Daily Archives: July 7, 2009

The most reasonable man in college football?

Read this Q&A with TCU head coach Gary Patterson and see if you don’t come away impressed and sympathetic.

Q: What do you say to those who claim TCU and Utah and Boise State couldn’t play week in and week out in the Big 12 or the SEC or any other major conference?

A: Look, we won at Oklahoma (in 2005). Our record against the Big 12 and other major conferences is right there for all to see. We’re not hiding from it. It’s not so much the level of players; it’s the amount of players. When you have that depth, then you can play on a daily basis with all the rest of them.

I’ve tried to stay out of the argument because I really feel like the best thing we can do as a group right now is to win ballgames. If you can do that, you’re going to keep yourself on that mountain, and hopefully one day get to the top.

That’s it, brother.

By the way, the play-in game is an excellent idea.  In fact, I like it better than the automatic berth for the highest ranked non-BCS conference school.

For one thing, it gives the non-BCS schools an extra game like the SECCG, which means more money for them that won’t be coming out of any other conference’s pocket.  Secondly, it should mean some terrific exposure for those schools, which is bound to help program building for the schools that manage to play in it repeatedly.  Third, assuming quality matchups, it should help the winner’s strength of schedule, which might give a BCS-buster that extra boost it needs in a given year.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Adventures in circular reasoning

I almost feel like I should apologize to you for neglecting to mention the loathsome John Feinstein’s most recent anti-BCS screed.   When it comes to college football, he is Mr. Over The Top.

And he doesn’t disappoint with this:

… Finally, there’s the now well-worn claim that college football has the “most meaningful” regular season in sports. Again, this is complete hyperbolic trash. First, how can you call a regular season meaningful when the decisions on who will play where in the postseason are made by computers and frequently biased voters… Are the BCS apologists trying to say that the college basketball regular season has no meaning? Every game played the last three weeks of the season is analyzed, re-analyzed and broken down to determine how it will affect seeding, the bubble and who is in and who is out.

I guess that depends on what your definition of “meaningful” is.

My meaningful may be “well-worn”, but it’s not just your garden variety trash.  Complete.  Hyperbolic.  Trash.  His is a glorious delivery system for the postseason.  Bring on the brackets!

Maybe Feinstein can explain why TV spends so much more on college football’s regular season than it does on college basketball’s.  Judging from the new SEC contracts, that doesn’t seem to be well-worn at all.


UPDATE: Groo gets it.

… I’m still amazed that Feinstein concedes that college basketball has more or less a three-week regular season.

And it’s not important for the same reason football’s is, either.  It’s purpose is to serve tournament eligibility and seeding.

That doesn’t make it better or worse.  It’s just different.  That means it’s not automatically an appropriate template for whatever D-1 football chooses to do with its postseason.  If Feinstein wasn’t such a horse’s ass, he might calm down and notice that.


UPDATE #2: Elkon gets medieval on Feinstein’s ass.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

Pre-BCS hearings roundup (and a thought)

Just a few points before today’s Congressional nonsense:

  • I owe Dick Harmon an apology.  I should have known that somebody outside the state of Utah could write something equally insipid and hackish about this – thank you, Spencer Tillman.  You know when he comes out the gate with Gilbert and Sullivan, he’s telegraphing that his is a Serious Article.  This is even better:  “Angel wings turn into horns and Dante’s Inferno is their operating manual.” Oy.
  • There’s a tendency in bashing the BCS to confuse greed with arrogance.  Let’s be clear here:  the football guys are the greedy ones; the pols are the arrogant ones.
  • Speaking of the politicians, it’s good to see that there’s not much else on their plate this week.
  • For all the squawking about unfairness, the sad fact is that the non-BCS conferences simply aren’t competitive with the big boys (h/t College Football Resource)“As a whole, non-BCS schools are 77-392 against BCS opponents since 2005, meaning they win just 19.6 percent of the time.” Three schools – three – from non-BCS conferences have winning records against schools from BCS conferences during that time.  Competitively speaking, it’s not a level playing field, and all the whining in the world won’t change that.

I think what really drives me up the wall about what we’ve seen in the past few months is the stubborn refusal of those who want the system changed to recognize that there’s a market rationale to the flow of money in college football.  The TV networks and the bowls pay the SEC and pay Notre Dame huge sums because those are the schools an enormous number of fans want to see.  The Mountain West and the Sun Belt?  Eh – not so much.

The barrier to entry argument that those wanting to wield the antitrust ax against the BCS will make today is overblown.  What did the Big East bring to the table when the BCS was created?  Two things:  a University of Miami that was one of the top three TV draws in college football and a Michael Vick-led Virginia Tech that brought a rabid fan base in serious numbers to bowl games.  That’s it – the rest of that conference was, historically speaking, putrid.  (Today’s essay question:  would the Big East be a BCS conference if the ACC had raided it before 1998?)

The Mountain West, however admirable the performance of its best schools has been in the past four years, doesn’t bring anything like that to the BCS table.  But how impossible can that be to pull off if the Big East did it?  Basically, the MWC schools (and Orrin Hatch) don’t believe they should have to work for it like Miami and Virginia Tech did.  They simply feel entitled to a seat at the table because Utah beat Alabama.  But it’s the BCS guys that are the arrogant ones.

Expect to have your intelligence insulted more than a few times today.


UPDATE: Spencer Tillman thinks he knows Tony Barnhart, but this doesn’t sound like the Tony Barnhart he’s writing about.

… But bashing the BCS is like bashing the IRS. It’s easy. The fact is that with all of its flaws, it’s better than what we used to have. I remember Georgia Tech having to play in the Citrus Bowl in 1990 to win its national championship. I remember No. 2 Penn State not getting a shot at No. 1 Nebraska in 1994. I remember No. 2 Texas not getting a shot at No. 1 Nebraska in 1983.

The system is going to change because the marketplace is going to eventually demand it, not because Congress is going to push to make its constituents happy. And that’s a fact.

Barnhart makes two good points in that piece.  First, it’s only in the BCS era that schools like Utah and Boise State have gotten to play in New Year’s Day-type bowls.  Second,

… over the past five seasons the BCS has pumped about $80 million into those five Coalition conferences.

That’s a lot of money that did not even exist before the advent of the BCS.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles, Political Wankery

Kiffin watch: out of the mouths of babes edition

You know that “any publicity is good publicity for Tennessee when it comes to recruiting” master plan shtick of Junior’s?  You know, the one that’s supposed to make the recruits think about the Vols in a whole new light?

Mission accomplished.

As comfortable as Scroggins has been with the Vols, he does have one concern.

“Just basically all the hoopla that’s going on — all the violations and stuff,” Scroggins said on Monday.

Jesse – stuff happens, man.

From a bigger picture standpoint, maybe it’s too early to tell, but if this brave new world of Mike Hamilton’s and Lane Kiffin’s is supposed to re-order the recruiting results in the SEC, it sure has been slow to bear fruit, as all the usual suspects seem to be faring as well they always do.

And they’ve all got quarterbacks for the 2010 season already on campus, too.

Scroggins is like Plan C for Junior already.  If he gets the willies and commits elsewhere, what’s next?  Mitch Mustain?  Junior colleges?  Walk-on tryouts?

1 Comment

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Recruiting

Tuesday morning buffet

The pickings aren’t as slim as they were over the holiday weekend, fortunately.

  • I love ledes like this“If the college football preseason magazines are correct, this will be another tough year for Georgia fans.” They weren’t so hot with their Georgia predictions last year, were they?
  • I get the impression that Paul Finebaum doesn’t have much regard for Urban Meyer.
  • Matt Hayes ranks the conferences based on their non-c0nference scheduling.  He makes an interesting point about the Pac-10:  “Two reasons the Pac-10 is annually the best in nonconference scheduling: television money and exposure. The Pac-10 doesn’t have a CBS-type deal like the SEC, or an ESPN-type deal like the Big Ten, where the conference is given prime television spots and celebrated on a weekly basis.” Does that mean if the new commissioner manages to swing a lucrative TV contract – surely the top item on his agenda, I would think – that the quality of the Pac-10’s OOC opponents will drop?
  • Michael Elkon’s been in search of a new unified theory about college football since the demise of his last one, and he may be on to something with this:  Negative Grohmentum.  Gratuitous shots at Al Groh and confessions of maintaining a Steele archive are always going to get favorable attention from me, but the stats he compiles don’t lie.  I would add one more factor to his reasoning, though.  Except perhaps early in their careers, the elite coaches (who tend not to get canned) find it tougher to win those awards, because the level of excellence they maintain comes to be expected.
  • If, relatively speaking, you think Georgia’s gone above and beyond the call with its non-conference scheduling over the past four seasons, fanblogs.com’s Ben Prather would agree with you.


Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Stats Geek!