Expansion-mageddon is just a dim flicker of the super–story that we thought it was going to be. It turns out, nothing was as crazy as it seemed like it was heading towards.
The Big 12 is the Texas 10, Texas edition, with all proceeds going to Texas.
The Big Ten is slightly more misnamed than in previous years. And the Pac-10's name is both geographically and numerically inaccurate, but none of that is earth-shattering news anymore.
No, the biggest story of the offseason is breaking right now.
How big are we talking here?
Big enough to warrant a story in Comic Sans, the most serious font reserved for only the most serious news (see any Dan Gilbert releases).
Before we get into that, I have a confession. Well it’s not really a confession.
I don’t exactly keep it from anyone, so it’s more of a tidbit of information to allow you to glimpse into my mind.
I love zombie fiction.
I own 30 zombie movies, eight zombie novels, and a bunch of zombie video games.
The main focus of zombie fiction is always survival.
You start with an outbreak, the world then descends into chaos, and then humanity copes and tries to rebuild.
Why am I telling you this?
Because the agent–party story is not just breaking; it’s an outbreak.
We have our patient zero: North Carolina’s Marvin Austin.
Austin is a top DE and a smart preseason pick for First-Team All–American.
Austin goes to a party in Miami.
Somewhere along the way, an agent infects him.
Austin is unaware that this is a problem, and he heads back to UNC.
What does patient zero do?
He bites his closest friends and family, infecting them.
Austin led the NCAA to UNC to investigate potential agent misconduct.
Once it got there, it brought UNC’s top WR, Greg Little, into the fold and may have interviewed as many as eleven other players.
We’ve reached quarantine.
The NCAA has put UNC in a bubble, and nobody’s getting in or out until it can figure this mess out.
Unfortunately, quarantine never works.
The NCAA, like any governing body, was too slow, and quarantine was not implemented quickly or broadly enough to be effective.
Marvin Austin is a good friend of South Carolina’s Wesley Saunders, a top TE prospect.
Saunders was reportedly at the same party.
Now the NCAA broadens its scope.
We don’t have just have patient zero; we have location zero.
The South Beach party is the source.
The NCAA has to find out who was at that party.
After Austin and Saunders, the NCAA fingers Alabama’s first team All–SEC defensive lineman Marcell Dareus.
Suddenly the BCS champ is involved.
Outbreaks aren’t real until they infect someone important.
This one just nabbed the king of college football.
Alabama’s big-time, but Dareus is not.
He burst onto the scene last year; however, a lot of college football fans may not know him by name.
They know Georgia’s A.J. Green though.
Green has the star power that the other guys do not.
We’ve infected Hollywood now, and our snowball story is officially out of control.
The direct damage rests at four top schools, all with at least conference championship aspirations this year and an untold number of NFL prospects.
Indirectly, the NCAA is pissed off.
This went too far, and its probes are going to find other, unrelated agent contacts like with Florida’s Maurkice Pouncey.
The former Gator is charged with accepting $100,000 last year in the weeks leading up to the Sugar Bowl.
He wasn’t at the party, but his story leaked thanks to the kill squads sent out in that probe.
If you have a top prospect on your favorite team, then barricade your doors and move upstairs (never to the basement. Basements are for dummies who like to get eaten).
That shambling slime ball you saw hanging out with your stud player is a threat.
Run away from him, and take your star with you.
Don’t confront the agent, as he feels no pain.
And whatever you do, don’t kill it with fire.
Flaming zombies never lead to anything good.
UPDATE: If Dareus is the equivalent of the first major major hit, and Green is our lovable zombie Ryan Seacrest/other Hollywood personality, then Mark Ingram is the President of the United States.
Ingram is scheduled to be interrogated...erm, interviewed about a party he attended with former Gator Joe Haden (Haden was already pro at this point, so he's likely in the clear). This could be the "OMG NO!" moment, as Ingram is as big a name as Reggie Bush.
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