September 30, 1995 – The Washington State Cougars travel to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE to battle #2 Nebraska Cornhuskers in what would turn out to be by far, the toughest game of the 1995 season for the Huskers.
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EA SPORTS Game Changer Jake Stein (JStein2469) breaks down the Power O in NCAA Football 11!
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The ugly side of college football recruiting.
It’s almost every young athlete’s dream, getting a full scholarship to a large, division one NCAA football program. It happens to very few of us, though, and the ones who are the best, most athletic, get offers from the best college football programs in the nation. Whether it’s the University of Southern California, or the University of Notre Dame, or the University of Florida, college football recruiting is a big-time business where only the stout of heart and inflated of ego can succeed.
For some, college football recruiting can begin as early as at age thirteen. Take the example of the University of Southern California, one of the great and storied programs in NCAA football history. Their long-time coach, Pete Carroll, left this past offseason to take a job with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. The Southern Cal board of governors looks neither long nor hard for his replacement: they settled almost immediately on Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin. Kiffin, who is a protege of Carroll’s, had an unsuccessful stint as head coach of the Oakland Raiders of the NFL earlier in the decade, but had done decently in his one season as head coach at the university of Tennessee.
Kiffin’s also a world-class blowhard who feels that the most important thing to do as a head coach is raise his own profile and make headlines in the national media. Contrast that to, say, Jim Tressel, the soft spoken (and wildly successful) coach of the Ohio State University, a man who rarely grants interviews, and you can see why so many folks rolled their eyes at Southern Cal’s decision to hire Kiffin.
True to form, Kiffin made an immediate splash when he extended college football recruiting to middle school. Rather than focus on the most talented high school players in the nation, Kiffin actually solicited and received an oral commitment from thirteen year old quarterback David Sills. Even though Sills won’t be college eligible until the 2015 season, and even though high profile high school football is littered with the careers of young phenoms who flamed out before they even reached college.
But such is the world of college football recruiting. Scruples are frowned upon, as is common sense and common decency. Lane Kiffin and the University of Southern California are the embodiment of that right now; of that there can be no doubt.
College Football Teams Fill an Important Role in Sports.
Coming from the state of Texas, I know a thing or two about football. Here, it is practically a religion, and when it comes to which teams to root for, we have many options. Of course, I am a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan and always have been, but there are also some serious Houston Texans fans.
Then we have a number of college football teams like Texas A&M, the University of Texas, TCU and Texas Tech University, which give most of us a lot to cheer about and have spawned some intense rivalries within the state.
There is also high school football, which is probably bigger in Texas than any other state in the country. I remember covering a second-round playoff game between Southlake Carroll and Euless Trinity High School that was played at Texas Stadium and drew more than 46,000 fans.
Life centers around high school football teams in many of the smaller towns in Texas, but one thing that I have noticed is that college football teams do the same thing in many states in the rest of the country where they do not have professional football teams.
Let’s take, for instance, the state of Nebraska. If you look at a map of the United States, you would assume that people from Nebraska are Denver Broncos fans, because of the closeness in proximity of Nebraska and Colorado. Most people that I have talked to from the state of Nebraska, however, say the Nebraska Cornhuskers are their football team.
College football teams represent nearly every state in the union, and college football is a very popular sport to watch. I remember somebody talking about a trip that the University of Texas made up to Wyoming to play the University of Wyoming in a football game, saying that it was the biggest sporting event in the history of the state.
I also know a number of people that root for college football teams that really don’t care about the pros. Some people feel that the college kids are playing for the love of the sport, rather than the big bucks they can make at the professional level.
Personally, I love professional football, but I have two college football teams that I pull for as well, in Texas A&M University and the University of Notre Dame. I watch both of these teams whenever I get the chance.
As a fan of the sport of football, I am very fortunate to live in a state with a great football tradition at every level of competition.
While the Cowboys are certainly my team, I like to watch and keep up with the college football teams we have in the state as well. I also know that in some places, the college football team is the only team to support, and I think that is a good thing.
Men’s College Basketball is Fun for Many Reasons!
One of the most popular sports at any level in the United States is men’s college basketball. The television viewership is almost always strong, and the games themselves are typically well-attended, and I think that these things are true for a number of reasons. I think the first thing that impresses me about men’s college basketball is the level of sportsmanship. I have seen a few incidents on the court that sort of made me cringe, but for the most part, the players are respectful of one another and play fairly.
A friend of mine that who is a big college basketball fan said he likes to watch the college game more than the NBA because, to him, there are better fundamentals. He said that the college players seem to understand the concept of passing, dribbling, shooting, rebounding and playing defense better than a lot of players at the professional level.
Another reason that I like the sport is that I know the college kids are not receiving any money for playing the game. In men’s college basketball, they are out there for the love of the game and to represent their schools.
Now, I am not so naive as to believe that some of the players are not out there simply trying to secure a spot in the NBA, but it still seems to be more pure than professional basketball. There are also not nearly as many crimes or instances of violence in men’s college basketball. I know that there have been point-shaving problems at the collegiate level, and gambling, but you don’t hear about weapons violations or brawls breaking out at the college level nearly as much as you do in the pros.
The men’s college basketball tournament is another aspect of the sport that contributes to its popularity because it allows so many teams to have a shot at a national title. It used to be that there were 64 teams in the hunt, and now it looks like that field will be expanded to 96 teams.
I think the NCAA is beginning to really understand how popular men’s college basketball really is, and wants to capitalize on that fact. With 96 teams, a whole lot more revenue can be drawn for the tournament.
Men’s college basketball is popular for a variety of reasons, and March Madness continues to be one of the biggest and most-viewed sports events in the world. As basketball is the sport in the United States with the largest level of participation and so many teams to choose to root for, I think that popularity will continue to grow.
NCAA College Football Images of the Decade 2000s 2000-2009
A collection of some new and old football hits.
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