their College Football Playoff dreams good bye.

Head Coach Mike Gundy has his kids in Stillwater, Oklahoma excited about the 2016 season. The Oklahoma State Cowboys finished the 2015 season last year with a record of 10-2. Now they are trying to make the next step and win the Big 12 Conference and possibly get into the College Football Playoff. We are going to see how good the Cowboys are because their last three out of four games are on the road ending a trip to TCU and to Oklahoma.

The Texas Christian Horned Frogs are a team that if it all comes together like it has been doing this team can run the table and be the #1 seed in the College Football Playoff. Injuries hurt them last year and with everyone healthy and ready to go the Horned Frogs are a dangerous team to watch out for in the Big 12

The future is bright for head coach Charlie Strong and the Texas Longhorns. They finished the season last year with a record of 5-7 but Coach Strong has that team moving in the right direction. Give him one more year and the Longhorns will be in the conversation for the Big 12 title.

All the Texas Tech Red Raiders do every year is lead the country in offense but can that translate to their defense. The Red Raiders Week Two trip to Arizona State is going to see if the we are going to be looking at the same old Red Raiders that just keep putting up points or will some defense would be played in Lubbock, Texas.

The Mountaineers of West Virginia and Head Coach Dana Holgorsen have a schedule that suits them to possible take the Big 12 Title. Kansas State, TCU, Oklahoma, and Baylor ALL come to Morgantown.  If that fan base in West Virginia can get behind these kids the Mountaineers can really be force in the Big 12.

The Big 12 Conference is a dangerous conference that you don’t know who can come out on top. Eight out of the ten teams all have a shot to win this conference. This is why you play the games.