Category Archives: College Football

“I explained to him that it was a one-year deal, and that’s all it is.”

I’m sure those of you who have proclaimed your faith in the sacred contractual bond between football program and scholarship athlete in the context of the Missouri boycott will feel just as holy about this.

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“You basically just have to have two willing parties and a city willing to host.”

Forty bowl games already, and more towns falling over themselves to host new ones.  Why so many bowl games?  Welp, it’s not like there’s a steep barrier to entry.

Currently, bowls or prospective bowls must apply for NCAA certification by April 1. The bar is not high.

Essentially, a group can crank up a bowl game for $10,000, payable to the NCAA, and agreements with conferences to supply teams. There’s discussion of raising the certification standards at least to previous levels, when bowls were required, among other things, to maintain a $2 million line of credit, and perhaps of reinstituting a moratorium on new bowls, at least during a lengthened certification cycle.

How to do it is uncertain. Any certification process that included a limit on the number of bowls would at minimum have to leave room for competition between prospective and existing bowls.

Competition?  Why worry about that?  Ummm

There are legal considerations for the NCAA, which certifies bowls but basically has no other role in the FBS postseason. In 2004, the National Invitational Tournament sued the NCAA, saying it violated antitrust law by requiring teams to play in the NCAA Tournament if they are invited. The NCAA ended the case by buying the NIT for $40.5 million and paying another $16 million to settle.

“Part of this is if you start to limit who can have a bowl, you start having accusations of restraint of trade again,” Bowlsby said. “Down the road, maybe the FBA can do some self-regulation that the NCAA can’t do. Right now, it’s a lot simpler deciding who is eligible to play in a bowl.”

Simple is about all people like Bowlsby can handle right now.

In the meantime, 10 grand and a couple of willing partners doesn’t sound too daunting.  If I can raise the money, anybody got a backyard big enough to host a football game?  C’mon, kids, the Blutarsky Bowl is waiting!

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Tuesday morning buffet

Once again, it’s time to rise and shine, campers.

  • This presser sounds like it’s gonna be a real blast.
  • Jordan Jenkins on 6-6, 346 OL Sam Madden“The kid’s a walking refrigerator.”
  • Parrish Walton on the Jim Chaney hire:  It’s the third-down conversions, stupid.
  • Here’s a pretty cool story on how the construction of Harvard Stadium changed the rules of football.
  • Jim Harbaugh really doesn’t give a shit about what people think.
  • Aaron Murray’s advice to Jacob Eason “My biggest thing is don’t read anything. Don’t pick up the paper. Don’t read the good stuff and don’t read the bad stuff. Just stay away from it all. Things are going to go bad at times, things are going be great at times. So you don’t want to be too full of yourself and you don’t want to get too down on yourself by reading this article or this post on this website from this fan..”  C’mon, man.  How’s he supposed to learn about G-Day QBR?
  • When it comes to indoor practice facilities, Mark Richt finds himself on familiar ground.
  • Speaking of Richt, Greg Poole has a piece on a way in which Kirby Smart’s recruiting approach differs from his predecessor’s.
  • Brian Cook has a nice catch about a fall break trip that Vanderbilt’s baseball team took that didn’t raise a single eyebrow about taking away from kids’ free time.  Funny how that works.

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Filed under ACC Football, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big Ten Football, College Football, Georgia Football, Recruiting, Stats Geek!

All they need is love.

Andy Staples gets to the meat of what’s significant about the Louisiana governor’s warning about the state’s budgetary crisis with this:

Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards insisted he wasn’t trying to scare anyone last week when he outlined the state’s economic woes ahead of a special legislative session to determine a new budget. But of course he was…

In the grand scheme, the closure of hospitals—something Edwards also threatened as a possibility in his doomsday speech—would be a far greater catastrophe than an interruption of college football in the state. But Edwards is a politician. He knew which button to push. By hinting that the budget crisis could harm LSU football, Edwards turned a state story into a national one and raised the antennae of people from all walks of life whose only commonality may be their love of the Tigers…

What’s most interesting is the fact that Edwards chose to use college football as a political lever. In local politics, it’s common to threaten the discontinuation of high school sports or school bus service because those things tend to rally the electorate. In 2009, I wrote about a community in Ohio that found itself nearly torn in two by a tax levy fight that briefly claimed sports in the local high schools. It makes sense that a similar threat at the state level would be calculated to inspire the same emotions.

But we shouldn’t be surprised that college football now has a role in politics. When combined with the passion it stirs, the popularity it enjoys and the reach it regularly has, it makes the ideal additive for a politician or activist looking to generate buzz. The Missouri football team’s protest last year also brought national attention to what was ultimately a state issue. Edwards realized more people would talk about Louisiana’s budget if they thought it might affect LSU football. (Which actually helped the LSU athletic department contribute $43.5 million to the university side in the past five years.)

In some places, college football means that much. Politicians were bound to take advantage eventually.

Thinking back to the days not too long ago when Congress and the Utah attorney general were threatening the P5 commissioners over college football’s postseason, I’d probably question his use of the word “eventually” there, but otherwise, that’s spot on.  Folks with political axes to grind gravitate towards college football for the same reason ESPN does –   because there are a boatload of us who care passionately about the sport, and that passion can be milked.

The irony, of course, is that the only folks who don’t seem capable of doing any such milking are the fans themselves.  In the meantime, those of you who decry my occasional insertion of politics into the blog here… hey, don’t blame me.  I’m only the messenger.

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Filed under College Football, Political Wankery

“This is a game of skill…”

Here’s something that may be worth keeping an eye on:  in a world that’s grown increasingly hostile to the fantasy sports business model, a bill introduced in the Georgia legislature is proposing to swim against the tide.

Unterman called the legislation a “consumer protection” effort, saying an estimated 1.5 million people play daily fantasy sports in Georgia.

Notably, she wrote the bill to differentiate daily fantasy sports from gambling — something Georgia bans other than in lottery games and slot-like machines known as coin-operated amusement machines.

“This is a game of skill, that you are actually following and researching the players and teams, versus just going in and plopping down $3 for a lottery ticket and the computer generates the numbers,” Unterman said…

Okay, you can stop chuckling now.  The idea that fantasy sports is more a game of skill than, say, poker is… well, laughable.

But what I really wonder about here is pretty simple.  With the NCAA and the conferences on the warpath about fantasy sports and their track record for making public gestures, could we be looking at a situation where there are repercussions in states that welcome fantasy sports?  Eh, probably not.

I mean, let’s face it.  Georgia is looking at regulation because there’s a little money in it for the state (

Still, at least for now, we’re in the Bible Belt.  It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the bill and, if it passes and is signed into law, what kind of response it’ll generate.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

“Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription is more replay!”

For safety purposes, college football leaders have no interest rolling back the 3-year-old targeting penalty, which can result in the ejection of a player. But there are lots of discussions about how to improve replay’s often inconsistent reviews of the penalty, which are being called on the field more than ever.

Targeting flags on the field increased by 60 percent in 2015, with 115 calls made (0.14 targeting penalties per game). There were 55 targeting calls in 2013 and 72 in 2014. National officiating coordinator Rogers Redding said he doesn’t know why the targeting flags are up, adding that “the numbers sort of speak for themselves.”

Read the rest of Jon Solomon’s piece and you’ll come to the sad realization that Redding’s comment there is about as coherent as he or any conference’s officiating coordinator can sound.

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Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria…

The real question about the uptick in graduate transfers at quarterback isn’t about the chaos it creates – that’s just shorthand bullshit for coaches who don’t like losing control over their players.  It’s this:

But the biggest question posed at the successes of the Adams’ and Coker’s and Rudock’s of the world is why did those schools — schools that have historically (or quite recently) been so successful — need to turn to an outsider for the most important position on the field? What went wrong in their own development and quarterback depth building that there wasn’t a player to step in after Mariota left? After Sims left? After Jameis Winston left?

“I think it’s an issue with developing,” one high school coach said. “I think it definitely looks negative as far as a program’s ability to develop a young man.”

Bingo.  It takes two to tango, and those kids wouldn’t be jumping if there weren’t landing spots out there for them.  So, quit complaining, coaches.  Do a better job of developing your quarterbacks, and there’s the end of chaos.

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Filed under College Football