Jeebus, that was fast.
Daily Archives: July 14, 2020
It’s now safe to say that Justin Fields was the better quarterback option than Jake Fromm. The 2019 season pretty definitively proved that…
I can’t help but wonder what ol’ Connor was thinking about Fromm and Fields at the time Smart made the obvious call to start the quarterback who led his team to a Rose Bowl win and came within a whisker of winning a national title as a true freshman quarterback, though.
Anyway, this is food for thought for his real question — what did Kirby Smart learn from doing something that nobody in America thought was the wrong decision (outside of the Fields clan, that is)? And how will he apply the lesson to a completely different set of facts?
We’ll learn the answer to that in a couple of years, after Riley has the opportunity to look back and reflect on what Kirby should have known then.
Apparently, this is how Ray Goff goes these days:
Inside, but happy…
You run a P5 conference. You’ve got a real problem on your hands. Your schools need that sweet, sweet TV money, but exposing amateur athletes to a pandemic to make a few bucks is a PR nightmare. Playing a full fall schedule is already out of the question and even a partial fall schedule appears to be a struggle. Shifting to the spring generates a different set of problematic consequences.
What to do? Why not split the baby?
One FBS conference commissioner whose league ran spring football models in the early weeks of the pandemic (after the NCAA canceled its basketball tournaments and other championship events) told ESPN that “it’s time to pull that back out, dust it off and see where we are.”
“Lots of complications,” the commissioner said. “Obviously not first choice, but I think we can find a way to make it work. Maybe not a full season, maybe a split season. It has to be an option at this point.”
Think about it. Get in four or five games in the fall and do the same in the first part of 2021. Space it out right and you give the kids (and maybe some coaches) enough time to bounce back from being exposed mid-season and (just as importantly) finish your business in plenty of time before the NFL draft. Hell, if you really get lucky, they might find a working vaccine before you finish the 2021 part.
It’s got something for everybody — the procrastinators like Sankey; the northern schools, which won’t have to play as many games in cold weather; Mickey (of course); fans who’ll take their college football in any form they can get. Well, almost everybody… the mid-majors and lower division teams are going to get screwed, but that was a given, anyway.
What do you think?
It’s a conspiracy, PAWWWLLL!!!
Georgia, you really know you’ve made it when rival fans believe you have juice with the NCAA.
Reality, however, is something of a beyotch.
If Mays gets turned down, some heads are gonna explode.
They had a meeting for this?
No decisions regarding the SEC football season were made Monday during an in-person meeting of conference officials at the SEC office in Birmingham, Alabama, but commissioner Greg Sankey reiterated that the “critical decisions” will be made later this month, according to a release.
“It is clear that current circumstances related to COVID-19 must improve and we will continue to closely monitor developments around the virus on a daily basis,” Sankey said. “In the coming weeks we will continue to meet regularly with campus leaders via videoconferences and gather relevant information while guided by medical advisers. We believe that late July will provide the best clarity for making the important decisions ahead of us.”
What are they going to learn in two weeks that they already don’t know? I can only think of one relevant thing.
The athletic directors also discussed scheduling options for fall competition, and Sankey did address the nonconference decisions made by other leagues.
“We have no common games with the Big Ten. The impact of their decision is indirect,” he said. “We did have two games with the Pac-12. We’ve had minimal impact to our direct schedule.”
Tell that to Alabama and the $6 million check that just got flushed down the toilet. But I digress. When the ACC follows the lead of the Big Ten and the Pac-12, that impact will no longer be minimal.
Here’s Sankey’s problem and why he’s procrastinating. On the one side, he’s got this rock:
As of late Sunday night, the mood inside the league is “emphatic” about playing a football season this fall, according to a source at one SEC program. Unlike the Big Ten or Pac-12, there is no consensus among schools who spoke to Banner Society regarding eliminating non-conference games.
And on the other, this hard place:
Here’s the cruel truth about how college football leaders approached football this fall: The entirety of their plan to return was based on hope. Hope that the COVID-19 would go away. Hope that college campuses wouldn’t be a petri dish for the virus. Hope that they could figure out a way to play a contact sport in a time of mandatory social distancing. Hope for a vaccine to keep players healthy and seats full.
Okay, that’s not entirely fair. Nobody expected the virus to “go away”. What they did hope was that, as has been the case in many countries, we’d get a grip on the coronavirus and that some semblance of normal life would resume by the fall.
“The trends are not what we desired, not what we had experienced earlier in the summer. Pretty much in the wrong direction,” Sankey said. “That’s problematic. But that doesn’t mean that’s the finish line.”
Without assigning blame, that simply hasn’t happened. Sankey and his ADs know the COVID happy talk is nothing more than that. But Sankey and his ADs don’t want to be the folks to do this, either:
“Ultimately, no one is playing football in the fall,” said a high-ranking college official. “It’s just a matter of how it unfolds. As soon one of the ‘autonomy five’ or Power Five conferences makes a decision, that’s going to end it.”
So, where does it go from here? In drips and drabs, I’m guessing. Once the ACC drops non-conference play, as it is expected to do, the SEC will have to go the same route. Expect Sankey at month’s end to announce a goal of playing a ten-game conference-only schedule if the trends permit it… and watch that number shrink over time to nine… eight… if they don’t, until some P5 conference announces no fall ball as a matter of last resort.
There’s only so far Sankey can kick that can.
It says so much about the business that the only people Dennis Dodd could get to speak on the record about coaches’ agents owning athletic directors were two retired ADs and a sports lawyer who said,
“You have so few agents representing the vast majority of Power Five coaches, it makes it easier to control the market,” said Darren Heitner, a South-Florida based attorney specializing in sports law. “[They’re not going to] allow individuals to go against the grain and agree to a lower-term deal.”
I can’t wait to see what happens the first time an AD tries the “it’s [now] a different market” argument with Jimmy Sexton.
This may be the most revealing thing Urban Meyer has ever said:
… When I was in the SEC, the attitude was how to dominate. When you talk about college football, it’s about recruiting and that’s all they talked about in the SEC. It’s about players, it’s about national championships, it’s about getting to the show. They didn’t care about anything else other than themselves. You kind of admire that… [Emphasis added.]
“You kind of admire that”? Shit, that was the credo he lived by in Gainesville.
Even when it’s election season. Massive burn attempt here:
Oh, and speaking of Trump…
That ought to win him a few votes in Tuscaloosa.
Whoever said we get the politicians we deserve had a gift for understatement.
[Ed. note: it bears repeating — don’t take the comment thread off track, please. The Playpen is only a day away.]
What a time to be alive, eh?