Modern times

Excellent topic suggestion from Bud Elliott here:

And a few responses:

What’s your take?


Filed under College Football

32 responses to “Modern times

  1. I only differ from you in that the Jort-wearing crowd in and around Hogtown believes college football only started being played in 1990.


  2. Derek

    I’d probably go with 1/1/84. The Hurricanes clip what was thought to be the best college football team ever for a National Title. Teams begin to start thinking about passing the ball and overall team speed. Three yards and a cloud of dust and the split 60 defense become relics. Recruiting begins to change. That timing coincides with the USFL and early departures which then leads to college teams recruiting on the premise that they provide NFL prep as the primary appeal while an appeal to the college/educational experience becomes secondary.

    It didn’t happen over night but that was the beginning of the NFL-lite approach to college football. Before they were nearly entirely different games and recruits didn’t pick schools based upon prep for the next level.

    One should also note that around this same time the talent that was once going North to the Big Ten and ND first out of necessity and then out of preference begins to wane and kids from the South start playing more closely to home.

    Speed becomes a priority while at the same time the appeal of playing for X college in the south has less to do with longtime loyalties or history and more to do with what earning opportunities the school is presenting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You got the year right, but missed on the reason why: NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma.

      That’s the origin of the money chase that has consumed college football for more than three decades. It’s led to conference expansion and realignment, postseason expansion, broadcast “partnerships” and player compensation. And, in the bigger picture, it’s helped fuel college football’s refocus from being a sport with regional passions to more of a generic national focus.

      Liked by 7 people

      • Derek

        It certainly changed the “business” of college football, I’m not sure how much that changed the “game” of college football.


        • Tell that to every commenter here who weeps over what NLI compensation is about to do to the “game”. 😉

          BTW, perhaps you can explain how “the appeal of playing for X college in the south has less to do with longtime loyalties or history and more to do with what earning opportunities the school is presenting” is about the “game” and not the “business” of college football. I’ll hang up and listen to your answer.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Derek

            My observation of the nfl-lite recruiting technique is certainly business related and it does impact the game we’re seeing but it has little connection to broadcasting rights, coaches salaries and ticket prices. It was simply a new way of appealing to talent, in part because an appeal to tradition would have fallen on deaf ears to many of the targets, especially from schools in the sec footprint.

            The business of a recruits desire to earn a living playing football in the future is not the same as tv contracts, ticket sales and stadium concessions.

            As far as whether that appeal, or what is proposed in terms of NLI, has, or will have, a deleterious effect on the game itself, from my vantage point I thought the game of college football was better when what mattered most to the players wasn’t their future earning potential. I’m not certain that focusing on CURRENT earning potential will be an improvement.

            I think we saw a lot more passion from the players in the college game in the past than we do now. I think there’s been a bit of slide in those terms. I think thats partly why we see so much of the same teams year after year. No one is motivating a team to greatness. They are recruiting a team to greatness on the promise of money with the only debate being one of timing. The eternal glory of championships is secondary.

            Liked by 1 person

    • This is a good call. I would have gone with sometime in the 90s, but this makes more sense.

      Miami was an infection point that changed everything.


  3. The expansion of tv markets leading to the expansion of bowls leading to the expansion of conferences leading to a computer picking champions leading to a 2 team playoff leading to a 4 team playoff. All out of that anitrust tv dealio thingy. 2 things drive CFB and thats tvs and vegas. And thats your modern era. When virtually every game is televised somewhere on some something.

    Also, every generation thinks their era is the modern era. lol. in 20 years the modern era will be the 4 team play off leading to the 8 team playoff.


  4. MGW

    Modern era started 1992; massive landscape shift with BCS in 1998 which also quietly started the decline; 2008 was a massive shift as well and was about the time the decline started to be noticeable; a new era will begin whenever the NIL issue is settled out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The more I think about it, 1992 has a really solid case.
      Start of conference championship games, Bowl Coalition attempts to impose some sort of order on a national title picture, the SEC had a majority of its starting QBs attempt more than 200+ passes, and more and more houses had cable, so more games to watch.


    • I’m sorry, what decline are we talking about?


  5. siskey

    I think 1998 is about right but 1992 or thereabouts is acceptable. You can argue for 2003 because that is the last time that there were two champions after having split champs in 1990, 1991, and 1997.
    My argument for 1998 is that there was the BCS and also by that time the majority of games were on cable tv. I remember in 1993 being unable to watch the ND v. FSU game in Athens for some reason or another, even though it seems like it should have been on NBC, maybe it was because FSU was an ACC team? Contrast that with today when you can watch FCS teams play one another and you can see how many more people the sport is available to on television.
    I hear the national college football guys sometimes say that the game is becoming more regional now and don’t know what to think because my era has coincided with cable tv, do any of you older guys believe that this is true? Does being able to watch your team whenever made you more myopic or are these just the opinions of people complaining because the Pac 12 sucks and the 10-12 teams who vie for the National Title are a different group than 20-30 years ago?


    • I hear the national college football guys sometimes say that the game is becoming more regional now and don’t know what to think because my era has coincided with cable tv, do any of you older guys believe that this is true?

      I’m old. I don’t know how anyone can believe that.

      Look at how much the SEC Championship has been devalued in the face of today’s Playoffs or Bust mentality.

      Liked by 1 person

      • siskey

        I agree but we may be in the minority as Georgia fans and wanting to be second in all time SEC conference championships. I know Bama fans who complain when they “only” win the SEC championship. They are by and large 10 years younger than I am so they have only really experienced the apex or have at least blocked out the years prior to Saban.
        The argument that it has become more regional may be that only teams in one region have a chance to win so the fans of teams in other places care less. Which is sort of true but even if you say the modern era started in 1980 the only teams that have won a national championship that have not won since 1998 are Georgia, Penn State, BYU, GT, Colorado, ND, Washington and Nebraska and of that group with the exception of BYU the other teams “could” win one now with the most improbable being Tech and then Colorado.



    1969 of course, I attended my first game that year. 🙂



    Good comeback to the smartass too…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Style of play definitely shifted with the Miami teams of the early to mid 80s. They played a pro-style (of course, Howard Schnellenberger (RIP) brought an NFL passing offense to them) offense that forced teams to defend the length and width of the field. Before the Canes, teams that were pass-centric were those who didn’t have the players up front to challenge the big boys. Miami showed you could win and win big with a pass-oriented offense, but they were also ferocious on defense.

    The business of college football certainly changed in 1992 with conference expansion/realignment, the conference championship games, and the introduction of the Bowl Alliance (leading to the creation of the BCS and eventually to the CFP). Much of that was the culmination of the court decision that stripped the NCAA of its claim on TV rights.


    • DawgFlan

      What Schnellenberger and LaVell Edwards started, Spurrier and Bowden finished. Through the 80’s and mid 90’s pro-style passing teams rose to compete equally with old school running teams, but run-first Nebraska still ruled into the mid 90s.

      It really changed once and for all with the talent and play style of those mid 90’s Florida and Florida St. teams. They changed their conferences and the national landscape of the sport completely, and forced even the most storied run-first programs like Oklahoma to modernize. Just look at how Jim Donnan changed from Wishbone guru OC to pro-style HC in a few short years.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Remember the Quincy

    Listening to the podcast linked in this story, I found an interesting nugget: Dan Mullen has talked about how “comfortable” and “efficient” he has become with recruiting via Zoom, rather than in person. If there’s one person I would have expected to bitch about resuming in person recruiting, it would be the Portal Master.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. RangerRuss

    1970 USCw beating Bama.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Former Fan

    I would argue from a perspective of what changed the game…

    Rules changes. Why did they change? And so on.

    So Senator makes a good point about the 1984 TV deals. But when the offenses were allowed to block more down field (i.e. RPOs where linemen are 5 yards down the line of scrimage) would be a key point. But would those rules have changed without the TV deal?

    The time change Staples pointed out was key too. But again, does that happen without the money issue?


  12. Granthams Replacement

    In the early 80s when UGA and OU sued the ncaa. Once TV took over the $$$$ flowed in and changed how the game is managed. Rules were changed to create more offense, coaching salaries skyrocketed, facilities turned into Taj Mahals, and recruiting morphed into a WWE like cult obsession.

    Mid September opening games, 2 pm kickoffs, and no TV timeouts looks really good right now. We didn’t know how good we had it with Munson calling away games.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. sirjackshea1980

    “Sam Cunningham did more to integrate Alabama in 60 minutes than Martin Luther King did in 20 years.” Jerry Claiborne


  14. rigger92

    I vote ‘92 for reasons already stated.

    I submit 2014 for the “business” side. The launch of the SEC network changed everything for a great many people in that every game, every week, is televised. All of us that haven’t lived in GA from ‘92-present can now see every game. It was torture back in the ‘90’s where I could not get radio and could only see 2 games/year. I just think that the fact that every fan of every school can now be fully engaged all season and even the off season is underrated. It’s a combination of internet/TV/devices that has made the significant money jump for the sport.

    Liked by 1 person