Daily Archives: January 19, 2022

Validation, if you need it

Bill Connelly ($$) ranked all 32 teams that have played in the CFP, by this set of criteria:

I derived this list, as I usually do, through a combination of numbers (primarily, my SP+ ratings) and my personal opinions. Start with the stats, then adjust for actual CFP performance and any other criteria that feels relevant.

Your current national champs are fourth on his list, the highest ranked team that didn’t finish undefeated.

4. 2021 Georgia (14-1)
CFP result: Beat Michigan 34-11; beat Alabama 33-18

Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs were far and away the best team of the season’s first three months, combining steady and efficient offense with college football’s most consistently dominant defense in years. Only Bama scored more than 17 points on the Dawgs, who lost to the Tide in the SEC championship game but rebounded to pen a happy ending and, with help from a game-clinching Kelee Ringo pick-six, win their first national title in 41 years.

That doesn’t suck.

36 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

The power of inclusiveness

Stewart Mandel’s logic ($$) escapes me here:

I will continue to shout this from the rooftop: Four teams is plenty sufficient to crown a national champion.

What I failed to anticipate, and what ultimately drove me to change my stance on expansion, is the way a small number of teams, nearly all of them from the same region, have come to dominate the CFP, which itself has come to dominate the sport. It’s negatively impacting national interest in the sport (as evidenced by the two lowest-rated title games coming in the past two seasons) and turning what should be the crescendo of the season into largely an anticlimactic letdown, especially with so many semifinal blowouts and the diminished prestige of the other New Year’s Six bowls.

No Playoff format is going to change which teams dominate the sport, or the scores of the semifinals, but making it a more inclusive event should keep more fan bases in all parts of the country invested in the entire season and restore importance. You’ll very likely get some entertaining early-round games where the teams are more evenly matched and you’ll restore importance to the bowls hosting those games. And believe it or not, you may actually find yourself less bothered by an Alabama-Georgia title game since the teams had to win multiple Playoff games to get there.

I mean, in the vast scheme of things, it’s irrelevant, because the suits chasing expansion are only doing it for the money.  But just because I won’t waste any time getting worked up over his reasoning doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly dumb.  I mean, a Georgia-Alabama game will be more credible if they blow out two teams instead of one along the way?  Who thinks like that?

89 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Links

Making things better

In light of Kirby Smart’s comments about his college football concerns, I thought Finebaum, of all people, posed an interesting question with this:

Throw NIL regulation into the mix, while you’re at it.  If you were in charge, which of the three would you prioritize, why and how would you go about doing it?  (By the way, with regard to the last question, try to be realistic about that.  Making a proposal that would violate antitrust law, for example, isn’t much of a suggestion.)

Have at it in the comments.

58 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness, Transfers Are For Coaches.

You weren’t serious about that?

Dennis Dodd reports that the Big 12, in expanding to fourteen teams until Oklahoma and Texas officially split, will be going back to a two-division format, with those two schools placed in separate divisions, presumably so that when they ultimately depart, there won’t be much of a disruption.

Then, again…

One working group member joked that Texas and Oklahoma should be placed in the same division to ensure that at least one of the programs wouldn’t play for the football championship. The two superpowers ripped apart the Big 12 and the FBS with their July decision to leave to the SEC.

He keeds, he keeds.  I think.

14 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football

Tate, we hardly knew ye.

A legendary college football career comes to a close.

UNLV quarterback and former five-star recruit Tate Martell has retired from football, a program spokesperson confirmed to the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Andy Yamashita. Franchise Sports Media’s Joe Arrigo was the first to report the news.

Martell was originally committed to Ohio State and spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons there, redshirting his freshman year. He transferred to Miami, but completed only one pass in his two seasons with the Hurricanes. He only appeared in two games in 2020 and didn’t register a pass after D’Eriq King won the starting job.

The Athletic reported that he would once again enter the transfer portal in January 2021. He then joined UNLV, but he only completed two of his six pass attempts this past season.

Martell, who was the nation’s No. 2 dual-threat quarterback according to 247Sports before he signed to Ohio State in 2017, is going to focus on his business ventures, per Franchise Sports Media.

From this pointed advice to Justin Fields…

Bo Tilly 🇰🇷✌🏽 on Twitter: "Tate Martell: “don't swing and miss....especially not your second time...” Justin Fields hearing Tate Martell is gonna be QB3 at Miami. 😂 https://t.co/dvk1m5jMfl" / Twitter

… to focusing on business ventures is quite the journey.  Hard to believe he didn’t want to try to take advantage of the extra COVID year somewhere.  Well… maybe not so hard.

23 Comments

Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

Decided schematic advantage, my ass

Inject this directly into my veins ($$):

Most of the time when a coach gets fired, the writing is on the wall long before he has a losing season. Justin Fuente at Virginia Tech. Dan Mullen at Florida. Clay Helton at USC. The list of coaches in that same boat goes on. All of these guys were failing to meet expectations in the recruiting realm, then boom, a losing season turns into a firing. The same thing applies for coaches who have been recruiting well. How many times did I write in this space that Kirby Smart was eventually going to win a national title? All you have to do is look at the recruiting rankings.

When the inevitable round of 2022 best coaches lists turns up, how many pundits who had Mullen ranked ahead of Smart last year are going to acknowledge they didn’t know what they were talking about?

18 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Recruiting

Pent-up demand

Think we weren’t ready to celebrate a natty?

… Georgia’s fanbase is making history. According to Sportico.com, the sales of Georgia’s championship gear on Fanatics currently sits as the all-time highest clip in the company’s history.

“In less than 24 hours, Fanatics sold more Georgia title merchandise than it did in the 30 days after Alabama won last year. That Alabama team was the company’s previous top-selling college football champion.”

I guess it really does mean more.

While we’re on the subject, this is probably as good a place as any to let us know where you’ve found national championship gear to purchase.  Share in the comments.

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UPDATE:  For those of you in the market, here’s a handy list of places to shop.

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UPDATE #2:  If your tastes run on the simple side, you’re in luck.  Jason just sent me this and it looks perfect.

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UPDATE #3:  And one more reader suggestion — University Spirit on Baxter St.

57 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Another voice stilled

When I think of listening to SEC football, three announcers come to mind — Larry Munson, Verne Lundquist and Ron Franklin.

Former ESPN college basketball and college football sportscaster Ron Franklin passed away Tuesday at the age of 79, according to his friend and former colleague Mike Barnes. He called ESPN on ABC games, the French Open and the U.S. Olympic Festival along with many other events over his long broadcasting career.

Franklin grew up in Hazelhurst, Mississippi and attending the University of Mississippi. He started working in radio early in his career and eventually worked as the basketball and football play-by-play commentator for the University of Texas from 1983-88. Franklin also did play-by-play work for the Houston Oilers and served as sports director at several different local news stations.

He made the move to ESPN in 1987, where he worked until 2011. Franklin worked with several different color commentators over his career, including Mike Gottfried, Ed Cunningham and Fran Fraschilla.

As the news that Ron Franklin passed away spread, former sports broadcaster Mike Barnes shared a message about the loss of his friend.

“Just got the sad news that my friend Ron Franklin has passed away,” Barnes posted on Twitter. “If you’re a sports fan, you knew Ron Franklin and his amazing voice.  Incredibly talented and knowledgeable and very nice and gracious. RIP.”

He and Gottfried made a great pairing.  If you’ve got time to listen, here’s their call of the 1995 Georgia-Tennessee game:

If you want a happier result, here’s his call, along with Ed Cunningham, of Georgia’s comeback win in the 1996 2006 Peach Bowl.

His “he could’ve held him” quip at the 57-minute mark still makes me chuckle.

Franklin got in trouble at ESPN for a lack of political correctness and an inability to read the room, which was unfortunate.  But he was a great example of the less is more school of calling a game.  Too bad there don’t seem to be many graduates from there working the booth these days.

RIP, sir.

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UPDATE:  Here’s one more.  Since it involves a Spurrier defeat, I figure you’ll watch.

18 Comments

Filed under SEC Football