Daily Archives: September 8, 2017

It’s bucket list time.

As you read this, I’ll have touched down in the Windy City.  I’ll spend today and tonight in Chicago, and cruise down to South Bend tomorrow for the game.

No laptop made the trip with me, I’m afraid, so whatever posting you’ll get in the next 48 hours will come via my trusty cell phone… not much in other words.

So, it almost goes without saying:  behave, you scamps.



Filed under GTP Stuff

“You saw Notre Dame every weekend.”

Ivan Maisel makes an intriguing argument:  that as the focus of college football shifts from regional to national appeal, Notre Dame’s uniquely national status is in the process of being eclipsed.

Once upon a time, Notre Dame served as the gold standard in college football. It was a national program in a regional sport.

“If you lived in this part of the country, you were interested in the SEC, period,” said Roy Kramer, who retired in 2002 after 12 years as Southeastern Conference commissioner and moved to Tennessee. “The only other entity with name recognition was Notre Dame.”

In the 1960s and ’70s, when the NCAA controlled its members’ TV rights and allowed no team to be televised more than two or three times a year, only one school had a nationally syndicated highlights show that ran on Sundays.

“You saw Notre Dame every weekend,” former Fighting Irish coach Tyrone Willingham said. “If they weren’t on the Saturday broadcast, I know, like a lot of kids, I ran home from church at noon to catch Notre Dame highlights.”

In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA could not demand control of a program’s TV rights as a condition of membership. Those rights belong to the schools. Seven years later, in 1991, Notre Dame sold its TV rights to NBC. A school with its own network … that, as it turned out, became just one more game in a sea of Saturday football.

The Supreme Court decision triggered the rise of power among the conferences, which packaged their members’ rights to sell to the TV networks. These days, every team is shown to someone pretty much every week.

Add to that what a college football playoff is doing to shape the arc of the regular season, and it’s hard to avoid a perception of erosion.  Or, as Maisel puts it, “Notre Dame no longer stands above the rest. It stands above most.”

That’s reflected in the postseason pot of money.

In the original iteration of the BCS, when the conferences needed Notre Dame to participate to legitimize the format, Notre Dame received a conference-sized payout for making a BCS bowl. For instance, in 2005, the Irish received $14.5 million for playing in the Fiesta Bowl, the same as the Big Ten received and shared among its members for Ohio State being on the other sideline.

But beginning the following year, the Irish received only $4.5 million per BCS gig, along with a guarantee of $1.3 million annually whether they reached a BCS bowl or not. In the College Football Playoff era, Notre Dame received $2.83 million last season. The Power Five conferences split $55 million among their 65 members.

Makes you wonder if the pride of independence is worth the money the school is letting slide.



Filed under Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

Go West, young Tiger.

For some reason, Jeff Long adds his voice in support of Missouri changing divisions.

“My position…was that we should work over time to find a way for Missouri to be in the (SEC) West just because of geographic proximity, their student-athletes travel and all those kind of things,” Long said. “I think it’d make for better balance and better balance for Missouri if they were in the West.”

That’s very thoughtful on his part.  Except Missouri doesn’t sound like it’s interested in moving.

Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk made clear to AL.com this summer he liked his school’s current division home.

“I think we’re fine and like where we are at,” Sterk said. “There’s been no discussion within the conference and with the commissioner about anything different. Until that point, I’m not going to speculate. But I can say we like where we are at. We’ve got schedules out until 2020 in football, so it’s something that would take a lot.”

I get why Auburn wants to get away from Alabama, but does anybody have an idea why Long would want to push this?


Filed under SEC Football

Musical palate cleanser, power pop edition

Saw a few calls for Matthew Sweet in the comments to the last MPC, so here’s a kick ass live version of “Girlfriend”.  (You’ll have to skip past the first forty seconds of an irritating Dennis Miller, but it’s worth it.)

The lead guitarist, in case you’re wondering, is Robert Quine.  Robert Quine is very good at what he does.


Filed under Uncategorized