Not exactly a week loaded with heavyweight action.
Category Archives: College Football
Just a few random impressions from a Dawgless Saturday:
- The ACC is left with Clemson holding the banner for its national title hopes. Maybe this will be that year.
- Al Golden is toast.
- Speaking of national title hopes, the Pac-12 has to be wishing for a heckuva lot more undefeated teams going down in the next few weeks. (There are still twelve BCS teams without a loss, but several of those aren’t in P5 conferences.)
- The SEC East is a two-team race, and I think we can safely say Missouri isn’t a part of that.
- The West is now a three-team race. The irony there is the team most of us think is the best is the only one not in control of its destiny.
- Can anybody explain Ole Miss’ season? I can’t.
- And Gus takes the lead in the most overpaid coach in the SEC West race.
“This game starts with me,” he said. He added: “The head coach has the responsibility to own up to it.”
It’s about time, Richt… er, no.
Southern Cal, a program with a history and accomplishments at least as impressive as Georgia’s – I’m being generous with the phrasing there – has had these gentlemen as its last four head football coaches: Paul Hackett, Pete Carroll, Junior and Steve Sarkisian. Before you go running off proclaiming what a home run hire Carroll was, remember that his arrival was largely yawned over, coming in as a NFL coach with a mediocre record. And then remember he’s largely the reason USC got stuck hiring the Laner as its seventh choice.
The point here isn’t that you can’t make a great coaching hire. Of course you can; it happens now and then. The point is it’s more of a crapshoot than some of you are willing to concede, and the odds get even longer when the folks doing the hiring don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground. That, sadly, is reality.
Feel free to carry on with your axe grinding now. I’m done.
The math of selling beer at college football games is pretty simple.
In an era of seven-figure coaching salaries and demands for more resources for athletes, universities are always looking for ways to increase revenue. But college football is also eager to keep up attendance, which averaged 44,190 last season, the lowest figure since at least 2003, according to the N.C.A.A. In the era of high-definition home televisions, fan experience is the focus of many athletic directors’ offices.
In that environment, alcohol sales are a moneymaker. West Virginia’s athletic director, Shane Lyons, said last month that “approximately $500,000 a year just in beer comes back to us.”
Not only is that nothing to sneer at, it’s enough to overcome certain squeamish qualms.
“I feel like we’ve been a pilot program — people have seen it work,” West Virginia’s Lyons said, noting that Maryland and Texas had contacted West Virginia for advice before deciding to begin beer sales this fall.
Not everyone is comfortable. West Virginia’s president, E. Gordon Gee, who as a Mormon does not drink, said he was reluctant to maintain the policy when he returned to the university last year but was persuaded to do so by the Board of Governors.
“I’m sometimes conflicted about it,” he said, “because I do believe one of the main issues confronting universities is alcohol abuse — binge drinking.”
And the decision to sell beer in the stadium will have such an impact on that. Like another policy in fact does.
At West Virginia, the introduction of general-admission alcohol sales was paired with the elimination of so-called passouts. Though the term is not a deliberate pun, passouts — which allowed fans to leave and re-enter the stadium during Mountaineers games — contributed to binge drinking in the parking lots at halftime.
“I used to park my motor home outside the stadium,” Jay Gerber, 65, said as he stood at his seat near the 50-yard line. “Was nice to come and go.”
His bathroom was probably easier to access, too.
There is a certain hypocrisy to allowing alcohol to be consumed in the well-heeled section of the stadium – one of the perks, ‘ya know – and denying it to the rest of the season ticket holders. But buried in the article is the most hilarious defense of the practice you’ll ever see.
“Whether it’s alcohol or any other improvements,” she said, “it’s important to keep some of what people love about college and not make it a mini-N.F.L.”
Heavens to Betsy, not that! Get thee away, demon alcohol!
A funny thing happened on the way to jacked up prices, cupcake games, pace and stretched out game times: attendance at college football games has stabilized.
Personally, I think it’s the improved WiFi experience.
This is what you call a negative feedback cycle.
Here’s the irony.
The faster college football has become, the slower it gets.
Offenses are increasingly trying to quicken the pace of play, rushing to the line of scrimmage to snap the ball before defenses can adjust. The tactic has resulted in longer games because the quicker drives equate to more possessions which equate to more TV breaks.
Got that? Pace equals more TV breaks, which means longer games, which is a problem – not for fans, as the writer suggests, as much as it is for the very broadcasters scheduling those breaks.
Which suggests a solution that as obvious as it is likely to be ignored. Instead, we’re likely to hear this kind of stupidity:
College football needs to follow the NFL model and not stop the clock for first downs, except in the final two minutes. A shorter halftime would work as well. If a 12-minute break is good enough for professional players, no reason why it needs to be 20 minutes at the college level.
There will be resistance because many college fans like the differences between the pros and the amateurs, but as long as teams continue to quicken the pace, changes need to be made for the good of the game.
Absolutely. Because everyone knows that being more like the NFL is good for the college football game.