10 headlines we don't expect to read in 2016: Part II
Time to pass those lazy days of the offseason by taking a lighthearted look ahead to the 2016 campaign and a handful of headlines we don’t necessarily think (or hope) we’ll see. Of course, stranger things have happened. That’s why we love college football, right?
Here are No. 6-10 in Part II of the series. Check out the first installment here, including why Ole Miss will only be staying in one-floored hotel rooms on the road this season.
6. NCAA REVERSES STANCE ON SATELLITE CAMPS…AGAIN
The fervor over satellite camps is still buzzing after the NCAA reversed its decision to ban the off-site practices. Jim Harbaugh has done nothing but pour gasoline on the controversy, setting up Michigan satellite camps throughout the South to as far away as Australia. All told, the Wolverines head coach will take his coaching prowess on the road as a guest instructor at 38 such camps and counting throughout June.
Now several schools, including those in the SEC which had bylaws preventing such a camp, are getting in on the same action. This is made possible by the NCAA board of director’s overruling its satellite ban in late April. All of this came after the Division I council enacted the ban earlier in the month for further review.
However, the NCAA has a change of heart on May 30, once again enacting a ban on coaches traveling to other institutions and setting up a camp. The timing couldn’t be worse for Harbaugh, who is scheduled to kick off his summer tour the next day on June 1 with a trip to Indianapolis’ Bishop Chatard High School.
7. THREE SEC TEAMS INVITED TO COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF
You can hear the national uproar already. Three SEC teams in the College Football Playoff?! Could it happen? Most likely not. Or could it? To pull it off, first you’d need undefeated division champs. For the sake of argument, we’ll narrow the East to Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. The Vols play Alabama, and Florida takes on LSU, which should exclude two teams from undefeated contention. In this scenario, we’ll say Georgia goes undefeated (just go with it). The West, therefore, comes down to a Week 10 contest between Alabama and LSU, both undefeated. The two rivals play a game for the ages that needs three thrilling overtimes to settle — clearly stamping the two programs as the elite of the nation. Let’s say the East team then pulls a thrilling upset, this time in the SEC Championship Game, giving the conference three teams with a combined 36-2 record. Could it happen? No. Probably not.
8. JAMARCUS RUSSELL WANTS TO RETURN TO LSU AS LATTIMORE-TYPE ADVISOR
JaMarcus Russell wants back in the NFL, so much so, he’ll play for free. There’s even a Twitter campaign petitioning the NFL to give the former first-overall pick a second chance. Perhaps the first steps back to football’s good graces for the former LSU quarterback must be taken back at college, via an advisor role at his alma mater — in the same manner as South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore’s involvement in his D.R.E.A.M.S. Foundation ultimately prevented him from holding a position on Will Muschamp’s inaugural Gamecocks staff, based on what’s viewed as an unfair recruiting advantage. Russell doesn’t appear to have the same roadblocks to becoming a paid member of Les Miles’ staff (don’t hold your breath). The IRS revoked the exemption status on the JaMarcus Russell Foundation for Academic and Athletic Excellence in October of 2015 for failure to file in three consecutive years. Prior to that, the foundation was known for its annual Thanksgiving Turkey Give-a-Way.
— Give him a chance (@GiveJR2ndchance) May 18, 2016
9. AUBURN FINALLY CHANGES ITS NAME TO WAR EAGLE
Confusion has reigned for as long as anyone can remember — possibly dating back to 1892 — over the true identity of Auburn’s mascot. Are they the Tigers? If that’s the case, why do they have an eagle circle Jordan-Hare Stadium prior to each game? The university put any confusion to rest by officially naming the War Eagle as the team’s moniker. After all, Auburn is one of 38 college programs that go by the Tigers nickname. The name change invokes the school’s history, giving them a unique mascot while separating the school from the likes of Clemson, LSU and Missouri, and to a lesser extent Campbellsville (Ky.) University and Ouachita Baptist (Arkadelphia, Ark.) University. Aubie can stay, but now the roles are reversed.
10. GEORGIA HONORS RICHT WITH SARAH MCLACHLAN’S “I WILL REMEMBER YOU”
Neil Sedaka wasn’t lying when he crooned that breaking up is hard to do. That’s why seeing Mark Richt across the field on the Miami sidelines nearly a year after the coach and Georgia went their separate ways, stirs an array of emotions. Rather than channel those sentiments via Neil Sedaka during their halftime show at the TaxSlayer Bowl between the Hurricanes and Bulldogs, the Georgia marching band, the Redcoats, honor the ex-coach with Sarah McLachlan’s tear-jerker “I Will Remember You.”
(And yes, we’re aware we stated earlier that Georgia would go undefeated. Like we said then, just go with it).