Daily Archives: June 4, 2012

Proxies and playoffs: why they’re still talking about the plus-one.

The Pac-12 wrapped up its summer meetings yesterday without taking a position on what new postseason format it favored.  What was left after that was a bunch of meaningless platitudes.

“Today we just confirmed what our values and principles are for working with others to move the BCS forward,” Oregon State president and Pac-12 CEO chair Ed Ray said. “No one is talking about the status quo; I just don’t hear anyone talking about business as usual.”

No one, hunh.  Well, one day later, the Big Ten opened its mouth on the subject, and guess what phrase emerged from that orifice?

… Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said the presidents prefer to keep the status quo of the present bowl system. But as other conferences and public demand are pushing for a playoff system, he said the presidents agreed that a plus-one system was their second choice.

The third option would be models such as a four-team playoff.

The reason this is devolving is that both conferences are trying their damnedest to carry out two goals:  save a meaningful Rose Bowl and screw the SEC.  If you hear an echo in these two comments…

“What I left with is a very clear direction that we need to not just preserve, but actually enhance the meaning of being in a conference,” commissioner Larry Scott said. “We want competing in our conference and winning our conference to mean no less than it does today and maybe even more.”

The presidents once again stressed the importance of finding a model that focuses on “honoring champions, honoring strength of schedule, recognizing teams that play an additional championship team over one that doesn’t,” Delany said.

… that’s why.

The problem they face is that there are a limited number of ways to accomplish both.

“There aren’t that many models floating out there,” Ray conceded. “I know three that people keep coming back to. Within that set, we’re looking for things that honor conference champions getting appropriate consideration as national champions and that honor our unique relationship with the Rose Bowl.”

The three models every conference has examined are a plus-one, a four-team playoff played inside the current BCS bowl structure and a four-team playoff played outside the bowls. Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said he didn’t see any compromise between the two competing playoff models that appear to, in some form or fashion, take the place of the BCS.  Incoming Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told CBSSports.com on Saturday that there would likely be some strength of schedule component included to help balance the champions vs. top four model out.

“We’re looking for a model that being a conference champion matters to determine who the ultimate national champion is,” Ray said. “There are a couple of models that do have that element to them and we’re quite open to having a discussion about them.”

Unfortunately, the SEC is reluctant to have that chat, for obvious reasons.  Not that Jim Delany isn’t willing to whisper sweet nothings in Mike Slive’s ear.

The SEC and Big 12 do not want to automatically include conference champions and favor a playoff with the four best teams, as SEC commissioner Mike Slive put it.

“I agree it should be the four best teams,” Delany said, noting the leagues need to find an “appropriate proxy” to determine these.

See?  It’s not about conference champs.  It just depends on what the meaning of the word “best” is.  Surely reasonable people can agree on that.  And if there were any running football conferences, they just might.

Delany acknowledges that this isn’t likely to be resolved by that third commissioners meeting on June 26th.  The plus-one still has a pulse.


UPDATE:  Paul Myerberg believes the sides might be able to coalesce around a selection committee.   Not exactly what fans asking for things to be settled on the field have in mind, I’m afraid.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs

There’s no peeing in football.

This is what zero tolerance in Columbus, Ohio looks like:

Jack Mewhort and Jake Stoneburner have been suspended indefinitely from the Ohio State football team after their arrests Saturday on misdemeanor charges of obstructing official business, the players’ lawyer told The Blade.

Mewhort, a junior offensive lineman and a St. John’s Jesuit graduate, and Stoneburner, a senior tight end, learned Sunday they will be barred from the OSU football facilities until their case is settled, Columbus attorney Mark Collins said. Their arraignment is June 11 at Delaware Municipal Court, but Collins hopes the charges are resolved before then.

Police in Shawnee Hills, Ohio, a Columbus suburb, spotted the two players and a third man not connected to the football team early Saturday urinating outside a restaurant near Stoneburner’s house, located just off the course at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Collins said the men dashed away when they saw a spotlight, unknowing it belonged to police. He said Mewhort and Stoneburner stopped about 40 yards away from the restaurant and did not attempt to hide.

The idea that the famously tolerant Urban Meyer suddenly has his dander up over a seemingly petty offense like this is pretty amusing.  Of course, this may simply be a case of Corch maintaining a holding pattern until he can find his new go-to lawyer.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Steele on Georgia

You can read his preview here.

Basically, he ranks Georgia eighth, but picks Florida to win the East.  Why?  I’d say look here:

SPECIAL TEAMS – I was shocked at where UGA finished in my ST rankings in ’11. In the L10Y UGA has had 8 Top 24 ST finishes (5 top 7). K Blair Walsh (#6DC MIN) was a 2-time Groza semi and P Drew Butler (Ray Guy ’09) both ret’d along with some dangerous RM like Brandon Boykin (24.3 KR) and Brandon Smith (14.3 PR). They finished #7 in my ST rankings in ’10 and I called them the best ST unit in the country. It was shocking as Walsh (55-68 car FG’s) hit just 21-35 (L56). Butler still avg 44.2 but his net dropped from 40.6 in ’10 to 35.8. UGA avg 6.7 on PR before a 92 yd td in the bowl and avg 21.6 on KR. They all’d 4 return td’s and Richt said “Our ST’s were mostly average to scary.” UGA plummeted to #81 and TY lose their K/P combo plus their top RM and could drop even further.

By the way, Steele ranks Florida’s special teams as the best in the nation.

To understand how bad he thinks the Dawgs’ special teams play could be, in his national rankings Steele notes that Georgia was the only team in the country with six of its individual units finishing in his Top 6 (QB, RB, Receiver, D-line, LB and DB).  That, plus a favorable schedule, wasn’t enough to overcome the special teams weakness.

A couple of interesting sidenotes to bring to your attention are (1) Georgia isn’t the only upper tier SEC team with weak special teams, as he ranks Alabama 11th in the conference and South Carolina a slot behind Georgia at 14 and (2) Steele ranks Georgia as fourth-best in improved defensive points, a level of improvement I find difficult to meet if special teams play is even worse than it was last year.


Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

Cover ups are expensive.

Tatgate isn’t cheap.

As the old saying goes, a dollar here, a dollar there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.


Filed under Big Ten Football

Steele ranks the SEC coaches.

I got my copy of the 2012 Preview this weekend.  I’ll dribble a few things out, but you really should go get your own.  344 pages of small print (“This [use of small type and abbreviations] is done so I can put as much information in this magazine as possible.”) can eat up a lot of the dead time between now and the start of fall camp, you know?

Anyway, for starters, I thought I’d share his ranking of the SEC coaches.  It’s a little different.  Here’s the order:

  • Alabama
  • LSU, Auburn (tied)
  • Georgia, South Carolina (tied)
  • Mississippi State, Missouri (tied)
  • Florida, Vanderbilt (tied)
  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky
  • Texas A&M, Mississippi (tied)
  • Arkansas

I think I’ll throw this one out for general discussion, although Chizik at number two and Phillips ahead of Sumlin certainly raised my eyebrows.  What do you guys think?


Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

Georgia is for recruiters.

Here’s an interesting piece by Rivals’ Steve Megargee about the state of Georgia’s rising prowess in the production of D-1 level recruits.  It’s a phenomenon that’s taken on increasing velocity of late:

Farrell said Georgia really started to break away from the pack with the 2011 class that featured eight of the nation’s top 56 prospects: Thomasville Thomas County Central defensive end Ray Drew (Georgia), Monroe Area defensive end Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame), Columbus Carver running back Isaiah Crowell (Georgia), Valdosta cornerback Malcolm Mitchell (Georgia), Atlanta Grady cornerback Damian Swann (Georgia), Griffin defensive end Xzavier Dickson (Alabama), Tucker linebacker James Vaughters (Stanford) and Valdosta tight end Jay Rome (Georgia).

“That year propelled into last year, which propelled into this year,” Farrell said. “The 2011, 2012 and now 2013 [classes] have seen such a different caliber of talent in Georgia that pushed them to my immediate answer for No. 4 now.”

This question is a bit overstated – “If Georgia has this much talent, why aren’t Georgia and Georgia Tech as successful as, say, Alabama, LSU, Ohio State or Virginia Tech?” – in that Tech has some structural limitations (curriculum and idiosyncratic offensive scheme), which Georgia doesn’t share, and that Georgia’s played in a rougher neighborhood than either the Buckeyes or Hokies have in the past few seasons, but there’s definitely some truth at its core.  Georgia nailed five of the top eight recruits on that 2011 list of Farrell’s, but it’s fair to say Richt hit a dry spell before that.

Paul was right to note that’s water under the bridge at this point, except the program is still scrambling to fill a numbers shortage with the 2013 class.  It’s good that Richt recognizes that and is in the process of assembling what is looking like his largest class ever, a class that is likely to contain the largest number of early enrollees as well.  The important thing going forward is not placing the program in the position of having to play catch up again.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

HP’s Razor

Chris Brown, all I’ve got to say about this Q&A is that sometimes when they throw you a fastball down the middle with a question like “In your study of Meyer’s time at Florida, what were the issues when Meyer’s offense failed?“, you’ve got to swing at the pitch.

1 Comment

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, Urban Meyer Points and Stares