Missouri v Texas A&M

A&M athletic director has sit-down with Manziel’s parents


For better or worse, Johnny Manziel has been making headlines since the summer.  From a July arrest to winning the Texas A&M starting quarterback job to leading the Aggies to an 11-win season to its first year in the SEC to becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman, Manziel has been one of the stories of the 2012 season.

The attention hasn’t slowed since the season ended, either, as many have rushed to criticize Manziel for what they believe to be off-field missteps, including  photos of the 20-year-old at a casino holding a bottle of Dom Perignon and another that sees him fanning out a wad of cash.  Even a college coach has gotten in on the act, with Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops telling a radio station late last week that Manziel “might have three or four Heismans … if they can keep him out of jail or keep him eligible.”

It’s certainly been a whirlwind for Manziel and his family, with the scrutiny on an individual who was a relative unknown outside of College Station entering the 2012 season seemingly increasing on a daily basis.  Manziel himself acknowledged recently the microscope under which he’s been living, saying that “I’ve got to learn from (things) and move on, and make sure I don’t make some of the same mistakes.”

In that vein, A&M athletic director Eric Hyman, the San Antonio Express-News reports, has sat down with the parents of Manziel to discuss their son’s new-found fame and the best way moving forward to deal with it.

“I told them he’s no longer a freshman, and he’s no longer a sophomore, junior or senior,” Hyman told the paper. “He is a ‘Heisman. …

“It’s (about) education, and we’ve got to help the family and Johnny with the transition into being a Heisman award winner. There are things you have to learn, and we have to help him with that.”

Hyman added that winning a Heisman and all the attention that comes with it is “a tremendous responsibility — but it is a responsibility.”

Right or wrong, in this day and age of instant news via social media outlets, celebrities — even college-age athletes — face more scrutiny than ever before.  And, unless SEC coaches can find devise some plan this offseason to defend the dual-threat quarterback, that scrutiny’s not going away for the foreseeable future.

No punishment from SEC for Bielema’s sideline interaction with Alabama player

Bret Bielema

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.

“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”

That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.

Temple announces rare football sellout

Jahad Thomas, Marcus Allen

In the midst of what could be a dream season in South Philadelphia, the Temple Owls announced a rare sellout for a football game this afternoon. The October 31 game at home against Notre Dame has sold out Lincoln Financial Field. This is the first time Temple has sold out two home games in the same season since 1976, when the Owls began playing home games in one of Philadelphia’s pro sports stadiums.

This is the second sellout of the season for Temple, but it is also worth mentioning who the opponents are for those two games; Penn State and Notre Dame. Penn State is always Temple’s biggest draw when they get a chance to host the Nittany Lions and their legions of fans in and around the Delaware Valley. Temple dominated Penn State in the season opener, snapping a long losing streak against the in-state power. Notre Dame is also a big draw everywhere the Irish go, and there is a solid fanbase in the southeastern part of Philadelphia as well.

It is also a rare trip to Philadelphia for Notre Dame. The Irish last played in Philadelphia in 1993 when they faced Navy in Veterans Stadium. Navy also hosted Notre Dame in Philadelphia in 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1974. Notre Dame and Temple have never played in Philadelphia, although they did face each other in the 2013 season opener. This year’s game is the second game of a home-and-home series.

The game could potentially prove to play a key role in the evolving College Football Playoff and Group of Five conversation as well. If Temple avoids slipping up this week against UCF and next week at East Carolina and USC holds off USC, then we could have an undefeated and top 25 Temple program hosting a top 15 or even potential top 10 Notre Dame on Halloween. Let’s not put the cart ahead of the horse here, but that could be a very attractive matchup worth paying attention to at the end of the month for many fanbases.