Around College Football: May 22nd

By Chris Hengst

In an effort to generate interest, the Big East had thrown around an intriguing idea for their looming conference championship. The notion of holding the game in New York City figured to either draw out a legion of fans in America’s entertainment capital or fail miserably in a place where they hold debates about banning college football. The answer is in:

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It’s a more suitable decision to boost ticket sales and while not as sexy, the right call. Conference realignment has made NYC this mythical locale of a television revenue goldmine but the truth is that the northeast simply values other sports more. Sure, there are plenty of transplants who cheer heartily for their alma maters but if the Big East really had a stranglehold on the New York market, it wouldn’t be hoping for $10 million per team in next TV deal. Campus title games keep economic benefits in the college towns and prevent an embarrassing turnout at Yankee Stadium for the San Diego State v. South Florida prospective championship.

Mike Bellamy was a recruiting coup for the Clemson staff in 2011 when Dabo Swinney’s staff snatched the 5-star running back out of Florida. His career as a Tiger will include more what-if’s than yards though. Academically ineligible, the speedy Bellamy, ranked as the 25th best prospect nationally out of high school, is slated to attend a Mississippi junior college this fall. He averaged 6 yards per carry, totaling 343 yards on the season with 3 rushing touchdowns so it’s likely that he earns another shot at a major program should his grades rise. Bellamy is the second running back from the top five of the 2011 positional rankings to leave his Signing Day choice. Brandon Williams transferred from Oklahoma to Texas A&M this past winter.

Joe Paterno‘s wife will receive his pension with a sizable chunk coming in May and the rest paid out over time. What does sixty years as a state employee get you in Pennsylvania? Try $13.4 million. As recently as 2011, the late Penn State head coach reportedly earned a bit over $1 million in compensation, a veritable steal at such a prestigious program. His successor, Bill O’Brien, signed a 5-year deal when he arrived in Happy Valley that guarantees him $2.3 million annually. Paterno never needed to complain about his salary, something that’s far too uncommon in today’s world of agents pushing for raises and leveraging clients against their own schools.

Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds admitted speaking with Notre Dame about their realignment plans but maintained the party line in Austin that the Big 12 is stable and perhaps doesn’t need expansion. Florida State and Clemson are all but signed if the Internet Illuminati are correct though the acting Big 12 commissioner, well yeah we all know it’s true, disputes that. And why wouldn’t he? The idea that the Seminoles and Tigers bring more loot doesn’t impress Texas because they don’t need it. At the center of the Big 12 expansion talks is a conference title game which provides additional revenue but also a very costly upset. If conference champions are the sole entrants to the four-team playoff, a 12-0 team losing to an 8-4 division champion robs the conference as a whole of a possible national title winner. Ten teams means that issue never arises so if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. That’s nice in theory for Dodds and the Longhorns but when ESPN-ABC offer a few million more annually to add Florida State and Clemson, the rest of their Big 12 brethren may vote the other way.

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