B1G Plus-One Discussion: The Key Issues in Changing the BCS System

Posted: January 11, 2012 in Big East, Big Ten, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

Out of all of the quotes that came out of the Bowl Championship Series meetings held yesterday, none drew more attention than those from Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. A month ago, Delany seemed to be taking a defiant stand against any type of expansion of the college football postseason, including a plus-one. At the BCS meetings, though, he indicated a much more open mind toward discussing changes to the current system:

“It was far more open,” the Big Ten’s commissioner, Jim Delany, said. “Four years ago there were five guys who didn’t want to have the discussion. Everyone here fully participated in it.”

Delany had been one of the commissioners who did not even want to discuss a playoff then, but he described himself as “interested, curious and fully participating” Tuesday. He said he would meet in January with the presidents and athletic directors of the universities in his conference to discuss the possibilities for college football’s postseason.

“The environment has changed in the sense that we had five people who didn’t want to talk about it, of the seven founders,” Delany said. “And I think the seven founders were the conferences plus Notre Dame, and four years ago five of us didn’t want to have the conversation. Now people want to have the conversation. I don’t know where our institutions will be on any of this, but I think that in good faith we have to engage and be curious and be open and see where we go.”

This is massive news. Even though this is at only a discussion stage and it’s been indicated that no two conferences are “in the same place” regarding what they want in a new system, the fact that Delany did not immediately shoot down the concept of a plus-one (unlike what had occurred when a seeded plus-one was proposed by the SEC and ACC in 2008) is a significant step toward change. That likely means that Delany received some direction from the Big Ten presidents (who, just like in conference realignment, are the only people that matter as opposed to athletic directors and coaches) to at least listen to what the market is offering as opposed to taking an ironclad stand. Considering that the Big Ten is the largest single power player that needs to be moved on the plus-one format just as a general concept (much less the details), there’s a much greater chance that the BCS system (to the extent that there is even the term “BCS” anymore) will look significantly different when it’s presented to ESPN later this year for a possible TV contract extension that will start in the 2013 season.

As a reminder, there are a couple of things to remember as you read articles about possible changes to the BCS system over the coming months:

  • The term “plus-one” is NOT interchangeable with “4-team playoff” – Some mainstream media types (such as Pete Thamel of the New York Times) have been better at making this clear than others. Most pundits seem to automatically assume that a “plus-one” is the same thing as a 4-team playoff, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. As I’ve described before, a 4-team playoff is only one variant of a plus-one system. There is also an unseeded plus-one option along with different strains in between that could be called “semi-seeded”. The old adage that the “devil is in the details” couldn’t ring any truer than in this situation. There are going to a lot of different plus-one scenarios discussed and I’d wager that what we ultimately end up with won’t be the simple 4-team playoff that many are assuming is end game.
  • Removal of AQ status is NOT interchangeable with the removal of conference contractual tie-ins – The potential removal of the concept of automatic qualifying status is another issue that much of the mainstream media makes a large deal about but often doesn’t explain clearly. As I’ve explained previously, this is largely a matter of semantics for every current AQ conference except for the Big East. The concept of AQ status might go away, but rest assured that the Rose Bowl will still have contractual tie-ins with the Big Ten and Pac-12 no matter what happens and that will likely be the case with the Sugar Bowl and SEC, Orange Bowl and ACC, and Fiesta Bowl and Big 12. The Cotton Bowl might swoop in to get the top Big 12 tie-in, but the overarching point is that those five power conferences are going to continue to have de facto AQ status through their contractual tie-ins even if the actual term “AQ status” goes away. No one should be fooled into thinking that the BCS bowls are just going to take the top 8 or 10 teams in the BCS rankings if AQ status is removed. The entire reason why the Big Ten and SEC actually agree on the removal of AQ status is that the power conferences will actually end up with more top bowl bids based on brand names as opposed to strict merit.

So, what exactly are the key issues to overcome in order to actually make changes to the BCS system? Here are some further items to think about:

1. The Seven Founders – It’s telling that in Jim Delany’s quotes about the openness to discussing a plus-one, he specifically referenced the “Seven Founders” of the BCS system: the Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, Big 12, ACC, Big East and that massive coast-to-coast conference known as the University of Notre Dame. What it means is that any opposition to a particular proposal by the Big Ten (and potentially the Pac-12 and Notre Dame) shouldn’t be framed as being against the wishes of the 9 other FBS conferences. Instead, the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Notre Dame represent 3 of the Seven Founders, which means that the SEC and ACC can’t just ram their old seeded plus-one proposal through. It also shows that the opinions of the non-AQ conferences literally don’t matter here. They might technically have a vote and can provide some input, but nothing is going to be changed unless it makes the Seven Founders happy.

2. Big East as a Swing Vote? – The fact that the Big East, at least for now, is still considered to be one of the Seven Founders (despite the fact that the only current Big East football member that was part of the league when the BCS system began in 1998 is Rutgers) could become a key point. It seems clear that the SEC and ACC support a seeded plus-one, with the Big 12 probably jumping aboard. On the other side, the Big Ten, Pac-12* and Notre Dame appear to be fairly aligned. With a potential 3-3 deadlock, where the Big East ends up could become the deciding factor to the system that ultimately gets put into place. From a pure Big East standpoint, this is a great thing since it can leverage that swing vote position (the Justice Kennedy of the BCS) to possibly preserve access to the top bowls that it might not otherwise receive if the all of the bowl selections went to an open market. For example, the new system might require each BCS bowl to have a contractual tie-in with one of the Seven Founders, which means that if a fifth BCS bowl is added (such as the Cotton Bowl), one of them will need to have a tie-in with the Big East. That Big East tie-in could be made much more palatable if it includes access to Notre Dame (i.e. a bowl can select the higher ranked of either Notre Dame or the Big East champ in any given year). Speaking of which, Notre Dame certainly has a self-interest in preserving the Big East, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Big East ends up in a voting bloc with the Irish, Big Ten and Pac-12 since the Domers are going to be more willing to offer the fledgling league protection than, say the ACC and Big 12 that just raided them. To be sure, the Big East isn’t anywhere near out of the woods yet (as the prospect of the Big 12 raiding it again for Louisville and Rutgers is the one conference realignment move that I see is plausible over the next year), but at least it’s not completely all doom and gloom.

(* Many in the media believe that Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is willing to break with tradition with his aggressive nature, but he hasn’t really said anything different compared to Jim Delany up to this point regarding the plus-one. If anything, preserving the value of the Rose Bowl is even more important to the Pac-12 than the Big Ten. All of the major bowls across the country would love to have contractual tie-ins with the Big Ten, as evidenced by the fact that the conference has received more at-large BCS bowl bids than any other conference, including the vaunted SEC. For the Pac-12, though, the specific Rose Bowl tie-in is really the only leg up that it has over the ACC in its overall bowl lineup. The Big Ten can draw bowl interest from literally every region of the country in a manner that the Pac-12 will never be able to do.)

3. The Divergent Interests of University Presidents, Bowls and ESPN – Many college football playoff proposals often start with, “This is so simple. WHY CAN’T THEY DO THIS?” The issue, of course, is that it’s not simple at all with all of the entrenched interests involve that are often at odds with each other.

For example, ESPN has said that it’s on board with having the title game closer to New Year’s Day. That certainly makes sense in order to counter “bowl fatigue” being experience by TV viewers, but it also means that would make it virtually impossible to have the bowls host semifinals in a seeded plus-one or to create a #1 vs. #2 matchup after the bowls are played in an unseeded plus-one. Having schools host games on their home fields in December could alleviate that, but that also means shutting the bowls out of that first round process and whether you like it or not, that’s NOT happening. Even Dan Wetzel, who has made a career out of demonizing the bowl system with his book “Death to the BCS”, acknowledges that a plus-one system will need to incorporate the bowls in some manner because of their power. People can keep wishing that weren’t the case, but it is what it is.

The notion that the top bowls could be played in mid-December or even around Christmas is also something that won’t work practically. As anyone in the travel industry will tell you, the 2 weeks in December leading up to Christmas is the slowest travel period of the year, which is logical since few people want to take days off right before the holidays. That’s why the top bowls avoid dates in prior to and bracketing Christmas like the plague. The lower level bowls only agree to those earlier dates because that’s the only way that they can receive TV coverage.

At the same time, TV executives have access to larger potential audiences after January 1st (which is why TV networks air mostly reruns throughout the entire month of December) and on weeknights, while the bowls are best served by dates between Christmas and New Years Day when more people have time off. Neither the TV networks nor the bowls want to compete with NFL playoff games that are on the weekends at the beginning of the year, either, so those midweek January games (even if the TV networks and bowls are sincere in wanting to get rid of them) are tough to move.

University presidents will throw out some arguments such as having too long of a season or that they want to prevent football from becoming a two-semester sport. Even if they are sincere about that (and it’s hard for me to take them seriously when the other revenue sport of basketball has practices that start in October and the NCAA Tournament ends in April), it directly conflicts with their own desire to work with the bowls and TV networks that effectively push the most desirable games into January.

Lest we forget, there are also fans! (Who the heck thinks about them?) It’s asking a lot of even hardcore football fans to travel to one bowl game, particularly in this economy. Asking them to travel to two neutral site games is stretching it very thin, while having them travel to even more neutral site games in an 8-team playoff scenario (which won’t be happening in practicality, but it will still get proposed) is virtually impossible. This could be solved by having earlier games played at teams’ home fields, yet we run into the problem that the bowls must be included.

When push comes to shove, I believe a plus-one national championship game will be played in mid-January, with possibly Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a regular date for the game since that’s a holiday weekend for a fair number of people on a Monday that falls about 2 weeks after the bowls are completed. The timing generally works as a week turnaround from the last bowl game to the national championship game is practically too short for the players and fans, so as much as people want to compress the length of the bowl season, it needs to be closer to a two-week gap. The concept of “bowl fatigue” is likely more of a function that none of the bowl games besides the national championship game and maybe the Rose Bowl have much meaning, which would change if a plus-one is instituted. (I’ve never heard of anyone getting “basketball fatigue” during the course of the 3-week NCAA Tournament. If people believe that the games matter, they will happily watch.)

Also, ticket sales to the national championship game are much less sensitive to dates and the ability for fans to travel compared to the bowls if only because there are so many more tickets allocated to corporate partners for that game (similar to the Super Bowl). No matter what date the national championship game is held, it’s going to sell out easily. In contrast, moving a bowl game from near New Year’s Day to prior to Christmas can be a killer from a ticket sale perspective. That’s a further argument that the plus-one championship game will end up later in January as opposed to close to New Year’s Day.

Finally, university presidents are in much less of a position to turn down revenue in a time of shrinking endowments and state budget cuts to public colleges compared to the last time a plus-one system was proposed in 2008. Some estimates out there show that the BCS TV contract could double from its current $125 million per year level to around $250 million per year if there’s a plus-one game. Note that this figure doesn’t even include the separate Rose Bowl TV contract. So, are university presidents going to be taking a principled stand against a further extension of the college football season when all that is happening is the addition of one game featuring two teams (out of 120 FBS schools) being played in mid-January and will add about $1 million to $2 million per year to each of their schools’ coffers without any effort whatsoever? The extra revenue from a plus-one game is so large with such little practical change to the current system (literally the addition of a single game) that it’s low hanging fruit which the university presidents likely can’t resist.

To be clear, the possible (if not probable) changes to the BCS system are NOT arising from the all-SEC national championship game this year. This is about the powers that be witnessing postseason bowl ticket sales and TV ratings trending down in the long-term, which translates into lost revenue. That wasn’t the case in 2008 when there were recent national championship games featuring all-“king” matchups, such as Texas-USC in 2005 and Ohio State-Florida in 2006, that saw boffo ratings numbers. (Meanwhile, regular season college football ticket sales and TV ratings are as strong as ever.) A plus-one game is a relatively non-disruptive way on paper to alleviate a lot of those concerns about the state of the college football postseason with pretty much an instant jolt in revenue, which is why it’s now getting a whole lot of traction today. The details of what that plus-one system will actually look like, though, will take much of this year to resolve.

(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111 and Facebook)

(Image from Birmingham News)

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Comments
  1. david beagin says:

    This time, I’m first!

    Like

  2. Denogginizer says:

    Go B1G Red

    Like

  3. jtower says:

    hook em

    Like

  4. Kevin says:

    I don’t see a game being played in mid January. Most winter conditioning programs start in the second or third week of January. Also, the current declaration date for entering the NFL is January 15. Not sure if that could be changed.

    You also have things like the Senior bowls and other all-star games etc..

    I think we’ll be back to bowl tie ins and only picking 1 vs. 2. No other BCS games etc..

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    • Josh says:

      On campus sites for the semi finals a week or two after the Conference Championship games alleviates several problems –
      1) It allows the host school to profit from another home game.
      2) It is much easier for the fans to travel to a National Championship and the Semi-Final
      3) It gets rid of the most frustrating problem in this whole mess IMO – the month long layoff.

      One BCS Bowl could be used as a “third place game”, another hosts the Championship, the other BCS bowls host their usual conference tie ins. Excpetions could be made for the Pac 12/B1G for the Rose in some fashion.

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      • Jake says:

        The semi-finals would have to be at least two weeks after the CCGs. Putting games during what is finals week for many schools might be a bit too far for some schools. Probably.

        As for a third-place game … hmm. Do people really go for those? The NCAA used to have those for some of their playoffs, but I think they’re fully rid of them now. If the semi-final losers are going to play in bowls, it would be tricky. You have no idea which teams you’ll have, so which bowls do you send them to?

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    • Rich says:

      It seems reasonable that the NFL declaration date could be moved easily. The All-Star games can be played any day. I don’t think keeping those current dates is a strong enough consideration for the schools to forego and additional $125 million dollars. Could any school president or AD or conference commissioner stand in front of cameras and say something like, “We won’t be performing our fiduciary duties to the taxpayers because we don’t want to change the date of the Senior Bowl?”

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    • allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

      You don’t think the NFL would move that date back a whopping five-ten days for a championship game?

      You don’t think the Senior Bowl can invite a few extra players (or maybe have “alternates”) and make their “final” roster after the early January bowls?

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  5. bullet says:

    I think your writeup explains why there were 50-60 proposals (not that I can figure out how they got to that many). There are so many conflicting demands. That makes the ultimate result very unpredictable.

    One correction on your writeup-Attendance is slipping. USA Today article says it dropped for the 2nd time in 3 years after 12 straight years of increases.

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/story/2012-01-09/talkof-the-bcs-1-9/52470848/1

    Like

  6. Jake says:

    On-campus semi-finals a week or so before New Year’s, major bowls with traditional tie-ins on New Year’s, title game a week or so after New Year’s.

    I think maybe you overestimate the power of the bowls. If ESPN shows the conferences a way to make more money without bowls, they’ll find a way to cut them out of the playoff. And they shouldn’t be involved. A bowl’s purpose is to create a match-up that will sell lots of tickets to big fan bases and boost the local economy. A playoff’s purpose is to match the best teams. Those aren’t always the same thing. And why give the bowls a cut of the proceeds if you don’t have to?

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    • Kevin says:

      I don’t think on campus games near X-mas will work. Especially for teams in the North. Remember last year when the Vikings played at TCF Stadium (Gophers) due to the collapse of the Metrodome roof? The big problem with that game was the turf does not have an in ground heating system like most NFL stadiums do.

      That field was like concrete. I think Favre left with a concussion. This would likely be the case for most northern schools. I can’t see the Presidents singing up for something that could potentially put the players at risk.

      The logistics are a nightmare in any of these plus one scenarios.

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      • jj says:

        How does d2 do it? Don’t the northern teams host the playoff?

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        • Jake says:

          You mean D1 FCS? Well, I guess D2 and D3 have playoffs as well. Yeah, higher seeds host regardless of location until the title game. Montana hosted a game in mid-December, and it seemed to go pretty well.

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      • Jake says:

        Would that really be a widespread concern? Most college stadiums don’t use FieldTurf (and most college football players aren’t 41 years old). I hear complaints on this site about weather in the Midwest being a deterrent to home playoff games, but I’m skeptical that it would really be a problem for the vast majority of fans. I just can’t see Big Ten teams complaining about hosting teams from the SEC and other Sunbelt conferences in meaningful postseason games.

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        • Rich says:

          And what are the chances of Minnesota ever being good enough to host one of these games?

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          • Scoops McCracken says:

            Forget Minnesota. How about Wisconsin? I believe that Camp Randall does not have heating coils underneath their field either. I don’t think it’s a deal breaker; just another thing to consider regarding if they’re going to have teams host potential games.

            Saying all that, I think the biggest thing with the Vikings-Bears MNF game wasn’t the heating coils; it was that TCF went through a shut down process in the whole stadium. Say hypothetically that Minnesota was hosting a playoff game, they would have tarped the field & kept it warm. There was practically 2 feet of snow that came down directly on the field prior to that game. I think general stadium care & field protection would pretty much reduce any problems to zero…

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        • Brian says:

          Jake,

          Many/most major schools in the north use an artificial surface. They also have stadiums that present major ice hazards and roads that present ice and snow hazards. They’d have to play during the day, too, not the preferred late night TV slots.

          The local fans would be happy to watch the games if the weather allowed, but southern schools may not be willing to risk a NC on playing in the snow and ice. Many B10 fans would be happy to have the game in Indy or Detroit or St. Louis as opposed to always in the south or west.

          By selecting sites in advance, they can guarantee better locations. Also, most schools would need advance notice to prepare to use the stadium for a game that weekend. There are a lot of logistics, dealing with local police, clearing hotel rooms, etc. It’s not as simple as just playing a game.

          Like

          • Jake says:

            And yet the NFL and D1 FCS manage. Something tells me most athletic departments would find the additional revenue from another home game would more than offset whatever inconveniences they experienced. And if the southern teams don’t want to go North, then they need to have better seasons and earn home field advantage.

            Like

          • Kevin says:

            @Jake It works for the NFL because they are in large cities with facilities that work in just about any weather condition.

            For FCS, you don’t have issues with hotel rooms and fans. Not many people attending those games.

            Like

          • greg says:

            Mid-December playoff games in “the North” will work just fine. Facilities and crap is just a BS smokescreen.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Jake,

            You seem to forget that the southern schools can just not approve games in the north. They have numerical parity. It won’t be forced on them, they’d have to agree. That’s why having a northern dome could work, because it alleviates any competitive issues. Then the southern schools might say yes.

            Like

          • greg says:

            Brian,

            You seem to forget that the northern schools can just not approve games in the south. They have numerical parity. It won’t be forced on them, they’d have to agree.

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          • Brian says:

            greg,

            It can be done, but there are real issues. Getting 100,000 people out of State College in a snowstorm in the dark is an issue they try to avoid for safety reasons. Having 100,000 people climbing steep, icy stairs in the snow is a huge issue, too. Playing an important game on a rock hard field slowly being filled with snow in 30 degree weather with 20 mph winds is a problem, too.

            Like

          • greg says:

            Brian, having games in the north a week after championship weekend doesn’t suddenly turn the north into a frozen tundra with feet of snow everywhere you turn.

            You don’t have to be an argumentative asshole about everything.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            No Northern college team is playing games outside during the winter. For most of the college football season (September and October), B1G teams play in the best possible weather conditions. I understand that November is a little dicey, but nobody plays outside past the Thanksgiving weekend, except Army/Navy.

            September isn’t a picnic down South with heat indexes in the 110s on grass fields and even higher on synthetic fields. A Gopher or a Badger might melt.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            greg,

            You seem to forget that the northern schools can just not approve games in the south. They have numerical parity. It won’t be forced on them, they’d have to agree.

            Exactly true. The difference is that northern schools have been agreeing to it for over 100 years while southern schools have never agreed to come north in December. The schools have legitimate concerns about it. The north would need good reasons to implement a change versus maintaining the status quo.

            All the north can offer is a fairness argument, and they doesn’t trump public and player safety. The north could counter with a neutral site proposal that uses nearby domes (St. L, MSP, Detroit, Indy) instead of home fields, but I’m not sure how well the logistics for that would work. Would the eastern BE schools and northern ACC school all play at Syracuse? Where would western teams play? At that point, the best result seem to be neutral sites for everybody.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            greg,

            Brian, having games in the north a week after championship weekend doesn’t suddenly turn the north into a frozen tundra with feet of snow everywhere you turn.

            While it’s nice to see that you have decided the games would be that next week, I’ve seen others mention needing two weeks for travel and such. Not that 1 week makes all the much difference in the weather. Please remind me of all the outdoor CCG’s in the north? Oh that’s right, there are none. That means it could be 3 weeks after the last outdoor games in the north.

            Using Lincoln, NE as an example, the average high is about 36 degrees and the average low is 17 on 12/17 (8 degrees cooler than 11/28), and 38 and 18 on 12/10 (6 degrees cooler). That means there are good odds it is below freezing at kickoff and/or at the end of the game, and that’s before wind chill. Lincoln averages about 6 inches of snow in December. There are decent odds of snow and/or ice for a mid-December game.

            Plenty of years it will be chilly but otherwise just fine. It’s the other years the schools worry about, and they have to plan for those now.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Brian:

            Well, the B12 did hold their championship game at Arrowhead for 5 years.

            I don’t think holding a home semifinal during Army-Navy week in any major or medium-sized city (or suburb, like Ann Arbor) would be a problem. The only place in the US where the amount of people is big enough and the location is remote enough is Happy Valley (moving 100K people through country roads in the mountains of central PA on a December night would be a concern), but that’s really the only place I can think of which would have trouble hosting a semifinal the second week of December (and it’s doesn’t have to be at night; one of the semifinals is sure to be a day game). PSU would have to host in Philly or Pittsburgh, but I can’t think of another school that would have to move their home semifinal. Large numbers of fans seem to get in and out of Green Bay (even at night) in much worse weather so the location would have to be worse than GB around New Years or later to not be able to host.

            BTW, they play a bowl game in NYC in late December, so it’s hard to argue that there are places in the US where playing a semifinal in early December would be more detrimental to athletes’ health than playing in the Pinstripe Bowl. Also, weren’t you arguing for a late-December bowl in Chicgo? Rather disingenious to play the “player safety” card after endorsing that idea.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            I don’t think holding a home semifinal during Army-Navy week in any major or medium-sized city (or suburb, like Ann Arbor) would be a problem.

            You seem to have designated a game day but I haven’t seen a consensus on it being that week.

            The city hosting the AN game has lots of notice to plan and prepare, and is a major city hosting a small crowd. Semifinal schools would have limited notice to deal with the logistics, and not all of them have a stadium designed to be used in mid to late December.

            The only place in the US where the amount of people is big enough and the location is remote enough is Happy Valley (moving 100K people through country roads in the mountains of central PA on a December night would be a concern), but that’s really the only place I can think of which would have trouble hosting a semifinal

            The people have to travel for hours to get to and from any major stadium.

            Morgantown? Lincoln? Boulder? Pullman? Syracuse? Storrs? Boise?

            (and it’s doesn’t have to be at night; one of the semifinals is sure to be a day game).

            Night wouldn’t even be an option. The B10 bans outdoor night games in November for good reason. They aren’t going to play them in mid to late December.

            Large numbers of fans seem to get in and out of Green Bay (even at night) in much worse weather so the location would have to be worse than GB around New Years or later to not be able to host.

            The NFL does many things that the NCAA doesn’t. The NCAA has bigger stadiums and most are not in major cities. They are not the exact same, and their decisions shouldn’t be either.

            BTW, they play a bowl game in NYC in late December, so it’s hard to argue that there are places in the US where playing a semifinal in early December would be more detrimental

            NYC has weather moderated by the ocean. The average weather in NYC on 1/1 is warmer than for Lincoln on 12/17 (39/28 vs 36/17).

            Also, weren’t you arguing for a late-December bowl in Chicgo? Rather disingenious to play the “player safety” card after endorsing that idea.

            Chicago says their field is safe to play on in January, Minnesota doesn’t. That’s the difference. Beyond that, frozen fields cause more concussions and make for terrible games as nobody gets good traction. My bigger concerns are not letting the environment decide the game and fan safety. Why implement a system that will compromise both of those?

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “Morgantown? Lincoln? Boulder? Pullman? Syracuse? Storrs? Boise?”

            Boise hosts a bowl game later in the year (and isn’t serviced by country roads); hard to argue that a semifinal played earlier in December isn’t doable.
            Syracuse hosts bball games in the dead of winter that draw only 15K less. I’ve driven through both Syracuse and Lincoln, and you can’t argue that there isn’t major infrastructure for moving people in and out of town in both places. Neither of those places (or Boulder or Boise) are more isolated than Green Bay. Pullman is probably isolated, but has a small stadium as well; it’s hard to argue that 25K going to Missoula to see a FCS playoff game is OK or that 35K going to see a Pac12 championship in Pullman is OK, but 35K to see a semifinal in Pullman a week later isn’t. UConn actually plays football in a small stadium in East Hartford; I’ve driven through Hartford, and as you expect for a city of that size, the interstates aren’t fewer than Columbus’s. Boulder is part of the connected Front Range (it’s essentially a suburb of Denver; similar to Ann Arbor, and isn’t isolated at all; plus snow in CO melts just like that because it’s so dry there). I’ve never been to Morgantown, but none of the other places you’ve listed would have any trouble hosting a semifinal in the second week of December.

            “You seem to have designated a game day but I haven’t seen a consensus on it being that week.

            The city hosting the AN game has lots of notice to plan and prepare, and is a major city hosting a small crowd. Semifinal schools would have limited notice to deal with the logistics, and not all of them have a stadium designed to be used in mid to late December.”

            I designated a game day because the factors you listed come more in to play later, but if you think 70K is a small crowd (which is what Army-Navy draws in Philly; they drew 80K at FedEx), then no semifinal will draw a big crowd in a place more isolated than Green Bay (other than PSU), and Green Bay seems to do just fine preparing for 70K+ on short notice.

            “The NFL does many things that the NCAA doesn’t. The NCAA has bigger stadiums and most are not in major cities. They are not the exact same, and their decisions shouldn’t be either.”

            ??? You say their decisions shouldn’t be the same, but you don’t provide a rationale for why.

            “Chicago says their field is safe to play on in January, Minnesota doesn’t. That’s the difference. Beyond that, frozen fields cause more concussions and make for terrible games as nobody gets good traction. My bigger concerns are not letting the environment decide the game and fan safety. Why implement a system that will compromise both of those?”

            I addressed the fan safety above (I don’t believe it affects anyone besides PSU and maybe WVU). Lower-level NCAA schools don’t seem to have a problem deciding semifinals on frozen fields and I don’t either (and I don’t think “aesthetics” is a viable argument). Concussions are a concern, but there are few schools that would have to move games because their fields aren’t suitable. Plus, it’s hard to argue that FBS players should not play on frozen fields in December when FCS & DivIII players are doing so. Are the St. John Johnnies playing on a heated field up in Minnesota?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,


            Boise hosts a bowl game later in the year (and isn’t serviced by country roads);

            Syracuse hosts bball games in the dead of winter that draw only 15K less. I’ve driven through both Syracuse and Lincoln, and you can’t argue that there isn’t major infrastructure for moving people in and out of town in both places. Neither of those places (or Boulder or Boise) are more isolated than Green Bay.

            Right. Because all of the fans live along whatever major road runs into a city and within 10 or 20 miles. Clearly that’s all that matters to the presidents. Nobody would drive 200+ miles for a football game in Lincoln, for example.

            Green Bay is on an interstate, so by your logic it might as well be NYC.

            Boulder is part of the connected Front Range (it’s essentially a suburb of Denver; similar to Ann Arbor, and isn’t isolated at all; plus snow in CO melts just like that because it’s so dry there).

            First, neither of those are suburbs. The downtowns are 30 miles apart or more. Second, snow melting only matters if there hasn’t been a recent storm. On 12/1/2011 Boulder had 7 inches of accumulation.

            I designated a game day because the factors you listed come more in to play later

            And yet the NCAA created special rules to let Army/Navy have its own day. They had the first Saturday in December until the CCGs overshadowed them, so they moved back a week. I doubt the NCAA will put 2 semis on top of them now, especially when many people think 2 weeks makes much more sense logistically.

            ??? You say their decisions shouldn’t be the same, but you don’t provide a rationale for why.

            Yes I did, you just don’t like it. The NCAA is different from the NFL. Their decisions should be different since the organizations have different members and goals.

            I addressed the fan safety above

            No you didn’t. You hand waved it away.

            Lower-level NCAA schools don’t seem to have a problem deciding semifinals on frozen fields and I don’t either

            The lower levels have no viable choices but D-IA does. And I could not possibly care any less if you have a problem with it or not.

            Concussions are a concern, but there are few schools that would have to move games because their fields aren’t suitable.

            So if only a few schools have to do it, it’s OK? Screw those few schools, or the players that get concussions? The NCAA makes rules that are good for everybody and errs on the side of safety.

            Plus, it’s hard to argue that FBS players should not play on frozen fields in December when FCS & DivIII players are doing so. Are the St. John Johnnies playing on a heated field up in Minnesota?

            I-AA
            NCG – 1/7/12 in TX
            Semis – 12/17/11 on campus

            D-II
            NCG – 12/17/11 in AL

            D-III NCG – 12/16/11 in VA

            Only I-AA plays on campus on the weekend I-A would need to play, and I-AA doesn’t have the fan support or money involved to make neutral sites workable. I-A does, even if they just use regional sites instead of pure home games.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “Green Bay is on an interstate, so by your logic it might as well be NYC.”

            If you think that’s my logic, you fail logic. Arguing against strawmen must be fun, though.

            “On 12/1/2011 Boulder had 7 inches of accumulation.”

            And how much was there the next day? Didn’t I mention that snow melts extremely fast in CO?

            “Yes I did, you just don’t like it. The NCAA is different from the NFL. Their decisions should be different since the organizations have different members and goals.”

            Uh, that’s not a rationale. Their members and goals are different. That means their decisions _could_ be different. That doesn’t mean their decisions _have_to_be_ different. You still haven’t stated why they _have_to_be_ different. Seriously, you’re an engineer? Did you have to take a logic class where you went to engineering school?

            “No you didn’t. You hand waved it away.”

            Yes I did. Again, you haven’t been able to provide an example of a bigger crowd than Green Bay gets in an area more isolated than GB other than Happy Valley.

            “The lower levels have no viable choices but D-IA does. And I could not possibly care any less if you have a problem with it or not.”

            Hooray for you. Why do you think anyone cares what you think, Brian?

            “I-AA
            NCG – 1/7/12 in TX
            Semis – 12/17/11 on campus

            D-II
            NCG – 12/17/11 in AL

            D-III NCG – 12/16/11 in VA

            Only I-AA plays on campus on the weekend I-A would need to play, and I-AA doesn’t have the fan support or money involved to make neutral sites workable. I-A does, even if they just use regional sites instead of pure home games.”

            Why would FBS “need to” play after Army-Navy week instead of on Army-Navy week?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “Green Bay is on an interstate, so by your logic it might as well be NYC.”

            If you think that’s my logic, you fail logic. Arguing against strawmen must be fun, though.

            You dismissed any college town on a major road as not having a problem. Green Bay is on an interstate, but you consider it isolated and hard to get people in and out. It’s hard to argue against that kind of “logic.”

            And how much was there the next day?

            I don’t know, I wasn’t there. It doesn’t matter if the snow is falling on game day, though, does it?

            Didn’t I mention that snow melts extremely fast in CO?

            Amazingly enough, I don’t take your word as fact. I’m guessing all of the ski resorts would disagree with you that all snow in CO melts by the next day. Snow melts/evaporates fairly quickly in Boulder depending on the weather. That doesn’t prevent there being a lot of snow on game day.

            Their members and goals are different. That means their decisions _could_ be different. That doesn’t mean their decisions _have_to_be_ different. You still haven’t stated why they _have_to_be_ different.

            That’s probably because I never said that their decision have to be different. Why would I defend a position I never took? I said their decisions should be different. Obviously (maybe not to you, but to normal people) not every decision, but some of them.

            Yes I did. Again, you haven’t been able to provide an example of a bigger crowd than Green Bay gets in an area more isolated than GB other than Happy Valley.

            There’s no point since you seem to redefine what is isolated and what is easy to access to fit your POV. You also haven’t explained why the GB crowd size is a defining factor. The NCAA certainly understands that a town and fan base dealing with this once every 10 years is different than a town doing it 2-4 times a year every year for decades. The NCAA also cares more about safety of the fans and others that live in college towns. The NFL couldn’t care less if 10 people die in traffic accidents getting to or from a game as long as they don’t get blamed for it.

            Why do you think anyone cares what you think, Brian?

            I didn’t say that anyone did or even should. You put your opinion on par with the NCAA’s leadership for the lower divisions.

            Why would FBS “need to” play after Army-Navy week instead of on Army-Navy week?

            The NCAA made special rules to give Army/Navy it’s own week back after CCGs overshadowed the game. They are likely to protect the game against playoffs, presumably by leaving A/N where it is and moving playoffs back a week. In addition, it allows the teams that played in CCGs a chance to recover physically before playing another elite team. High level coaches like Urban Meyer have said that it would be very hard to play again that next week. Plus, that allows time for all the logistics teams need to fly their team somewhere. Especially around finals week, that is hard to do with only 6 days of notice. The home schools also need time to prep their stadiums, print and sell tickets, hire stadium workers, arrange public services (police, EMS, garbage, etc) and other things. I don’t think they’d try to do it in one week for I-A since the numbers involved are much bigger than for I-AA and below. Most I-AA teams have 2 weeks before they play a playoff game, and the lower division tend towards more regional pairings than I-A would with only 4 teams.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “You dismissed any college town on a major road as not having a problem. Green Bay is on an interstate, but you consider it isolated and hard to get people in and out.”

            Uh, no I didn’t. Your reading comprehension issue seems to be cropping up again, Brian. I think Green Bay is a perfectly fine place to hold a major football game in the winter and don’t think any place less isolated than GB would have a problem hosting a semifinal either.

            “Amazingly enough, I don’t take your word as fact.”

            OK, remain ignorant if you like, Brian, and also don’t bother doing a little research before responding either. You have a reputation to keep, after all. Snow melts (really, sublimates) really fast in CO so long as the sun’s out. You could have 7 inches of snow before noon and all of it gone well before nightfall.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            You consider GB at least as isolated as Boise. I don’t comprehend how that makes sense even to you. As with any discussion with you, this is pointless.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Boise metropolitan area has 600K+. Green Bay metropolitan area has 300K+.

            You can believe Boise is harder to get to if you like (and in any case, they can hold a bowl in late December without any safety issues, so it’s hard to fathom why you think a game there in early December there would be so dangerous) , but you like to believe all sorts of stuff that suit your preconceptions regardless of what the facts are. Nothing I can do about that.

            Like

      • mnfanstc says:

        Wow… a lot of chatter about playing in the north… As a northerner, having experienced true winter storms (i.e. 12 plus inches of snow with wind) and the “threat” of winter storms (and/or actual winter weather) in the south. I’ll take the big storm in the north any day. Minneapolis is better prepared to handle winter weather than Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City, Ok City… A few inches of snow will shut down those other cities…

        Alan, a Gopher can (and does) melt in Baton Rouge— lifelong northerner’s are not designed to withstand 100 plus heat indices for days on end… When it’s cold you add a layer, when it’s hot, well… you better find the shade or A/C… Fact is, our bodies are better designed to play football (or do outdoor activity) in 0 degree weather ANY day over 100 degree weather… Lots of people (incl: athletes) die from heat stroke, very few die from hypothermia.

        Regarding that Vikings/Bears game that was played at the Bank… The U of Minn had fully closed down the stadium (i.e. it was fully winterized). The U and the stadium got some undeserved negative publicity because of the field’s “hard” playing surface. To thaw out frozen ground requires that the ground be fully covered with heat applied. You will not unthaw deeply frozen ground in short order. This is what the U was tasked with… lots of snow removal, then unthawing frozen ground in a few days… NOT gonna happen. Had the university known there would have been a game played in winter conditions, the stadium and field would have been kept in a condition to prevent conditions that would otherwise occur due to winter weather.

        If future games would be known to be played in possible winter conditions, I am certain that the U would retrofit the stadium with required equipment to keep the turf in “safe” playing condition.

        Regarding Rich’s comment… with the right university president, the right coach, and the right athlete’s, the U of M could certainly add nat’l championship # 7 to it’s football history… I’m not necessarily going to hold my breath, but, certainly won’t rule it out… Hey, the Badger’s were unheard of until Barry Alvarez…

        Like

    • Rich says:

      It baffles me why the conferences farm out their post season to the bowls. The bowls only have power because the schools don’t have the conviction to tell them to take a hike.

      Like

  7. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX 2012 Pre-season #1 LSU Tigers!

    Like

  8. SEC-Ag says:

    Good writeup Frank. Gig em.

    Like

    • Jim in Florida says:

      Great write up and its nice to see someone else bringing up the logisitic and calander problems. These are the reasons I just can’t serious any playoff proposals that and I still question were the money is going to come from.

      Like

  9. Joey says:

    I think you’re onto something with the unseeded Plus 1. What I would do is play all of the BCS Bowls on Jan 1 and play the championship game the following week. Great write up Frank.

    Like

    • SideshowBob says:

      An unseeded plus 1 would still get a ton of grumbling and would never satisfy those who want a full blown playoff or nothing… but it would be IMHO an interesting and excellent system. The regular season would maintain huge importance. The bowls would become much more relevant again, even to the casual fan — especially the major NYD bowls, but also the lesser bowls in judging the relative strengths of conferences and schedule strengths. And a “national champion” would be more legit, having to win two neutral site games against name opponents.

      I really hope that’s how it ends up.

      Like

    • dwqwiz says:

      I agree. From my analysis of the 30 years prior to the BCS (1968-1997), using the AP final poll as the selector of the #1 & #2 teams for the NCG in an unseeded Bowls plus One system (see http://www.wix.com/dwquigley/bowl-plus-one ), I concluded:

      1. The years of controversy, over who should play in the NCG, would have been relatively few (3).

      2. It is much better to make the NCG selection after the bowl games because at least one of the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams, based on the end-of-season poll (as now done by the BCS) would have been different in most years (21).

      3. A four-team playoff (seeded B+1), based on rankings taken after the regular season, could omit a “better” team because teams ranked from No. 5 to No. 7 in the end-of-season poll jumped to No. 1 or No. 2 in the final poll taken after the bowl games in several years (6).

      4. Potential NCG teams could come from many different bowls, big and small, each year (with significant interest in those bowls) because 5 to 7 bowl games had at least one team ranked in the top 8 by the pre-final AP Poll in most years (22).

      5. A possible downside to the unseeded B+1 would be the potential for rematch games from the regular season (6) or from a bowl game (4). A rematch of a regular season (or conference championship) game – such as LSU vs. Alabama this year, would probably be viewed as OK, whereas an NCG rematch of a bowl game, played a week apart, might not. It would probably depend on how close the bowl game was.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        They should eliminate all rematches by rule. If #1 and #2 already played, then replace #2 with #3. Keep going until you find a new game.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          In 1995 that would mean unbeaten Nebraska, after beating previously unbeaten Florida by 30 or 40 points would then have to play once beaten Tennessee who lost only to Florida. Making them play Florida again or play Tennessee is just not reasonable.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I wasn’t advocating the system, just saying that if you do it you should eliminate rematches. This year would have been better if they had that rule, forcing LSU/OkSU despite the pollsters being dumb.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        In many years it is different because they played each other.

        A seeded +1 would do this all more efficiently than your #3.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Typo
          A seeded + 1 would do this all more efficiently EXCEPT dealing with your #3.

          Like

          • dwqwiz says:

            With a seeded B+1, the controversy would shift from who’s #2 vs #3 to who’s #4 vs #5. Since teams as low as #7 have jumped to #1/#2 in final polls, I think the controversy could be legitimate.

            In 21 of the years that one or both of the pre-final #1/#2 teams dropped in the final poll, only 7 involved #1 and #2 teams playing each other in a bowl game. There were two other #1/#2 bowl games, but their rankings were just switched in the final poll.

            Like

  10. Mack says:

    Most of the founding 7 will favor of a 1 team limit per conference for an unseeded selection based +1 NCG game, or even for a 4 team seeded playoff. It is not like Notre Dame is going to get more than one of those 4 slots, and at least 4 of the other 6 only have a realistic shot at a single slot.
    :
    The FCS had played with one week between semi-finals and neutral site finals. The addition of a 5th round made this date conflict with Christmas, so now there is 3 weeks. To keep the season from being extended a week with a FBS +1 the site will need to be bid out like the Super Bowl, with most tickets presold to the event before the teams are known. That will limit school allotments.

    Like

  11. Brian says:

    Frank,

    I take the exact opposite meaning from Delany’s statement. He pointed out that the previous meeting of the COP/C was focused on the PSU scandal so they hadn’t discussed what the presidents wanted or would allow in the postseason. Based on that, I took his statement of openness to indicate he would listen and take things back to the COP/C rather than speaking for them. I thought that was him being conciliatory and trying to avoid the appearance of a closed mind before the discussion even happened. I don’t see any major change in position.

    I don’t think the BE will get treated as an equal to the other 6 founders anymore. Delany is being politic in his statement, and the BE was one of the founders but they are a shell of their former self. I can see ND helping them for their own reasons, but the BE lost any real power in football discussions when Pitt, Syracuse and WV all decided to leave. Rutgers is the only long time AQ left, and their only value is proximity to NYC. Besides, there is no way the postseason is decided 4-3 among the founders. They’ll want much more agreement than that.

    I know we’ve discussed this before, but I don’t know why you refuse to accept that the presidents take academics and 1 semester sports seriously. How many times do they have to say it?

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2007-12-28/sports/classtime28_1_college-football-semester-academic/2

    Added Jim Muldoon, associate commissioner of the Pac-10, in an e-mail: “I don’t know that our presidents are any more opposed to playing beyond the first week in January than other conferences, but I think in general it is fair to say that our presidents are opposed to extending the season any more than it already has been.

    “The second semester effect is just one more item on the list that leads to that opposition.”

    The president’s have talked about moving back the last possible game from 1/9 to more like 1/4 or 1/5. Why would they suddenly say yes to a game on 1/16?

    As for divergent interests, everybody is going to have to give on some things. The more power you have, the less you have to give. The presidents have all the power, so they’ll win. ESPN only has money as leverage, and several competitors would love to steal the postseason from them so they can’t low ball. The fans have the power of not watching, but they largely refuse to use that power so they are essentially victims of their addiction. That means the end of the season will happen earlier, not later. It also mean 8 teams is out of the question.

    The fight will be amongst the presidents over a 1/2 game only, a plus one of some form or a 4 team playoff. The presidents value the bowl tradition more than fans, so I think they will fight to preserve it. I think the presidents will go for a 1/2 game only and no AQ status. All the major bowls won’t want to move up so early, so you can’t really do a plus one unless the presidents relent on the season ending earlier. I’m guessing they stick to their guns on that, at least for now. Expect the NCG on 1/4 and all other bowls on 1/1 or earlier (maybe 1 major on 1/2).

    If they do go further, I expect they would trade allowing another round for the NCG being in the first week of January and using the bowls in the system. On campus semi-finals make a lot of sense on paper, but I think weather and safety concerns (icy steps, bad roads, unprotected water pipes, etc) make that unlikely. I think the initial plan may be a 4 team playoff for practical reasons. I think two important bowls (Cotton and Chick-fil-A) move earlier to host the semis. Geography is used to place the teams since rankings aren’t that precise. SEC and ACC schools play in Atlanta, B12 schools in Dallas. B10, P12 and ND fill in the gaps. They impose a limit of one team per conference (it doesn’t have to be the conference champ) and the 4 highest ranked eligible teams make it (so a #5 conference leader gets in over a #3 second team, for example). The finals are played on 1/4 or 1/5, 3 days after the last bowls.

    To help the major bowls, the double hosting model is continued. There are no bowl activities for the finals, but the cities get some more tourism money to make up for losing some prestige for their bowls. Also, the bowl system gets adjusted to put no games after 1/1, the Rose keeps it’s time slot and the other 3 rotate through the late night slot, the early slot and the late afternoon 12/31 slot (Peach Bowl now). The traditional tie-ins for the major bowls are maintained with the conference providing a replacement if a team is lost to the playoffs.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      The old BE teams want to leave. The new BE teams are realists. I don’t see the BE lining up against a playoff to preserve an AQ bid that is doomed.

      Div III, Div II, NAIA, Div I-A(FCS) all do playoff games at school sites in December. That is an imaginary problem. The issue there is cutting the bowls out of the process (a good thing IMO-not necessarily in the President’s minds).

      Like

      • Phil says:

        If the autobids go away, then to me the best case for the Big East is to get some kind of contingency tie-in (for example, the higher ranked of the Big East Champ or ND get a bid, as long as they are top 14 or higher). Even then, the geographic mess of the Big East would mean they would need to get two BCS bowls that are likely to have an at large spot (like Orange/Fiesta) to work together, which makes it even less likely

        Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        The old BE teams want to leave. The new BE teams are realists. I don’t see the BE lining up against a playoff to preserve an AQ bid that is doomed.

        I think they will fight against a playoff, I just don’t think they matter all that much. They have no clout.

        Div III, Div II, NAIA, Div I-A(FCS) all do playoff games at school sites in December. That is an imaginary problem.

        Yes, because 100,000 people at PSU is the exact same as the NAIA playoffs.

        The issue there is cutting the bowls out of the process (a good thing IMO-not necessarily in the President’s minds).

        I think the president’s really would prefer the bowls. In part because they like the bowls, and in part because they don’t want individual schools to make an extra $4M. That tilts the playing field.
        Maybe they’d come up with a revenue sharing plan to reduce that.

        Like

    • jj says:

      I don’t buy the academic concerns or weather issues.

      Like

    • PSUGuy says:

      Yah I have to agree. I think Delaney can take the “I’m open and listening” approach because he knows he has the B1G and Pac presidents behind him on wanting to scale back the system from a complexity/duration standpoint.

      I maintain, Delaney wants the bowls to go back to how they were, with dedicated tie ins and primarily on New Year’s Day/right before. A post bowl ranking based on some sort of RPI-like metric and that ranking leading directly into a National Championship game (sometime during) the week following New Years.

      Like

      • jerry Prall says:

        That is by far the easiest and most logical system.

        Best part of it is that the top 4-6 teams in the country all have reasons to play their asses off in the bowls……right now there’s not much real incentive for teams 3-6…………

        One draw back to any plus-1, I would think, is that it puts a real burden on the fans of team who might be in the NC game. Say you’re Michigan, ranked #1, and playing Oregon, ranked #12, in the RB…….do you want to put up all the $ for a RB trip when you’ve got a probable NC game 1 week later?

        Like

        • Brian says:

          My guess is they would have to treat the NCG more like the Super Bowl and sell a ton of local tickets to neutral fans rather than counting on teams to buy 20K each. Give each school a small allotment (5k maybe) instead.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          There’s not much incentive if #1 and #2 are heavy favorites.

          Like

        • Richard says:

          That is the biggest problem I have with any Plus-one system. I’m sure it’d be great for the bowl ratings, but you might see even more empty seats than you do now.

          Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Good.

      Speaking of Cam Newton, I’m a fan of the Panthers, and I really love the potential future with him as quarterback. That said, I still believe he knew his father was using him to make some shady money deals, so it makes me feel a little dirty rooting for him.

      Like

    • greg says:

      So by changing this rule, the NCAA is basically admitting that Auburn and the Newton family cheated. The NCAA makes crap up on the fly, but they let this crap go down for the eventual Heisman winner? Only in the SEC.

      Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      You may not know, but how does this change anything? In other words, how does an “agent” matter where supposedly someone is shopping around a player’s services? Why can’t player A simply do what Cam did and claim he knew nothing about his “agent’s” efforts to shop him around?

      I thought the “loophole” was that Cam supposedly didn’t know.

      Anyone who can help, offer a thought or two.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        The “I didn’t know” defense only worked because it was a family member. If it was anyone that fit under the old definition of agent, Newton would have been ineligible.

        Like

  12. I wouldn’t mind the late MNC game so much if they would just move the whole season later. Deciding a national champion (or, really, having any premiere game) after a 30-45 day layoff is ridiculous. Move the whole season later so that the conference championship games happen in mid-December. And don’t whine about it being finals week, student athletes in every other division manage to pull it off.

    Like

    • Josh says:

      Amen. Football travels less than any other sport, therefore miss class less. Holding an on campus semifinal the week if or the week before finals wouldn’t be a problem from a logistics standpoint. The teams leave the Friday before the game. I’m sure arrangements can be made for those students with potential conflicts. To cite academic reasons for not staging an on campus semi final where four schools are involved is insulting to our intelligence. Villanova football players don’t seem to mind too much.

      Like

  13. allthatyoucantleavebehind says:

    Again, I agree with you Frank. No reason not to have a championship Monday (just like the bball guys) on MLK Jr. Day.

    I just hate the prospect of an unseeded plus-one. It’d be an interesting study from pre-1998 to see how many clear No. 1/2 scenarios there were AFTER the bowl games. As a PSU fan, I know of one. 1994.

    I can see how this can make more money. I can’t see how this will make anyone happy.

    Imagine these bowl match-ups…LSU/Stanford in Sugar, Alabama/OkSt in Cotton, Michigan/VaTech in Fiesta, and same Orange and Rose Bowls. If LSU and Alabama won, it might solve everything. What if they didn’t? What do you do with a 13-1 LSU…a 12-2 Alabama…a 11-2 Stanford…a 12-2 Oregon??? Who plays Oklahoma State? Sugar Bowl loser LSU? Non-Pac12 champ Stanford? Rose Bowl champ Oregon?

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      I think all the bowls would have set tie-ins. The ACC will be fortunate to get one major bowl as a tie-in, so the only way a Michigan-VT bowl can happen is if it’s ACC #1 vs. B1G #2 or #3.

      I doubt Pac-12 gets a tie-in to the Sugar. It’s going to be SEC #1 vs. a Big 12 or Big Ten team, so an LSU-Stanford bowl game wouldn’t happen.

      Stanford would’ve been 12-1 if it had beaten LSU, anyway, in a hypothetical Sugar Bowl, so in your scenario, it would be Stanford vs. Oklahoma State. I’m assuming there would be a rule requiring teams in the NCG to win their bowl games.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        If there was that rule requiring a win, it makes the unseeded +1 generate some ridiculous results. You have a playoff that’s not really a playoff and have the schools face very different opponents with different motivations. Its not like the team that beats the unbeaten #1 team automatically gets into the championship game. Again with only two teams picked, you get into the beauty contests that make the current process so ugly. You also get the over-emphasis on one game since most pollsters lack the intelligence to remember what happened 6 weeks before, let alone 3 months.

        Like

    • wmtiger says:

      It has to be a real playoff where when you lose in the postseason, your out just like every other postseason sport. Ideally with actual seedings.

      Like you brought up, there are too many ‘issues’ if you attempt to seed the programs after the bowl games… e.g. the #1 team a lot of times may still be the #2 team after their first loss like LSU was this season. Then you have the debate on which of many teams is the #2 team, when #3, #4 or even #5 have nearly as much of a resume as #2. Seedings after the bowl games would create chaos…

      I think you must have a real playoff (as opposed to some of these unseeded or seeded after the bowl game scenarios), 4-teams would be the easiest to implement. The major issue with that is that would eliminate a BCS bowl, I’d imagine they’d just find a way to share by rotating what bowls host the playoff bowls.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      I previously looked at 1991-1997 how an unseeded +1 would have worked. The teams who would be matched up were:
      1991 Miami Vs. UW. But the BCS would have given us the same before the bowls. Miami played #11 Nebraska and UW played #4 Michigan.
      1992 Alabama vs. FSU. Bowls already had a 1-2 matchup with Alabama vs. #1 Miami. FSU played #11 Nebraska.
      1993 FSU vs. Notre Dame. Bowls already had a 1-2 matchup with FSU vs. Nebraska. ND played #7 Texas A&M.
      1994 Nebraska vs. Penn St. BCS would have given us the same before the bowls. Penn St. played #12 Oregon and Nebraska beat #3 Miami.
      1995 Nebraska vs. Florida rematch of Fiesta Bowl. Alternatively Nebraska vs. #3 Tennessee who lost to Florida.
      1996 Florida vs. Ohio St. Florida beat #1 FSU in a rematch and Ohio St. beat #2 Arizona St. There wasn’t a clear break except that #3 FL and #4 Ohio St. won their bowl games. You essentially had a seeded +1.
      1997 Nebraska vs. Michigan. BCS would have given us the same before the bowls. Michigan beat #8 WSU and Nebraska beat #3 Tennessee.

      Unseeded +1 gave the same or worse results than BCS except for 1996 when there was in essence a seeded +1 by chance. It also gave worse results than the pre-BCS bowl system in 3 of the 7 years.

      Unseeded + 1 is just a disaster that could even make the current system look good.

      Like

      • Mack says:

        Except for the Rose Bowl, there will never be a #1 vs. #2 matchup in the bowls with an unseeded +1 system is in place. For the top two teams, the bowls just become another hurdle. Problem more likely is LSU playing WVU in the Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma State playing Clemson in the FIesta. Top two will try to get easy bowl matchups and what better than BE and ACC champions against SEC and B12. More likely to get a #3 vs. #4 matchup with this system, with the winner hoping one of the top two gets upset. You can be sure that any +1 game will be limited to 1 team per conference, both for TV interest and access (only SEC would object).

        Like

      • dwqwiz says:

        Bullet,

        I’m not sure what you mean by “worse” results. Certainly not in the minds of the AP poll voters, who condered both season results and the results of the bowl games to make their determination of the final rankings – or the teams that moved up to #1/#2 after their bowl games.

        I looked at the 30 years prior to the BCS (1968-1997), when the final AP poll was taken after the bowl games (see http://www.wix.com/dwquigley/bowl-plus-one ) and found that the pre-final poll #1 or #2 teams changed in 21 of the years. In 6 of the years, both #1 and #2 teams were replaced by other teams – and in one year (1975) Arizona jumped from #7 to #2.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Worse results-Same matchup with an extra game. In most cases there was a discrepancy in the quality of opponent. Having a rematch of a game you already played in a worse result. Going from a consensus matchup of unbeatens to a matchup of the new #2 who has a loss (when #1 already won a 1 vs 2 matchup) is a worse result.

          Like

    • dwqwiz says:

      Actually, I did recently look at the 30 years of results prior to the BCS era (1968-1997), when the AP took their final poll after the bowl games. See http://www.wix.com/dwquigley/bowl-plus-one
      If the AP poll is used as the #1/#2 selector, in only 3 of the 30 years (IMO) would there have been any controversy between the #2/#3 teams as to who should play the #1 in the NCG.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Which 3 out of curiousity?

        Like

        • dwqwiz says:

          1974 – #4 Ohio St. (10-2) & #5 Alabama (11-1) – only 17 points separated them in fianl AP Poll (#4/#5 because two higher ranked teams were ineligible for bowls)

          1981 – #2 texas (10-1-1) & #3 Penn St. (10-2) – 17 pts separation

          1986 – #2 Miami (11-1) & #3 Oklahoma (11-1) – 19 pts separation

          I realize that there could be disagreement over how close the points separation needs to be to consider the results controversial. But that was my take.

          Like

  14. metatron5369 says:

    I have to confess that I’ve lost my taste for the various bowls out there. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi: They’re loser bowls for losers.

    The “Championship” is a political sham and anything short of a playoff is insulting to my intelligence. Until the laurels are earned, the Rose Bowl is the only thing I care about.

    Like

  15. joe4psu says:

    add

    Like

  16. herbiehusker says:

    Go Big Red!

    Like

  17. indydoug says:

    Why would ND still have a seat at the table? The Irish have been living on past rep for some time now. Check out its post season record the past 15 yrs. Dreadful!

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Because they are ND. They have fans and pull ratings, so the make money. Their power is slowly diminishing, but they are still way too powerful to ignore.

      Like

  18. Richard says:

    About the bowls power;

    I wouldn’t assign as much power to them. I think it’s noteworthy that this current BCS discussion doesn’t include them and I don’t see much in the comments indicating that they have much power. To the extent that they do have influence, it would be via conference allies. We know that the Pac and B10 will seek to protect the Rose, the SEC may like the Sugar (a little), and then . . . really nothing. Unlike the BE (and most definitely ACC), who must be listened to because they have some market power, a natural ally in ND (in the case of the BE), and votes in FBS, the bowls really don’t have that much power. If the BCS conferences are united and say “we will host semifinals at home sites”, what will the bowls do? Not payout and host soccer games instead?

    Like

    • BuckeyeBeau says:

      assigning “power” is complex. first, I agree that most bowls have little “power” in the larger scheme because most are — to quote from above — loser bowls for losers. That about 20. And I doubt anyone cares about the demise of some/many of those bowls.

      however, there are at least 15 bowls with some modicum of “power” based on their age and affiliations. For brevity, let’s say any bowl played after December 29th (minus the 2-3 loser bowls played during the first week of January). their power is more than just their affiliations with the major conferences. they all have boards with various people of influence; they interact and connect with each other; they all have contacts with ESPiN and the other networks, they all have their own city, state and municipal political connections. The latter are quite important since bowls generate a lot of revenue for host cities. All of those cities and states will put pressure on the conferences to not torpedo the whole bowl system.

      simply put, there are a lot of people with a lot at stake in the current system.

      my take from FtheT’s post is his emphasis on the “low hanging fruit.” it is easy to reach and just as importantly, doesn’t require cutting down the tree.

      Like

  19. bullet says:

    Ratings per AJC:
    Top cities for BCS game:
    Birmingham 61.2
    New Orleans 53.3
    Oklahoma City 29.1
    Minneapolis-St. Paul 27.5
    Atlanta 26.8

    Atlanta, in the heart of SEC country followed these games the most:
    BCS-26.8
    Outback (with Georgia) 19.0
    Rose 11.2
    Fiesta 10.7
    Sugar 8.9
    Sun (with Georgia Tech) 8.2
    Orange 8.1 (Clemson is 4th closest school to Atlanta)
    Chick Fil A 7.9 (Auburn is 3rd closest)
    Cotton 7.4
    Alamo 6.0

    Like

  20. bullet says:

    Didn’t see it on the AJC site or a quick google search, but there is an AP article which will probably pop up later in the day with the US Education secretary supporting the stipend and multi-year scholarships in a speech at the NCAA convention. He also knocked Penn St. without naming (and his criticism went beyond just PSU) by saying, “Too often, large, successful programs seem to exist in an insular world, a world of their own. Their football and basketball players, sometimes even their coaches, are given license to behave in ways that would be unacceptable in higher education or in society at large.”

    He also demonstrated why politicians should stay out of sports, suggesting the BCS schools should create some kind of student enhancement fund. From the article, “When asked later about how much of those millions aof dollars are currently going to academic support, Duncan responded; “Zero and I’m 100% sure on that. It’s just misplaced priorities.” You really shouldn’t say you are 100% sure of anything when you are uniformed. I know people who have worked in one BCS program. There are liasons with the coaches (so the coaches don’t have to get involved-they can spend time coaching), coordinators who work with student-athletes and arrange tutors, tutors for every class and note takers (students who are taking the same class do notes for the athlete and tutor). There are, of course, study hall facilities. While I think the stipend is a good idea because it puts athletic scholarships more on a par with what academic scholarships can do, the athletes get plenty of compensation. In addition to a scholarship (for those with full scholarships) worth 30-40k, they get this massive tutoring infrastructure (for all athletes, not just football players) and coaching from the best in the country that they couldn’t even pay for any other way. They also have exclusive time with access to training facilities and for some sports, their own cafeteria/menu (Texas had a separate cafeteria for the football players when I was there-and presumably still does).

    Like

    • footballnut says:

      Some random thoughts about the whole holiday bowl watching experience and about changing it:

      1. I had so much bowl fatigue, that by the time the big bowls came around, I rarely watched the whole game. The BCS bowl was so boring I was flipping to it every now and then while mostly watching “The King’s Speech” on Showtime, (and I truly like watching football most of the time).

      2. The money is in getting the casual fan to watch, like the Super Bowl. I’m going to guess that half the audience who watches the Super hasn’t watched ANY of the previous NFL games. It’s their only NFL game experience. The BCS should go after the hardcore AND casual crowd by making it THE most special event of the year for college football. Having 34 bowls before it waters down the interest considerably, I think. It’s like the FedEX championship in golf – taking four weekends to finally get to the winner is so spread out that by the time you get to the final round, you’d rather be watching the college/NFL football game that’s on at the same time.

      3. SO, I say play 8 bowl games, with four being played one each week before New Years the big four being played on New Years DAY while letting the bowls choose whomever they want in their bowl. Then look at the BCS standings and have the top two play two weeks later for the Championship at a neutral site that changes every year so that it’s played in the West, South, Midwest, and East every four years. MLK weekend doesn’t work because of the NFL playoffs on Saturday.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Surprisingly, I saw one article where football coaches and ADs were doubting the value of having 35 bowls and sending 6-6 teams to bowl games.

        Like

        • gobux says:

          IMO Cut the number of bowls significantly. Say 16 bowls, this would equal 32 teams that get to play in bowls. They should make it more exclusive!!

          Like

          • Bo Darville says:

            Why have less football on TV? You can always watch the pawn shop reality shows instead of some minor bowl game. If you’re getting “bowl fatigue” that’s your problem. Don’t make it mine by getting rid of football games on TV that I might want to watch. Just because you eat too much ice cream and feel sick to your tummy doesn’t mean all ice cream should be pulled from the store shelves.

            Like

      • Jake says:

        I guess I had a different experience. I was so busy with school this semester that I barely watched any of the regular season. I tried to make up for it with the bowls. Fortunately, there were some good games this year. A few really good games.

        Like

  21. It took 15 years to get from the original BCS #1 vs. #2 matchup to some form of a 4-team playoff. So, by my math, that means sometime around 2028 we should have an 8-team playoff. And around 2043 we will get to a 16-team playoff.

    Can’t wait, hope I’m still alive to see it!

    Like

  22. bullet says:

    @Frank
    While I suspect you are right about ratings and attendance driving this process, I think the all-SEC bcs game and contradictions in how this year was handled vs. 2006 with Ohio St. and Michigan opened some minds. I don’t think its any coincidence that the Big 12 ADs came out in favor of a Plus 1 when it became apparent that Oklahoma St. would be passed over. Every conference realized they could be left out in a very arbitrary process in selecting only 2 teams. I also think the ESPN official who said college presidents aren’t tone deaf wasn’t referring solely to ratings and attendance. ESPN also probably is not tone deaf with regard to the increasing criticism they are getting for their level of influence over the bowls, BCS process and realignment.

    Like

  23. [...] the Championship Game should be moved to Martin Luther King Day.  Frank the Tank has a great write up on the logic of using that [...]

    Like

  24. duffman says:

    Frank, the discussion begins and ends with 3 basic issues

    #1 FBS is separate and unequal

    We really have two subgroups acting as one
    1) FBS (A) = B1G / ACC / B12 / PAC / SEC / IND via ND
    2) FBS (B) = Big E (after WVU, Pitt, SU, and others leave) / CUSA / MAC / MWC / WAC / Sun B

    until these two split from each other, you will never fix the problem

    #2 Money over rides fans

    If your fans do not spend money, you do not count – The fact that many articles are discussing schools not selling their allotments says more about who gets invited in the future than their ability on the field. If bowls have a choice between a 11-1 Alabama and a 12-0 Boise State, I am willing to bet my bottom dollar you never see Boise State in a MNC game.

    #3 Is it better to sell tickets or win games?

    The past few years the old adage of “offense sells tickets, defense wins championships” has never been more focused. The PAC and B12 have invested in offense, and the SEC has invested in defense. Everybody else seems somewhere in between. My question is if defense wins championships, why are so many schools wanting a MNC not investing their money here? This was no more obvious than TAMU this season. They were picked to finish in the Top 10 and be in the hunt for a MNC, yet they finished 6-6 and wound up unranked. There is no doubt in my mind that they had an offense that could put points on the board. If they had a decent defense, they beat Oklahoma State – 1pt loss, Arkansas – 4 pt loss, Missouri – 7pt loss, Kansas State – 3pt loss, and Texas – 2pt loss. With a decent defense they are 11-1, and with a stout defense they are probably 12-0 (25 – 41 was score in Oklahoma game) and playing for a MNC.

    Like it or not as a conference, the SEC invests in defense, and if TAMU and MU buy into this, the SEC is just going to get better. The upside to their conference is they have a loyal fan population to draw from that will watch low scoring games if it means they bring home the big prize. Here the B1G has an advantage of having large crowds as well that will watch smash mouth football. granted data can be skewed, but on 12/11/2011 the Top 10 in USA Today looked like this :

    1. Alabama – beat #2 LSU in MNC game
    2. LSU – lost to #1 Alabama in MNC
    3. Georgia – lost to # 5 Michigan State in OT
    4. South Carolina – beat # 36 Nebraska
    5. Michigan State – beat #3 Georgia
    6. Florida State – beat # 34 Notre Dame
    7. Illinois – beat # 91 UCLA
    8. Wisconsin – lost to # 60 Oregon
    9. Florida – beat # 24 Ohio State
    10. Penn State – lost to # 64 Houston

    Maybe the message is to get the B1G games more coverage that muffles out the Oklahoma State / Baylor / Stanford / Houston chatter during the regular season. Maybe the issue is not a playoff, but getting it to a B1G vs SEC MNC every year. If I can trade off the other conferences who just want to score, for the B1G insuring a spot at the table, then the ACC / B12 / BE / CUSA / PAC can kiss my hairy butt while I put them in the rear view mirror. ;)

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      on 12/11/2011 the Top 10 in USA Today looked like this :

      1. Alabama – beat #2 LSU in MNC game
      2. LSU – lost to #1 Alabama in MNC
      3. Georgia – lost to # 5 Michigan State in OT
      4. South Carolina – beat # 36 Nebraska
      5. Michigan State – beat #3 Georgia
      6. Florida State – beat # 34 Notre Dame
      7. Illinois – beat # 91 UCLA
      8. Wisconsin – lost to # 60 Oregon
      9. Florida – beat # 24 Ohio State
      10. Penn State – lost to # 64 Houston

      Say what? Duffman, you lost me here.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        Michael in Raleigh,

        It was the USA Today ranking of the top 10 defenses (statistical of course) following the end of the season (including CCG’s) but prior to the bowl season. While nothing is an absolute predictor (less we make a run, and bankrupt Vegas) it was just interesting that Alabama was number 1, then shut down LSU at #2. Michigan State and Georgia were close, and their game went to OT. South Carolina, Florida State, Illinois, and Florida all beat teams ranked lower than they were. Only Wisconsin and Penn State failed to beat a lower ranked defense

        Like

    • metatron5369 says:

      If schools don’t sell their allotments, that’s on the school – the bowl games make money by selling tickets to the school.

      It’s part of their crooked game.

      Like

  25. acaffrey says:

    I am not saying that this is the end-all, be-all of solutions.

    But isn’t one of the problems that every college football season is unique? Some years, you need 1 game to reach a consensus champion, some years it might take more. If Alabama and Oklahoma are both the only undefeated teams next year–wouldn’t the best solution be to have them play, while a 4-team playoff would only allow teams with regular season losses a chance to “claim” a championship that one of those two teams validly deserved?

    So, what if there was a committee to not only decide WHO gets in, but HOW it would play out?

    I just posted it here to save space if folks think I am all wet on this radical idea:

    http://atlanticcoastconfidential.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/1000-reasons-why-it-will-not-work-but-here-is-a-radical-plan-for-college-footballs-post-season/

    Like

    • metatron5369 says:

      Playoffs are valid in a league that does not have balanced scheduling. Ergo, because Oklahoma, Alabama, Boise State, and Stanford did not play each other during the regular season, we have no way of determining who is actually superior.

      Unfortunately, four seeds are only slight better than two at selecting “valid” teams. This is why I want a sixteen seed playoff – politics can’t overcome the shotgun selection.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        I don’t see it happening in my lifetime.

        In FCS football, the regular season is 11 games, not 12, with the final regular season game the weekend before Thanksgiving. There’s a 20 team tournament where the top 12 teams get a first-round bye, so the maximum season total would be 16 games, played by one of the bracket’s bottom 8 teams. (BTW, with that many games, the teams get 1 week off between the first weekend of September and the third weekend of December. That’s it.)

        Contrast that with FBS football. A regular season is 12 games. A 13th can (and will) be played by a team that plays at Hawaii. Game #14 would be the CCG. Game #15 would be the bowl game. A plus-one would make for a maximum of 16 games.

        The 12th regular season game is not going anywhere. Every program has budgeted for the long term with a dependency on income from those games. Forget about that. Also, the CCG’s aren’t going anywhere. The conferences LOVE those games way too much. The Hawaii rule is necessary because it would otherwise be way too hard to convince anyone to go play there without it.

        If you do think that it should go beyond 15 or 16 games because you, as a fan, selfishly care more about your personal appetite for a playoff-style elimination tournament more than you do about those health of the players in them (who, granted, are scholarship athletes with a very nice lifestyle, but not millionaire NFL players), then go right ahead. Everyone is free to think what they believe.

        As for me, I’m confident that a plus-one, seeded or unseeded, is as far as it ever will go, or ever should.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Even though I don’t want to see a 16-team playoff, I do hope to see it, because I hope to live another 34 years or so. My prediction is that we’re going to a 4 team playoff next round (for an 8-year contract). 16 years later, player, the clamor will be enough to expand it to an 8-school playoff. Another 16 years later, I think we’ll see a 16-team playoff (either to 12 first or straight t 16).

          Like

  26. joe4psu says:

    Undefeated teams cannot be proven to be better than other teams with one loss if THEY HAVE NOT PLAYED AND PROVEN THAT THEY ARE BETTER ON THE FIELD. Every team has a different schedule.

    Play the games.

    Like

  27. Drew says:

    The discussion among conference commissioners is being driven more by the diving TV ratings for the BCS than any altruism about providing fairness in the selection of a national champion.

    The BCS contract is coming up and absent some juice, the member conferences could be looking at taking a haircut on the rights fees. Any plus one system, seeded, unseed or semi-seeded, is going to increase the number of meaningful games. This will translate into better average ratings and a corresponding pop in rights fees. Here’s hoping they come up with a format that fans like.

    Like

  28. Carl says:

    O’B!

    Like

  29. Jake says:

    Kind of off-topic, but is anyone else surprised that LSU finished #2 after their performance in the title game? Really thought they would drop below OSU. And who in the AP poll gave LSU a first-place vote? No offense to Alan and other LSU fans, but that was some pretty inept play from the Tigers Monday night.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      I’m not too surprised by LSU remaining in 2nd place.

      It’s not like last year where an undefeated TCU was put in over Oregon.

      LSU still has a resume with a win over Alabama on the road (BCS Champ), neutral site versus Oregon (Rose Bowl winner and #4), @WVU (Orange Bowl winner and #17), Arkansas (Cotton Bowl winner and #5), and de factor road game @Georgia (#19).

      That’s a pretty strong argument for not dropping them out of the top 2.

      Like

      • charlie says:

        yeah, I agree. I feel like after looking at the result of the national championship game, the voters went back to the entire bodies of work for the rest of the rankings

        Like

      • bullet says:

        There was a voter from Albuquerque who voted for LSU. He announced before he would vote for LSU no matter the result. He said he wavered, but continued to vote for LSU. LSU just played a lot tougher schedule. They had 5 wins vs. top 25 as pointed out above and 3 vs. top 5. Alabama had just LSU and Arkansas who LSU also beat. LSU won at Alabama. 2 wins vs. top 25 is a really weak schedule for an MNC. I haven’t checked it, but I’d be surprised if any champion since BYU had so few wins against ranked teams. Alabama’s next highest rated win was Auburn, who again, LSU also beat.

        There’s a solid argument for ranking Alabama #3. Oklahoma St. beat 4 ranked teams. On the last thread, I listed the W-L vs. ranked teams of the top 25. Michigan St., Clemson and South Carolina all won 3 against ranked teams. Alabama was 1 of 8 with 2 wins.

        Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Zeek – LSU also defeated three other bowl winners that were ranked at the time LSU defeated them. LSU’s resume was impeccable and the Tigers had by far the most difficult road to the championship of all the contenders. Also, LSU only had six home games and defeated every team it played.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          Agreed.

          Had LSU but won the last one, it would have been a season for the ages. Can’t recall a national champion in recent memory that defeated that many teams that went on to have really great seasons…

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Heck, it doesn’t ease the pain of the loss, but LSU’s season at 13-1 was better than their championship season 4 years ago in my opinion. It was just that tough of a schedule that they had this year with so many neutral site and road games against top opponents.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            zeek – you’re right in that it doesn’t ease the pain, but I have kept the loss in perspective. Unfortunately, some of my fellow Tiger fans have not.

            LSU got a bad draw for the BCS game. Asking a team to defeat Alabama for the third straight time in 14 months proved to be too much to ask.

            Prior to the game, I did a little research to try to put LSU’s season in perspective. I didn’t find a national champ in the last 25 years with LSU’s resume. The closest team I could find was the 1988 #2 Miami Hurricanes. They lost to eventual national champion Notre Dame at South Bend 30-31. That season, the Hurricanes defeated #3 Florida State (Ind), #4 Michigan (B1G champ), #10 Nebraska (Big 8 champ), #12 Arkansas (SWC champ), and #19 LSU (SEC co-champ).

            This season, LSU defeated #1 Alabama (BCS champ), #4 Oregon (Pac-12 & Rose Bowl champ), #5 Arkansas (Cotton Bowl champ), #17 West Virginia (BEast & Orange Bowl champ), #19 Georgia (SECEast champ), defending BCS champ and Chick-Fil-A bowl champ Auburn, Gator Bowl champ Florida, and Music City Bowl champ Miss State. UF, AU, and MsSu were all ranked at the time LSU defeated them.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Its hard to beat any really good team twice in one season and not really fair to ask them to.

            Texas in 1977 didn’t have the # of top ranked wins, but they did hand pre-bowl #6 Arkansas and #2 Oklahoma their only regular season losses. 1977 is another season that shows why anything based on post-bowl rankings (like an unseeded +1) works poorly. Final AP rankings:
            1. Notre Dame 11-1 was #5 and beat previous #1Texas in Cotton
            2. Alabama 11-1 was #3 and beat previous #9 Ohio St
            3. Arkansas 11-1-was #6-only loss to Texas-beat previous #2 OU in Orange
            4. Texas 11-1-only loss in Cotton Bowl-beat #3 Arkansas in Fayettville but ended up
            ranked lower
            5. Penn St. 11-1 only loss to Kentucky in Happy Valley-#8 before bowls
            6. Kentucky 10-1 only loss to pesky Bears in Waco. Beat PSU decisively in PA but ranked behind them-on probation and did not go to bowl-was #7 before bowls
            7. Oklahoma 10-2-only losses to UT and to Arkansas in Orange
            8. Pitt 9-2-1 was #10 and beat then #11 Clemson in bowl
            9. Michigan 10-2 was #4 but lost to UW in Rose
            10. Washington 8-4 was #13-beat MI in Rose

            Like

          • bullet says:

            1971 Nebraska was one of the great teams of all time. Not sure about all of their schedule, but they were 13-0 and had wins over:
            #2 Oklahoma 11-1 (classic 35-31 game)
            #3 Colorado 10-2 (lost 31-7 to Nebraska–other loss to OU)
            #4 Alabama 11-1 (lost 38-6 to Nebraska in bowl)

            LSU would have had 4 wins over the top 5 if they had defeated Alabama again. If they had played Oklahoma St., they would have met all of the other members of the top 5.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Alan,

            I said it before, and I will say it again, this was a rare season when the MNC game was not needed. At the end of the regular season and CCG’s only LSU was still undefeated. Not taking away from Alabama’s win, but they had less of a body of work. I almost wish Houston had finished undefeated as well and it had been LSU and Houston in the MNC to settle the “are the non AQ schools really good” debate once and for all.

            Like

          • Mack says:

            Houston was better than PSU. Even an undefeated Houston would not have beat out Stanford, Ok St, or AL to meet LSU in the NCG. Houston would have been in the Sugar against MI or Orange against Clemson if they had beat S. MS.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            1971 Nebraska was one of the great teams of all time. Not sure about all of their schedule, but they were 13-0 and had wins over:
            #2 Oklahoma 11-1 (classic 35-31 game)
            #3 Colorado 10-2 (lost 31-7 to Nebraska–other loss to OU)
            #4 Alabama 11-1 (lost 38-6 to Nebraska in bowl)

            That pretty much was their schedule. ISU was “also receiving votes” in the final poll.

            Another classic example – 1968 OSU was 10-0 with wins over (AP rank before the game):
            SMU NR (final rank – #14)
            PU #1
            MSU #16
            MI #4
            USC #2 (Rose)

            That’s pretty good for a 10 game season.

            In 2006 OSU had to play #2 3 different times, and won 2 but not the one that mattered most. They got no sympathy, so LSU doesn’t get mine (not that Alan was asking for it).

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            That poor performance by LSU reminded me a lot of the 1996 Florida State team that lost to Florida by a wide margin (52-20) after having defeated them by the same margin (3 points) that LSU had defeated Alabama in the regular season.

            In college football especially, where the lie that “every game is a playoff” gets ingrained in players’ minds so well that they fully believe it’s truth, it’s an almost impossible task to ask a great team to defeat another great team twice in the same season after it had supposedly already “eliminated” the other one. Alabama got a mulligan this year, but LSU didn’t. So did Florida in 1996. Florida at least won the SEC that year, unlike Alabama, but it also had the incredibly good fortune of playing just two years prior to the BCS era, where the NCG would have been FSU vs. the only other pre-bowl undefeated team, the Pac-10’s Arizona State. Alabama had the good fortune of the #3 team being called “Oklahoma State” instead of “Oklahoma” and the inability of voters to recognize that OSU almost certainly would have won at Iowa State had its university not experienced the tragic deaths of two women’s basketball coaches less than 24 hours beforehand,.

            Like

  30. frug says:

    Would this work?

    1. All bowls go back to the old system

    2. After the bowls have been played 4 teams are selected to take part in a playoff (use an RPI or something

    3. First round are at home fields, finals are predetermined neutral site.

    Like

    • charlie says:

      while that might be the best of both worlds, you’re now pushing the college football season into early february at the earliest, possibly even mid to late february. would you want the college football national championship game to be competing with the super bowl?

      Like

      • frug says:

        Not necessarily. If it was in place this season, the semifinals would be this weekend and the championship would be next Saturday (Monday).

        And that is assuming they didn’t move some of the bowls up.

        Like

    • ProveIt says:

      Frug…

      Please don’t take this personal, but…
      …the NCAAF post season is ran by people with access to far more information and support staffs than we could dream of, and they posses far more skill in using these resources. it would be extremely arrogant to believe that with less knowledge we would develop a better system.

      If the problem was getting just the right format, we would have had a playoff already.

      The only reason there are discussions now is because 1 group is willing to make a substantial sacrifice – the mid majors are willing to give up bowl access to eliminate AQ status. This is the only change to bring all parties into the discussions.

      Like

      • frug says:

        You do realize that the ideas everyone have been throwing out are just hypothetical, right? I don’t think anyone here is suggesting these are serious policy recommendations.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        You must be either a consultant or have never used them. You have a lot more faith than I do.

        Congress has a lot more info and consultants than the general public, but I could probably pretty easily find a group of 535 that could do a better job. I could certainly find a group that could pass a budget with a President and majority in both the House and Senate. College presidents, like politicians, have diverging constituencies and interests and may not want a “better” solution.

        And a lot of this cannot be proven. I think nearly every president and almost everyone on this board would agree that a 24 team playoff would harm the regular season. But how do you prove the impact of 16 or 8 or 4? And, of course, a number of traditionalists don’t care. They prefer the current system or even the prior system to any playoff for various reasons. Some presidents would prefer less money if it meant controlling the influence of sports on their campuses. And all presidents have to deal with faculty members who feel that way. Rutgers faculty every few years asks to drop intercollegiate sports.

        Like

        • ProveIt says:

          The problem with congress isn’t a lack of good information, it is that they don’t let good information get in the way of political gains or party dogma.

          “College presidents, like politicians, have diverging constituencies and interests and may not want a “better” solution.”
          …so you are one of the “Conspiracy theorists” who believe everyone is lying.
          ———————————————————
          “But how do you prove the impact of 16 or 8 or 4?”
          This is sophistry. You cannot prove anything that hasn’t happened.

          You can rely on the projections of people and groups with access to, and the ability to project from, relevant information. This is the basis of my statements.
          ———————————————————-
          “And, of course, a number of traditionalists don’t care. They prefer the current system or even the prior system to any playoff for various reasons.”
          No credence should be given to anyone who starts with a conclusion and searches for support. They would do much better forming their conclusion from the evidence, or saving themselves the effort.
          ———————————————————
          “Some presidents would prefer less money if it meant controlling the influence of sports on their campuses.”
          So what? What is the connection between control of sports within a University and the NCAAF post season? The Presidents would have equal control on campus either way.
          ———————————————————
          “Rutgers faculty every few years asks to drop intercollegiate sports.”
          Rutgers faculty requests this because their athletic department falls well short of funding itself.

          I am pretty certain this isn’t what you really wanted to say.
          This supports Presidents wanting more revenue from NCAAF, not other concerns.

          Like

    • zeek says:

      I put this in the previous thread as a way of maximizing the value of the bowls.

      You’d draw heavy interest to the big bowls if you put them all on or before Jan. 1 (or 2 if 1 is a Sunday).

      Like this year, all of the top 5 bowls would be relevant under the old system (or something similar to the old system):

      Rose: Oregon-Wisconsin
      Sugar: LSU-Michigan
      Fiesta: Alabama-Oklahoma State
      Orange: Clemson-Stanford
      Cotton: Arkansas-Kansas State

      Oregon at #5 would be a shoo-in for top 4 based on the Fiesta Bowl loser getting knocked down, and Arkansas-Kansas State would be relevant if Oregon lost the Rose Bowl and opened up the #4 for the winner of Arkansas Kansas State.

      Like

  31. ProveIt says:

    Frank

    KUDOS for noting Delany and Scott willing to discuss playoffs does not equate to supporting playoffs.

    You can go further – Delany voices opposition to seeded 4 at the same time he says he I willing to discuss changes. Scott reported being scolded for stating they would consider a seeded 4.
    ——————————-
    KUDOS for noting this years NCG and poor bowl ratings aren’t driving the changes.
    ——————————-
    KUDOS for noting plus 1 does not equal seeded 4.

    The 2 were distinctively different formats until the sophistry of the SEC and ACC in 2008 redefined Plus 1

    You can go further – big changes doe not equal seeded 4.
    ——————————–
    ——————————–
    KUDOS and SCORN on the voting.

    You note it isn’t majority, but then note the existence of a swing vote in a 3-3 tie.

    The better model would be different companies entering a limited joint venture. Each brings a little something to the table, but not everyone brings the same, and some benefit with no agreement over the current environment.

    The strongest negotiating position are those who can benefit over the current system by walking away with no agreement going forward (B1G, Big 12)
    …followed by those who see no measurable difference walking away from the current system (PAC and Notre Dame).

    The rest need an agreement within the limit of those willing to walk away or they take a hit.
    ——————————–
    ——————————–
    SCORN for considering Delany willing to discuss changes “Massive” or claiming an injection of the conference Presidents was needed to affect this change.

    Unlike past proposed changes, Delany has some proposals on the table he wants. In order to gain from the discussions, he has to actively take part in the discussions.
    ——————————–
    SCORN for considering the Big 12 a playoff proponent.

    They were opposed to the original proposal and Beebe was the only conference to admit they took a poll of the Presidents and opposed the proposal. They’ve continued opposition to the present.
    ——————————–
    SCORN for saying no 2 conferences are in the same place.

    The B1G and the Big 12 are against a seeded 4, want the bowls separated from the BCS (eliminating AQ status), and want a 1 title game format. That’s pretty close to the same place entering discussions.

    The PAC and Notre Dame are against a seeded 4, apathetic on the bowls separating from the BCS and AQ status, and want a 1 title game format. That’s pretty close to the same place entering discussions.

    –These 4 above break even or benefit in no agreement over a seeded 4–
    –Those below benefit if some agreement is reached–

    The ACC and East want the current system to continue with the bowls and AQ status preserved as the 1st choice, a playoff if their AQ status is lost as their 2nd choice. That’s pretty close to the same place entering the discussions.

    The mid majors want AQ status eliminated, are willing to give up bowl access to get it (since they won’t be getting any invites in the near future), and want the largest playoff format they can get. That’s pretty close to the same place entering discussions.

    SEC? Silve and Stafford started the process with a massive dose of sophistry in their 2008 seeded-4-renamed-plus-1 proposal. it is prudent to question the legitimacy of any comments they make.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Big 12 ADs and conference commissioner endorsed a 4 team playoff. They wouldn’t do that if their presidents were overwhelmingly opposed. The Texas AD has long openly supported a playoff. He wouldn’t do that if the UT President was not at least open minded on it. And the Texas president is the Big 12 representative to the BCS committee.

      Like

      • ProveIt says:

        Bullet….

        Yes, the ADs would make a straw poll endorsement without the approval of their administration. This would not be the 1st time the ADs were ignored.

        Like

      • ProveIt says:

        Bullett…

        Where did Neinas endorse a 4 team playoff?
        The closest he has come is state plus 1 should be revisited – not even close to an endorsement.

        Except for the B1G and PAC, when a team finishes 3rd or 4th, the university and associated commissioner usually talk about a seeded 4 or Plus 1 without actually endorsing a seeded 4. It was UGa and the SEC playing to the boosters which gave use the “New” definition “Plus 1 = seeded 4″ because UGa was 5th.

        It would be nice, and it would be a step closer to a seeded 4, but there is no reason to believe the Big 12 has made a change because there are no circumstances driving a change to support a seeded 4.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The Big 12 ADs endorsed it. ESPN titled an article saying Neinas endorsed it and he has never said anything to contradict that. If you search Neinas and playoff, your screen will be filled with comments that Neinas endorsed a playoff. His exact quote in the article was, “as a result of this year, I feel that consideration should become more serious as we move forward.” So you are correct that he did not come right out and endorse it. But in context it would be hard to read as anything other than a strong signal of support.

          Like

          • ProveIt says:

            “The Big 12 ADs endorsed it.”
            So what?
            ————————————–
            “ESPN titled an article saying Neinas endorsed it…”
            So what?
            In the articles claiming he supported it, none actually document statements where he supported it.
            ————————————–
            “…and he has never said anything to contradict that.”
            This is fallacious reasoning and borderline sophistry. A lack of evidence is not evidence, it is… just a lack of evidence.

            This is akin to the running internet joke that there is no evidence to prove CRAIG JAMES KILLED 5 HOOKERS WHILE AT SMU is false, except while the hookers is a joke, here you present the same form of evidence as valid reasoning.

            there are prior statements that the Big 12 opposed a seeded 4, a history of non-committal statements whenever a team finishes ranked 3rd or 4th, and no intervening changes that would affect the reason for the Big 12s opposition.
            ————————————–
            “If you search Neinas and playoff, your screen will be filled with comments that Neinas endorsed a playoff.”
            So what?
            I did search – the screen is fills with a couple of articles copied over and over at different sources.
            As you note later, NONE of these comments come from Neinas.

            There is a reason they call them sports writers and not sports journalists.
            ————————————–
            “So you are correct that he did not come right out and endorse it.”
            Then why do you keep claiming he did?
            ————————————–
            “But in context it would be hard to read as anything other than a strong signal of support.”
            Sure – in the context of an article where sports writers are looking for statements to support a playoff.

            Otherwise it is 1 sentence… it isn’t even shown in the context of Neinas own statements.

            This isn’t the context that matters.

            As long as playoff proponents keep biting on every slanted word of the sportswriters, they deserve to be mislead and lied to.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            You keep saying the Big 12 opposes a playoff with no evidence and lots of evidence to the contrary. I guess I should respond to you with, “So what?”

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Bullett

            It didn’t take a lot of effort to google this
            …and you were referred to links in the previous Frank blog.
            ———————————————
            Evidence from the 1st proposal in 2008:
            the Big 12’s presidents had already decided last month they would oppose such a change. “Our league is just not favorable to a playoff system at all and viewed this as a first step in that direction,” said Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe.

            http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/stewart_mandel/04/30/bcs.meeting/index.html

            Same as December 2009:
            Beebe told Sports Business Journal in December 2009. “And I have not seen a playoff proposal that the Big 12 would support.”

            http://www.bowlrevolution.com/Big%2012%20Conference

            Same as December 2010
            “Don’t push it past this because if you push it past this, the Big 12’s position is we’ll just go back to the old (bowl) system,” Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe told FanHouse.

            http://www.aolnews.com/2010/12/09/jim-delany-warns-non-aq-leagues-dont-expect-more-than-youre/

            Dan wasn’t still around in late 2011, and leading up to his departure he was a bit too preoccupied trying to salvage his conference to continue repeating the same stance every 2 months to appease playoff proponents

            …but maybe you would prefer to hear it from Silve in April 2011
            “I don’t see any more sentiment for a plus-one today than I did [three] years ago,” Slive said.

            http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/stewart_mandel/04/28/bcs.meetings/index.html

            ——————————————
            The 1 thing that changed – the mid majors offered to give up bowl access in exchange for elimination of AQ status. This doesn’t impact the Big 12s disposition towards playoffs, but they will take part in discussions as long as removing the bowls from the BCS is an option.
            ——————————————
            No changes that impacts the reason for Big 12 playoff opposition – no changes in conference stance.

            No reason to look for writing between the lines – just straight talk. To paraphrase a movie – apparently you can’t handle the truth…

            The world is what it is – heck, I would prefer a seeded 4 – but denying the world won’t change reality, it will just separate you from reality.

            Like

  32. bullet says:

    I’m not saying it will happen, but an 8 team playoff using the Big 4 bowls deals with almost all the issues. It provides better access, lets the Rose Bowl keep its matchup and enhances the bowls.

    It does stretch the season out to mid January (but so does Frank’s proposal). It adds 2 extra games for 2 teams and 1 for 2 others (seeded +1 is 1 extra for 2 teams). It has the issue of where to hold the semi-finals as home games in January are more problematic than home games in December and 3 weeks of travel may give you attendance issues.

    Like

    • ProveIt says:

      Bullett

      A seeded 8 exasperates the reasons the majors state for opposing a playoff.

      At least with a seeded 4, you reduce the opposition to just concern for bracket creep. They don’t see a measurable gain in yearly revenue, but they don’t see a measurable loss either. They do project a loss with 8 team or larger formats.
      ———————————–
      If the concern is crowning the best team champion, a larger playoff yields lesser results. The chances the best team is not invited drops off quickly as the size grows, but the chances the best team is upset climbs faster. A seeded 2 is better than the polls, a seeded 4 or seeded 6 have about the same results and are better than a seeded 2, a seeded 8 or larger drops off quickly.
      ————————————
      Larger playoffs feed a sense of justice in correcting a perceived wrong, but this is a 1 sided view of justice. Teams that performed better during the season and earned a higher ranking find their path made more difficult to eliminate a perceived injustice against teams that didn’t perform as convincingly during the season – you end up committing an injustice to correct a perceived wrong.
      ————————————
      Reasons that you could categorize as a “Justice” issue also feed concerns of bracket creep. Install a seeded 4 and eventually the 4th ranked underdog wins the title feeding the claims by the 5th and 6th rank teams they should have been invited. Install a seeded 6 and eventually the 6th rank under dog wins feeding the claims the 7th and 8th ranked teams deserved a shot, and so on.
      ————————————-
      Reasons you could categorize as entertainment also feed concerns for bracket creep. An example is wanting more games between top ranked teams – this encourages larger formats which are more objectionable.
      ————————————-
      I’ve looked for years, and citing the results as the primary basis for a playoff format is the only reason I have found to push for implementing a playoff that discourages larger formats. The problem is, playoff proponents are not really satisfied with a seeded 4, so the idea of implementing a post season that is most likely to crown the best team is brushed aside in favor of reasons that promote larger formats.

      In this way, the playoff proponents become th biggest obstacle to implementing any palyoff format.

      Like

      • Well said! There’s no doubt that the NCAA basketball tourney is exciting, but when a 15 seed beats a 2 seed does that really mean we’re crowning the best team?

        Unless you have a pro-style best-of-7 format, where a single off night will not cost a team everything, the best way to find a champion is the smallest tournament possible.

        Example: I will go to my grave saying the 2005 Illinois bball team was the best in the country, and if it had been a best-of-7 against North Carolina the Tar Heels would have been lucky to win another game. Now, whether you agree with my assessment or not, you can at least understand the argument. Even the best team around will have an off night, and the more games you play the more that likelihood increases. As a best-of-7 (or even best-of-3) is simply not realistic in a sport as violent as football, a small tournament is imperative.

        Like

        • frug says:

          I will go to my grave saying the 2005 Illinois bball team was the best in the country

          You don’t know how good that sounds to my ears.

          Like

          • mushroomgod says:

            That’s pretty crazy thinking….

            That Illinois team wasn’t nearly as good as the Illinois team that choked the national SF game away to Michigan. Now THAT was a good team………

            The ’05 team just flat-out wasn’t as good as UNC, although I will grant you they also choked.

            Like

      • cutter says:

        ProveIt:

        You make a number of non-sensical statements and offer no concrete proof for any of your claims.

        1. You said that “they project a loss with 8 team or larger formats”. Please tell us who “they” is and cite the source of your information.

        2. You claim a larger playoff, i.e. 8 team yields lesser results. Prove it by citing data which shows that larger playoff formats does this.

        3. Justice is a wonderful term for a courtroom, but what does it have to do with a college football playoff? If you see the post-season as an extension or continuation of the regular season, then this idea of justice is moot. Teams would be required to win more games in an eight-team playoff than a Plus One or even the current system in order to become the national champion. Heck, under your ideal, there would be no playoff and no attempt even to put the top two rated teams together in a BCS championship game because it would be “unjust”.

        4. So if there’s a third and fourth team in a Plus One, then the fifth and the sixth would clamor for spots as well. Applying your logic, there should be no attempt to even have a BCS championship game in the current format because the third and fourth teams would be clamboring for “justice”.

        5. Here’s an interesting idea to consider–how about deciding it on the field? Of course people want to see more games against top-ranked teams. They want to see the best play the best and decide the outcomes on the gridiron and not by polls or computers.

        6. The biggest obstacle to putting together a playoff format is the entrenched interests of the bowl system and the power broakers within the conferences. Every other division of college football has a playoff and every other sport in the pros and college have a tournament or playoffs to crown a national champion. The problem is not the college football playoff proponents.

        It seems to me that you’d be quite content with having the regular season play out and crown a champion prior to any of the bowls. Teams wouldn’t have to complaing about an “unjust” bowl pairing inhibiting their chances at a national championship, for example. We wouldn’t have to worry about bracket creep either because there’d be no mechanism to even put the #1 and #2 rated teams into a game together.

        Like

        • ProveIt says:

          “1. You said that “they project a loss with 8 team or larger formats”. Please tell us who “they” is and cite the source of your information.”

          Everyone with access to, and the ability to project from, relevant data have concluded a seeded 4 is small enough to have no notable overall revenue impact, good or bad. They have all stated larger playoffs would have a negative impact on the total revenue for the year for the majors.

          Notice this is for the year, not a subset of revenue sources. I have never seen anyone with access to, and the ability to project from, relevant data who dispute their findings.

          This is the only reason the majors now give outside of congressional hearings (where other issues must be considered in anti-trust law even if they aren’t a factor in the decision). This was the original reason given in 2008.

          These findings have been stated by the majors, networks, bowls, and independent research groups. The mid majors have been verbally body slammed with these findings and have never disputed them, instead they quickly change the topic to “Justice” issues (fairness, etc).

          You could fill several tabletops with this information, and we wouldn’t know where to start, let alone make a projection…so I move onto the possibilities:

          1. They are telling the truth and accurate.

          2. They are telling the truth but wrong – it would be supreme arrogance to determine they are all wrong with no evidence to the contrary.

          3. They are lying. Given the large number of groups involved, they would have to be in collusion following hidden motives. I refer to these beliefs as “Conspiracy theories.”

          As someone who favors a seeded 4, I would be VERY appreciative of any link to someone who has access to, and the ability to project from, relevant data who has arrived at a different conclusion. I have been searching for 4 years and haven’t found 1. The pro playoff web sites list pages of reference studies, not 1 of which dispute the claims by those above.

          The links can be found in the references of this old series of blogs:

          http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/24230490/26490784

          ————————————-
          “2. You claim a larger playoff, i.e. 8 team yields lesser results. Prove it by citing data which shows that larger playoff formats does this.”

          This can be shown mathematically. it is part of this old blog:

          http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/24230490/27406402

          ————————————–
          “3. Justice is a wonderful term for a courtroom, but what does it have to do with a college football playoff?”
          If you have a better term, feel free to suggest it. “Justice” refers to the arguments that focus on fairness, whether financially based (the majors are taking all the money and keeping the mid majors down) or performance based (teams outside the majors are unjustly excluded).
          In all of the “Justice” arguments, the playoff proponents claim a playoff would correct a “Wrong” – ie, provide justice.

          What they all have in common is that to help 1 group, something has to be removed from another group. Usually the amount removed can be argued to be a greater injustice.

          What they also share is an open ended approach – because they are formed from the subjective and not the objective, there is no hard limit limit to the format size needed to correct the wrong.

          This is also covered in the above blog.
          —————————————-
          “Heck, under your ideal, there would be no playoff and no attempt even to put the top two rated teams together in a BCS championship game because it would be “unjust”.”
          This is false.
          At no point do I claim concerns of injustice invalid. I do claim they are typically presented 1 sided, ignoring that to add to 1 group, something must be taken from another.
          —————————————-
          “Applying your logic, there should be no attempt to even have a BCS championship game in the current format because the third and fourth teams would be clambering for “justice”. ”
          This is false.
          See above note on the validity of justice. A seeded 4 would be more likely to crown the best team – in this situation the injustice can be measured and it can be shown the move to a seeded 4 is indeed a fairer format… on this item.

          I do deny that it is my logic – logic and reason are a fools folly.
          The earth was once considered the center of the universe based on logical observations of the night sky. Few consider it logical that the passage of time for an object is tied to its velocity.
          It takes little effort to string together plausible sounding statements to support any assertion.

          I prefer critical thinking – basing the conclusion on an evaluation of fact and evidence.
          ——————————————
          “5. Here’s an interesting idea to consider–how about deciding it on the field?”
          This is why in 1 sense I favor a seeded 4. This is why I disfavor a seeded 8 or larger, where it can legitimate be said “The champion is more lucky than good.”

          Also… feel free to save the bumper sticker slogans for those more concerned with sophistry – critical thinking is not concerned with the prose. if your point is valid, it will stand on its own based on the factd and evidence without the bumper sticker slogans.
          ——————————————–
          “6. The biggest obstacle to putting together a playoff format is the entrenched interests of the bowl system and the power broakers within the conferences.”
          …so you are a conspiracy theorists… everyone is lying in favor of a hidden agenda… just tack on a plausible sounding reason the mid majors do not dispute their finding and your conspiracy is complete.
          ——————————————–
          “The problem is not the college football playoff proponents.”
          The main obstacle to a seeded 4 is the fear of bracket creep. The verbiage and actions of playoff proponents drive the expectations of bracket creep, making them the primary obstacle to a seeded 4.

          There are lots of things the playoff proponents CAN do to promote a seeded 4 and alleviate concerns of bracket creep, but these actions lie outside their level of self control.
          ———————————————
          “It seems to me that you’d be quite content with having the regular season play out and crown a champion prior to any of the bowls.”

          This is a lie.

          If you have a valid point, it can be made and supported by facts and evidence, not conspiracy theories and wild accusations.

          My preference depends upon the perspective.
          On 1 hand I favor a seeded 4 based on results and finances.
          On the other hand, I believe playoff proponents would drive bracket creep, leaving my preference a 1 game format or no title game format.

          Like

          • ProveIt says:

            Sorry for the double response – the above response did not appear for 10 minutes.
            Everything below is noted above.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            ProveIt:

            Let’s deconstruct some of what you have here. FIrst off, the blog that you’re quoting from is something you wrotte–it’s not from any outside sources that will back up your arguments. This like saying something is true because I quoting my own source saying that it’s true. Nice try, but you have to cite specific sources if you want to have any credibility.

            In fact, on the overall revenue question, you have quoted no sources on what the total revenue would be for any playoff scenario that’s been mentioned. At least Frank’s post here talks about a doubling of revenue for the BCS contract and numerous posters have quoted the conference commissioners as to what they feel the revenue for a playoff estimates would be. Instead of wrapping up your conclusions in some sort of odd conspiracy theory (they’re lying, no they’re not, they covering it up, etc.), let’s bring some numbers on the table.

            Speaking of numbers, that’s an interesting formula you have in your blog on how an eight-team playoff isn’t likely to crown the “best team”. I could change your assumptions around by saying that the higher ranked teams is likely to win the first round 80% of the time and 70% the second time and get a positive result, i.e, the “best team” is likely to win. Of course, by definition and by extension of the regular season into the playoff, the “best team” is the one that wins.

            I do enjoy your premise about critical thinking, but when critiical thinking is done in a void, it really doesn’t produce much of value–which is what we’re seeing here right now. You’re producing a lot of jibberish because you have no facts to back up what you’re proclaiming. What’s that saying–“Garbage In, Garbage Out”?

            That ties into your justice argument as well. Playoff proponents think the best way to have a “more just” result is to have a representative numbers of teams play the game on the field and to let them decide it there. The current system isn’t optimal to decide the best team on the field because it excludes teams that have gone undefeated or have similar credentials to the two that are currently picked by computer polls that are (1) have unpublicized formulas; (2) do no measure all the variables available plus involve human beings with their own shortcomings and biases. Even Socrates would be able to figure out that having at least four or maybe even an eight-team playoff would be “more just’ than the current system–and that’s what playoff proponents want. Upon mature reflection, most people come to the same conclusion.

            In fact, from the post I see below, at least one conference is talking about an eight-team playoff system. It’s different from what I might propose, but it certainly reaches the goals that the commissioners, networks and presidents seem to have. It’s not hard here–they want to keep the post season relevant, they want to support the bowl system and they want to make money in the process. The reason why these same stakeholders are changing their minds is they can look at the television ratings and the ticket sales and realize that they need to change the current format or else they’ll lose their audience. No consipiracy theory here–just plain business decisions.

            Like

          • ProveIt says:

            “It’s not hard here–they want to keep the post season relevant, they want to support the bowl system and they want to make money in the process.”

            Awesome – then it should be very, very easy for you to find a source with access to, and the ability to project from, relevant information who claims a playoff would make more for the major conferences for the year. I would be greatly appreciative.

            This isn’t an outrageous request… just 1 source to show the claims by everyone else is wrong… but that is the point where your conspiracy theories die, and reality takes over.

            If you can’t do this, at least provide something of value – another 10 paragraphs of unbacked assertions isn’t any better than previous conspiracy theories and bumper sticker slogans.
            ————————————————
            “FIrst off, the blog that you’re quoting from is something you wrotte–it’s not from any outside sources that will back up your arguments.”
            “you have quoted no sources on what the total revenue would be for any playoff scenario that’s been mentioned.”

            This is false – the blog links to the references.

            side note – for someone who cites NO relevant references, you show a 1 sided preoccupation demanding them when you find reality distasteful.

            It is an illusion to believe ignoring facts will support your conspiracy theories.
            ——————————————————-
            “At least Frank’s post here talks about a doubling of revenue for the BCS contract and numerous posters have quoted the conference commissioners as to what they feel the revenue for a playoff estimates would be.”

            This is irrelevant – the question is revenue for the majors for the year, not revenue from a subset of sources.
            ——————————————————
            “I could change your assumptions around by saying that the higher ranked teams is likely to win the first round 80% of the time and 70% the second time and get a positive result,”

            80% is high – NCAAF game outcomes just aren’t that certain for teams of similar strength. 80% would be closer to a division champ against a team that finished in the middle of their division.

            This demonstrates just how far you have to exaggerate to make a seeded 8 have better results than a seeded 4. Even with these numbers, a seeded 6 would likely have better results than a seeded 8.

            It is a fair comparison – If a playoff starts inviting teams separated in skill by more than a division rank, it is definitely bigger than required.

            I do not have to use exaggerated numbers – I noted I slanted the numbers in favor of the playoff results… and larger playoff still came up short… however you found reality opposed to your assertion and therefore determined it something to be ignored.
            ——————————————————
            “I do enjoy your premise about critical thinking”

            I believe this to be a lie – as a conspiracy theorists who believes sophistry can equate a well prosed assertion to the equal of facts and evidence, the last thing you understand is to face critical thinking.
            ——————————————————
            “critical thinking is done in a void…”

            This is false – critical thinking cannot be performed in a void by definition – I doubt you even understand the concept – after all, you continue to spout 1 sided views here without citing any references.
            ——————————————————
            “Playoff proponents think the best way to have a “more just” result is to have a representative numbers of teams play the game on the field and to let them decide it there.”

            This is the 1 sided view of a justice argument rephrased without acknowledging any downside.

            A 1 sided view is not real justice, it is the illusion of justice twisted to fit your pre-existing beliefs.
            ——————————————————
            “The current system isn’t optimal to decide the best team on the field …”

            This is irrelevant – nobody claims the current system is optimal in crowning the best team.
            ——————————————————-
            “Even Socrates would be able to figure out that having at least four or maybe even an eight-team playoff would be “more just’ ”

            So? I acknowlege playoff proponents believe larger formats deliver justice.
            I believe a seeded 4 to be more just.

            I do claim playoff proponent views of justice are 1 sided, as exemplified by your continued use of 1 sided arguments which deny the downside.
            ——————————————————–
            “In fact, from the post I see below, at least one conference is talking about an eight-team playoff system.”

            So what?
            Everyone is “Talking” about it and “Considering” larger formats, including Delany.

            Like

        • ProveIt says:

          I will try this 1 more time,. the last detailed response having been removed.

          “You make a number of non-sensical statements and offer no concrete proof for any of your claims.”
          As a late comer, this will all be new to you. See Frank’s last blog discussion for details.
          —————————————————
          “1. You said that “they project a loss with 8 team or larger formats”. Please tell us who “they” is and cite the source of your information.”

          Detailed in a blog series linked to below, references are in the 1st part of the series, extended discussion in the comments of Franks last blog.

          http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/24230490/26490784

          —————————————————-
          “2. You claim a larger playoff, i.e. 8 team yields lesser results. Prove it by citing data which shows that larger playoff formats does this.”

          Detailed in an old blog below.

          http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/24230490/27406402

          Observation – For someone who subscribes to conspiracy theories with no supporting evidence, your concern with supported arguments is highly 1 sided.
          —————————————————–
          “3. Justice is a wonderful term for a courtroom, but what does it have to do with a college football playoff?”

          Feel free to suggest a better term.

          Topic grouped as “Justice” cite a playoff as a means to correct a perceived wrong, such as an inequitable distribution of income or a program being left out – in other words, make the system just.

          Most playoff proponents cite these from a 1 sided point of view, ignoring that to elevate 1 group, another group must be discounted.

          At minimal the argument when viewed from both sides does not carry as much weight as when viewed from 1 side. In some cases a greater injustice is created in trying to correct the cited wrong.

          This is also detailed in the blog above.
          —————————————————-
          “Applying your logic,…”

          Logic and reasoning are a fools folly, and are not substitutes for fact and evidence.
          It was once accepted the earth was the center of the universe based on logical observations of the night sky. Few consider it logical that the passage of time for an object is based on its velocity.
          It takes little effort to string together some plausible sounding statements to make any assertion appear reasonable.

          I prefer critical thinking – basing the conclusion on the facts and evidence, not attempting to fit the facts and evidence to an assertion – you should try it some time.
          ——————————————————-
          …”there should be no attempt to even have a BCS championship game in the current format because the third and fourth teams would be clambering for “justice”.”

          This is false. I never claimed all arguments grouped under “Justice” are invalid.
          ————————————————–
          “5. Here’s an interesting idea to consider–how about deciding it on the field?”

          A format that is inherently less likely to crown the best team would not be best described as “Decided on the field” but rather a system that crowns a champion that is “More lucky than good”

          In the future, please leave the bumper sticker slogans to those who succumb to sophistry – critical thinking is not concerned with the prose. If your point is valid, it will stand on the facts and evidence without the need to be propped by slogans.
          —————————————————
          “6. The biggest obstacle to putting together a playoff format is the entrenched interests of the bowl system and the power broakers within the conferences.”

          …so you are among the conspiracy theorists who believe everyone is lying.

          Now all you have to do is create a plausible reason the mid majors do not dispute the findings of others and your conspiracy theory will be whole.
          —————————————————
          “The problem is not the college football playoff proponents.”

          The obstacle to a seeded 4 is concern with bracket creep. The verbiage of playoff proponents feed the fears of bracket creep.

          It is within the realm of influence for playoff proponents to diminish these concerns and even argue against larger formats, but it appears it is not within their level of self control.
          —————————————————-
          “It seems to me that you’d be quite content with having the regular season play out and crown a champion prior to any of the bowls.”

          This is false. My beliefs and preferences are in the above blogs.

          This is irrelevant – as a practitioner of critical thinking, my personal beliefs are excised from the conclusion, not made a limitation in what will be considered and what will be discarded.

          If you have a valid point you can present it backed by evidence and fact, not conspiracy theories, random accusations, and bumper sticker slogans.

          Like

  33. The unseeded +1 makes sense because it can legally be called anything but a playoff. All it really does is move the selection of 1 vs 2 from the end of the regular season to after the bowls have been played.

    Why is that important? Because every other NCAA championship gives automatic bids to ALL conferences. If the major conferences agree to anything that can legally be called a “tournament,” then you can expect a lawsuit almost immediately from the smaller conferences. If you create a “tournament,” it will almost have to have automatic invites for all 11 conference champs, which means a 16-team tournament. For a million reasons already discussed that just isn’t feasible right now.

    Like

    • Mack says:

      That may be true for most sports, but the NCAA Div. I FCS does NOT give AQs to all conferences. FCS expanded to 10 AQs two years ago when it added 4 play-in games to expand the field to 20. There are 14 leagues + 5 independents. SWAC and Ivy do not meet AQ qualifying status and do not participate in the playoff by choice.
      :
      From NCAA: For those conferences that qualify for automatic qualification but do not receive it, a guaranteed at-large position shall be awarded in any year in which its conference champion team meets all of the following conditions:
      a. Team wins a minimum of eight Division I games during the season;
      b. Team wins a minimum of two non-conference games against Division I teams representing a conference that has earned an automatic qualification in that year; and
      c. Team finishes the season ranked 20 or higher in an average of the last regular season
      media, coaches and/or computer polls (which will be determined by the committee on an annual basis). For 2011, the media poll will be the Sports Network Poll, the coaches poll will be the FCS Coaches poll and the computer poll will be a variation of the Gridiron Power Index – using only the following computer rankings: The Massey Ratings, Wolfe Rankings, Ashburn Rankings, Self Rankings and the Laz Index. <<>>
      :
      FYI: This years playoffs had a games in Montana Dec 9 and in North Dakota Dec 10 and 17. Not that winter does not create issues, but the FCS schools seem to be able to overcome them. This is more about the field, since there are not many traveling fans.

      Like

    • cutter says:

      Your suggestion that a Division 1-A college football playoff would require giving berths to all the conference champions has no merit. As Mack stated below, it doesn’t even happen in the FCS because there are prerequisites for confrence champions to participate in the playoff.

      You can take that same concept and write it into the rules for a Division 1-A playoff. If it were an eight-team playoff, give five berths to the major conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12, SEC) provided they’re in the top 14 of the rating system being utilized (this is the same standard used for teams to get into BCS bowls). If a conference champion doesn’t hit that criteria (such as Clemson this year as ACC champion, but not in top 14 of the BCS), then an additional at large team is invited (so instead of three at large teams, there’d be four).

      You can change the standard to top 12 or top 16 or you may require a minimum number of wins for a conference champion to quallify for the playoff–it all depends on how the stakeholders in this want to set it up.

      You can even have the higher seeds play at their home stadiums in the quarter- and semi-finals as a reward for their play in the regular season and to give an advantage to the “more worthy” teams that you and ProveIt seem to think is a necessity to make the system “just”.

      This isn’t difficult to do. FCS teams play on their home stadiums in December at night in all sorts of weather and on all sorts of fields and manage to get through the process fairly well. Right now, the season ends the first Saturday of December, so realistically, a playoff probably couldn’t start until the third week, which means the next four is the fourth Saturday of December and the championship game is the second Saturday of January (or some other date depending on the NFL playoffs).

      Well, there’s no law that the regular season’s conclusion couldn’t be moved up one week (or that the season could begin one week early) so that the two rounds of an eight-team playoff would be played on the second and third weeks of December with the championship game in early January after the major bowls have ended. I don’t think this is the preferred route, but I wouldn’t necessarily put aside the possibility.

      Like

      • ProveIt says:

        “You can even have the higher seeds play at their home stadiums in the quarter- and semi-finals as a reward for their play in the regular season and to give an advantage to the “more worthy” teams that you and ProveIt seem to think is a necessity to make the system “just”.

        This is a lie.

        I have not promoted any home-away format, but I will comment here:
        If there is enough distinction to grant 1 program home field advantage, there is enough distinction not to invite the other team.

        I did not use the term “Just” or “Justice” in this manner – only to note that playoff proponents take a 1 sided view in citing these issues – when viewed from 2 sides it isn’t that convincing.

        If you have to rephrase the comments of the OP for your comment to be relevant, you don’t have a relevant comment.

        ————————————————–

        …and still none of this goes to the heart of the issue – resolving the 1 and only issue that stands in the way of a playoff.

        If the answer was as simple as finding just the right format, we would have a playoff already.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      Not correct. The NCAA has a rule that no more than 50% of berths in any tournament should be alloted to automatic qualifiers. In a number of sports champions of conferences were not invited. Last year was the 1st year for several of the FCS conferences to be allowed in when they expanded to 24 teams-previously the 16 team bracket included wild cards but excluded certain conferences. In the past, unbeaten conference champions didn’t make Division III football (which is now a 32 team tournament-a result supporting those who believe in bracket creep but shows they are lying when they talk about the interests of the athletes in limiting the postseason-while continuously expanding the regular season which was 10, then 11, now 12).

      Like

  34. TheBlanton says:

    I would love to see something that looks like the old bowl system with an extra National Championship Game added at the end of the season. The structure would look pretty much as follows…

    BCS is expanded to 5 bowls, returning to former conference tie-ins:

    Rose: Pac12 (1) vs B1G (1)
    Fiesta: BigXII (2) vs Pac12/B1G (2)
    Cotton: SEC (2) vs BigXII (1)
    Sugar: SEC (1) vs Pac12/B1G (2)
    Orange: ACC (1) vs Big East (1)

    ACC and Big East (2), or Non-AQ (1) or (2), or IND, or any (3) could replace any other conference’s (2) tie-in provided:
    1. They finish ranked in the BCS top 5 or
    2. They finish ranked in the BCS Top 10 and the other conference’s (2) does not

    All other bowl games select from remaining

    Conference Champion takes (1), (2) is determined by highest finish in BCS after season.

    BCS Championship Game is played in the 2nd weekend after the First Monday in January.
    Participants are #1 vs #2 ranked BCS teams after rankings are recalculated after bowl games.
    Site rotates between the 5 BCS Bowls, Rose, Fiesta, Cotton, Sugar, and Orange.

    Seems pretty simple to me and would satisfy most current complaints, what am I missing?

    Like

    • bullet says:

      You’re describing a version of an unseeded +1 which has all of that models good and bad points.

      Like

    • Bo Darville says:

      I think something like this makes sense. The one problem could arise if the bowls pick their own “at larges” and with a year like this we end up with the title game being a rematch of one of the bowls.

      Like

  35. Brian says:

    http://www.the-ozone.net/football/2012/twominutedrill_asstcoaches.html

    “* Meyer said he wouldn’t change current setup for college football’s postseason. He loves the bowl system. Said teams wouldn’t have anything left by the championship game of a playoff tournament.”

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Alvarez came out a couple of days ago in favor of a 4 team. That’s a chink in B1G unity. Although Alvarez is probably the one person most likely to be outspoken on an issue.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I also quoted Meyer because he has played multiple games at that level, so he knows what the players face in a game like that. It’s not like the B10 has had time to change his mind on the subject. If he doesn’t think players could deal with it, then I believe it’s a legitimate concern.

        Like

  36. Playoffs Now says:

    Hmmmm.

    A Pac 12 PRESIDENT, Arizona State’s Michael Crow, says:

    1. Not only is a playoff coming, but it will be run by the NCAA.

    2. The P12 will probably submit a playoff proposal

    3. He prefers an 8 TEAM playoff of the highest rated 8 conference champs.

    Here’s what so many are overlooking in their certainty of what is and isn’t on the table, being discussed, or possible. The power conferences could do an 8-team playoff of conference champs and split that money 8 ways, while keeping the major bowls, eliminating the AQ’s, and returning those bowls to basically purely power conference teams. Those former BCS bowls then might not pay as much, but without the lesser AQ’s and non-AQ guaranteed access points, then all that bowl revenue goes back to the power conferences, maintaining their advantage, both in $ and exposure. 2 different pools of $, but still a substantial total increase for the power conferences while giving the lesser conferences in theory a better shot at the big paydays of the playoffs, thus quieting their opposition and potential political complications.

    Too many here get so invested in their pet theories and fail to consider that there are plenty of other ways to, um, skin a cat. And a lot of them are going to be discussed in the next 6 months.

    ————

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/story/16830030/reforms-coming-for-college-football-bcs-might-not-be-immune

    …”Yes,” Crow said bluntly if an NCAA-run playoff is on the horizon. “You may see a proposal. I can’t speak for the other Pac-12 presidents, but it will come from the conference. What we’re looking for is to determine the national champion without taxing the student athletes…”

    …”We’re looking for a tournament-style event where if you win a conference championship, it means something. The best conference champions could then go on to determine the national champions.”

    Crow sees a model that involves taking the eight, highest ranked conference champions. If Sun Belt champion Arkansas State doesn’t make the cut – they didn’t crack the top 25 in the final polls – so be it. If the Rose Bowl loses the Pac-12 and Big Ten champions, they’ll get the second place teams.

    Who knows, he may have just provided rival Arizona a chance to finally make it to Pasadena.

    “I think there’s a way to pull that off without playing too many games,” Crow added. “We could also get the bowl games back to a traditional model of how they were, regional intersection games like the Rose Bowl and the Pac-12 and Big Ten playing each other. Then let the best conference champions play each other….”

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Interesting. Note that the NCAA President came out in favor of a 4 team playoff. Normally that would be irrelevant except that he is from the University of Washington. http://www.abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/ncaa-president-supports-team-football-playoff-15350817

      I think the most significant thing is that Bill Hancock has shut down his nonsense anti-playoff rhetoric (some of the posters on this board have reasonable anti-playoff comments but Hancock’s stuff was generally hypocritical nonsense). He has either been directed to quit defending the status quo or has seen the writing on the wall.

      But, “many a slip twixt the lip and the cup.” As Frank points out there are many conflicting interests. Back in 1994 there was a belief a playoff was inevitable and the NCAA set up to work on a plan, but that talk quickly shut down.

      Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        bullet – Prior to serving as chancellor at U-Dub (Pac-12), Emmert was the boss at LSU (SEC), and UConn (BEast). He has a vast network and is a very good politician.

        If anybody in college sports can either build a consensus or jam something down your throat, its Emmert.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        It’s important to note that he said he’d support one if it doesn’t grow bigger, but said nothing about advocating for one.

        Like

    • Eric says:

      I’m trying to decipher what Crow means there. Does he mean an 8 team playoff that doesn’t involve the bowls.

      I get why the PAC-12 might want 8 conference champs (it means they’d be in almost every year), but I think that’s going to be trouble arranging that high (and I hope it is).

      Like

      • bullet says:

        From the tone, it sounds like he wants to eliminate the BCS and the bowls part in it. There’s been a lot of seedy stuff with the bowls this year in addition to the Miami and PSU and other issues.

        This proposal seems remote as I doubt the big schools would want the NCAA having any hand in controlling the money, but there could be ways to continue to benefit the big schools in order to get buy-in. $ would have to be heavily weighted to performance and number of invites.

        One way this system could work would be quarterfinals the 2nd Saturday of December at home fields with the semi-finals at neutral sites 3 weeks later (December 29-January 4-note January 1 bowls could play on Monday 1/3 holiday when New Year’s falls on a Saturday-minor bowls would just have to avoid afternoon or evening games on that 1 Saturday and 12/29 and 12/30 are the only days where they would normally play on Saturday late) with a championship game that next Saturday or Monday. Season would be done between January 5th to 11th (7th to 13th if final on Monday) depending on the calendar. I don’t see 8 conference champs, but there could be invitations to the top 6 teams who were also conference champs with a couple of wildcards determined by committee. The Big 5 champs would almost always get in. The lower the number of conference champs the more the money could be tilted to the Big 5 but the more often one of their champs would miss the tourney.

        Like

    • cutter says:

      I assume he would have the eight-conference champions seeded and go into a playoff while the other three wouldn’t participate. This strikes me as a slimmed down version of having all eleven conferences provide their champion with five at large teams being selected to fill out a field of sixteen teams.

      Based on the BCS rankings (in brackens), the teams involved in this sort of playoff in 2012 would be:

      1 (1). LSU (13-0) SEC Champion
      2 (3). Oklahoma State (11-1) Big XII Champion
      3 (5). Oregon (11-2) Pac 12 Champion
      4. (10) Wisconsin (11-2) Big Ten Champion
      5. (15) Clemson (10-3) ACC Champion
      6. (18) Texas Christian (10-2) MWC Champion
      7. (21) Southern Mississippi (11-2) C-USA Champion
      8. (23) West Virginia (9-3) Big East Champion

      Not Participaing: Mid-America Conference, Western Athletic Conference, Sun Belt Conference

      Reading thru the article, it sounds like he wouldn’t include the bowls in the playoffs, so this could likely be run thru the stadiums of the higher rated teams. If so, then here’s the first round of games:

      #8 West Virginia (9-3) at #1 LSU (13-0)
      #5 Clemson (10-3) at #4 Wisconsin (11-2)

      #7 Southern Miss (11-2) at #2 Oklahoma State (11-1)
      #6 TCU (10-2) at #3 Oregon (11-2)

      This certainly leaves a lot of teams available for the major bowl games so that the tickets, television and tourist part of the business gets fulfilled. Stanford goes to the Rose Bowl to play Michigan or Michigan State. The Sugar Bowl could pick up Alabama to go up against programs like Boise State or Kansas State or UM or MSU. The Fiesta and Orange Bowls could take a couple of SEC teams (Georgia and South Carolina) to pair up with some of the teams mentioned above.

      It also makes the regular season relevant even more than before, including the conference championship games. And if, for example, UCLA had managed to beat Oregon and gone 7-6 for the seaon in the Pac 12 championship game, it’s very likely the Pac 12 wouldn’t have a team in the national championship playoffs, but they’d probably put two (Stanford and Oregon) into the major bowl games (of course, if USC were available for post-season play, this would be moot).

      Finally, it extends the possibillity of a playoff berth to the smaller conferences who normally wouldn’t get a shot in hell for a NC opportunity under the current system or even with a Plus One. Anyone rattling their chains about anti-trust might be a little less likely to make their case.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        I’m not entirely sure I think it makes the regular season more relevant. It increases attention on your own conference race, but I’d fear it’s effect would be similar to basketball where national games just become less important. For instance, if the Big Ten champ is in the tournament regardless, why do I need to follow #2 Texas hoping for an upset during the regular season. It just won’t matter.

        Like

        • cutter says:

          I suspect you follow Texas to see (1) if they actually win their conference championship and (2) to see where they would be seeded.

          Of all the conferences, the Big XII in its current format would probably be the outlier because the conference doesn’t have a conference champion game (although I have a feeling that’s a temporary condition). There’s no guarantee that the games played the last week of the season will touch on the conference’s champion, although they could effect seeding. The only other conferences that don’t have a CCG are, I think, the WAC and the Sun Belt (although I could be mistaken on those).

          I wonder what this would do to non-conference scheduling. Because the conference championship is first prerequisite for getting into the national championship game, it should make it easier theoretically for schools to bolster their non-conference schedules. What individual schools opts to do may be a different story though–that’s up to the AD’s and the head coaches.

          One thing this proposal doesn’t immediately address is the independents–particularly Notre Dame and Brigham Young. There’d have to be some sort of rule for them to nudge out a conference champion–perhaps something that say is ND or BYU ends the season in the Top 10, they’ll be seeded alongside the conference champions and “push out” the lowest seeded conference champion (which if it’d happend this year meant BE champion West Virginia would have been pushed out–I’m sure the people in Morgantown wouldn’t be too happy about that set up).

          I’m actually kind of warming to this proposal. It makes the regular season extremely important and the focus on the conference championship games will be even more intense. It gives the smaller conferences a chance to partiicpate in a major way in the post-season, but not 100% across the board. It also leaves enough quality teams in the inventory available to be picked by the major bowls, so that keeps them viable in terms of television, tickets and tourism.

          It also makes the games between major teams within divisions extremely important. The LSU-Alabama and Stanford-Oregon regular season games this year, for example, would both have even greater implications towards who gets into the national championship than the majority of post-season playoff proposals out there.

          Like

          • Eric says:

            It varies by individual, but I think an 8 team playoff is large enough that i would effect both national interest in top games and conference pride.

            Conference Pride: This has always been a bigger deal in college sports than elsewhere, but no where is it more evident than football and its increase in recent years is startling. I know around as many Ohio State fans pulling for Michigan in bowl games as hoping they lose. That wouldn’t have been true in the past and is a result of our current set-up. Right now in college football the perceived strength of your conference really matters and thus people have a big reason to follow other teams and root for them in non-conference games. If the Big Ten champ for example is likely to make the playoffs every year regardless, it really doesn’t matter how good the rest of the conference is and the reasons to follow the 11 other teams out of conference drops a ton. I think this is a lot bigger deal than most realize right now.

            Top Games: The reason games like LSU vs. Alabama do so well in the regular season is in part because they are seen as elimination games. More often than not, the winner survives in the national title hunt and the loser is done. The same was true for games like Utah vs. TCU last year and even games like Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State. I just don’t see the same natural interest in these types of games if the Big 12, for instance, is going to get a team in regardless. It won’t stop big games from being big, but it will diminish them and it will hurt the regular season ratings of smaller games involving the top teams even more.

            Like

      • Andy says:

        I like it. This means if you win your conference you go to the playoffs. If not, you go to the bowls. The bowls will have their place, and then we have the “playoff of champions” as a separate thing. Sounds good.

        Like

        • Eric says:

          I just really, really don’t like the idea of going to a bowl being the same idea as going to the NIT. Bowl games should be the goal still in some way. I actually wish they’d rename the BCS Championship Game the BCS Championship Bowl.

          Like

  37. rich baxter says:

    I expect we will have a new +1 BCS championship game, seeded by BCS formula after the bowl games have been played. I don’t think any other bowls will be seeded by the BCS (AQ system goes away), instead returning to the traditional tie ins.

    Further – I would not be surprised to see Jerry Jones get the championship game for the whole new TV contract, played under the banner of the Cotton Bowl, in Cowboys Stadium. He has the money and Dallas is a great location for a game where the participants are decided only a couple of weeks before the event. Remember, fans will have already traveled to bowl games. How many will want to pony up for another trip but two weeks later? Dallas is centrally located and a large enough market where affordable airfares and hotel rooms should still be available for those making the pilgrimage.

    Like

  38. Read The D says:

    I would like to start a petition to remove ProveIt from the board, or at least limit his words per board to 12,000.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I skip long posts sometimes, but I like ProveIt

      Like

    • Playoffs Now says:

      Don’t worry, he/she/it will probably change his/her/its user name again, since that one P12 president’s quote just destroyed 90% of the assumptions he/she/it so obnoxiously tried to browbeat everyone with.

      Like

      • Playoffs Now says:

        quote = quotes

        Really need at least a temporary edit function here. Say 10 minutes to correct spelling/grammar/inadvertent errors.

        Like

      • ProveIt says:

        Good luck with that one Playoffs Now… I use the same tag at every site I post at.

        Please pinpoint the link to the PAC12 Presidents comments – I traced back and couldn’t find it, but I may have overlooked it in over 400 comments. I would be genuinely appreciative.

        ————————————————–

        “…just destroyed 90% of the assumptions he/she/it so obnoxiously tried to browbeat everyone with.”

        This is a false characterization on several levels.

        A belief backed by evidence is not an assumption – in this case the comments match the motives match the actions forming strong evidence.

        It is not browbeating, though I can see why you would believe this – critical thinking requires that facts and evidence be held higher than plausible sounding statements – it is tough when reality doesn’t match your desires.

        The biggest mistake you can make in debating in an open forum is to debate in an open forum.
        In a debate you take a side and argue it – maybe you are right, maybe you are wrong.

        I prefer discussions – present a conclusion with supporting evidence, request evidence to the contrary, and re-evaluate your conclusion with the new evidence – the result is a win-win situation.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Just ignore his posts. It does wonders for me.

      Like

    • ProveIt says:

      There is no requirement for you to read them D.

      I understand it is annoying to read backed comments that oppose your viewpoint,
      …but comments based on, and that cite evidence, by necessity are longer.

      I not only welcome evidence to the contrary, I request it and celebrate it.

      As someone who would prefer a seeded 4, I would love to find evidence to the contrary.

      Like

  39. MURuss says:

    Frank,

    As usual, excellent take. And I believe you touched on something that may or may not be a driver on this whole mess:

    Neutral site game cost to the average fan.

    I’m making this statement outside of the projected $120M that the FBS shools may hope to share in based on the addition of this game. And while people will more than likely “watch” the play in games, whatever the format, my guess is they won’t “travel” to the first games and pay a premium to see their team play.

    Having attended a couple of first and second round NCCA sites (Palace, Auburn Hills – Can’t remember the year) and Indianapolis (again, the year escapes me) I can tell you first hand that these are primarily TV events. Granted, the whole NCAA tournament is a TV event, but the first weekend especially seems so much better on the tube than being there in person.

    Loosely applying that logic and the logic that there’s aboslutley no way the average fan is going to shell out $4,000 twice to see their team play in the pre-lims and then again in the Championship is absurd. Everyone will wait and gamble that their team is going to the title game.

    If that happens, expect to see declining attendance at the former BCS games but better television revenue. Then, as those traditions of traveling on New Year’s fade away, I predict that you will see a home play-off round sometime after the Conference Championships. First, they’ll matter. And I don’t care what ANYONE says, Michigan going to Tuscaloosa, Gainsville, or wherever will be way cheaper than going to the Sugar Bowl or some other neutral site.

    I expect that once Pandora’s Box is opened, it will be the beginning of the end for the Bowls as we know them.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      The biggest cost about the BCS bowls is the guaranteed nights stays at the hotels. It can be difficult to guarantee you get a room if you don’t do the minimum stay many require. I doubt the Peach or Liberty Bowls have that issue, but it is definitely one at the Sugar.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      MURuss,

      And I don’t care what ANYONE says, Michigan going to Tuscaloosa, Gainsville, or wherever will be way cheaper than going to the Sugar Bowl or some other neutral site.

      Cheaper for who? The school? Of course, because they’ll bring fewer extraneous people and won’t have to stay for several days. That also means the players don’t get that bowl experience or the swag, though. Players generally like the almost $1000 they make on a major bowl game, plus a week at a 5 star resort in a place they may never get to visit again.

      It will be more expensive for fans, since you can’t plan ahead for a certain location (no advanced hotel booking or airline ticket purchase). All the local prices will be jacked up, and many schools are in small towns so there isn’t much choice. It also mean less fun locations (Lincoln, NE in winter for example).

      A known neutral site would be cheaper for everybody if it didn’t have the major bowls’ mandatory minimum travel party size and length of stay at a resort to jack up the total cost. It could also avoid weather or travel issues that certain schools present.

      Like

  40. Mike says:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/unpopular-bcs-crowns-alabama-national-champions-en,27034/

    During a postgame ceremony Monday in which the Bowl Championship Series controversially awarded the Alabama Crimson Tide the 2012 NCAA championship trophy, the increasingly unpopular selection system proceeded to endorse Rick Santorum for president; spit on Samuel Carson, an 89-year-old World War II veteran holding the American flag for the ceremony; and then kick Carson’s wife Rose down the stairs of the trophy-presentation platform.

    “As we present Alabama with the national championship—despite the fact that they just defeated a team that beat them in their home stadium earlier this season—we have only one regret: that our great friend, Osama bin Laden, could not be here to see this,” the BCS’s statement following the Sugar Bowl read in part. “Congratulations to the Crimson Tide football team. Also, the BCS hates blacks, Latinos, and Asians.”

    “And gays,” it continued. “We do, however, love the Taliban.”

    Like

  41. Pat says:

    Red Wings vs Maple Leafs at Big House on New Years Day. Comerica Park to host preliminary activities.

    http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/7459001/nhl-eyes-maple-leafs-red-wings-winter-classic-big-house-second-rink-detroit

    Like

    • jj says:

      Score! It’s great for size, but i think Comerica woulf be a better venue. I went to the UM MSU game there and even though they used Olympic ice, it seemed tiny. The college kids couldn’t handle the bigger ice. Especially state, they looked slow as hell. The other thing is that there aren’t really any bars around the big house.

      In any event, packaging this with the GLI and/or a game between um and MN and another between msu and wisky would be the greatest event of all time.

      Here’s a reason to live up north!

      Like

      • jj says:

        Ya know, for seemingly the longest time the wings are also kinda “the” downtown team. Their owner is basically mr detroit. This is a tough one. I bet they want that attendance record though.

        Like

        • jj says:

          Also, illitch, the owner of the wings owns Comerica park.

          This will be interesting.

          Either way, I propose a FTT tailgate. See you there, hosers!

          Like

      • cutter says:

        Michigan won that game 5-0–I don’t think the Wolverines had much problem with the size of the ice surface.

        As far as bars are concerned, I assume you either did not tailgate or didn’t walk down sorority/fraternity row from the campus along State Street to Michigan Stadium, because you would have seen one hell of a lot of drinking there.

        Like

      • hinode says:

        Michigan Stadium is simply too big to pass up for a Wings-Leafs matchup where the ticket demand in both Michigan and southern Ontario is going to be insane. Comerica Park’s 41K seating would just be leaving way too money on the table for the NHL, plus the attendance record.

        Like

        • jj says:

          They won’t sell beer at the big house. That’s millions right there.

          And the sell dominos at the big house and the um ad is a former dominos guy. The wings’ owner owns little ceasar’s. Besides the fact that he owns comerica park. This stuff matters.

          Like

          • @jj – I wonder if Michigan would make an exception for a pro event. When Illinois was the temporary home for the Bears several years ago when Soldier Field was being turned into a giant flying saucer, the agreement allowed for beer sales.

            From a pure buzz perspective, I think playing it in the Big House is much more of an attraction than having it at Comerica Park. The two main baseball parks that the casual fan (who is the NHL’s target) was really interested in seeing the Winter Classic at (Wrigley Field and Fenway Park) have already hosted, so any other ballpark except for possibly Yankee Stadium isn’t going to pique that much interest. Packing in 100,000-plus in college football’s largest stadium (and also one of its most historic) would draw much more attention. The Winter Classic is ultimately about those dramatic TV shots (like the scoreboard at Wrigley or the Green Monster), which the Big House would provide in spades.

            On an NHL tangent, there was a comment on the last post with a news article about how the NHLPA, led by former MLBA head Donald Fehr, is rejecting the newly proposed realignment on dubious grounds (i.e. concerns about player travel even though the whole point of the realignment was to have less long distance travel). While I’m sure that the NHLPA isn’t really trying to kill realignment and is posturing for its upcoming renegotiation of its labor contract, let it be noted that Fehr is setting himself up to be the most despised man in two different sports, which is quite a feat. A lockout or strike next year would be killer for the NHL – it can’t bounce back in the manner that the NBA did this year (where the irony is that the shortened schedule has made each game more compelling and the TV ratings are reflecting that).

            Like

      • Pat says:

        @jj — Yeah, I think the sight lines would be much better at Comerica with the upper deck and the seats in the lower deck would be closer to the rink. But, Mike Babcock, the Red Wings coach, has been pushing for a game in Ann Arbor ever since hew attended the first college game at the Big House in December 2010.

        One of the remaining issues the NHL was negotiating with UofM was beer sales at the Big House. Normally, UofM doesn’t allow alcohol at on campus events. Not sure how that got resolved.

        Like

  42. Bo Darville says:

    Let’s just scrap the whole thing and give somebody the national championship before the bowls again.

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Bo – I think that’s a great idea.

      Like

    • jj says:

      Why stop there?

      Let’s just look at the recruiting classes and award it from there before the games are played?

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Well, you could do that, but as you know, in college football, past performance is probably the best indicator of future performance, so you just need to look to see who has been the winningest in the past.

        Michigan Wolverines national champs in perpetuity. =)

        Like

  43. bullet says:

    I’ve looked at an unseeded +1 going from 1986 to 1997 using the AP poll. The controversy over who should be #2 wouldn’t have been cleared up by selecting after the bowl. You would have about the same amount of controversies. More importantly, you get a worse result 10 of the 12 years than you do with the BCS.
    5 times you get the same game, but have to play an extra game to get there with the teams playing different levels of competition (1988, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1997)
    2 times you get a rematch of a previously played bowl game (1986, 1995)
    3 times you got a clear 1 vs. 2 in bowls and have a less clear 1 vs. 2 with the #1 obviously playing a much tougher bowl opponent (1987, 1992, 1993)
    2 times you get a different result (1989, 1996) In 1996 you essentially had a seeded +1 as 3 beat 1 and 4 beat 2 in the bowls so you would have had 2 different teams involved. In 1989 4 beat 1 while 2 beat 7, so you would have had the old #2 vs. the old #4 while the old #1 was knocked out.

    In 5 of the 12 years you actually get a worse result than you would under the old pre-BCS system.

    Playing an extra game to get worse results makes no sense.

    Like

  44. JMann says:

    Good analysis. Only have two disagreements.

    1) The Orange is not going to align itself with the ACC in a free market – its been screwed yea after year with poor traveling ACC teams (and no FSU or Miami championships). More likely it would bid on Big 12 champ with the Fiesta and Cotton (remember old Big 8 champ used to go here), and then as a fall back would align with SEC #2 or Big 12 #2 before an ACC champ.

    2) Plus one is going to be at most a week after Jan 1. NCAA proposal is already on the table to shrink the bowl window (http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/ncaa/resources/latest+news/2011/october/di+bowl+task+force+recommends+key+changes/) and more games are going to be moved back to before New Years without exclusive windows for all the current BCS games

    Like

    • ProveIt says:

      JMann

      I think you have the right idea of the conference selection order, but overlook 1 thing:

      I don’t think the Orange can afford to attract 2 tie-ins better than ACC #1. They will be competing with the Fiesta and Sugar to attract these tie-ins.

      I welcome any bowl to boost its appearance fee to get better tie-ins, but the Cotton is a long way off at present.

      Like

  45. BuckeyeBeau says:

    I am confused. currently, most teams (with some exceptions (e.g., BXII;ND)) must play 14 games to win the NC. Does a “seeded plus-1″ add two more layers (so ‘Bama would have needed to play 16 games) or one layer?

    Does a non-seeded plus-1 add one or two more layers? How about these hybrids? How many layers are added?

    I ask this because of Delany’s “slippery slope” comment. the “slippery slope” in my view is the number of games played per team per year.

    I think the Presidents/Chancellors might be persuaded (unlikely in my view, but possible) to add a 15th game for just the last two teams (that is, adding only one layer). I highly doubt they are going to add two more layers requiring 4 teams to play 15 games and the final two teams to play 16 games.

    IMO, the number of games a given team plays is very very important to the Presidents/Chancellors. This is why I think a 16 team playoff will never happen. If you eliminate the whole bowl system, that only gets you one game for a playoff; you get another by eliminating the conference championship games. A sixteen team playoff requires four games to get to a champion. that’s 16 games for the final two teams assuming you eliminate the bowls and the conference championship games. 18 games, if those are not elminated.

    It was less than 20 years ago when teams played 11 game seasons with about 30 teams going on to play a 12th game in a bowl. Then in 1994 (or so) the 12th game was added; so we’re at 13 if you go to a bowl game.

    Then the NCAA allowed playing Hawaii to add an extra game and by 2002, we had our first 14-0 national champion.

    With the abundance of bowls, now 74 teams play a 13th game. And, importantly, almost all of the teams from big conferences play in bowl games. So, most B1G teams are playing 13 games.

    Now with a conference championship game in nearly every conference of note, there are 10+ teams playing a 14th game per year.

    This is the “slippery slope.” In 1993, student-athletes were playing 11 games, with only 30 or so playing that special 12th game. A short 18 years later, nearly all teams of note are playing two more games a year and some are playing three more games a year.

    Now playoff proponents want to go to 15 or 16 games per team? I can see the Presidents and Chancellors resisting that effort.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      BuckeyeBeau,

      I am confused. currently, most teams (with some exceptions (e.g., BXII;ND)) must play 14 games to win the NC.

      Correct. It could be 15 if they play at Hawaii that year, too.

      Does a “seeded plus-1″ add two more layers (so ‘Bama would have needed to play 16 games) or one layer?

      Does a non-seeded plus-1 add one or two more layers? How about these hybrids? How many layers are added?

      Any plus one system adds one extra game. The same is true for 4 team playoff.

      Only an 8 team playoff or a system that does a 4 team playoff after the bowls would add 2 games.

      Then the NCAA allowed playing Hawaii to add an extra game and by 2002, we had our first 14-0 national champion.

      Not really, no. Yale was 16-0 in 1894. In the AP era, 14-0 first happened in 2002 with OSU. OSU didn’t play Hawaii, though, they played in the exempt “Pigskin Classic” in addition to the new 12 game schedule. FYI, 11-0 first happened in 1938 (TCU), 12-0 in 1952 (GT) and 13-0 in 1971 (NE).

      Like

  46. Brian says:

    http://dennis-dodd.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/6270202/34342794

    MWC and CUSA may be going farther in their pseudo-merger. The BE taking 3 of their 4 best TV properties (AF is #4) has them justifiably concerned.

    Like

    • @Brian – I see the MWC/C-USA alliance as stemming from a desire that one doesn’t end up poaching the other in the event of the Big East taking more schools from either of the leagues. Now, I don’t think the Big East is going to be adding any all-sports members unless any of its current all-sports members defect (i.e. Louisville and Rutgers to the Big 12). Assuming that Navy still joins the Big East for a football-only member, the goal would likely be to add a football-only western school such as Fresno State or Nevada.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        It would make more sense for them to swap some CUSA West teams to MWC and form an TV alliance like, but more complete than, the Pac 12 and Big 10, even if it takes a few years for them to work through their current TV contracts. MWC could add UTEP, Utah St., SJSU and North Texas, returning to 2 teams in California and adding back DFW (not great football teams, but neither are most of what’s remaining in MWC or CUSA). CUSA could fill in with the best of the MAC (some or all of N. Illinois, W. Michigan, Toledo, Miami, Ohio, Temple) along with 1 of FAU or FIU to get back in Florida. This would expand both of their territories and further expand the gap between them and the rest of the conferences. 1 or 2 of WAC, MAC and Sun Belt would go away, perhaps most of all 3 would merge into 1 conference.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I think the MAC core is solid. CUSA wouldn’t offer that much more money and the travel costs would go way up. Some of the newer schools and geographic outliers (Buffalo, Temple, UMass, NIU) might go somewhere, but the IN/OH/MI core is solid. With Marshall as their only northern school, I’m not sure CUSA wants to spread to Chicago, Philly or Boston. Raiding the Sun Belt for N TX, FIU and FAU makes much more sense to me.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Toledo was trying to get into CUSA a few years back. I don’t think anyone in the MAC is necessarily looking, but I would think they would be receptive.

            CUSA is talking about spreading to Fresno. Chicago isn’t that far.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            If part of their plan is trading western teams to the MWC, then they are looking to consolidate not expand.

            As for Toledo, as I recall that was more CUSA being interested in Toledo than the other way around.

            Like

  47. Brian says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/01/13/ncaa-reform.ap/index.html?sct=cf_t2_a10

    It sounds like the NCAA wants to move to a more rational penalty structure.

    Like

  48. acaffrey says:

    O/T With future expansion still relevant, note that the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl with Rutgers got a 2.1 rating this year. http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2012/01/13/Media/Bowl-ratings/Bowl-Viewership.aspx

    Last year, with Syracuse, the rating was 2.63. http://www.bcsfootball.org/news/story?id=4819384

    Also, it was not because of attendance…. in 2010, there were 38,274 in attendance. In 2011, it only increased to 38,328. Yep, an increase of 46.

    And don’t try to blame it on opponent. Syracuse played Kansas State. Rutgers played Iowa State.

    In 2010, Kansas State averaged 49,816 fans per game, while Iowa State averaged 45,395. And that’s with Kansas State being a bowl team for the first time since 2006, while Iowa State was 5-7. Also, Iowa State’s game against Iowa that year was on the road. So it’s not that either.

    Plus, this year’s game was on a Friday, whereas last year’s game was on a less-convenient Thursday.

    Like

    • frug says:

      One possible thing to consider is that this last year was the first season so there may not have been the same novelty factor this year.

      Like

      • acaffrey says:

        For a bowl game featuring teams within a game or two of .500? Who is exciting about that? And, if anything, the weather was better for 2011 than 2010. There was a decent snowstorm before the 2010 game too.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          People who wanted to see football in Yankee Stadium, I assume.

          Like

          • acaffrey says:

            Apparently, there is a mythical New York city creature that really likes low-level bowls games… really likes football… really likes Yankee Stadium… really likes the idea of football at Yankee Stadium… but got their fix in 2010 and decided that they did not need to go again.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        Novelty is an important consideration, especially in an area not CFB focused. Also, TV competition, weather nationally (bad weather = more TV viewers) and other factors.

        My 2002-2010 bowl data shows Rutgers to be much better for ratings and attendance than Syracuse. RU is +8% for TV and +3% for attendance in 5 bowls. SU is -18% and -16%, but with only 2 games. Since the 2011 Pinstripe isn’t in my data yet, SU is average in both for that game. However, the 2004 Champs Sports game was a train wreck for them, -36% in ratings and -32% in attendance (compared to the average). That game was a blow out and the game was before Christmas, just like the 2002 and 2003 games which also had terrible TV numbers compared to the average.

        A quick check adding in the 2011 Pinstripe:
        RU: +6.5% TV
        SU: -12% TV

        The real problem for Syracuse is they haven’t played in many bowls lately. With the Champs Sports numbers pulling them down, they need several good games to establish their level.

        If you ignore the CS Bowl and only look at the Pinstripe, SU is +11% in TV compared to the average. Of course, there have only been 2 Pinstripe Bowls so the average rating hasn’t really been set yet. We need at least one more to know which game was the outlier.

        Like

        • acaffrey says:

          Why are you limiting the data to merely the worst decade in Syracuse football history? Why not go back to 1995 or 1987?

          You are forgetting that the 2004 bowl was in contrast to the 10-win bowl game of 2002 and the two BCS bowl appearances prior to that… and then the numerous good bowls before that. Naturally, the fan based did not care. The fact that the coach had alienated most fans AND was not being fired did not help. Although getting embarrassed in that game did ultimately get him fired. Many fans of bowl teams are happy to be there. Occasionally, fans of a bowl team are not happy to be there. That was the case in 2004. Ergo, the terrible attendance and TV ratings.

          The bottom line is that as many Syracuse fans found their way into the stadium as Rutgers fans AND the ratings were 20% higher.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            acaffrey,

            Why are you limiting the data to merely the worst decade in Syracuse football history? Why not go back to 1995 or 1987?

            My data source only goes back to 2002. If you know a reliable source for ratings and attendance data for all bowls going back earlier, let me know. Life isn’t a conspiracy to make SU football look bad.

            You are forgetting that the 2004 bowl was in contrast to the 10-win bowl game of 2002 and the two BCS bowl appearances prior to that… and then the numerous good bowls before that. Naturally, the fan based did not care. The fact that the coach had alienated most fans AND was not being fired did not help. Although getting embarrassed in that game did ultimately get him fired.

            Forgetting would mean that I knew Syracuse’s bowl history in detail. I hate to break it to you, but I’ve never paid that much attention to them. It’s not like they’ve been relevant in a long time.

            Many fans of bowl teams are happy to be there. Occasionally, fans of a bowl team are not happy to be there. That was the case in 2004. Ergo, the terrible attendance and TV ratings.

            And yet you are completely wrong about the reasons. The problem is that the CS was before Christmas in 2002-2004 and in primetime after Christmas from 2005 on. The ratings and attendance took a big jump with the date change.

            The bottom line is that as many Syracuse fans found their way into the stadium as Rutgers fans AND the ratings were 20% higher.

            Yes, after 5 losing seasons and in the inaugural bowl game in Yankee stadium. Meanwhile RU had been to bowls in 5 of the previous 6 years and there was no newness to the game. Very impressive. By your argument above, the circumstances explain the difference.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            My data source only goes back to 2002. If you know a reliable source for ratings and attendance data for all bowls going back earlier, let me know. Life isn’t a conspiracy to make SU football look bad.

            –I was talking Pinstripe Bowl and comparing Syracuse-Rutgers. You are the one that decided to bring the other bowls into it. I fail to see the relevance. If Syracuse or Rutgers outdraw each other in Birmingham or Orlando, that is great. But the issue has been delivery of NYC. A bowl game in NYC… featuring the two teams compared… is certainly more relevant.

            Forgetting would mean that I knew Syracuse’s bowl history in detail. I hate to break it to you, but I’ve never paid that much attention to them. It’s not like they’ve been relevant in a long time.

            –The timing is interesting. But there were bigger issues with the program than that.

            And yet you are completely wrong about the reasons. The problem is that the CS was before Christmas in 2002-2004 and in primetime after Christmas from 2005 on. The ratings and attendance took a big jump with the date change.

            –OK. So why even look at the numbers from 2002-2004? And I am not wrong about the reasons for Syracuse’s poor showing with respect to the Champs Bowl. We just each have theories as to why.

            Yes, after 5 losing seasons and in the inaugural bowl game in Yankee stadium. Meanwhile RU had been to bowls in 5 of the previous 6 years and there was no newness to the game. Very impressive. By your argument above, the circumstances explain the difference.

            –Not buying newness at all. My city just rolled something out a few years ago. The first year was surprisingly successful. But it became even more popular once people knew it was going to become an annual thing. The second year dwarfed the first year. The civic pride increased in the second year. And the third year was even more impressive.

            Really, all you are doing is trying to rationalize this theme that Rutgers has some sort of grasp on the NYC market. They do not. Meanwhile, although Rutgers had been in bowls in the past, they missed a bowl the year before. That’s two classes of students that had never experienced a bowl. Not to mention that Rutgers hadn’t played a team from an AQ conference in a bowl since 2008 (NC State).

            Plus, an employed Rutgers fan could have worked a half-day and gone to the game. A Syracuse fan had to take either Wednesday or Friday to make it to/from the Thursday game, unless an airplane was involved. Add in the fact that the weather was much better for the Rutgers game, one might have expected even more people to make the last-minute decision to attend the game. In contrast, there was a snowstorm in the days leading up to the Syracuse game.

            Take your pick. Use the #’s if you want. It supports Syracuse and does not support Rutgers. But, if you want to deviate from the #’s to rationalize things, that does not help either because, other than newness (a weak argument at best–any data to support a newness theory?), that’s a dead-end anyway as there are many more factors that favored 2011/Rutgers over 2010/Syracuse.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            acaffrey,


            –I was talking Pinstripe Bowl and comparing Syracuse-Rutgers.

            I’d say you were comparing SU and RU out of some misguided sense of insecurity and used the Pinstripe Bowl as if it provided strong evidence.

            You are the one that decided to bring the other bowls into it. I fail to see the relevance. If Syracuse or Rutgers outdraw each other in Birmingham or Orlando, that is great. But the issue has been delivery of NYC.

            You were the one that mentioned ratings. National ratings are relevant to expansion, and more bowl games provide context and better numbers for comparing national appeal.

            A bowl game in NYC… featuring the two teams compared… is certainly more relevant.

            And they had a difference of 46 people, in favor of RU. What you failed to provide were local TV ratings that might show the TV appeal in NYC. The TV ratings would be more important than attendance in terms of expansion if that was your point.

            And yet you are completely wrong about the reasons. The problem is that the CS was before Christmas in 2002-2004 and in primetime after Christmas from 2005 on. The ratings and attendance took a big jump with the date change.

            –OK. So why even look at the numbers from 2002-2004? And I am not wrong about the reasons for Syracuse’s poor showing with respect to the Champs Bowl. We just each have theories as to why.

            Because that’s when SU went to their only other bowl. It provides more data about SU’s appeal on TV. When compared to only the 2002 and 2003 games, it is somewhat useful. RU had a lot of bowls to average out any

            And you are wrong about SU’s poor numbers for that game. The date change caused that. You gave reasons why SU might have done better than they did compared to the 2 previous years.

            –Not buying newness at all.

            Good for you. The rest of us realize that some people will turn out to see something once, but not return once the novelty has worn off. The next CFB game at Wrigley won’t be as big of a deal as the last one, for example.

            Really, all you are doing is trying to rationalize this theme that Rutgers has some sort of grasp on the NYC market.

            Yes, everyone is out to get SU, and you in particular, by advocating the greatness of RU.

            You and you alone brought up the SU/RU comparison. You provided weak data and arguments, inviting another opinion.

            You trumpeted SU almost matching the attendance of RU, and downplayed the role of the opponent. You celebrated SU getting better ratings.

            I hate to break it to you, but neither KSU nor ISU flooded NYC with fans. What their fans did was impact the TV ratings somewhat, and ISU historically is a worse TV draw than KSU (about 8 percentage points worse). In 2010, both SU and KSU were coming off of a long bowl drought while RU and ISU weren’t in 2011. That means more motivation for fans in 2010 than 2011 and teams that didn’t seem as bad for the viewers.

            Most of us think both schools are worthless for getting NYC. For the B10, that clearly makes RU a better choice for expansion (not that SU is in play). Frankly, with SU gone to the ACC and the B10 I don’t see why you brought up the issue at all.

            Meanwhile, although Rutgers had been in bowls in the past, they missed a bowl the year before. That’s two classes of students that had never experienced a bowl. Not to mention that Rutgers hadn’t played a team from an AQ conference in a bowl since 2008 (NC State).

            Missing 1 bowl impacts RU but the long bowl drought for SU isn’t a factor? That’s convenient.

            Like

          • acaffrey says:

            No insecurity at all. My general opinion is that if either the ACC or Big 10 get Notre Dame, the better add-on would be UConn, not Rutgers. And my dislike of UConn is stronger than that of Rutgers. The fact that Rutgers cannot even support a NYC bowl game better than Syracuse is pathetic. With all the advantages built in–additional graduates, proximity, and even better weather… 46 people? That should have been 4,600.

            More importantly, as it relates to insecurity, I am not the one that takes everybody’s posts apart piece-by-piece, rather than examining the big picture comment being made. I am not the one that looks for some/any research to refute any and every opinion shared by folks. You are the one that has such insecurity that you feel the need to do so. I am not the one (until now) that resorts to ad hominem attacks.

            You, among others, trumpeted the head-to-head matchup between Syracuse-West Virginia & Rutgers-Louisville this year as relevant to the expansion discussion. You did not look at TV matchups from the past 10 years. You did not care that Syracuse was already in the ACC. It was about Rutgers. Now, when an additional stat comes out that would take that momentum back a notch, you feel the need to (a) find other stats to draw attention away from it; (b) try to rationalize/defend the numbers; and (c) resort to ad hominem attacks and insults to draw attention away from things. That, my friend, is insecurity.

            Assuming that you do not care, why not just accept it for what it is? This was an opportunity for Rutgers to outdraw Syracuse substantially in the market in question. They did not do so, despite numerous advantages (proximity, weather). And the ratings were 20% lower. It is what it is.

            And how is attendance at the same bowl on consecutive years “weak data”? How is TV ratings for the same bowl on consecutive years “weak data”? They played very comparable opponents. Not like there was Oklahoma or Texas in there. You say “newness” matters, without providing any data to suggest that newness is EVER a factor in a bowl game attendance.

            If you can find the TV ratings for NYC, feel free to share them. You do not hesitate to find research whenever it supports your opinion or, more accurately, can be used to be negative with respect to anyone else’s opinion. I made my point regarding attendance and national #’s. If the one-day numbers this season were relevant, the bowl comparison #’s have a similar relevance. If not, then so be it. But you cannot have it both ways.

            Like

          • vp19 says:

            If Notre Dame, for some unknown reason, decided to join the Big Ten and the conference thus needed a partner (and couldn’t get Texas to give up the Longhorn Network), it would probably pursue Maryland — which has more of a big-time athletic tradition and better fits the land-grant mindset of the Big Ten — and let the ACC select Rutgers or Connecticut as Maryland’s replacement (or take them both and add a third college to make it 16, though I really don’t see any other likely candidates on the East Coast that would fit the ACC).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            acaffrey,

            My general opinion is that if either the ACC or Big 10 get Notre Dame, the better add-on would be UConn, not Rutgers.

            RU is a much better fit for the B10 than UConn. UConn may bet better for the ACC than RU but BC will die trying to block UConn.

            The fact that Rutgers cannot even support a NYC bowl game better than Syracuse is pathetic. With all the advantages built in–additional graduates, proximity, and even better weather… 46 people? That should have been 4,600.

            Both games had about 14,000 seats left, so I don’t think either side has much to crow about. And most bowls are largely filled with locals that may be pretty neutral about both teams.

            You, among others, trumpeted the head-to-head matchup between Syracuse-West Virginia & Rutgers-Louisville this year as relevant to the expansion discussion.

            For those who wanted expansion (which I never did), it was a reasonable barometer of national interest. Like any one game, you can’t read too much into it, but they were on the exact same time against comparable opponents. It’s very rare to have such a situation.

            You did not look at TV matchups from the past 10 years.

            Because I can’t. If I had the numbers, I’d look at them. I prefer data to random opinions on factual topics.

            You did not care that Syracuse was already in the ACC.

            I didn’t bring up SU or RU then or now.

            Now, when an additional stat comes out that would take that momentum back a notch,

            RU had momentum? Having better attendance hurt RU? Both games had a ton of empty seats.

            you feel the need to (a) find other stats to draw attention away from it;

            How dare I provide context?!

            (b) try to rationalize/defend the numbers;

            This from the guy trying to explain why getting 46 fewer butts in seats is a win for SU.

            Assuming that you do not care, why not just accept it for what it is?

            I do. I think you are trying to make more out of it than it is. That’s why I, and others, provided some context.

            This was an opportunity for Rutgers to outdraw Syracuse substantially in the market in question. They did not do so, despite numerous advantages (proximity, weather).

            Assuming you mean attendance, RU also had disadvantages. Nobody really knows how they balance out.

            And the ratings were 20% lower. It is what it is.

            Nationally, yes. As I pointed out, past bowl history suggests the B12 team was responsible for about half of that. Several people have mentioned the difference between the first and the second bowl at Yankee Stadium as a possible factor. Other factors include the weather nationally, the day of the week, the other things on TV and the bowl ratings being significantly down across the board.

            Recent history says RU is a net positive for a bowl game, both in attendance and in TV ratings. SU’s history is less clear based on their recent down period.

            And how is attendance at the same bowl on consecutive years “weak data”?

            Because RU outdrew SU and you called that a win for SU? Because there are other factors that influence any one game?

            How is TV ratings for the same bowl on consecutive years “weak data”?

            Because there are other factors that influence any one game.

            They played very comparable opponents.

            According to you they are comparable. Recent bowl history says they aren’t.

            You say “newness” matters, without providing any data to suggest that newness is EVER a factor in a bowl game attendance.

            NW/IL attendance:
            2008 @NW – 32,166 (NW over 0.500, IL below)
            2009 @IL – 60,523 (NW over 0.500, IL below)
            2010 @Wrigley – 41,058 (NW above 0.500, IL 0.500)
            2011 @IL – 53,243 (NW 0.500, ILL 4-0)

            The novelty of the Wrigley game got lots of press and drew a lot more fans, many not NW or IL fans. Yankee Stadium could reasonably have the same effect.

            EagleBank Bowl (@ RFK):
            2008 2.2; 28,777
            2009 2.2; 23,072

            That’s despite moving to a better date (Monday 12/20/10 -> Thursday 12/29). 2009 also had a better TV matchup (UCLA/Temple vs WF/Navy).

            If you can find the TV ratings for NYC, feel free to share them.

            It’s not worth my time to look. I’m not the one arguing that SU is much better than RU in NYC. Perhaps someone that lives in or near NYC knows a source for local market ratings as opposed to national ones.

            You do not hesitate to find research whenever it supports your opinion or, more accurately, can be used to be negative with respect to anyone else’s opinion.

            I hesitate all the time. However, if relevant information can easily be found then it’s important to add that to the discussion. Lot’s of comments contain extra data from various people. If it hurts your feelings that the numbers don’t always support your opinion, too bad. They are relevant facts. More mature people have actually adapted their opinions to include the new information rather than try to argue around them. I often find surprising results when looking for data on a topic and will change my opinion if the facts disagree with my hypothesis. That’s why I try to look for relevant data first before posting an opinion on a factual subject.

            I made my point regarding attendance and national #’s. If the one-day numbers this season were relevant, the bowl comparison #’s have a similar relevance. If not, then so be it. But you cannot have it both ways.

            The bowl numbers have some relevance. What’s you don’t explain is why RU outselling SU is a bad thing for RU, or why both leaving about 14k empty seats should impress anybody. What about the reports of KSU selling many more tickets than ISU? That would say that RU outsold SU handily since they had the same total crowd. You also didn’t account for differences between 2010 and 2011 (opponents, novelty, national weather, TV competition, etc). That reduces the relevance in comparison to the simultaneous games where most of those factors don’t apply. Since I think you’re trying to argue that SU outdraws RU in NYC (a reasonable supposition), what would really bolster your case is local TV ratings. I don’t have those, and apparently you don’t either. That leaves you with some weak data. It’s better than nothing, but it’s not impressive.

            Like

    • Phil says:

      Interesting that someone would state that last year’s Syr-KSU Pinstripe Bowl and this year’s RU-ISU game had equal attendance (and use that to say Syr has as much pull in NYC), but not point out one little tidbit that might be relevant.

      Last year had the first football game in the new Yankee stadium, Notre Dame-Army, and many of the ticket packages for that game required that you also buy a Pinstripe Bowl ticket.

      Here is a link from Nov 2010 (WEEKS BEFORE SYR AND KSU WERE SELECTED) stating the Pinstripe Bowl had already sold 29,000 tickets due to the novelty and ND game purchase requirements.

      http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/colleges/post/_/id/829/pinstripe-bowl-tickets-are-selling

      The attempt to say Syracuse in 2010, where less than 10,000 tickets were sold after the teams were announced, had similar attraction to RU this year, is weak and untrue.

      Like

  49. joe4psu says:

    There will be a Washington Post interview with Paterno posted at 4PM today (Saturday). The interviewer is Sally Jenkins.

    Sally Jenkins’s interview with Joe Paterno about Penn State, Jerry Sandusky and his legacy

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/sally-jenkinss-interview-with-joe-paterno-about-penn-state-jerry-sandusky-and-his-legacy/2012/01/13/gIQArjWQwP_story.html

    Jenkins also wrote this article on Paterno after the Sandusky affair blew up:

    Blame for the Penn State scandal does not lie with Joe Paterno

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/blame-for-the-penn-state-scandal-does-not-lie-with-joe-paterno/2011/11/08/gIQADqMF3M_story.html

    TIFWIW.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      joe4psu,

      I’d agree with Jenkins that the scandal wasn’t directly Joe’s fault. The people around him built the culture of JoePa worship and allowed the football program to be put on such a pedestal that Paterno was untouchable and people were afraid to speak against it. Obviously the direct blame goes to Sandusky, with the VP and AD deserving some and McQueary also has a part in it. The janitors and people involved in previous issues don’t get a free pass either.

      I believe most of Paterno’s story, too. I find it hard to believe he didn’t think something was wrong in the 90’s. How many career football coaches have to be told to spend more time on football? That should have made Joe wonder, and it took a long time and a fortuitous retirement plan in PA to get rid of a guy that wasn’t pulling his weight. That stretches the limits of my imagination.

      I also have a problem with Joe claiming he was afraid to follow up and has no understanding of sexual abuse. That doesn’t fit with the image of a major college coach running a $100M program with players that get in legal trouble. He either had control of all aspects of the program, and thus would demand to know what was going on and how it might impact his program, or he was no longer capable of doing his job and should have retired years ago. He can’t really have it both ways. And for a program built around doing everything the right way, not going to the police is an odd choice for Joe and for McQueary.

      I think PSU handled this poorly from Day 1. They knew the arrest was coming for months and didn’t seem prepared. They were even worse after the story broke. But with that said, I still think they were correct to replace Paterno when they did. Once he agreed to step down, there was no way he could do his job effectively with the media blitz that was coming. It was better to let the Bradley take over and use being the interim guy to duck a lot of questions and just coach. At the proper time in the future they can honor Joe for his career without seeming like they are ignoring the scandal.

      Like

      • Kevin says:

        Couldn’t have said it better myself. I don’t think Joe is a bad guy but it’s hard to believe a kid from Brooklyn lacks some street smarts.

        I think Joe just stuck around too long. The University should have known better than to have an 85 year old be the face of the program/school.

        Like

      • PSUGuy says:

        So because a guy decides to spend more time on a charity than coaching football he’s a pedophile and Paterno should have known?

        Really, Brian?

        No offense, but this type of response is simply more of what I saw someone say online (think it was here)…

        …confusing the “Legend” that is “Joe Paterno” with the mid-level manager of a high profile division in a multi-billion dollar organization (last time I checked, the entire athletic department, which Paterno is head coach of only a portion of, was ~1% of PSU’s operating budget).

        I’m not willing to let Paterno completely off the hook. I think he should have gone to the police, but in the end I am a highly intelligent, independent, and stubborn SoB and I could also seeing myself (if put in a similar position) as being “too small for the situation”. Paterno did what I could see myself doing (going higher up in the organization to get more visibility on the issue) and in the end the trust he showed in his “chain of command” was betrayed (willingly or not is another topic).

        People want to look down on him because he “didn’t do what they would have done”, well they can, but there’s a host of scientific and historical data that proves most people are full of $h!t on that topic because they act just like all the rest when they truly are put in those situations.

        To me, the important thing is to take the lesson that those scientific and historical data are relevant to all persons and beat it into our collective psyche that we are NOT naturally going to act differently and thus we must prepare ourselves to act rightly.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          PSUGuy,

          So because a guy decides to spend more time on a charity than coaching football he’s a pedophile and Paterno should have known?

          That’s not what I said. I said he should have known something was wrong if his story was true. Football coaches are extreme type-As with a fanatic dedication to the job, and Paterno doesn’t think it’s odd that a guy that wants to be the next head coach of PSU is blowing off his job for years? I shouldn’t find it odd that a lazy coach kept his job for 30 years? Sandusky should have been fired years before he retired if he wasn’t pulling his weight. The other possibility is that Sandusky was working as hard as he should, which would explain him keeping a job for 30 years, and would also mean Paterno is lying about Sandusky.

          Paterno did what I could see myself doing (going higher up in the organization to get more visibility on the issue) and in the end the trust he showed in his “chain of command” was betrayed (willingly or not is another topic).

          That’s also a convenient excuse for a head coach who runs a $100M enterprise, like when a HC says he’s waiting for the legal process to finish while conveniently letting a player play despite committing a crime. If he was that detached and unassertive, he shouldn’t have been the head coach anymore.

          People want to look down on him because he “didn’t do what they would have done”, well they can, but there’s a host of scientific and historical data that proves most people are full of $h!t on that topic because they act just like all the rest when they truly are put in those situations.

          That data would be more applicable to McQueary than Paterno. Joe wasn’t making a split second decision in the heat of the moment. He hears second hand the next day and then took a whole day to think about it before telling his bosses. He then had weeks to follow up or go to the police but didn’t.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I’m sure he feels guilty about not doing more to ensure it was followed up. But I can easily see this sort of thing being just unimaginable to someone from his generation (a generational issue, not age). And he could feel it was beyond his expertise and then did what he thought was appropriate at the time.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            It wasn’t talked about back in the old days, but the crime is nothing new. And as you say, not following up isn’t explained by his generation.

            Like

          • joe4psu says:

            Brian,

            Unless you’ve seen or heard something that I haven’t, we don’t know if Paterno followed up with anyone other than McQuery. We know he followed up with McQuery from McQuery’s own testimony. He may have only asked McQuery how he was dealing with things but IIRC, he asked McQuery if he was satisfied with how things were handled. Something that we did learn from this interview is that he backed off so there would not be the appearance of tampering with the process. I’m not sure what you expect here. If he followed up with his supervisors wouldn’t they have been forced to tell him that they could not talk about it?

            If you’re wondering if he followed up with police then the link is Schultz. The PSU campus police have jurisdiction over University Park and are a fully functioning police force. From what I have seen this seems to be where things went wrong. We know Schultz did not pass this along to anyone else in the campus police but Schultz testified that he thought it was passed along to Children and Youth Services (or whatever it’s called). That doesn’t appear to be true. Atleast there is no record of it from what I’ve read. Apparently, Curley notified the Second Mile organization about the charges but the president (CEO?) never told anyone else.

            It’s an ugly, unforgivable affair but we don’t have all the details yet. All we know for certain is that McQuery and Paterno passed along the info to their superiors, the AG’s office said that Paterno did everything right and that Schultz and Curley have been charged with perjury. It’s interesting to me that we know nothing about Spanier’s actions other than his immediate defense of Curley and Schultz when the charges were released.

            http://www.police.psu.edu/aboutus/

            The Penn State University Police provides all law enforcement and security services to the University Park campus. We employ:

            46 full-time armed officers

            Six traffic and parking officers

            Five police dispatcher/recorders

            Approximately 200 students as auxiliary officers and escorts

            Like

          • Brian says:

            joe4psu,

            Unless you’ve seen or heard something that I haven’t, we don’t know if Paterno followed up with anyone other than McQuery.

            He gave an interview and didn’t mention it, nor did his loudmouth son (not Jay, the other one) in all his public statements. It seems like something a Paterno would have mentioned by now.

            Something that we did learn from this interview is that he backed off so there would not be the appearance of tampering with the process.

            That’s what he said, a long time after the fact. He literally has had years to come up with a story. Not all of us take his words at face value as truth.

            I’m not sure what you expect here. If he followed up with his supervisors wouldn’t they have been forced to tell him that they could not talk about it?

            No. They couldn’t legally give personal details about Sandusky, but they could easily brief Joe on the general status of the investigation and the general results. Joe asking would have forced the administrators to either actually do something or directly lie to Joe and risk that coming back to bite them.

            If you’re wondering if he followed up with police then the link is Schultz.

            To follow up with the police, he’d have to talk to them once first.

            All we know for certain is that McQuery and Paterno passed along the info to their superiors, the AG’s office said that Paterno did everything right and

            No, the office said he met his legal responsibilities. That is very different from doing everything right.

            Like

        • Eric says:

          Well said PSUguy. I really don’t know who is right here, but I agree that what we would do in a hypothetical (what we are all approaching now) is different than what we would do when accusations come out against real friends and we become confused. If we don’t actually prepare ahead for that situation, we make a bad decision quickly and then most won’t talk themselves into something out of it (not even wanting to think about it).

          I’m really not defending actions of JoePa, just think inaction is a lot more common than most of us want to think it is. There’s just too many conflicting ideas and emotions.

          Like

          • Phil says:

            I don’t think it is common that Paterno was not at the meeting between McQueary and Curley. If a subordinate of mine brought something sensitive to my attention that required escalation to MY superior, I am not skipping the meeting between the two. Given that it is well known Paterno left State College as little as possible and the meeting (rather than being rushed) took place a week later (meaning it should have fit into Paterno’s schedule somewhere), Paterno’s absence to me looks like nothing other than an attempt to distance himself from the whole scandal.

            An active step to distance himself from the whole thing puts the lie to the new Paterno spin of “I just didn’t know what I was dealing with”.

            Like

    • joe4psu says:

      Sally Jenkins answers questions about the interview:

      Joe Paterno interview: Sally Jenkins discusses her talk with ex-Penn State coach – The Washington Post

      http://live.washingtonpost.com/joe-paterno-speaks-to-sally-jenkins.html

      Like

      • Brian says:

        From your link:

        Q.
        Could Paterno have done more?

        Many critics have complained that Joe didn’t do more than report it to his supervisors, or follow up with them later when nothing happened. Did did he say whether that’s true or not? If so, why?

        A.
        Sally Jenkins :

        Yes. I asked him point blank, “Why didn’t you follow up?” Paterno satisfied the law when he reported to athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, but he satisfied very few other people, including himself, when he never followed up. He did follow up with McQueary on a number of occasions, according to McQueary’s testimony. But he never took it up with Schultz or Curley again. I asked, “What SHOULD you have done?” He replied that he should have called Curley and Schultz and said, “Where are we with this boy, and where are we with this coach?” I then asked, “Why didn’t you do that?” Which is when he lapsed into the discussion of discomfort with the topic, his inexperience with it, and his reluctance to be seen as if he was interfering with university procedures on Sandusky’s behalf.

        [end quote]

        The emphasis is mine.

        Even Joe said he should have followed up by didn’t, so I don’t know why you find it odd that people here also expect that.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Q.
          Do you believe Paterno?

          Sally – do you believe Paterno?

          A.
          Sally Jenkins :

          I don’t know. That’s my best answer. I wrote a story about a man battling on three fronts, fighting for his life, and his life’s work, and his reputation, who had decided to break his silence. Some of his answers I found completely genuine, some I’m not as sure of. I’d prefer the reader simply make up their own mind. I’m actually happy that the piece has drawn such divided, varying responses — the fact that some people totally believe Paterno, and some people don’t buy him at all.

          [end quote]

          That’s from the person in the room hearing his tone of voice and seeing his expressions and body language. If she doesn’t buy it 100%, can you understand why the rest of us don’t either?

          Like

        • joe4psu says:

          I can be too defensive of Paterno. The first couple of weeks after this happened I was in a state of shock. It cost me a lot of sleep, more than a few meals and kept me from interacting in forums like this. I guess I thought that I was further along than I am.

          It is a good thing that PSU has a new coach now. Paterno didn’t leave the way I would have liked but it was overdue. My support of him and belief in him will never change. I want to support him to the fullest, not to overlook anything he could actually have done nor expect that he had done more than he could actually do.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            It’s natural to feel that way. Nobody wanted him to go out like this. I don’t think he made egregious errors, but I think his behavior showed that he should have stepped down years ago. PSU caused some of their own problems by letting him refuse to retire when asked to do so a few years ago, but so did Joe by insisting he was still up to the job..

            Don’t take any of the criticism of his actions on this matter as attacks on his overall career. Joe did a lot of great things for a lot of years and mostly did things the right way. That’s what history will remember about him. Woody Hayes is still remembered fondly by many/most people and he made a less tolerable mistake than Joe.

            Once the legal system deals with Sandusky and the administrators, I think Paterno’s image will improve (unless they testify that Joe did know more).

            Like

        • bullet says:

          As was pointed out above, a lot of people (probably the overwhelming majority) would have made the same mistake by not following up despite all these comments about what they would have done in the same situation.

          Its clear in retrospect he could have and should have done more. Condemning him or blaming him for the failings of others as some have done is overboard IMO (and nothing has come out yet other than supposition supporting the various Paterno coverup and conspiracy theories which would justify harsher criticism). Its really hard to understand why Curley and Shultz didn’t do more and I’m pretty sure Paterno would have expected them to do more as they were responsible for Sandusky’s access and the police department.

          Like

    • joe4psu says:

      Would some lawyers like to enlighten me on the law and what Paterno could have done in regard to following up after he passed the information, and witness, along to his superiors? What do you think about what this guy said?

      This comes from the Q&A with Sally Jenkins.

      http://live.washingtonpost.com/joe-paterno-speaks-to-sally-jenkins.html

      “I was a Federal employee misconduct investigator for years and I’m very aware of how complicated it is to conduct an administrative inquiry while there is a concurrent criminal investigation on-going. This fact seems lost on the media and the general public because the media did not address it. Both PSU, and to a greater extent Coach Paterno, would have to respect Sandusky’s consitutional and privacy rights in how they handled whatever information they had in order not to jeopardize the criminal investigation.

      Additionally, in order to act upon banning him from PSU, etc. they likely would have to ‘show cause’ as to why they were taking such actions guaranteed him under the terms of his retirement while at the same time considering the ramifications of providing such ‘show cause’ evidence in case the allegations were not substantiated by either the criminal or subsequent administrative investigation of the allegations.

      How much did the legal requirements of conducting an administrative investigation while there was an ongoing criminal investigation (RE: Sandusky’s rights as per his retirement rights with state of PA and retirement contract with PSU) affected how Paterno and/or PSU could take any action against Sandusky prior to the conclusion of the criminal inquiry? Who provided Coach Paterno with legal advice during the 1998 and 2002 reports against Sandusky?”


      January 14, 2012 11:14 AM

      Like

      • Phil says:

        I know one thing Paterno had the power to do and that is to cut off the Second Mile from the Penn State program until the Sandusky problem was dealt with. Instead, according to accounts from players, AFTER 2002 players will still doing community service with the Second Mile, letting that organization keep its image clean and, in effect, helping Sandusky continue to recruit victims.

        Like

  50. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/58372/thomas-makes-surprising-draft-decision

    OR’s QB declared for the NFL draft. By all accounts, it’s a horrible decision. OR’s backup is supposed to be good, but he doesn’t have much experience. That makes USC a huge favorite in the P12 next year.

    USC’s schedule:
    Home – HI, Syracuse, Cal, CO, OR, ASU, ND
    Road – Stanford, Utah, UW, AZ, UCLA

    That looks pretty manageable. Look for them to host the CCG against OR and beat them twice.

    13-0 USC vs ??? in Miami.

    Like

  51. wmtiger says:

    Only a couple losable games in the bunch and both are at home. 12-1 should be the bar.

    Like

  52. bullet says:

    At the NCAA convention, Division II acted to control some of the conference chaos (they’ve had some as well as Division I). They passed measure 2012-9 requiring a 5 year wait period for a new conference to get automatic qualification (it used to be 2) as well as mandating that 50% of births in a sport with automatic qualification be given to at-large teams. They also passed measure 2012-8 which required new and existing conferences (with grace periods and allowance for exceptions) to have 10 members and to “be in the same geographic area as specified.” The latter isn’t explained in what I read, but I presume they have an application which specifies their geographic area.

    I imagine Division I will at least discuss this to prevent future additional transnational conferences like the Big East and CUSA/MWC and to discourage splintering like the MWC/WAC split a few years back.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I don’t think D-I will follow suit. The money available to D-I teams makes a national conference workable. It makes zero sense in D-II.

      Like

  53. bullet says:

    Division I turned down a proposal to cut football scholarships to 80 and women’s basketball from 15 to 13. It would be interesting to see who voted for and against this proposal.

    Like

  54. zeek says:

    Giants-Packers end of 1st half reminded me of far too many Big Ten half endings (bowl and regular season)…

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Care to explain for those who didn’t watch it?

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Well Eli Manning threw a hail Mary to close the half, putting the Giants up by 10 instead of just 3. It was one of those plays that deflates the other team.

        Like

      • zeek says:

        It was basically a defensive debacle.

        The Giants had 15 seconds left with the ball on their own 40ish with no timeouts.

        It was 3rd and 1.

        The Giants decide to run up the middle to burn out the clock. Bradshaw bursts through the middle and since no one tackled him at the 50, he beelines over to the sideline and runs out around the 35 with 7 seconds left.

        Instead of attempting a FG, Manning hurls a hail mary into the end zone and Nicks jumps up and catches it over 2 or 3 Packers as time expires.

        That’s a really deflating way to go down 10-20 at the half for the Packers. They didn’t really recover from that.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          The worst part about it is the play was cancelled immediately before. It was 3rd and 1, but as the Giants started the play, the Packers had called timeout to reset their defense (time had stopped on the previous down due to an incompletion on 2nd and 1).

          But the Giants had already telegraphed that they were going to run up the middle, so I have no idea what the Packers were thinking by not putting someone in the middle to tackle him. They must have suspected a fake handoff, but the Giants ran the exact handoff that was cancelled by the Packers timeout.

          The whole thing was bizarre.

          Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Today’s Giants-Packers game illustrates perfectly why I’m in favor of a plus-one (or seeded 4-team playoff) in college football… but no more than that.

          Throughout the regular season, the Packers asserted themselves as decidedly the best team in the NFL. It would have been one thing if they had lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl or to the 49ers or Saints, all of whom had very strong records this year in their own right, but to a 9-7 Giants team? It leads me to the conclusion that the purpose of the NFL playoffs is not to determine the best team of the year; rather, the playoffs exist to crown the champion of a tournament and, most importantly, to drive TV ratings.

          Likewise, I would have been fine with teams like 11-1 Ok. State, 11-2 Oregon, or perhaps 11-1 Stanford or 11-2 Wisconsin having gotten a shot against LSU, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. Having a team like Virginia Tech, Michigan, or South Carolina getting a shot at the national title when other teams had so clearly asserted themselves as superior over the course of the regular season would tarnish the charm of the college football season, just as the NFL regular season is rendered almost meaningless when 15-1 teams go one-and-done in the playoffs to a 9-7 team.

          Like

          • cutter says:

            Michael in Raleigh:

            In a playoff system with eight teams that includes five autobids to the major conference champions (provided that team is in the top 14 of the rating system–the same requirement for teams to get into the BCS) with a minimum of three at large teams would have given you the following eight this season (using the BCS rankings):

            1. LSU (13-0, SEC Champion)
            2. Alabama (11-1, SEC At Large)
            3. Oklahoma State (11-1, Big XII Champion)
            4. Stanford (11-1, Pac 12 At Large)
            5. Oregon (11-2, Pac 12 Champion)
            6. Boise State (11-1, MWC Champion)
            7. Arkansas (10-2, SEC At Large)
            8. Wisconsin (11-2, Big Ten Champion)

            ACC Champion Clemson (10-3) wouldn’t have made the cut because they were ranked #15 in the BCS, so Arkansas took their spot as the fourth at large team.

            In 2010, this is what the teams in an eight-team playoff would have looked like:

            1. Auburn (13-0, SEC Champion)
            2. Oregon (12-0, Pac 12 Champion)
            3. TCU (12-0, MWC Champion-At Large)
            4. Stanford (11-1, Pac 12 At Large)
            5. Wisconsin (11-1, Big Ten Champion)
            6. Ohio State (11-1, Big Ten At Large)
            7. Oklahoma (11-2, Big XII Champion)
            8. Virginia Tech (11-2, ACC Champion)

            In 2009, here’s what the lineup would look like:

            1. Alabama (13-0, SEC Champion)
            2. Texas (13-0, Big XII Champion)
            3. Cincinnati (12-0, Big East Champion-At Large)
            4. TCU (12-0, MWC Champion-At Large)
            5. Florida (12-1, SEC At Large)
            6. Oregon (10-2, Pac 12 Champion)
            7. Ohio State (10-2, Big Ten Champion)
            8. Georgia Tech (11-2, ACC Champion)

            Finally, in 2008, here’s what the top 8 for a playoff would look like under the criteria listed above:

            1. Oklahoma (12-1, Big XII Champion)
            2. Florida (12-1, SEC Champion)
            3. Texas (11-1, Big XII At Large)
            4. Alabama (12-1, SEC At Large)
            5. USC (11-1, Pac 12 Champion)
            6. Utah (12-0, MWC Champion-At Large)
            7. Penn State (11-1, Big Ten Champion)
            8. Georgia Tech (9-3, ACC Champion)

            Out of the 32 teams listed above, you could probably make an argument that the 2008 Georgia Tech didn’t belong in an eight-team playoff, but I would argue that the remaining teams are certainly solid enough in their resumes to get into the post-season.

            If there is a requirement that a team needs to be in the Top 14 to get into a playoff if they’re a conference champion, then the propsect of a 9-7 New York Giants equivalent taking one of the berths in an eight-team college playoff is nil. Additionally, if these games are played at the home stadium of the higher seeded team, then it should give an added advantage to the teams tha had the better regular season results (although having the homefield didn’t help the Packers yesterday).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I wouldn’t allow at-large to have home games unless there was no other choice. That doesn’t give you as even a seeding as you might like, but rewards the conference champs. BTW, Boise would have been an MWC at-large. TCU was the MWC champ this year.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            bullet:

            I would agree with your sentiment that at large teams shouldn’t be the higher seeded programs. This season, for example, would have had a Plus One with two teams (Alabama and Stanford) that didn’t win their own divisions, let alone their conferences.

            I would seed the top four conference winners 1 thru 4 and seed the fifth conference winner against the three at large teams. This would make winning a conference a premium in addition to adding value to the regular season in as much as it translates into the post-season.

            If we were doing that, then the seeding would have gone as follows (* for teams with major conference champions):

            2011

            #8 Arkansas (10-2) at #1 LSU* (13-0)

            #5 Alabama (11-1) at #4 Wisconsin* (11-2)

            #7 Boise State (11-1) at #2 Oklahoma State* (11-1)

            #6 Stanford (11-1) at #3 Oregon* (12-1)

            2010

            #8 Virginia Tech* (10-2) at #1 Auburn* (13-0)

            #5 TCU (13-0) at #4 Oklahoma* (11-2)

            #7 Ohio State (11-1) at #2 Oregon* (12-0)

            #6 Stanford (11-1) at #3 Wisconsin* (11-1)

            2009

            #8 Georgia Tech* (9-3) at #1 Oklahoma* (13-0)

            #5 Texas (11-1) at #4 Penn State* (11-1)

            #7 Utah (12-0) at #2 Florida* (13-0)

            #6 Alabama (12-1) at #3 USC* (11-1)

            With the exception of the Big XII (for now), the major conferences all have conference championship games. If these were to be decisive in deciding which teams go to the playoffs, let alone the seeding, then their overall importance would grow in comparison to their present stakes (especially since those conferences will have either 12 to 14 members in them for a total of 62 members).

            Because there’s a requirement for teams to be in the top 14 or above in the rating system to qualify, then you can be fairly certain that in the vast majority of cases there’ll be a quality matchup in the playoff. Obviously, this system also allows independent Notre Dame and Brigham Young to qualify in the playoff as one of the at large teams as well.

            I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a playoff system that everyone will think is perfect or ideal. Some people who put greater weight on the regular season than others will claim that the best team didn’t win the national champsionship because a lower ranked team beat or upset a higher ranked team. Others may argue that more than eight teams are necessary due to fairness or to make sure all 120-plus FBS teams have some sort of representation.

            I think this strikes a fair balance between those two objectives. At the minimum, it does a much better job than the present BCS or even a Plus One would do to make sure that teams that have a realistic chance of winning the national championship once the regular season is completed. Teams from minor conferences that go undefeated can get into the playoff, not to mentions ones from the maor conferences. Programs that may have lost one game could still get a shot at the national championship, and would have a better chance at getting the title if they won their conference.

            By and large, the teams that are participating in this playoff would be rated 1 thru 8 in the rating system utilized anyway. In the three years above, I think the only programs that weren’t in the top eight were the two ACC champions in 2008 and 2009.

            Like

          • mnfanstc says:

            Michael in Raleigh…

            The Packers had the worst defense in the NFL this year, statistically. Their ‘D’ lived and died on turnovers. The Giants ‘D’ matched up well against the Packers ‘O’, and the Giants ‘O’ (w/Eli) is /was plenty good to put up as many yards as they wanted (w/o turnovers) against GB’s porous ‘D’. The G-men played the Pack tough in their regular season matchup when they were down several players due to injury. With injured players back in the lineup, the Giants are/were much better than their record indicated.

            IMHO, this year’s Giants would beat the Pack in any series of more than 2 games. They won the game that mattered more… the playoff game.

            Just like Alabama won the game that mattered more versus LSU, the re-match… NO WAY in Hell should ‘Bama (or any school for that matter) be called national champs without winning their division and/or conference. The difference between the FBS and NFL is you know who is eligible to win the championship based on regular season records in division and conference, including wild-cards. Then it’s settled on the field. Had ‘Bama won a tournament as a “wild-card” a-la the NFL, becomes an entirely different story…

            A ‘plus-one’ is a baby step in the right direction for Div 1A football…

            Like

  55. Brian says:

    Tough day to be a Hoosier fan –

    MBB gets blown out and they lose 2 QBs.

    Like

    • duffman says:

      QB thing was not good, but it is football. The loss to the gophers, then the blowout at Ohio State is more troubling. Hopefully it is a slump, and things will get back up. With the exclusion of total collapse should see IU with a good spot in the NCAA, which is good enough for me.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I figured the UK win would tide the fans over until Crean can finish the restoration of the program. Next year IU should have more depth with both talent and experience. This year, the players still seem to have one or the other and not both. Besides, OSU needed revenge for blowing the first game.

        Like

  56. rich2 says:

    Discussing the merits of four teams vs + 1 is nice, but the BIg 10, ND and a lot of others are simply playing the role of the Washington Generals to the SEC’s Globetrotters

    http://blogs.ajc.com/recruiting/2012/01/15/nick-saban-tells-star-atlanta-rb-to-wait-until-next-year-to-sign-with-alabama/?cxntfid=blogs_recruiting

    Read this article. There are about six items in this article that I know that ND (and the Big 10) could not or would not do — and it is a very stark example why the playing field is so heavily tilted towards the SEC. Who are the “they” who are getting this recruit a job while he rehabilitates full time to recover from a knee injury. I bet every school represented on this board has had a prize recruit in the past few years get injured his senior year of HS and burn his redshirt year as a freshman in rehab. Must be nice to ask him to sit out for a year, not enroll at a school, get him a job, have him rehab at a center under “non-coordinated supervision” and then if it works out — offer him a scholarship the next year. If he plays as a 5th year starter, he could be 24 or 25 yrs. old. And it will take the NCAA three years to decide that schools giving jobs to people who are potential recruits but not in HS or enrolled in a JC is an improper inducement. By then, SEC teams will be on to the next thing. At this point, I wish that it was truly an open market — endow each scholarship and pay whatever you want — instead of a market that rewards so incredibly handsomely rule breaking, rule skirting and so on.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      I’m wondering who’s paying for the physical therapy.

      Getting him a job before signing him sounds like a recruiting violation.

      At least Saban is telling him face-to-face. But obviously he got injured so Saban found someone else. Does he really think that signature is worth the paper its written on?

      Like

      • rich2 says:

        Bullet, you know how this will work. Either supplying him with a job, providing physical therapy (and borrowing from Colbert) and “uncoordinated supervision” of the progress of the physical therapy is a not a violation of the current interpretation of NCAA rules or the recruit will simply say in a few days that he was misquoted

        Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        Are we going to see more of this stuff in the BIG with Urban Liar coming in? Count on it.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          No, UF, UGA and Vandy were the 3 SEC programs that didn’t oversign (UT wasn’t bad about it either, IIRC, and nobody cares about UK). Meyer has always been against it. Combine that with the B10’s rules and culture and I don’t see it happening.

          Like

        • frug says:

          Meyer didn’t oversign at Florida and the Big 10 has a hard cap on scholarship offers, so he couldn’t oversign even if he wanted to.

          Like

    • zeek says:

      Ridiculous. He was the 7th commit to their class? And now he’s being left out to dry because they filled the whole class up…

      The whole thing stinks.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        The biggest problem is that the other leagues are allowing SEC schools like Alabama to get away with it by allowing oversigning to be within the NCAA rules and leaving too many loopholes. They should have plenty of incentive to demand stricter standards since the SEC is gaining such an unfair advantage. Beyond the ways in which changing the rules would benefit themselves, the other conferences ought to recognize that these practices are just wrong.

        But nothing substantive ever gets done. The longer this goes on without a change in the rules, the more the other conferences are enabling the Nick Sabans of college football to do this and get away with it.

        Like

        • zeek says:

          I still don’t understand why there’s a hard scholarship limit without a multi-year limit.

          Wouldn’t setting a 5 year limit of say 110-115 be the solution to this? That’s the big loophole here.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Well if you get limited to 25 you are at 100. Not sure there is a way around it, unless the NCAA is simply forgetting to count January enrollees.

            I haven’t found it again, but I thought I read the NCAA convention put a hard cap on the 25 number (a few months ago they limited it to 28). I see absolutely no reason to allow them to sign more than 25. It just encourages them to take players who really have no business in a 4 year college (the marginal academic signees).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet

            Well if you get limited to 25 you are at 100. Not sure there is a way around it, unless the NCAA is simply forgetting to count January enrollees.

            The problem is that it still allows forced attrition. Considering the red-shirt year, that’s up to 125 scholarships for 85 slots. It shouldn’t be normal to lose that many players to career-ending injury, academics, transfer, the NFL or legal infractions.

            The only type of hard cap that could work is something lower like 20/85. That allows for some natural attrition (3/yr), but every extra player lost hurts the team. 25 is way too much wiggle room for the Saban’s of the world. I’d even add an exemption to replace the number of players that leave early and get drafted by any pro football league up to 85 total (undrafted can’t count, or else they’ll force people to jump early) so no school is punished for pumping out pro players.

            In the last 2 years, AL has lost 21 players combined between signing day and the start of the season, including 6 medical hardships according to oversigning.com. That’s an extra recruiting class versus schools that don’t bend the rules. That’s why a high hard cap like 25 still won’t work.

            I haven’t found it again, but I thought I read the NCAA convention put a hard cap on the 25 number (a few months ago they limited it to 28). I see absolutely no reason to allow them to sign more than 25. It just encourages them to take players who really have no business in a 4 year college (the marginal academic signees).

            Yes, the SEC pushed through that rule after they self-imposed it on the conference. Here’s an article with some discussion of it and giving some context on the issue.

            http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/archives/53185/

            With the 28 cap, Auburn signed 32 last year by counting some back to last year. That shouldn’t be allowed either, since the previous year doesn’t count against their eligibility. Anyone counted back to the previous year should have to count that as a redshirt year.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            If you didn’t allow the back-filling, that would reduce the cases of running off players. Saban manages to find new ways to stretch the rules. There was an article that Alabama had more medical redshirts over a particular period than the rest of the SEC combined.

            The problem for schools is that players do leave and students, not just athletes, do flunk out. At quarterback and running back, there seem to be a lot of players transferring to get playing time. But some schools just abuse the rules. There’s a reason the SEC has a rule and others don’t. They know the schools will abuse the rules. That’s why the SWC and SEC were the only ones with rules limiting partial qualifiers.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703384204575509901468451306.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsForth#articleTabs%3Darticle

            I think this is the source. In the past 3 years, the SEC has 25 medical hardships and 12 are from AL, so that’s 13 for the other 11 teams combined. Why are Tide players so frail?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I thought the rise of the SEC West vs. the SEC East was a cyclical thing. Now I wonder if it is because Florida and Georgia follow the spirit of the rules and the SEC West schools stretch them to the breaking point.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            bullet:

            I do wonder how long UF and UGa (who, given their recruiting grounds, even relative to the rest of the SEC, should always be in the top 4 in the SEC; certainly, UF should occupy the same position in the SEC that tOSU does in the B10) will put up with constantly being at a competitive disadvantage. They won’t join the B10, but what if the B10, Pac, ACC, ND, Texas (and rest of the B12) leave to form a new organization. Would UF and UGa join? The SEC should be careful about killing the UGa-Auburn rivalry game.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            @Richard,

            I don’t think UGa or UF are anywhere close to being that upset with the SEC West’s oversigning practices. They vehemently disagree, but they also adore their status as members of the SEC.

            Much more likely, UGa and UF will align with the B1G and other leagues to put pressure on their fellow conference members to create further reform. Putting that pressure on Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, etc., though, does not at all mean they’re unhappy being in the same league with them. Seriously. Georgia and Florida fans are OBSESSED with their identity as fans of an SEC school. It isn’t just because of the recent run of national titles. It goes back multiple generations.

            @Bullet,

            The SEC East vs. West thing, I would argue, is indeed a cyclical thing. Florida has struggled the past two years because of coaching turnover and because of the loss of a once-in-a-generation player. (Auburn, too, dropped off after losing its own great player.) Georgia has struggled because, in my opinion, it has just been in a down cycle. Those things happen, and I fully expect UGA to continue improving on this past season. South Carolina has bucked the rest of the division’s trend and has actually improved each year, capitalizing like crazy on the SEC’s lenient oversigning rules. Kentucky and Vanderbilt were never very good in the first place.

            Tennessee is the one SEC East school that lends real credence to your suspicions. That school seems to get really hurt by not oversigning (or at least not nearly as much as its counterparts in the SEC West). Every historically strong program has down cycles (Oklahoma in the 90’s, Nebraska in the mid-2000’s, FSU in the mid-2000’s, Alabama early 2000’s, PSU early 2000’s, etc.), but Tennessee’s is longer and worse than most. It’s had multiple losing seasons. Fewer and fewer high school prospects have memories of UT as a significant national power. More importantly, the school has had more than the average amount of drama during its more frequent than average coaching turnover (firing of formerly-beloved coach Phil Fulmer, Lane Kiffin’s one-year mess). The university has also been troubled by recruiting scandals on multiple fronts. Without the use of the oversigning practiced by its conference counterparts, overcoming those multi-layered problems appears even more difficult. Compounding those problems is that UT has perhaps the least fertile local recruiting grounds of all the SEC teams. Memphis has strong high school football, but the Mississippi schools and even Arkansas are much closer. Prospects in Georgia and South Carolina aren’t quite as far as Memphis, but other SEC schools are even closer. Schools entrenched in scandal (Alabama, Auburn), decades-long periods of mediocrity (South Carolina, LSU to a lesser extent), or stuck in a cycle of good-but-not-great (Arkansas) have been able to overcome their problems because of oversigning and strong local recruiting. Tennessee has neither luxury.

            Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      This is why ND would be well advised to join the BIG…….the only alternative to this kind of crap from the SEC is for the BIG, ND, and the Pac 12 to be allied………that’s why I’ve said ND should join the BIG for “political” reasons………………

      Like

    • Craig Z says:

      It looks like someone educated him on Saban’s M.O.

      http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2012/01/rb_taylor_now_says_he_wont_sig.html

      “At first I was cool with it but the more I thought about it, the less I liked it,” Taylor said in a phone interview. “I have already missed an entire season of football because of my injury. I decided I just can’t miss another season. It’s no hard feelings against Alabama but I just decided it’s best for me if I go somewhere that I can be at least practicing with the team this year, even if I have to redshirt. I haven’t talked to any other schools yet but I will start looking right now.”

      Like

    • Richard says:

      This does make me wonder:

      Could the B10 be able to pull in the Pac as well as ND, Texas, the ACC, whoever wants to join Texas, and possible even UF and UGa to form an organization outside the NCAA that offers 4-year scholarships, a stipend, and strictly outlaws oversigning? The SEC would be left in their cesspool, but they’d have nobody to play except themselves and peons. We’d have split national championships, or maybe an NCAA(/SEC) champion, a Rose Bowl champion, and a “non Rose Bowl” champion (maybe there’ll be a playoff between Rose Bowl champ & the the champ of the rest in the new organization). The SEC and B10 could even still meet in bowl games as they’re not regulated (and don’t have to be) by the new organization or NCAA. With the ACC and B10, the bball in the new conference would be mighty strong as well. The biggest concern would be by the big schools in the B10 being able to get 7 home games. Potentially some of the bball-focused DivI schools may be enticed to join and play at a lower level of football, as the bball-tournament of this new organization is likely to be bigger than the NCAA tournament.

      Like

  57. mushroomgod says:

    BIG may suck at football, but we’re hell on wheels in wrestling–

    2. Iowa

    3. PSU

    4. MINN

    6. ILL

    7. NEB

    8. OSU

    11. MICH

    17. NW

    Interesting that MO is #9….but, as far as I know, the SEC doesn’t have conference wrestling(??)–at least no SEC teams are in the top 25……maybe Indiana can steal MO’s wrestling coach………..Also interesting that other old expansion names are ranked–Pitt is #10, OK #12, MD #14, Rutgers #20……….

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Big Ten is really strong this year in most sports outside of football (and presumably baseball).

      If Northwestern makes the tournament, we’re probably looking at 8 out of 12 in…

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Yeah, OSU is even top 5 in hockey last time I saw. Usually OSU is the worst of the B10 bunch, being a southern school by comparison (MN, WI, MI, MSU).

        Like

    • Logan says:

      Mizzou plans on keeping its wrestling program. No SEC teams have wrestling, and the Big 12 has only Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State still participating after losing MU and Nebraska. Here is what Mike Alden said:

      Q: The SEC doesn’t offer wrestling. What is going to happen with wrestling?

      A: The proposal put forward by the National Wrestling Coaches Association is all these regionals. … What they’re saying is there’s going to be a Big Ten region, because every school in the Big Ten participates, all 12. Got that. Then there will be an East Region, a Southeast Region, a Central Region where Missouri would be and Oklahoma State and Oklahoma and Northern Iowa and schools like that, and then there would be a West Region. So you would funnel through regional championships to get you to the NCAA Championships. … (NWCA Executive Director) Mike Moyer sent that proposal to the NCAA, and I think the NCAA is going to be looking at that.

      Like

      • PSUGuy says:

        I guess I just can’t see how they would want that.

        Wrestling in the Big Ten is kinda of like football bowl games…the Big Ten schools draw pretty big crowds. You really want to be missing some of the best wrestling teams in the nation (and the large-ish crowds that follow them) in the NCAA Championships because they had to fight through each other to get out of the regionals?

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I’d think they would take more from some regionals than others, just like how they pick the individuals that make the NCAAs now. A ton of B10 guys make it in each weight class because the B10 has so many good teams.

          Like

    • mnfanstc says:

      Actually… the B1G owns wrestling… 8 out of last 11 nat’l titles (Iowa- 4, Minnesota-3, PSU-1), with hockey not far behind with 4 titles since 2000 (Minnesota- 2, Wisc- 1, MSU- 1). Of course, the B1G doesn’t yet have sanctioned hockey—but the schools have done well in their affiliated conferences.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      http://www.buckeyextra.com/content/stories/2012/01/21/osu-wrestlers-end-lengthy-skid-vs–iowa.html

      #7 OSU actually beat #2 IA in a wrestling dual. That’s news, since the last time was 1966. OSU improved to 3-36 all time against IA in wrestling (also won in 1929). IA was on a 39 meet B10 winning streak.

      Like

  58. Logan says:

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/college/mizzou/tiger-tracker/sec-official-visits-mu-encourages-st-louis-bid-for-tourneys/article_219270c2-40c3-11e1-8d80-001a4bcf6878.html

    Mizzou-SEC talk
    -Possible bowl game in St. Louis
    -St. Louis and Kansas City encouraged to bid for the SEC hoops tournament
    -Sticking with 8 game conference football schedule, cross-divisional rivalries are up in the air and may be eliminated or changed
    -Going to an 18 game schedule in basketball

    Like

    • Eric says:

      I can see the SEC basketball tournament cycling through Kansas City (and even approach to get it there soon), but I doubt it will be permanently there.

      The bowl game is a nice thing to say, but a bowl game likely only comes if another disappears (whether someone pays them too or not). The number of bowls is almost at the maximum where there are enough eligible teams (nationwide, not SEC specifically). When things are negotiated again, the SEC will get more game while the Big 12 will get less though for sure.

      Like

      • Mack says:

        The B12 dropped from 8 to 7 this year, and wil keep 7, even if they are not the 7 they have today. The SEC will get at least one more tie, but after all the bumping the WAC/MAC/Sunbelt will be the conferences with fewer ties.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          I expect the SEC to take the Independence again and either the STL bowl (if it comes in to being) or or one of the B10’s Texas bowls (I’d rather that they took the TicketCity, but they’d want the Houston as they already send a team to the Cotton Bowl)

          The B10 will add at least one more bowl as well. If approved, a new bowl in LA against the Pac is very likely. Playing in the STL bowl also makes a lot of sense. I’d take those 2 and drop the TicketCity. If the SEC takes the Houston bowl and the B10 gets the LA and STL bowls, I’d still drop the TicketCity in favor of the Charlotte or Liberty Bowl.

          Like

          • @Richard – I think a St. Louis bowl, if it is ever actually created, would be a natural fit for a Big Ten vs. SEC bowl. The Big Ten will likely fight to keep the Texas Bowl in Houston – by all accounts, it’s a very well-run bowl with increased funding in a great facility (Reliant doesn’t get the press of Jerry World, but it’s as good as it gets for a pro stadium) and the conference is always going to want at least a bowl or two in Texas for exposure purposes. I think the only reason why the Big Ten would willingly drop the Texas Bowl is if it can get the Alamo Bowl back (which is the most attractive Texas-based bowl for tourists). The TicketCity tie-in will likely be dropped, as you’ve said, although the DFW location does still count for something.

            If I had my druthers, I’d want to see the Big Ten mix in the Alamo or Holiday (if it can get its payout up) into its current lineup (to push down the Gator and below down a selection) and swap out the TicketCity (which would then be the equivalent of Big Ten #8) for a St. Louis or California-based bowl in the new LA or Bay Area stadium.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Frank:

            I agree that the B10 should try to keep the Houston bowl. One point in our favor is that the Houston bowl is owned by ESPN. They might want to set up yet another B10-SEC matchup. I wouldn’t mind exchanging the TicketCity for STL and LA bowls.

            In this scenario, the B12 would still have their 7 bowls, however, even if they lose the Holiday, Pinstripe, and Houston bowls:

            2. Cotton
            3. Alamo
            4. Insight
            5. Sun
            6. Independence
            7. TicketCity (or possible Ft. Worth)

            Maybe the Charlotte bowl instead of the Sun or TicketCity/FtWorth (because of WVU). I’d wager the Charlotte bowl would want to replace the BE with either the B10 (if the B10 wants them) or B12 to face the ACC next go-around. The Liberty would be open except that Memphis gets to decide who goes there, so that bowl will always have a CUSA tie-in.

            Like

          • Mack says:

            The Texas bowl is still run and part owned by the Houston Texans (their other than NFL promotion arm Lonestar Sports) who also own the venue. I doubt that they will drop the B12. They currently sell about 25K tickets locallly before teams are announced. SEC-B12 is more likely than a low level SEC-B10 in that bowl.

            Like

    • Richard says:

      There has been previous talk about an STL bowl, though at Busch(!), not the EJ Dome. Why in a baseball park in winter instead of indoors? Heck if I know.

      The logical opponent against the SEC in STL would be a B10 team, of course. Mizzou, UK, Arkansas, western TN, and about half the B10 are within easy travel distance. Really no one except PSU & UF respectively (maybe SCarolina) are really far.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        Amazing how much has changed since the bowls were agreed too. Just think was only the 2nd year of the cycle. When the agreements were struck, the Big Ten hadn’t announced it was seriously exploring expansion, the PAC-10 seemed unlikely too, the Big 12 seemed stable, and the Big East looked like the conference most likely to expand.

        Like

    • vp19 says:

      I would think that for the A&M folks, Houston might be a good tournament site — especially since the Big 12 apparently has no interest in holding their hoop tourneys in that market. As far as Kansas City is concerned, it might be considered once every few years, but no more; it would be like holding the tourney in Miami.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        It will be interesting to see if going to 14 makes the SEC unstable. I’m not sure Missouri and A&M really made sense if the SEC didn’t have a 3 year old somewhat undervalued contract. If their contract was expiring, would those two have generated enough to increase the per school average? Its hard to justify going from 12 to 14. Maybe being in the Texas market was enough, but I don’t think its clear. The MWC and CUSA are looking at a full merger because they have TV contracts they are trying to get out of. The Big East is doing strange things with their expansion for short term TV benefits.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          The MWC and CUSA are looking at a full merger because they have TV contracts they are trying to get out of. The Big East is doing strange things with their expansion for short term TV benefits.

          One of the most overlooked aspects of the Big East’s expansion choices is the terrible effect it will have on future bowl tie-ins. Houston, SMU, San Diego State, and Boise may make the regular season TV lineup more appealing in the eyes of the league’s next broadcasting partner than more regionally sensible alternatives like Memphis, Temple, and East Carolina, but a league that is dispersed so widely will make any bowl wary of being tied [down] to the Big East.

          Granted, the Big East’s bowl tie-ins were going to be in trouble, regardless of all the realignment, because those bowls are about to be freed of the AQ system that has prevented them from making those decisions on their own. Under the new system, where bowls bid on their own tie-ins, the ten spots available in the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange, and, for good measure, the Cotton are almost certainly going to be filled by one ACC team, one Pac 12 team, two B12 teams, three SEC teams, and three B1G teams.

          The Big East, even with Notre Dame offered as a frequent option, will be lucky to get the Cap One or Outback as its #1 tie-in, and even they will be wary. Would the Cap One prefer a 10-2 UConn over either an 8-4 SEC or a 8-4 B1G team? (Probably not.) Would a Tampa or Orlando bowl accustomed to taking huge SEC & B1G crowds risk replacing one of them with a team all the way from Idaho, even it is 11-1? Maybe; both bowls would be getting tie-ins at least one more notch lower because the SEC and B1G are going to improve to 3 tie-ins to current BCS/Cotton bowls, so that might make the Big East #1 appear to be a relatively better option.

          The Champs Sports bowl tie-in may actually be more secure since, beyond the conference champion’s automatic bid to a particular bowl, bowls are free to choose whomever they prefer. For example, with the BE #2 tie-in, the Champs Sports could take a fourth-place 7-5 USF or a third-place 9-3 Louisville instead of a 10-2, second-plae but distant San Diego State. Still, low-rung teams from the Big Ten, SEC, or Big 12 may still prove to be a more palatable alternative to the Champs Sports Bowl. Look to the Gator Bowl for precedent: it gave up the #3 ACC and #2 Big East teams, which were often top 25 matchups, in order to get the #6 B1G vs. #7 SEC teams, which has resulted exclusively in matchups of teams with 7-5 records or worse.

          In large part because of far-flung geography that makes bowls scared to tie them in, the Big East bowl lineup as a whole will look more and more like those of the MWC and C-USA, Look for #3 and #4 teams going to the likes of the papajohns.com, New Orleans, St. Petersburg types of bowl games.

          Like

          • Richard says:

            I expect the BE to get the Champ Sports and Holiday as their top bowl tie-ins, with the BE champ heading to one or the other depending on which division they’re in.

            The rest of their bowl-tie-ins, I agree, will look like those of the MWC, CUSA, lower half of the ACC, and lower half of the Pac.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Possibly with BYU, ND, and Army included, BTW.

            Like

          • Phil says:

            I know ESPN actually owns some of the lesser bowls, but what is the deal with TV rights on the others? Do they coincide with the 4 year bowl contracts with the conferences?

            I was wondering because if NBC does contract with the Big East they might want to obtain the rights to a few bowls so they could promote them. The Holiday as mentioned above is logical as a BE western bowl. I was thinking Gator for the east. If I remember correctly they had a long standing relationship with NBC and can’t be too happy about being on ESPN2 with two better B10/SEC match-ups showing at the same time on ABC and ESPN.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Richard,

            You say “depending one which division they’re in.”

            There are only ten teams, though: UConn, Rutgers, Cincy, Louisville, UCF, USF, Houston, SMU, Boise, and SDSU. It appears that Air Force isn’t joining, and Navy probably won’t join without Air Force; Navy’s annual schedule would otherwise be fully occupied by 9 BE games, AFA, Notre Dame, and Army. If not Navy and Air Force, which would be the other two teams be? Temple? ECU? UMass? Another C-USA team like Memphis or Tulane? Another MWC school like Colorado State out of a misguided attempt to “capture” the Denver market?

            I do agree with the concept of the Holiday bowl having the option to take the #1 among SMU, Houston, Boise, or SDSU, with the Champs taking the #1 among the remainder, but could an agreement like that be worked? Wouldn’t the Holiday be hesitant to agree to that, fearing the best team might be 6-6, especially if the Pac-12, Big 12, or Big Ten is an option? Wouldn’t the Champs Sports be similarly hestiant?

            My point is that the BE’s far-flung geography is going to be murder on its bowl tie-ins, which were already not good beforehand.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Michael:

            You’re right that the BE may only have 10 for a while (though I believe AFA and Navy will join eventually; unless the NCAA is broken up).

            The Holiday for the BE was predicated on Navy & AFA joining (and Army being available), in fact. I think that the Holiday would be happy to take the BE champ if it’s any of Boise, SDSU, Navy, or AFA (or taking BYU or ND). The Champ Sports would be happy with a BE champ if it’s Rutgers, Louisville, USF, or UCF. No one would really want Cincy, UConn or even the 2 TX schools, but that’s a small price to pay. I don’t think having to take a 6-6 team is very likely for these 2 bowls, and I did state that the BE should include ND (once for each bowl), BYU, and Army (and Navy before they join the conference) in their bowl pot as the military academies would at least bring some fans (as well as BYU for the Holiday and ND anywhere, of course).

            Like

  59. duffman says:

    brian,

    he is back in Indiana, but no longer IU. He is now a ND guy

    Like

  60. duffman says:

    jj,

    what happened to Sparty in that half

    Like

    • jj says:

      Actually missed the game; hats off to big bro. Seems like we’re gonna have a crazy b10 race this year.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        MSU is decidedly the big bro compared to Michigan in the sport of basketball, if not in football. 2 national championships and a gazillion Final Four appearances tend to do that for one’s reputation.

        Like

        • cutter says:

          Michigan’s won the last three head-to-head matches with Michigan State, so the tide is turning back towards UM’s favor.

          The UM basketball program was absolutely radioactive stating in 1998 due to the scandal surrounding Ed Martin and the five Michigan basketball players who took money from him. Brian Ellerbe took over from Steve Fisher and not surprisingly, wasn’t up to snuff. Tommy Amaker took over from Ellerbe and got to program to the next level, but he always seemed to miss out on that one recruit or on the big win.

          John Beilein is enroute to getting the program to an even higher level. His recruiting has picked up and you can see it in the incoming class with #2 overall player Mitch McGary in the fold.

          Beilein (and the Michigan basketball program) also has all the support they need in terms of the facilities. It’s taken awhile for the major donors to line up and support the men’s basketball program after the Ed Martin affair, but it’s starting to happen. Former UM AD Bill Martin and current AD David Brandon have been responsible for the new player development center plus the major renovations that have taken place at Crisler Center (previously Crisler Arena). The third stage of renovations to the arena’s concourse areas, etc. are due up next.

          IRT football, it’s much the same story. MSU has won the last four football games against Michigan at a time when UM football was foundering. Just like Beilein took over from Amaker and Ellerbe, Hoke’s doing the same thing with Rodriguez–but perhaps at a faster pace. Michigan pretty much dominated in-state football recruiting this year and should have at least a Top 10 and even a Top 5 recruting class this year (depending on the last handful of recruits they get).

          All credit to Izzo and Dantonio for their success to date, but they’ve done it largely in a void as the Michigan football and basketball programs went thru some major downturns. While I can see UM and MSU’s basketball programs being roughly on par in the coming years, the football fortunes will be decidedly in the Wolverines’ favor very soon.

          Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            RE: Basketball

            I don’t know why there seems to have been a slow acceptance of Michigan State as one of the elite brand names/national powers in college basketball, but I certainly see them that way. Regardless of whether Izzo was capitalizing on UM’s extended down period, he pretty much made the absolute most of it, and while UM will create stiffer competition for in-state recruiting, Izzo and the MSU program has garnered too much clout for the program to suffer too dramatically.

            Anyway, I’ve come to view Michigan State as one of the most elite programs in the country. There’s a first tier, with Duke UNC, Kentucky, Indiana, UCLA, and Kansas. Just after them, in no particular order, I’d put Michigan State, UConn, Syracuse, Louisville, Arizona, and Ohio State. After that it’s harder to distinguish. Georgetown, Maryland, Pitt, Villanova, Illinois, Purdue, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Cincinnati, Arkansas… probably others. Butler? Gonzaga? Marquette? St. John’s. But MSU is definitely in a tier above those programs, and it will take a while for Michigan to reach that status.

            As for football, Michigan has a decided edge over MSU, historically, and four straight wins isn’t going to change my mind on which is the stronger program, especially with Hoke getting things rolling. Those four victories, however, should silence any “big brother” references by UM for quite a while.

            Like

          • zeek says:

            I agree with Michael. Michigan State to me is a solid top 10 national program right now; Ohio State is a bit behind them more on the border of the top 10, and Michigan needs to prove they belong there (which they seem to be in the right direction to do so). Michigan State would come in right behind the royalty programs, and a bit ahead of Ohio State given their tournament results.

            Michigan can probably catch up to where Ohio State is nationally, but I think they have to do that for an extended period to get to where Michigan State is.

            Just thinking about the big stages that Michigan State gets to as a result of their tournament success and Izzo’s success, like the Champions Classic, I don’t think Ohio State or Michigan is at that point, although Ohio State is not too far off.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Michael in Raleigh,

            RE: Basketball

            I don’t know why there seems to have been a slow acceptance of Michigan State as one of the elite brand names/national powers in college basketball, but I certainly see them that way.

            Who do you see as being slow to accept them? The media loves Izzo and gives him a ton of credit. MSU gets a high ranking every year. What more do you want? Their defensive style of play prevents them from getting all the national fans to love them, as it looks like a scheme to let them compete against more talented teams.

            Anyway, I’ve come to view Michigan State as one of the most elite programs in the country. There’s a first tier, with Duke UNC, Kentucky, Indiana, UCLA, and Kansas.

            Yes, those are the kings (but Duffman will reject putting Duke there) and MSU isn’t one.

            Just after them, in no particular order, I’d put Michigan State, UConn, Syracuse, Louisville, Arizona, and Ohio State. After that it’s harder to distinguish. Georgetown, Maryland, Pitt, Villanova, Illinois, Purdue, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Cincinnati, Arkansas… probably others. Butler? Gonzaga? Marquette? St. John’s. But MSU is definitely in a tier above those programs, and it will take a while for Michigan to reach that status.

            I see some blurring of tiers there.

            A – MSU, UConn, Syracuse – recent NC, lots of high finishes
            B – OSU, AZ, … – either a recent NC or a lot of recent high finishes

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I’d order bball this way (currently; 50 or even 30 years ago doesn’t really matter to me):
            Bluest of the blue-bloods (they even all wear blue!): UK, UNC, KU, Dooooooooooooook
            Top tier (non-blueblood division): MSU, UCLA, tOSU, UConn, Syracuse, ‘Zona, IU (would be higher, but they’re just coming out of a down period)

            Then there’s a ton of others that are consistently above average, but would have to play at a “top-tier” level for a generation to be considered a blue-blood.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I’d agree with MIchael’s 1st tier-UK, IU, KU, UNC, UCLA, Duke. 2nd tier would be:
            Arizona, Michigan St., Ohio St., Michigan, Florida, Memphis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Villanova, Syracuse, UConn

            Several Big 12 and ACC schools as well as Illinois, Pitt, Marquette and perhaps Wisconsin would be just outside that group.

            Like

          • cutter says:

            Michael in Raleigh:

            If you think four straight wins by MSU in football is going to silence the Big Brother mentality by Michigan, then you don’t have a good sense of what the phrase “Arrogant Asses from Ann Arbor” means–and this is coming to you from a UM grad. As John U. Bacon pointed out in his book on Rich Rodriguez, Michigan’s fight song “The Victors” already celebrates a victory as if it’s the natural state of things. Fielding H. Yost set the stage for that mentality over a century ago and it’s still running strong in A2.

            As far as basketball is concerned, it all comes down to time scale and perspective. If you go by the overall series, Michigan has a twenty-win gap on Michigan State (94-74). By decade, here’s how it goes:

            2010’s: UM 3 – MSU 2 (UM +1)
            2000’s: MSU 13 – UM 3 (MSU +10)
            1990’s: UM 11 – MSU 9 (UM +2)
            1980’s: MSU 10 – UM 10 (even)
            1970’s: UM 14 – MSU 4 (UM +10)
            1960’s: UM 9 – MSU 7 (UM +2)
            1950’s: MSU 12 – UM 5 (MSU +7)
            1940’s: UM 12 – MSU 4 (UM +8)
            1930’s: UM 12 – MSU 7 (UM +5)
            1920’s: UM 12 – MSU 3 (UM +9)
            1910’s: UM 3 – MSU 1 (UM +2)
            1900’s: MSU 2 – UM 0 (MSU +2)

            Overall: UM 94 – MSU 74

            If you look at it another way, it looks like this:

            2010’s: UM 3 – MSU 2 (UM +1)
            2000’s: MSU 13 – UM 3 (MSU +10)
            pre-2000’s: UM 88 – MSU 59 (UM +29)

            As I pointed out before, Michigan’s men’s basketball program started it downward spiral in the late 90s from the Ed Martin scandal that it’s taken years to recover from. I’ll also add that the late 70s thru around the mid-80s weren’t very competitive years for the program either. That’s why when Michigan fans look at MSU thru a maize-and-blue lens, it becomes a case of not only how well State has done, but also how poorly UM’s program has operated at times.

            I’ll give Izzo his due. He won the national champsionship twelve years ago–the second for Michigan State ever (the previous one was in 1979). His teams have made 14 straight NCAA bids (1998 to 2011) and he’s been in six of twelve Final Fours from 1999 to 2011. His overall record is 364-146 and MSU has won or tied six conference championships. That certainly puts Michigan State up there with a number of upper programs thru that 12-year run.

            It’ll be interesting to see how things work out for him going forward though. He’s going to have more competition out of Ann Arbor not only for in-state recruits but also on the court itself. Do I execpt Michigan State to fall off the table? No. But I do expect that whatever path to success MSU takes is going to be a bit more difficult.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            How much do bball programs depend on in-state recruits? I suppose Izzo still recruits locally, but Calipari, Coach K, and Bill Self all get their big stars from elsewhere. Bball is about quality more than quantity.

            Like

        • jj says:

          MSU rulez!

          Duffer – wtf just happened!

          Like

  61. Richard says:

    Suggested countermoves:

    http://southernpigskin.com/ACC/view/contemptuous-envy

    The problem, of course, is that the B10 has one of the 2 biggest followings in both football and bball. The bowls wouldn’t want to replace B10 with ACC teams willingly, and while the SEC has more clout, I don’t see how they can “force” the bowls to replace the B10 (plus the payout would go down). The ACC willingly giving up the B10-ACC Challenge to play SEC teams is even more of a joke, of course.

    Like

    • Ross says:

      That write-up is idiotic on so many levels. Sorry buddy, the committees don’t bend to a conference’s will, and the Pac-12/B1G alliance has never been about the SEC. It’s about maximizing the Rose Bowl/Pac-12/B1G brands.

      But hey, if all of those southern bowls want to take a cut in viewership in order to put in the ACC over the B1G in order to appease the SEC, I suppose that’s their terrible choice. Plenty of other bowls will line up to take the Big Ten.

      In addition, regardless of this guy’s opinion about recruiting, I’m pretty sure Texas dwarfs Florida for college recruits. Throw in California and you have two enormous recruiting regions.

      Like

      • PSUGuy says:

        I was going to try and make a coherent response to that…”article”…but every time I tried to my brain screamed in rage and shut itself off.

        Like

    • metatron5369 says:

      I have never read a more delusional article in my entire life. I’m sorry, but suggesting that the ACC has any sort of cache is ludicrous if not insulting outright.

      The thought that bowl committes, corrupt and greedy to a man, would replace the biggest and best fanbase for a conference that doesn’t even show up to half of their own games (I’m looking at you, UNC), much less bowl games is childish at best and a sign of pure dementia at worst.

      Like

  62. frug says:

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/18/the-first-peyton-manning-retirement-report-from-an-unlikely-source/

    Peyton Manning will soon be announcing his retirement… according to Rob Lowe.

    (And yes I’m only posting this because the source is so strange)

    Like

    • zeek says:

      JasonLaCanfora Jason La Canfora
      Manning was retiring it was news to him. I told Tom I had a feeling this wouldn’t be the last call he got on this topic
      17 minutes ago
      Jason La Canfora
      JasonLaCanfora Jason La Canfora
      Ran the Rob Lowe Peyton Manning tweet past Manning’s agent, Tom Condon, a little while ago. Was first he’d heard of it and said if …
      18 minutes ago

      —————————–

      The whole thing is bizarre. I have no idea where Lowe would get information like that… “his people”?

      Like

  63. Craig Z says:

    Here’s a link to a Deadspin article that shows emails exchanged between Auburn’s football team spokesman and various media outlets during the 2010 season. It’s fascinating how the media in general and ESPN specifically dealt with the Cam Newton situation.

    http://deadspin.com/5855433/am-i-sick-are-we-all-sick-overwrought-things-the-media-wrote-to-auburns-pr-guy-during-cam-newtons-wild-2010-season

    Like

  64. Brian says:

    I want to give credit to Hoke for booting Stonum. I think he waited too long, but he did the right thing in the end.

    Like

    • cutter says:

      Brian:

      Hoke waited until after Stonum finished his ten-day jail sentence and was released before he made the announcement. To me, that’s the proper way to handle it since I’m certain he wanted to tell him face-to-face before the decision was announced publicly.

      Stonum’s loss is certainly going to make Michigan’s season more difficult next year. If he was able to keep himself clean, Stonum would have replaced Junior Hemingway as a starting outside wide receiver, plus he would have been able to stretch the field for the Wolverines. With Roundtree and Gallon starting alongside him, Michigan would have had a pretty good WR trio (and a much, much better kickoff/punt returner as well).

      UM has two wide receivers in the upcoming class and it appears the Wolverines will be looking for a third recruit at that position now that Stonum is gone. Michigan doesn’t really have a viable deep threat next year w/o Stonum, so there’s an opportunity there for a freshman to make a splash and the real possibility that Michigan’s offense is going to have some trubles in 2012.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        cutter,

        Hoke waited until after Stonum finished his ten-day jail sentence and was released before he made the announcement. To me, that’s the proper way to handle it since I’m certain he wanted to tell him face-to-face before the decision was announced publicly.

        I would have told him face to face a long time ago. Once he got his second DUI arrest last summer, he should have been gone.

        Like

  65. bullet says:

    Dennis Dodd speculates on what a seeded +1 would have looked like-starts with 98-02.

    http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/6270202/34451630

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Gary Barnett won the B12 North 4 times in 5 years despite averaging over 5 losses (4 in the regular season) over those 5 years.

      Like

  66. zeek says:

    http://eye-on-college-football.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/24156338/34441664

    “SEC official: ‘We’re not going to nine’ games”

    Big mistake in my opinion. Either they’re keeping UT/Bama, Auburn/Georgia, and only playing the non-fixed cross-over games twice in 12 years or they’re getting rid of the fixed games.

    I don’t like either of those outcomes.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Or they could just play some teams twice in 12 years. Don’t know why people have a problem with that.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Because then you are just two conferences linked by a TV contract.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Well,

          1. They play other sports as well.
          2. Eh. Big deal. The SEC schools have actually played almost half their conference almost never (twice in 8 years) fairly recently and, if you go farther back, more than half their conference almost never. Didn’t seem to have hurt their sense of identity.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          They care about football.

          They have historically played lots of teams from the other divisions. So there has been a mix. Its not like one group only played themselves.

          Like

          • zeek says:

            Plus, schools like Auburn were more associated with the Eastern schools before the divisional breakup…

            Like

          • Brian says:

            To illustrate the point, here are the most frequent SEC opponents:

            AL – MSU, TN, VU (2 from other div)
            AU – GA, MSU, FL (2 from other div)
            FL – GA, AU, KY (1 from other div)
            GA – AU, FL, VU (1 from other div)
            KY – TN, VU, GA (0 from other div)
            LSU – MSU, MS, AL (0 from other div)
            MS – MSU, LSU, VU (1 from other div)
            MSU – MS, LSU, AL (2 from other div)
            TN – KY, VU, AL (2 from other div)
            VU – TN, MS, AL (2 from other div)

            Half of the teams have 2 teams from the other division in their top 3 and only 2 have none from the other division.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            “MSU – MS, LSU, AL (2 from other div)
            TN – KY, VU, AL (2 from other div)”

            These 2 aren’t correct.

            Anyway, point’s made, though outside of Auburn-UF, are any of those a big deal to anyone and not played currently as a protected rivalry game? Hard for me to see anyone caring about the Vandy-vs.-whoever series (well, OK, Vandy-Ole Miss gets a Wikipedia page, but that series is also protected).

            Like

  67. Mike says:

    Nebrasketball beat Indiana. Here’s the proof.

    http://scores.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=320180158

    Like

    • bullet says:

      This confirms it. The PSU board is as incompetent as the President. It sounds like everything they did was because they were ticked off instead of doing things thoughtfully.

      Like

        • PSUGuy says:

          So why is Tim Curly still on the PSU faculty? I mean if they are so worried about what persons in the employ of Penn State may have done, or not done, and whether it was morally acceptable, why is a person brought up on charges in this situation not being treated similarly as a man who has been cleared of any wrong doing by the court of the land?

          Listen, I’ve been vocal in that my support of Paterno is conditional on a great many things and even agree that he needed to go, if for no other reason than he, as head coach, should “fall on his sword” for the program, but the fact remains I, as an alumni, can only say (in my opinion) the Board of Trustees have been short-sited, self serving, and downright moronic in the way they’ve dealt with this issue in just about any way a rational person could judge them by. At best, they have failed in any measure of ideal persons associated with PSU have ever tried to live up to.

          No one line quotes will make me think differently.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            PSUGuy,

            I linked both pieces because I thought they added some dimensions to the discussion. I didn’t do it to take sides. I thought the NYT piece did a good job of bringing up the board’s opinion of Spanier, for example, which hasn’t been covered that much by most of the media following this story. Since Bullet took one obvious side of responding to that piece, I linked a very different response just to show people are having a wide variety of reactions.

            So why is Tim Curly still on the PSU faculty? I mean if they are so worried about what persons in the employ of Penn State may have done, or not done, and whether it was morally acceptable, why is a person brought up on charges in this situation not being treated similarly as a man who has been cleared of any wrong doing by the court of the land?

            I’m guessing there are legal reasons why they were treated differently, but I don’t know that for sure. It’s a perfectly valid question, and one the NYT piece probably should have asked. Surely some paper has asked this by now.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        They were mad at Spanier for setting up the lawyers and other things (the board shouldn’t have to be doing that) and they were mad at Paterno for saying he was retiring and would get out of the way (although not for a few months). They wouldn’t accept Spanier’s resignation but turned around and fired him (that part sounds like nothing but spite). They fired Paterno, someone who had devoted 60 years to the university over the phone because he made a mistake in not following up (so far as they or anyone else knows now that was his only mistake). If he had gone to the police they would have asked what he personally saw and he would have to tell them nothing. They would say, send McQueary, we aren’t interested in you. Paterno had no evidence for the police. Basically the board was a bunch of ticked off SOBs who were trying to get back at people because they were caught off guard with the problems (definitely Spanier failed them in that). Now they needed to fire Paterno. But reading this article it seems they made all these decisions because of what happened to them, not that they were mad about what happened to the kids.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Actually Paterno didn’t need to be “fired”, but he needed to leave immediately. They should have sent a delegation over to his house and explained why he needed to leave immediately and he probably would have understood. This was a guy who donated generously to the school and accepted a salary $1.5 to $2.0 million less than market. Paterno resigning immediately would have solved a lot of internal Penn St. problems. He needed to leave IMO not to “fall on his sword” for the program, but because he was too closely associated with all the people involved and because he was the face of the program. He couldn’t stay and leave a cloud of questions over the school as to whether everyone involved was gone and whether the university would followup appropriately on people closely connected to him. And he didn’t follow up as he could have and he was in a position to push things to happen, even if it wasn’t his responsibility.

          Like

          • frug says:

            The problem was this statement by Paterno:

            “That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status.”

            JoePa more or less told the BoT that he was leaving when he wanted to and there wasn’t a damn thing they could do about it short of actually firing him.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Bullet,

            Remember that this is the same guy who basically said no to being fired a few years ago because the team stunk. I’m not so sure he could be convinced to leave immediately.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Frug

            Paterno said he was gone so they could work on the bigger issues (and Paterno was the smallest issue they had). They took that as telling them what to do. Basically they got ticked off because they were arrogant. Paterno wasn’t being arrogant with that statement. Now he could have gotten out of the way immediately, but he didn’t see why he had to.

            @Brian
            You may be right, but IMO they could have explained the rationale and he would have understood the damage and distraction to Penn St. from him staying until the end of the season. I didn’t initially see the need for him to go immediately and thought the end of the season was fine, but after they fired him, I realized that what they did was necessary.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          That wasn’t the sense I got from reading the article, but I can understand where you are coming from. I think they had valid reasons to treat Spanier the way they did, but you can read that as spite if you want. I also thought they explained their (in hindsight incorrect) decision to fire Paterno by phone. They had legitimate concerns about the crowds at his house, but probably could have gotten a police escort to bring him to where they were meeting to explain the decision. Maybe they could have persuaded Joe to step down immediately rather than firing him (doubtful, but possible), but I think the student/fan reaction would have been the same.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/7480766/penn-state-faculty-council-members-unhappy-independent-investigation-sexual-abuse-allegations

      If it makes any of you feel better, the faculty is upset with the BoT and their handling of things.

      Like

  68. Richard says:

    While I can pull my eyes away from a spectacular car crash, I’d couldn’t pull them away from the implosion at Cal after they lost their d-line coach:

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2012/01/16/cal-football-lupoi-leaves-the-staff-for-washington/

    If you make it til the end:
    “Rereading that, I apologize for remaining unclear, my brain gets progressively less effective as the day goes on and the meds wear off.”

    And this, folks, is why I follow college football (otherwise known as the sport where 70 year old men obsess over how 18 year old boys feel).

    Like

  69. frug says:

    So does anyone want to win the Big 10 this year?

    Like

  70. bullet says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigeast/post/_/id/29236/commish-talks-about-big-easts-future

    Interview with Marinatto.

    Doesn’t say what BCS changes he prefers, but says he’s not concerned about the end of AQ status. Says next meeting is late January with another in February. 1st meeting was brainstorming.

    I’m guessing they significantly winnow down the 50 or 60 ideas in the late January meeting and then start seriously looking at numbers and complications in February.

    Like

  71. duffman says:

    ALAN

    Are you going on the road to watch your Tigers play baseball this spring? If so what ballparks are you traveling to?

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      duff – while I usually make a third to half of the LSU home baseball games, I have never travelled much for college baseball, except for Tulane, SEC Tournament, and College World Series games. I may try to make the either the Auburn or Ole Miss series this season.

      Every summer, we do try to attend a few MLB games in different cities. As of now, Toronto is the target since my son may attend a wrestling camp at Cornell in July. So far I’ve attended games at ballparks of 21 different MLB teams. I really need to get up to a Twins game, as one of my fraternity brothers from LSU is the PA announcer for the Twins.

      Speaking of baseball, are any of you Irish or Wolverine fans planning to make the trip to Baton Rouge for the round-robin series with LSU on March 9-12?

      Like

      • @Alan – I highly recommend the Toronto trip (more for the city itself, although the Skydome is certainly unique). The Skydome, CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame and the new lakefront park (with a large music pavilion) are all within a few blocks of each other in downtown Toronto, so you can see a ton even if you only have one day to spend there.

        Like

        • Pat says:

          I would also recommend the Toronto trip. I was there in September and visited all the sights that Frank mentioned, plus a pre-season hockey game at the Air Canada Center which is also near the lakefront and main train depot. Subway system is clean and efficient; Wasn’t afraid to ride it at night. Won’t have to worry about rainouts for baseball because they can close the dome. CN Tower is right across the street from the Rodgers Center (Sky Dome). Toronto may be the most ethnically diverse city in North America (food, culture, music, language). Tons of people from India and Asia. I really enjoyed my 5-day visit including the “streaker” in the outfield at the Blue Jays game. It was good for a few laughs.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          The Skydome may be nice, but if you are looking for a B1G expansion candidate, McGill’s football stadium won’t impress you!

          Like

          • OT says:

            You meant Varsity Stadium on the campus of University of Toronto. That stadium, even after it has been torn down and rebuilt, is still not as good as most high school stadiums in Texas

            McGill University is in Montreal.

            If the NCAA were to change its bylaws to allow Canadian schools to join Division I right away (instead of slumming it in Division II), Toronto and British Columbia will be snapped up in a nanosecond: the B1G will take Toronto, and the PAC will take UBC.

            UBC in particular has bragged that its boosters will be able to fund the entire athletic department (including 85 football scholarships and millions in salaries for big name coaching staff) if UBC were to join the PAC tomorrow.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            I highly doubt it. It took decades to built up the fandom of the college football powerhouses. Most U of T alums wouldn’t follow their varsity sports, much less non-alums.

            Like

      • Richard says:

        Yep, I have to second what Frank said. Toronto and Chicago are my 2 favorite places (at least in North America) during the summer.

        Like

  72. duffman says:

    jj,

    nice game to get Sparty back, lets hope IU can get back on track as well

    Like

  73. bullet says:

    Huffington Post is reporting that Joe Paterno has died.

    Like

    • acaffrey says:

      The job was keeping him alive. They’ll say it was cancer, but losing the job–especially in the way he lost it–was ultimately deadly. Happens all too often when people retire, etc.

      Although there are reports that he has not passed away.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      He’s in serious condition according to multiple sources.

      Like

  74. duffman says:

    Sorry if this has already been posted.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/education/edlife/how-big-time-sports-ate-college-life.html?_r=2&hp

    From the NY Times with the Buckeyes first in the article

    Like

    • Brian says:

      And it starts out with the typical misleading fact that those against college sports use. OSU didn’t hire Meyer at $4M per year plus bonuses, that’s his total compensation. The university only pays a faction of that.

      I see that joining the B10 upped NE’s law school applications by 20% while they were down 10% nationally. When’s the last time an academic department did that for the school?

      Like

      • frug says:

        They also fail to mention that the tOSU is one of 8 public schools whose AD is financially independent of the university meaning not one dime of Meyer’s compensation will come from the school, state or mandatory student fees, so the implication that the football team is keeping professors from attending conferences is way off base (and when you factor in the $1.75 million the AD is contractually obligated to donate to the various parts of the academic side of the university you can argue they are helping the profs).

        Like

  75. B1G Jeff says:

    From a strictly medical standpoint, I’ve been expecting JoePa to die within the month. The death of a spouse is the greatest risk factor one has for their own death; there’s a ridiculously high death rate within two years of that happening. Given his age, comorbidities and length at Penn State (significantly longer than his long marriage), the nature of his breakup with PSU likely contributed to a loss of will to live.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      My first thought is that Suzanne Paterno is still alive.

      In any case, I’m sure the way he left PSU was a big factor as well.

      I do have to wonder, though, if he knew he had cancer for a while now and just didn’t do anything because he wanted to pass Eddie Robinson.

      Like

  76. frug says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/1106/posters.salon94.exhibit/content.25.html

    SI has a gallery of cheesy athlete posters from the ’80s. Curt Warner, Jim McMahon and Mark Gastineau (linked) are my favorites but they are all worth checking out.

    Like

  77. Brian says:

    Rumors say Chip Kelly may go to Tampa Bay to coach.

    What do you think?

    1. He wants to challenge himself by coaching at the top level.
    2. He’s a coaches coach that is tired of all the non-coaching duties he has.
    3. He’s afraid of the NCAA coming (supported by his QB leaving early for no good reason).
    4. It’s all smoke and no fire.

    Like

    • or 5. he’s playing his current bosses for a nice raise.

      Like

      • zeek says:

        Gonna go with a combo of 4 and 5.

        I can’t really see Chip Kelly working out as a pro-coach. The college system fits his style perfectly: get really fast/speedy athletes and overwhelm the opposition with a frenetic pace.

        I don’t see how that translates to the NFL much in the way that guys like Saban and Petrino didn’t really translate to the NFL.

        I think he stays at Oregon. That job is literally perfect for him. He gets to run the Pac-12 North as long as his teams are better than Stanford and Washington (although I assume Leach will mix things up at WSU); he has the NIKE advantage for recruiting/facilities, and he’s incredibly well paid.

        That’s a place where it’ll be easy for him to have 10+ win seasons. Of course, maybe he gets the itch and goes pro to prove he can do it. But I just don’t see that working out. Harbaugh just seemed like a coach that could win that any level. Guys like Kelly, Tressel, and Carroll just seem to me like coaches that need to be in places where they can smoothly run systems with big built-in advantages (i.e. top-notch recruiting, etc.).

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Saban is a pro-style guy. He just couldn’t oversign more than his competition in the NFL.

          As for Kelly, it depends on how serious NCAA sanctions will be. Oregon doesn’t have the built-in recruiting base (or the ancient brand) that USC/’Bama/tOSU have and have to take in almost their entire roster from out of state. They have the advantage of Nike money and Nike flash, but while I don’t see Stanford lasting, UDub is deep-pocketed as well (with more tradition) and Cal is closer to good recruiting grounds.

          Like

  78. Richard says:

    Great post showing that there is very little correlation between offensive recruiting success and offensive success (besides QB) but a significant correlation between defensive recruiting success and defensive success (with all position groups being more correlated than QB):

    http://mgoblog.com/diaries/what's-5-star-really-worth-predicting-future-team-success-recruiting-rankings

    Like

    • Richard says:

      BTW, if Navy gets put in a Western division (I don’t think they’d mind too much as they’d get to visit Texas every year and SD every other year; and they have plenty of officers in both locales) and they get a choice of a partner, obviously they’re prefer AFA, but if Air Force doesn’t want to come, they’d probably choose Fresno, as they have a lot of people in CA. Or ECU and demand that they go to the west with them.

      Like

  79. Redhawk says:

    Let’s bring this back to Conference Realignment Rumors. There have been some talk, so far all on radio talk shows from what I can tell, so, this maybe all hot air but also this has been on some boards as well.

    Florida State and Clemson have talked to the Big 12 about joining the Big 12. But the Big 12 may not be stopping there. Rumor has it that the Big 12 is looking at adding 6 teams to go to 16. Georgia Tech has been mentioned, as has Pitt, and Miami.

    Some names I’ve also read/heard: Tulane (new on campus stadium, and high academics, and new TV market), Louisville, Rutgers (who is talking to Oklahoma about a football series)

    Like

    • frug says:

      That has to be the single dumbest rumor I have heard. Why in the world would FSU and Clemson leave? Seriously, what can the Big XII promise them that the ACC can’t besides weaker academics, higher travel costs and less security?

      Like

      • Redhawk says:

        More money, and a better football conference.

        And don’t forget, conference realignment is about Money…and Football (and neither have a chance of joining the SEC because of the SEC’s “gentleman’s agreement”)

        Like

        • Richard says:

          The money isn’t that much more, and if the SEC actually rejected FSU for Mizzou, then they are idiots. However, I just don’t see this rumor coming in to fruition. Nevertheless, if this happens, some combination of UNC, Duke, UVa, VTech & Maryland are ripe for the picking if the B10 wants to go down there (SEC would like VTech as well, I’m sure; well, they’d also want UNC and Duke, but that’s a reach; this is all daydreaming anyway).

          Like

          • Richard says:

            BTW, here are the numbers:

            http://businessofcollegesports.com/2011/05/05/televison-contract-breakdown/

            Divide by 12 for the ACC and by 10 for the B12, and the B12 will negotiate their tier-one deal soon (as will the B10), but the difference won’t be gigantic.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Redhawk – the SEC’s “gentlemen’s agreement” does not exist. Florida supported Florida State joining the SEC in the early 90s, but Bobby Bowden wanted to beat up on Duke and Wake Forest instead. If Florida State wanted to join this year, the SEC would have taken them. I’m not sure when the next round or re-alignment will be, but if the SEC ever goes to 16 teams, Florida State will most likely be in that number.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Richard

            The SEC has no interest in Duke. It is a northern school that happens to be located in a southern state that makes more revenue (not just profit) from its MBB program than FB (the only AQ to do so).

            They would like UNC, but that won’t happen (UNC needs to be with other BB schools to pay the bills and won’t split with the Blue Devils).

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Alan, you’re wrong. The SEC had no interest in taking schools within their footprint. This was about TV. FSU was not an option. The options were WVU, VT, and Mizzou. The SEC chose Mizzou because their research showed Mizzou would draw the biggest TV viewership. Also Vandy and Florida wanted AAU schools to raise the academic profile of the SEC, and Mizzou does that.

            If the SEC expands again, they’d look to get schools like North Carolina, Virginia, or Maryland.

            Like

        • frug says:

          I can’t see how they would make more money by moving conferences. The Big XII’s new deal won’t really pay that much more than the ACC’s (especially if the ACC gets to renegoiate its TV deal after Pitt and ‘Cuse join) and after you factor in exit fees and massive jump in travel expenses, it would likely mean a pay cut.

          As for football, yeah it is better in the Big XII, but I think that Clemson and FSU are better off following the Seminoles model of the ’90s which is just try and go undefeated every year in a weak conference.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            The ACC is in the 2nd tier in terms of $s (alone-behind the 1st tier-Pac 12, B1G, SEC and Big 12). Big 12 is about $15 million but going up when Tier I is renegotiated (ABC/ESPN want to do it this spring but its not officially up for 3 years-B12’s tier II went from $20 million to $90 million last year). ACC is at $12.9 million on a contract with 11 more years to run.

            Now a Big 16 might be able to pull most of the teams with value out of the ACC and push the contract up significantly. Eastern division would be Iowa St., WVU, FSU, GT, Clemson, Pitt, perhaps Miami and Virginia Tech.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if this is being looked at, but I would be surprised if anyone from the ACC is looking seriously.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I was looking at some of these rumours and followed a link to a UConn board. One of the posters made the comment—-This came from the West Virginia board. If they were predicting a drought, I would make sure to carry an umbrella.

            I don’t put a lot of credibility in the sources. BUT, the Big 12 said it would be looking at expansion starting in January and they have been very quiet which makes me wonder if they might be looking at someone other than the usual suspects (Louisville, BYU, Cincinnati)

            Like

    • Steve says:

      After reading that article, is the ACC also planning a network?

      Like

    • Richard says:

      I seriously doubt any SEC network manages to charge the same rights fee throughout the whole state of Texas as they will be able to do in, say, Alabama. This might be true for FL as well. Also, to bring in a little reality in to the discussion, the BTN charges a little less than $1 per household in carriage fees throughout it’s footprint. Comcast Sportsnet MidAtlantic (I presume what he means by CSN Washington) has the Wizards, Caps, and a bunch of other sports teams (including local ACC games). NESN has the Red Sox and Bruins. An SEC Network may be able to get sky-high rates in AL & MS, but $1/household in all of Texas because of the Aggies? Yeah, right.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        This guy is an extreme SEC homer. The only thing that makes any sense about his article is his analysis of the SEC’s choices. Basically he demonstrates they screwed up in going to 14 unless they can generate revenue in a new way. And while Missouri was talking about an SEC network, A&M has been talking about their own network. Its going to be a hard sell to convince the SEC schools to give up their tertiary rights. With the B1G and Pac 12, noone was making much money on it when their tertiary deals started. That’s not the case for the SEC. And any value has to be weighed against the $5-$10 million that some of the schools would be giving up.

        Like

        • Andy says:

          And you’re a longhorn homer.

          The SEC Network will happen. Will they make half a billion or a billion dollars per year or whatever Clay Travis is claiming? I doubt it. But even if they only take in half of Texas (or charge half as much in Texas) and half in Florida, they’d still make a ton of money.

          Maybe not $30M per school in extra revenue from the SEC network as is being claimed today on OKTC, but $10-15M is very realistic.

          Like

          • frug says:

            I think Bullet’s problem is that in order to start an SEC network schools like Georgia and Florida (who pulled in about $8.5 million each by selling their tertiary TV rights last year) if they had to split their tier 3 revenue with Vandy, Ole Miss and Mississippi St (who made about $900,000 combined). They might object to that.

            Like

  80. Mike says:

    OU Network vs LHN


    NETWORK BREAKDOWN

    OU network

    Network: Fox Sports

    Total viewers: 10 million+

    States served: Texas, Oklahoma

    Programming/year: At least 1,000 hours

    Revenue to school: TBA

    Length of deal: TBA

    + As many as 32 million satellite TV subscribers nationwide can upgrade their programming package to receive all Fox Sports regional networks.

    Longhorn Network

    Network: ESPN

    Total viewers: 4 million*

    States served: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas

    Programming/year: 8,760 hours

    Revenue to school: $300 million

    Length of deal: 20 years

    –As reported by the Austin American-Statesman in September 2011. Includes 3.7 million subscribers to Verizon’s FiOS nationwide video service, as reported by Verizon in June 2011.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/oklahoma-sooners/20120123-how-oklahoma-s-tv-deal-differs-greatly-from-longhorn-network.ece

    Like

  81. Pat says:

    I was down in Atlanta on business last week and a cohort pointed me to an interesting 28 minute interview (podcast) on a Clemson web site discussing several ACC teams talking with the Big-12 about realignment. I was skeptical when I first saw the guys name, Honus Sneed from WV, but as I listened the grand scenario began to sound plausible. I’m wondering what Frank and everyone else thinks about the veracity of this report and if it’s within the realm of possibility. I’ve read at least three other reports about the Big-12 creating an Eastern Division and playing ESPN and Comcast against each other for their next tier-1 contract. Anyhow, a few of the points he makes are;
    – WV was initially approved for entry to the ACC, but one school changed it’s vote.
    – Clemson and Florida State are angry that WV, a football school, was not admitted to the ACC and
    were replaced by basketball schools Syracuse and Pitt.
    – Clemson and FSU are concerned that NC State and Virginia Tech will go to the SEC. That’s
    another reason why adding WV would have been so important, to add football depth.
    – Big-12 is looking at expanding to 14 or even 16 teams. (BYU and Lousiville in 2014?.)
    – Maryland, BC and Pitt have talked with the Big-12. BC and Pitt would be used to lure Notre
    Dame. The Irish would play a fixed number of Big-12 football games each year in return for the
    conference providing a home for their Olympic Sports.
    – NBC would be willing to pay $35M per school if ND, FSU, Clemson and others joined the Big-12.
    – Olive Luck is a big time player behind the realignment scene.
    As I said up front, I was very skeptical, but each day I’m hearing more and more chatter about the Big-12 being very active behind closed doors. I’m beginning to wonder if there’s some truth to all the rumors.

    http://cemetery-hill.com/2012-articles/january/honus-qthe-dudeq-sneed-explains-the-likelihood-of-clemson-a-fsu-to-the-big-12.html

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      - Clemson and FSU are concerned that NC State and Virginia Tech will go to the SEC. That’s
      another reason why adding WV would have been so important, to add football depth.

      Virginia Tech has no interest in going to the SEC. Its president has made that very clear. Besides, even if it did want to leave the ACC, UVA could stop them. UVA had the power to get VT into the ACC, and as someone else put it, it has the power to keep VT there. As for NC State having any chance to leave the ACC, leaving behind UNC, it’s just laughable. There’s just no way that the board for the University of North Carolina system would approve of NC State leaving behind the University of North Carolina for a better conference. Those two are tied at the hip.

      - NBC would be willing to pay $35M per school if ND, FSU, Clemson and others joined the Big-12.

      $35 million per school for first tier rights only? Are you kidding me? Remember that Fox just locked down the 2nd tier rights at $90M/year ($9M/school/year). First tier rights will double that, at best.

      There may be some truth to the idea that FSU and Clemson wanted West Virginia, and the WVU’s Oliver Luck is pushing for the idea of going after ACC schools. The idea that Clemson and FSU would show any more interest in the Big 12 beyond politely not hanging up on them is ridiculous.

      Like

    • Mike says:

      Honus “The Dude” Sneed strikes again. He is really promoting his story.

      Like

  82. Steve says:

    Last year it was reported that the ACC was going to raise their exit fee to $34M but Maryland and Florida State mounted a campaign to get it voted down to $24M. Interesting that they are both mentioned in the interview as Big-12 candidates. Also, surprised to hear that Maryland and BC were talking with the Big East last year about joining until BE decided to go with Villanova. Not sure if I believe that.

    Heard another podcast yesterday from a Big-12 broadcaster, Greg Swaim, that BYU’s previous issues with the Big-12 have been resolved and they will probably join with Louisville in 2013 or 14. Also, the Oklahoma AD is in favor of a 14 or 16 team conference.

    This stuff never ends!

    Like

  83. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Reports out of State College state that Penn State is ready to move on in more ways that one.

    President Rodney Erickson acknowledged rumors that PSU is negotiating an exit fee with the Big Ten and will join the ACC in 2013. Asked about how the grant-of-rights might prevent the Nittany Lions from leaving, Erickson says that Delany has always emphasized the need for all schools to be in unison, and that since PSU is not in unison with the other members, it will be free to go.”

    See, I can make up crap, too!

    Like

    • ProveIt says:

      I give you more credit than that Michael…

      …your made up crap had a tinge of substance with the Delany discussion to give it some credence and thought.

      Like

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