- David Ubben, College Football
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Thanks for all your emails this week, folks. Enjoy the game tonight between Texas Tech and Minnesota, and follow me on Twitter for a little live commentary.
J.J. in Tumalo, Ore., writes: Dave thanks for the B12 takes.Seastrunk - is a prima donna jerk. Is he calling out his coach to give him more touches? I never heard James or Barner breast beat. Why are his references to Willie Lyles taken with validity when James comments are not? The kid is just another blow hard and his coach is a fool for supporting his remarks. It is BAYLOR after all. RG3 caught lightning in a bottle. No Baylor kid is going to win another Heisman.Peace out.
David Ubben: A lot to chew on here, much of it a bit silly. First off, Seastrunk isn't a prima donna. I don't buy that at all. He's a kid who perhaps overestimated his ability in relation to other Oregon backs coming out of high school, and got discouraged when he didn't see the field. Not being as good as De'Anthony Thomas or Kenjon Barner isn't much to be ashamed of. He wanted to go somewhere closer to home and somewhere he could play. I wouldn't fault any kid for that. He's clearly a very talented guy who is extremely confident in his abilities. He's done a decent amount to provide some evidence for his belief, even if it's a touch premature. If you're Briles, you better support him, too. You undermine a player, you run a real solid risk of losing the locker room. What kind of coach would tell a player he can't win a Heisman? Belief is the first step to achievement.
I don't know what you mean in regards to Lyles. It's a whole lot of dishonesty by one or both parties in that whole deal. Everyone involved with that whole Oregon deal has given plenty of reason for skepticism. I'm not taking anybody's word for anything on that whole scandal without some kind of documented proof. Let the NCAA do its job (albeit slowly and with ineptitude) and dish out the punishments as they come.
I wouldn't be so sure that this is the same Baylor. Baylor never had Art Briles. The game has changed. Ask around the Big 12. Baylor lost a Heisman winner and the leading rusher and receiver in the Big 12 and still won seven games. That's a near impossibility in the past, but this year, it was largely accepted. That's huge. Baylor can definitely win another Heisman and do so in the near future.
John in Olathe, Kan., writes: The last two years, the media voters underestimated the quality of the K-State teams.Last year they were picked to finish 8th in the conference and ended up 8th in the nation. This season, we all know the media predicted a 6th place spot for the Cats and the are ranked 5th with one loss. Will the media short change K-State again next year? In a way, I hope they do because it provides great motivation for the team. But the question is, when will the media start to believe in Snyder's ability to coach his 3-star recruits, transfers and walk-ons to beat the over-hyped programs?
DU: It's all about known quantities. I was skeptical of K-State after it lost Daniel Thomas from a very average team, but Collin Klein's emergence made the Wildcats a contender and surprised us all. I thought the skepticism around K-State this year was nutty. I believed in the 'Cats from the start. Next year, I expect them to be just outside the top half of the Big 12 or so. It's just natural. They're losing the heart of the team on both sides of the ball. If K-State exceeds expectations, it will do so on the back of Daniel Sams or Jake Waters. It's just that simple.
Dale Ozment in Hillsboro, Texas, writes: SOMEONE NEEDS TO TELL OUR BIG 12 COMMISIONER BOB BOWLSBY THAT WITH POSITION COMES RESPONSIBILITY-------- HIS MOTHER WOULD SCOLD HIM FOR NOT ATTENDING THE DALLAS BOWL GAME ----- IF HE KEEPS THIS UP WE WILL HAVE 2 ''BIG GAME BOBS'' IN THIS CONFERENCE----ANY COMMENTS THANK YOU
DU: Love the passion there, Dale, but don't get too bent out of shape. First off, "The Dallas Bowl Game" would more likely refer to the Cotton Bowl out in Arlington, which I'm sure Bowlsby will attend. However, it's a little unfair to fault the man for skipping out on what should be a yawn-worthy game at what amounts to the crack of dawn after New Year's Eve. He spent a long while out at Stanford, and the Rose Bowl is a bit of a different ballgame compared to the inaugural Heart of Dallas Bowl. Maybe he should be limiting himself to Big 12 games, but it's all just figurative anyway. Not much changes whether Bowlsby is at a game or not. It doesn't affect his ability to do his job. It's a little silly to get worked up over something like this.
Zach Viglianco in Morgantown, W.Va., writes: RE: GRANT OF RIGHTS-I'm not a lawyer (yet), but I am a second year law student who was the top student in my Contracts class. I just wanted to comment briefly on the "grant of rights" situation.There is a fundamental tenet of contract law that says, basically, that the maximum amount of money one party can get from another party who breaks a contract the face value of that contract. IE, if I agree to buy your 96 Chevy for $10,000, then I back out of the deal, the MOST you would be able to get out of me in a lawsuit is 10 grand. (You might get less, but you certainly won't get more.)As you described in a recent mailbag, conference exit fees are basically arbitrary numbers- in legalese, they are "liquidated damage clause." Such a clause is used when figuring out how much a contract is worth is very complicated, or if the amount is variable. Basically, a liquidated damage clause says: We know that University X being in conference Y is worth something- Millions of dollars. But figuring out exactly how many millions its worth is either too hard or the value is constantly fluctuating, so instead of trying to figure it out, we'll just agree to [whatever the buyout is]. However, a liquidated damage clause must be REASONABLE and it cannot be used as a penalty-- a court won't enforce it if its unreasonable or clearly intended as something other than an estimate of damages (These clause are, of course, intended to be deterrents to breaking the contract... but they have to be structured in such a way that they are enforceable.) My larger point is that any Big 12 school can break its contract with the conference at any time. If that's the case, the grant of rights (as a provision of a contract that is no longer in force) would either be voided... or a court might construe the grant as essentially (you guessed it... a liquidated damages clause or a proxy for it). Then the question comes back, as it always does, to reasonableness.The grant of rights is quite possibly a better estimate of damages. It might hold up in court. But it might not. And even if it did hold up, a court could not force say, Texas, to show its football games on TV. At best it would force Texas to turn over proceeds from such showings to the Big 12 (which, of course means, that if Texas was offered a ridiculous amount of money... say to hypothetically join the SEC... the grant of rights wouldn't be a barrier to that move).Love the blog, hopefully this explanation makes sense and is at least somewhat helpful. Lets Go Mountaineers!!!
DU: Very interesting stuff. I don't have a ton to add, but this was a pretty interesting read from a more experienced legal perspective. I don't know if I can speak to the legitimacy of it, but it looked sound to me. Thanks for the email Zach, and good luck in law school. You seem bright. This is a complex issue.
Blake in Kansas City writes: You don't think K-State has a chance to be a title contender next in the Big 12? Not even a chance? That's harsh to cut out the champion from the previous from even having a chance to do it.
DU: I don't know if I'd go as far to say they don't have a chance, but it's going to be very, very difficult in a league that should be well-stocked with teams who can win the league and teams who will have more experience. It's going to take a lot to climb over those teams like OSU, Texas, Oklahoma and TCU. Look at OSU this year. The Cowboys dealt with a lot, but they looked like a pretty good team and just didn't have enough to make a super serious run at a Big 12 title. They were alive late and logged some really nice wins, but even they won just seven games. That's not going to cut it. They finished three games back of the champions in Big 12 play. I'd expect K-State to do something similar next year.