Category Archives: College Football

Australian for bowl game

Meet Paul Sergeant, CEO of Melbourne Stadiums Limited, who is part of a group proposing to host a bowl game at Etihad Stadium in Australia next season, featuring teams from the Pac-12 and Mountain West.

It’s a group with a unique sales pitch.

While the other bowls pay the participating school or conference between a few hundred thousand to several million dollars for their appearance, the Australia bowl would not pay the schools or conferences any money. However, it would cover all expenses instead. Sergeant also said his bowl would not require ticket commitments from each school.

“The key element is there’s no risk for the conference or the teams,” Sergeant said.

Throw in some ESPN bucks, and it’s probably a better deal for schools than some other bowl games.

Who knows?  As a bonus, the coaches could spend a little time on the trip scouting for punters.

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Filed under College Football

Bowling for dollars

College football is adding three new bowl games this season.  Now, I’m not complaining – when it comes down to it, college football is like beer; you can never have too much on hand – but I’m detecting a note of quasi-shame from the decision makers about it.

“I’ve quit worrying about numbers,” said Wright Waters, the Football Bowl Association’s executive director. But he and others in the bowl industry are aware they’re nearing a saturation point.

“There’s got to be one,” Waters told USA TODAY Sports, “but I don’t know where it is. Every time I meet a mathematician, I ask him to solve this problem for me. They all look at me and laugh.”

The math guys may laugh, but you know who isn’t laughing?  The bean counters at ESPN.

Disney’s cable networks reported 9% lower operating income to $1.8 billion. The decrease was caused by higher programming and production costs at ESPN, which had higher rights fees for the college football playoffs, an added NFL playoff game and the newly launched SEC network. Cable revenues were up 11% to $4 billion.

Add three new bowl games, and you offset the hit to the bottom line a little bit.  And every little bit helps.

“At some point this is gonna be a self-limiting thing,” American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco told USA TODAY SPORTS. “It wouldn’t be responsible to have bowls beyond that certain point – but I don’t know where that point is.”

Brother, that’s something you need not worry about.  If that day ever comes, Mickey will let you know, for sure.

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

“All of us realize this industry and the NCAA is changing.”

The good and bad of divisions?  Spare me the bullshit, at least with regard to the latter.

For sure, Scott Stricklin does.

Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin pointed out the SEC’s expansion to 14 teams — and not necessarily divisions — as the reason for some of the scheduling problems.

“When we made the decision to go to 14, there was no way around that,” he said. “Unless we’re going to play a 13-game schedule and all you play is the other 13 teams, you’re going to miss somebody, and there’s going to be some unfairness in the randomness of the schedule that is unavoidable. The division is not the cause of that. That’s the fact we have a 14-team league and we’re trying to play a 12-game schedule.”

It’s not rocket science, Joe Alleva.

But SEC athletic directors have not given much thought to the topic and have hardly talked about championship game deregulation. During their spring meetings next month, they will discuss the deregulation proposal for the first time.

“It’s not crazy. It’s something to think about,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said. “It hasn’t come up because the NCAA rule’s always been you had to [have divisions to have a championship game]. You have to change that rule.”

Have to, bitches.  Have to.  What’s the point to having divisions, if you’re not going to organize your championship game around them?  Probably something to do with money… like everything else.

They’ll tell us it all for us fans.  But it’s really about chasing a spot in the CFP.

“… For the good of the group and the good of the whole, that flexibility as the College Football Playoff evolves puts us in a good position,” Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock said. “It makes us more nimble as a conference. We can stay the same and that’s great, and if we need to change, then we’d have the flexibility to do it.”

Awesome.  Makes you wonder what they’ll come up with when the playoff field expands to eight.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

Agent Muschamp’s parting gift?

If Boom is the reason the head coaching market suddenly dried up for hot-shot defensive coordinators, does that mean Jeremy Pruitt stays in Athens a little longer than we expected?

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Filed under College Football

“A good field goal kicker in college football is often a luxury”

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Seth Emerson’s trolling certain GTP trollers with this:

• Alabama, last year’s SEC champion, only made 14-of-22 field goal attempts and missed two extra points. Two years before that, the Crimson Tide won the SEC and national championships while making 15-of-20 field goal attempts.

• Auburn made 15-of-21 field goal attempts and missed one extra point during its run to the 2013 SEC championship.

Well played, sir.  Wish I’d have thought of it.

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Filed under College Football

“The pros and cons of a spring game”

Really, it’s a coaches vs. fans kind of debate, isn’t it?  (We know where ESPN stands.)

But even the coaches know a spring game brings its own kind of juice.

“The cons [to not having a spring game] are for the fans and a certain piece of recruiting, because my first two spring games here, it’s been electric,” Stoops said. “We’ve had great crowds, very energetic and it was a nice way to break the end of spring ball and gear up for the fall and just to get out and spend some time with the fans, plus the recruiting piece.”

Sumlin’s second spring practice at Texas A&M, which included famed quarterback Johnny Manziel coming off a Heisman Trophy, drew an estimated 45,000 fans to Kyle Field.

“We had 45,000 people and ESPN; the exposure is a big deal,” Sumlin said. “I think our guys, from an energy standpoint, enjoy the spring game.”

So why not take the next step and go with what coaches like Swinney, O’Leary and Freeze have suggested:  go live.

“I would love to see us be able to scrimmage another team,” he said. “That way you can go ones on ones, twos on twos, threes on threes — really get something out of it. Maybe even adopt a charity. Maybe it’s [an FCS] opponent that you don’t play in the regular season. I think there would be a lot of interest in something like that. I wish we could do something like that.”

I know it sounds radical.  But I can’t help but wonder… Ohio State had almost 100,000 folks at its spring game, and charged them $5 apiece for the privilege.  What could schools like Georgia and Clemson collect from football-starved fans to show up for a game between the two on a nice April day?

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Filed under College Football

Wednesday morning buffet

Another day full of buffet goodness:

  • Art Briles says Baylor’s non-conference schedule had “zero impact” on his team not making the CFP last season.  He’s right, in that had Baylor not lost to West Virginia, it would have been in.  He’s wrong in that the non-conference schedule left Baylor with zero margin for error.
  • What do you get when some economics professors rank the intensity of college football rivalries?  This“Within a conference, the most intense two-way rivalry was between Central Michigan and Western Michigan…”  You might want to think about tweaking your measurements, fellas.
  • If Natrez Patrick stays at inside linebacker, at ten or so pounds heavier than Alec Ogletree, he’d be the biggest player ever to suit up at the position under Richt.
  • Nick Saban wants to be clear about satellite camps.  He’s agin’ ’em.  And you don’t want to offend Alabama on the recruiting front, people.
  • So, there was an inside guy on the Winston crab legs heist?  Steve Spurrier’s gonna have to come up with a new nickname for FSU, methinks.
  • It’s only April and the 2015 watch lists for awards march has started.  Wake me when it’s over.
  • It looks like Georgia Tech has landed its B-back for this season.
  • Year2 discusses the case for Nick Chubb’s Heisman possibilities.

131 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, College Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting