Budget games Week 1

Possible new logo for the Sun Belt Conference this week

Possible new logo for the Sun Belt Conference this week

College football is back, and while some match-ups are enticing this weekend, others are a cakewalk. Here are some games where a powerhouse football program is paying a FBS mid-major in need of funds (typically around $1 million) to take a beating.

Arkansas State at No. 8 USC

The Red Wolves went 7-6 last season and played in its fourth straight GoDaddy Bowl. That’s an impressive achievement for the ASU program. Unfortunately, the University of Southern California doesn’t really care about that. The Trojans see a Sun Belt program that should go down easy.

Arkansas State might actually make USC nervous for tiny bit but the Trojans should be able to score at will in this one. Three of ASU’s top four tacklers are gone from a year ago and that’s big problem against USC. Trojans roll.

Louisiana-Monroe at No. 9 Georgia

The good news for Louisana-Monroe is that it defeated a power conference school last season. The bad news is that was Wake Forest. The Warhawks went 4-8 last year and was held to under 100 yards in it’s 31-0 loss at LSU. ULM also lost at Kentucky 48-14. So I doubt Georgia will have much fear here.

Throw in the fact Georgia has won 17 of its last 18 home openers and you have a very long day for ULM in Athens.

Texas State at No. 10 Florida State

Texas State has been bowl eligible the past two seasons (did not get selected) and has a great chance to finally get in. That might not be seen in its opener at Florida State. The Seminoles are 10-1 all-time against current Sun Belt teams.

Florida State is in transition with a new quarterback so maybe Texas State can hang around in this game for a quarter or two. Eventually though, the Bobcat defense with four of its five best tacklers gone from last season will collapse. It won’t be pretty when it does.

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2014-15 College Sports Social Media Awards

All I do is win, win, win no matter what.

All I do is win, win, win no matter what.

I hope you enjoyed the appetizer of the ESPYS because it’s time to recognize the more important stuff. The social media masters in our NCAA bubble. Social Media award

Last year, my post was a big hit and I went all out this time. No I didn’t see everything on Twitter and Facebook and if I did I would be a synthetic on Humans. Trust me, I saw enough, but feel free to let me know if there was something you think I should have recognized. Now let’s take a look at these manufactured awards.

Best way to embarrass your players: Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt had a great spring sports season with baseball and tennis, so with all the excitement can you blame the track team for taking a nap to recharge? Apparently, their own teammate could not. Anchor down means staying on the internet forever.

Worst use of a statistic: UConn Football
I get it UConn football, you are constantly trying to get your team out of the shadows of the best basketball programs in the country. The countdowns though are coming across as desperate.

That’s right, we are counting down to play a FCS team! Not Rutgers, not Boston College, not even Temple but FCS Villanova. Get your tickets now!

Even worse was the punting statistic. In a 12-game season 66 punts is 5.5 punts a game. That’s a problem as UConn gave up the third highest points in American Athletic Conference play last season. Roughly 30 points per contest. Don’t brag about forcing punts when you are being scored on every other possession.

Best use of democracy: Georgia Tech
Who knew the Yellow Jackets would go to the public for fashion advice?

Best presentation of starting lineup: Missouri
There were plenty of great designs out there for starting lineups in basketball but I like what Missouri did here with the black and white contrast. Now that’s some good layering in the photo edit.

Best soccer starting lineup: East Tennessee State
While I liked what Missouri did for basketball I have to give ETSU credit for their soccer efforts. I gotta have more tactical lineups like these.

Most insecure: North Dakota State
I seriously don’t know what I did. I was a big fan of the Bison winning numerous FCS titles and getting on College Gameday too. This hurts NDSU.

No longer on the Christmas card list.

No longer on the Christmas card list.

Best prognostication: Georgia State
In what ended up being the most entertaining game of the NCAA Tournament, the Panthers knew that an upset was in order thanks to an official box score. Sorry Baylor.

Most shameless advertisement: FIU
FIU has always been in need of cash and well… let’s have a word from our sponsor.

Selfie of the year by mascot: Kentucky
Here is a school not in need of cash. Why every team should have a midnight madness like Kentucky.

Best at making announcements: Northern Illinois
NIU is developing a tradition of making a big deal about future football games. And I have to say #SchedulePalooza is pretty cool. The Huskies drop hints making fans work a digital scavenger hunt to determine the teams NIU will play in a few years.

Worst graphic: Arizona
The defensive player of the week has NO EYES! What an incredible performance by her!

Worst logo placement: Siena
You may accuse me of having my mind in the gutter but a woman’s waistline should never be used for branding. Or a man’s for that matter. Siena is a great follow but this post was not one of the best.

Best costume by a media member: Shae Peppler
Going back to a Miami school with Shae Peppler of Campus Insiders somehow pulling off an Al Golden for Halloween. Didn’t know his tie was so iconic.

Best female media personality to follow: Nicole Auerbach
Auerbach is one of the few who covers college basketball and football equally. She is also one of the few women to be on television as a college football expert for the Big Ten Network. Plus she retweeted me last year. So all the power to her.

Best male media personality to follow: Pat Forde
Until Seth Davis covers other sports besides basketball, Pat Forde is and will always be the man.

Most Harsh: UTEP
This about sums it up.
http://www.midmajormadness.com/2015/3/17/8240159/utep-miner-athletics-uses-twitter-to-put-down-their-own-player

Best food promotion: Iowa State
Now that is a social media promotion.

Best photo shoot: Tie between Pepperdine and Bowling Green State
Yeah I whiffed with a tie but how are you supposed to choose between these two?

Best social media rivalry: MAC vs. the Sun Belt
A great way to have the other bowl games be more impactful is to have the conferences duke it out Twitter. Well done MAC and Sun Belt. Well done.

Best tweet: Jacksonville State
Now this photo demonstrates what college sports should be all about. Playing for your school, having fun and getting that degree. You can stop advertising NCAA. We have found your marketing tool.

Best team selfies: Niagra Women’s Basketball
Have you ever been stuck on the interstate for 24 hours because of a snowstorm? No? Well here is what it looks like.

Best way to celebrate a milestone: New Hampshire
Reaching 700 wins in any sport is a big deal. You truly have to put your body into it.

Best to chat with: Southern Miss
Want to chat with your favorite Golden Eagle? You don’t even have to leave your laptop.

Best video series: American Athletic Conference
American Rising hosted by Hali Oughton became the most informative regular on my news feed this year. The AAC is still new and an odd mix of schools so this media effort helps get it organized for fans.

Best conference on Facebook: Mountain West
For Facebook, I want to see photo galleries. The Mountain West does a tremendous job of providing exactly that for most of its games. This Facebook banner is pretty good too. MWC 7 teams

Best conference to follow: Big West
The Big West celebrates every holiday, offers plenty of photos for every sport and how can you beat this?

Best video by a school: South Florida
A great way to promote a sport like volleyball. This promotion idea was cute and I hope that more videos like these will increase interest for the volleyball program at USF.

Best game show by a team: Florida State Sand Volleyball
On the other side of the state, FSU tried some video ideas of its own with a game show theme. I’m all for getting sand volleyball more attention even in cheesy ways like this, but I don’t think you need two parts here. Still, the effort is to be applauded.

Best school to follow on social media No. 5: Georgia Southern
Now to the top five schools to follow on Twitter. The Eagles made some nice info graphics for their teams this year. Here is a look at a soccer example.

Best school to follow on social media No. 4: Western Kentucky
WKU promoted their sports equally with photo shoots and other promotional graphics. The Hilltoppers had fun too with this color coordinated seating chart.

Best school to follow on social media No. 3: Oregon State
No school made better use of its color scheme on social media than the orange and black of Oregon State. Their posts were hard to miss.

Best school to follow on social media No. 2: Colorado State
Colorado State did an excellent job using photography. It always seemed to grab my attention with the bold colors the Rams would use.

Best school to follow on social media No. 1: Kansas State
The best combination of game updates, photography, promotions, statistics and design has to be Kansas State. The Wildcats were active promoting every game from every team and every result. I feel like I’m in the know about K-State despite living a few states away.

Plus how do compete with a promotion like this?

Conference Races Hit Top Speed

Moving into late October we have a large enough sample size to gauge how the conference races will shake out.

SEC Favorite: Ole Miss
SEC Sleeper: Georgia

While the SEC West is getting all the attention, Georgia can still ruin everything and win the SEC championship game. The only team that can take the East from Georgia is Missouri and that’s only if the Tigers win out and Georgia loses a game. Going against Georgia in Atlanta for the SEC championship is a tough out. Ole Miss gets Mississippi State and Auburn at home so it is currently the favorite in the West.

PAC-12 Favorite: Oregon
PAC-12 Sleeper: Arizona

Oregon is the only team in the North with a winning conference record at 3-1. Stanford is close at 2-2 but still has to play at Oregon. The PAC-12 South is a traffic jam of four teams at one loss, but I like Arizona to come out of it. Arizona State must come to Tucson and traveling to UCLA on Nov. 1 seems less intimidating now for the Wildcats.

Big 12 Favorite: Kansas State
Big 12 Sleeper: West Virginia

The fact that the Big 12 does not have a championship game makes this conference race more interesting. While Kansas State is the last remaining undefeated team in conference play, West Virginia has a favorable schedule. The Mountaineers have just one conference loss and will host both K-State and TCU. If West Virginia can get past Oklahoma State in Stillwater Saturday then Mountaineer fans must like their chances of singing country roads a few more times.

Big Ten Favorites: Michigan State and Ohio State
Big Ten Sleeper: None

The Big Ten is straightforward, whoever wins the Ohio State at Michigan State meeting on Nov. 8 will win the conference. The Big Ten West is too shaky to pull off the upset this year as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska give different performances each week.

ACC Favorite: Florida State
ACC Sleeper: Duke

Florida State has practically won the ACC Atlantic but Clemson does have a small chance of catching up to it. The story though is in the Coastal where Duke is in the lead to repeat as division champions. The Blue Devils are down to two road games against Pitt and Syracuse (nothing to worry about) with Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Wake Forest at home. Duke will be favored in all of those games and may sneak up on a napping Florida State in the ACC championship game.

Mountain West Favorite: Boise State
Mountain West Sleeper: Nevada

This conference is still fuzzy but Boise State is always a Mountain West favorite and gets San Diego State at home. The Broncos have already defeated Colorado State and should come out of the Mountain Division as Air Force has a tough schedule. San Diego State is 3-1 in conference play but has a tough slate ahead with Boise, Nevada and Air Force remaining. This opens the door for Nevada to come out of the West. The Wolfpack have defeated Washington State and BYU and should be favored in four of its final five games.

American Athletic Favorite: East Carolina
American Athletic Sleeper: Central Florida

The AAC is a two-team race with East Carolina being the pride of the conference so far at 5-1. UCF is 2-0 in conference play and will give the Pirates a test on Dec. 4. It’s hard to see any other school like Temple, Houston or Cincinnati winning the league but they are long shots.

Conference USA Favorite: Marshall
Conference USA Sleeper: None

It's just too easy for them

It’s just too easy for them


CUSA is all about Marshall and no one else. The last undefeated team among the mid-majors, Marshall is looking at an Orange Bowl bid. Louisiana Tech is 3-0 in CUSA play but has lost to a FCS school so it’s hard to call it a threat.

Mid-American Favorite: Northern Illinois
Mid-American Sleeper: Akron

The MAC is a mess of unpredictability as Northern Illinois lost to Central Michigan at home. Yet I don’t see another team taking them out in the West. Central fell to 2-2 in conference play and Toledo and Western Michigan are unproven. In the East division, Akron’s final five games will be against underdogs as it gets Bowling Green at home. The Zips beat Pittsburgh earlier in the year and is well coached under Terry Bowden.

Sun Belt Favorite: Georgia Southern
Sun Belt Sleeper: Louisiana

Georgia Southern at the top of the Sun Belt at 4-0 in the conference. Louisiana Monroe at home to the end the regular season appears to be its toughest remaining game. Louisiana is 2-0 in Sun Belt play though and will host Arkansas State Tuesday who is also 2-0. The Ragin’ Cajuns are playing well in the Sun Belt after a disappointing non-conference campaign. I’m picking Louisiana to win Tuesday and perhaps grab a share of the Sun Belt with Georgia Southern.

Conference Boasting Time

There can be only one! And it's not the ACC.

There can be only one! And it’s not the ACC.

Now that non-conference play is over for most teams, we can accurately judge how the leagues stack up. Here is my ranking of the 10 conferences.

1. SEC
Schools in AP Top 25: 8
Schools Receiving Votes: 2
Driver Seat: No. 3 Alabama
Worst team: Vanderbilt, No. 84 Sagarin
Think about it, 10 SEC teams are either in the Top 25 or close to it. Critics point out how LSU should have lost to Wisconsin, Missouri’s lost to Indiana and how flimsy the SEC East looks. But the conference has done damage to the ACC and Big 12. The only weak link is Vanderbilt, as Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas have made strides.

2. PAC-12
Schools in AP Top 25: 4
Schools Receiving Votes: 3
Driver Seat: No. 2 Oregon
Worst team: Colorado, No. 94 Sagarin
The best non-conference win so far has been Oregon over Michigan State. UCLA is a potential playoff team and the only schools with losing records are Washington State and Colorado. The PAC-12 has a decent chance of getting two teams in the four-team playoff. The concern though is that conference may beat each other up leaving no undefeated or even one-loss team left.

3. Big 12
Schools in AP Top 25: 5
Schools Receiving Votes: 1
Driver Seat: No. 4 Oklahoma
Worst team: Kansas, No. 115 Sagarin
Oklahoma State and Kansas State came close but missed great chances to pick up huge non-conference wins in Florida State and Auburn. Iowa State is 1-3 but did beat Iowa, leaving Kansas as the only weak school. The big question is TCU as the Horn Frogs will have a chance to rise up the rankings and help out Oklahoma and Baylor.

4. Big 10
Schools in AP Top 25: 4
Schools Receiving Votes: 1
Driver Seat: No. 10 Michigan State
Worst team: Purdue, No. 112 Sagarin
Nebraska is last remaining unbeaten team in the Big 10 and the Cornhuskers nearly lost to a FCS school. Northwestern, Purdue and Indiana have lost to MAC teams. However it’s not all bad as Nebraska, Iowa and Maryland have defeated an ACC program this year. Rutgers took out Washington State on the road to start the season and Indiana shocked Missouri. It will be tough getting conference frontrunner Michigan State into the playoff but it is more than a possibility.

5. ACC
Schools in AP Top 25: 1
Schools Receiving Votes: 5
Driver Seat: No. 1 Florida State
Worst team: Wake Forest, No. 118 Sagarin
After Florida State there is no one else who can make the playoff. The other schools with just one loss or less are Georgia Tech, Duke, NC State and Louisville. Not exactly a prestigious set of four. North Carolina gave up 70 points to East Carolina and Pittsburgh was non competitive against Akron out of the MAC. Don’t even mention Wake Forest. The Seminoles are in a tough spot as just one loss will probably be enough to keep them out of the playoff.

6. Conference USA
Schools in AP Top 25: 0
Schools Receiving Votes: 1
Driver Seat: Marshall
Worst team: Florida International, No. 155 Sagarin
Now that we have hit the mid-majors it gets tougher to distinguish but Conference USA is having a solid year. Even Southern Mississippi has defeated a Sun Belt school. Marshall though looks poised to go undefeated and snag a bid at a premier bowl. However, Louisiana Tech and FIU have lost to FCS schools. Still, expect Marshall to move up the Top 25 and give C-USA attention.

7. Mountain West
Schools in AP Top 25: 0
Schools Receiving Votes: 0
Driver Seat: Nevada
Worst team: New Mexico, No. 148 Sagarin
The Mountain West has no dominant team right now but does have depth. The league’s best wins have been Nevada over Washington State and Colorado State over Colorado. There have been few bad losses as no one has lost to a FCS school although UNLV escaped Northern Colorado 13-12. The parity will make the Mountain West fun to watch.

8. American Athletic
Schools in AP Top 25: 1
Schools Receiving Votes: 0
Driver Seat: No. 22 East Carolina
Worst team: SMU, No. 116 Sagarin
East Carolina is the real deal and could probably play in the SEC. Defeating Virginia Tech and North Carolina brought plenty of attention to the AAC. After that the conference is a mixed bag but schools like SMU, UConn and Tulane are weighing the league down. Tulsa losing to Texas State at home does not help either. The Mustangs of SMU have been the worst team in FBS so far.

9. MAC
Schools in AP Top 25: 0
Schools Receiving Votes: 0
Driver Seat: Northern Illinois
Worst team: Miami University, No. 116 Sagarin
The MAC has scored wins over the Big 10 and the ACC this season. Just hide the fact that Miami and Ball State lost to FCS teams. Bowling Green being humbled by Western Kentucky hurts. Kent State, UMass and Miami are winless and are looking at a long year. Even Toledo and Northern Illinois have been blown out this season. The MAC will have to make up for it bowl season.

10. Sun Belt
Schools in AP Top 25: 0
Schools Receiving Votes: 0
Driver Seat: Georgia Southern
Worst team: Troy State, No. 157 Sagarin
It’s a year of transition in the Sun Belt as several teams left and several teams joined the conference. Georgia Southern came close to beating ACC teams and UL-Monroe did beat Wake Forest. However, those are the only two schools above .500 in the league. Troy State and Idaho are currently winless and have had bad losses at home. The Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana were a conference favorite but were no match for Louisiana Tech and Boise State.

Tough Day for the Sun Belt

Why is Western Kentucky still here?

Why is Western Kentucky still here?

While the Big 10 has been berated by media folk (rightfully so) one league had an even worse week. The Sun Belt went 0-10 Saturday against schools ranging from LSU to Abilene Christian. Yikes!

It was not completely negative as Georgia Southern gave Georgia Tech a scare losing 42-38 in Atlanta. UL-Monroe was only down 10-0 at LSU after the first half, but the Tigers put the upset to bed with a 30-0 final score. After that… well…
Troy State fell to 0-3 as FCS Abilene Christian shocked it 38-35. That was the probably the most winnable game for the Trojans.

Arkansas State, Louisiana and South Alabama were handled by power conference schools. Idaho was uncompetitive at home against MAC weakling Western Michigan. Texas State surrendered 28 straight points to Navy at home before scoring its first touchdown. UTEP controlled New Mexico State the whole way and Georgia State did what Georgia State does against Air Force. The Panthers even turned to advertising for content on Twitter. Not good.

This doesn’t mean the Sun Belt Conference “sucks” as we like to label struggling leagues. There were disappointing performances to be sure but the Sun Belt is in a bad spot geographically speaking. While the MAC and Conference USA gets to pick at the struggling teams of the Big Ten and Big 12, the Sun Belt is stuck scheduling the SEC. That never ends up well.

The MAC didn’t do great this week either but when a Bowling Green defeats Indiana people tend to forget how badly Central Michigan, Ball State and Kent State played.Sensor Scans

With no big win among the conference other than ULM over Wake Forest in week 1 (not flashy) it’s hard to cover the stinky games up.

Southern Miss Stays Positive

What do you do when you’re getting blown out by No. 2 Alabama? Talk about the field goals your kicker is making and not about the extra points he never tried. The Golden Eagles lost 52-12 but did kick a field goal in each quarter. If that makes Southern Miss fans feel better.

Vanderbilt Hides Football

Forget about “Anchor Down” as Vanderbilt was losing to MAC doormat UMass on Saturday. The Commodores rallied to get their first win but not before reporting on how the school’s cross-country team did on Saturday. This resulted in this awesome exchange.

Vanderbilt might be able to “AnchorDown” against FCS Charleston Southern so fire up that 2-10 season Commodores. You’ll always have cross-country to turn to.

FCS Power Faceplants

No. 15 Sam Houston State was seen as a contender for the FCS playoffs but I’m sure that changed after Colorado State Pueblo destroyed it Saturday. Did I mention that Colorado State Pueblo was Division II? This is like an episode of “Defiance” being better than an episode of “Doctor Who.” It should not happen.

Division II knows how to "Bring the Thunder"

Division II knows how to “Bring the Thunder”

Even more surprising is how this game was never close. The ThunderWolves were up 14-0 after the first quarter and 27-0 at half. The 47-21 final was actually the result of mercy and garbage touchdowns by the Bearkats.

It’s going to be hard for Sam Houston State to come back from this one but maybe it was a learning experience for the Bearkats. One can only hope.

Budget Games of the Opening Week

Budget Games newCollege football schedules are driven by revenue and there are schools that need revenue badly. The first few weeks of the season are loaded with power conference programs paying mid-major FBS schools to serve as target practice. Such is life in the “Group of 5” (AAC, CUSA, MAC, Mountain West, and Sun Belt). Welcome to the “Budget Games” slackers, where the odds are never in your favor.

Georgia Southern at NC State, Aug 30.

The Eagles are entering year one as a FBS school and that costs money. Money North Carolina State is willing to provide to the tune of $700,000 for a home game. NC State went a dismal 3-9 last year and were uncompetitive against the likes of Boston College, East Carolina and Maryland. The Eagles beat Florida last year so taking down a FBS school like NC State is nothing new.

Georgia Southern has an opportunity here to get paid and score a win. I give the Eagles a 40% chance of pulling off the upset. That will be a happy Thanksgiving, merry Christmas, and a happy New Year all over again.

Temple at Vanderbilt, Aug 28

The American Athletic Conference is now on the same level as the MAC and Conference USA. This means Temple is back to collecting cash and Vanderbilt is its first supplier. The Owls went 2-10 in 2013 but had decent showings in their final six games. While Vanderbilt has a new head coach in Derek Mason, it seems hard to believe they’ll drop a Thursday night game to a team like Temple. The pressure will be on running back Jerron Seymour to carry Vandy’s offense as the passing attack is inexperienced. I place Temple’s chances of an upset at 25 percent.

Appalachian State at Michigan Aug 30

Michigan is paying Appalachian State 1 million dollars to get a chance at revenge. Why else would Michigan schedule them? MAC schools surround the Wolverines so importing a Sun Belt program from North Carolina is a little obvious.

The Mountaineers are now in the FBS and their upset over Michigan in 2007 had plenty to do with that. App State went 4-8 last season but returns their starting QB, RB and offensive line. That could make things interesting. If Akron scared Michigan last year then you know Appalachian State has a shot. I give them a 20 percent chance.

Utah State vs. Tennessee, Aug 31

Utah State of the Mountain West will take its crack at a SEC school on a Sunday game. The Aggies have potential too coming off a 9-5 year. The Volunteers have not scared anyone in years and Utah State is coming to win. Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton is better than anyone Tennessee has under center.

I view this as a coin-flip as Tennessee may panic at home if this is close late. I give the Aggies a 49 percent chance. Better bring your best game Tennessee.

FAU vs. Nebraska, Aug 30

Florida Atlantic opens the season at Nebraska and at Alabama. Now that’s an athletic department in need of funds. Bo Pelini is taking heat from Nebraska fans and a loss to a Sun Belt team in the opener will cause a revolt. Wyoming almost knocked off Nebraska in Lincoln last season and Florida Atlantic is not too far off in talent from Wyoming. The Owls also won their last four games in 2013 but I can only give them a 20 percent chance. The Cornhuskers would have to turn the ball over a lot to choke this one, but did I mention Nebraska was -11 in turnover margin last year. Whoops.

Rice vs. Notre Dame, Aug 30

Our third Owl team on the list and this is the best of them. Rice won Conference USA last season and will receive a 1.1 million dollar check to play Notre Dame. Rice lost their top QB, RB and its two best tacklers on defense to graduation so that’s a big mountain to climb in the first week. I give Rice a five percent chance of winning.

Idaho vs. Florida, Aug 30

Idaho is trying hard to recruit in Sun Belt territory and raise funds in the process. The solution is to play Florida for $975,000. The Vandals will be better than their 1-11 team from last season but Florida will be better too. If Idaho can’t stay close to Washington State in 2013 (42-0) then Florida should hold its own here. I give the Vandals a five percent chance to pull the upset.

No, the NCAA is Not Falling Apart

Everyone PANIC!

Everyone PANIC!

There was plenty of overreaction Thursday to the 16-2 vote from the NCAA Board of Directors giving the power five conferences more autonomy. Banter ranging from Athletes being paid to the death of the NCAA was controlling the news. Some punks in the media even called it the creation of “Haves and Have Nots in college sports.”

My response is simple.

Where the heck have you been?

The NCAA has always been operating in a “haves and have nots” system. Especially in football. The Sun Belt has never been equal to the SEC. The same for the MAC and the Big Ten. In terms of resource disparity, Thursday’s vote changed nothing.

In a lot of ways, the vote will do some immediate good. The NCAA has never been able to police the institutions in charge. The cheaters who launder money know how to get around them. The power five conferences (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, PAC 12 and SEC) are more nimble in making preventive measures around cheating. Stipends, not paying players thousands of dollars, are long overdue. You can’t eliminate cheating but you can place players in a less vulnerable position financially.

Seeing Oklahoma self report itself for giving players too much pasta has to end. Heck, South Carolina self reported itself for having too much icing on a cake. The system is broken and the power five are more qualified to fix it than the overwhelmed enforcement staff in the NCAA.

The NCAA is still needed as there has to be a governing body for all schools, and Thursday’s vote didn’t change that either. The bigger conferences have different needs than the rest and the Board of Directors recognized that. That doesn’t mean the NCAA is going to disappear.

As much as the SEC wants to just be by itself, it will always need competition from around the country to validate its prestige. That keeps the NCAA safe from elimination.

The real issues will be how much compensation the power five will agree to disperse to players? Will mid-majors drop down in competition? Staple issues, like Title IX, are not going away either.

But don’t expect the sky to fall because of Thursday’s vote. Intercollegiate athletics is not going to blow itself up. The “Star Trek” clip resembles the situation as Scotty thinks the cloaking device will overload. However, sometimes you just have to throw the switch.