Category Archives: Blowing Smoke

Who’s foolin’ who?

There’s something about playoff expansion that brings out the bullshit artist in every conference commissioner.  Here, for example, are the supposedly tortured stylings of Jim Delany’s successor as head of the Big Ten:

“We have to ask ourselves what’s in the best interest of the student-athletes for them to be able to get a world-class education and participate and to remain healthy — healthy mentally, and physically, and emotionally and spiritually,” Warren, the first African American Power 5 commissioner, said in an interview with ESPN.

“If we do that, and we get people in the room to say, ‘If they were my son, or that were my grandson, and I would be comfortable with whatever decision is made,’ then we’ll know when that is right. No matter what we do, we have to put the best interests of the student-athletes at the center. We have to remember they are not professional athletes and they should not be held to a standard to win a national championship by playing 20 games.”

Well, unless the money is good enough.

What happens when stakeholders and market forces demand more of the same product? Ask the NCAA postseason men’s basketball tournament, which started with eight teams in 1939 and now has 68.

In 1981, when the NCAA considered expanding the tournament from 48 to 64 teams, Stanford athletics director Andy Geiger explained why he supported expansion.

”We all need money and that new TV contract kind of helps,” Geiger said then in the New York Times. ”You can increase the field now, and teams will earn as much as or more than they earned this year.”

From 1982 to 1984, CBS paid $16 million a year to televise the tournament. That doubled to $32 million with the expansion to 64 teams in 1985, leading the NCAA to “study ways of distributing what some feared could become an embarrassment of riches,” according to The Associated Press in 1985. Thirty-one years later, the NCAA announced an $8.8 billion, eight-year contract extension from CBS and Turner Sports through 2032.

Funny how that works.  And football playoff expansion will likely be just as lucrative.

One professional estimate predicts an eight-team playoff could fetch an additional $420 million a year from ESPN or whoever pays for it.

According to this estimate from Navigate Research, adding another four playoff games would add an additional 60 million viewers, which would be worth an additional $420 million at the rate of $7 per viewer. The Navigate estimate is based on the fact that playoff games in the current four-team format average around 65 million television viewers, which is roughly $7 per viewer for ESPN for those three games.

To use that tired chestnut, we know what you are, Mr. Warren.  We’re just haggling over the fee.

7 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Blowing Smoke, It's Just Bidness

Bullshit just means more.

The logical contortions employed by the author of this article about LSU’s new football facility and the reactions thereto are certainly cringeworthy.  But then, he’s just following in the path of the AD:

LSU’s goal, as new athletic director Scott Woodward said, should be to be top notch in physics and football. Perhaps a facility like this will help LSU be better at both. Athletics should be the front porch of a university, attracting high-quality students and funding, not the other way round.

Yes, I’m sure the day funding to attract a quantum physics professor after discovering the football players have easy access to sleeping pods is just around the corner.

9 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Blowing Smoke, SEC Football

Today, in self-ownership

That was said by the man whose conference added a championship game to a round-robin regular season conference schedule because he was worried about the playoffs.

13 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Blowing Smoke

“Our time is coming…”

Just a reminder that when it comes to whistling in the dark, Larry Scott is a master.

11 Comments

Filed under Blowing Smoke, Pac-12 Football

At Auburn, a tradition unlike any other

That sure didn’t take long.  Three days after Auburn’s spring game, they’re already comparing Joey Gatewood to Cam Newton.

Auburn, where there’s always another Heisman quarterback candidate waiting in the wings to blossom under Gus’ guidance.

18 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Blowing Smoke

Next, they’ll be building statues to him.

Boy, Dan Mullen can be an arrogant bugger when it suits him.  Listen to what he says about Felipe Franks.

“There are three statues in front of the stadium that make playing quarterback at Florida different than almost every other school in America,” Mullen says. “There’s no bigger job in the SEC than being the quarterback at Florida. So with that comes a lot of responsibility. What did he end up with 31 touchdowns and six interceptions last year? A lot of places, you’re up there. Not here. You better come to grips with that.”

What he’s pitching there is that Franks isn’t getting the adulation normally due him because he’s the Florida quarterback, that a guy who posted a ninth-best 124.69 passer rating in league play would ordinarily be a household name we’d be singing hosannas to but for his unfortunate choice of uniform colors.  Yeah, sure.

You’d think if there really were no bigger job in the SEC than being Florida’s quarterback, they’d have found a great one after Tebow left.

12 Comments

Filed under Blowing Smoke, Gators, Gators...

It’s a new day at Georgia Tech.

Preseason happy talk?  You’re at Georgia Tech!  YOU CAN DO THAT!!!

One thing I’ll say for the genius is that he didn’t waste any effort on smoke blowing.  He just blamed his defensive coordinators for being inept.  (Not that he didn’t have a point.)

19 Comments

Filed under Blowing Smoke, Georgia Tech Football