Thursday's links: NCAA football, 'Sweet Caroline' & tweets

Shock waves rippled through the video game community when it was announced that the NCAA was ending its deal with EA Sports to produce the highly popular NCAA football video game.

The NCAA, EA and the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing and marketing firm, Collegiate Licensing Co., are co-defendants in at least two federal lawsuits concerning the use of college athletes’ names and likenesses. EA is the defendant in another, similar case. Basically, the NCAA is ending its deal with EA because of the “current business climate and costs of litigation.”

No doubt, continuing participation was not in the “best interests” of the NCAA. It will be fascinating to see the fallout when all of the aforementioned lawsuits meet their end. But, this is a dark day for gamers, whose basements just got a bit darker, too.

SPARTANS BCS TITLE CONTENDERS? Is Michigan State a dark-horse contender for the BCS championship? Really? Yep. It says so right here. And, if it’s on the Internet, you know it’s true.

BRING BACK SWEET CAROLINE: In an epic case of political correctness gone bad, Penn State stopped playing “Sweet Caroline” in Beaver Stadium last season. Well, Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror thinks it’s time to bring back the uber-popular tune. And I couldn’t agree more.

BOWLING IN DETROIT: It’s official: The Big Ten has formed a partnership with a new bowl hatched by the Detroit Lions to be played in Detroit’s Ford Field. The game will begin in 2014 and replace the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. It looks like a Big Ten team will play an ACC team in the game.

Is anyone else not excited about this? I just don’t get the appeal of a bowl game in Detroit. The only thing worse would have been a bowl agreement with the Buffalo Bills to play in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

MICHIGAN EXTENDS COACH: It’s good to be Michigan coach John Beilein. First, he leads the Wolverines to the NCAA title game last season. Now, he is the proud owner of a fat, new contract.

Beilein inked a three-year extension that will push his deal out through 2018-19 and pay him $2.45 million per season. In case you are wondering, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo makes $3.745 mil annually. So, next time I’m in Ann Arbor, Beilein is buying my corned beef sandwich at Zingerman’s Deli.

NORTHWESTERN’S BIG CATCH: Nice piece here by Luke Winn of SI.com on the big recruiting catch by new Northwestern coach Chris Collins.

Don’t you get the feeling that the worm is about to turn—at least a little—for the Wildcats under Collins? I do. In fact, I’m gonna say that one day Collins will lead NU to its first NCAA bid. Then, I hope he stays in Evanston. But, let’s take this one step at a time.

SMITH RULED ELIGIBLE: Minnesota received some good news when Florida International transfer Malik Smith was given a waiver to play immediately.

Smith, who has one year of eligibility, played for Pitino at FIU and will bring some veteran depth to the Gophers. And, what team can’t use more veteran depth? Exactly.

TWEETS THAT MATTER

My take: This is true.

My take: #SMH

My take: The linebacker could end up being one of the best players on the Michigan defense. Maybe the best.

My take: Really? I think America will be just fine if the Little Caesars Bowls fades into history.

My take: A 10-win team in Detroit? Some would be very mad; others, very happy.

My take: Yawn. Scratch. Repeat.

https://twitter.com/Hlas/status/357529916377534464

Again, more evidence of the absurdity of all of these preseason watch lists. Just ignore them.

About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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