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Tim Hyland

Tim's College Football Blog

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Three Questions: Big Ten Style

Saturday May 31, 2014

So I'm just over a week into this "Three Questions" project and I have come to the realization that it may well be the end of me.

I mean, I've only done eight of these things so far. I've got 117 left to go. And the clock is ticking, with the 2014 season nearing fast.

In other words, wish me luck, folks. I'm going to need it.

In the meantime, enjoy six more Big Ten-focused editions of Three Questions for the 2014 season.

Three Questions: Wisconsin

Three Questions: Indiana

Three Questions: Penn State

Three Questions: Michigan

Three Questions: Michigan State

Three Questions: Maryland

Photo: Getty Images

Three Questions: Ohio State

Saturday May 24, 2014

Back when Urban Meyer was hired as Ohio State's coach in 2012, I believed--and I surely was not alone--that the Buckeyes would dominate the Big Ten for so long as Meyer decided to stick around in Columbus.

Turns out I was wrong about that.

Though the Buckeyes have been impressive during Meyer's two years on the job, the dynamics of the Big Ten have changed. Michigan State rose to power in 2013, stealing away the Big Ten crown that we all assumed would be Meyer's to lose, and as we look ahead to 2014, the Spartans aren't the only program in the league that the Buckeyes have to worry about.

In other words, the Big Ten actually isn't the one-team league that we all thought it was destined to be.

We'll take a closer look at the Buckeyes here, as we continue with our Three Questions series for the 2014 season.

Three Questions: Ohio State

Photo: Getty Images

Three Questions: Florida State

Friday May 23, 2014

The 2014 college football season is drawing ever closer, and in honor of the pending return of America's Greatest Sport, we are launching today a new feature that will take us right up opening weekend.

In our new Three Questions series, we will ask (and answer) three questions about every single team in the country.

Yes, that's right: Every. Single. One.

It's going to be quite a project. And it may well drive me insane. But we're going to give it a shot regardless. And hey, we'll probably learn a thing or two along the way.

We begin in Tallahassee, as we examine three of the biggest questions facing the defending national champion Florida State Seminoles.

Three Questions: Florida State Seminoles

Photo: Getty Images

Renovations on the Way for Oklahoma's Memorial Stadium?

Wednesday May 21, 2014

One of the biggest stadiums in Big 12 country might be in line for big-time renovation.

According to a report from ESPN.com, the University of Oklahoma is mulling a plan to renovate Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, the 82,000-seat stadium that the Sooners call home.

As part of the proposed plan, which will be voted on next month by university regents, the stadium would finally have its south end fully enclosed within the structure of the rest of the stadium. Other planned improvements include (of course) the addition of luxury suites (which exist only to help raise money), improved concessions and restrooms, and general improvements to seating throughout the stadium.

Also planned are renovations to the stadium press box, the creation of a new academic support center for athletes and improvements to an office facility attached to the building.

Memorial Stadium, as it is more colloquially known, has been a fortress for the Sooners through the years, and ranks among the most intimidating stadiums in the Big 12, if not the entire country.

Photo: Getty Images

The SEC Scheduling Debate, and More

Wednesday April 30, 2014

So you actually thought the SEC would adopt a nine-game league schedule?

You actually thought the presidents down in SEC country would leave that guaranteed home-game revenue on the table in favor of sporting equity?

You actually thought the coaches and athletic directors would make their lives more difficult by adding another league game to their schedule?

You actually thought that things like "fairness" mattered in college football?

Well, if you did, you were wrong. And I have to say, you were incredibly naive, too.

We'll take a look at the SEC scheduling debate--and preview a few more teams for the 2014 season--right here. Enjoy, all.

The SEC Takes the Easy Way Out

Questions & Answers: What Drove the Decision?

The Media Reacts

Coaches and Athletic Directors React

2014 Oklahoma Sooners Preview

2014 LSU Tigers Preview

2014 South Carolina Gamecocks Preview

2014 Florida State Seminoles Preview

Photo: Getty Images

Another Bowl Game? Bring It On

Tuesday April 15, 2014

College football is on the verge of reaching a true milestone.

But surely, this is a milestone that some critics of the sport will lament.

With the announcement this week that the American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt Conference would create a new Orlando-based bowl game starting with the 2015 season, it became clear that, starting that year, college football will host 40 bowl games each season.

Yes, that's right: 40.

In all, this means that 78 teams will qualify for bowl games each season, including the two teams that end up playing for the national title in the new College Football Playoff championship game. And yes, this is a good thing.

For years now, assorted killjoys have claimed that college football waters down its product by sending too many average teams to bowl games. Their argument has always been that teams that finish 6-6 and 7-5 don't "deserve" to play postseason football.

My counter-argument (and it's the correct argument, it must be noted) is that I honestly don't care whether a team "deserves" to play in a bowl game. Because at the end of the day, more college football, the better. Simple as that.

So, yeah, bring on this new bowl game (it will be called the Cure Bowl, by the way, and will support charities fighting against cancer).

And bring on even more, too.

Photo: Getty Images

Ohio Lawmakers: Student-Athletes Are Not 'Employees'

Wednesday April 9, 2014

In the wake of the Northwestern football labor ruling that shook up the college football world, some Ohio legislators are taking proactive action to ensure that, in their state, at least, college football players remain "students" only, and not "employees."

Ohio's House Finance and Appropriations Committee on Tuesday amended a budget bill to include a clause stating that college athletes in the state could not and would not be termed "employees" of their universities. The amended bill was to be voted on by the full House this week.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rom Amstutz told the Associated Press that the committee's action was "a statement of what we all thought was obvious."

"Athletes are not employees of their university," Amstutz said.

Of course, the National Labor Relations Board feels otherwise, and ruled last month that Northwestern football players should--because of the fact that they are compensated by their universities (through athletic scholarship), because they are under such strict control of their coaches and because of any number of other factors--be considered employees of the school. That ruling opened the door for the players to unionize.

It is unclear as of yet if the Northwestern players will go ahead and do so, but as the Ohio move shows, there is at least some concern out there that the NLRB ruling could indeed spark a revolution in the world of college sports--and, by extension, change the way universities (and states) fund college athletics.

"I think we're proactively restating that college athletes are not employees," Amstutz said. "If it ever comes up, it will be in the law."

Photo: Getty Images

2014 Pac-12 Preview

Monday March 31, 2014

Looking ahead to the 2014 season out West, it seems pretty clear that it's going to be an Oregon vs. Stanford battle for the Pac-12 title.

Again.

But while the Ducks and Cardinal will stage yet another two-horse race for the league crown this season, I am pretty sure that these programs' days of dual dominance are nearing an end. And quick.

In our 2014 Pac-12 preview package, you can read up on the Ducks, and on the Cardinals, and on the handful of programs that appear to be on the cusp of breaking through as true league contenders.

2014 Pac-12 Preview, Part I

2014 Pac-12 Preview, Part II

2014 Oregon Ducks Preview

2014 Stanford Cardinal Preview

Photo: Getty Images

In Depth: The Northwestern Labor Ruling

Monday March 31, 2014

The status quo in college football is under attack.

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board issued a stunning ruling, finding that players at Northwestern University were by law "employees" of the university.

That decision means that the players must be given the right to unionize. If they can fend off pending legal challenges and successfully form that union, then college football--and perhaps college athletics as  a whole--will be changed forever.

Here, we offer a comprehensive breakdown of this hugely important ruling--from the key arguments in the NLRB ruling to the reaction of the NCAA to opinions from sportswriters and legal experts nationwide.

Northwestern Players Win Right to Unionize

Key Highlights: The Northwestern Labor Ruling

NCAA, Northwestern React to the Ruling

Opinions Split on NLRB Ruling

Photo: Getty Images

Gamechanger: Northwestern Players Win Right to Unionize

Thursday March 27, 2014

This was inevitable.

But even still, you can bet that Mark Emmert and the rest of the folks at NCAA headquarters still aren't very happy about it.

On Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that players at Northwestern University are indeed "employees" of the school, and not just "student-athletes." As such, those players have the right to unionize.

The ruling was hailed by the players as a massive step forward for players' rights and criticized by the NCAA as an unwarranted attack on a system that has served colleges well for decades.

Northwestern has pledged to appeal the ruling, and it's anybody's guess as to what happens next, but this much is clear: This ruling very well could change college sports forever.

You can read more about this hugely important ruling here.

Photo: Getty Images

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