Daily Archives: January 8, 2008

This just in: Montanans know the Dawgs!

Mandel votes Georgia #2 in his final AP ballot.


UPDATE:  More Mandel love here.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

“I think this is the way that offends the most the least.”

Well, I can’t say for certain what D-1 playoff plan I’m in favor of (I could live with a four team “plus one” or an eight team based on conference champs, with some added balance to the conferences), but I know what I’m against – anything that Michael Adams proposes with regard to college football is suspect on general principles, and his playoff plan is no exception.

Would you buy a playoff proposal from this man? (photo courtesy AJ-C/Nick Arroyo/Staff)

How do I question this? Let me count the ways.

  • It’s an eight team, seeded playoff, which would be the easiest format to expand going down the road. And the one that would be most likely to be subjected to pressure to expand.
  • He wants to stage the first round of the tourney in the existing BCS bowl games, thus permanently devaluing their position.
  • He wants to operate the playoff under the aegis of the NCAA, which opens up all sorts of questions about how the revenue derived from the post season will be shared by the schools.
  • Adams’ goal is to have a playoff system adopted within “a year or two.” Seriously? When even Adams acknowledges that it’s too late to add this to the agenda of the NCAA meetings coming up this week? Does he really think that the bowls, the networks and the college presidents all find the situation that urgent? What’s more likely to happen with a pressurized decision making process?
  • He wants to scrap the 12th regular season game, which, again, serves to put more financial pressure on the postseason to generate sufficient revenues for the schools.
  • Even with the reduction of the regular season by a week, he’s willing to extend the postseason a week later than it currently runs.

Add it all up and what do you get? A postseason that over time will get a lot bigger than seven games. After all, as every playoff proponent likes to argue, it’s what we have in the other divisions.

Under his plan, Division I-A would have a smaller version of what already exists in Division I-AA, which has a 16-team football tournament; Division II, a 24-team tournament; and Division III, a 32-team tournament.

Will it work? Who the hell knows? Even Adams admits he doesn’t know for sure.

On possible concerns of a playoff devaluing regular season, and college football fans not being able to plan for, and afford, trips to playoff games: “I don’t think you know until you try. If you give back the money being spent on the 12th [regular-season] game, there’s some benefit there. I don’t think it’s naive, though, to say if you’re one of the final four teams, we seem to sell out arenas with 40-to-50,000 [capacity] for basketball, where the support bases are not as strong all over the country. If most schools’ teams got through the bowl season and you played a week later, I think there would be pretty strong demand for those games. You don’t know until you try.

You don’t know until you try. Hey, if it doesn’t work out, we can always try something else, right?

I know the guy’s a pompous toad – the timing of this, when the BCS title game is being played, is a clear indication of how important Adams sees himself – but he’s also a political hack. Why? Because we need a playoff for the children!

On which group he listens to most when it comes to a playoff —coaches, fans, athletes, media? “I’ll surprise you but I listen to kids a lot, more than I’m given credit for. They have at least as much impact on me if not more than the typical fan. Fans are all over the map. If you put it to a vote, maybe a majority would be for a playoff but I don’t think we’ve ever polled that. There’s a growing sentiment among student-athletes that they would like to see a playoffs…

Pooh-pooh this if you want. I don’t think Adams cares at all whether the regular season is devalued because of this. In fact, I think he sees it as a plus for the SEC.

“The notion that there’s always going to be two or three teams in each section of the country that dominate — certainly there’s six or eight or 10 teams in the Southeast that could be national champion quality. A lot of the way life used to be may be just that — history. It wouldn’t surprise me in the SEC to see a two-loss team become the norm.”

Ugh. Movers and shakers, all I can say to you is please consider the source here. Give this a lot of thought as to the consequences. An extended playoff would be unfortunate. For Michael Adams to be the agent of change is too depressing to consider.


UPDATE: One other thing you can count on from a hack politician – a little demagoguery when it’s needed. In Adams’ case, find a target less popular than him to kick. Now you might think that would be hard, but don’t forget a certain cable sports network that he’s “particularly disturbed” by:

The increasing concentration of power in one network television company that has shown in this year’s bowl selection process the capacity to influence public opinion, including that of the coaches, in an arbitrary way. This one network ownership controls more than two-thirds of the football games broadcast and virtually all of the non-BCS bowls. There are clear built-in conflicts.


UPDATE #2: Give Tony Barnhart credit. He flat out nails this sucker. Money (literally) quote:

… Because Dr. Adams’ idea isn’t just about putting together a playoff, it’s about taking the power away from the conference commissioners who have been charged with running college football for about 25 years. If the 120 Division I-A presidents believe that time has come, then so be it. The commissioners work for them. But it is going to messy.

Sure was a nice season we had.


UPDATE #3: Shorter Mike Slive: Michael Adams is an ass.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Michael Adams Wants To Rule The World

It’s over.

Another college football season in the books – one that should go down as being as memorable a year as we fans have ever seen.

Congrats to the LSU Tigers for winning the MNC. Condolences to the Ohio State Buckeyes for coming up short. Again. What OSU and its fans are going to hear over the next several months won’t be fun, but in fairness, it’s pretty impressive to play in back-to back BCS title games (and Ohio State will be back in the mix next season, too).

A few random thoughts about last night’s game:

  • My 22 year old daughter, a casual fan who watched the game with me, had this to say when Urban Meyer’s mug first appeared on the TV screen: “What the hell is he doing there?” I admit that I didn’t have a good answer. We both agreed that he didn’t have much of a future in broadcasting.
  • JaMarcus Russell.  Dude, have somebody else buy your clothes.  Or stay off national TV unless you’re in a football jersey.  Please.
  • Stewart Mandel got one thing right. The Tigers managed to be a team that played a big game without being upset. Given the way this season has gone, that’s almost an upset in itself. Maybe it’s a harbinger of things to come in ’08.
  • How long do you think Todd Boeckman is going to have his sleep disturbed by the memory of a leaping Ali Highsmith?
  • I don’t know if Bo Pelini will turn out to be a better head coach than Mark Richt, but it looks like, at least to this point, he’s a better multi-tasker. After some initial rust, his defense played very well and shut OSU’s offense down in the second half until garbage time.
  • Who would have thought going in that LSU would turn out to be the more disciplined team, at least from a penalty standpoint?
  • Speaking of which, I thought the key moment of the game was the roughing the punter penalty that gave LSU new life after a drive had stalled because of one of Flynn’s few bad decisions of the night. LSU took advantage by going in for a touchdown that really opened the lead up for good.
  • And speaking of the roughing penalty, one thing I have to give Fox credit for is that it didn’t do what everyone in the football watching universe would have expected ESPN to do in the same situation, namely, dwell endlessly on the poor kid who screwed up, a la Mack Brown’s stepson.
  • On the other hand, it’s fair to say – it’s the mirrors – that ESPN is not as relentlessly – Jumpers 2.14.08 – commercial during a broadcast as Fox is. I don’t know about you, but I hope that movie flops. Big time.
SEC speed, baby.


Filed under College Football