Category Archives: College Football

SEC officiating — NEW! IMPROVED!

Steve Shaw takes a victory lap.

The SEC improved officiating accuracy by nearly 8 percent in 2016 thanks to having more eyes on the replays, SEC officiating coordinator Steve Shaw told CBS Sports.

Eight per cent!  That’s awesome.  And just how did Shaw come up with the math for that?

Last season was the first in which the NCAA let conferences use people other than the stadium replay official to assist on reviews. The SEC had three replay officials at a command center in Birmingham, Alabama, to help the stadium replay official for all reviews. Shaw said he determined that collaboration helped 18 of the 226 reviews produce a correct outcome. The SEC declined to specify Shaw’s methodology for how he evaluated that a correct outcome was due to collaboration.

Greg Sankey could tell you, but then he’d have to kill you.

Mockery aside, if collaboration is really that great from an accuracy standpoint, shouldn’t somebody be insisting on a nationwide application?  I mean, who could be against getting more calls correct?

The Pac-12 experimented with a command center in 2016 to monitor replays only for Oregon and California conference games. No decision has been made yet on whether the Pac-12 will use collaborative replay full-time in 2017, league officiating coordinator David Coleman said.

“It was a good experience for us,” Coleman said. “It gave us an opportunity to advise and consult and make sure our replay staff in those two locations was considering everything they needed to get a call right. We see the possibility of it growing in the future. Obviously, there are costs involved. That has to be considered.”

Yeah, we all know that times are tight in P5 conferences.

There are other reasons why centralizing reviews makes sense:  consistency and a reduction in bias, as the Big Ten’s officiating coordinator explains.

But Carollo expressed concerns that command centers located in conference offices create conflicts of interest.

“I don’t like the structure of a collaborative center down the hallway from the commissioner because the conference may have something to gain if a certain team wins or loses – money-wise, playoff-wise, bowl-wise,” Carollo said. “Of course the conference wants certain teams to win. Conferences don’t make calls, but there is some pressure. That’s why we separate our officials away from the conference office. I want neutrality. That’s what the coaches want.”

“Of course the conference wants certain teams to win.”?  I bet that gets a memo from Jim Delany.  Carollo may be the most honest person in college football.  A somewhat low bar, I know.  But he’s right, and the best way to remove that pressure is to take reviewing out of the hands of conference officials entirely.  It would also save money.  Man, you’d think that’s about as win-win as things get for CFB.



Filed under College Football, SEC Football

Penn Wagers does not approve of this message.

I am legitimately surprised by this.

Swinney was hardly alone in 2016, the first season in which the NCAA explicitly stated coaches are automatically ejected for two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in a game. Pockets of coaches kept treating the playing field like their personal sanctuary to act like multi-million-dollar mad men.

Not a single coach got ejected at the FBS or FCS level in 2016, according to the NCAA. One officiating coordinator, who asked to remain anonymous, put it this way: “Nobody wants to be the first to do it. It will be huge news. I’ve told our guys, ‘If a coach makes you do that, then you’ve just got to do it.’”

Seriously, between prima donna refs and excitable guys like Boom, how did that not happen even once?


Filed under College Football

Feeding frenzy

Apparently, it just dawned on a few folks that the NCAA’s proposal to expand FBS coaching staffs to 10 members means the big boys are set to raid other coaching staffs to get theirs.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, chairman of the NCAA’s football oversight committee, and Todd Berry, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, acknowledged that 130 teams hiring a coach when staffs are typically set could create an inconvenience for schools that lose assistants.

Still, they say it is not worth waiting.

“(The committee has) talked about it at length. Tell me if you think it’s less disruptive if it’s Aug. 1, Dec. 1 or Jan. 15?” Bowlsby told the Associated Press Thursday. “There’s going to be disruption no matter when it goes into effect.”

Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “coaching season”, doesn’t it?


Filed under College Football

“… just a fact of life in college football.”

Tony, the problem isn’t our naiveté.  It’s that we’re being asked to swallow the notion of coaches jumping ship after signing day as a matter of routine while at the same time having the issue of player transfers presented as a threat to the American way of life.

I think the word you’re looking for is hypocrisy.


Filed under College Football, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

Today, in money

There appears to be a growing revenue gap that threatens to widen the divide — not between the haves and have nots, but between the haves and haves.  Jon Wilner lays it out:

Fiscal year 2015 school distributions (all figures confirmed):

SEC: $32.7 million
Big Ten: $32.4 million
Pac-12: $25.1 million

Fiscal year 2016 school distributions

SEC: $40 million (confirmed)
Big Ten: $35 million (approximate)
Pac-12: $27 million (approximate)

That looks bad … that is bad … but it’s about to get much worse for the Pac-12.

Remember: The Big Ten’s new Tier 1 deal begins in 2017-18, and it’s also a whopper, averaging $440 million per year.

Which brings us to …

Fiscal year 2017-18 school distributions …

Big Ten: $45 million (estimate)
SEC: $43 million (estimate)
Pac-12: $31 million (estimate)

Yeah, I can see how that would be perceived as a problem.  And the problem isn’t exclusive to the Pac-12; it extends similarly to the ACC and Big 12.

All of which has led to some understandable back patting.

Props to Jim Delany for riding the television spending tidal wave like a Los Angeles weed dealer with a surfing hobby. The B1G is in prime position to loot the jewels from the Big 12’s vault whenever that ponzi scheme collapses.

However, it might be worth considering the possibility of more than one ponzi scheme out there.

Walt Disney Co.’s struggles with ESPN took center stage again Tuesday as the entertainment giant blamed falling viewership and advertising for lower sales and profit.

Revenue at the Burbank, California-based company shrank 3 percent to $14.8 billion in the first quarter ended Dec. 31, Disney said Tuesday in a statement. That missed the $15.3 billion average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

A decline in profit at ESPN, which had fewer college bowl games and lower viewership, dragged down results in cable TV — which is by far Disney’s largest business. With the highest subscriber rates in pay TV, Disney’s sports network is especially at risk of losing revenue as cable audiences cancel subscriptions for online services or sign up for so-called skinny bundles that don’t play up sports programming.

Disney also blamed higher programming costs at ESPN…

Oh, I’m sure it’ll work out.  Delany and Sankey aren’t considered geniuses for nothing, right?


Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness

The long, slow death of waiting his turn

Stewart Mandel has a good piece up on another trend making the rounds, blue chip quarterbacks jumping ship after a few years in the program they signed with.

If it seems like high-profile quarterback recruits transfer at an unusually high rate, well, it’s because they do. Using 247Sports’ composite rankings, FOX Sports researched the careers of every Top 50 quarterback recruit that signed from 2011-14.

Top 50 QB recruits, 2011-14
Stars Transferred Started early* Stayed anyway
4/5-star 46.9 % 33.3 % 28.1 %
3-star 52.9 % 12.5 % 33.7 %
TOTAL 50 % 22.5 % 31 %
Top 50 based on 247Sports Composite rankings
* — started early = first or second season of eligibility
Numbers don’t add up to 100 % because some early starters also transferred.

Exactly half — 100 of 200 — transferred from their original school.

He cites several reasons for it, some of which you may find more convincing than others, but there’s little question that whatever is driving them, a lot of quarterbacks aren’t hunkering down to wait for one shot at glory.

As such, nearly all of them expect to become starters by their first or second seasons. But of course there are only so many starting jobs to go around at the top programs, and the position there may only come open once every two or three years.

“That creates high expectations by not only the kids themselves but people around them,” said Stumpf. “Family, friends private coaches — there’s a lot of pressure on those kids to get on the field early.”

Unfortunately, just 22.5 percent of the Top 50 QBs start by their first or second seasons. Of the rest, only 40 percent stay for the remainder of their careers.

Ultimately, we live in a what have you done for me lately world.  It’s not rational to expect all kids and their coaches to be exempt from that kind of thinking.


Filed under College Football

“We’re a failed business model by nature.”

Boy, you ain’t kidding about that, Mister anonymous prominent Power Five athletic director.

Thank Gawd they’ve got geniuses like Larry Scott and Bob Bowlsby to cover for them.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness