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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Where Will Chris Paul Land? - Play-Off System for Football? - Ohio's QB - Cavs Update

Tyler Tettleton tanked.

Not only did he tank; he did so with the MAC Championship on the line, throwing three picks and no touchdowns to go along with 218 yards for Ohio. His 51 yards and one touchdown were nice, but were far from enough from keeping Northern Illinois from railing off 23 unanswered points to upend the Bobcats.

Tettleton will look to redeem himself when Ohio meets Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on December 17th.

2011 Stats: 3,086 yards, 26 TDs, 10 INTs, 63.6 percent pass completions; 150 carries, 627 yards, 9 TDs rushing

Chris Paul. Here's what we know through published reports, scuttlebutt, pure logic and even a few of my little birdies (yup, sources say I have sources) …
according to espn's bill simmons
1. New Orleans wants to trade him within the next few days.

2. Paul will sign an extension only if he's happy with the team that acquires him; he doesn't want his new team to gut its roster to get him.

3. Paul would love it if the new team also signed Tyson Chandler (his old teammate).

4. Boston, Golden State, New York, the Lakers and the Clippers are chasing him. Those are the teams we know for sure.

5. Houston is chasing him … but even if the Rockets offer Kevin Martin, Patrick Patterson, Terrence Williams, Hasheem Thabeet, Jonny Flynn and two no. 1 picks for Paul and Okafor, why would New Orleans do that? I'm crossing them off. You're not getting Chris Paul (a two-dollar bill) for some quarters and dimes (everything Houston is offering).

6. I didn't want to rule out Dallas because the Mavs could re-sign Chandler and try to get creative — or so I thought — but when I tried to get creative for them with the Trade Machine, it became clear pretty quickly that they don't have the assets. They're out.2

7. We should add Oklahoma City because Paul played there when the Hornets temporarily relocated because of Hurricane Katrina, and because it has a natural trading partner for him (Russell Westbrook).

8. Minnesota can offer the best package (Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams), but there's no way Chris Paul is signing an extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves. For old time's sake … KAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9. We can safely cross off the Knicks because a "Chauncey Billups, Landry Fields, Ronny Turiaf and Toney Douglas for Paul and Trevor Ariza" deal isn't exactly knocking Dell Demps' socks off. What's sad is that I've had to repeatedly explain this to every Knicks fan I know. And they're still in denial.

10. We're not supposed to talk about Chris Paul's pseudo-bum knee, or the fact that he played much of last season on cruise control to protect that knee before cranking it up for a few games in the playoffs, because it's a lot less fun to make up fake trades if you have to mention that the principal of those trades might be playing on one leg in two years.
All right, so what could the Hornets actually get for Chris Paul? Here are the five most logical scenarios, in order from "kinda logical" to "totally logical."

From plus-one to NCAA split, major change on college football horizon
NEW YORK -- Maybe we won't need to cross our fingers and toes. The "plus-one" -- a four-team college football playoff -- is under serious consideration in conferences that previously stood firm against any idea of a bracketed tournament. How serious?
"I happen to agree with my conference colleagues about the plus-one game," Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby said Wednesday. "I think it's inevitable at this point."
Speaking at the IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, several influential athletic directors made a few things clear.

• The plus-one is coming.

• The way we view the bowl hierarchy likely will change.

• The NCAA's approval of up to a $2,000-per-athlete stipend to offset the actual cost of attending a university is the first major step toward a separation of Division I's haves and have-nots, and it could be the first step toward a break from the NCAA by the wealthiest schools.

None of the athletic directors who spoke Wednesday voiced support for a full-fledged, NFL-style playoff, but they did acknowledge the possibility of a change that would allow four teams to compete for the national title at the end of the season. "I was vehemently against it initially," UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said, "but I'm a little more open to the discussion as it relates to a plus-one." The fact that two athletic directors in the Pac-12 -- a league long known for its resistance to a playoff -- would concede the possibility of a change is a major step. Monday, Big 12 athletic directors voted to throw their support behind the plus-one. The SEC and ACC supported a four-team playoff in 2008, but they were rebuffed by the other conferences.
That isn't the only major change in the works. The idea of BCS bowls may change as well. For the past few weeks, conference and school officials have hinted at the idea of taking away automatic qualifying bids to BCS bowls. Now, some schools would like to see the special designation for certain bowls taken away unless the system for placing teams into those bowls is based on achievement and not the Old Boy Network that currently guides the decision-making process. The Sugar Bowl's decision to match BCS No. 11 Virginia Tech against BCS No. 13 Michigan has rankled many in the sport. In choosing the Hokies and Wolverines, the bowl bypassed higher-ranked, eligible teams from Boise State, Kansas State and Baylor.
Asked who was to blame for the Sugar bypassing Kansas State, Wildcats athletic director John Currie said he must start by looking in the mirror. "I let us down," he said. " Because I didn't know the people well enough to do whatever we were supposed to do. But if that's what we're going to be about, who had a relationship 40 years ago, I don't think that's the thing to stand up and tell student-athletes. 'Hey, you get to do this or this because of somebody else's relationship.'"
Currie then said something that should strike fear into the hearts of overpaid, underworked bowl directors everywhere, because while Currie may be the jilted, angry one now, he isn't the only administrator who feels this way. "College football doesn't need the bowls like it once did to build the brand of college football," Currie said. In other words, the schools and conferences can stage exhibition games on their own at a far lower cost, increasing their profits and cutting the bowls out of the equation entirely.
Currie said he still appreciates the bowl experience, and he is ecstatic that his team will play in the Cotton Bowl, but he would like to see a change in the way the bowls are identified. At the moment, the Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar bowls occupy a more prestigious position than the others. If that is to remain the case, he said, then the teams that play in those bowls should be the ones who had the best seasons. "We don't necessarily need to have labels that establish that this group of games is better than all the other games," Currie said, "unless we're going to objectively put the people into the game."
Meanwhile, the ADs did not softpedal their views on a potential schism in the NCAA between the haves and the have-nots. The cost-of-attendance stipend may have started the schools down that path, Washington athletic director Scott Woodward said. "It's a big incremental step."
This should sound familiar to those who read this space often. I was kidding in February 2010 when I wrote this. I was not kidding in July 2011 when I wrote this.
"There's more discussion of it today than there ever has been before," Bowlsby said. "I think it's discussed from less a pie-in-the-sky perspective than it may have been in the past and more from a practical level. Increasingly, our national organizations -- and, to some extent, our conference organizations -- are not nimble enough to deal with the issues in college athletics right now.
"To the extent that a smaller organization that was more homogenous would be easier to govern, I think that's the perspective from which people are now looking at this. Is it really realistic to try and paint 300 of us in Division I with a common brush."
Georgia State athletic director Cheryl Levick spoke for hundreds of less wealthy schools when she explained how the stipend only deepens the divide. Levick wasn't crying poor or complaining; she simply outlined the reality of the situation.
"We figured out that [paying $2,000 stipends] is $250,000 for us [annually]," she said. "That's a chunk of change for us and our particular budget. We want to be competitive. We think, from a recruiting standpoint, we can compete against some top schools to get athletes. Maybe not in football, because we're FCS, but in some other sports. So, strategically, what do we do? Because you bet the parents are going to ask, 'Are you going to be able to cover that?' For us, that's a lot of money."
Less wealthy schools will have to decide whether they want to keep spending that money or whether they want to drop back to a more realistic level. "We may evolve to [a separation]," Currie said. "But perhaps it will be because some choose not to participate anymore at this particular financial model or this particular level."
Or it could be a situation more similar to my LOOT proposal, where the schools break away and form their own governing body only for one or two revenue-generating sports. "I think it's crazy that we try and govern golf and football by the same set of rules. ... I don't know that we have been all that successful creating the kind of competitive equity that we think we're creating," Bowlsby said. "We aren't all created equal. We need to come face-to-face with that reality, and there are more discussions along those lines all the time."
As schools come face-to-face with various realities, only one thing is certain. Major change is on the horizon.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Rumors, Free Agents, Cap Space And More

The Cleveland Cavaliers didn't just lose LeBron James in the last free agency period: the team lost its raison d'etre. Now, as the team sets to rebuild around top draft picks Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, it must decide where the needs are and how to address the relics of an era gone by.

Here's a look at the Cavs' salary cap levels over the past six seasons.

Clearly, once LeBron took his championship contention to South Beach, there was little reason to spend big in Cleveland. The Cavs still have a few high-priced players on the roster, but it trimmed down really, really quickly, all told.

Heading into free agency, the Cavs have a cap figure of $55 million with the leaguewide team salary cap set at $58 million and the luxury tax line at $70 million.

The Cavs' sole free agent is veteran wing Anthony Parker. Surprisingly, Cleveland seems like a lock to keep Parker, as the club appreciates his strong leadership and ability to present a good role model for young players. (I know, I know, I thought Baron Davis would fill that role, too.) Either way, Parker won't make a huge difference in the salary cap sheets.

The questions in Cleveland revolved around the highest-salaried players. Baron Davis, acquired in the Mo Williams trade in February that ended up landing the Cavs Irving (seriously!), could be one of the few players waived under the amnesty clause, especially if Cleveland likes having Ramon Sessions as Irving's primary back-up. (This assumes that Irving is ready to start from Day 1.) If Davis is waived, Cleveland can really become a player in free agency and the trade game, with small forward standing out as the biggest need position.

Antawn Jamison is a veteran who could be moved for an asset, but that might have to wait until the trade deadline as his cap hit will soak up a huge chunk of space for any acquiring team. Anderson Varejao is a favorite of the Cavs' organization, but it seems that he always finds his name in the rumor mill.

If the Cavs elect to keep Davis around for another season, the team could peddle Sessions, who ought to have suitors.

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