Daily Archives: August 5, 2021

Is Ross healthy?

With regard to the opener, one thing I’ve been keeping an eye on is the health of Justyn Ross.  If he plays, he will be a major factor, especially if it’s true that Clemson plans on using him out of the slot.  (That will be a real test for whomever lines up at STAR.)

I still haven’t seen anything announcing he’s fully ready to go, which is understandable given the nature of his injury.  This, from yesterday, is the clearest thing I’ve seen so far:

It strikes me that “he’s headed for full clearance” is doing some lifting there.  We shall see what we shall see.

23 Comments

Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake

12, inevitable

One more thing about spiting Greg Sankey and the plan to expand the CFP to twelve:  the mid-majors are going to fight that.

He also praised the College Football Playoff board recommended the playoff expand to 12 teams. With the AAC sending UCF, Memphis and Cincinnati to New Year’s Six bowl games in the past four seasons, Aresco said expansion is “a meritocratic approach” that gives more teams a chance to compete for a national championship.

“It will also energize college football, I believe, as so many more teams will become relevant and I think it’s going to likely lead to higher ratings,” Aresco said. “I’m all for the process moving ahead if, in fact, there is strong support for it.”

Of course he is.  So is Notre Dame.  So is (even if they won’t admit it out loud right now) the Pac-12.  There are too many vested interests that want playoff expansion to prevent it from happening, hurt fee fees or not.

The only question is whether they have the patience to wait until the current contract with Mickey runs out, in order to have the opportunity to bid it out on the open market.  My bet is that’s a 50/50 proposition, at best.  We’ll see.

11 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Lack of institutional control

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m seeing a weird bit of symmetry framing what looks like the structural change that will permanently affect college football as we know it:  on one end, NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma; on the other, the departure of Oklahoma (and Texas) for the SEC.

It’s all about the money, of course.  The lawsuit ended the NCAA’s complete control over televised broadcast rights.  The conference realignment move is simply a culmination of where college athletics is at now as a result of the lawsuit.

As Jay Bilas ($$) put it,

… College sports are a multibillion-dollar entertainment industry. The most profitable conferences are media rights consortia that are each the equivalent of the NFL and NBA in revenue generation, profitability and in the way they are run. While the industry claims that college sports isn’t about money, it absolutely is about money. Going forward, conferences like the SEC and Big Ten will be the dominant forces, not the NCAA. And those conferences will do what is in their best interests to be dominant players in the marketplace in this cutthroat business. That is called competition.

College sports are not the minor leagues for the pros. Minor leagues do not have multibillion-dollar media rights deals and pay coaches and administrators millions. College sports are major league in every way.

The fan and fan interest is being catered to in college sports, and all decisions are made because of fan interest and behavior.  [Emphasis added.]

That last point is huge.  We’re in a new era now.  All that CFP debate over best versus deserving is irrelevant.  What matters now is how to structure things to attract the greatest viewership.  (And, yes, there is irony in how conferences have ditched the passion of traditional rivalries in the name of realignment.)

That’s why Texas and Oklahoma left.  That’s why Greg Sankey welcomed them with open arms.

If you want to be a college football have now, you’d better have a compelling product to serve.  The SEC and the Big Ten do presently.  The other P5 conferences, not so much.  And Sankey’s kneecapping pretty much insures they don’t have many attractive options available to change that.

Take, for example, this Twitter thread on why Pac-12 expansion by means of the tattered remains of the Big 12 is unattractive.  None of the orphaned programs have the football viewership or the revenues to make them a net plus in a conference switch.  (Why would you want to bring in a program that dilutes your members’ existing revenue streams?)  The only program left in the Big 12 that moves any needle is Kansas basketball, and here’s the problem with that:

There are many programs that would generate a happy outcome.  Notre Dame would be a winner, but the Irish are stubbornly clinging to their independence and, in any event, are tied to the ACC for a while if they want to join a conference.  Clemson and FSU?  Maybe yes to the former, but not so much the latter.  Really the best option a Pac-12 has in the immediate future is to make its existing set up a more attractive product for the market, something that Larry Scott was a complete flop in achieving.  Good luck with that, fellas.

This is the world that Oklahoma has fashioned.  As long as it’s about the money, which is what it’s been about for thirty years, basically, college football is never going back.  The administrators on the losing side aren’t happy about it, but that’s their reward for failing to take the steps necessary to keep their conferences financially relevant.

34 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Why I YPP

Here’s a good question:

And here’s Josh’s response.

As a general rule of thumb based on the last four seasons, you’d better create a net YPP of 2+ if you want a realistic shot at the CFP (the four-team version, that is).  And if you want to win, you’d better wind up north of 2.5.  It doesn’t matter how you get there — track Alabama’s numbers over those four years, for example — just that you do get there.

This is why I like net YPP best, when it comes to advanced stats.  It may not be perfect, but it’s relatively easy to understand and it’s a good judge of a team’s overall quality.

Realistically speaking, then, Georgia probably has to bump its offensive YPP up a full yard over the 2020 number to make the CFP field this season, assuming it can maintain its defensive excellence.  Is that doable?  Well, put it this way:  a 7.21 ypp would be the best in the program’s history.  That is the world Kirby Smart now coaches in.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate

That is the question, and the general consensus appears to be forming that if you play college football and choose the latter, you’re going to have to pay for it.  Here are the new NCAA guidelines, for example.

Unvaccinated college athletes should be tested weekly for COVID-19, wear masks in most situations and be quarantined if exposed to the virus, while vaccinated individuals should not be tested routinely, according to the NCAA’s latest health and safety recommendations released Wednesday.

The updated guidance mostly follow CDC recommendations and come as football practice starts across the country. They also come at a time when the highly transmissible delta variant has led to some regional spikes in COVID infections.

The NCAA recommends fully vaccinated individuals not be subjected surveillance testing before or during the season unless they exhibit symptoms, or based on a risk assessment of a documented close contact with COVID-19.

While unvaccinated individuals would have to quarantine if they came in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, those who are vaccinated could remain with the team while masking in public indoor settings for up to 14 days. That period of time could be shortened by a negative test or if an assessment determines the contact was not high risk.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 would need to be in isolation for 10 days, and at least 24 hours after not needing medication to get past a fever.

For an individual player, that’s a pain in the ass.  For a team, it’s something that the conferences don’t sound like they’re willing to accommodate as they tried to in 2020 ($$).

“We have not built in time for rescheduling,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said at media days. “(Last year’s) roster minimums existed with the understanding that we would have the opportunity for rescheduling. If you don’t have places to put games, you need to be healthy and play games as scheduled. Period.

“My motivation is to maximize the health of our teams so we can be back to the normal experience.”

To put it more bluntly, Greg Sankey doesn’t have time for that shit anymore.  Speaking of which, take it from the master:

… as Alabama coach Nick Saban put it in reference to his own roster, which at last count was about 90 percent vaccinated, “(Players) have a competitive decision to make on how it impacts their ability to play in games, because with the vaccine you probably have a better chance.

“Without it, you have a bigger chance that something could happen that may keep you from being on the field, which doesn’t enhance your personal development. And: How does it affect the team if you bring it to the team?”

76 Comments

Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

Dear Attorney General

Senator from Kansas asks the Justice Department to investigate ESPN for potential antitrust violations related to Oklahoma and Texas leaving the Big 12 for the SEC.

… Because they have the television rights to the SEC they will benefit from the additions of Texas and Oklahoma immensely. Conveniently, the ESPN-SEC deal begins in 2024 and their contract expires with the Big XII only a year later when the teams are slated to join the SEC.

While the terms of the contract are unknown to me, it’s important to note the U.S. Supreme Court has decided that the exclusive right to televise all league games is a violation of anti-trust laws. While the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 was passed to overturn this decision for professional football, college football broadcast packages are not subject to the antitrust exemption in that law.

While the terms of the contract are unknown to me…” is a short way of saying “I have no idea what’s going on, but my constituents want me to yell about it anyway”.  Politicians, man.

3 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Political Wankery

TFW you can’t leave your hat on

Hey, remember that innocent question I asked yesterday?

On a more serious note, let’s say these other conferences really intend to sulk badly enough to risk costing themselves prestige and money. Is there any possibility those feelings would carry over to the selection committee’s deliberations?

Maybe it’s not that innocent.

The man in charge of Kansas State’s athletic department is about to serve on one of the most prominent working groups in college football.

Gene Taylor has been chosen to join the College Football Playoff selection committee ahead of the upcoming season, according to a pair of K-State sources.

… Taylor will replace Texas athletics director Chris Del Conte on the selection committee. Del Conte was announced as one of the playoff committee’s five newest members in January, but he is stepping down from his role with the playoff because of the conflicting interests that now exist with Texas departing the Big 12 for the SEC along with Oklahoma, according to sources.

The Big 12 will turn to Taylor as its representative on the committee.

I hope these people aren’t going to make me long for the days of the Coaches Poll being part of the BCS.

11 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Musical palate cleanser, romantic music player edition

iTunes cranked these out back to back last night… in a mood, of sorts.  Maybe I should have lit a couple of candles.

As a bonus, I never thought of “In A Manner of Speaking” as a sing along, but I guess I’m wrong about that:

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized