I’m laughing so hard over this.
Daily Archives: April 9, 2021
Tom Fornelli has a change of heart about college football’s postseason.
All through the BCS era, I was one of the many loud, obnoxious voices calling for a postseason playoff. I yelled about how little sense it made that a sport with over 100 teams competing just picked two at the end of the season and had them play for a national title, leaving so many others in the cold with no hope. While there will never be a perfect way to settle college football’s national title, a playoff seemed like a logical idea that would move us closer to perfect.
But it hasn’t. The College Football Playoff has made the sport worse in a lot of ways. At least with the BCS, there was a cut-and-dry approach to how the two teams that would play were to be determined. It was a combination of computer polls and the Coaches Poll. Put all the numbers in a formula, and that formula would spit out the rankings, and we were done. Every week we’d get an update on them following the games, and we’d get on with our lives.
Now, all we do is debate which team should be No. 4 and whether it’s fair that teams from Group of Five conferences have no chance. Instead of a set of rankings, we have a group of rotating characters with personal biases of their own gathering in a room (or on Zoom) and ranking teams based on whatever criteria fits at the time.
I hear where he’s coming from, although I think he’s romanticizing the BCS more than it deserves to be. Yes, the CFP selection committee blows, but let’s not forget that a major part of the BCS formula was a Coaches Poll that was prone to bias/conflicts of interest (not to mention coaches who didn’t give a shit about voting in the first place).
The other problem with the BCS?
Now, Jerry’s an Auburn fan, so 2004 is always gonna resonate for him, but it’s still a fair point he raises. There are enough seasons when three teams are legitimate contenders for a national title to prefer a system that accommodates that scenario. College football’s postseason problem is that there are almost no years when it goes into a postseason with more than four legit contenders. (Another problem is that playoff expansion is going to wreck the bowls for good, for what that’s worth.)
I admit this conversation is largely hypothetical, since playoff expansion (and the money that brings) is an inevitability. We all know that the dollar signs matter more than tradition or the unique aspects of college football that make it the best sport to follow. But I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a middle ground that lets the suits make bank while preserving the goal of having the season’s best teams face off for all the marbles. Let the computers call all the shots? Play the bowl games first and then pick the top two teams afterwards?
Frankly, as the years pass, I find myself more enamored of a plan a drunk LSU fan posted that I mentioned at the blog a long time ago: make the postseason field match the results of the regular season. If it’s a year when there are two clear cut contenders, make it a one-game playoff. 2019? Okay, four-team field. And when you get that 2007, once in a blue moon, crazy ending, go crazy with an eight-team playoff. I used to think TV wouldn’t like that, but when Mickey controls the entire postseason, my bet is this would be something it could work with.
Is it a waste of time to speculate? Maybe. (Okay, probably.) You got any better ideas? Let’s hear ’em.
David Wunderlich does a good job painting a picture of how Dan Mullen has had to scramble to assemble a functional receiving corps, balanced through four/five levels of classes. And scramble is right: Muschamp and McElwain left a mess at the position for Mullen to deal with. (Although, to be fair, McElwain also left Mullen Pitts, which was nice.)
Anyway, the Gators enter 2021 with the talent spread evenly well through the classes. As David puts it,
Strategic transfers brought immediate help and prevented balance from getting out of whack, and they allowed the pipeline of high school recruits to stabilize. Unless a guy they can’t pass up comes knocking on the door next offseason, UF should finally go two straight years under Mullen without taking a transfer receiver across 2021 and 2022.
The question is, exactly how talented is the talent?
This all may end up sounding like sunshine pumping if the ’21 group underwhelms. Copeland is proven enough, but Shorter was a work in progress as he learned the playbook last fall and few others have seen the field much. However, Gonzales’s track record in player development is sterling enough that he earned the benefit of the doubt long ago. If the group truly is as deep in quality as Mullen made it sound in his spring pressers, a years-long process of roster maneuvering will have paid off.
Grimes and Toney represent a lot of production that has to be replaced. That may be another reason why Mullen is going to a more run-heavy offense this season.
Amateurism romantics, college athletics as you know them ended and you weren’t even aware it happened!
Instead of seeing boosters with million dollar paychecks everywhere, you really should be pondering social media a whole lot more, because that’s where the bulk of the NIL money will be coming from. (I know, that’s gonna be tough for y’all. But try.)
It’s not what you think.
You’ll enjoy watching these as much as I did.
No doubt some of you have suggestions for improvement for Kirbs. LOL. Have at it in the comments.