Daily Archives: January 26, 2015

It was fun while it lasted.

The only person who’s going to be more upset by this than Bobby Petrino…

… is Josh Harvey-Clemons’ grandpa.

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UPDATE:  Recruiting season is a very important time for Todd Grantham.

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59 Comments

Filed under Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino

Once more, in the land of second chances

Petrino’s gonna Petrino; Grantham’s gonna Grantham.

ESPN’s Max Olson reported Monday that Fields is visiting Bobby Petrino’s program this weekend and that the Cardinals are “in the lead” to land the 2014 preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Despite that honor, Fields didn’t play a snap of NCAA football this past season, having been “separated” from TCU after being connected with a domestic violence incident in July. Fields allegedly punched and threatened an ex-girlfriend, and after a planned transfer to Stephen F. Austin fell through, transferred to Trinity Valley Community Valley College in Athens, Texas.

Athens, Texas ain’t Athens, Georgia.  Louisville ain’t, either.

14 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino

The inevitable destination of conference realignment

It was only a matter of time before somebody went there.

Non-conference games against conference opponents.  Don’t you love new traditions?

And how long do you figure it’ll be before Joe Alleva suggests that for a way around those who want to keep the SEC’s permanent cross-division rivalry games?

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UPDATE: 

“This is a unique opportunity to play a regional rival in years that fall outside the normal conference rotation,” UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham said in a release. “We have a long history with Wake Forest that has historical value and will generate interest within our fans.”

In other words, instead of UNC and Wake Forest spending upwards of $1 million to fill a non-conference date with someone like Louisiana-Monroe or North Texas, they will play a more cost-effective game against a real rival, which will generate more fan interest and ticket sales.

Even though it’s a bit awkward and will create some confusion, it’s pretty much a win-win for those two schools. It’s also something other schools in the ACC could look to duplicate.

An awkward, confusing win-win.  That’s college football for you.

Wouldn’t it just be easier to add another conference game to the schedule?

21 Comments

Filed under ACC Football

“We’ve started a new tradition and we don’t want to back away from it now.”

I see Bill Hancock is moving his lips again.  The CFP is facing some pretty formidable pressure.

The College Football Playoff is under pressure on two fronts to adjust future schedules for its semifinals and championship games, sources say, but the CFP is standing firm on its original dates.

On one of those fronts, top ESPN executives are lobbying CFP officials to move next season’s semifinals off of New Year’s Eve where it would compete with highly rated star-filled countdown shows on several networks…

Sources say that senior network executives as high up as ESPN President John Skipper are pushing for the change as a way to get better television ratings, but the CFP is unwilling to make such a move because it is committed to the original plan to hold tripleheader bowl games, including the semifinals, on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day…

Meanwhile, the CFP is facing pressure on another front. The NFL is considering expanding its playoffs and moving one of the new games to Monday night when it would compete directly with the CFP championship.

Sources say NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell initiated a series of high-level meetings with some of the CFP’s most influential commissioners, including the SEC’s Mike Slive and the Big Ten’s Jim Delany. Goodell approached the commissioners to discuss the potential impact an NFL playoff expansion would have on the CFP championship game.

The 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick make up the management council that oversees the College Football Playoff.

If the NFL ends up expanding the number of teams that make its postseason, the league would need two more TV windows to account for the new games. In separate meetings, Goodell told the college commissioners that any playoff expansion likely would put a wild-card game on Monday night, sources said.

The CFP’s 12-year contract with ESPN calls for the title game to be played on a Monday night, typically the second Monday in January.

Standing firm against ESPN and the NFL?  Yeah, suuurrre.

Hancock said his office has voiced its opposition to putting an NFL playoff game against the CFP championship on Monday night.

“We picked Monday night because it was open and it was the best night for our game. We announced that in June 2012,” Hancock said. “We established that our game was going to be on Monday night for 12 years.”

Given what we’ve seen of Hancock’s bluffing ability from past pronouncements, I have no doubt that Mickey will take his line in the sand with all the seriousness it deserves.  I doubt anyone’s quaking in his or her boots yet.

Adding fuel to the fire is that ESPN would be caught in the middle of any conflict between the CFP and NFL playoff expansion.

ESPN’s CFP contract mandates that the games are carried on ESPN — not ESPN2 or ESPNU, sources say. Plus, cable sources say that some of ESPN’s affiliate deals contain language that would prohibit the network from putting either the CFP championship or an NFL playoff game on ABC.

The NFL almost certainly would not allow one of its playoff games to move to ESPN2.

Still, the NFL could sell a Monday night playoff game to another network. A media industry source suggested that the NFL could look into packaging the new wild-card playoff games with its “Thursday Night Football” package beginning with the 2016 season. CBS last week signed a deal to keep that package for 2015.

Right.  The WWL could just give up an incredibly valuable franchise without a fight.

That’s not all that’s at stake here for the WWL.

The CFP semifinals on New Year’s Day already proved their ability to attract viewers. The semifinals — played at the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual — each drew more than 28 million viewers. At the time, they were the two most-viewed programs in cable TV history.

The CFP championship game on Jan. 12 averaged 33.4 million viewers, becoming the first show in cable TV history to top 30 million viewers. Privately, ESPN insiders say they are prepared for double-digit drops in viewership if the semifinals remain on New Year’s Eve.

Get ready to hear about CFP’s new, new tradition, which is really about the only tradition college football cherishes these days – keeping the checks rolling in.

20 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Early feedback on S&C

Interesting quote from OLman target Nick Buchanan on what he saw on his trip to Athens that stuck with him:

“My favorite part was probably the weight-room presentation that (strength coach Mark Hocke) did.

“That was pretty nice. He came in and he had a whole bunch of energy. He really gets you amped up to work out. With Coach Hocke, every thing is a competition. It’s going to be hard work, but he really brings out the best in you.”

Sure, that’s from a kid who’s not actually in the program.  But when’s the last time you heard any recruit speak favorably about what he saw from the strength and conditioning staff?  For that matter, how often have you heard about Georgia showing off its S&C staff to recruits?

12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Chill on the savior talk.

If somebody had told you on January 26, 2014, that one year later, Nick Chubb would be getting a ton of Heisman talk and Jacob Coker not so much, you’d have laughed, right?

Just another reason it’s usually smart to take the media’s breathlessness with a grain of salt.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

“But it’s unrealistic to expect the Gators to fill the class.”

It’s pretty clear from this analysis that in 2015, Florida is going to sign its smallest recruiting class in years.  Now the author is correct that it’s not an immediate problem, given the relatively low number of seniors the Gators lost (although there are also a few early departures that may prove significant).  And I don’t doubt that McElwain will be shooting to sign a monster class in 2016 (although if you look at the chart in the linked article, it’s interesting to note that in the last decade UF never signed more than 25 kids in a single class).

Given a complete staff turnover, obvious talent shortcomings at key offensive positions and the lessened chance of the incoming class providing a massive injection of talent, it’s hard to see how Florida blows up big time and wins 10+ games this year.  Expect to hear a lot of setting the foundation for better times talk coming… and probably some indirect criticism of Boom and the somewhat bare cupboard he left.

15 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting