- Ivan Maisel, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. If the season is starting, it's time for the deep thinkers to weigh in on the inherent exploitation of student-athletes by the billion-dollar intercollegiate athletic industry. In the latest New Republic, writer Theodore Ross promotes the idea that major college football be dismantled. While on that trip to fantasyland, Ross makes an interesting point. If players are paid, he said, the best players would benefit at the expense of the rest: "It is an odd remedy for exploitation that takes away access to education for significant numbers of the exploited."
2. On a Syracuse defense wracked by injuries last season, true freshman linebacker Zaire Franklin started the last three games and made 30 tackles. Which means his on-field work matches his off-field work. Franklin made the All-ACC Academic team. He was senior class president at La Salle College High in Philadelphia. This season, his teammates voted the sophomore a defensive captain. "When he walks in the room, everybody knows he walked in," Orange coach Scott Shafer said. "He has an aura about himself."
3. I have some friends in Houston who stage a season-long, stock-market type "investment" contest every year. They pick a total of five teams that will either overperform and or underperform. In stock terms, they invest in a team or they sell it short, and the best performers win. For amusement purposes only, I'll pick Stanford and Tennessee as bargains that will do better than expected. I'll pick Auburn, USC and Notre Dame to sell short. At long last, the predictions can stop and the playing can start. Hallelujah!
17hTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney