Jim Delany the doomsday prepper

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Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is one of the most powerful people in college sports, so when he makes statements suggesting the possible implosion of the college sports scene, people will listen to what he has to say. Delany may be a wise person who understands the inner workings of the game today than some might ever be able to comprehend, but he seemed to go to a wild extreme while testifying as a witness in the Ed O’Bannon antitrust trial in California on Friday.

Delany suggested the Rose Bowl would actually be in jeopardy if players were being paid to play football. For the Big Ten, the loss of the Rose Bowl would be as close to doomsday as it could get given the conference’s dedication to the storied bowl game, its tradition and long-standing relationship between the Big Ten, Pac-12 and the Rose Bowl.

“There wouldn’t be a Rose Bowl if either [the Pac-12] or [the Big Ten] were operating in a very different wavelength in terms of paying players,” Delany said Friday while on the witness stand. Delany was suggesting the game would be at risk if one conference was paying players while the other was not.

Of course, if both conferences allowed for paying players, perhaps Delany’s tune would change. While the antitrust lawsuit is not specifically about directly paying players to pay, the topic continues to be a boiling point for the trial and was one that was discussed at great length on Thursday and Friday with Delany and NCAA president Mark Emmert taking the witness stand.

“These games are owned by the institution, and the notion of paying athletes for participation in these games is foreign to the notion of amateurism,” Delany said.

Delany echoed some of the same thoughts expressed by Emmert when discussing amateurism. To paraphrase, the two believe that the amateurism model set up decades ago, in a different era, should be good enough to fit in with today’s world. Delany is quite the visionary, and his testimony overall may have done more damage than good for the NCAA’s case, but what these two sometimes fail to see is today’s college sports scene is not comparable to what existed in previous decades. Adapting is the key. Delany knows that, as evidenced by Big Ten moves since he has been named commissioner of the conference. The Big Ten has added four schools and started the first truly successful conference-specific cable network under his watch.

Would the Rose Bowl, the granddaddy of them all and the true crown jewel of the Big Ten (and Pac-12) really be in much jeopardy of players were being paid? If the day does come, expect Delany to have his shelter to be stocked with nothing but the finest preserved foods and supplies and a direct feed to the Big Ten Network running day and night.

Arizona State, Mississippi State ink home-and-home

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Arizona State and Mississippi State on Tuesday announced a home-and-home series to be played in 2024-25. Arizona State will host the first game in Tempe on Sept. 7, 2024, and the clubs will meet in Starkville on Sept. 6, 2025.

The Sun Devils and Bulldogs have never met previously.

The Arizona State trip is not Mississippi State’s only upcoming trek from the Deep South to the Southwest. The Bulldogs also lined up a visit to Arizona in 2020 and Texas Tech in 2029. Mississippi State will open the 2024 season against Eastern Kentucky and visit Southern Miss the week after its Arizona State visit, on Sept. 14. The Bulldogs have no other games lined up in 2025 as of yet, according to FBSchedules.

Likewise, Mississippi State is not the Sun Devils’ lone upcoming SEC opponent. Arizona State has a home-and-home with LSU on the docket for 2026-28, per FBSchedules. The Mississippi State games complete both of the Sun Devils’ non-conference schedules for these respective seasons. Arizona State opens with Wyoming and visits Texas State in 2024, and hosts Northern Arizona and Texas State in 2025.

UCLA lands Texas Tech graduate transfer OL Justin Murphy

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Help is on the way for Chip Kelly‘s offensive line. One graduate transfer offensive lineman has the Bruins on his list, but another has already pulled the trigger for UCLA.

Texas Tech graduate transfer Justin Murphy on Tuesday committed to UCLA in a post on his Twitter account.

A native of Belton, Texas, Murphy signed with Texas Tech in 2014 and made four starts at right guard as a redshirt freshman. He again started four games at right guard in ’15 before moving out to tackle, where he started another four games. But after battling a series of knee injuries, Murphy announced in the middle of the 2016 season he had medically retired from the game.

After sitting out 2017, Murphy announced in March he planned to make a comeback.

UCLA remarkably started the same offensive linemen in all 13 games last season, but tackle Kolton Miller entered the NFL draft, guard Najoee Toran and center Scott Quessenberry graduated.

Toledo posts, then deletes, tweet offering to change mascot to Shrek

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There are plenty of annoying trends on Twitter, but perhaps the worst is the “I’ll do X if this gets retweeted X-thousand amount of times.” I blame Wendy’s.

But blanket policies are never a good way to go through life, and an exception was made on Tuesday when Toledo offered to change its mascot from a rocket to Shrek with 500,000 retweets.

Sadly, some dreams are simply too beautiful to live in this fallen world, and the tweet was outed to be a hoax. “We are definitely not changing the school mascot to Shrek,” Toledo media relations specialist Christine Billau told USA Today. “The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction.”

Meanwhile, Bowling Green gleefully hopped on the dog pile with both elbows pointed out.

UMass grad transfer lineman narrows choices to Auburn, UCLA, USC

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It’s not yet known to where Jack Driscoll will transfer, but the field has been significantly narrowed.

Earlier this offseason, Driscoll decided to transfer from UMass.  Tuesday, the offensive tackle confirmed to Rivals.com that he’s down to three schools as a potential landing spot — Auburn, UCLA and USC.

Neither football program will have to wait long for a decision as Driscoll expects to make an announcement Wednesday.  Driscoll had taken an official visit to all three of the campuses prior to whittling down his transfer to-do list.

“It will come down to one of those three schools,” the lineman told AuburnSports.com. “I feel like all three of the schools would be a good fit.”

Driscoll will graduate from UMass early next month, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 at whichever program he selects.  The upcoming season will be the first of two years of eligibility the 6-5, 294-pound lineman has remaining.

After starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, with most of those starts coming at left guard, he started all 12 games in 2017.  All of those starts this past season came at right tackle for the football-independent Minutemen. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team while he earned second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors for good measure.