You guys know how I feel about ESPN’s KC Joyner.
I’m looking forward to the anti-Dwag spin about this at StingTalk.
If the Alabama-LSU rematch for the BCS title was the spark that lit the fuse to end the old postseason order and replace it with the current four-team college football playoff format, what do you think this would lead to?
Suppose the committee did put the two Tigers plus the Tide and Seminoles in ahead of, say, a one-loss Washington or Michigan or TCU. This sort of thing is why we have the playoff in the first place. Two SEC teams making the BCS National Championship Game in 2011 immediately preceded the creation of the new system. The rest of the power conferences thought enough was enough and finally decided to expand the championship system. (Ironically, the SEC had been pushing for a four-team arrangement for years by then.)
If the majority of the power conferences get left out this year, there will be tremendous pressure to Do Something About It. This could go anywhere from tweaking the committee guidance to more heavily favor conference championships to possibly setting a date to expand the bracket. Only the situation of all four playoff teams coming from just two conferences could do that because the other three P5 leagues have voice and influence in a way that the G5 conferences do not. That’s why I put this scenario far ahead on the nightmare scale than Houston—even an undefeated Houston—not making the playoff.
If you’re one to root for chaos, then your best bet is pulling for the actual four best teams to be Alabama, Clemson, FSU, and LSU in some order. The committee will either have to break its own rules to avoid putting all four in or follow its rules and potentially set fire to the whole system. The Big 12 has been having an existential crisis ever since its one-loss champion(s) failed to make the 2014 bracket. Imagine what could happen if the Final Four only came from two leagues.
It’s an eight-team playoff proponent’s wet dream.
You gotta love this Trump-esque conclusion about Georgia’s 2016 expectations:
Back to Georgia: Even with a new coach, this cannot be seen as a classic Rebuilding Season. There’s too much talent on hand, and the schedule is too inviting. Maybe that’s why Kirby Smart seems wrapped extra tight — if he doesn’t break double figures in Year 1, it will be viewed in some circles (Las Vegas included) as a disappointment.
Mind you, Bradley’s not saying he’d be disappointed (although he’s picking Georgia to win 10 games in the regular season), just that “some circles” would be disappointed.
Maybe one day Bradley will concede that Smart’s almost as good a head coach as the genius… er, sorry… meant to say he’ll note in some circles that’s the perception.
A couple of early outsider takes on Georgia’s opener:
First, Herbstreit thinks a running back will be a big key, which sounds good, until it turns out the back he’s referring to is North Carolina’s Elijah Hood. He’s picking the Heels to win.
Over at Statistically Speaking, Matt Melton leans the other way.
Georgia -2.5 North Carolina @Atlanta
Believe it or not, these two southern foes separated by just one state have not faced each other since clashing in the Gator Bowl following the 1971 season. North Carolina will look to build on their Coastal Division title last season which saw them climb as eighth in the AP Poll and finish ranked for the first time since 1997. For Larry Fedora, the season cannot start soon enough, as he has certainly not won the offseason with his condescending comments to a female reporter and his curious defense of Tim Beckman’s presence on the coaching staff (he has since resigned). For Georgia, the Bulldogs will begin the season with a head coach other than Mark Richt for the first time since 2000. Former Nick Saban assistant Kirby Smart has taken the reigns and will look to lead Georgia to their first SEC title since 2005. While the Tar Heels finished with the second highest Net YPP (my preferred rating system) in the ACC last season, those numbers were accumulated against an easy schedule. No other team in the Coastal boasted a positive Net YPP and the Tar Heels drew NC State (their permanent rival) and Wake Forest in their cross-division games. NC State ranked sixth in the ACC in Net YPP, but Wake Forest was dead last in the conference. Meanwhile, based on Net YPP in the SEC, Georgia was arguably the best team in the SEC East despite their disappointing season. You may remember North Carolina and their improved defense were last seen allowing a season’s worth of rushing yards to Baylor in Art Briles’ final game as coach. Of course, Georgia does not run the same type of offense as Baylor, but the Dawgs do have two of the country’s best running backs in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Chubb and Michel do have some injury concerns, but my guess is one or both will see action in this game. Even if they do not, Georgia has other talented backs to carry the rock. North Carolina has a checkered history against non-conference BCS/Power 5 foes under Fedora, going 2-6 straight up and just 3-5 ATS. While some of those losses have come to good teams, like South Carolina in 2013, they have also dropped games to Rutgers and last year’s version of South Carolina. Clemson and Florida State (and maybe Louisville) are the only teams I currently trust in the ACC/SEC clashes. Take the Dawgs to cover this small number.
Picking up on the next to last sentence there, if I can go as briefly superficial as Herbstreit does for a moment, I have a hard time picking the ACC to go 3-0 against the SEC opening weekend — and I don’t see either Clemson or FSU losing their games.
Obviously, I’ll have more on Georgia’s opener as we get closer to Saturday.
Well, if you’re Art Briles and you want to coach again, I guess there’s only one place to turn.
When Baylor fired Art Briles, the school’s lawyers originally put in two stipulations in the proposed buyout.
No. 1, per the agreement Briles was to sign, he would not coach at another Texas school.
No. 2, per the agreement Briles was to sign, he would not coach at another Big 12 school.
When Briles saw that in the fine print an already ugly divorce turned nastier. That’s when he took steps toward filing a lawsuit against his employer.
Baylor, of course, backed down from those restrictions and the lawsuit was dropped. Briles, who lives in Horseshoe Bay, Texas, near Austin, has hired a powerful agent — Jimmy Sexton — with eyes on landing a good job for next season.
I don’t know if that’ll work. But if the threat of Briles does nothing more than gain a few more concessions for another of Sexton’s clients, Jimmy will count it as time well spent.
Compare this blast from the past from Collin Barber…
“We have coach (John) Lilly who does Pride — the punt team — but it would be nice to have …a guy that knows about punting and kicking and not just coverage in what we’re doing,” said Barber, who still at times turns to personal kicking coach Marc Nolan in Roswell. “It would be great to have a specific coach to do the basic drills of kicking and punting.”
… with Coach Smart’s comments yesterday about Kevin Butler’s work:
“I think it’s the greatest asset a first-year coach could have, especially with somebody like me who really has not dealt on the psychological side of kickers. Who better to have than one of the greatest ever to kick in the game.”
By itself, that may not be much, but to paraphrase Everett Dirksen, a detail here, a detail there, pretty soon you’re talking real improvement.