Daily Archives: January 11, 2021

Nice one-time transfer ‘ya got there. Shame if anything happened to it.

These people are absolutely shameless.

The only way those issues are linked is that the NCAA is using one as leverage for the best deal it can obtain on the other.  Assholes.

27 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Your national title game day post

This is as good an intro as any, I suppose.

Alabama and Ohio State most recently met during the inaugural College Football Playoff in 2015. Behind coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Cardale Jones, the Buckeyes won the Allstate Sugar Bowl semifinal 42-35 and went on to a national title.

Since that loss, Nick Saban and Alabama have won two national championships and played in two other title games. Ohio State, now led by Ryan Day, is making its first trip to the championship game since winning that title in 2015.

Two of college football’s true blue bloods meet again on Monday in the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T in Miami Gardens, Florida (8 p.m. ET, ESPN and the ESPN App).

There are many similarities between the two unbeaten teams, from the collection of potential first-round NFL draft picks, to a pair of top-five scoring offenses nationally, to defenses that have uncharacteristically given up points in bunches at times this season.

Alabama and Ohio State have also dominated their conference brethren. Since the start of the 2014 season, Alabama is 59-5 against SEC opponents, and Ohio State is 59-4 against Big Ten foes.

‘Bama is currently an 8-point favorite and the over/under is 75 points.  The focus going in has been on both teams’ passing attacks, naturally enough (Alabama is first in passer rating, Ohio State is fifth), but I find myself a little curious about which team has success on the ground.

Here are the relevant yards per rush numbers and national rankings:

Ohio State averaged 5.77 yards per rush against Clemson, the seventh-best rushing defense (based on defensive ypr) in the country.  In his last two games, Trey Sermon’s been an absolute beast, averaging 30 carries a game.  I know it’s popular to say that Justin Fields is going to have to have another big game for Ohio State to win, but he’s got an awfully nice backup there whom Alabama’s defense is going to have to account for.  Can either defense stop the run in order to put more pressure on the opposing quarterback?

By the way, both teams excelled at turnover margin.  Ohio State is third nationally at +1.29 per game; Alabama, at +0.92, is twelfth.

I don’t think the Buckeyes are going to surprise the Tide the way they did Clemson, but I don’t see Alabama running away with this one, either.  There’s way too much talent on both teams, methinks.  Bottom line, I’ll take ‘Bama to win (it’s hard not to), but not to cover.

Have at it in the comments.

126 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

College football doesn’t have an entertainment problem. It has a parity problem.

I don’t think it comes as any surprise to someone who’s read this blog for any length of time that I’m not exactly enthused by the notion of college football postseason expansion.  Not that my attitude matters one whit — the powers that be are going to take expansion and run with it as soon as they see how many zeroes ESPN or whomever is willing to put on that check for the broadcast rights.  But I digress.

I was in a fairly robust debate this weekend about CFP expansion on Twitter, and I think it’s something that can be boiled down to a couple of tweets.

It’s DawgStats first point that I want to address in this post.  Quite simply, if your concern is that the way college football is currently structured severely restricts the number of teams that have a legitimate shot to play for a national title, expanding the playoffs is an ineffective way to address that.  Sure, you’ll have some fresh faces — at least at the beginning — who will be able to slap that shiny new “PLAYOFF BOUND” label on themselves.  But the idea that an eighth seed is going to run the table and beat those same two or three powerhouses after playing an extra game is wishful thinking at best.

Here’s why.  (And thanks to reader Henry for supplying the chart.)

Screenshot_2021-01-11 Fwd Where the stars are and other thoughts - mbroch gmail com - Gmail

Look at that carefully.  There is a gap that emerges after, say, the top five or six and grows enormously after 12-14.  Not so coincidentally, those are the schools that have dominated in populating the CFP fields to date.

As I said in the header, if college football has a problem, it’s a parity problem.  And playoff expansion won’t do a damned thing to address that.  (It will do wonders for ESPN viewership and fans with a Cinderella fetish, though.  And brackets!)

If college football really wants to do something about parity, that means dealing with the lack of balance on rosters throughout the sport.  The NCAA is about to do something in that regard in the very near future in terms of allowing a free, one-time transfer for football players, but it’s only a one-shot deal and even with that limitation in mind, schools pretty much had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table to allow it.

The bigger and more dramatic move to level the playing field would be to reduce the number of scholarship players allowed on an FBS school’s football roster from the current level of 85.  Such a proposal, of course, would lead to an outright rebellion on the part of the haves to keep what they perceive as their rightful status.  (Would that change if schools suddenly had to pay those players directly?  Beats me.)

That P5 schools are on board with more playoffs — of course they are, don’t kid yourselves — but are anywhere from reluctant to downright opposed to roster modifications should tell you everything you need to know about their parity concerns.  Namely, as long as it doesn’t affect the pocketbook, parity isn’t a problem for them.

Nor is it, apparently, for fans of expansion.

127 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

“And at the time, we had Jake Fromm, who was playing pretty well.”

Kirby Smart doesn’t blame Adam Sasser for Justin Fields’ departure from the program.

He blames… Trevor Lawrence?

(Fields) is a great kid, his sister plays softball here, he’s a very bight, well-rounded kid,” Smart said on a recent ‘All things Covered’ podcast hosted by his friend, Bryant McFadden. “So many players on the team really loved him.”

The fans and media were high on Fields, too, and the expectations followed him to Georgia.

“With the new recruiting age that we live in, and the hype that follows the No. 1 premier player, he and Trevor (Lawrence) were really the top two players coming out in the country,” Smart said. “and  (they) happened to be 30 miles from each other, and a lot of comparisons happened with Justin to Trevor.”

Smart revealed for the first time that Fields felt added pressure to get on the field early because of the success Lawrence was having his true freshman season at Clemson.

“It was very evident to us early on in the year that as Trevor had success, and began to play, and in the Texas A&M game (second of the season) he got in and played more and more, Justin felt the same way that, ‘Hey, I’m as good as him, and I should get an opportunity to play,’ ” Smart said.

That must have been one strange conversation for Kirby.  If only Dabo could have been a little more patient, who knows how it would have turned out at Georgia?  Or something like that…

29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Alex, I’ll take “You’re kidding, right?” for $200.

Does Scott Stricklin believe Dan Mullen has actual NFL suitors?

Forget it, Jake(h/t JP McDonough)  It’s Jimmy Sexton.

17 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

They’ll do it every time.

You wanna know the difference between not giving a fuck and having no more fucks to give?

Shot.

NCAA President Mark Emmert on Saturday said in a letter to the Justice Department’s antitrust division leader that he has “strongly recommended” to association governing groups that they delay votes scheduled for this week on proposed changes to rules regarding athletes’ ability to transfer and to make money from the use of their names, images and likenesses.

Emmert said in the letter the association believes its rules are “fully compliant” with antitrust law…

Chaser.

On Saturday evening, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim offered a sharply worded reply in which he not only appeared to take issue with Emmert’s assessment of the association’s antitrust compliance, but also raised the issue of how that situation impacts athletes of color and from challenging socio-economic circumstances. He seemed to criticize the NCAA not for delaying a vote on the current transfer and name, image and likeness rules proposals, but for not developing proposals that would allow the NCAA to comply with antitrust law.

“As I indicated in my correspondence to Dr. Emmert, the NCAA, as a collective rule-making body is not immune from the antitrust laws,” Delrahim said in an email to USA TODAY Sports. “Its rules must be the least restrictive possible so as not to illegally harm competition.

“The Division welcomes further discussion of these matters with the NCAA, however, it is troubling that the NCAA continues its process delays to avoid addressing antitrust concerns to the detriment of college athletes, many of whom come from African-American and other diverse communities or come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.”

You know how this will end, right?  The NCAA will lose and its response will be to fret about how the new normal will hurt college athletes.

4 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Musical palate cleanser, young love edition

Let’s get the week started with this peppy little number:

Come for the power pop; stay for the pubescent Rob Lowe.

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized