Category Archives: The NFL Is Your Friend.

”Traditions are an important part of college football.”

Which explains why the College Football Playoff is planning to import the rich tradition of the Super Bowl-style halftime show to the national championship game.  Why, you may ask?

Reader, please.

Hancock said ESPN approached CFP officials with the idea of a concert in Centennial Olympic Park at halftime as part of the national championship game broadcast and live watch party. Fans without tickets to the game will be able to watch the game and attend the concert in Centennial Park for free.

”This will be a win-win, enhancing the viewing experience for a broad section of fans at home and in the park, while maintaining the culture of the game inside the stadium,” Hancock said.

I really hate these people.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil, The NFL Is Your Friend.

“If you are not a top pick, your ass better play in the [bowl] game.”

For the studs, though,

NFL officials speak with a bluntness about this issues that offers a sharp contrast to the idealism and wistfulness of college coaches. When discussing Fournette for a feature a few weeks ago, NFL officials consistently chuckled at the notion of skipping a bowl game hurting his or McCaffrey’s draft stock. “He’s got a billion-dollar set of knees,” one personnel director said of Fournette. “What are you doing playing in a nothing bowl game?”

Added another personnel director after the draft: “I think you will see more top players do it due to the minimal effect it had on their draft stock. If a player’s team isn’t playing for a national title, why risk your future earnings? The NCAA isn’t paying them.”

Somebody needs to ask Bob Bowlsby about that.  I mean, Greg Sankey’s “Clearly, this makes one attentive in a brand new way,” is hardly catchy.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NFL Is Your Friend.

“If you want to be a football player, I play football.”

David Shaw tries to thread the needle between “When I was an NFL coach, the first film I grabbed for every player was their bowl game, because I wanted to see what they were like when they were fresh. It wasn’t the middle of the season,” and his blessing on his star player Christian McCaffrey’s early departure — bowl game, that is — for his pro career with this observation:

“Saying, ‘This game is not important for me, and I don’t need it,’ is different than saying, ‘I don’t need it to further my career,’” Shaw said. “The McCaffrey situation is that, I’ve put so much great film out there, I’ve broken so many records, playing in this bowl game won’t change my draft status.

That is certainly a valid distinction and I get where Shaw is coming from.  I’m not a college junior weighing my choices, though, and the problem there, it seems to me, is that those kids don’t have enough information to make the best decision for themselves.  Couple that with the fact that declaring early for the NFL draft is a no-look back decision, unlike other collegiate sports where you can announce your interest, but as long as you don’t sign with an agent, your declaration is revocable, allowing a return to school, and that’s how you get to a situation where almost a third of this year’s early departees went undrafted.

If the NCAA is sincere about its turning pro finger wagging, maybe it ought to take a look at this.  Who knows?  Maybe it would keep a few extra kids playing in bowl games.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Today, in just shoot me now

The next big thing, according to Ohio State director of player personnel Mark Pantoni?

I think the next wave is you’re going to see it become more — have more personnel specific departments like the NFL. I think you’re going to start seeing — there’s already two or three schools that have titles of general manager, and then you’re going to see just 20 people in the personnel office just cutting up film and doing film evals. I think that’s going to be the next step and it’s just going to keep growing from there.

Stadium naming rights.  General managers.  Giant personnel offices.  “… and it’s just going to keep growing from there.”

I’d call it NFL-lite, but it sounds like the only lite part is the general managers not having to worry about salary caps.

(h/t)

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Not a damned bit.

With Fournette and McCaffrey going in the top eight picks last night, there’s your answer to the question I raised the other day.

Meaningless is as meaningless does, boys.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NFL Is Your Friend.

The spread’s been berry, berry good to…

college cornerbacks.

This is good news for general managers, because teams are so desperate that they’ll draft basically any corner these days. Last year, teams selected 31 defensive backs in the first four rounds — up from 22 from five years ago, during the 2012 draft, this despite the fact that last year’s crop was not considered particularly great. Prospects who could be drafted Thursday include Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore, Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzie, Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey, Washington’s Kevin King, LSU’s Tre’Davious White, Florida’s Quincy Wilson, and USC’s Adoree’ Jackson.

There are a few theories that explain the cornerback boom (and why it will last at least a few years), but mostly it comes down to the proliferation of the spread offense. The point of the spread is to overextend the defense by putting more receivers on the field. With an increased demand for wideouts, there’s an increased supply, forcing more elite athletes to choose other positions to get noticed. Upon switching to corner, those athletes are testing the “10,000-hour theory” of defensive back play, chasing teams like Baylor, Oregon, and Texas Tech all over the place. During the 2016 college season, 26 teams faced at least 35 passes per game — in 2006, only two teams faced that kind of passing barrage.

It’s led to some rethinking on troop deployment, too.

College corners are seeing more passes and more snaps. The hurry-up craze has led some college defenses to adopt a rotation system. Back in 2008, Aliotti was the defensive coordinator for Oregon and he started to treat his defense “like a hockey team,” rotating players whenever possible to minimize the fatigue caused by the fast pace. “We got to a place where we had 20 to 23 guys we could count on each game,” he said. “You needed to combat the passing. We’d switch out a linebacker and one or two corners per play, I don’t think anyone did that prior to us.”

Aliotti is now an analyst with the Pac-12 Networks, and he’s since visited with many coaches, including Alabama’s Nick Saban, to discuss how to utilize a similar rotation system. The idea has spread throughout college, Aliotti said. Ohio State has rotated their defensive backs in recent years, and could have as many as three picks in the top 15 of this draft.

The result?  Mo’ backs and mo’ money for mo’ backs.

… Mike Farrell, national recruiting director at Rivals, said youth players have been figuring out what positions to play earlier on in order to “go where the money is in the pros.” The spread has made good corners a hot commodity in the NFL, and they get paid like it. According to Spotrac, there are 10 cornerbacks who average over $12 million a year; there are six receivers who average that. Josh Norman, Patrick Peterson, Joe Haden, Desmond Trufant, Stephon Gilmore, and Richard Sherman are currently on contracts worth at least $40 million guaranteed. Darrelle Revis is basically Warren Buffett.

Hmmm… I wonder if anyone’s shown Mecole Hardman this yet.

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Does the NFL care about bowl game attendance?

Let’s just say that if, in fact, Fournette and McCaffrey are first-rounders tomorrow in the NFL draft, the odds that more star collegiate players skip minor bowls out of a sense of self-preservation are likely to be significantly enabled.  With the money at stake, who could blame them?

The interesting thing will be learning what kind of advice their college coaches give them about the decision.

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Filed under The NFL Is Your Friend.