UPDATE: Somewhat remarkably, Grantham (more likely the school in response to panicked inquiries) felt the need to issue a formal response to the rumors.
“This time of year there are a lot of rumors involving coaching openings. Because of the terrific recruiting class we are assembling and the juniors that have communicated to me their desire to come back to Georgia I felt it important to address some of these current and any future rumors. I’ve had discussions with Coach Richt and (AD) Greg McGarity and we are on track to finalizing details on a contract extension. My family enjoys Athens very much. I love the passion and excitement of our fans. We have the program headed in the right direction and I want to be a part of bringing Georgia a championship. My desire is to be at UGA for a very long time. Go Dawgs!”
As much as I enjoy the give and take of the playoff debate here, there’s no question that what frustrates me the most is people’s willingness to assume that the rat bastards who control college football are going to approach the refashioning of the postseason as an opportunity to act in a completely different manner than the way that they’ve always behaved to chart a benign course that will fulfill every college fan’s wish list.
Case in point: a few years ago, Mike Slive negotiated a new TV pact which generated record levels of revenue for the conference. Despite that, the shine has worn off, because the Big Ten and Pac-12 later struck deals which were even better at making money for their member schools. As a result, the long-term, stable contracts made with CBS and ESPN which were not too long ago seen as features have morphed into ginormous bugs, millstones hanging around the necks of every SEC school head who is no longer seen as the richest kid on the block.
That meant the deals had to be redone. And so they will be, because the SEC took the step to expand from twelve to fourteen members. It wasn’t a move for the fans. It’s a move for the bank accounts.
“There might not be a permanent rival,” said Charles Bloom, the SEC’s associate commissioner. “Don’t read anything into next year’s schedule. But we are staying with eight conference (football) games.” [Emphasis added.]
There you have it. The conference is prepared to ditch long-standing rivalries like Georgia-Auburn and Tennessee-Alabama, games that are part of the soul of what makes SEC football special, because it finds that to be the least objectionable way to deal with the scheduling problems which have cropped up in having to ram a fourteen-school square into an eight-game hole. That’s only a problem because the SEC wants more TV money. No offense to the good folks at Missouri and Texas A&M, but that’s not what most of us signed up for as fans of the conference. Of course, that really doesn’t matter.
Mike Slive isn’t my commissioner. He’s not your commissioner. Slive is Michael Adams’ commissioner. Slive answers to amoral asshats who piously decry the system while continuing to rake in the money that the system provides. And that is something you should never lose sight of as Slive joins the scrum of heavyweights who will try to figure out the best way to reboot the postseason so that their golden goose can be more effectively squeezed. In that context, we’re not fans. We’re commodities.
Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming, said today he senses college football’s leaders are not “tone-deaf” and that many follow SEC Commissioner Mike Slive’s opinion that change is coming. Slive has said the plus-one — a seeded, four-team playoff he proposed in the last BCS cycle — will be “very much” on his mind during upcoming talks.
“I sense that people who run college football and run the conferences obviously are not tone-deaf, and Mike’s comments I think were reflective of where this group is,” Magnus said. “They intend to give thoughtful consideration and discussion to every possible format consideration that there is. That’s encouraging.”
If these people don’t manage to suck the life out of college football in the next decade, it will purely be by accident. In the meantime, they’ll be cheered on by the media for their wisdom. Some will love the novelty, at least until it wears off. Few will want to admit they’re being duped, until it’s too late to say otherwise.
These guys aren’t geniuses. And they don’t care about you. Presume otherwise at your own risk.
It looks like Will Muschamp’s search for the best offensive coordinator in America is over.
Brent Pease will be the Florida Gators’ next offensive coordinator, according to multiple media reports. A source confirmed to The Post that Pease accepted the job and his hiring will be announced Wednesday.
Pease, from Boise State, will leave one of the country’s best offenses to fix one of the worst.
This won’t be Pease’s first SEC rodeo. He was Kentucky’s offensive coordinator post-Leach. Speaking of which, one of his former charges remembers him fondly.
Seriously Brent Pease at Florida? He's freaking crazy and was brutal at UK when I was there. Won't be able to handle it andwill be run out!
This poll is final in more than one sense, of course. It’s the one capping the season, but it’s also the last one with twelve teams on the list.
Alabama. Would the fair thing to do be to list ‘Bama and LSU as tied for first? Maybe. But after that total evisceration we saw Monday night, I can’t bring myself to do that.
LSU. Now we know what Saban meant when he said the Tigers were “probably” the best team in the country.
Arkansas. It is a measure of how good the top two teams in the conference were this season that the Hogs could get smacked around by both and still finish as high in the polls as they did.
South Carolina. I know this sounds petty, but why is it that Mark Richt’s coaching effort this season is being brushed off as the result of a weak SEC East, while Spurrier is being hailed as a genius for his?
Georgia. If second halves didn’t count, Georgia would be ranked much, much higher. The Dawgs learned how to compete again this season. Next, they have to learn how to finish.
Auburn. It’s good to see Chizik continue one of Auburn’s great traditions, serially changing coordinators. The Tigers wound up with their expected eight-win season, but traveled an awfully bumpy road to get there.
Florida. I guess it was all Meyer’s and Weis’ fault.
Vanderbilt. It’s not Bobby Johnson’s team anymore, that’s for sure.
Mississippi State. MSU played Alabama and LSU closer than Arkansas did. That and five bucks will get you that mocha latte from Starbucks you’ve been craving.
Kentucky. Other than bringing an end to the losing streak against Tennessee, it was an eminently forgettable season.
Tennessee. It’s never a good sign when your offseason is more interesting than your regular season was.
Ole Miss. How bad a year was it? So bad that Jimmy Sexton hasn’t been able to find a landing spot for the Nuttster.
“And Georgia fans, don’t be turds. Enjoy this. Soak it up. It’s awesome. If you don’t win this year, it’s still not a failure. It’s a heck of a run. Back-to-back in the Playoff era hasn’t been done. So, to ask for a third I feel like it’s gluttonous. I feel like it’s not OK. But we’ll be in the mix.”-- David Pollack, On3.com, 5/9/23