Bigger playoff, fewer bowls?

When Nick Saban isn’t narrowly pursuing his self-interests, I find he often has thoughtful things to say about college football.  This is one of those times:

“I don’t know if we’re going to be able to coexist with a bowl system and a playoff system,” he said. “I think you’ve got to have one or the other. You know, if we’re going to have an eight-team playoff, 16-team playoff, I don’t think you’re going to have bowl games. I’m not advocating either one. I’m just saying it’s going to be difficult for those two things to coexist.”

I think that’s right.  But I’m not as sure as I used to be that the people running college football care nearly as much about the bowls as they once did.  And I’m also not sure that those folks have really thought out the implications of playoff expansion as it would affect the bowls.

I’m assuming Saban’s talking about the top-tier bowl games.  The lesser sites will continue to exist as long as there is an appetite to broadcast them on ESPN and there are seven-win and mid-major schools to fill them.  But you’re already seeing the trend of the conferences taking greater control over the bigger bowls, which may be a precursor to outright replacement with playoff games.  (And with expansion will come a greater likelihood of at least some of those games being played at a team’s home site, not at a bowl.)

More shedding of tradition, in other words.  Some, no doubt, will welcome that as progress.  But what it will really represent is another step in the sport’s journey from being based on strong regional ties to being one based on national appeal.  If you ask me, something meaningful will be discarded in the process.

As Jim McElwain put it, “The issue there is that I think it will lose a lot of what is college football,” he said. “I’d hate to see that.”

55 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football

“Eyes up, G’s up.”

Man, they’re really pushing the atmosphere of winter workouts hard this preseason, aren’t they?

I guess Hocke has some folks at Butts-Mehre fired up.  Let’s hope he’s just as good connecting with the players.

18 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Dooley on freshman eligibility

Barrett Sallee asks Vince Dooley for his thoughts on the topic, and I’ll be damned if Dooley doesn’t say he would prefer that Herschel Walker hadn’t played in 1980.

“In an ideal world, I would like to see freshmen ineligible,” Dooley, who doubled as Georgia’s athletics director from 1979-2004, told Bleacher Report. “Particularly in basketball. I’d have to make economic sense in football, which is the biggest question. You’d have to add a large number of scholarships. In basketball, you might have to add a couple of scholarships, but not as many. So it wouldn’t be as big of a financial strain as it would in football.”

This, despite acknowledging that a few true freshman every year are capable of playing college ball and that Herschel was the best player on the team as a freshman.

I’m just curious how many of you agree with him.

76 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

A quarterback battle is fine, as long as somebody wins the war.

So, Mark Richt popped up on Finebaum’s show the other day to talk about his quarterback situation going into the spring (pro tip for PAWWWLLL:  getting the name of last year’s starter wrong really undercuts that air of gravitas you’re trying so hard to project) and had this to say:

“We’ve got three guys right now on scholarship that are going to be battling away for that job,” Richt said Wednesday on the “Paul Finebaum Show” on the SEC Network. “I don’t really see a frontrunner right now. I see three guys that have a lot of talent, that have a lot of competitive spirit about them. I think it’s going to be a great competition.”

In other words, not too much.

Weiszer goes on to summarize the current situation well.  You’d think it’s Ramsey’s job to lose.  You’d also think if Ramsey doesn’t show out better in the spring than he did in the Belk Bowl, he will indeed lose it.  And having a new offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach doing the assessing and breaking in is clearly the X-factor.  So it’s understandable that Richt’s a little foggy about who’s going to be the man.

But more than worrying about who wins the job, I just hope that one of the three does win it in the spring.  (Insert your G-Day joke here.) Seriously, this would not be ideal:

The quarterback battle could roll into August or maybe even September. Georgia doesn’t open this season with Clemson and South Carolina. It opens on Sept. 5 against Louisiana-Monroe followed by Vanderbilt. If it’s a close call on who should be the starter, perhaps it will be decided in an actual game.

They need to be building rapport, timing and leadership at the position sooner than later.  The longer they have to put that off because of a quarterback battle that extends into the season, the greater the likelihood that the offense is more disjointed than we’ve been used to seeing.

29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Take a bag home today.

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the first marketing campaign based on trolling the NCAA.

Shoot, I’m tempted to go pick up a bag, and I own a gas grill.

39 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Raises for everybody!

Dan Mullen has a lifetime winning percentage of .597.  He has never won a division title, let alone a conference title.

His pay bump was just announced.  Mullen’s financial package will be $4 million this season and will average $4.275 million over the next four years.

At about $7 million a year, Nick Saban is starting to look like a bargain.  The weird thing is, at this rate, pretty soon Mark Richt is going to look like a bargain.

 

20 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Welp, this hasn’t ended well.

A recruit’s decision not to enroll at LSU after signing a financial aid agreement has the football program in some hot water.

LSU is banned from signing early enrollee recruits to financial aid agreements for the next two years, and the program will be stripped of 10 percent of its recruiting evaluation days in 2015, according to public records obtained by The Advocate.

The penalties, handed down by the Southeastern Conference and reported by the school Feb. 3, stem from a violation that occurred this fall involving an unnamed recruit.

The recruit signed a financial aid agreement with LSU intending to enroll early in January, but he decided not to enroll at the school. That makes at least some of LSU’s unlimited contact with the prospect illegal.

That’s per our good friends at the NCAA.

A financial aid agreement doesn’t bind the player to that particular school like a National Letter of Intent does, but it affords coaches of that school unlimited contact with the signee — contact that would normally be considered against NCAA rules.

The NCAA modified the financial aid agreement (FAA) in April. It continued to allowed schools “relaxed recruiting rules” for prospects who signed an financial aid agreement, but it also warned schools that they could be penalized for recruiting violations if that prospect did not eventually enroll in that school.

Les can’t say he wasn’t warned, either.

David Womack, Matt Womack’s father, told The Clarion-Ledger in the fall that LSU coaches were not planning to contact his son on an unlimited basis because Matt wasn’t completely firm on enrolling early or on his commitment to LSU.

“LSU is not using (the FAA) because if Matt was to change his mind they would have to report it,” David Womack told The Clarion-Ledger.

Makes you wonder if Georgia has thought about that in the case of Roquan Smith, no?

10 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football