Daily Archives: January 29, 2015

Another fight over tradition

And this one’s a doozy.

The College Football Playoff’s management committee will discuss Navy’s eligibility for this season’s New Year’s Six bowls because of the academy’s new conference affiliation and the timing of its annual game against Army.

Navy will join the American Athletic Conference in the fall.

The commissioners’ concern is if the Midshipmen are ranked high enough to earn one of the New Year’s Six bowl bids — and then lose the following week to Army. That loss would not count toward Navy’s final ranking, penalizing other teams that would have earned a New Year’s Six bowl bid if the loss was factored in.

When money and college football are involved, it’s a no-brainer to follow the money, but in this case, the PR optics are horrendous.  And don’t think the grand poobahs of the sport aren’t aware of that.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby best described the delicate matter facing the management committee.

“Given the rich history of the Army-Navy game, its patriotic significance and pageantry, I can appreciate the desire of the academies to play on a stand-alone date with the eyes of the nation able to watch,” Bowlsby said. “However at this juncture, I’m not sure how best to address the impact of the game’s outcome on the CFP given Navy’s move into the American Athletic Conference, and the potential for it to secure a spot in the structure as a conference champion, or highly ranked non-champion.

“I will want to discuss this possibility and viable options with my FBS commissioner colleagues before formulating a recommended course.”

Translation: oh, shit, do I have to make a decision?

Unfortunately, that’s what they pay you the big bucks for, Bob.

The problem for these guys is that crapping on the military is a spectacularly bad idea for a group that is already making mouth noises about needing Congressional help on the antitrust front.  But the other mid-major conferences aren’t going to let the CFP folks off the hook, because, money.

The likely solution?  Deflect the debate away from Army and Navy and make it a it’s-the-principle-of-the-thing call.

MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher and Benson also indicated the policy needs to be reviewed. Besides Navy and Army, another possibility, a commissioner suggested, is what if other schools opt to play the week after the final rankings are released and, win or lose, would remain eligible for the New Year’s Six bowls? Also, what would keep independents Notre Dame and BYU from trying to schedule a 13th game the week after the final rankings?

Yeah, what if, bitchez?

Here’s the thing – no other schools besides those two are playing after the final rankings.  How hard would it be to prohibit any other schools from doing so?  Not very, except that’s not really the issue here.

Swarbrick said it’s important to maintain college football’s traditions.

“You want to try and honor and preserve traditions — look at how we protected the bowls,” another commissioner said. “Army-Navy is one of the more significant traditions in college football. How do you preserve that tradition without unsettling the basic elements of the playoff structure?”

One commissioner said 126 of the 128 FBS teams are conforming because of the College Football Playoff — except for Army and Navy, who play the only game after the rankings are released.

“That,” the commissioner said, “is the fundamental tension.”

I’m afraid this is a war the service academies aren’t gonna win.  College football’s most important tradition is undefeated.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness

I just can’t do it, ctd.

There’s another reason I don’t care to get in the weeds figuring out what each twitch from a recruit means.  It’s a not-seeing-the-forest-for-the-trees kind of thing for me – what one recruit may or may not do doesn’t matter in the vast scheme of things.  It’s the overall quality of the signing class that counts and the consistency of a program’s recruiting that is how success should be measured.

And that’s not something you can get a handle on until signing day, if then.  Because some five-stars don’t pan out, while some sleepers do.  (Although there’s a reason top programs chase top recruits – the odds for success are better.)  Even so, there’s always the chance, as we know, that it never comes together completely:  “The only “five-star” teams that never played for a title in the BCS era are Georgia and Michigan…”.  Just another reminder that while recruiting counts big, roster management counts bigger and that’s an area where Mark Richt merits all the criticism he’s had lobbed at him over the years.

Happily, that appears to be on the mend.  And that’s what I’ll look at in a week.  Did Georgia do a good job overall filling its needs, both from a quality and a quantity standpoint?  If so, the rest doesn’t matter to me.

So, wake me when it’s over.  I’ll get off my soapbox then.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Thursday morning buffet

Here you go.


Filed under 'Cock Envy, Academics? Academics., Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

“We’re very pleased and happy that Todd is going to be staying at the University of Louisville.”

‘Cause you know if there is one guy who appreciates loyalty to a college football program, it’s Bobby Petrino.

Although it sounds like Grantham’s decision was more about the Raydahs than Louisville.


Filed under Fall and Rise of Bobby Petrino