In a season that has relentlessly heaped off-the-field distraction upon off-the-field distraction, there is now yet another reason for us to talk about anything but the very game whose return we just spent eight months anxiously awaiting. Just as I was feeling fully recovered from the emotional turmoil of almost losing to Navy, the NCAA served the University of South Carolina with its Notice of Allegations against the athletic department.
The football program's range of possible punishments seems to run from a couple of scholarships over a few seasons to the death penalty (however unlikely). But given the NCAA's wildly erratic track record, speculating about which punishment(s) the Committee on Infractions will ultimately hand out seems as futile an endeavor as guessing how many yards a medium range Stephen Garcia pass will land from its intended receiver's hands.
Maybe the NCAA gives the Gamecocks a slap on the wrist. Maybe it orders the death penalty or a full-scale ground invasion. Or maybe it decides that just nuking the Columbia metropolitan area would save it a lot of bureaucratic man-hours.
Heck, maybe between now and February the NCAA's leadership has a moment of clarity and realizes how comically absurd it is to have a bunch of rich white people running around Columbia, making sure there aren't any poor college students finding ways to save a couple thousand dollars on living expenses.
I honestly don't know what's going to happen and don't care enough to read the full 13 page document or any of the relevant bylaws. This situation is even more out of my control than the normal stupid stuff I find myself obsessing about, and we won't even know anything definitive until it's almost spring of 2012.
In the meantime, I'm going to do everything I can to help the cause - namely, start a new dynasty mode on NCAA 2012 and kick the crap out of some unsuspecting SEC opponents until my domination of an alternate reality has caused me to feel more at peace with the chaos associated with having my alma mater's football program in the hands of one of the most idiotic bureaucracies in America.
But if the Committee on Infractions does eventually give the Gamecocks something as severe as a postseason ban, I trust that you will all join me in calling for USC to secede from the NCAA.
It's the South Carolina way.