Morning Five: 01.11.12 Edition

Posted by nvr1983 on January 11th, 2012

  1. Most of the nation seems to believe that this year’s championship will probably come down to Syracuse, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Ohio State, but one team you would be wise to keep an eye on is Michigan State. As we noted around New Year’s their only two losses were their opening two games in extraordinary circumstances (playing UNC on a naval carrier and Duke on #903K). If you don’t believe us, perhaps you would listen to Tom Izzo who says he is so excited about this team that he is having trouble sleeping at night. If you are looking for potential NBA lottery picks you should probably look elsewhere, but after a down year this is looking a lot like your typical Spartan team that is always dangerous in March.
  2. Tennessee got its first look at new recruit Jarnell Stokes in action on campus yesterday. Stokes, a top 20 recruit in the class of 2012, elected to enter college early and was cleared by the NCAA to play for the Volunteers. So far Tennessee has not given any indication of when or even if they will use Stokes this season. Given the current status of this Volunteer team we could not come up with a single reason for Stokes to play this year. He is not the type of player that we would expect to be one-and-done especially with about half of the season remaining. He could certainly make Tennessee a better team this year, but to what end? A NIT trip? It doesn’t seem to be worth it for a year of Stokes’ eligibility.
  3. We are always surprised when coaches accept a job without signing or reviewing a contract, but it continues to happen. The latest example is Auburn coach Tony Barbee who worked for two years without having a formal contract before he signed an extension last month. Barbee’s extension, which runs through 2017, will pay him $1.5 million per year and includes various bonuses and buyout clauses. The most interesting part of Barbee’s new contract is the clause on NCAA compliance that he shares with football coach Gene Chizik that essentially allows the school to stop paying a coach if they were involved in any NCAA violations.
  4. In November in the wake of their recruiting scandal that got buried underneath the circus in Happy Valley, UCF cleaned house and fired their athletic director Keith Tribble. Yesterday, they announced his replacement would be Todd Stansbury, who had previously worked as an executive associate athletic director at Oregon State. We have heard plenty of talk about coaches or administrators inheriting difficult situations, but the one that Stansbury could make nearly any of those situations seem simple. While the situation lacks the watchful eye of a nation that Penn State will have, we expect that UCF will have significant NCAA sanctions headed its way based on the 16-page notice of allegations it received in November from the NCAA.
  5. If you are going through withdrawal from college football and are missing the ridiculousness of the BCS, we have something for you: the latest RTC BCS Top 25. In addition to the theoretical BCS bowl match-ups, politics, and snubs it also provides an interesting look at how the different computer polls rank the teams. In the end what it is really about is being thankful that we use a court instead of some convoluted formula to decide who gets to play for our championship.
nvr1983 (1397 Posts)

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