Monthly Archives: April 2012

I have not come to bury the BCS, but to praise it.

While we’re all summoning up a few choice words to say as the last rites are being performed over the prostrate body of the BCS (death by greed), at the risk of sounding too much like Bill Hancock, I think it’s worth remembering that despite its flawed moments, of which it’s certainly had its share, the BCS did good in three significant ways.

  1. It got us a 1 vs. 2 matchup on a consistent basis.“… it accomplished its goal of pairing college football’s consensus No. 1 and No. 2 teams in a title game 11 times in 14 seasons. That kind of efficiency would have been a pipe dream in the old system of bowls and polls, wherein only nine times in 35 seasons between 1963 and 1997 did the Associated Press’ top two teams meet in a bowl game.”  That was its reason for coming into being and given the competing interests involved (as we’re seeing now), that was no small task.
  2. It added to college football’s success story over the past two decades.  Ratings are up.  Attendance is up.  TV contracts have grown immensely in value.  I think you’d have to say that the BCS was more than an innocent bystander as that occurred.
  3. It helped spread the wealth to the mid-majors.  Say what you will, but the money the mid-majors have gotten out of the BCS in the last decade, pittance though it may be in the eyes of many, is still a helluva lot more than they used to get.  (The irony that we may be watching the start of a process that may end in the separation of D-1’s have and have-nots such that many of the smaller schools would wind up back the same boat they used to float in pre-BCS should not be lost on anyone.)

For the moment, I still stand by my Churchillian pronouncement, even while I recognize it may be on its last legs.  What say you?

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16 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Marvin Lewis digs Mark Richt.

You may have noticed a steady stream of players going from the University of Georgia to the Cincinnati Bengals.  Marvin Lewis explains why.

“We have a great relationship there with the coaching staff, obviously. I can call Coach Richt at any point,” Lewis said. “I think he’s very honest and frank with us about things. This is a guy (Charles) that wanted to know if he could come here today. He was ready to get on the plane and come (laughs). Those are the kinds of guys we have on our football team from there (Georgia) — very no-nonsense, all about football and winning. And they’re good people. They’re coached well, they’ve learned, they know how to prepare. It’s been a great place for us and a really comfortable place for our coaches and scouts to visit. We have a great relationship with them.”

That “I can call Coach Richt at any point” line ought to be pretty effective on the recruiting trail.  So should the fact that in this last NFL draft Georgia had as many players’ names called as just about any program in the country (seven overall, which was second to Alabama’s eight).

19 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“I view these changes as more or less natural changes.”

If you’re looking for a metaphor to illustrate the fluid state of college football these days, how about this one:  Texas-San Antonio has played one season of D-1 football, as an independent.  A mere four months later, it’s about to join its second conference.

You really can’t tell the players without a score card anymore.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

The art of the (negative) sale

You know, it’s not hard to grasp how most negative recruiting gets presented.  It’s not too tough to figure out how to go after Mark Richt’s hot seat (although I guess SOD owns that now).  I get how to throw the sins of roster management in Nick Saban’s direction.  Explaining how Paul Johnson’s offense would be the death of any high school quarterback’s NFL dreams would be a breeze.

But here’s one I have a hard time trying to figure out.

… What we have seen in the past year is the power players now have that comes from the pressure put upon schools and coaches who block transfer options. Thanks to the Twitterverse, it didn’t take all that long for PR messes to entangle Maryland’s Randy Edsall, Tennessee’s Derek Dooley or Wisconsin basketball coach Bo Ryan, and eventually, after being called out, each school backed off and allowed their former players more options.

Coaches are realizing or at least they should how thorny these situations can become. You can bet other coaches are using these situations against them in recruiting too.

Now I don’t doubt that other coaches want to throw this kind of stuff out there on the recruiting trail.  But exactly how do they go about doing it?  I mean, I don’t think a coach wants to look a recruit in the eye and say “if it doesn’t work out with us, rest assured we won’t behave like Coach X”.   Who wants to admit to the possibility of an unhappy ending?  And barring some issue like family health, what recruit is going to say to a coach that if he comes, it’ll be with the intent to keep one foot out the door?

Any ideas on how this gets pitched?  Or, does a coach settle for a simple “Yeah, Randy Edsall is a dick” and hope the recruit and his family can fill in the blanks?

12 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.

This is a brave thing for a South Carolina writer to say:

A coincidence that Spurrier had his first run-in with the NCAA law just as South Carolina was rising to SEC-elite status?

Outside garnet-colored households, the answer is “no.”

Inside the friendly confines, Gamecock Nation emotion managers better be careful.

I expect somebody will try to make the same point at SEC Media Days.  I’ll be curious to hear if we get the cocky Spurrier in response.

18 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, The Evil Genius

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…

This is great – not only is Jim Delany having to battle it out with his peers over how the new football postseason will be shaped, but it turns out he doesn’t even have his own constituency on board with what he’s negotiating.

Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon have been vehemently and publicly anti-playoff. Brandon told ESPN.com there’s no fair way to select four teams. Perlman told SI.com last month he sees no benefits to a playoff, but he also told Omaha.com in December that officials could “convince” him otherwise.

This could be merely a “wheels within wheels” negotiating ploy, admittedly (“Guys, I’d love to abandon semi-final games on campus, but I don’t have the votes back home for that.”), but I have a hard time believing that Delany likes having a public perception that he’s not totally in control.

Needless to say, there’s a lot of work left to do between now and June 20, when the conference commissioners meet again to hammer things out.

4 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big Ten Football

The NCAA rules on Hotelgate.

Citing “the university’s cooperation in the investigation, which went beyond standard expectations”, the NCAA accepts the Gamecocks’ self-imposed penalties and slaps a “failure to monitor” label on the program.  No post-season ban, though.

This is the part I found interesting:

The committee noted the trend of an increased importance placed on unofficial visits, particularly for football and men’s basketball. Rather than utilizing school-funded official visits, unofficial visits can be utilized to circumvent certain requirements for recruits to provide academic transcripts or test scores before they visit. These expanded recruiting opportunities are often funded by a third party other than the student-athlete’s family and provide coaches with important early access to prospects.

Sounds like the OBC was pushing the envelope and got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  Chalk it up as one more thing he did differently from his days as a Gator.

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UPDATE:  In case you’re wondering, here’s how the scholarship numbers break down…

Grayshirting just got tougher.

8 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, The Evil Genius, The NCAA