• Now all you haters will have to go back to your jobs at the hater factory: That NCAA investigation of Auburn concerning a certain journeyman quarterback, his nefarious daddy and some monies? All done! Major violations? Not found! You can read the full text of the NCAA’s letter to Auburn, and it is worth your time, particularly concerning the HBO allegations and substantiation thereof. War Plainstigerbird types, we know this is difficult, and we will give you a few hours to adjust to being appreciative of the NCAA’s sage decision-making process.
(NB: You may continue to hate the sensationalist media at your discretion. But just know that Danny Sheridan thinks they’re all jealous of him, and has no use for makeup artists, and that puts you on the same side as him, kinda, and oh boy, I have got to lie down and have a big glass of wine before I attempt to parse all the levels of hateration here. It’s too much.)
In a way, we’re all winners here. What does that mean for you and me? That I get to jettison this topic for good and continue covering actual football instead of the NCAA. If the level of concern in my inbox is any indication, I know y’all would certainly rather be reading about games than bank records. Onward!
• Your daily athletic department tilt-a-whirl update: The Sun Belt commish will retire this summer, which dings our plans to create the SunBeast conference. UNC courts a guy named Bubba to replace Dick Baddour. FAU covets Mike Leach, and Bill Connelly handicaps Leach’s destinations.
• Expansion tidbits, grudgingly dispensed: The Big East doesn’t want to raise conference exit fees, and whyever not? How long before we get pathos-laden infomercials pleading to save traditional college football rivalry games? And is one of these solid football teams supposed to be Syracuse?
• Giveth, taketh: Just the most unfortunate loss for Nebraska, with DT Jared Crick‘s torn pectoral muscle expected to sideline him for the rest of the year. Wazzu quarterback Jeff Tuel will return for the Stanford game. Penn State receiver Derek Moye may be unavailable for Purdue. And LaMichael James doesn’t look good to go for Arizona State’s visit to Oregon.
• Thursday whimsy: Darron Thomas’ grilled cheese habit is … impressive, I guess is the word. So far my favorite comment on the Cam Newton wrap is the one that simply reads, “Razorbacks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Terrelle Pryor is sad, or something. Nick Saban warns against violations of THE PROCESS. And while I’m normally dead set against the intersection of politics and football, this “Occupy Herbstreit” fellow has a point: The Meineke Car Care Bowl is NOT a living wage.