Cecil Newton & Company: College Football's Biggest Turkeys in 2010
The 2010 college football season is encroaching onto Thanksgiving Day and not all things have gone as planned for many of the schools around the country.
From the disaster that started in Chapel Hill to the falling apart of Mike Stoops' Arizona Wildcats, many things have happened, but only a few are still talked about.
With that in mind, it is time to reflect on the 'Biggest Turkeys' of the 2010 college football season. These turkeys' not only demonstrated that it takes more than an overrated ranking or unbelievable talent to live up to their hype, they demonstrated that it is what is missing inside the cranium that can bring one person or an entire team down.
Hence forth, here come the Turkeys.
"Bad Stuffing" -- Butch Davis
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The golden lining of a possible Bowl Championship Series bid for the North Carolina Tar Heels was lined with bad stuffing before the season even started. In the season opener, UNC was without 12 players, most of whom were potential first-rounders on defense.
With serious investigations going on surrounding the eligibility of UNC football players, how could head coach Butch Davis sit there, publicly, without a smirk or a grin, and act like he knew nothing of what his players were involved in?
Seriously, HC Davis is involved with these kids more every day than their own families. Yet, he stood there and prodded along like he was assisting the NCAA with its investigation.
By allowing these football players to break some serious rules, this turkey of a coach risked the UNC Tar Heels' chances at making its first-ever BCS trip.
Entering 2010, UNC was amped due to its spectacular defense which has been one of the best in the country over the last couple of years.
With an experienced starter returning at quarterback in T.J. Yates, the Tar Heels were looking like one of the dark horses to compete for a National Championship.
Unfortunately, some guys got wild and the house came crashing in, right during a party.
Butch Davis, you are a turkey for building up a terrible football program into one that became noteworthy and letting it fall apart by your laissez-faire approach to managing your student-athletes.
"Clipped Wing" -- Jacory Harris
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Sorry, Jacory Harris, but the fact of the matter is that your arm went from a cannon to a noodle in the matter of one year.
In 2009, you burst onto the scene looking like a mad ibis dropping bombs 40 to 50 yards downfield like it was nothing. Now, any pass more than 20 yards is so poorly thrown that any local Pop Warner defensive back could intercept that "duck" pass.
I know that Harris has undergone a surgery on his hand and that he has dealt with issues, but why is it that anything within 20 yards he can hit on a dime yet all of his deeper passes look like a Nerf football being thrown by this guy?
Without your turnovers, the Hurricanes beat Ohio State. Without your turnovers, the 'Canes might be in a showdown for the National Championship right about now.
Instead, they are sitting at 7-3 and you are still nursing your "clipped wing" after throwing 11 picks in eight games.
Sure, we can blame offensive coordinator Mark Whipple for not establishing the ground game more often for you like he has for true freshman Stephen Morris but then again, why would anyone try to establish a ground game for you?
After all, the defense is only going to load the box with eight defenders and force you to throw downfield, which you can't do anyways.
Jacory Harris, you are a turkey for continuously acting like you got hurt on every interception you have thrown. You are also a turkey for misleading many folks into thinking you were a dark horse for the Heisman Trophy.
"Dark Meat" -- Jake Locker
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You know when you go to get a slice of that turkey, fresh out of the oven, and you know that "dark meat" that everybody but your crazy Aunt Marie avoids, that is what Jake Locker is.
He is the dark meat of the turkey. Everybody looks at him, praises him as if he is part of something great, yet avoids him when it comes down to it because its taste is overrated.
Jake Locker was being pumped by all of the pundits as arguably the best quarterback in the country entering the season. The big three were Locker, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, and Stanford's Andrew Luck. Well, before September was over, the truth came out and Locker was replaced by Auburn's Cam Newton.
As Washington is still fighting to become bowl-eligible, I wonder why Locker was so overrated entering his senior year? Yeah, he has started games for the Huskies since his frosh year but he has never been more impressive than Drew Willy ever was at Buffalo.
We all watched Locker when the Huskies had their nationally-televised primetime games hoping to see something special but that never came to fruition. Instead, all we got was some guy resembling a 50-year-old version of Jeff George.
Locker, you are a turkey because you had us convinced that you were the real deal. We thought you were legit, instead, you are another one of those quarterbacks that we will forget about 15 years from now like Wally Richardson.
"Lump Gravy" -- Navy Midshipmen
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With all of the talk of BCS busters, many people that know what they are talking about had spoken of the unthinkable: Navy playing in a BCS bowl game. How great would that be? The best of what this country represents playing at the highest level in college football.
For a realistic opportunity at a BCS bowl game, Navy would have had to go unbeaten. While if they did go unbeaten, they would have still lacked the juice to play in the National Championship, but it would have still been great to see them play in the Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, etc.
Instead, Navy risked the entire season on not tying up the opening game against Maryland by going for it as time expired, near the goal line. Navy would later lose to Air Force and Duke, of all teams. In the Middies' three defeats, they have only lost by a total of 14 points.
They never disappoint us but this year, on the plains of the college football landscape, Navy did disappoint us.
They could realistically be undefeated right now but hindsight is always 20/20. While I am a little upset that they couldn't shake the BCS up in 2010, I thank them all for their service.
Hey Navy Midshipmen, you are all turkeys on the gridiron for not throwing your elbows and making room among Boise State and TCU in the party of BCS Busters, but you are still heroes for your service and commitment to this great nation.
"Burnt Turkey" -- The Big Ten and Wrigley Field
This is a dual award for the Big Ten Conference and the owners of the Chicago Cubs who own Wrigley Field. What were you thinking in setting up to play in Wrigley Field without first checking the dimensions to see if it would be playable?
Instead of a good football game between Northwestern and Illinois, we will get to see a raggish showdown between two schools playing to score in the same end zone for every minute and second of the game due to the unsafe conditions of the outfield-wall end zone in Wrigley Field.
This game had the goods to be a classic, after all, who wouldn't want to see a collegiate football game played at Wrigley Field.
Wrigley Field is an iconic venue in American sports. I was going to tune into this game but now like many, I don't want to see the hodge-podge of ensuring the ball is spotted right after every score due to the constraints of the one end zone.
Next time, get some guys out there with a calculator, Big Ten. We are not playing with astronomical numbers. We are playing in sets of 10's.
Wrigley Field, you are responsible too. Those who run the venue in Chicago need to know the ballpark's limitations.
"Papa Turkey" -- Cecil Newton
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The biggest Turkey of the Year is Cecil Newton, the father of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. As "Papa Turkey," you have single-handedly tarnished your son's reputation by requesting payment for Newton to play at Mississippi State. Now, everyone wonders as to whether or not you secured payment from Auburn for your son to play there.
By breaking the rules and violating what is left of the sanctity of college football, you have made a fool out of yourself while your pupils were replaced with dollar signs. Is money all that matters to you? Not your son's reputation or pursuit of a college education? I guess not.
For the record, I am not blaming the younger Newton on this one, not yet. After all, every media report has not said whether Cam Newton knew about this scheme to get rich quick off his own abilities.
Instead, the reputation of a school is being slammed in the mud as well. Not only is Cam paying for this, but Auburn is as well. To take it a bit further, not only is Auburn paying for this bad publicity, but Cam's teammates are as well.
Cecil, you are a turkey for getting your son, a couple of schools, and everybody else into this mess. I hope this could be a lesson for any other father out there that is trying to pimp their son's abilities for a little bit of money. Good riddance.