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To the likes of Gary Pinkel and Dabo Swinny:
Notre Dame will not be forced into a conference by either of you or anyone else. The Irish will join a conference when it forces itself into one.
The Clemson head coach, who will welcome Notre Dame to Death Valley on October 3, said that the Irish need to play a 13th game, which would only make if fair since the ACC champion has to play an extra game to win the conference title.
Gary Pinkel, the Missouri head coach, wants to keep all independents out of the college football playoff picture. Pinkel probably doesn't care about BYU and Army, and is mainly talking about Notre Dame.
Swinny's argument falls on fewer deaf ears than Pinkel's. It is interesting that Pinkel, a head coach in the Southeastern Conference, is so worried about Notre Dame. Clemson actually play the Irish.
Now, Notre Dame has a few reasons to stay independent, even in a landscape that favors teams in conferences with the new college football playoff.
Having a lucrative contract with NBC to broadcast home games since 1991 has been one big reason to stay out of a conference. Even road games on ESPN are often pushed into primetime, even if they are not playing a USC or Michigan-type. Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick has always ensured that the Irish could keep their independence. Striking a deal with the Atlantic Coast Conference for their other sports as the old Big East crumbled and agreeing to play five ACC teams each season (they will play six to make up for 2014) helped keep Notre Dame out of a conference.
Unlike some of the past and present independents, Notre Dame always puts together a challenging schedule. While most of the ACC schools open with FCS schools, the Irish will host Texas at home to begin the 2015 season and then face Virginia on the road. Swinny's Clemson Tigers open with Wofford, followed by Appalachian State.
Notre Dame also likes to keep games against Stanford, USC, Navy and Purdue intact. Those in Ann Arbor and East Lansing will call Swarbrick a coward for cancelling their series, but the Irish will face some tough challenges against the likes of Georgia Tech and Clemson this season.
What can keep Notre Dame out of the playoff? Well, the lack of a conference and conference title. Based on how the committee determined the top four teams last season, the Irish would have to be 12-0, or, at worst, 11-1 just to be considered for the top four. If the playoff expands to eight teams within the next few years, it would probably benefit them.
If it does not, and the Irish are on the outside looking in each season, perhaps Swarbrick considers moving into a conference. The latest deal with NBC runs until 2025. They could either wait, or opt out early.
In 2013, the year before the College Football Playoff was installed, I was out in South Bend for the final game against BYU. My uncle asked me for my thoughts on Notre Dame joining a conference in the playoff era. My previous paragraph is exactly what I told him.
Nobody can predict the exact future of college football, but empty ultimatums and misguided arguments against Notre Dame won't change Jack Swarbrick and the university's minds.
Notre Dame will end Notre Dame's independence.
On Monday, Boston killed its bid to be the United States Olympic Committee's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. One of the main reasons is the financial burden on taxpayers, but there's more to why a city like Boston might back out of an Olympic bid.
Over the past several years, it would appear that nations, if not them, their cities, are more reluctant than ever to bid on hosting a future Olympic game.
The 2022 Winter Olympics are a perfect example of this. Every nation that has a city capable of hosting the games have dropped their bid. Sweden and Norway, which are built for the Winter Olympics, withdrew their bids due to a lack of political and public support.
Why no support? Well, take a look at some of the demands from the International Olympic Committee.
Some of the demands are obvious ones. Others, which treat the IOC members as if they are royalty are ridiculous. Cities would already be spending billions of dollars to build new facilities or renovate current ones to meet a certain standard.
The Winter Olympics in 2022 are down to two candidates. Beijing, which just held the 2008 Summer Olympics, and Almaty, a mountain resort town in Kazakhstan, which should bring back memories of Sochi. Also, the closest mountain suitable for skiing events is more than 50 miles from Beijing.
Anybody wish Norway had kept its bid? John Oliver's presentation to have his Last Week Tonight studio host the games looks tantalizing.
Aside from what the requirements are for a host city, holding the Olympic games can either be a benefit or a disaster economically.
You have the success stories like London, and the horrible nightmares like Greece. London saw a boost in its economy following the 2012 Summer Olympics, while Athens, whose 2004 Summer Olympics are the most expensive in the history of the games, fell into debt and are currently dealing with a tremendous economic decline.
Hosting the Olympics theses days in an economic roll of the dice at a roulette table. You either come out big, or you come out behind. Boston decided to step away from the table, unsure about all the risks they would be taking if they were to host the games.
Now, another American city will be selected. Los Angeles, who last held the Summer Olympics in 1984, seems to be the early clubhouse leader. Toronto, Paris, Rome, Budapest and Hamburg are all expected to submit bids, too. Even "new money" nation Qatar has considered submitting Doha as a possible host city.
Los Angeles would be a good replacement bid. It's a safe bid for the United State Olympic Committee, and it might have a better chance to compete against the likes of Paris, Rome and Toronto.
But would the people of Los Angeles want the Olympics? They're currently trying to gather and save as much water as possible, and can't even decide how to go forward with bringing an NFL team to town.
It call comes down to whether or not a city wants to take the economic risk.
Penn State Taking Names off their Football Jerseys, will Wear Black Shoes, and Can't Stop Talking about it
When Bill O'Brien took over as head coach at Penn State following the firing of Joe Paterno and the cleaning of house at Penn State, he decided to honor the men who stayed amongst the sanctions by putting their last names on the back of the jerseys.
Today, it was announced by James Franklin that Penn State will go back to its classic look. Which means there will be no names on the back of the jerseys to go along with black shoes.
Basically, it is the same Penn State look everyone is used to minus the alphabetical letters. You wouldn't know that based on Penn State twitter, though.
Can't remember the last time a slight change to a jersey was celebrated this much. The Penn State look is one of the more traditional, simple looks in college football. Putting a name on the back of the jersey was not that big of a change. Then again, that's a non-Penn State fans point-of-view.
They've had a lot of things to be happy about in Happy Valley the past several months. Guess we'll let them have this moment. But they did not re-invent the wheel in this case.
Whether you agreed with it or not, Caitlyn Jenner was presented the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs Wednesday night.
Most know the story by now. Caitlyn, born Bruce, was considered the greatest athlete in the world after her performance at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Monteal, and is better known by the younger generation from being on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Jenner, who struggled with her sexuality for most of her life, finally became the woman she felt she was.
As I said last month, I don’t completely understand what Jenner has gone through, but there are others who do.
Yes, there are a lot of people who could have won the award.
Lauren Hill, the college basketball player who died from a brain tumor earlier this year is one. Noah Galloway, the soldier who lost his left arm and leg, was another people felt was snubbed, which also lead to a false report that he finished second behind Jenner. Heck, 5-year-old Leah Still, who received the Jimmy V. Perseverance Award, could have won that, too.
Keep this in mind. Those of you who feel like there was an injustice done and Caitlyn Jenner was forced down your throat Wednesday night, just a reminder: It’s an award show.
Without Arthur Ashe and Jim Valvano, the ESPYs would be a straight, three-hour love fest for athletes. Those two awards make it bearable to watch for at least 20 minutes.
The Arthur Ashe Courage Award provides a platform to bring awareness to different issues. It provided Jim Valvano a chance to address cancer research and establish the Jimmy V. Foundation back in 1993. Since his “Don’t Ever Give Up” speech, the foundation he and ESPN set up has raised millions of dollars for cancer research. 21 years after his speech, another ESPN personality, Stuart Scott, who would die months later from cancer, received the Perseverance Award named after Valvano, reiterating Jimmy V’s words and mission. Many view the ESPYs as a Jimmy V. Foundation event.
Cancer impacts everyone. I’ve lost two grandparents in the last six years to lung cancer, more recently, my grandmother a little over a week ago. I know other people battling cancer. It comes after friends and family and hits you where it hurts most.
Jenner is advocating for something that doesn’t affect everyone, but it does affect thousands who feel like they have nowhere to turn and some are being physically harmed because of it. It wasn’t just about her transformation and her saying “Look at Me! Look at Me!” It was also about others like her who don’t have a platform.
I like to think that most people become more open-minded as they grow older. But, I am aware that many are set in their way of thinking. The Christian-right crowd claiming that these messages are being forced down their throats and their religious rights and values are under fire.
Here’s the reality: Those people’s religious rights are not under fire. Issues those people would rather ignore are being brought up, and it’s an inconvenience to their personal utopia that they have formed.
This is not a personal attack on the right, but seriously, it doesn’t hurt to see things from another persons point-of-view. You don’t have to agree with it. Nobody is forcing you to watch Jenner on ABC. Nobody is forcing you to change your views and lifestyle. Just be aware of other things happening outside of your bubble.
Jenner receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award was about inclusion. Everyone in this country knows somebody who has been affected by cancer. Many out there may not know a person who is transgender, but much like Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the National Football League who won the award last year, Jenner is just making the public aware of an issue we may not fully understand, and is speaking for those who probably feel like she did for the first 65 years of her life, who probably live in fear and feel misunderstood.
Don’t agree? Don’t care. Much like your ability to turn the channel on your television, use your mouse to click on another blog.