Category Archives: It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Today in the annals of butthurt

Eastern Washington’s AD is awash in false graciousness over the school’s star quarterback moving to Oregon under the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule.

“We are not sure that this was the actual intent of the legislation…”?  What, pray tell, was it, then?

Then again, maybe what he meant was that it’s a mistake for any NCAA rule to benefit a student-athlete.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, The NCAA

Friday morning buffet

Indulge yourself a little.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Wit And Wisdom From The Hat, You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

Saturday morning buffet

Start your weekend off with a little something.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, SEC Football, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas, You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again.

Alabama state Rep. Jack Williams, time will tell whether you’re brave or foolish.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Political Wankery, Whoa, oh, Alabama

Another fight over tradition

And this one’s a doozy.

The College Football Playoff’s management committee will discuss Navy’s eligibility for this season’s New Year’s Six bowls because of the academy’s new conference affiliation and the timing of its annual game against Army.

Navy will join the American Athletic Conference in the fall.

The commissioners’ concern is if the Midshipmen are ranked high enough to earn one of the New Year’s Six bowl bids — and then lose the following week to Army. That loss would not count toward Navy’s final ranking, penalizing other teams that would have earned a New Year’s Six bowl bid if the loss was factored in.

When money and college football are involved, it’s a no-brainer to follow the money, but in this case, the PR optics are horrendous.  And don’t think the grand poobahs of the sport aren’t aware of that.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby best described the delicate matter facing the management committee.

“Given the rich history of the Army-Navy game, its patriotic significance and pageantry, I can appreciate the desire of the academies to play on a stand-alone date with the eyes of the nation able to watch,” Bowlsby said. “However at this juncture, I’m not sure how best to address the impact of the game’s outcome on the CFP given Navy’s move into the American Athletic Conference, and the potential for it to secure a spot in the structure as a conference champion, or highly ranked non-champion.

“I will want to discuss this possibility and viable options with my FBS commissioner colleagues before formulating a recommended course.”

Translation: oh, shit, do I have to make a decision?

Unfortunately, that’s what they pay you the big bucks for, Bob.

The problem for these guys is that crapping on the military is a spectacularly bad idea for a group that is already making mouth noises about needing Congressional help on the antitrust front.  But the other mid-major conferences aren’t going to let the CFP folks off the hook, because, money.

The likely solution?  Deflect the debate away from Army and Navy and make it a it’s-the-principle-of-the-thing call.

MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher and Benson also indicated the policy needs to be reviewed. Besides Navy and Army, another possibility, a commissioner suggested, is what if other schools opt to play the week after the final rankings are released and, win or lose, would remain eligible for the New Year’s Six bowls? Also, what would keep independents Notre Dame and BYU from trying to schedule a 13th game the week after the final rankings?

Yeah, what if, bitchez?

Here’s the thing – no other schools besides those two are playing after the final rankings.  How hard would it be to prohibit any other schools from doing so?  Not very, except that’s not really the issue here.

Swarbrick said it’s important to maintain college football’s traditions.

“You want to try and honor and preserve traditions — look at how we protected the bowls,” another commissioner said. “Army-Navy is one of the more significant traditions in college football. How do you preserve that tradition without unsettling the basic elements of the playoff structure?”

One commissioner said 126 of the 128 FBS teams are conforming because of the College Football Playoff — except for Army and Navy, who play the only game after the rankings are released.

“That,” the commissioner said, “is the fundamental tension.”

I’m afraid this is a war the service academies aren’t gonna win.  College football’s most important tradition is undefeated.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness

Destined for greatness

Let’s just say that the committee appointed by UAB President Ray Watts to cover his ass determine if football has any future at the school is off to a fabulous start, even if its members have no clue who would pay for any study of the issue it orders.  But rest assured progress is already being made – the committee has already figured out that there won’t be any UAB football this year.  Well done, folks.

They’ve also figured out that they’re independent.  No, really.

They also wanted students to know they aren’t here to rubber stamp any decision the university has already made. Smith said the entire committee is in agreement on their independence. They want to gather as much information as possible from those concerned to put together a proposal.

With confidence in the administration at a low level, smith believes the committee will be taken seriously.

“I can tell you that the members of this committee would not be serving and using their valuable time if we didn’t believe whatever the outcome of this process shows would not be seriously considered,” said Smith.

Heavy, dude. But if you really believe that, you’re the only one who doesn’t see the real purpose for your committee’s existence.  You’re there to sell Conference USA on the chance of football at UAB.

Conference USA is holding a previously scheduled winter retreat next week. UAB Interim Athletic Director Shannon Ealy says that’s when he and Watts will make their case to conference commissioners and the other university presidents. They are asking for more time to complete the new study and determine what type of department the university will have.

Good luck with that, Shannon Ealy.  I can hear your sales pitch to the conference now:  You don’t want to rush President Watts into a hasty decision, now, do you?  Look what happened the last time he made one of those. Sure, we know CUSA requires its member schools to maintain football programs, but if you could just see your way into letting UAB have a temporary exemption from that – say, for five or six years as a starter – I’m sure we could come up with a thoughtful way out of the problem it created with Watts’ lack of thought.  Hey, if we weren’t serious about this, would Watts have appointed a committee to look into his decision?  Er… why are you all smiling at me like that?

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

“It’s part of the budget, part of life at this level.”

I don’t know about you, but I find this bit of information disturbing:

Athletic fees contribute mightily to the $1.3 trillion in college debt that students face. USC Upstate business professor Jeff Smith, who has studied and written about the issue, estimates that students across the country borrow almost $4 billion per year to pay for college athletics on their campuses.

That is one screwed up sense of priorities there – schools can’t live within their athletic budgets, so they force students to do the same with their personal budgets.  To make matters worse, “… student athletic fees are often difficult to uncover and don’t often appear on school’s websites or student’s bills.”  That is some heavy bullshit there.

Read the whole thing.  See if you don’t get irritated, too.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness