Obama ready to throw his weight at the BcS?

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Out of all the critics of the BcS — and there are many — there’s none that wield more power than The First Fan, President Barack Obama.

Shortly after he was elected in November of 2008, Pres. Obama said during a 60 Minutes interview that he was a proponent of a playoff system and would “throw my weight around a little bit” upon taking office.

“If you’ve got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season and many of them have one loss or two losses, there’s no clear, decisive winner,” Obama said during the interview. “We should be creating a playoff system.”

While The President has been forced to deal with, ahem, a couple of slightly more pressing issues since moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it looks like his administration may be carving out a little bit of time to deal with the inequities of the current system used to determine a national champion.

The Associated Press has obtained a copy of a letter from Assistant Attorney General Ronald Welch to Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, in which Welch states the Justice Department is looking at the option of opening an investigation into the BcS in order to determine whether the cartel group violate antitrust laws.

During Hatch’s hearing last July, the senator blasted the “arrogance” of the BcS and strongly intimated both during and after the proceedings that the Justice Department should become involved.

“Frankly, there’s an arrogance about the BCS that just drives me nuts,” Hatch said at the time. “Hopefully this hearing will open the door to have some people reconsider their positions. And if nothing else, the Justice Department ought to be looking at this.”

Welch also stated that the administration is looking at several other options, one of which would be charging the Federal Trade Commission to “review the legality of the BcS under consumer protection laws.”

For all of the clout the Senate and House hearings that were held last summer carried, there was — and still is — really only one thing that could potentially force the BcS back on its heels enough to make it more amenable to a playoff system.  And that one thing would be Obama following through on his “threat” and having his administration — particularly the Justice Department — throw the weight of the Oval Office around a little bit.

Hopefully, the threat of that “little bit” will be enough to force the BcS to do what the majority of fans want, and that’s to give everyone a playoff system to determine a national champion.

Ya know, the way they do in every other major collegiate sport.

Either way, you go Obama.  Here’s hoping for change that most college football fans can believe in.

Houston Nutt settles lawsuit with Ole Miss

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Houston Nutt wanted money and an apology from Ole Miss. He’ll have to settle for the second of the two — and a largely different future for the program he used to lead.

It was Nutt’s lawsuit, remember, which exposed the documents that led to a Mississippi State fan finding Hugh Freeze‘s call to a Tampa escort service, which led to Freeze’s resignation, which led to… we have no idea what it will lead to, but, whatever that future is, it will be wildly different than if Freeze was still the Rebels’ coach.

Nutt amended his lawsuit in August to seek simply an apology from Ole Miss, and that apology finally came on Monday.

Each side released their own bitter, short statements.

Nutt will go on, with his apology but without any monetary compensation, while Ole Miss will play out the string of this season, hire a new coach, and move into a future that will be immeasurably different that the one it would have lived had it apologized to Nutt in the first place.

Washington loses LT Adams, CB Miller for the season

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No. 12 Washington’s loss to Arizona State was a disaster on the field — for more reasons than one.

The Huskies not only put their College Football Playoff hopes in danger — they’ll need to sweep their next six games, including a finishing kick that calls for games against No. 22 Stanford, No. 15 Washington State and, presumably, No. 11 USC, two of them away from Seattle. But the road to get there became noticeably more difficult after losing two starters.

Left tackle Trey Adams suffered a torn ACL in his right knee, and cornerback Jordan Miller sustained a broken ankle. Head coach Chris Petersen confirmed Monday that both will be lost for the season. Miller is the third Husky this season to suffer a broken ankle.

The Seattle Times noted that Washington is also without another starting corner in Byron Murphy, who is expected to return later this year from a broken foot. The Huskies are expected to replace Miller with either a pair of true freshmen or a converted running back.

But Adams may be the bigger loss for the Huskies. A junior, Adams was widely expected to be a first round pick in this spring’s NFL Draft. It’s the second straight season Washington has lost a key player in the trenches to a season-ending injury; a year ago, it was linebackers Joe Mathis, who finished one sack away from the team lead despite playing in only seven games, and third-leading tackler Azeem Victor.

Maryland AD Kevin Anderson to take 6-month sabbatical

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Maryland AD Kevin Anderson will not be the Maryland AD for the next six months.

Anderson announced Monday he will take a 6-month sabbatical to focus on “professional development.” That leave of absence will see him remain on his national committees with the NCAA and NACDA, the professional organization of ADs.

It was reported over the weekend that Anderson would be out completely as Maryland’s AD, but those reports were knocked down by the university.

Additionally, Maryland announced that former Georgia AD and current Terps associate AD/CFO Damon Evans will run the department in Anderson’s stead.

Former Penn State K Joey Julius to attend Nittany Lions-Michigan game

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Joey Julius was Penn State’s beloved kicker before he left the team in the offseason to seek treatment for an eating disorder. Julius later opened up on his personal struggles, stating that he has dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts, all related to issues with his weight.

“It was what I call my silent struggle,” Julius said over the summer. “I hated the way I looked always. I’ve never liked the way I looked, but I never talked about it until other people did. But I’m finally doing better now.”

Julius has not rejoined the team, but he will be with the team on Saturday — along with about 100,000 other people. Julius tweeted Sunday he will attend Saturday’s game between No. 2 Penn State and No. 19 Michigan, his first Nittany Lions game to attend as a fan this season.

Julius, who would be a junior on this year’s team, handled kickoffs and place-kicking as a freshman in 2015 and just kickoffs in 2016. He averaged 62.1 yards with 45 touchbacks in 93 attempts last season; Tyler Davis has upped those numbers to 64.1 yards per kickoff with a 62.2 percent touchback average in 37 boots this season.

However, Penn State could have used Julius’s place-kicking abilities this season. After hitting 22-of-24 field goals a year ago, Davis has missed seven of his 13 tries in 2017. Julius connected on 10-of-12 field goals in 2015.