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Hitting the Links: August 17th, 2013

Just Hitting The Links.

Two More Weeks
Two More Weeks
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports


With fall camp trucking along the "news" surrounding college football continues to slow down.  Funny how that works once all of the teams are busy with actual football again.  As a result we decided to eliminate the mid-week HTL this week and just wrap it all up today.

As always starting elsewhere and ending in South Bend.

Let's kick it off with a little Johnny Football.  Why not?

Leading off is this Deadspin piece on the Manziel family history.  Relevant?  Probably not.  Interesting?  Sort of.  Syrian immigrants, shady land deals, oil fortunes, cockfighting, and some other assorted items of interest.  If nothing else the Manziel clan is interesting.

The Long Con: How The Manziels Conquered America

When news broke eight days ago that reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel faces an NCAA investigation into whether he sold autographs, the college football world reacted with either confusion or outright skepticism. After all, the press had created an image of the Manziel family that suggested something out of TV's Dallas. Wright Thompson's recent ESPN The Magazine feature alluded to the "Texas oil fortune" that "still funds the family." As Manziel's father, Paul, told Thompson, "It's not Garth Brooks money, but it's a lot of money." If Johnny Football's so rich, the thinking went, why would he stoop to selling autographs for pocket change?

Meanwhile, MOAR accusations of getting paid for autographs!

Report: Johnny Manziel was involved in two more autograph signing sessions | SI Wire

According to Rovell and Gubar, Manziel participated in signings in both South Florida after the BCS National Championship Game in early January and in Houston later that month. They were both organized by Florida-based autograph dealer Kevin Freistat, according to the report. That brings the total number of paid reported sessions involving Manziel to six.

Many pro athletes have spoken out about the Manziel situation and the full gamut of opinions has been tossed around.  You can bin Dez Bryant into the camp that thinks Manziel should get suspended.

Dez Bryant says ‘Hell yeah, I’ll be mad’ if NCAA doesn’t suspend Johnny Manziel | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports

Everyone should be suspicious of the NCAA, whose inconsistent rulings and hypocrisy are maddening, but Bryant has a personal reason. A legal dinner at Deion Sanders' house turned into Bryant being suspended for most of the 2009 season. The NCAA suspended Bryant for not disclosing what happened when he met Sanders. So now Bryant, a star receiver with the Dallas Cowboys, is closely watching what happens with the Johnny Manziel autograph scandal.

Love him or hate him Texas Monthly magazine isn't passing up an opportunity to capitalize on the current interest level in Manziel.  They feature the embattled QB as Superman on the cover of their new issue.

Johnny Manziel is the hero America deserves, according to Texas Monthly | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports

Johnny Football as a superhero? Sure, why not? That'll keep his ego in check. This is the cover of the September issue of Texas Monthly, featuring yet another monstrous profile of Johnny Manziel.

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston doesn't want to go down the Manziel road.

'Johnny Manziel disease' talk OK, good lesson for Jameis Winston, says Jimbo Fisher - ESPN

Jameis Winston made headlines this week, claiming he hoped to avoid "Manziel disease," a reference to the off-field issues surrounding Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, and in the process the Florida State quarterback got a firsthand lesson on how tough media scrutiny can be.

After hearing all of the rumors surrounding Manziel and his recruitment by the University of Texas I thought this piece on Burnt Orange Nation was very enlightening.

Johnny Manziel and the changing Texas narrative - Burnt Orange Nation

Debunking "Mack Brown recruited Johnny Manziel as a safety" and other assorted garbage.

This season is it for the BCS.  Despite all of the negative perception it is hard to argue that it has had a major impact on the game.

The BCS wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst -- college football - ESPN

It would be more accurate to say the demise of the BCS is already generating nostalgia. The BCS produced results far beyond the original intent of becoming a method of matching No. 1 and No. 2. The unintended consequences created permanent change. College football has not been this popular since the late 1950s, when television discovered the NFL and turned it into America's sweetheart.

Speaking of things that are no longer relevant the Preseason AP Poll just hit the wire.  It looks much like I thought that it would.  I tossed a FanPost up on the front page for those that want to discuss this one there.

AP Preseason Top 25

#14 Notre Dame

Are you sick of preseason projections yet?  This set from prediction machine is a good time.  Notre Dame in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl?  Say it ain't so!

College Football Preview Projected Standings and Bowl Results 2013 @

Notre Dame Avg Wins 8.1, Avg Losses 3.9 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

This set of projections is a little better.  But Fresno State?  Really?  If it goes down like that and ND wins a BCS game I don't suppose that I would be complaining too much... Preview 2013 - Bowl Projections

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Fresno State

Back in our days on FanTake I always enjoyed Dedfischer's two cents over on the Texas Tech blog Tortilla Retort. As a native Texan I just enjoyed his take on the Texas schools in the Big XII.  The crew over at BC rounded him up for a preseason Big XII piece that is every bit as good as his old stuff.

Two Wraps and a Hooey: A 2013 Big 12 Football Preview - Barking Carnival

This is a one time mid-summer segment mainly for selfish therapy purposes of being by God ready to talk some real football. I'm recycling a feature name for these thoughts from the old Tortilla Retort for reasons that I don't really have an answer for. Man, that was a sweet name for a Tech blog.

I haven't purchased NCAA Football since 2009.  I pretty much traded in my NCAA Football gaming time to focus my "spare time" on OFD and haven't thought twice about it since.  But prior to OFD it was by far my favorite video game and with all of these lawsuits going on I don't think that game is ever going to be as good again.  The conferences, real teams, player likenesses, and the ability to actually download roster files with all of the player names from assorted corners of the interwebs made it awesome.  As a result I finally went ahead and ordered it.  Now I have to remember how to track down those roster files again!  I may never have time to actually play it but I wanted to have the last "good" version!

Conferences end licensing deals with EA Sports - Yahoo! Sports

The Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference are following the NCAA's lead and will no longer allow EA Sports to use league logos in its college football video games.

Here is a little news on opposing quarterbacks.

Pitt officially names Tom Savage starting QB -

The action will be the much-traveled Savage's first since his sophomore season at Rutgers.

Quarterback derby updates: USC, Auburn and more | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports

It was a three-way race to replace Matt Barkley going into camp, with early-enrollee freshman Max Browne and redshirt sophomores Cody Kessler and Max Wittek competing for the spot.

Advanced stats discussion!

Comparing advanced college football stats to traditional stats: Defense edition - Football Study Hall

Comparing F/+ against the old stalwart, total defense.

Here is a good Chris Brown piece on Packaged Plays.

Packaged Plays and the Newest Form of Option Football - The Triangle Blog - Grantland

"Two weeks before the season, we changed the whole offense," Hackett explained before Syracuse's bowl game last winter. And the theme for all the changes could be summed up in one word: "compression."

his is all great until one falls out of the sky and takes somebody out.  Mark it down.  That is going to happen.

UCLA latest school to begin filming practice with drones | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Super...wait, no, just another drone hovering above a college football practice field.

Yet another EV non-story.  If he's never actually going to say what his reasons are why is anyone still talking about it?  Oh wait, I know the answer, because you can frame Notre Dame in a negative light by doing so.

Vanderdoes appeal puts light back on college commitment issues -

Eddie Vanderdoes wins his transfer appeal but gets why Notre Dame's Brian Kelly tried to block him. Dennis Dodd says it all makes a case for reform when it comes to commitments.

Here is a really good article from Dan Wetzel on CBK and the upcoming season.

Notre Dame's Brian Kelly has 'unfinished business', eager to prove 2012 was no fluke - Yahoo! Sports

Now everyone wants to know if Notre Dame can do it again, get back to national contention. And not just down the road when quarterback Everett Golson is back from suspension and all these big recruiting classes stack up on one another. No, they want to know about this year. Again.

Thoughts and prayers to Notre Dame assistant Tony Alford who lost his brother Aaron earlier this week.  For anyone that might be interested NDN has set up a way to donate to to the family.

ND Nation " Helping Coach Alford

As most ND fans have heard, Aaron Alford, brother of assistant football coach Tony Alford, died of a heart attack earlier this week at the age of 39. Like most young men getting started in an athletics administration career, Aaron and his family didn’t have much, and they now have to deal with his untimely death on top of all these other things.

This got way more attention than it needed to.

Video: Notre Dame Running Back Runs Through Gauntlet Machine The Wrong Way, Gets Crushed | College Spun – Social. Local. Consumable. College Sports.

Notre Dame running back Cam McDaniel got his bell rung at football practice, but it wasn't by one of his teammates. McDaniel ran through the gauntlet machine the wrong way, much to the chagrin of his head coach, Brian Kelly.

The SBT is still on the beat.

Notre Dame football: It’s all Day, every day - South Bend Tribune: Football

Early Monday afternoon, Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly dropped a head-turning quote when he offered that he wouldn't trade defensive lineman Sheldon Day "for anybody on our football team right now."

Our fellow bloggers talk about what we know and don't know about the Fighting Irish heading into the season.

8 Big Questions for the 2013 Season - Her Loyal Sons

With the season nearing ever closer, I started to think of some of the big questions on my mind for the 2013 campaign.

Five Things We Know & Five Things We Don't Know About Notre Dame Football 2013

Has this fall camp for Notre Dame been as quiet as we have had in recent memory? If not, it sure seems like it. That, of course, isn't really a bad thing as we could be flooded with news about injuries and quarterback battles and, well... nonsense.

This HLS piece was pretty entertaining and perhaps of some use to students that are preparing to return to campus.

Good Fridays w/Padre: Supplies - Her Loyal Sons

The football players, some hall staff, and a few other students are already here.  In one week the freshmen arrive, followed shortly by the rest of the undergraduates.  Here’s a back-to-school list of supplies to have on hand for the coming year.

UHND on 8 Bit.

Brian Kelly Praising Tommy Rees's Experience So Far |

Kelly and Rees are both saying all the right things at this juncture, but one can only wonder as to how amicable their relationship will remain if the mistakes of 2011 start to become the mistakes of 2013. Irish fans can only hope that Rees’ propensity for turning the ball over at the worst times is a thing of the past, and we are positive that Rees himself is hoping this will be the case also.

Keith Arnold on the running back situation.

Offseason cheat sheet: Running backs | Inside the Irish

On paper, Notre Dame’s running back depth chart lacks nothing. It has one of the top athletes in college football, a home run threat who averaged more than seven yards a carry in a down year. There are big backs and jitter bugs, elite recruits and dual threats. The only real problem is that nobody on the roster has much for experience.

Let's close this out with a few videos from this week.

First up a trailer for the new FIDM installment of "Strong and True" that will debut on the NBC Sports Network next Saturday at 3pm EST.  This looks like "Hard Knocks" Notre Dame style.  I like it.

Practice Update August 12th

CBK August 12th

Practice Update August 13th

Just two more weeks until we have a college football Saturday.  Have a great weekend!