Daily Archives: January 27, 2022

The portal is the winter of their discontent.

David Ubben ($$) has a good piece up about how the repercussions of transfer portal fever is making life a lot more difficult for coaches (well, at least those not named Nick Saban).  Most of the frustration is centered around charting a course between this rock…

One suggestion the committee pitched to calm some of the transfer chaos: Giving players a two-month window after the regular season and after the spring semester to enter the portal, which would better allow coaches to project their numbers and fill them through recruiting or backfilling in the portal. In the sport’s current state, an entire position group could depart for any reason and leave a gaping hole in any roster.

Another possible solution: Keeping the scholarship count at 85 but requiring two-thirds of those scholarships be players the program signed out of high school.

“Those sound great, but what the NCAA is concerned about more than anything else is they don’t want to restrict players’ ability to do anything because of the Supreme Court decision,” a Group of 5 assistant said.

One Power 5 assistant said he hoped the sport would have some kind of collective bargaining agreement in the future.

“If we’re going to be like the pros, we’ve gotta have something in there that’s beneficial on both sides,” he said.

… and this hard place.

“The level of discontent among the athletes in college football is at an all-time high,” a veteran Power 5 assistant said. “We gotta kind of coddle them, baby them. I’m just telling you. We try not to, but man (pause), it’s terrible, actually. You try to keep kids happy, but you can’t. There’s 22 starters, but there’s 80 guys on your team who aren’t starting, and even the guys who are starting aren’t getting enough sacks or catches or carries and they’re unhappy.”

We’re in the early innings of a game where there’s been a tectonic shift in leverage.  If you’re a coach who’s never suffered the repercussions of being a control freak before, of course you’re going to be frustrated as shit watching players who formerly had little choice but to stick it out with you now waive bye-bye for greener pastures at the seeming drop of a helmet.

The key word there being “early”.  Coaches will start figuring out — or, in some cases, already have figured out — a better way to keep their talent in the fold.  Players will begin to realize those greener pastures aren’t always greener when they show up.

“I trust that there’s a lot of smart people working toward the same thing. Just like anything else, in two to three years it’ll level out,” a Group of 5 assistant said. “And the player who is an average Group of 5 player will no longer be getting in the portal and hoping for a Power 5 offer.”

It’s just that the ride is likely to be bumpy for some for a while.  Buckle up.



Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

Nimble is as nimble does.

This post isn’t about flaming anyone, or questioning Smart’s decision to stick with Stetson.  What I do intend with it is to show that last season’s “Stetson does things with his legs that JT couldn’t, and so…” narrative, in and of itself, was kind of lazy.

Take a look at this clip from the Peach Bowl win over Cincinnati that Graham posted.

No, JT can’t run like Stetson, but look what he did there when the pass rush closed in:  stepped up in the pocket, kept his eyes downfield and delivered with a quick release for a good gain.  I would argue those are all things he betters Stetson at.

Again, that’s not to say Smart and Monken chose wrong, just to point out there’s more than one way to skin the proverbial cat.  Monken figured out as the season progressed how to play to Stetson’s strengths.  Why should we doubt he could have done much the same with Daniels’?


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“It’s a good day to be a college athlete, I’ll tell you that.”

NIL kids, can you say “collectives”?  I thought you could.

“I’m about the confetti,” said Eddie Rojas, CEO of The Gator Collective and an unabashed Florida honk who went 10-1 as a pitcher for the Gators from 1999 to 2001. “I want to create an environment where Florida becomes NIL-U.”

Rojas, 44, is also CEO of his own company, 401K Generation. He has 16 years experience in portfolio management and pension consulting with his company currently managing $3.28 billion in assets. That confetti he’s talking about? He’s referring to the post-game stuff shot out of cannons celebrating national championships, a level of success he wants to help bring back to Florida.

To do his part in the NIL race, The Gator Collective has been established as a sort-of subscription service. Starting at $5.99 (up to $999.99) a month, Gators fans get exclusive autographs, interviews and even personal appearances.

“Players will visit [fans] on their birthday,” said Rojas proudly.

It’s like IPTAY, except they’ve eliminated the school as a middle man.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

An alliance of dunces

This is what constitutes forward thinking in today’s college athletics:

The future College Football Playoff format could have a major impact on whether the Big Ten eliminates divisions or changes the number of its annual conference games, Iowa athletics director Gary Barta told The Athletic.

The Big Ten currently has East and West divisions and plays a nine-game conference schedule that includes three cross-divisional games. Big Ten administrators have discussed dropping to eight games beginning in 2023 so it can create matchups with teams from the Pac-12 and ACC conferences, with which the trio has a working arrangement called The Alliance.

There also are serious discussions about the Big Ten ending divisional play with schools playing three opponents annually and cycling through the other 10 teams either every other year or two years on, two years off.

“We’ve had several conversations,” Barta said. “One of the things that we’re watching is whether it’s related to The Alliance, which we’re talking through and/or, what gives us the best opportunity to have the most success in the College Football Playoff format?

It’s not about your conference anymore.  It’s about creating a glide path to the playoffs.  (And, maybe, sticking a finger in Greg Sankey’s eye.)  Never mind what got your sport to its current level of popularity.  This is how stupid people who think they’re smart sound.

Lately, I tell myself before the start of every season if I can just get five more good years out of college football, I’ll be happy.  There’s no reason for me to change my mindset, sadly.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big Ten Football

Was returning production all that last season?

This chart suggests not so much.  Maybe.

Now, that being said, it’s important to remember that a bonus year of eligibility was granted because of the pandemic.  Percentages across the board were accordingly higher than was the norm.  You have to go all the way down to number 100 before you find a team that returned less than 70% of its production.

Add to that the impact of the transfer portal in the preseason and you’ve got yourself something of an outlier, I suspect.  (For one thing, I would bet good money this was the first time we saw numbers 111 and 120 face off in a national title game.)  I will be curious to see how this plays out in 2022.


Filed under Stats Geek!