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Linked up: Top college basketball players and last night's disaster

Three disparate ideas, tossed together into one lovely post salad - on top college players for next year, Moe Harkless, and last night's Packers/ Seahawks debacle.

Elsa - Getty Images

First, a list of college basketball's top 100 players for 2012-13 from Mike Rutherford, who handles the bird's-eye view analysis and news about college hoops for the network. Interestingly, there are no Johnnies on the list, despite the fact that D`Angelo Harrison put up buckets upon buckets last year. Unfair? You decide.

Of course, around here, we believe that Harrison may be the best returning offensive player in the Big East, and primed to get better with a leadership role and more time on the ball.

Keeping track of Maurice Harkless - now traded to that Disneyfied swamp called Orlando: some analysis of the best and worst of the offseason reminds us all that the Orlando Magic organization might have no idea what they are doing. Not a great situation for a rookie; but any rookie can play their way to a stable team by being very good.

Many of the Big East sites have written a sigh of relief that Madison Square Garden is sticking with its boy, the Big East, even with other attractive options on the table. VU Hoops touched on how former MSG Sports president Scott O'Neil was a positive for the Big East.

Finally, last night, I went to see Prince - you know, the purple-clad artist, famous for his sexualized hits and diminutive size and otherworldly breadth of musical talent. And the Prince show was good... but had serious flaws for fans expecting a perfect experience. His trio of lady singers covered Sarah McLachlan's overplayed and treacly "In the Arms of An Angel" for some brain-scouring reason, screechy sound quality, and a 45-minute wait for a second encore where the house lights came up.

The sound quality issue led to the long delay, with Prince upset at the quality of the overall show. So Prince, after what was likely a shower and some "time" with his new lady protégé, a change of clothes, and a long gaze into the mirror, is rumored to have fired his sound engineer.

The NFL has no such easy solution after the "Fail Mary" catch (I didn't invent that term, John Walters did) by Golden Tate. What he caught was the Packers' defender who had caught the ball to end the game, but somehow, the play was ruled a simultaneous catch, and the tie went to the Seahawks. Or something like that - you can read SB Nation's varied coverage of the debacle or how the Seahawks fans openly apologize for a disaster they have no control over. It's Goodell's fault. (Really, it's the owners' fault - he serves the NFL owners' wishes.)

Is that a tipping point for the NFL? Will the league negotiate in earnest? There have been talks, but is there really a reason for the NFL to cave? Yes, the integrity of the game is diluted. Yes, the news coverage is angry. But are the fans turning off their TV sets? Are the old refs infallible? No on both counts.

The NFL is miles apart on a deal with the new referees, mainly on whether the referees should have a 401K for retirement or a much more costly full pension. The decision on whether to have a stable pension or a market-based 401K is about the balance of financial security on both sides - the fiscal outflows for an organization into an uncertain revenue future, and the post-retirement income of employees in an uncertain future for publicly-traded businesses.

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