Morning Five: 09.01.11 Edition

Posted by jstevrtc on September 1st, 2011

  1. The SEC is hungry and continues to feed. Texas A&M is a nice meal but won’t suffice, and this is not a good thing, according to Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy. He asks the important and logical next question: who’s next? Not only does he list the schools most likely to be willingly absorbed by the SEC, he explains why each school should resist the temptation to allow that to happen. And if you think this is all about money, think again. There’s something more sinister fueling the current thinking behind conference realignment.
  2. We think he’s still mad at one of our editors who recently decided to root for Liverpool in the EPL, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t give credit to SI.com’s Andy Glockner and his article yesterday listing five teams that are due for a run of improved luck in the upcoming season. These squads weren’t randomly selected; each one finished in the bottom 50 in men’s D1 basketball in Ken Pomeroy’s luck statistic. A couple of Big Ten teams made the list, but the team that intrigued us the most was an Atlantic 10 side that hasn’t seen the NCAA Tournament in 11 years.
  3. Most of the time when we mention stories on former college basketball players, it’s a star who’s recently graduated/left the game who has done something altruistic with part of their big new paycheck, or dunked on someone in a summer league, or tweeted something stupid, and so on. Take a few minutes out of your day like we did — assuming you didn’t do so yesterday — to read the story by ESPN’s Dana O’Neil about a former Alcorn State player who found himself in the middle of the civil war in Libya and the unfathomable ordeal that became his attempt to get out of there. We can’t imagine the frustration that must seethe within a man who, when his government tells him, “You should make for the local airport,” gets to say something to the effect of, “Oh, really? Yeah, it’s burned down,” as AK-47s clatter a few hundred feet away.
  4. With a recent front office changes that had to please him and a top recruit suddenly on the way for the approaching season — plus, he had been running things from the office over the summer and has certainly been out recruiting — pardon our lack of surprise about the big news out of Connecticut yesterday confirming Jim Calhoun is indeed going to return to coach the Huskies. Nothing’s changing. Everything’s the same. Wait just a moment, this just in from the RTC overseas services wire…yes, sources are confirming to our man on the ground in Spain that Generalissimo Francisco Franco — say it with us, everyone — is still dead.
  5. Because of recent examples that lend support to the theory, we hear so much talk these days about the negatives of college sports, so often reading phrases like “cesspool of corruption” and “miasma of deceit” (both real) to describe intercollegiate athletics in our time. It’s therefore nice to hear, even just once, an example of a college athlete openly defying the seduction of riches, thereby denying the doomsayers and Debbie Downers another headline. In that spirit, we give you North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall, via Twitter yesterday:

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