Category Archives: College Football

“What does the future of college football look like?”

I may not be able to do the deep dive some of the folks quoted in this version of Matt Brown’s Extra Points manage, but I feel pretty confident in saying after reading it that a collective bargaining agreement with college football players is a matter of when, not if.

You’d best brace yourselves for it, peeps.  Like Omar, it’s coming.

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“We’re going to move forward in some fashion or another of paying players.”

It almost staggers me to say it, but Dennis Dodd has written an excellent piece charting college athletics’ inexorable march towards player compensation.

From a clear-eyed (in other words, not a romantic amateurism-ist) perspective starting here…

NIL benefits have gotten so unregulated that many of the outlandish benefits provided to SMU players 45 years ago in the death penalty case would be allowed in 2021. Slush fund? Allowed if you consider current “collectives” of donors pooling their NIL money to lure players. Free cars? Quarterback Spencer Rattler had two of them last season at Oklahoma.

“The Spencer Rattlers always had two cars [in the past]. It was in a different way,” Dannen said.

That different way was described recently by College Football Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, an SMU superstar in the 1980s.

“You’re a youth athlete, 19-years-old, and a guy comes to you and says, ‘Here’s $20,000.’ You don’t say, ‘Oh no, I can’t take that money,'” Dickerson told CBS Sports.

“What they did to my school is bullshit. They would never have done that to Alabama. They would never have done that Texas. They would have never done that to Oklahoma.”

… and winding up here…

“We just have to figure it out,” Cunningham said. “… How do you stop it? We’re not going to stop it. All we have to do is figure out how to finance it.”

Players have always been paid.  They always will be paid.  The question is whether the folks running college football are smart enough to take the steps necessary to preserve what control they still have the opportunity to control.  I’d say it’s even money on that.

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The story of college football, in two sentences

Short and sweet, from Andy Staples ($$):

Because schools don’t want to label the athletes as employees — this began as a workers’ compensation dodge and continues because people making a ton of money tend to want things to stay as they are — there is no current way to structure the sport in a manner that doesn’t allow the wealthiest programs to dominate it. In fact, pretty much every rule made to level the playing field over the past century wound up being used in practice to widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

There’s your tradition unlike any other.

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How bad do you want it?

Fun times ahead for a winning coach…

You couldn’t pay me enough to stand there and take that.

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Closer, but no cee-gar

Interesting graphic from Brian Fremeau about home field advantage:

So, visiting teams aren’t winning more often, but they are shrinking the margin of victory.  (Although I am curious to see if the uptick in 2021 is just a one-time thing, or the start of a trend reversal.)

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Filed under College Football, Stats Geek!

Random late night thought

Have you ever considered what a Venn diagram composed of “people who think there are too many bowl games” and “people who criticize players for skipping bowl games to prepare for the NFL draft” would look like?

Me, too.

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The feeling when NIL is working

It’s probably gonna take ’em all that time to figure out how to incorporate the transfer portal into the game.

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Your (non-Dawg) game day post

It’s Conference Championship Saturday, y’all.

Wait… what’s USC at Cal doing there?  LOL.  Talk about your game for degenerate gamblers…

Anyway, that aside, what are y’all watching today?

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You get a bowl game! And you get a bowl game!

Not that there’s anything wrong with this:

A one-time replacement bowl game is expected to be developed this college football season after the Division I Football Oversight Committee on Thursday approved a request to waive the April 1 bowl game certification application deadline, according to a document obtained by ESPN.

This summer, the San Francisco Bowl told the NCAA, the Big Ten and the Pac-12 that it would not conduct a game this year. The bowl system entered this season anticipating 41 games with 82 teams needed to fill all of the available spots — but there are now 84 “deserving” teams after Hawaii finished the season 6-7.

Deserving in quote marks is what makes that special.  “Having a pulse” would have painted a more accurate picture.

In any event, Mickey’s got this, y’all.

The conferences plan to partner with ESPN Events to develop a game consistent with other postseason bowl experiences.

Somewhere, there’s a sports book cheering the development.

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Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil

The death of romance

The Brian Kelly story, a tale in four parts:

“… my love for you is limitless”?  C’mon, dude, if it were limitless, you’d still be in South Bend.

My point here isn’t to lambast Kelly, or Lincoln Riley, for that matter, for any perceived hypocrisy on their part by leaving for greener pastures.  Let’s face it, coachspeak hasn’t yet caught up to the new normal.  At some point, a pilfered coach is going to own his introductory presser by simply saying, “I’m good at what I do, so what am I supposed to do when the market recognizes my worth?  I’ve got to look out for me and mine, you know.”

And there’s nothing wrong with that.  This is America, after all.  If you were offered what Lincoln Riley allegedly was offered to jump from Norman, Oklahoma to Southern California, you’d be insane to say no.  Lincoln Riley may be some things, but crazy ain’t one of them.

No, if you want to take any lessons from this, there are a few.  One, and maybe most importantly, is every coaching job in college football should be seen as interim.  Notre Dame hasn’t seen a coach walk away since 1907.  The school has a legitimate shot at making this year’s CFP.  It didn’t matter.

Everything is next, next, next … it’s not even now, now, now.

Certainly not when Brian Kelly, staring down another playoff appearance, flat out gives up the winner he built and figures he has a better chance somewhere else.

And they used to get upset when the players sat out bowl games.

If you’re looking for hypocrites, look no further than the folks who run the athletic departments.  You know, these guys:

Athletic directors who laid off or furloughed workers, cut sports, and sounded the general alarm about the long-range future of college sports are now spending like drunken hedge fund titans.

As an aside, good for Jim Harbaugh for doing this:

I hope that at least makes Michigan’s AD blush.

Anyway, the truth is simple:  the only group of folks in college football who bleed their school colors are the boosters who are willing to spend silly money in hopes they land the next big thing.  If you’re an athletic director who wants to keep that group happy — and you very likely are — you’re going to do their bidding, especially if they’re willing to front the bucks.  (Which, in the cases of USC and LSU, they apparently are.)  For the vast majority of everyone else, it’s a job first.  If the timing is right, a very well paying job.

The funny thing about this is that it’s the boosters who aren’t hypocrites.  They just want to win.  If that means paying coaches top dollar, as long as they get results, fine.  The same can likely be said about player compensation.  It’s the ADs and school presidents who whine about what NIL compensation will do to the sport who are.  It’s the coaches who complain about what the transfer portal will do to the sport who are.

The irony here is so thick you could cut it with a knife.  And don’t take my word for that.

Kids, when you’ve lost Rece Davis…

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