I could be wrong, but somehow I doubt Big Game Bob will be directing much smack talk in the SEC’s direction this offseason.
Category Archives: Big 12 Football
“I don’t think there’s any question teams are going to have to play better schedules in order to get in this playoff. … If two teams are 11-1, then the committee will look at how they built that 11-1 record.”- Bill Hancock AJ-C, 12/17/14
Getting two teams shafted by the CFP selection committee doesn’t leave Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby with a lot of attractive options.
Option One is the course that’s already been charted, which is asking the NCAA to grant a waiver to its twelve-school requirement for a conference to host a championship game. The two problems with that? One is that it leaves a conference with a round-robin schedule – the fairest way to decide a conference winner – in the ludicrous position of scheduling a conference game when there’s a clear regular season champ. The second, of course, is the possibility of an upset in the championship game leaving the Big 12 on the outside of the playoffs looking in, just as it is now.
Option Two is heeding Hancock’s advice and beefing up non-conference scheduling. In response, Baylor says talk to the hand.
Option Three is what’s left if Options One and Two don’t click: conference expansion to gain access to a championship game. Problematic? Well, yeah.
“Right now, we’re distributing the largest amount of money to each of our members in any league in college athletics. I don’t know that our members are prepared to take a reduction in that distributable revenue. It’s certainly about TV sets. It’s certainly about recruiting. It’s certainly about the possibility of competitive implications in all of our sports, but particularly our high-profile sports. At the present time we have no strategy. We haven’t had any discussions around expansion. Our CEOs have said they like 10. I expect that we’ll be at 10 for a while. Could that change down the road? Sure it could… I don’t think we’re going to take a kneejerk reaction and think immediately about expansion just because on this occasion we got left out of the playoff.”
Good to see he’s ready. But even if he convinces his member schools to take a shave in the name of having a better crack at the playoffs, what other schools are they going to chase? Bowlsby indicates geography would be a big factor.
“We have one member in West Virginia that’s on the East Coast,” Bowlsby said. “We have to be mindful of their situation. If we took somebody in that was on the far West Coast it would certainly do a disservice to our member in West Virginia. As I mentioned earlier, it may be a different set of criteria to some of our members than it is to other members. As the commissioner, I certainly have to take all 10 institutions and their sensitivities into play.”
Helluva way to build a conference identity. But the committee doesn’t really care about that.
Lotta green in today’s buffet…
- Somebody thinks Dan Mullen has emerged as the lead guy in Michigan’s head coaching search. “Both sources said to me that with Dan, it’s not about being the highest paid coach in his state / conference/ whatever (which is more important to some coaches than many people understand), what drives Dan is his desire to win a national championship.” You know what we here at GTP say when somebody claims it’s not about the money.
- Georgia may be in the hunt for one of the kids at UAB who’s now a free agent.
- Speaking of UAB, the financial fall out from cancelling football may have already begun.
- In less than two years, Auburn has increased its coaching staff by at least 46.5 percent. Easy to do when you don’t have to pay the labor.
- And Boom hits the recruiting trail, with a contractual limitation: “A clause in Muschamp’s contract (he was fired following his fourth season as head coach) does not allow him to recruit players Florida has focused on unless Auburn has done the same.”
- This is just awful. It’s a different world out there, isn’t it?
- Hugh Freeze didn’t just negotiate a big pay bump for himself with Ole Miss. The salary pool for his assistants will increase by at least 25 percent.
- Corch may be a dick, but he’s right about this one. And that’s only gonna get worse as the playoffs expand.
- Yes, Condi Rice brings a special kind of gravitas to the selection committee.
I tell you what, getting passed over by the selection brings out the best in Baylor. First you had Bryce Petty’s great quote and now we’ve got Art Briles unloading on any target he can think of.
And he’s pretty accurate, too.
His first shot was fired at Big 12 conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Bowlsby’s shortsighted decision to proclaim Baylor and TCU co-champs of the conference.
Briles confronted Bowlsby on stage after the Big 12’s trophy presentation and addressed his frustration about being presented as co-champions with TCU during his postgame news conference.
“You know, if you’re going to slogan around and say there’s ‘One True Champion,’ all the sudden you’re gonna go out the back door instead of going out the front?” Briles said. “Don’t say one thing and do another.”
I bet that slogan gets unceremoniously dumped in the trash can this offseason. And you gotta love Briles for having the guts to say it directly to his commissioner’s face.
More importantly, he’s right. From the Big 12’s perspective, this wasn’t a case of ranking teams, à la the selection committee. You’ve got a conference playing a round robin schedule and two teams who finished with the same conference records. In naming a champ in that situation, head-to-head is all that matters. But Bowlsby decided it was more important to engage in an awkward tap dance in a flimsy attempt to influence the selection committee because he wanted to promote TCU’s chances to make the playoff. It didn’t work and now Bowlsby is left with a precedent that is probably going to blow up in his face one day.
Well, it would if he had any intellectual consistency. My guess is, if the opportunity ever presents itself, he’ll sell that out if he thinks it will help one of his schools make the playoffs. Which, of course, is the real story here. It’s just another example of how willing these idiots are to cheapen the importance of the regular season if they think it helps make the case for the postseason. There will be more examples, rest assured.
As for Briles’ other barrel, that was pointed at the selection committee.
“My opinion, since people are asking? I think the committee needs to be a little more regionalized with people that are associated with the south part of the United States,” Briles said. “I’ll say that. I’m not sure if there’s a connection on there that is that familiar with the Big 12 Conference. To me, that’s an issue.”
“We’re all humans. When I die, they’re not going to bury me in Maryland. They’re going to bury me in Texas,” Briles said. “When those people die, they’re not going to bring them down here and lay their body to rest. They’re going to lay them to rest wherever they lived all their lives. And teams they follow. And teams they know.
“You want to ask me about a team in this part of the United States? I can tell you about ‘em. I can tell you their weaknesses and their strengths, OK? They need to have somebody on there that knows the teams in this part of the nation. The only person born in the south on that committee is Condoleezza Rice. She was born in Alabama.”
During a Sunday morning appearance on “SportsCenter,” Briles suggested ex-coaches R.C. Slocum, Mack Brown or Spike Dykes would be more qualified to evaluate programs in the state and region. He argued that Archie Manning stepping down from the committee in October due to health reasons might have ultimately hurt Baylor’s chances.
“When Archie Manning went off, I said we’re in trouble,” Briles said. “I know Archie. He’s a friend. He understands football down here. When he went off that committee, we were in trouble. We need a voice. We need a voice.”
Regional bias? I thought we got rid of that when we dumped the Coaches Poll from the process. Surprise, surprise. And of course Briles’ solution is to introduce more bias and potential conflicts of interest into the process to make sure his school gets at least the appearance of a fair shake. Yes, I know that doesn’t make a damned bit of sense. But it’s what the coaches are familiar with and comfortable with.
If he’s got a legitimate gripe, you could address it by expanding the size of the selection committee to represent all geographic regions and you could enlarge it sufficiently to cut the impact of regional bias. Or you could simply expand the playoff field enough that Briles would quit bitching. I know which path I expect the powers that be to choose.
Some pre-weekend nibbles for your reading pleasure:
- Patrick Garbin notes that since 2008, Georgia is 1-8 against the spread after a bye week. Maybe we’d better hope for a big line against Florida.
- If cutting pizza prices works, maybe a similar tactic will be the magic for Dave Brandon’s latest move to deal with displeased students.
- Another day, another NCAA lawsuit.
- Why is everybody pickin’ on poor ol’ Junior?
- Les Miles hasn’t forgotten Herbie’s Michigan prediction.
- Vanderbilt plans to start its fourth different quarterback this week. That’s generally not a recipe for success.
- Dueling lawsuits over when an offensive coordinator isn’t a play caller.
- Are recent suspensions at South Carolina an indication of underlying problems? (Good to hear a question like that asked about some place other than Athens, I might add.)
It’s a Gurley-free buffet, if that helps.
- This is awkward.
- Steve Hummer’s assessment of the psyche of Georgia’s fan base is pretty good: “Georgia people habitually expect the worst. They can never relax. They can never wander the sunflower fields of blind optimism. They just know deep down that around every corner awaits a kick to a most sensitive area.”
- The advanced box score of the Florida-Missouri game is as amazing to see as the game was.
- And the advanced box score of the Arkansas-Georgia game is just what you’d expect.
- Devin Gardner’s comment about the number of racist fans he’s encountered this season puts me in mind of Randy Newman’s “Rednecks”. Hang in there, Devin. You’re a classy kid.
“We found out that ball is an incredibly important part of the game of football and we didn’t secure it the way we needed to on offense and it paid off for them,” Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said. Better late than never, I guess.
- When it comes to scoring this season, Georgia is a damned efficient team.
If your appetite is whetted, have you some.
- Georgia has gone 244 games without being shut out, which is a school record and the third-longest streak in SEC history.
- You know I love gallows humor. This is epic.
- Boom’s being cute about who his starting quarterback will be.
- PAWWWLLL, IT’S A CONSPIRACY!
- Mark Richt continues to say there’s a chance Georgia plays with a two-quarterback rotation.
- Trick play of the week.
- You can just sense that Bradley and Schultz are poised for a comeback by the genius.
- From Rock M Nation, a graphic presentation of Georgia’s defensive production.
- Jarvis Jones was on Georgia’s sideline last Saturday. I know where I’d rather have him this Saturday.