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Clemson Tops List

February 18, 2016

Did you know that we live less than three hours away from the top college football city in America? At least if you trust a study done by WalletHub.com.

Yes, Clemson, S.C, is the top college football city in the country.  So much for the SEC.

The analysts compared 245 of the largest U.S. cities with at least one college or professional football team based on two key dimensions, ‘Teams & Performance’ and ‘Costs & Fan Engagement.’”

The SEC did come in second with Tuscaloosa, Ala., home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. You have to go north for the third-ranked city as Michigan State (East Lansing, MI). Princeton, N.J. came in fourth and LSU’s Baton Rouge, La. rounded out the top five.

You have to believe Clemson’s positioning as the top college football city in American is somewhat influenced by the school’s recent success. Death Valley (Memorial Stadium) has always been a great place to watch a game in person. I can attest to that. But head coach Dabo Swinney has raised the school into the national spotlight the past few years, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that this ACC school outranked all the SEC powerhouses.

Peyton’s Legacy Takes Another Hit

Peyton Manning has been on an emotional roller coaster the last few months. It started when he missed close to two months of action due to a foot injury. During his time away from the game, allegations surfaced that he received and used HGH. Manning recovered from his injury and came off the bench to lead the Broncos to clinch a playoff berth en-route to a Super Bowl win.

One week after the victory over the Carolina Panthers, Manning is mentioned in the lawsuit a group of women filed against the University of Tennessee in which they said the school violated Title IX regulations in the way it has handled reports of sexual assaults by student-athletes.

The lawsuit focuses on five cases that were reported between 2013 and 2015, but it also references incidents involving Tennessee student-athletes dating to 1995.

Peyton Manning

One paragraph in the 64-page document includes a sexual harassment complaint made by a Tennessee trainer in 1996 involving an incident that occurred in a training room while she was treating Manning.

The trainer, Jamie Ann Naughright, settled in 1997, but sued Manning for defamation in 2002 after he discussed the incident in a book. The lawsuit was settled in 2003.

Naughright’s sexual harassment claim involved a 1996 incident in which Manning exposed his buttocks as Naughright, then known as Jamie Whited, bent over to examine his foot in a training room. Manning said at the time it was a prank intended for another athlete. The Title IX lawsuit says Manning had “sat on her face” while she was assessing the extent of an injury.

The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday says Tennessee created a “hostile sexual environment” through a policy of indifference toward assaults by student-athletes. The plaintiffs say Tennessee’s policies made students more vulnerable to sexual assault and that the school had a “clearly unreasonable response” after incidents that caused the women making complaints to endure additional harassment. The suit also states the university interfered with the disciplinary process to favor male athletes.

The Manning name clearly has taken a hit in recent weeks. Peyton can only hope the goodwill he has established as a professional athlete can be cashed in to the world of public opinion.

March Madness Could Be Wild This Year

I have been hearing a common theme in recent weeks while watching college basketball. It seems like no one has a clue who has the best team in the nation. I hear coaches saying it and I hear announcing teams saying it.

I am hearing even more saying they cannot predict one likely Final Four participant. Usually you can point to a Duke or a Kansas or a Carolina or whoever is good that year. Not this year

Last year was somewhat the norm. Remember, Kentucky came within two victories of an undefeated season and Duke won the national title with three freshmen who became first-round picks. Conversely, college basketball this year does not have a singular team or dominant force.

Every team in the country has at least three losses, and all but six have at least four. And Selection Sunday is still a month away. In other words, this year’s NCAA tournament could be the most unpredictable in recent memory.

It has been a jinx this season to work your way up to the top of the rankings. I read there has never been a season without a team holding the No. 1 ranking for at least five consecutive weeks. This year, only one team, Michigan State, held the top spot for four weeks. In all, six teams have been held the top spot, including current No. 1 Villanova, and none for more than six games.

Two Saturdays ago, the No. 1 and No. 2 teams, Oklahoma and North Carolina, both fell to unranked foes. This past Saturday, teams ranked 2, 7, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21 and 25 all lost to unranked foes.

I think the parity will provide us with some entertaining matchups early on in the tournament. You’re going to see a lot of the 10, 11 and 12 seeds upsetting the 4, 5 and 6s.

Let me be the first to wish you good luck with your brackets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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