Category Archives: BCS/Playoffs

Now this is awkward.

There’s something highly amusing about an ESPN reporter seeking comment from ESPN about Bill Hancock telling ESPN to stuff it over the idea of moving the semi-final games to a more viewer-friendly (i.e., higher ratings) January 2nd date.

A representative for ESPN declined comment.

Public comment, anyway.

9 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil

Another fight over tradition

And this one’s a doozy.

The College Football Playoff’s management committee will discuss Navy’s eligibility for this season’s New Year’s Six bowls because of the academy’s new conference affiliation and the timing of its annual game against Army.

Navy will join the American Athletic Conference in the fall.

The commissioners’ concern is if the Midshipmen are ranked high enough to earn one of the New Year’s Six bowl bids — and then lose the following week to Army. That loss would not count toward Navy’s final ranking, penalizing other teams that would have earned a New Year’s Six bowl bid if the loss was factored in.

When money and college football are involved, it’s a no-brainer to follow the money, but in this case, the PR optics are horrendous.  And don’t think the grand poobahs of the sport aren’t aware of that.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby best described the delicate matter facing the management committee.

“Given the rich history of the Army-Navy game, its patriotic significance and pageantry, I can appreciate the desire of the academies to play on a stand-alone date with the eyes of the nation able to watch,” Bowlsby said. “However at this juncture, I’m not sure how best to address the impact of the game’s outcome on the CFP given Navy’s move into the American Athletic Conference, and the potential for it to secure a spot in the structure as a conference champion, or highly ranked non-champion.

“I will want to discuss this possibility and viable options with my FBS commissioner colleagues before formulating a recommended course.”

Translation: oh, shit, do I have to make a decision?

Unfortunately, that’s what they pay you the big bucks for, Bob.

The problem for these guys is that crapping on the military is a spectacularly bad idea for a group that is already making mouth noises about needing Congressional help on the antitrust front.  But the other mid-major conferences aren’t going to let the CFP folks off the hook, because, money.

The likely solution?  Deflect the debate away from Army and Navy and make it a it’s-the-principle-of-the-thing call.

MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher and Benson also indicated the policy needs to be reviewed. Besides Navy and Army, another possibility, a commissioner suggested, is what if other schools opt to play the week after the final rankings are released and, win or lose, would remain eligible for the New Year’s Six bowls? Also, what would keep independents Notre Dame and BYU from trying to schedule a 13th game the week after the final rankings?

Yeah, what if, bitchez?

Here’s the thing – no other schools besides those two are playing after the final rankings.  How hard would it be to prohibit any other schools from doing so?  Not very, except that’s not really the issue here.

Swarbrick said it’s important to maintain college football’s traditions.

“You want to try and honor and preserve traditions — look at how we protected the bowls,” another commissioner said. “Army-Navy is one of the more significant traditions in college football. How do you preserve that tradition without unsettling the basic elements of the playoff structure?”

One commissioner said 126 of the 128 FBS teams are conforming because of the College Football Playoff — except for Army and Navy, who play the only game after the rankings are released.

“That,” the commissioner said, “is the fundamental tension.”

I’m afraid this is a war the service academies aren’t gonna win.  College football’s most important tradition is undefeated.

40 Comments

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

Tuesday morning buffet

There’s always something.

  • Phil Steele updates his returning starters list here.  And here’s the list broken down by the P5 conferences.  Got to wonder what 2015 holds in store for Mississippi State and Florida.
  • In case you were wondering if offenses were better than ever last season, you’re right.
  • Bleacher Report using Michael Carvell’s click bait to ask the musical question “Is Georgia’s 2015 Recruiting Class in Danger of Collapsing?” = troll squared.  At least there’s no slideshow.
  • Hey, there’s a Twitterfest bitch slapping contest!
  • Georgia Tech is looking for donor support to provide cost-of-attendance stipends that will be given to scholarship athletes starting in the fall.  No doubt Greg McGarity is watching this with a keen eye.
  • Best recruit troll of the year.
  • Jeff Long will serve as the chairman of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee again in 2015, based on “Long’s ability to communicate the thinking of the committee to the fans”, per Bill Hancock.  I swear, you can’t make this stuff up.
  • Gentry Estes has ten questions for Georgia’s upcoming preseason.  (And wouldn’t it be refreshing if the answer to the last one was “yes”?)

8 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere

“We’ve started a new tradition and we don’t want to back away from it now.”

I see Bill Hancock is moving his lips again.  The CFP is facing some pretty formidable pressure.

The College Football Playoff is under pressure on two fronts to adjust future schedules for its semifinals and championship games, sources say, but the CFP is standing firm on its original dates.

On one of those fronts, top ESPN executives are lobbying CFP officials to move next season’s semifinals off of New Year’s Eve where it would compete with highly rated star-filled countdown shows on several networks…

Sources say that senior network executives as high up as ESPN President John Skipper are pushing for the change as a way to get better television ratings, but the CFP is unwilling to make such a move because it is committed to the original plan to hold tripleheader bowl games, including the semifinals, on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day…

Meanwhile, the CFP is facing pressure on another front. The NFL is considering expanding its playoffs and moving one of the new games to Monday night when it would compete directly with the CFP championship.

Sources say NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell initiated a series of high-level meetings with some of the CFP’s most influential commissioners, including the SEC’s Mike Slive and the Big Ten’s Jim Delany. Goodell approached the commissioners to discuss the potential impact an NFL playoff expansion would have on the CFP championship game.

The 10 FBS commissioners and Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick make up the management council that oversees the College Football Playoff.

If the NFL ends up expanding the number of teams that make its postseason, the league would need two more TV windows to account for the new games. In separate meetings, Goodell told the college commissioners that any playoff expansion likely would put a wild-card game on Monday night, sources said.

The CFP’s 12-year contract with ESPN calls for the title game to be played on a Monday night, typically the second Monday in January.

Standing firm against ESPN and the NFL?  Yeah, suuurrre.

Hancock said his office has voiced its opposition to putting an NFL playoff game against the CFP championship on Monday night.

“We picked Monday night because it was open and it was the best night for our game. We announced that in June 2012,” Hancock said. “We established that our game was going to be on Monday night for 12 years.”

Given what we’ve seen of Hancock’s bluffing ability from past pronouncements, I have no doubt that Mickey will take his line in the sand with all the seriousness it deserves.  I doubt anyone’s quaking in his or her boots yet.

Adding fuel to the fire is that ESPN would be caught in the middle of any conflict between the CFP and NFL playoff expansion.

ESPN’s CFP contract mandates that the games are carried on ESPN — not ESPN2 or ESPNU, sources say. Plus, cable sources say that some of ESPN’s affiliate deals contain language that would prohibit the network from putting either the CFP championship or an NFL playoff game on ABC.

The NFL almost certainly would not allow one of its playoff games to move to ESPN2.

Still, the NFL could sell a Monday night playoff game to another network. A media industry source suggested that the NFL could look into packaging the new wild-card playoff games with its “Thursday Night Football” package beginning with the 2016 season. CBS last week signed a deal to keep that package for 2015.

Right.  The WWL could just give up an incredibly valuable franchise without a fight.

That’s not all that’s at stake here for the WWL.

The CFP semifinals on New Year’s Day already proved their ability to attract viewers. The semifinals — played at the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual — each drew more than 28 million viewers. At the time, they were the two most-viewed programs in cable TV history.

The CFP championship game on Jan. 12 averaged 33.4 million viewers, becoming the first show in cable TV history to top 30 million viewers. Privately, ESPN insiders say they are prepared for double-digit drops in viewership if the semifinals remain on New Year’s Eve.

Get ready to hear about CFP’s new, new tradition, which is really about the only tradition college football cherishes these days – keeping the checks rolling in.

20 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Sunday morning buffet

Go for it.

11 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, Bobby Bowden: Over His Dead Body, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics, You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

Wednesday morning buffet

As you’ll see, it’s never too early to assess the 2015 season.

65 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, Recruiting, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

“Join the club.”

Last night’s game was kind of meh, but I did enjoy this…

Whoa, Herbstreit!

This was also pretty hilarious.

I only wish the rest of the crew looked like Larry, Darryl and Darryl.

17 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs