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I want my 'Teal Deals'

Join Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Ricky from Jacksonville:
I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my "Teal Deals" book, which should arrive this month. We are looking forward to the great deals around town at places we love and places we've never heard of. Do you have your book, yet?

Vic: No, I don't, and I want it.

Kent from Oak Harbor, WA:
Outstanding! It's not just a depth of sports knowledge or a fear of those annoying guy-wires that make this column so wonderful and insightful. It's the knowledge of other related topics that you bring to it that makes it so rich and valuable. The discussion of college conference moves based significantly upon academics and research was wonderful. It supports your consistent undercurrent of both money and academics being so important to universities. I'm a sports fan but I firmly believe universities are primarily for learning. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Vic: Here's a link that might offer more insight.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
I can certainly support your claim that research is what drives schools. I worked as a courier while attending the University of Florida. I applied for the job and went through an extensive background check, which made sense to me because I would be handling and delivering a lot of mail, however, I didn't realize how important my job was until after the first few weeks. I forgot to deliver one particular envelope to the Health Science Center and didn't realize it until after I returned from my route on a Friday. I figured it would be OK as long as I delivered it first thing the following Monday. As soon as I got to work on Monday, I was questioned about a package that never made it the Friday before. In the envelope was a research grant check in the amount of $10 million. I asked my supervisor to inform me the next time I was to deliver such a huge check. He told me, "All you deliver are big checks. Don't hold up that kind of money again."

Vic: That's a great story. That check you tried to steal – come on, you're not fooling us – was for more than half Florida's cut of its annual SEC payout. By the way, Florida is one of two AAU schools in the SEC. The other is Vanderbilt. Florida is a tier one academic institution.

Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Judging from what you have seen in OTAs, what would you define as the most obvious improvement from last year?

Vic: The talent on the defensive line has been greatly improved. That's the obvious difference. Last year at this time, we were standing along the sidelines wondering how the Jaguars were going to get a pass-rush. As it turned out, they didn't. I remember Jack Del Rio voicing his concerns to me at this time of the year about his defensive line. This year, the Jaguars appear to be loaded up front. Terrance Knighton has dropped some weight and he looks real, real quick. I watched him in a two-man bag drill with Larry Hart on Tuesday and Knighton was every bit as quick off the ball as Hart. Hart has been very impressive this spring. Tyson Alualu was sensational-looking in mini-camp and in the early OTA practices. He has since been limited in practice by some type of injury. D'Anthony Smith appears to have home run potential and undrafted defensive tackle Ko Quaye could turn out to be a steal. Another guy who's come on in recent practices is Aaron Morgan, an undrafted linebacker/defensive end with strong rush potential. Factor in Aaron Kampman, who's intensely working on his rehab from ACL surgery, and I think it's obvious the defensive line has undergone a massive upgrade from last year.

Luke from Nashville, TN:
It turns out Texas was in charge of college football's destiny. Is the Big 12 staying intact a temporary patch for the inevitable super-conference model or has tradition prevailed for good?

Vic: You're right, Texas was in control. As I was writing my column that bore the headline, "SEC is in control," I had just read an ESPN report that Texas to the Pac-10 was "imminent." I won't make that mistake again. As far as the Big 12's reorganization, I'll wait for the conference to show me the money, so to speak. It's one thing to promise that kind of increase; it's another thing to deliver the money. I gotta wait for that to happen and my guess is the Pac-10 wants to see the money, too, before it does anything radical. If the Big 12 does, in fact, show us the money, then I think it'll have a secure future because reports are the conference has gotten its members to agree to a very stiff loyalty fee. In other words, if the Big 10 comes calling for Missouri, it'll cost Missouri a whole lot more money to leave the Big 12. As far as super conferences, I think it's still coming, but it's been delayed by the Big 12's reorganization. For a few days, however, we were on the cusp of the most radical change in college football history.

Adam from Au Gres, MI:
After the lady in the van picked up the players, she gave them each a juice box and orange slices.

Vic: And the players spilled their juice boxes on the seats but the lady liked it because she's trying to win mother of the year.

Benji from Yreka, CA:
Is there any way the tech guys can flag inappropriate posts in the "Facebook" section of the column? Reading comments about your sexuality do not enhance the dialogue in the least.

Vic: I've called it to IT's attention. It's unfortunate that an opportunity for expression has been abused. I dislike censorship but people who abuse the privilege demand attention. I don't care what they say about me, but I don't want readers to be offended or to stop reading the column.

Ryan from Las Vegas, NV:
What do you think Chuck Noll would say about vuvuzelas?

Vic: Vuvu who?

Edward from Jacksonville:
What is your take on the Darrelle Revis situation?

Vic: It's professional football; it's about the money.

Dave from Fort Lauderdale, FL:
Yes, we should be very proud that research, not educating the youth of our country, drives these fine institutions of higher learning. Big-hitters pulling in $600 to $700 million per year in federal grants; wouldn't our founding fathers be proud? Most of this research is on completely worthless and useless stuff like end of the world global warming, err, climate change.

Vic: Don't forget the cure for polio, too. Jonas Salk did that with a grant from the "National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis," which was founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. But who needs to spend money on stuff like that, huh? Hey, life's tough. Pull yourself up by your boot straps, or your leg braces, whatever the case may be. What is it with you people? Why do you want to turn us into a third-world nation?

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