Daily Archives: February 22, 2022

Expounding on expansion

So, yesterday Josh challenged me with this:

I don’t get the bowl hatred, to be honest, but it seems like all he’s suggesting is that college football swap one participation trophy for another, slap a playoff label on it and it’s all good.  Eh, whatever.

I will give him credit for not playing the “that will improve parity card” on me.  That’s probably because he’s smart enough to know it’s a bullshit rationalization.  To reiterate what Ari Wasserman said, take a look at this chart of the national recruiting ranking averages for the Power 5 schools, Notre Dame and BYU over the last five classes according to 247Sports Team Composite rankings and each team’s record over the last five seasons.

That’s just the top seventeen, and look at the talent gap between the top and the bottom (not to mention the way the won-loss records tend to fall off as you proceed down the list).  And, again, that’s just the top seventeen — there’s another significant drop off after eighteen.

Sure, there’s always going to be that random year that’s an outlier, but the reality is what it’s always been, that there are a limited number of teams in a given season that have a legitimate shot at a national title.  Wishing it were otherwise won’t make it so, twelve-team playoff fields notwithstanding.  Because, as Kirby Smart explained, in college football, talent trumps everything.  If it were otherwise, head coaches Charlie Weis and Dan Mullen would be waving shiny national championship rings in our faces today.

Change my mind.

82 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Recruiting

Jackets deserting a sinking ship

I’m sensing a pattern here.

“Recent uncertainty in the program” = Coach 404 is a dead man walking.

It’s shaping up to be a great year on the Flats.

32 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football

Hire Georgia! Hire Georgia?

Serious question — is there any open (or soon to be open) coaching position at UGA that a significant portion of the fan base isn’t convinced can’t be properly addressed by hiring a former player, regardless of qualifications?  And when I say regardless of qualifications, I mean, generally speaking, most of these folks don’t have the first clue about the resumes of the folks they’re pushing.

It’s a harmless exercise, I know, but it’s one I don’t see pushed by other fan bases nearly as much as I do ours.  Color me strange, but I’m more in the go get the best person for the job, regardless of where the diploma came from, camp.

40 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“Is Oregon going to be a stepping stone?”

Let me tell you — the dynamics in play at Oregon with Dan Lanning are going to be interesting to watch over the next few years, that’s for sure.

In hiring Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, Oregon seemingly prioritized the path Cristobal had forged before leaving for Miami. A rapidly ascending 35-year-old who had never led a program, Lanning had built a reputation as a dynamic and effective recruiter and game tactician. He had no ties to Oregon, but had succeeded in different areas of the country.

While Lanning might not have been the obvious name on Oregon’s wish list, he checked the boxes that mattered most to Mullens: “CEO for football,” culture builder and elite recruiter.

“We are getting a leader who can continue and build upon the success that we’ve had,” Mullens said. “There may be [different opinions] of who the best person to do that is, but I can tell you our base has absolutely embraced Dan. They’re excited about where this is going.”

Oregon’s former players and alumni will be watching to see how Lanning maintains and elevates Oregon’s recruiting and on-field performance, but also whether he reflects the traits that the program used to overcome some historical and geographic limitations and rise to national prominence.

If he doesn’t win, the old guard will be screaming about the mistake the AD made in hiring him and if he does win and leaves for a higher profile job, the old guard will be screaming about the mistake the AD made in hiring him.

Meanwhile, Phil Knight and his wallet lurk.

Knight’s millions of dollars in donations transformed the athletic department over the past two decades, and at 83 years old, he remains invested — both with his time and resources — in helping the Ducks succeed. He is known to stay updated on football players Oregon is recruiting, and he fully understands the correlation between recruiting and winning.

“He wants to see the University of Oregon succeed in every way, academically and athletically,” Mullens said. “Obviously, he understands the importance of recruiting in the formula of success.”

“It’s literally legal to pay you a million dollars to come to a school and play ball,” added a source close to Oregon. “He would want to be a part of that, absolutely, and I would think he would want to do it legally. There has to be something to Phil getting older and willing to take a few more risks.”

Eh, what could go wrong?  Good luck, Dan.

10 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football, Recruiting

Spitefully yours

I posted a few days ago about how the collapse (temporary, I know) of the CFP expansion talks was born out of a cut off their nose to spite their face attitude.  Andy Staples ($$) takes that spite to a whole new level with this:

What I hadn’t considered was that the SEC, after spending the past year supporting a format that would have given other leagues some of what they wanted/needed, might simply stop worrying about the other leagues altogether. Sankey seems mad enough to do that.

A 12-team CFP may benefit the SEC more than a four-team CFP. But what might benefit the SEC even more?

Not a College Football Playoff. An SEC playoff.

Andy’s not suggesting that Sankey and his conference turn their backs on the rest of college football completely.  Nah, there are still regular season games to play and if the other kids play nice and want to produce a champion to take on the SEC’s champ, that would probably be cool, too.  Especially when you consider the math.

The difference between that title game and the title game of the 12-team Playoff the leagues just passed on implementing?

The SEC keeps half the money.

The thing is, and with all due respect to Staples, that’s not the ultimate fuck you move Sankey could pull.  That would be to convince the Big Ten to blow off the Alliance and join the SEC as a second super league that produces a national title game between them and only between them.  In the aftermath, I can only imagine the sputtering to come from the Pac-12 and the ACC as USC jumps ship to join the Big Ten and Clemson hops over to the SEC.

Spite, like revenge, is a dish best served cold.  And profitably.

14 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, Big Ten Football, Pac-12 Football, SEC Football

Not going anywhere

For Nick Saban, age is just another number, I guess.

“Everybody asks me when I wanna retire. Retire from what?” said Saban to a crowd of coaches in Montgomery, Ala., last month. “I’m gonna jump into an empty abyss, aight, of what am I going to do? Because the very challenges that I talk about and the things in our profession that concern me – for you and for me both, in your game and our game – that’s what keeps me going. That’s why I get up every day. That’s why I can’t sleep at night sometimes.

“So why would you quit doing that? I haven’t figured that one out yet.”

It’s the “aight” that sells it.  Although it wouldn’t surprise me if he had several analysts working on exactly how long he has to maintain that front to avoid having any negative recruiting shade thrown his way.

7 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Musical palate cleanser, what is going on here? edition

Compiled for a Norwegian TV show about a decade ago (the hosts are the three dudes in red sweatshirts), this is exactly what the header says it is.  One motley crew, for sure.

More mesmerizing than good, and I can’t help wondering how they got everyone to participate.

(h/t)

19 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized