Shake it Off: Random Thoughts about the College Football Playoffs, Big 12 Expansion and TV Contracts

Posted: November 5, 2014 in Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I know that it’s been a loooooong time since my last post. Let’s get right to some random thoughts:

(1) College Football Playoffs – We have seen two iterations of the College Football Playoff rankings and my mind comes back to the same question that I had when the powers that be first announced that the system would use a committee: Why is this any better than just using the AP Poll (or old Harris Poll)? (To be sure, the Coaches’ Poll is a worthless self-serving steaming pile of garbage.) The former BCS rankings were much maligned, but they were at least a little progressive in attempting to incorporate some objective computer rankings. All that I see with the new CFP rankings is a 12-person poll, which isn’t necessarily any better than other polls with much larger sample sizes. The NCAA Tournament Committee serves an important purpose for basketball since they are vetting at-large teams that much of the general public hasn’t seen before. However, a 4-team college football playoff is much more suited to a “Wisdom of Crowds” determination: the public has a fairly good sense of who it believes to be the very top teams in any given season, so a decision from a small committee isn’t necessarily going to be any better.

Having said that, I do enjoy seeing the broader array of games that matter at a national level this season. The expansion from a 2-team championship race to a 4-team playoff has a pushdown effect where there are more impact games involving many more potential postseason participants. Unfortunately, very few of those impact games have involved the Big Ten over the past couple of months. I don’t believe that this is some type of long-term permanent situation, but it’s an early indicator of issues down the road for the playoff system overall. A 4-team playoff structurally means that at least one power conference champion is going to be left out every year, and when a league like the SEC looks as if though it can garner multiple playoff sports, that means that 2 or more power conference champs can be left on the outside. A consolation Rose Bowl or BCS bowl berth was seen as a worthy prize back in the 2-team BCS championship world, but this season has already shown that 100% of the oxygen in the sport is being taken up by the 4-team playoff race.

So, I’ve spent quite a bit of time once again contemplating the next (and probably final) phase of playoff expansion: the 8-team playoff with all 5 power conference champs receiving auto-bids. If it were up to me, we would just use the traditional bowl arrangements to slot the teams:

Rose Bowl: Big Ten champ vs. Pac-12 champ
Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs. at-large
Fiesta Bowl: Big 12 champ vs. at-large
Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs. at-large

I expanded quite a bit more on this proposal last year as a mind meld between the progressive (expanded playoff) and the traditional (old school bowl tie-ins). Believe me – if there’s one proposal that I’ve had on this blog that I’d want to see implemented, it would be that one by far.

(2) Big 12 Expansion – Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby was asked last week about Big 12 expansion and he had some comments that we can over-analyze here (as not much has been happening on the conference realignment front lately). Here was his response to a question about whether further conference realignment was coming (via The Oklahoman):

There are several of us that are numerically challenged. I don’t know that anybody could’ve anticipated that the Big 12 would have 10 and the Big Ten would have 14. … In our case, I don’t know that there are a lot of obvious candidates out there. We’re distributing about $25 million per school through our distributable revenue, so anybody that would be considered for expansion in our league would have to bring at least pro-rata value. … But the opportunity to move from one high-visibility conference to another is pretty slim right now. I don’t see much movement in the near- to mid-term. As we get near the end of some of these TV contracts, which would be 10 or 12 years down the road, there may be some renewed conversations. The only movement that is possible right now is from some of the secondary-level conferences that might move people into one of the five high profiles.

The super-conferences concept … has largely been a media fabrication. I have heard no serious conversation among people who do this for a living that the super-conference concept has got any traction. It’s always dangerous when the media starts to interview the rest of the media, and I think that’s where the super-conference thing came from.

Nothing too new here, although Bowlsby does seem to give some hope to non-power conference schools looking to move up to the power ranks (such as BYU, Cincinnati and UConn) in stating that the only possible movement is from the “secondary-level conferences” to one of the power leagues. Seeing that the Big 12 is the most likely conference to expand in the near future (meaning the next 3 to 5 years), anything that Bowlsby says that suggests some possible movement is something to watch. Nothing has changed from my viewpoint a year ago that the Big 12 is demographically challenged long-term (other than the state of Texas) and would benefit from a 2-team expansion (specifically with Cincinnati and BYU under my Big 12 Expansion Index). I’ve never bought the notion that the Big 12 is truly happy being at 10 schools – their leaders will always publicly state that they’re happy with their TV revenue and round-robin scheduling, but deep down, they’re dying for two obvious non-power schools to rise up (similar to TCU and Utah in the past) that they can add on.

(3) TV Contracts – Bowlsby also had some interesting comments about the impact of the Longhorn Network on the Big 12 (once again via The Oklahoman):

The Longhorn Network is a boulder in the road. It really is. They did something that almost no other institution in the country could do because of the population in the state, and we’re looking at some way to try and morph that around a little bit. … It really begs the question about, how are we going to get our sports in the years ahead? If technology changes in the next five years as much as it’s changed in the last five years, we’re not going to be getting our sports by cable TV. I don’t know what it’ll be. But increasingly, we’re using mobile devices … Google Network and Apple TV and things like that are coming into play. … I’m not sure the world needs another exclusive college cable network. Rather than trying to do what everybody else has done, I would much rather try to figure out what tomorrow’s technology is and get on the front side of that and be a part of what happens going forward and monetize that.

I think Bowlsby is trying to spin a nice tale that the Big 12 can somehow take advantage of new technologies in the way that’s different than the Big Ten Network or SEC Network. However, the Big 12 can’t sell rights to games that it doesn’t have the rights to. If anything, the best properties to leverage for digital platforms in the future are conference networks themselves – see the BTN2Go streaming capabilities and the SEC Network’s integration into WatchESPN. The most powerful conferences in the cable world are going to continue to be the most powerful conferences in the digital world.

Separately, the NBA’s record-breaking new TV deal portends some incredible cash on the horizon for the Big Ten, which is the last major sports property (college or pro) that will be on the open TV rights market for the rest of this decade once its current ESPN deal expires in 2016. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Big Ten ends up extending with its current first tier rights TV partner ESPN sooner rather than later in the same way that the NBA extended its deals with ESPN and Turner. While there is some fan sentiment out there that the Big Ten ought to separate itself from ESPN, that’s (1) unbelievably short-sighted from an exposure perspective and (2) very likely to be a poor decision financially. (Mark Hasty of Midwest Sports Fans had a great critique of Big Ten fans complaining about supposed ESPN bias against the conference. I wholeheartedly agree with his analysis – our media coverage off-the-field is honestly miles ahead of our performance on-the-field.) It is also a common fan misnomer that the Big Ten is somehow more aligned with Fox. While the BTN is a Big Ten/Fox partnership, remember that the Big Ten actually provides the top picks of college football games for ABC and ESPN every week, which is of immense importance to both the B1G and Disney. (If you live in a cave, SEC sends its top game of the week to CBS.) Ultimately, ESPN has the most cash by far and they have shown to be willing to pay up to ensure that competitors like Fox and Comcast/NBC don’t get their hands on prime sports properties. Meanwhile, there is the risk that cable TV money might not last forever with the increase of chord cutting, so waiting a few years for the open market isn’t necessarily the guarantee of greater riches that it appears a couple of years ago. The NBA made the calculation that it was better to take the cash now rather than later and I’d trust the media savvy of Adam Silver over any other commissioner in sports. I would expect the Big Ten to do the same thing.

(Image from God and Sports)

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Comments
  1. Wainscott says:

    1st!

    Like

  2. Gaylen says:

    Frank,

    Any thoughts as to the possibility of the B1G expanding as part of the new Tier 1 contract? Strategically it appears to be a sound option, but the logistics of it seem very complex given the Maryland ruling.

    Like

  3. greg says:

    Hawkeyes #4 in the CFP.

    Like

  4. duffman says:

    Not 1st, but not last either

    Thanks for the new post Frank

    Like

  5. Brian says:

    In your proposed eight-team playoff, what if the top two teams are from the Big Ten and PAC 12? You would force them to play in the quarter-finals at The Rose Bowl? Wouldn’t you want to have true seedings 1-8 with 1v8, 2v7, 3v6, and 4v5?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Personally, no. I’d much rather have the traditional match-up since the seeds are guesses at best anyway. You’d have to beat 3 other top 8 teams for the title no matter what.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I’d go with tradition as well. Maybe you seed the semi-finals. The winner of the Rose (1 vs 2) in that case would play the winner of the bowl with the lowest seeded favorite.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          The bowls would provide some more data that mighty make seeding easier or might make it tougher. I think I’d use a combination of rankings and geography for the semifinals.

          Like

  6. I just don’t think the numbers add up to supporting any new entrants on the merits (except MAYBE BYU, which is as geographically isolated as West Virginia [which has been challenging for everyone] but in the opposite direction, and could possibly present cultural issues, though that’s less of a big deal here than with the Pac-12).

    Honestly I’d say that CCG reform/deregulation and the Big 12 tacking a CCG onto their existing round robin (or tacking a CCG on top of a new 8 game kinda round robin) is WAY likelier than the Big 12 adding 2+ teams and a CCG. Adding a CCG on its own makes sense financially, but I’m deeply skeptical that the Big 12 is so desperate for a CCG that they’d dilute the brand, especially if it’s reasonably likely that in the next few years they’ll have the option of adding a CCG without adding any more programs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kevin says:

    I think our new TV deal will be split between Fox and ESPN/ABC. Too much inventory to put all on ESPN/ABC. Plus I think the reverse mirror/regional split of many broadcasts reduces exposure of the teams. Would rather have more truly National broadcasts as ESPN 2 etc. is a less watched network. Plus with ESPN/ABC’s current deals with other leagues the B1G’s major time slots are still the 11AM Central. A lot of fans are tired of so many B1G games on at 11AM. I think the leagues deal with Fox on the CCG is a good leading indicator of things to come. Too many other CCG on ESPN/ABC at the same time.

    Like

  8. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    GEAUX Tigers! Beat Bama!

    Like

  9. CBT says:

    B12 just needs to add BYU and UNLV and be done with it. 2 western teams, footprint in all 4 time zones, adds two new solid and growing markets, and gets to 12 for all the perks.

    I know UNLV is not a team talked about often in expansion, but Vegas would be a solid town and market to add for any conference. Solid basketball tradition, and if they actually build that new football stadium(would be a condition to join to build it), it becomes a decent destination for OOC games, improves that bowl, which perhaps the B12 could poach and line a game up with the B10. B10 teams love Vegas. And so would B12 fans in the winter for hoops.

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      You realize, of course, that you are suggesting the Big 12 become a conference encompassing four time zones, Morgantown to Las Vegas. Check the late 1990s’ 16-team WAC to see how well something like that worked. I’m not even certain Brigham Young plus Cincinnati would be a complete success.

      Like

  10. bullet says:

    I don’t think Bowlsby was spinning. He was saying the conference cable network model wasn’t the way going forward and having the LHN made it difficult to do the future deals.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      It may or may not be what you consider a conference network (cable channel). It IS what the conference, through whatever mode of transmission, has the rights to. And espn owns UT’s non primary media rights.

      There’s a reason he described it as a boulder, not just a small impediment.

      Like

  11. bullet says:

    I think there are 3 key advantages to the playoff system:
    1) Sportswriters are idiots. The committee isn’t (you’ve already discussed coaches).
    2) Preseason bias goes away.
    3) Pollsters have to defend their rankings, not just mail it in.

    I think we’ve seen some significant differences vs. the polls as they aren’t tied to preseason thinking and they actually have to defend their “eyeball” tests.

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      I’m still not sure there isn’t a “brand-name bias” once you leave the unbeaten ranks If both Mississippi State and Florida State lost on the same week, I would expect Miss State to take the deeper tumble.

      Anyway, Frank, it’s good to have you back after nearly three months.

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      1: some are, some aren’t.
      2: has it?
      3: why? I’d assume autonomy would remove that need.

      They’ll work hard and do the job. But as Frank says its just a smaller pole selecting participants for an invitational.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        1. Then you agree with me. A lot of idiots vote in the AP Poll.
        2. It has certainly lessened preseason bias at the very least. For example Ohio St. and TCU.
        3. Think you totally missed my point. They meet face to face in a room and have to defend how they ranked teams. They don’t just e-mail in a ballot. If they have a questionable position, it isn’t set in stone. It gets discussed and sometimes changes-that week.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “2. It has certainly lessened preseason bias at the very least. For example Ohio St. and TCU.”

          OSU is #13 in the AP, #14 in the CFP
          TCU is #6 in both

          Only UGA and Utah are 3 places different between the two polls (#17 in one, #20 in the other).

          How does that show the CFP is better?

          “3. Think you totally missed my point. They meet face to face in a room and have to defend how they ranked teams. They don’t just e-mail in a ballot. If they have a questionable position, it isn’t set in stone. It gets discussed and sometimes changes-that week.”

          While they are supposed to bring up issues regarding why a team should be higher or lower, we don’t know that their vote even matches what they say. The votes are secret even within the committee. Nor do we know that anyone changes their mind based on the discussion.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            TCU was 3 places higher last week. Ole Miss 3 & 5, Alabama 3 lower, ND 3 & 4 lower, Ohio St. 3 lower, UCLA 3 higher, Louisville 5 & 9 higher. The CFPP forced the AP and Coaches poll to re-assess.

            It doesn’t “prove” the playoff poll is better, but it certainly goes with what a lot of people believed about these teams not being fairly rated. Names and preseason rankings trumped what they had actually done on the field in the AP and Coaches. Pollsters tend to just move teams up or down based on where they started.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “TCU was 3 places higher last week.”

            TCU won @WV last week, so the AP moved them back up. TCU jumped from #25 to #9 for beating OU. Then they dropped slightly for losing to Baylor while yielding 61 points. They’ve been slow to rise because last week was their first decent win since that loss. That’s what a poll should do.

            “Ole Miss 3 & 5,”

            Ole Miss had an ugly loss to LSU and should have been lower IMO. The committee is too infatuated with the SEC West for me.

            “ND 3 & 4 lower,”

            Other than playing FSU close, what has ND done? Beat Stanford?

            “The CFPP forced the AP and Coaches poll to re-assess.”

            Or did another week of games make the voters re-assess? The AP didn’t move OSU up last week, the CFP jumped them up 2 spots. How is that the AP reacting to the CFP poll?

            Besides, showing a difference between the polls is only useful if we know which one is correct.

            Like

        • bullet says:

          “While they are supposed to bring up issues regarding why a team should be higher or lower, we don’t know that their vote even matches what they say. The votes are secret even within the committee. Nor do we know that anyone changes their mind based on the discussion.”

          Well unless the members that have talked are lying, they say they’ve had pretty vigorous discussions and individuals have changed their minds about teams.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “Well unless the members that have talked are lying, they say they’ve had pretty vigorous discussions and individuals have changed their minds about teams.”

            I don’t doubt the discussions part, but the votes are secret. They have no idea if anyone else has ever actually changed their mind. And I’m not saying people aren’t changing their minds, just that there is zero proof of it.

            Some AP voters do multiple drafts of their ballot before submitting it, too.

            Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      I also like it that that they’re actually using their eyes for the eye test. These folks are actually watching the games of all the top teams. Computers can’t do that, and media members often don’t have the time to do that.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      “I think there are 3 key advantages to the playoff system:
      1) Sportswriters are idiots. The committee isn’t (you’ve already discussed coaches).”

      Some are, but most aren’t. More accurately the writers are generally less informed about games nationally and don’t have access to all the data the committee does.

      If you gave the writers the same video and stats as the committee, they’d do as well or better. The greater numbers would allow for cancelling out some of the bias. It also reduces the power of any single vote which can help keep an idiosyncratic opinion from skewing the results.

      “2) Preseason bias goes away.”

      It does? How? The committee has seen all the same polls as the writers. They still basically have all the teams ranked by the number of losses just like the AP. Is FSU really the second best team, or are they staying there because they were preseason #1?

      Preseason AP top 25 teams not in the CFP top 25:
      9. SC 4-5
      15. USC 6-3
      21. TAMU 6-3
      23. UNC 4-5
      24. MO 7-2
      25. UW 6-3

      6-3 WV is #23 but all the other teams have 0-2 losses.

      The only 2 loss P5 teams not in the top 25: MN, IA and MO

      MO leads the SEC East, but that’s a weak division. They have no big wins, lost to IN and got killed by UGA. But if they’d started as a top 10 team, would the committee really have dropped them? The B10 teams play in the B10 so have no chance.

      “3) Pollsters have to defend their rankings, not just mail it in.

      I think we’ve seen some significant differences vs. the polls as they aren’t tied to preseason thinking and they actually have to defend their “eyeball” tests.”

      Defend how? All their ballots are secret unlike the AP poll. Only the final poll will the committee chair even bother to explain/defend their choices, and he certainly won’t name names when he does that.

      I agree with you that taking more time to watch game video and then getting together to discuss things before voting is a better process. But I think replacing the committee members with the AP voters would net at least as good and probably better results. The AP poll would be a lot better if ballots didn’t have to be rushed in Saturday night. Just change the deadline to Tuesday and have a conference call to discuss things.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        You have a lot more faith in sportswriters than I do. I see a lot of incorrect information in their articles. Some seem really lazy. Many have very big biases. Some have business biases, i.e. the ESPN voters. I have little faith in their abilities to do a reliable poll.

        There are some who would be very good on a panel, but they are the minority.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Most national sportswriters have agendas that override accurate, dispassionate reporting on events and news. Most local sportswriters are hopeless homers.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          They are given a very different task than the committee. Using that to assess how they’d act on the committee is flawed.

          Put another way, you have a lot more faith in the committee members than I do. I think they’re just as biased and stubborn as the writers. I certainly saw a lot of incorrect work from them in their former jobs, too. You don’t think a sitting AD has a business bias in deciding whether a team from his conference should make the playoff?

          Like

          • Wainscott says:

            ” You don’t think a sitting AD has a business bias in deciding whether a team from his conference should make the playoff?”

            Aren’t they forced to recuse themselves from considering teams in their conferences?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “Aren’t they forced to recuse themselves from considering teams in their conferences?”

            No, just from their own teams.

            http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/11353432/college-football-playoff-selection-committee-announces-recusal-policy

            The College Football Playoff selection committee announced its official policy Thursday as nine of 13 committee members have been recused from voting for certain schools.

            Mike Gould (Air Force); Jeff Long (Arkansas); Dan Radakovich (Clemson); Archie Manning (Mississippi); Tom Osborne (Nebraska); Pat Haden (USC); Condoleezza Rice (Stanford); Oliver Luck (West Virginia); and Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin) were the members who are recused.

            Like

  12. vp19 says:

    BTW, great shot of Comiskey. Went to several games there between 1983 and 1987 and always loved the atmosphere.

    Like

  13. Mike says:

    @Frank

    Big 12 Expansion

    What do you think about the long term prospects of the Big 12 as we get closer to the GOR expiring in 2025? I see some serious threats:

    – I expect to see a TV revenue gap open up between the SEC, B1G, and PAC (maybe even the ACC if the ACCN ever shows up) between the Big 12 schools not named Texas because of conference network profits. How will KU, OU, and WVU feel about that if someone comes calling?

    – The PAC12’s Tier I deal expires in 2024, I’m sure they’ll contimplate expansion with their frist choice being Big 12 schools.

    -The B1G, PAC, and SEC will always be looking to feed thier networks.

    -If the Big Ten resets the market like you think won’t that put tremendous pressure on the ACC to expand to re-open their deal, espically if they get lapped by the PAC, SEC, and Big Ten in TV money.

    -Texas is getting tons of exposure in Texas, but how much exposure to the rest of the country are they getting? Outside of an every other year noncon game, they only ever travel to the media hot beds of KS, OK, IA, and WV. Would they take a Notre Dame like deal with the ACC to increase their exposure nation wide?

    So, I’ve spent quite a bit of time once again contemplating the next (and probably final) phase of playoff expansion: the 8-team playoff with all 5 power conference champs receiving auto-bids.

    An eight team playoff is going to make conference championships irrevelant for the top teams. That is a pretty tough obsticle. If the Big 12 ever stops being a power conference, I see the final four being limited to the four power conference champions with a provision that a #1 (or maybe #2) ranked non-champion can relplace the lowest rated conference champion. The (new) P4 don’t have to share CCG profits with anyone. Why not make that the “round of eight.”

    Like

    • Mike says:

      Posted the non-spell checked version. Sorry.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      The Big 12 get on national networks more than anyone else. The Pac, SEC and Big 10 reserve a fair amount of their games for their network which is usually sports tier outside their region.

      Of course, like the Pac 12, the Big 12 has half their games on the Fox Networks and Fox gets ratings similar to ESPN and below ABC, and FS1 is about the same as ESPN2. Unless these start to grow noticeably, that’s something the Big 10 has to consider. Right now, a lot of casual fans don’t look for games on the Fox networks.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        The Big 12 get on national networks more than anyone else

        That would be pretty tough for a ten team conference.

        the Big 12 has half their games on the Fox Networks and Fox gets ratings similar to ESPN and below ABC, and FS1 is about the same as ESPN2

        Big 12 games on FS1 are performing a little closer to other conferences games on ESPNU than ESPN2. I can’t believe how low the ratings have been for CFB on FOX and FS1.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          If you look at last year’s SMW TV ratings, the Big 12 was on “national” networks an average of roughly 9 games per team. The others were around 6 to 7. No team cares if others are on nationally. They care about themselves. In any event, 6X14=84. That’s less than 9X10. I think the SEC was the one closest to 7, so that only gets them to 98.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            I did. To get your numbers you have to be pretty generous with with the word “national” and count ESPNU and FS2 but not BTN.

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            Well, the availability of ESPNU and FS2 on a given package is dependent entirely on what your cable provider is and maybe the competence of your own local incarnation of it. Neither network is any more likely to appear in any given broad region than any other for reasons beyond what specific cable providers are available. You can’t say that about the BTN or even SECN. Of course, when SECN has the ridiculously huge distribution it does, it does seem to confuse the notion of what a “national” network is…

            Like

      • Mike says:

        My point about is getting lost in the TV contract discussion, so I’ll try and rephrase it. Outside of the marquee OOC game and the RRR what Texas games will capture the casual fan’s attention get people excited about Texas football outside of Texas? Texas coming to town (even when they are down) is a big game and should create a buzz. How long will they be willing to play and bring their buzz to under the radar places like Manhattan, Stillwater, Waco, and Lubbock?

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Did you read the article about Nebraska’s schedule?

          Like

          • Mike says:

            I did. It actually helps my point. Nebraska’s home conference schedule is so boring this year that (crap) writers are fantasizing about a conference switch. At least Nebraska can wait for the nine game schedule in 2016 for Michigan, Ohio St, and Penn St to start popping back up. Texas, thanks to the RRR, has to play boring home conference schedules until the GOR is up.

            2014 Texas conference home games: Baylor, Iowa St, West Virginia, and TCU.
            2014 Texas conference road: Dallas, Lawrence, Manhattan, Stillwater, and Lubbock.

            2015 Texas conference home: Kansas, Kansas St, Oklahoma St, and Texas Tech.
            2015 Texas conference road: Dallas (2X), Waco, Ames, and Morgantown.

            That is a very tough sell for a 100K seat stadium and not a lot of interesting places to go on the road.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            3 of those 4 next year are currently ranked. 2 have been in the top 10. Can anyone in the Big 10 or ACC match that? The Big 10 finally got a 4th team back in the rankings. And the top 2 are in the opposite division. Wonder how those Big 10 schools fill those 80-100k stadiums?

            Like

          • Mike says:

            I am not disputing that those teams are good. Those games aren’t going to excite anyone outside of hard core fans. There isn’t any team coming to Austin that anyone would say is a peer. They’re all underlings who happen to be playing good football right now. If one of those teams were to fall off the schedule would you even care or notice?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            As long as they are good, they matter.

            WVU was supposed to be good their first year in the Big 12. There was a lot of hype for that game in Austin.

            People are starting to pay attention to Oklahoma St. since they have become pretty good.

            Houston was a big rival for Texas in the SWC. They came in and won 3 of the 1st 4 SWC titles. A&M had been bad for so long, they had slipped to #4 among rivals, behind OU, Houston & Arkansas. Houston wasn’t seen as a “peer.”

            Competitiveness is essential for a rivalry.

            Like

      • Kevin says:

        I think viewership on Fox changes as more leagues are covered by the network.

        Like

        • Mike says:

          It is strange how conditioned people are to going to certain channel to watch their football. Despite being broadcast OTA on CBS, literally millions of people watched the Thursday night NFL games on NFL Network.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Part of the FS1 and FS2’s problems is that they aren’t numbered with the other sports channels.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            That is odd. They are after the assorted ESPNs and before the CBSSN/BTN/SECN on my TWC list. For some reason FXX is there with them.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            With Comcast, the sports channels are 40s and 50s (except for BTN and SECN which ware 290s). FS1 is 75. Its BET, SyFy, FS1, Spike, Oxygen in the 70s.

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            FXX is there with them because it used to be Fox Soccer.

            Like

          • DirecTV has 2 clear sports channel clusters: national sports channels (starting with ESPN at 206 and includes ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, NBCSN, FS1, CBSSN, NBAtv, MLB Network, NFL Network, NHL Network, Golf Channel and Tennis Channel) and then the niche/regional sports channels in the 600s (national carriage for FS2, BTN and SEC Network and then the regional sports networks with carriage determined by your home market). So, at least on DirecTV, FS1 isn’t hard to find at all. FS2 is a little more difficult to come across if you’re not a sports fan, but most sports fans will come across it with its proximity to the BTN, SEC Network and/or your regional sports network.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      Why do the SEC and Big 10 need to feed their networks? There are only 3 TV slots on Saturday. I can’t imagine they get hardly anyone to watch when they go to the overflow channels. Any more than 14 teams and they really have excess inventory.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        I was talking about increasing the subscriber base. However, during conference play with bye weeks sometimes there is only one game on BTN.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          You were talking about subscriber base (at prime rates) and I was talking inventory. I see where the SEC is already using their overflow channel frequently. They spread conference games through the season and have the MSU/FCS, Ole Miss/FCS scattered through this part of the season. The Big 12 is talking about moving some conference games earlier (and therefore ooc later). Haven’t seen any of that movement with the Big 10 and Pac 12, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that, in order to maximize the value of their inventory and their network. Right now, they will have 10-14 games early in the season and 6-7 during conference play.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      Mike,

      “-If the Big Ten resets the market like you think won’t that put tremendous pressure on the ACC to expand to re-open their deal, espically if they get lapped by the PAC, SEC, and Big Ten in TV money.”

      Their deal is still fairly new, so they can’t say they’re below market value already. Who can they add that would make them more money? They already have ND. They won’t steal from the B10, P12 or SEC for monetary reasons. The B12 makes more than them now plus has a GoR. Is the ACC going to benefit from adding UCF/USF? UConn? UC?

      Unless ND is willing to join fully, there’s really nothing the ACC can do to make more money beyond the ACCN I don’t think.

      Like

      • morganwick says:

        I would say the ACC’s recent deals were below market value when they were signed, because of a combination of utterly failing to read the market and being utterly incompetent at negotiating. If they were competent, they could have scored bigger increases one or both times they went to market (if not jumped ship to someone else the first time) and maybe launched a conference network.

        Like

      • Mike says:

        Brian – The ACC deal would be below market if the Big Ten sets the market higher in two years. Assuming ESPN would agree, the simplest way for the ACC to make more money would be to follow the SEC’s lead and extend their deal again to get the ACCN. If they don’t get their extension, it is probable the PAC and Big Ten will have their rights (PAC in 2023, B1G in 2026 if they sign a ten year deal) come up again before the ACC deal expires in 2027. Unless the rights fee (if it even exists) bubble has burst, the ACC going to be under pressure to do something to keep the ACC TV money competitive. My guess is they’ll offer Texas a ND style deal or a attempt a Big 12 raid around the time the Big 12’s deal expires in 2025 with the hope the additions can spur an extension from ESPN to bring the ACC near the market price.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Mike,

          “The ACC deal would be below market if the Big Ten sets the market higher in two years.”

          Just because the B10 has been below their market value doesn’t mean the ACC is. The market may think the ACC is still getting fairly paid even after the B10 gets a raise. After all, everyone else will also still be on a fairly new deal.

          “Assuming ESPN would agree, the simplest way for the ACC to make more money would be to follow the SEC’s lead and extend their deal again to get the ACCN.”

          Supposedly their deal already includes the ACCN as a factor (ESPN either starts it or pays them more). Besides, I don’t think the ACC has much leverage right now.

          “If they don’t get their extension, it is probable the PAC and Big Ten will have their rights (PAC in 2023, B1G in 2026 if they sign a ten year deal) come up again before the ACC deal expires in 2027.”

          I’d think the B10 might want a 15 year deal to end when the BTN rights end (2031-2). All the current deals are for 12-15 years.

          “Unless the rights fee (if it even exists) bubble has burst, the ACC going to be under pressure to do something to keep the ACC TV money competitive. My guess is they’ll offer Texas a ND style deal or a attempt a Big 12 raid around the time the Big 12’s deal expires in 2025 with the hope the additions can spur an extension from ESPN to bring the ACC near the market price.”

          I’m not sure the B12 schools will see much value in that. They see the travel issues for WV in the B12. Why would OU or UT sign up for that in the ACC?

          Like

          • Mike says:

            Brian –

            Just because the B10 has been below their market value doesn’t mean the ACC is. The market may think the ACC is still getting fairly paid even after the B10 gets a raise. After all, everyone else will also still be on a fairly new deal.

            I’m talking about the Big Ten changing the market making all the deals under valued. We just saw the NBA get a 3X bump in their rights. If the Big Ten does something similar (not guaranteed) we should expect the new PAC deal in 2023 to at least be similar in value to what ever deal the Big Ten signs. No matter what the market says the value of the ACC should be, ACC detractors (remember FSU trustee Andy Haggard) will have a field day. We all saw what silly West Virginia bloggers could do the perception of the ACC, imagine if someone competent was banging that drum.

            Supposedly their deal already includes the ACCN as a factor (ESPN either starts it or pays them more). Besides, I don’t think the ACC has much leverage right now.

            Supposedly they would be offered the same terms as the SEC. To me, if they get the ACCN, that means extension. There isn’t much concrete out there either way though. I agree they don’t have much leverage, which is why I expect them to be predatory again.

            I’d think the B10 might want a 15 year deal to end when the BTN rights end (2031-2). All the current deals are for 12-15 years.

            That makes sense, but if you look at the chart at the bottom of this SBJ article you’ll see a similar hole in rights fees toward the end of the 2020s as you do now. I would not be surprised to see the Big Ten try to have their rights be the last rights available until the 2030s.

            I’m not sure the B12 schools will see much value in that. They see the travel issues for WV in the B12. Why would OU or UT sign up for that in the ACC?

            Texas might look at taking a ND style deal. They get their own tv deal, keep the LHN, increased exposure on the east coast, and more interesting games (IMHO) in Austin. Here’s a prototype schedule:

            3 guarantee games
            5 ACC games
            HaH ND (or P5)
            RRR vs OU
            HaH A&M (or Tech, TCU, etc)
            HaH P5

            If done right, that’s seven games in Austin, four away, and the RRR.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Mike,

            If somehow UT did that there would no longer be a P5. We’d be rearranging into four, probably CCG’s become qtr finals with conf champs to semis. This would be the leverage that would force ND to full membership. B1G and PAC probably like that, SEC not so much. ACC might think they benefit by gaining ND fully so wouldn’t adamantly resist. Why would OU continue the RRR after being hung out to dry? Does TT get an ACC invite too? UT would be killing the viability of the situation you think they would want, which I highly doubt to begin with.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @cc –

            If somehow UT did that there would no longer be a P5. We’d be rearranging into four, probably CCG’s become qtr finals with conf champs to semis.

            That’s what I was arguing in the post that started this thread. I think they would become defacto semis. There would still be a committee and a provision for a high enough ranked team outside of a P4 conference champion to make the playoffs. I just don’t think you can explicitly keep the G5 out of the discussion but a “glass ceiling” would be acceptable.

            Why would OU continue the RRR after being hung out to dry?

            I don’t know if OU is being hung out to dry. Even if they were, the RRR is important enough to both to keep it going.

            Does TT get an ACC invite too?

            In my scenario, UT would be going independent. If that were to happen, I don’t know where the rest of the Big 12 would end up.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Mike,

            “I’m talking about the Big Ten changing the market making all the deals under valued.”

            And I’m saying maybe their are multiple markets, one for the B10 and SEC, a middle one for the B12 and P12, and a lower one for the ACC. A B10 jump doesn’t necessarily mean the ACC is undervalued (it also doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t).

            “That makes sense, but if you look at the chart at the bottom of this SBJ article you’ll see a similar hole in rights fees toward the end of the 2020s as you do now. I would not be surprised to see the Big Ten try to have their rights be the last rights available until the 2030s.”

            Entirely possible. And ESPN will have a say in how long the deal is, too.

            “Texas might look at taking a ND style deal. They get their own tv deal, keep the LHN, increased exposure on the east coast, and more interesting games (IMHO) in Austin.”

            That’s fine for football, but I think they see all the other sports as a major obstacle to that sort of deal.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “I don’t know if OU is being hung out to dry. Even if they were, the RRR is important enough to both to keep it going.”

            OU/OkSU’s flirtation with the PAC brought the expression that the RRR isn’t a given.

            Basically you’re saying UT could go independent. They always could have, but haven’t. And being indy has gotten increasingly problematic over the past few decades.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @Brian –

            That’s fine for football, but I think they see all the other sports as a major obstacle to that sort of deal.

            The ACC is a better basketball and baseball league. Travel might be an issue.

            @cc –

            OU/OkSU’s flirtation with the PAC brought the expression that the RRR isn’t a given.

            It was played OOC for a long time. As I understand it, the game is very important to both. I think they’ll find a way.

            Basically you’re saying UT could go independent. They always could have, but haven’t. And being indy has gotten increasingly problematic over the past few decades.

            I’m not saying its perfect, but when the Big 12 GOR expires, it will be a tempting option. IMHO indy Texas is the only way A&M gets back on UT’s FB schedule.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “…but when the Big 12 GOR expires, it will be a tempting option.”

            It was an option before the GOR.

            A better question is how long does ESPN own all rights not currently the B12’s? They contractually have a huge say in what UT can do.

            If UT choses to leave the B12 (which I think unlikely), it would likely be westward with three others in tow.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Brian: “And I’m saying maybe their are multiple markets, one for the B10 and SEC, a middle one for the B12 and P12, and a lower one for the ACC. A B10 jump doesn’t necessarily mean the ACC is undervalued (it also doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t).”

            Generically, that is not implausible as we move to more revenue from digital distribution … the distribution of value in digital distribution markets tend to be not only exponential but with a big proportion gap between Tier I and Tier II, and so on down the line, so often ends up with a jackpot for a few and a drop in income opportunities for the majority. Cable sports already had that exponential distribution, but it could get steeper.

            But the devil is always in the details, and the ACC has substantially expanded its conference footprint. As that expansion gets bedded down, its quite possible that the ACC sticks in a second tier alongside the Big12 and Pac12.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @cc –

            If UT choses to leave the B12 (which I think unlikely), it would likely be westward with three others in tow.

            I don’t discount either outcome as a possible option. My point in the first post was to show the other four power conferences have incentives to expand and the Big 12 has threats.

            Like

  14. Dave says:

    Hi Frank –

    Did you happen to see the article from a couple of weeks ago about how happy Florida State is to still be in the ACC? (I wish I would have copied down the address as I can’t find it now!?) One of the points the author made was that the Big Ten may not hit the jackpot as expected with their next television deal because the ratings for college football have been so dismal on Fox Sports 1. They may not be able to justify a bidding war with ABC/ESPN or NBC for B1G games.

    Like

    • Dave says:

      Found it! http://www.tomahawknation.com/2014/10/9/6951519/the-acc-gave-up-cash-for-exposure-in-its-2010-tv-deal-does-that-look

      Here’s part of what it had to say: “The terribly low FOX ratings could also affect the B1G’s leverage in their upcoming negotiations. It’s hard to imagine that the B1G can realistically consider moving 100% of content to FOX, given the viewership. It would be death to pull all programming off ESPN. That’s one negotiating weapon they’re not going to be able to wield anymore, which may keep the B1G’s impending payouts slightly less astronomical than many were predicting a couple years ago.”

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Only fans have talked about moving everything off of ESPN. Delany et al certainly won’t do it and ESPN knows that. But they could move a package of prime time games to Fox or NBC, or better games to BTN. Ratings will follow the better games, especially if we’re just talking broadcast networks. ESPN may well pay more to prevent that. After all, the B10 is what fills their early slots. Besides, part of the negotiation is looking at the bumps ESPN has given others. That sets a market for how much games are actually worth to them.

        An FSU blogger isn’t better informed about these issues than all the media consultants saying the B10 will get a huge bump.

        Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Remember, the B1G Title Game on Fox does do well in the ratings. Part of that is the conference name brand. Part is that ESPN does hype the B1G title game because its in their interest to do so, between the Playoff and having a large chunk of overall B1G rights.

      Like

      • morganwick says:

        My hunch is that some sort of ESPN-Fox split is what the B1G ends up going with. The Big Ten can attract eyeballs to Fox and FS1 that the Big 12 and Pac-12 haven’t, and Fox probably knows that.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          Yeah, I don’t think the B1G is too keen on gambling on its teams drawing viewers to FS1, and ESPN is not too keen on risking B1G teams actually drawing viewers to FS1. The incentives are too well-defined that ESPN will lock up rights to all non-broadcast and non-BTN B1G CFB games.

          I could see a split where Fox broadcast gets a primetime game in weeks ABC is showing other conferences in primetime.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            I think ESPN actually proposed working with Fox on the Pac 12 deal as they didn’t have enough time slots to cover all the Pac wanted. And the last thing they wanted was a new participant like NBC Sports getting in on the action. So they might not fight too hard to get all of it as everyone is wanting national coverage, not regional.

            I could see the Big 10 wanting a split. I doubt they would move all of it off ESPN.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Chris Belevaqua, at that time of working with the Pac, is the one who came up with the idea. Ran it by Scott and Weiberg, and then you they approached ESPN and Fox.

            Like

  15. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I do think it is worth noting that NBC, CBS, and Fox almost never have a 12:00 PM college football game. NBC and CBS also almost never have a Saturday night game.

    The Big Ten may not be so interested in entertaining the idea of having games on FS1, let alone NBCSN or CBSSN, but I can’t help but wonder if they would be enticed by the idea of answering the SEC’s weekly, national, over-the-air exposure with its own deal with either NBC or CBS at night, or even one in the 12 PM slot with Fox also as an option.

    Short of an over-the-air, SEC-like deal, I agree that sticking with ESPN may be the most sensible move to make.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      *Sticking with ESPN for all non-BTN coverage, that is, as opposed to splitting that coverage between ESPN/ABC and another company.

      Like

    • Craig Z says:

      I could see the Fox paying for the number one Big Ten game the way CBS has the number one SEC game.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        One thing to note. Last year Fox only had 1 game in the top 25 in ratings. It was the Big10 ccg.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Fox really needs the Big Ten badly.

          The Big 12, except for WVU, is far from both the heavily populated east coast and from heavily populated California. Outside of OU and Texas, it doesn’t have many teams who can draw national audiences, despite the success of programs like Baylor, TCU, K-State, and Oklahoma State over the past few years. The ratings potential for Fox Big 12 games is going to be limited. Likewise, the Pac-12 has its limitations as well. The games feature teams way, way on the other side of the country even from east Texas, let alone Midwestern, southeastern, or northeastern states. They are on very late, and even though that gets them an exclusive time spot, it is often more of an afterthought in the minds of viewers.

          Neither the ACC nor the SEC are options to help boost Fox’s CFB TV ratings. The Big Ten is, potentially. And withe NBA off the table, Fox has to be unbelievably motivated to at least get the top B1G game, even if it means ESPN would get the remainder of the non-BTN games.

          In other words, it isn’t quite an apples to oranges comparison between ABC or CBS and Fox. One has the most popular league, and the other has #2, #3, #4, and #5. Fox has only two out of #3-5 (not sure what the order of ACC, Pac, and B12 are). With the B1G in tow, and off of ABC, maybe the ratings pendulum swings more favorably for Fox.

          Like

          • dtwphx says:

            Go Blue!

            Like

          • dtwphx says:

            ESPN does need some inventory so they they sell the B1G like they sell the ACC and SEC.
            I had never realized how great ACC football was until ESPN reminded me of it daily, in the months after they had purchased the ACCs media rights.

            The B1G really needs to be careful how flexible they are on game start times to fit TV time slots. There has been some mention of how bad 11am local start times are. Multiple 7pm local or later start times are infinitely worse.

            For example, look at Arizona State’s schedule.
            4 of their 6 home games start at 7pm local or later.
            There’s complaints that fans aren’t attending the games. no sh!t.
            Start them at a normal time.
            http://arizonasports.com/58/1780133/A-fans-view-of-ASU

            I think the PAC12 compromised too much on start times with ESPN, taking the WACs old ultra-late time slot in exchange for a few extra bucks. Does anyone on the east coast even know the PAC12 plays football. All the important games kick after 2/3s of the country is asleep.

            Like

          • @dtwphx – A lot of the B1G scheduling so many 11 am local starts has been the conference’s choice since they have a much more limited prime time schedule. ESPN and BTN would actually much rather have more late afternoon and prime time games than those early starts. For whatever reason, there’s actually a strong faction in the Big Ten that likes those early starts (see the insistence of many Michigan and Ohio State fans to play their rivalry game at 12 pm ET even though TV interests would definitely push it later in the day every year if they had their way). Personally, I hate them, but I live in the Central Time Zone where it’s tougher to tailgate for very long at that start time (or, if you’re a student, wake up from the night before).

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Unless you want to play and watch in an oven, playing evenings is almost a requirement in the desert. It really is a safety concern for both fans and players for a significant part of the year.

            Like

          • dtwphx says:

            7pm starts are necessary in phoenix in September, not in October or November.
            The number of late starts early in the season should discourage late starts later in the season.
            It’s nice during the day in phoenix october and november.
            ASU should refuse all late starts in October and November (if they could), due to the fact they’re required to have them during their september games.

            Like

          • morganwick says:

            The Big Ten has a bunch of people like Brian who pine for the good old days before money infested college football and delude themselves into thinking it isn’t basically a pro league that doesn’t have to pay their players.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “A lot of the B1G scheduling so many 11 am local starts has been the conference’s choice since they have a much more limited prime time schedule.”

            It’s only 11 am for less than half of the conference. I’d be fine with only the East hosting noon games.

            I’m sure glad we added November night games so everyone could watch that important OSU/IL game at 8pm in near-freezing weather with a sub-freezing wind chill. That’s so much better than a noon kickoff and playing the game in the sunshine.

            “ESPN and BTN would actually much rather have more late afternoon and prime time games than those early starts.”

            ESPN has to fill their noon slots with somebody. So does the BTN. I’m sure the B10 would be happy to allow more 3:30 starts, but that isn’t what the networks seem to want from the B10. They want night games.

            “For whatever reason, there’s actually a strong faction in the Big Ten that likes those early starts”

            Because football is meant to be played in daylight. And because noon is as close as you can get to the traditional starting time of 1:30 (before TV moved games into windows). And because you can get home (or part way, at least) before dinner after the game. And because it’s much easier and safer to drive home in bad weather in the afternoon than at night. And because you don’t need to get a motel room. And because fewer fans get as blindingly drunk before a noon game. And because you can go home and watch other games, including the big national ones, after yours ends.

            “(see the insistence of many Michigan and Ohio State fans to play their rivalry game at 12 pm ET even though TV interests would definitely push it later in the day every year if they had their way).”

            TV has other rivalries they can show later in the day. It’s like saying the Rose Bowl should move to 8pm if TV wanted the change to make more money. The Game is an early kickoff. That’s part of what makes it what it is. They made the mistake of moving it to 3:30 in 2006 but hopefully that doesn’t happen again. Unfortunately, it’s more likely to happen again since both stadiums have permanent lights now. The ADs are pretty firm about not moving it to prime time, though.

            “Personally, I hate them, but I live in the Central Time Zone”

            Mistake #1

            “where it’s tougher to tailgate for very long at that start time”

            I never was big on tailgating, certainly not for an extended time.

            “(or, if you’re a student, wake up from the night before).”

            I never found it hard to get up to go to a noon game. Of course, I was getting up for an OSU game and you were getting up for an IL game. Maybe that was the problem, not the time?

            Like

          • greg says:

            “For whatever reason, there’s actually a strong faction in the Big Ten that likes those early starts.”

            It must be the power brokers. Nearly every Iowa fan I’ve ever spoken to prefers the old school 1pm kick. Same with the Wisky and Illinois fans I know.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            greg,

            “It must be the power brokers. Nearly every Iowa fan I’ve ever spoken to prefers the old school 1pm kick. Same with the Wisky and Illinois fans I know.”

            Unfortunately, TV has taken that option away. They’ve been forcing the 12, 3:30 or prime time windows. I think many schools and fans would prefer the old early afternoon starts. Since they can’t, many schools have preferred the noon start to avoid needing lights for the end of the game.

            Like

          • dtwphx says:

            The problem with night games is that if you live 2 hours from the stadium, you’re required to get a hotel room, unless you enjoy getting home at 2 or 3am.

            Like

    • morganwick says:

      ? NBC and CBS have at least one Saturday night game a year, and CBS has close to at least one noon start per year. Are they really that much rarer than ABC noon starts, especially once you factor out the RRR and OSU/Michigan?

      Like

  16. Carl says:

    The next few months should be quite fun. 🙂

    Like

  17. Rich says:

    I still believe that any college football playoff system should be restricted to conference champions. All conference champions, by the way, MAC, Sun Belt, et al included. A playoff has nothing to do with determining the “best” team. That really isn’t possible without every team playing each other. A playoff is about determining a champion. Each conference sends its champion to the national playoff and the winner of that is the National Champion. That’s simple, clean, elegant and everybody knows the rules. Now selection committee b.s.

    Like

  18. Rich says:

    I still wonder if the Big Ten wouldn’t be interested in expanding into the South. Schools like Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Ga Tech. Even Clemson, FSU and Miami (FL). I’d even bring in the three military academies. Surely that collection of teams would bring enough revenue to “pay their way” into the conference. And then the Big Ten has an even bigger recruiting footprint. And lots of negotiation power.

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      The first four you mentioned — UVa, UNC, GaTech and Duke — fit B1G criteria both academically and athletically, and often have been discussed as contenders here. (This is assuming UNC athletics doesn’t receive a program-changing “death penalty” a la Southern Methodist in 1987.) If either Florida school or even Clemson gains AAU status (not likely for Clemson), they could be in the mix, too. None of the military academics have the type of athletic program that would fit in with the B1G — and given their mission, I frankly wouldn’t want them to (even if the idea of Maryland vs. Navy in all sports under the Big Ten aegis has some tantalizing appeal to it for this College Park alumnus).

      Like

      • Kevin says:

        Having spent sometime in NC for business I just don’t think there is a cultural fit between fan bases. I am sure it would be a good fit for the leadership of the institutions but the fan bases/alumni need to be considered as well. I think long-term for the B1G it is probably in its best interest for the ACC to survive. The Big 12 on the other hand could dissolve with some going to the ACC and some to Pac 12 or maybe even the B1G.

        Like

        • Rich says:

          Kevin, I understand your point about cultural fit. I believe that by adding all the teams I mentioned, the resulting ultra-conference would be able to keep different cultural identities. You’d have an ACC side and a Big Ten side. The only thing they would have to agree on would be to maximize their monetary income. And that’s pretty easy to do: get the max TV contract you can.

          Like

      • Rich says:

        I understand the AAU requirement and all the academic stuff and as Kevin says about the cultural fit. However, I believe the Big Ten needs to forget about those criteria and go big. If the demographic/economic shifting continues the way it is now, the Big Ten is going to have a very difficult time competing on the football field. Now, I’m not saying this is the right thing to do from the standpoint of their missions as institutes of higher learning. But, they’ve already compromised all those principles for money. Why not go all in?

        Like

        • Brian says:

          If the B10 goes super size, does that actually help with the demographic issues? You’re basically talking about two separate conferences with a small scheduling agreement in the revenue sports. That won’t really help the B10 gain access to those areas.

          Like

          • urbanleftbehind says:

            You would have to have an expansion that takes both a mix of ACC schools and maybe some mid-South dogs (Tulane, Memphis, OK State if TX-OK alone join the Pac, perhaps Rice if you want to remain true to institutional integrity) and realign more or less along N-S corridors to ensure that the Paul Bunyan/Swede schools (UNL, Iowa, MN, WI) and UI/NU/PU/IU arent left out in some sort of demographic/talent purgatory.

            Like

          • kylepeter says:

            Why take any mid-south dogs? Find a way to get Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas plus 3 more from the ACC.

            Like

    • Transic_nyc says:

      I read a possible scenario that may shake some of those schools loose. What if Texas, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Florida State and Clemson decided that they’d be better off if they found a conference of their own? Such a collection of schools would be compelling for other schools to join in. Let’s say it’s Texas, Notre Dame, Florida State, Clemson, Miami, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma? Notre Dame would want to play some schools in the East. So Pitt, Syracuse and Boston College join up. West Virginia would almost certainly be part. Louisville would join to help bridge the gap. Then it becomes a matter of who the last four would be.

      I could then see the Big Ten offer Kansas, Virginia, UNC and Duke and the SEC offer Virginia Tech and NC State. That means it’s a race between Iowa State, Kansas State, TCU, Baylor, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Wake Forest and maybe a move up from the G5. Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech become the Central Time Zone outposts for the PAC. TCU and Baylor stay in the proposed conference. That leaves two more spaces for a BYU, Connecticut or Cincinnati. Wake might then move down to the American.

      Southwest: Texas, Oklahoma, TCU, Baylor
      Northeast: Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College
      Southeast: Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami
      National: BYU, Louisville, Cincinnati, West Virginia

      If the PAC refuses those four I mentioned then go to 20 teams

      BYU, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech, TCU
      Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia
      Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College
      Louisville, FSU, Miami, GT, Clemson

      The SEC could look like this:

      TAMU, AR, LSU, MO
      MS, Miss St, Alabama, Auburn
      KY, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Virginia Tech
      NC State, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida

      The Big Ten could look like this:

      KS, NE, IA, MN, WI, NU
      IL, PU, IN, MSU, UM, OSU
      PSU, RU, UMD, UVA, Duke, UNC

      Don’t take it personally if you don’t like my idea. It’s just an idea on what it would take to restart realignment madness. It’s certainly an intriguing idea, especially the 16-school idea I just mentioned.

      Like

  19. Eric says:

    Nice to read your thoughts again Frank. My thoughts:

    1. I am firmly in the camp that says an 8 team playoff would be very bad for regular season viewership long term. A reason we have so many nationally relevant games is that there are no automatic bids and losses across the country effect a great many teams. When I have the time, I’m watching games involving Kansas State, TCU, Florida State, Oregon, several SEC teams, etc because I know my team might well not control it’s destiny. Even if Ohio State was undefeated and did, I’d be hoping one of those lost so that we might be able to afford a loss. Fanbases across the country are doing the same thing either because their team is stands a chance or they are casual observers who know a loss really matters.

    If you change that to any set-up with automatic bids though, then most that interest I naturally have in the rest of the country slips away (I’d still care, but that’s as a college football junkie only). I think the sport would gradually become much more regionalized again for the regular season with Midwestern fans mostly concerned with the Big Ten, west coast fans with the PAC-12, etc, but with many fewer games that would draw at current levels.

    I know the counter example people often point to is the NFL, but I think the NFL is a different beast, especially when you add in betting and fantasy.

    2. I agree that if 2 great programs emerge the Big 12 would jump at them. That said, I don’t think they are going to be doing any reaching and actually think the 10 team model is going to work out pretty well. There are issues to be sure, but money only has to be divided 10 ways (including an equal share of CFP money which goes further with fewer members), the round robin is nice, and if the CFP is anything like the BCS, the lack of a CCG is more likely to help Big 12 teams than hurt them (it will probably do both, but I’d guess help more).

    3. If we did go to an 8 team playoff, I would want your model. I sadly don’t think they’d even seriously consider it.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Despite the rhetoric, the P5 have really done more since the BCS to separate their branding from the G5. Bowlsby has seemed to do less of this than others, talking about “higher resource” conferences.

      I think its going to be harder for the G5.

      Like

    • m(Ag) says:

      I join you in being firmly against playoff expansion. Even if I felt it was a good idea for college athletes to play even more high-level football games in a season, I would not be a fan. Auto-bids would certainly remove national interest from many games, and several top teams would rightly feel they could safely drop a game at the end of the year.

      I also may be the only one to say this, but I’ve found the playoff discussion has hurt my enjoyment of college football this season. In seemingly every game (regardless of the participants) the announcers wander away from covering the game in order to drone on about the playoffs (and their own personal brackets) incessantly. It’s worse than the BCS ever was.

      I have the same feelings when I go into a store the first week in November and they’re playing Christmas music; there’s a time & a place for everything, and that isn’t it.

      Like

      • greg says:

        “I also may be the only one to say this, but I’ve found the playoff discussion has hurt my enjoyment of college football this season.”

        You’re not the only one, and I’ve actually seen some media members complain about the CFP coverage.

        Unfortunately, the CFP dominates ALL discussion.

        I subscribe to a bunch of college football podcasts, and they are obsessed with the playoff. I’ve stopped listening to most of them, because the discussion focuses on a limited number of teams, and half the teams will lose again so its pointless to speculate until we get much closer.

        Like

      • bob sykes says:

        I agree. The playoff system is killing interest for teams out of the top ten. Actually if you want good college football arguments, you should be opposed to any playoff series (or the BCS). 1970 was probably the best year for football fans: three polls nominated three national champions–Nebraska, Ohio State and Texas. It doesn’t get any better than that.

        Like

        • Kevin says:

          Completely agree that the playoff is somewhat killing the regular season. Obviously we’ve crossed the Rubicon but I have no appetite for an 8 team playoff. Might as well kill the bowl system and there will be very little interest other than for the top 8-10 teams.

          I think Delany thought this playoff would motivate schools to schedule better OOC games. I think it may do the opposite as the committee is only giving credit for wins and not so much for losses. They basically said a loss is a loss. In basketball they give teams credit for their tough schedules and even their good losses. Why would anyone want to go on the road to play an Oregon etc.. ? People may do neutral site games but it discourages home and homes. Really unfortunate.

          Like

        • morganwick says:

          And for many, many people, or at least the powers that be, the reaction was “What! Three national champions! We can’t have that! We need a playoff to determine a single national champion!”

          Like

          • Brian says:

            No, the powers that be didn’t have that reaction at all. Otherwise it wouldn’t have taken over 40 years to get a playoff. Some fans wanted it (a lot fewer then than now). It was fan pressure plus the realization of the money available that made it happen.

            Like

      • Brian says:

        I think lots of fans are with you on this (and some of us predicted it). The playoff will make more money but it’s hurting the sport I used to love.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I don’t agree that its hurting it at all. But the “horse race” discussions can be annoying.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            When two mid tier teams who have no shot at the top level are playing a good game, I want to watch and be entertained by that game. I don’t want to have broadcast time usurped to discuss teams not involved, and often not even in the conference or region of the teams being broadcast, in a kind of in game Sports Center type of episode. This happens all the time and does diminish everyone not in the championship discussion. You know, 90+% of football and their fan bases.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            And even if a top team is playing, I’d rather focus on the current game than how it impacts their standing. Now everything is about playoff contention or else irrelevant.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I guess I’ve been watching Fox, FS1 & CBS a lot and hadn’t noticed it so much.

            ESPN today doesn’t seem to talk about anything but the playoff. Its just constant. That’s a problem with ESPN constantly promoting its January product, not a playoff issue. The discussion isn’t so constant elsewhere.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I was just subjected to a espnesque litany of how the playoff has created the most interest in college FB, ever.
            On a local radio pre game broadcast.
            Before a game involving two absolute non contenders.

            I wouldn’t mind mentioning the impact of important top games, but they would be important today, during BCS, or in the seventies. The post season format does not decide/create their importance.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Not a lot of B10 games on the channels you mentioned.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I was watching Georgia-Kentucky today and flipped briefly to Iowa-Minnesota on ESPN2. Nothing but the playoff race talk.

            Like

  20. Arch Stanton says:

    A couple of things I don’t understand about the Selection Committee:

    1. Why are they ranking the teams 25 deep? Just because the AP poll did for however many years? Seems like a waste of their time to bother deciding who should be 24th and who 25th, for example. Why do more far more work than you need to and open yourself up to more criticism when the fans of the 24th ranked team are offended that they aren’t 23rd.
    Imagine if the NCAA basketball selection committee put out a ranking of 250 teams in January. What a stupid waste of time that would be.

    2. Why rank the teams at all right now? It’s better than starting with preseason rankings, of course, but totally irrelevant to say “if the season ended today, these 4 would be in” when the season doesn’t end today and several of the top teams still have to play each other. I think once you crown someone as the #1 team in October, you are going to be biased towards them in December, for example.

    If they must release anything now, I would suggest putting out an unranked list of the top ten teams meriting discussion for the 4 team playoff after each week. That way you don’t have everyone screaming out when the committee rewards a team in the last week for winning their conference title by moving them into the playoff.
    Imagine the outcry if Big 12 Champion TCU were rewarded for winning their conference and moved ahead of Alabama (who didn’t win even their division in this scenario) into the 4th playoff spot. But, if the committee hadn’t been ranking Alabama as “better” than TCU for the last month of the season, there would be much less ruckus.

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      The “unranked” list is a good idea, reminds me of that poster who lists the remaining undefeated teams and “draw deads” after every weekend. I would also add a filter of “not to be considered if there are more than 1 FCS and/or 3 G5 teams on a team’s schedule”. in terms of pushback, I would imagine an exception might be sought for intra-state games that are mainly to help a lower-tier program (e.g. UCLA hosting Sac State, OSU and Youngstown, LSU – McNeese and the like).

      Like

      • bullet says:

        I’ll take Boise, BYU and ECU over Indiana, Kansas and Washington St. any day.

        Too much is made of this “P5” stuff. And some is marketing by the bottom of the P5 to separate themselves from the G5. They have already separated themselves financially.

        Like

    • m(Ag) says:

      1) The number 25 was certainly chosen for tradition, but it also has the advantage that nearly all of the teams the committee slots in a bowl will have a rank, so you will know exactly where they stand. Remember, they’re not just slotting the 4 playoff bowls; they’re assigning teams to 6 bowls, including some automatic bids. For instance, if FSU wins the ACC and gets one of the spots in the Sugar or Rose, they will choose the next best ACC team for the Orange Bowl. Now, they could just declare who that team is without numbers, but with a list fans will be able to see (for example) #19 Duke got in just ahead of #21 Clemson. That said, there still might be an unranked team getting an automatic bid (there was no non-power 5 team ranked this week).

      The conferences with more good teams (SEC right now, probably the Pac 12 & maybe the Big 12), will definitely be happy that there are rankings, as they will remind the public how many of their teams are being skipped over to bring in another ACC team or non-Power 5 team. That in turn, helps give prestige to their bowls outside the system.

      2) I think it was probably a good idea to release an early version last week, as it helps everyone understand how they’re looking at the field. But I think most people agree it doesn’t make sense to do it weekly (except for ESPN’s ratings), as it probably keeps the committee from truly starting fresh when they rank teams at the end of the year.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Arch Stanton,

      “1. Why are they ranking the teams 25 deep?”

      Because it provides the pool of teams with a shot at the big 6 bowls. Knowing how close you are to #12 is important. Also, the top G5 champ gets a big bowl slot and is unlikely to be in smaller poll than 25. In addition, the fans are used to 25.

      “2. Why rank the teams at all right now?”

      http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/selection-committee-faqs

      These interim rankings will provide transparency and will enable teams and fans to understand the current state of play.

      In other words, the fans want to know where the teams stand so they know who to root for and against. It also helps show how the committee thinks, so fans can check that the same reasoning holds in the future (we value X over Y, etc). It will also inform schools on scheduling decisions (Was MSU playing at OR helpful or would a cupcake have been better?).

      Like

  21. Mike says:

    Great article from the SBJ, “With major media rights deals done, how will networks grow revenue?”

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2014/11/03/In-Depth/Networks-main.aspx

    At the bottom of the article includes a chart detailing the amount and length of TV deals. The chart shows that the SEC extended their entire ESPN deal (not just the SECN) through 2034.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      First I’ve seen numbers on the SEC contract-$6 billion over 20 years. That comes to an average of $21.4 million/school. If you use a flat 3% escalation that comes to $18.3 million average over the next 10 years. Coupled with their CBS contract, that totals $22.2 million. If you use a 4% escalation, it comes to $21.2.

      Of course, their numbers are rounded, so you can’t be particularly precise. If that $6 billion is actually $5.8 or $6.2, that changes those numbers by about $.7 million/school/year.

      Like

  22. JS says:

    Teams should be ranked by fewest losses, ties broken by a sos formula which is trumped only by a P5 conference championship. (For example, a 12-1 P5 champ would outrank any other 1 loss non-champ; for 2 one loss P5 champs, sos is the tie-breaker.) A committee should be empowered to intervene only in extraordinary circumstances provided it offers a detailed public justification.

    The new system will prove untenable; its too subjective and forces situations which vary wildly from year to year to fit a rigid template. Alas, Frank is right about the inevitablilty of an 8 team playoff with P5 autobids, sooner rather than later.

    Like

  23. Brian says:

    Frank,

    “So, I’ve spent quite a bit of time once again contemplating the next (and probably final) phase of playoff expansion: the 8-team playoff with all 5 power conference champs receiving auto-bids. If it were up to me, we would just use the traditional bowl arrangements to slot the teams:

    Rose Bowl: Big Ten champ vs. Pac-12 champ
    Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs. at-large
    Fiesta Bowl: Big 12 champ vs. at-large
    Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs. at-large”

    I don’t see the SEC and B12 splitting up. I’d prefer yours for the sake of tradition, but more likely is:

    Rose Bowl: Big Ten champ vs. Pac-12 champ
    Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs. Big 12 champ
    Fiesta Bowl: at-large vs. at-large
    Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs. at-large

    We need a few years of the current system to see whether the G5 look like they should get an autobid in an expanded system. I tend to think we’ll see this:

    Playoff:

    Quarters:
    Rose Bowl: Big Ten champ vs. Pac-12 champ
    Sugar Bowl: SEC champ vs. Big 12 champ
    Fiesta Bowl: at-large vs. at-large
    Orange Bowl: ACC champ vs. at-large

    Semis (consider rankings and geography, but this is default):
    Citrus Bowl: Rose Bowl winner vs Orange Bowl winner
    Alamo Bowl: Sugar Bowl winner vs Fiesta Bowl winner

    NCG:
    Neutral site:

    Major bowls:
    Peach Bowl: at-large vs. at-large*
    Cotton Bowl: at-large vs. at-large*

    * – Highest ranking G5 champ is guaranteed a spot in one of the major bowls if they don’t make the playoff.

    Major bowls and semis sites rotate (a semi 1 year, a bowl the next).

    Like

    • bullet says:

      If this happens, the Rose stays Big 10/Pac 12 and the Sugar Big 12/SEC and the Orange ACC vs. ?. Each of those 5 would keep their money from those bowls. Only the 4th playoff bowl, any 5th or 6th NYD bowls, half the Orange and the semi-finals and finals would be pooled. More important than the money to the conferences is the fact that they would control the revenue streams from those games.

      I would prefer an 8 team playoff to have the quarter-finals at home sites in December, but I think its more likely they do it on NYD.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        “I would prefer an 8 team playoff to have the quarter-finals at home sites in December, but I think its more likely they do it on NYD.”

        I’d prefer the earlier start, but I just don’t see true home sites as viable for many northern schools (especially if TV demands night games). Maybe regional neutral sites could cover for them using the northern domes.

        Quarters – mid-December (2 weeks after the CCGs, 1 week after Army/Navy)
        Semis – 1/1
        NCG – 2nd Monday of January

        Like

        • Kevin says:

          Would think having quarter final games in Mid-December would be a very tough sell with the University Presidents given that time is usually Finals week. .

          Like

          • Brian says:

            I don’t think there is any solution they’d really like. If they don’t start until 1/1, it goes to far into January. I don’t think right around Christmas is when they want to start, either.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Timing is difficult unless you are willing to move the season forward one week. Really a typical home/road game doesn’t have much impact on finals. Some basketball teams play then. FCS, Division II and Division III play games then. But it isn’t really a good time for TV and it gets worse as you get closer to Christmas.

            After NYD, you start to conflict with the NFL playoffs and run into the issue of 3 straight off-campus sites. Also you get into the 2nd semester. I don’t know why the latter is an issue, but the presidents talk about it.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            All your seniors would have to attend fall semester classes to be eligible if the season crossed over. 🙂

            Like

  24. bullet says:

    I’m not sure they stick with that 6th bowl they have now. Noon on NYE just isn’t a good time slot. So you get
    Afternoon NYE bowl 5 Wildcard vs. Wildcard
    Night NYE Fiesta or Cotton Wildcard vs. Wildcard playoff
    Noon NYD Orange ACC vs. Wildcard playoff
    Afternoon NYD Rose Big 10 vs. Pac 12 playoff
    Night NYD Sugar Big 12 vs. SEC playoff

    One of the 5 wildcard teams would be the G5 champ. I don’t see them automatically getting one of the 3 wildcard playoff slots though.

    Peach and Fiesta would make good semi-final sites. Peach is relatively accessible and Fiesta has good weather. Cotton tends to have cold weather like the Peach and is west of most of the schools like the Fiesta, so it might be better as a quarter-final

    Like

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      “I’m not sure they stick with that 6th bowl they have now. Noon on NYE just isn’t a good time slot.”

      If you build it, sports fans will come. People have always doubted moving games into new time slots, but it almost always works for football. Let’s give the current system a few years before declaring it a failure.

      “One of the 5 wildcard teams would be the G5 champ. I don’t see them automatically getting one of the 3 wildcard playoff slots though.”

      I didn’t either, I just locked in a major bowl slot.

      “Peach and Fiesta would make good semi-final sites. Peach is relatively accessible and Fiesta has good weather. Cotton tends to have cold weather like the Peach and is west of most of the schools like the Fiesta, so it might be better as a quarter-final”

      The Cotton is indoors now, so who cares? I wanted 2 geographically separate sites for each pair, and I got TX/GA and TX/FL. That’s decent for everyone except the P12.

      Like

  25. morganwick says:

    I suppose a lot depends on what you think would replace the current cable television ecosystem once it collapses. Personally, I’m rooting for a system that would make a considerable space for broadcast television, mostly because I think linear television, properly applied, has some technical advantages that could still give it a place in an Internet-centered future, even if we don’t see it at the moment because even linear television channels are still being delivered to computers using the Internet as an intermediary (and in fact I think this may be the underlying reason for the sports rights boom no one is talking about – live events like sports are the entire purpose of linear television anymore). If this is the case, I actually think the ACC is the best positioned of the power conferences, even as they think about going backwards on that front. Unfortunately, at the moment there’s no short-term money for anyone except possibly the always-powerless-and-ignorant consumer in bringing about that future…

    Like

  26. Brian says:

    http://bloguin.com/thestudentsection/2014/college-footballs-emergent-absurdity-why-its-time-for-divisions-to-be-eliminated.html

    An idea for deregulated CCGs that probably has zero chance of ever happening.

    What we have here are three basic avenues for the power conferences as far as their conference championship games are concerned:

    1) If there’s uncertainty as to the best team in the conference — either due to two teams not having played each other or a tie existing in the conference standings (or both) — a traditional conference championship game can be played.

    2) If the conference champion is already clear but the second- and third-place teams are both in contention for a spot in the College Football Playoff, hand over the conference title game spot to those two teams, and have them contest a game for playoff leverage and, hopefully (from a conference commissioner’s point of view), inclusion in the four-team bonanza.

    3) If neither of the above scenarios are in play — the 2011 season certainly brought this to the forefront in the Pac-12 and the SEC — invite a team from another conference, especially if not in a league with a conference title game (cough, Big 12, cough).

    Like

  27. Brian says:

    http://www.si.com/college-football/2014/11/07/nebraska-players-financial-adviser-extra-benefits

    Some former NE players are saying they got illegal benefits while in school.

    Like

  28. Brian says:

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/fplus2014

    F/+ top 10:
    1. AU – 37.5%

    2. OR – 35.2%
    3. MS St
    4. MS
    5. AL – 33.4%

    6. OU – 32.0%

    7. OSU – 28.9%
    8. FSU
    9. LSU
    10. TCU – 27.4%

    Like

  29. bullet says:

    Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, Jameis Winston.
    If FSU wins the MNC, is that the death of college football?

    Its just beyond disgusting. I don’t really think he point-shaved, but he’s such a scumbag, people at least consider it. He’s got his attorney tweeting the name of the accuser. Penn ST. at least finally did the right thing. Will FSU?–Not before the title game.

    Like

  30. Brian says:

    Well, OU can say good bye to their dim playoff hopes.

    And yeesh, Iowa. What was that? Are you suddenly allergic to pork?

    Like

  31. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/11840940/ex-north-carolina-tar-heels-football-player-files-lawsuit-citing-university-sham-classes

    Former UNC football player is suing UNC because he was promised a good education and then pressed into the fake classes.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      NCAA needs to pressure them to settle. They really don’t want this as a precedent. Perfect case for the plaintiffs. They cheat, but kick him out for cheating.

      Like

  32. Brian says:

    Interesting. ND gets whooped and AU fumbles away their chance at the playoff.

    And kudos to UT for beating WV.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Brian says:

    CFP poll prediction:

    1. MS St
    2. FSU (if they win)
    3. OR (if they win)
    4. AL (if they win)
    5. TCU/KSU winner

    FSU (if they lose)

    6. ASU
    7. MSU/OSU winner

    OR, AL (if they lose)

    8. AU
    9. MS
    10. Baylor

    LSU if they win

    11. TCU/KSU loser

    Utah if they win

    12. NE
    13. ND

    Like

  34. Brian says:

    Duke is looking really likely to win the ACC Coastal again.

    Duke (4-1) has home games versus 1-4 VT, 2-3 UNC and 0-5 WF left.
    GT (5-2) only has home versus 6-1 Clemson left.
    Miami (3-2) has home versus 5-0 FSU, at 2-3 UVA and home versus 2-3 Pitt.

    Duke beat GT but lost to Miami, while GT beat Miami

    Likely results:
    1. Duke goes 7-1 and wins it
    2. Duke goes 6-2 and wins it
    3. 3 way tie at 5-3

    Like

  35. ccrider55 says:

    Ha!
    Early celebrating a touchdown turns into a 14 point swing the other way for UO.

    Like

  36. dtwphx says:

    1am sunday. Another great PAC12 game.
    Who says college teams don’t play on sunday.
    Hopefully people will catch some highlights between watching NFL pre game.

    gets me thinking, the American should play games at
    11am eastern, saturdays and sundays to get some exposure.

    The NFL can’t play on saturday, but can college play on sunday?

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      As long is its not BYU, though BYU has played a few 10:00am local starts on Saturday mornings.

      I wonder if Brian ever did Keg n Eggs when in Cols.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Yep, though usually at home rather than at the bar. I lived on the north side of campus and the bars were on the south side, a good 30 minute walk.

        Like

  37. Brian says:

    Congratulations to Northern Iowa. They beat NDSU 23-3 to end their 33 game winning streak.

    Like

  38. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/102718/playoff-picture-week-12

    This is the sort of ESPN coverage that bothers me.

    4 teams that helped themselves the most or hurt themselves the most as far as the CFP chase (in order).

    Helped the most:
    1. TCU
    2. Baylor
    3. ASU
    4. Marshall

    Hurt the most:
    1. ND
    2. AU
    3. KSU
    4. Big Ten

    The Big Ten: You thought Ohio State helped itself, didn’t you? It did. But it’s also all the Big Ten has. Sure, the Buckeyes looked good in their win at Michigan State, but they lost at home to a Virginia Tech team that is now 4-5 and in last place in the ACC’s Coastal Division. And there’s nothing else on their schedule — including the Big Ten title game — that’s going to do much to further boost their playoff résumé (especially if Nebraska can’t beat Wisconsin). The best scenario for the Big Ten would have been for Michigan State to keep winning with style. Now, the Buckeyes have to hope the committee considers Braxton Miller’s injury was a factor in Week 2 against the Hokies, when J.T. Barrett was making his first career start in front of a home crowd. They also have to hope the committee was so impressed with the win in East Lansing that it makes up for no other wins against a ranked opponent, save for maybe Nebraska in the title game. Is one win against a ranked team enough to be in the top four?

    Really? Unranked Marshall helped themselves more by beating USM than OSU did by beating MSU on the road? As for their B10 critique:

    1. What else does the ACC have besides FSU?
    2. Yes, it was a terrible loss. But you mention the possible mitigating factors later.
    3. Why throw in a jab at NE? There’s no reason to assume they can’t beat WI.
    4. Yes, MSU would have had an easier path. So what? Why is it only a crippling blow when the top teams beat each other in the B10?
    5. Why are you comparing a conference to teams?

    Like

  39. Brian says:

    Well, OSU now has some very slim hope of making the CFP. Frankly, I think we’re better off not making it this year (be #5 and win a bowl and claim you should have been in) but we could win a semi depending on the match-up. But for OSU to make it, they need some help obviously.

    In the playoff – FSU, SEC W champ, probably SEC #2

    1. B10 best case scenario
    OSU wins out (MN, IN, MI, CCG over 11-1 NE)
    NE wins out (WI, MN, IA) until the CCG
    MN beats WI

    2. P12 – ASU and OR both lose a game (ASU still has AZ and OR could lose the CCG)
    3. B12 – TCU (unlikely) and Baylor (still play KSU) both lose a game

    If all that happens, I think OSU is a lock. I don’t think OSU will pass OR or TCU without a loss, though, so I’m not holding my breath.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Everybody is beatable this year. Anyone who gets in the playoff has a decent shot. FSU and Alabama could easily both have 3 losses this year. Mississippi St. hasn’t dominated anyone but South Alabama, Southern Mississippi and UT-Martin. Oregon is very Jekyll and Hyde. TCU blew a 21 point lead in 8 minutes.

      Like

    • mnfanstc says:

      That’s not a B1G “best” scenario… That’s an Ohio State “best” scenario… The way the B1G is looked at this year (fair or not), is likely that no one makes the “play-off”.

      Personally, I’d like nothing better than a Gopher’s upset of tOSU this Saturday… I really don’t see it happening ’cause the Gophers just played a near perfect game in the beat-down of hated Iowa (rah!). But… a man can dream…

      If the Gophers do nothing else but win the ‘Axe’, this season would be an absolutely enormous success… All 4 of the rivalry trophies would be in the Gopher’s trophy case at the same time. That would be the 3 important ones (Floyd, The Axe, The Jug) and the made-up one (Governor’s Victory Bell). 1967 was the last time the Gophers had all in the same year. Also, was last year Gophers won B1G title (of ‘course it was shared that year)…

      A shot at the conference title is still 100% in the Gopher’s own control…

      Like

      • Brian says:

        mnfanstc,

        “That’s not a B1G “best” scenario… That’s an Ohio State “best” scenario… The way the B1G is looked at this year (fair or not), is likely that no one makes the “play-off”.”

        I thought it was clear I was talking about the best case scenario in the B10 for OSU. I mentioned OSU would need help just before saying this, and went on to say what needed to happen in 2 other conferences to help OSU.

        And I started by pointing out that OSU had very slim hopes of making the playoff. But if enough teams lose 2 games, eventually a 12-1 OSU could make it into the top 4.

        “Personally, I’d like nothing better than a Gopher’s upset of tOSU this Saturday… I really don’t see it happening ’cause the Gophers just played a near perfect game in the beat-down of hated Iowa (rah!). But… a man can dream…”

        I was glad MN played so well because I think it’ll help OSU not overlook them. It was setup to be a quintessential trap game, but the score against IA should adjust their attitudes.

        “If the Gophers do nothing else but win the ‘Axe’, this season would be an absolutely enormous success… All 4 of the rivalry trophies would be in the Gopher’s trophy case at the same time.”

        I was glad MN finally won the jug again. It had been a very long time. Even ignoring how it would help OSU, I’d love to see MN win the axe to reignite that rivalry. Those games are always more fun to watch when you think either team has a decent chance to win.

        Like

    • GB says:

      So long as Ohio state runs the table there is a good chance. The SEC may not even get one team in. Let’s face some facts here. The SEC is down. Both Mississippi teams good at the same time? Really? Or maybe bama and auburn and lsu are down a bit. Both Mississippi schools are solid, but top 5 ish? Doubtful. Not both of them.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        It’ll be hard to not have a single SEC team get in. I think any 2 loss SEC West champ is in. Maybe if the East champ (probably 3 losses) wins the CCG.

        East:
        7-2/4-1 MO
        7-2/5-2 UGA
        5-3/4-3 UF

        West:
        9-0/5-0 MS St
        8-1/4-1 AL
        8-2/4-2 MS
        7-2/4-2 AU

        11/15
        MS St @ AL
        AU @ UGA

        11/22
        MS @ AR
        VU @ MS St
        Samford @ AU
        WCU @ AL

        11/29
        AU @ AL
        MS St @ MS

        MS St could lose twice in the West, and AU could beat AL to get everyone to at least 2 losses. But whoever wins the West seems likely to make the playoff if they finish with 2 losses.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          If Oregon, Baylor, TCU, FSU and Ohio St. win out, its hard to see a 2 loss SEC team beating 2 of them out. Only MSU and Alabama is ahead of enough of them now and Alabama would have to lose 1 and MSU 2. Meanwhile Oregon, Baylor and Ohio St. have some tough games ahead, so it seems unlikely Ole Miss or Auburn jump them.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Unless Baylor loses, TCU is out (head to head win, B12 champ, and the B12 isn’t getting 2 teams in). That just leaves OSU, which has the worst loss of any of the contenders and a pretty easy schedule (MSU, maybe MN, and the West champ as the only ranked opponents).

            AL would play MS St, AU and the East champ. Going 2-1 would get them in the top 4.
            AU beating UGA, AL and the East champ would probably get in.
            MS beating MS St and the East champ would probably get in.
            MS St would play AL, MS and the East champ. Going 1-2 still might get them in.

            But based on game locations, AL is by far the most likely SEC West champ.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Brian ~ quite. OSU winning out is not enough on its own to be likely pass a 2-loss SEC Champion from the SEC West … it seems like someone still ahead of OSU would have to stumble, or else an upset win by the SEC East Division champion.

            Mind, it may be long odds of any specific team stumbling, but the combined odds of somebody stumbling and opening up a spot are more reasonable.

            Like

  40. Brian says:

    http://collegefootball.ap.org/poll

    AP poll:
    1. MS St
    2. FSU
    3. OR
    4. AL
    5. TCU
    6. Baylor
    7. ASU
    8. OSU
    9. AU
    10. MS
    11. NE
    12. MSU

    22. WI

    Like

  41. Brian says:

    http://sportspolls.usatoday.com/ncaa/football/polls/coaches-poll/

    Coaches poll:
    1. MS St
    2. FSU
    3. AL
    4. OR
    5. TCU
    6. Baylor
    7. OSU
    8. ASU
    9. AU
    10. MS
    11. NE
    12. MSU

    22. WI

    Like

  42. duffman says:

    Heading into the third playoff vote : 2 zero loss, 8 one loss, and 13 two loss teams

    0 loss teams (excluding Marshall)
    ACC | Florida State
    B 12 | none
    B1G | none
    I ND | none
    PAC | none
    SEC | Mississippi State

    1 loss teams (excluding Gang of 5 teams and IND’s other than Notre Dame)
    ACC | Duke
    B 12 | Baylor + TCU
    B1G | Ohio State + Nebraska
    I ND | none
    PAC | Oregon + Arizona State
    SEC | Alabama

    2 loss teams (excluding Gang of 5 teams and IND’s other than Notre Dame)
    ACC | Clemson + Georgia Tech
    B 12 | Kansas State
    B1G | Michigan State + Minnesota + Wisconsin
    I ND | Notre Dame
    PAC | UCLA + Arizona
    SEC | Missouri + Georgia + Mississippi + Auburn
    .

    …..

    .
    Week 11 holds with 2 undefeated again
    FBS football = 3 of 128 remain (2.4%)

    Big 5 = 2 of 64 remain (3.125%)

    ACC —- 1 of 14 or 7.14% remain
    Atlantic : Florida State (9-0, 6-0)
    Costal : None after Week 7
    Florida State @ Miami (6-3, 3-2)

    B12 —- 0 of 10 remain | None after week 8

    B1G —- 0 of 14 remain
    East : NONE after Week 5 | West : NONE after Week 6

    PAC —- 0 of 12 remain
    North : NONE after week 6 | South : NONE after week 7

    SEC —- 1 of 14 or 7.14% remain
    East : NONE after Week 4
    West : Mississippi State (9-0, 5-0)
    Mississippi State @ Alabama (8-1, 5-1)Mississippi State
    .

    .
    non Big 5 = 1 of 64 remain (1.5625%)

    MWC : NONE after Week 3 // 0 of 12 remain
    SUNB : NONE after Week 3 // 0 of 11 remain
    MAC : NONE after Week 4 // 0 of 13 remain
    AAC : NONE after Week 5 // 0 of 11 remain
    IND : NONE after Week 8 // 0 of 4 remain
    CUSA : Marshall (9-0, 5-0) // 1 of 13 remain or 7.69%
    Rice (6-3, 4-1) @ Marshall
    Bowl eligible Loki!
    .

    .
    Drawing dead after Week 3 : Mountain West and Sun Belt
    Drawing dead after Week 4 : SEC East and MAC
    Drawing dead after Week 5 : B1G East and American Athletic
    Drawing dead after Week 6 : B1G West and PAC North
    Drawing dead after Week 7 : ACC Costal and PAC South
    Drawing dead after Week 8 : IND

    Drawing dead after Week 9 : none

    Drawing dead after Week 10 : none

    Drawing dead after Week 11 : none
    .

    .
    Bowl Eligible Week 7
    ACC Florida State
    B 12 Baylor
    CUSA Marshall
    IND Notre Dame
    SEC Mississippi + Mississippi State

    Bowl Eligible Week 8
    ACC Louisville + Duke
    B1G Michigan State + Minnesota + Nebraska
    MWC Colorado State
    PAC Oregon
    SEC Georgia + Alabama + LSU

    Bowl Eligible Week 9
    ACC East Carolina
    ACC Clemson + Georgia Tech
    B 12 Kansas State + West Virginia + TCU
    B1G Ohio State
    MAC Northern Illinois
    MWC Boise State
    PAC Arizona State + Arizona + Utah + UCLA
    SEC Missouri + Auburn
    S B Georgia Southern

    Bowl Eligible Week 10
    ACC Boston College + Miami
    B 12 Oklahoma
    B1G Maryland + Iowa + Wisconsin
    CUSA Louisiana Tech
    MAC Western Michigan + Central Michigan
    MWC Nevada + Air Force + Utah State
    PAC Washington + Southern California
    SEC Texas A&M

    Bowl Eligible Week 11
    AAC Memphis
    CUSA Rice
    MAC Bowling Green + Toledo
    S B LA – Lafayette + Arkansas State

    Like

    • Pablo says:

      Interesting symmetry…each of the Power 5 conferences have 2 teams left with one or none losses. With these ten teams, it appears that 1 loss may be the max for getting into the playoffs.

      For the ACC, BIG and PAC, their two teams are in different divisions. So there can be greater interest…north-south, east-west & competitive-academic. This really could help create more interest in their respective CCGs. Nebraska should jump ahead of all 2 loss teams if they beat Wisconsin. It’s still hard to see a scenario for Duke to be selected, but their fans can dream an implausible series of events.

      For the SEC, having 2 teams from its west division means that they have a greater chance to place 2 teams in the playoffs. Unfortunately for the SEC, it means they also have more paths towards getting no teams included. Miss St and Alabama have really hard roads ahead.

      The B12 is in an odd spot. Seems confusing that TCU (via its SOS) may end-up ranked ahead of the team likely to win the conference. This could be the year that a CCG would be a better tie-breaker.

      Like

  43. frug says:

    As someone who a freshmen at U of I in 2005 this has me quite intrigued

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/11/08/4305374_2005-unc-basketball-champs-2-semesters.html?rh=1

    During the season that the UNC men’s basketball team made its run to the 2005 NCAA championship, its players accounted for 35 enrollments in classes that didn’t meet and yielded easy, high grades awarded by the architect of the university’s academic scandal.

    Of the 35 bogus class enrollments, nine came during the fall semester of 2004, when eligibility for the spring was determined. Twenty-six were during the spring semester, when the season climaxed with a victory over Illinois in St. Louis.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I’m a little disappointed (but not surprised) that UNC hasn’t started to vacate wins in FB and MBB already. It seems like such an obvious bone to throw to the NCAA to reduce any future penalties.

      As for 2005, UNC beat WI, MSU and IL in a row to win the title.
      In 2007, they beat MSU in the tourney.
      In 2009, they beat MSU for the title.

      How much better might the B10 look in hoops with those 2 titles?

      Like

      • duffman says:

        I think part of it is a issue of all time wins in basketball. Seems it went back and forth between North Carolina and Kentucky so dropping lots of games would be the equivalent of Penn State vacating wins that put Bobby Bowden back in front of those 2. The bigger issue may be the NCAA banners. Of the 5 out there, 1 from the 50’s is safe as is 1 from the 80’s, but 1993 + 2005 + 2009 would be harder to defend.

        1993 was the game with Michigan
        2005 was the game with Illinois
        2009 was the game with Michigan State

        Needless to say that is 3 B1G Runner Up teams.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          duffman,

          “The bigger issue may be the NCAA banners. Of the 5 out there, 1 from the 50’s is safe as is 1 from the 80’s, but 1993 + 2005 + 2009 would be harder to defend.

          1993 was the game with Michigan
          2005 was the game with Illinois
          2009 was the game with Michigan State

          Needless to say that is 3 B1G Runner Up teams.”

          The Fab 5 already vacated their season, so the B10 couldn’t really count that one.

          Like

          • urbanleftbehind says:

            Since the 3rd place game no longer existed by ’93’s NCAA tourney, who then would be champion of other FF’ers Kansas and Kentucky? How about an Old – timers’ game settling it (and Roy Williams would not be allowed to coach Kansas)?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Officially, vacated champs aren’t replaced. The winner just can’t claim them anymore. It would be different if the NCAA used forfeits, but they generally don’t.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            They just leave it blank. It would be hard to say the team in the final was much more deserving than the team that lost to the vacating champ in the semi-final.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            True, but as there has not been a vacated NCAA banner, UNC would have the historic distinction of being the first.

            Like

  44. Transic_nyc says:

    http://www.wthr.com/story/27334319/2014/11/08/iu-ad-glass-lays-down-the-law-on-misbehaving-basketball-team#.VF-sY9uh73I.twitter

    Fred Glass said to be unhappy with what’s been going on with the basketball team recently. There have been rumors of Tom Crean’s job being in jeopardy.

    Like

    • duffman says:

      I am in the zero tolerance crowd. While I would love to have Indiana basketball back on top, it does not mean such success should be at any cost. Maybe a select few can succeed in academics or athletics while under the influence but it certainly does not apply to the vast majority of kids out there. Team sports are by their very nature the effort of the collective. When a kid gets stoned they do hurt others when they act on their own.

      For all the “it was just a little weed or booze” crowd would you feel the same if you were on a team that lost the brass ring because of such actions? What about if you were a fan who lost a child to an athlete who drove under the influence? Take care of the smaller stuff early on and it probably avoids the bigger mishaps later.

      Like

    • Wainscott says:

      Those Crean rumors have been circulating for a while now. Last season’s fast start saved him, though IU’s collapse in the end probably means its warming up again. Misbehaving players won’t help his cause, but won’t be a primary reason for termination.

      Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      Crean sucks. 80% of IU fans want him gone.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      http://bloguin.com/thestudentsection/uncategorized/how-tom-crean-has-lost-indiana.html

      While the school would have to eat $12 million if it cuts ties with Crean after this season, and $7.5 million if it can wait until next year, I see no possible way that they can keep the beleaguered coach around after another subpar campaign.

      I really don’t see IN eating $12M if they can wait a year to eat only $7.5M.

      Like

  45. urbanleftbehind says:

    USC-UCLA 14 miles b/w Rose Bowl and Coliseum
    The U (Sun Life) and FIU (far SW Miami proper), 24 miles

    Like

    • @urbanleftbehind – Closest that I’ve seen is the distance between the stadiums for Houston and Rice – it’s 5.1 miles in the shortest Google Maps route (and would be even closer as the crow flies since the driving route is not straight at all).

      Like

      • Mike says:

        I like the concept of the winner getting to wear red next year. The freedom trophy sounds like something George W. Bush would have given out.

        Like

    • mushroomgod says:

      Not as horrible as the Heroes Game trophy, but still horrible.Lame as hell.

      The idea and the trophy itself look like they were desgined by a commitee of old, rich white people.

      The US flag on the trophy is way too damn big. A smaller US flag rising above the state flags of Wisconsin and Nebraska would have at least looked the part. Awful.

      Like

      • mushroomgod says:

        In partial defense of the “Freedom Trophy” I thought I, in 10 minutes of internet use, could come up with a better trophy. However, it turns out that Nebraska and Wisconsin have very few real connections, which, in my view, is a damn good reason to have NO trophy.

        For example, I thought some red/white theme might be in order. Turns out, however, that Neb’s colors are actually Scarlet & Cream, while Wisconsin’s are Cardinal & White.

        The default trophy should have been the Coaches’ Trophy, with images of Devaney and Alvarez shaking hands. That’s at least a real connection, not a fake connection that relies on “Memorial Stadium” being relevant….UI and Nebraska makes as much sense.

        Like

    • Mike says:

      Nebraska has the Victory Bell laying around. I’m not sure why they couldn’t use it. It isn’t widely known because the team Nebraska used to play for the bell was never concerned about anything labeled “victory.”

      🙂

      Like

    • Mack says:

      More comments on freedom trophy: “And what better way to convey importance, significance and meaning than handing out a trophy after … well … damn near any game you win?” Also mentions the Freedom Bell and Slab of Bacon trophy.
      http://sports.yahoo.com/news/big-ten-s-latest-marketing-ploy–manufacturing-a-rivalry-220919938-ncaaf.html

      Like

    • Eric says:

      Can someone name to me a recently created trophy for a rivalry game that has been good? I guess there’s a few, but really the best trophies far and away are the old ones that seem somewhat random, but are unique or at least don’t sound like something out of a board room (not that Freedom Trophy is bad, but it’s easy to imagine any team in the country playing for a trophy with that name).

      You can even do a military one based on the theme of the stadiums if that’s what they want (they play on that in the description here), but make it sound a little more original. A Civil War era cannon replica maybe.

      Like

      • @Eric – Pretty much all of the recently created trophies are completely generic and non-threatening, which is what makes them terrible. The great trophies seem to fall into one of the following categories:

        (1) Deadly weapons – Paul Bunyan’s Axe, various rifles, cannons, axes, etc.
        (2) Animals – Floyd of Rosedale (my personal favorite rivalry trophy), Illibuck, etc.
        (3) Beverage containers – Little Brown Jug, Old Oaken Bucket, etc.

        [old man voice] Today, new trophies have to go through focus groups and be 100% politically correct. Could you imagine someone trying to propose the Old Brass Spittoon today? Could you imagine the generic piece of crap that the administrations of Indiana and Michigan State would come up with if they had to replace the Old Brass Spittoon? New trophies suck. [/old man voice]

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          It should have been a badger holding a cornstalk.

          Like

          • mushroomgod says:

            Good, but better still would have been Herby Husker trying to “axe” the badger, as the badger was taking a chunk out of his leg….now that would be a trophy worth fighting for……

            Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          My ol’ App State Mountaineers had a great rivalry trophy with Western Carolina: the Old Mountain Jug. Legend has it that it contains moonshine from the western North Carolina mountains. The series is over because of App State’s departure from the FCS & Southern Conference to the Sun Belt, but the game was played 78 times.

          Like the old Big Ten rivalry trophies, it emerged kind of organically, for lack of a better word. It was emblematic of mountain culture and fitting as a prize between two schools based deep in the Appalachian mountains. New trophies with any Sun Belt member, just as with these new Big Ten trophies, would feel forced.

          http://saturdayblitz.com/2012/10/27/battle-for-the-old-mountain-jug-has-interesting-twist-in-2012/

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Though they still could play it now and again, it wouldn’t be the same if played between teams with different scholarship limits.

            Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          I can’t work out whether you are saying that an old wagon wheel could be used as a deadly weapon, or that its not a great trophy. I’m going to vote deadly weapon ~ I wouldn’t want to be hit with an old wagon wheel if someone got spinning around and threw it like a hammer throw.

          Like

        • mushroomgod says:

          Frank….IU and UK football used to play for the Bourbon Barrel, which was a very appropriate trophy untuil the PC bastards said no………

          Like

  46. Brian says:

    http://www.si.com/college-football/2014/11/10/selection-committee-football-style-punt-pass-pork

    Supposed former UNC DL called a radio show.

    “If you ain’t inside of there, you don’t know what’s going on. But Butch Davis came into a meeting one day and he said, ‘If y’all came here for an education, you should’ve went to Harvard,'” Powell told the show’s hosts.

    “It ain’t that we go in there and say, ‘We want to take African-American studies.’ How did we know about it? They put it on the table for us…these coaches, man, [they say], ‘We’re going to get you three and out of here.'”

    Powell also said that he took one of the “paper classes” offered by the African-American Studies department, though he graduated with a degree in communications.

    Then came what the radio hosts called “the million dollar question.” Did Roy Williams know about the academic scandal?

    “Man…man, you know he knows,” Powell replied. “Roy Williams is a snake, man.”

    He continued: “If you ain’t got a class with a basketball player, you better go find one. If you got one with them, you know it’s an ‘A.'”

    Powell then offered a story about taking a class with a basketball player — the radio station has bleeped the player’s name from the audio — and getting all of the test answers from him after the player got another student to take the test for him.

    Like

  47. Mike says:

    Big Ten baseball tournament headed back to Omaha in 2016 and 2018.

    http://b1gbaseball.com/2014/11/11/big-ten-tournament-to-return-to-omaha-in-2016-and-2018

    Like

  48. TV ratings (3.0 or higher) through week 10.

    http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/college-football-tv-ratings/

    Week 1: 4.0 West Va/Bama or Cal/Northwestern ABC 3:30p; 3.8 Fla St/OK State ABC 8p

    Week 2: 4.1 USC/Stanford ABC 3:30p; 3.5 Mich St/Oregon FOX 6:30p

    Week 3: 4.1 Georgia/South Car CBS 5p

    Week 4: 5.1 Florida/Bama CBS 3:30p; 4.5 Clemson/FSU ABC 8p

    Week 5: 3.5 Fla St/NC St or Minn/Mich ABC 3:30p; 3.1 Tenn/Georgia ESPN Noon

    Week 6: 3.7 Bama/Ole Miss CBS 3:30p

    Week 7: 3.8 Auburn/Miss St CBS 3:30p

    Week 8: 7.9 ND/Fla St ABC 8p

    Week 9: 3.1 Miss St/Kent CBS 3:30p; Ole Miss/LSU ESPN 7:15p

    Week 10: 3.7 Fla/Georgia CBS 3:30p; 3.4 Auburn/Ole Miss ESPN 7p; 3.1 Fla St/Louisville (Thu) ESPN 6:30p

    Network Scorecard: (6) CBS & ABC; (4) ESPN; (1) Fox

    Conference Scorecard: (19) SEC; (8) ACC; (4) B1G & Pac-12; (2) Big XIII; (1) Ind
    I gave all conferences credit for split ABC telecasts.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Here’s an interesting part. Notre Dame only made it vs. FSU. No NBC games.

      Like

    • TV ratings (3.0 or higher) updated through week 11.

      http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/college-football-tv-ratings/

      Week 11: 5.3 Bama/LSU CBS 8p; 4.4 A&M/Auburn CBS 3:30p; 3.9 Ohio St/Mich St ABC 8p; 3.0 ND/Ariz St ABC 3:30p

      Updated Network scorecard: (8) CBS & ABC; (4) ESPN; (1) FOX

      Updated Conference scorecard: (23) SEC; (8) ACC; (6) B1G; (5) Pac-12; (2) Big XII and ND.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        To add to that:
        B1G-MSU-2, OSU, MN (vs UM regional w/FSU/NCSU other half), UM
        Big 12 WV, OSU
        ACC FSU-5, UL, NCSU, UL (others all when playing FSU)
        Pac 12 ASU, USC, Stanford, OR
        ND-2
        SEC-AL 4, Aub 3, Ole Miss 3, UGA 3, LSU 2, MSU 2, FL 2, UK, TN, SC, A&M

        Only UGA-FL, UGA-TN and USC-Stanford didn’t involve a team in the top 6 at the time (not counting regional-MN-UM which was paired with #1 FSU).

        Like

  49. bullet says:

    Also, only 4 non-split games not involving a top 5 team-USC-Stanford and 3 involving Georgia (Todd Gurley effect?)-vs. South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida.

    Like

  50. bullet says:

    Sure didn’t see Oregon jumping FSU.

    Like

  51. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings

    New CFP poll:
    1. MS St
    2. OR
    3. FSU
    4. TCU

    5. AL
    6. ASU
    7. Baylor
    8. OSU
    9. AU
    10. MS
    11. UCLA

    12. MSU
    16. NE
    20. WI
    25. MN

    Notes:
    * NE is 8-1 but only #16. #9-15 all have 2 losses. The only P5 team below them with 1 loss is #21 Duke. The good news for NE fans is that they have 3 tough games coming up, and potentially a CCG to help their ranking.

    * Marshall is still unranked.

    * #17 LSU is the highest ranked team with 3 losses

    * I’m glad to see they dropped AU and MS behind OSU and Baylor.

    * At some point they almost have to move Baylor past TCU if both win out, since Baylor would have the head to head tiebreaker and win the B12. Baylor still has KSU to play as well.

    * SEC – 7, B10 – 5, P12 – 5, ACC – 4, B12 – 3

    * My prediction (and how far off it was):
    1. MS St
    2. FSU -1
    3. OR +1
    4. AL -1
    5. TCU +1
    6. ASU
    7. AU -2
    8. MS -2
    9. Baylor +2
    10. OSU +2
    11. KSU -2
    12. NE -4
    13. ND -5

    Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      Brian: “* At some point they almost have to move Baylor past TCU if both win out, since Baylor would have the head to head tiebreaker and win the B12. Baylor still has KSU to play as well.”

      The best time to do that would be when TCU has its bye week this weekend … but Baylor has to play along and have a convincing win over the Cowpokes of the Other OSU. That is far from guaranteed.

      If Baylor sneaks past the Pokes and KS State, while TCU wins both of their last games convincingly, their current standings would say they should put TCU ahead of Baylor. That would really put the cat amongst the pigeons as far as a Big12 CCG goes.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        TCU hasn’t played Texas or the bottom two in the Big 12-Kansas and Iowa St. Meanwhile Baylor hasn’t played Oklahoma St., Texas Tech or Kansas St. I don’t think Baylor passes them until after the Kansas St. game at the end of the season. And that, in part, depends on how well Baylor & TCU do in their remaining games as well as how well Minnesota does (who TCU beat). There’s a huge gap in strength of schedule right now. Now after KSU-Baylor, they will have played 10 common opponents + an FBS squad with the only difference Minnesota vs. Buffalo (Baylor played at Buffalo).

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Note that the remaining schedule for Alabama is much tougher than for TCU. So if Alabama wins out, they almost certainly pass TCU, no matter how big TCU wins their games. The committee really likes Auburn.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        BruceMcF,

        “The best time to do that would be when TCU has its bye week this weekend … but Baylor has to play along and have a convincing win over the Cowpokes of the Other OSU. That is far from guaranteed.

        If Baylor sneaks past the Pokes and KS State, while TCU wins both of their last games convincingly, their current standings would say they should put TCU ahead of Baylor. That would really put the cat amongst the pigeons as far as a Big12 CCG goes.”

        I heard a Bill Hancock interview today. He said the committee has TCU ahead because of their better body of work so far (OOC over MN, better B12 loss). He said head to head would only come in if the teams were judged to be equivalent otherwise, so it’s a true tiebreaker. However, we also have to remember that there are no conference champs yet. We’ll have to see what sort of a boost that gives a team like Baylor versus TCU. Certainly a solid win over KSU would help Baylor.

        On the other hand, maybe the committee is making a statement about the importance of OOC scheduling by putting TCU so far ahead.

        Like

        • Ross says:

          Well, it should be noted TCU will be a Big 12 co-champion if both they and Baylor win out. The H2H does not make Baylor the champion. In the past, it has been a tiebreaker for access bowls, but it has never been used to indicate who the actual champion is in the case of a tie. TCU would most definitely be a P5 champion.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            It remains to be seen if the committee considers co-champion status or not. H2H is considered a tiebreaker in the playoff system, so Baylor should top TCU if they both win out with solid wins. TCU has played a tougher B12 slate so far.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            I don’t think they’ll look at any champ as not a legitimate champ. They will however consider head to head strongly if they both end up in the same place I believe. I think Baylor will surpass if both with out, but it’s got a tougher schedule ahead still (and an easier one behind with a worse loss) so makes sense lower for now.

            Like

  52. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/102870/playoff-breakdown-if-the-games-were-today-2

    If the season were over now:

    12/31
    12:30 – Peach = #9 AU vs Marshall
    4pm – Fiesta = #6 ASU vs #8 OSU
    8pm – Orange = #19 Clemson vs #5 AL

    1/1
    12:30 – Cotton = #7 Baylor vs #10 MS
    5pm – Rose = #2 OR vs #3 FSU
    8:30 – Sugar = #1 MS St vs #4 TCU

    The Peach is a yawner and the Orange will be bad, too, but the others aren’t bad. A pseudo-Rose Bowl in the Fiesta. A local match-up in the Cotton.

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      A lack of big name teams in the Sugar. Wonder how ratings would be for that matchup.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        It’s a playoff game, so the ratings will be huge. The casual viewers and gamblers will tune in.

        Like

        • Wainscott says:

          I don’t know that the ratings will be “huge” just because its a playoff game. The actual teams playing will have an impact. 2 lesser known programs will not draw casual viewers like 2 name brand schools will.

          Also, “huge” is a vague and relative term. “Huge” compared to what, standard NYD nighttime programming? Past Sugar Bowls? Other bowl games? Its yet to be determined if a Sugar Bowl will draw more merely because its a playoff game vs a standard BCS matchup, namely because this is the first year of the playoff.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Wainscott,

            “I don’t know that the ratings will be “huge” just because its a playoff game. The actual teams playing will have an impact. 2 lesser known programs will not draw casual viewers like 2 name brand schools will.”

            The fact that it is a playoff game will be more important than the brands in the game, IMO. Americans are suckers for football playoffs.

            “Also, “huge” is a vague and relative term.”

            Yes, it is.

            ” “Huge” compared to what, standard NYD nighttime programming? Past Sugar Bowls? Other bowl games? Its yet to be determined if a Sugar Bowl will draw more merely because its a playoff game vs a standard BCS matchup, namely because this is the first year of the playoff.”

            NCG average rating = 16 (max 21, min 14)
            Rose average = 11.9 (max 14.4, min 9.4)
            Sugar average = 8.1 (max 9.5, min 6.1)

            On average, I’d expect the new NCG to get a higher number than the BCS title game. I’d expect the semis to rate more like the Rose than the Sugar, maybe even better. A weak semi with 2 lesser brands will still probably pull a 10 if it’s a decent game on the field. Blowouts always lower the numbers.

            Like

          • I think the playoff ratings will be very high regardless of the matchups. What we’ve seen from the TV ratings in the regular season this year is that they have actually been fairly meritocratic compared to the past – people generally really are watching the games with playoff implications en masse, while the power of simply having two big brand names teams playing each other without playoff implications has been mitigated a bit (although not eliminated). Granted, this past week’s ratings showed that having brand names involved still makes a difference, as both the Alabama-LSU and Ohio State-Michigan State games crushed Kansas State-TCU in the ratings (even though KSU-TCU was the best matchup from a pure playoff implications standpoint since both were effectively playing for a top 4 or 5 spot):

            http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2014/11/college-football-ratings-2014-kstate-tcu-overnights-low-fox-baylor-oklahoma-fs1/

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “The fact that it is a playoff game will be more important than the brands in the game, IMO. Americans are suckers for football playoffs.”

            Not just Football playoffs … “March” college BB fans tuning in to watch Whereday U vs Whodat College who wouldn’t tune in to watch #1 at #2 in the regular season.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Think that TH night FSU/Louisville game is an indication of the playoff driving ratings. Now it could be partly due to the NFL not being on CBS that night, only the NFL Network. Disappointed viewers may have turned to FSU. But still, 3.1 on a TH night with NFL competition is really good. Typically, TH night college games have been 1.5 or lower since the NFL moved to TH night games. TH night games this year over 1.0:
            FSU/UL 3.1
            Auburn/KSU 2.3
            Oregon/AZ 1.5
            Texas Tech/Ok. St. 1.1

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @bullet –

            You missed Boise-Ole Miss (1.5) from week one.

            Think that TH night FSU/Louisville game is an indication of the playoff driving ratings. Now it could be partly due to the NFL not being on CBS that night, only the NFL Network.

            Its probably due to the Winston effect. That FSU rating is double almost every other game the last two years.

            Like

          • Kevin says:

            People tune in to see if the #1 or undefeated team might lose

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “Granted, this past week’s ratings showed that having brand names involved still makes a difference, as both the Alabama-LSU and Ohio State-Michigan State games crushed Kansas State-TCU in the ratings (even though KSU-TCU was the best matchup from a pure playoff implications standpoint since both were effectively playing for a top 4 or 5 spot):”

            On the other hand, TCU/KSU was a blowout early on while AL/LSU went to OT and OSU/MSU was a close game for a while. That helps, too.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Mike;
            I did miss Ole-Miss/Boise, but there was no NFL game that week.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @Frank:

            “I think the playoff ratings will be very high regardless of the matchups.”

            Certainly a reasonable opinion, but what does “very high” mean in your book? I don’t think the magic words of “playoff” will do all that much for the tv ratings relative to what that bowl did in the BCS era–ie, fluctuate based on the teams playing in the game and the quality/closeness of the game itself. I think the Rose will still outperform the Sugar, because its the Rose Bowl.

            Brian posed useful averages in his post. I don’t think a Sugar Bowl this year of Miss State/TCU (which what my original post to Brian was commenting on) would do as well in the ratings as a hypothetical Alabama vs Ohio State would.

            I also think the NCG will do ratings in line with the higher end of BCS title game averages that Brian posted, but that it will also be matchup dependent.

            Now, in years in which the semifinals are on Dec 31st (8 of 12 years), I don’t expect those games (especially the Dec 31 afternoon game) to do as well as NYD bowl games in the ratings (the night game might come close), and I think that in those years, when the championship matchup is already finalized before the ball drops, that the NYD bowls will suffer in the ratings as a result.

            Like

          • @Wainscott – I think that the semifinal games will consistently end up being a fair amount higher than the Rose Bowl ratings over the past couple of years (when that game moved to ESPN). Yes, the ratings will get some extra juice if marquee teams are involved, but the baseline rating for even non-marquee teams for the semifinal games will be high. I really don’t think that the New Years Eve semifinal games would get lower ratings than the New Years Day non-semifinal games in the same year (even though I believe the powers-that-be are leaving a good number of viewers and TV dollars on the table by playing those games on NYE in the first place). The regular season viewership indicates that the national TV oxygen in college football is almost completely focused on the top 4 playoff and I’d expect that to extend to the playoff itself. This is quite a major sea change for how people watch college football – I think a lot of old school fans are underestimating how much pent-up demand there is for survive-and-advance playoff games (which is also why I think we’ll end up with an 8-team playoff sooner rather than later no matter what the CFP PR machine says). These games are going to blow away anything outside of the NFL in terms of viewership.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Frank, I think you are right about the ratings. If you look at the past BCS championship games, the worst rated tended to be the controversial ones (Oklahoma-LSU after OU’s loss, Alabama-LSU rematch). When you had two clear teams, such as Texas and USC, the ratings were extremely high. With the 4 team playoff, there will be less taint than on the 2 team BCS. I also agree that this year’s regular season ratings indicate that brands, while helpful, aren’t essential-its high rankings that are essential.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            FtT;

            “I think a lot of old school fans are underestimating how much pent-up demand there is for survive-and-advance playoff games…”

            I think this particular old school fan doesn’t think an invitational where not being a conference champ is a requirement (for those in conferences) is a survive-and-advance system. i.e. No seconds or lower to the exclusion of a champion. If someday we get to eight with all P5 champs in then you will actually have a playoff. Or get to four conferences with CCGs as the qtrs.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “This is quite a major sea change for how people watch college football – I think a lot of old school fans are underestimating how much pent-up demand there is for survive-and-advance playoff games (which is also why I think we’ll end up with an 8-team playoff sooner rather than later no matter what the CFP PR machine says). These games are going to blow away anything outside of the NFL in terms of viewership.”

            I don’t think it’s that we’re underestimating it, we just don’t care. Lots of people want bad or stupid things (like drugs or deep fried butter). The fly diet argument is never persuasive.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Frank:

            Remember that Nielsen report on sports on TV from 2 years back?

            In it, it showed that for all 4 major pro leagues, their semifinals drew less than half as much as their championship game/series.

            Last year’s BCS title game drew 26M viewers while the Rose drew 18.7M viewers.

            Granted, college basketball breaks from the trend of the pro leagues in drawing 15M for the Final Four vs. 20M for the title game in 2011.

            Still, 3/4th of 26M is 19.5M.

            So I’m pretty confident in predicting that at best, the semifinals will draw only slightly more than the Rose Bowl, and they could definitely draw less.
            Remember that the Rose Bowl draws grannies who have only a peripheral interest or knowledge of college football who watch because of the pageantry and tradition.

            Like

          • Wainscott says:

            @Frank:

            “I really don’t think that the New Years Eve semifinal games would get lower ratings than the New Years Day non-semifinal games in the same year (even though I believe the powers-that-be are leaving a good number of viewers and TV dollars on the table by playing those games on NYE in the first place).”

            If a semifinal is played on NYE in the afternoon, it will not draw as well as a NYD major bowl game. People are either at work, preparing for NYE, or travelling to their NYE/NYD destination. Its not prime viewership time.

            “The regular season viewership indicates that the national TV oxygen in college football is almost completely focused on the top 4 playoff and I’d expect that to extend to the playoff itself.”

            The link you posted above, to the tv ratings for 2 Saturdays ago, is the opposite of this statement, where K-State vs TCU was crushed in the ratings by big name teams.

            We both know brands matter more in CFB–its why the SEC and B1G are the two most lucrative conferences in the nation–they have the best assemblage of brands, history, and geography. To say that a playoff will trump that simply because of the word “playoff” is a stretch in my opinion. ESPN paid money for the Playoff and NCG in the hopes of getting big name teams playing high-stakes games. It obviously runs the risk of years where a NCG features TCU vs Baylor, but it paid for the potential of having the biggest brands in the biggest games. That’s what will drive the ratings more than anything else.

            “These games are going to blow away anything outside of the NFL in terms of viewership.”

            They very well could, but I think it will be far more matchup-dependent. Its not the Super Bowl, where viewership numbers will fluctuate in a much smaller degree due to build in viewership numbers regardless of the teams.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The Alabama/LSU and Ohio St./Michigan St. games were also playoff relevant. They had the CBS and ABC name brand advantage over TCU/KSU’s Fox in addition to having the school’s name brand.

            If TCU/KSU had competition from some 3 loss brand name schools, they probably would have done very well, although being on Fox would have still handicapped them.

            Like

  53. Wainscott says:

    Alabama misspelled Mississippi on its tickets for this weekend’s showdown with the top-ranked Bulldogs.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/bama-misspells-mississippi-on-football-tickets/nQjMG/

    Like

  54. Wainscott says:

    Tennessee dropping Lady Vols except for womens basketball.

    http://www.utsports.com/genrel/111014aab.html

    Like

  55. Brian says:

    http://www.si.com/college-football/2014/11/12/florida-state-jameis-winston-sexual-assault-hearing-postponed-december

    And FSU gives Winston his hearing delay, now set for 12/1.

    According to Axon, if Winston’s hearing concludes on or after Dec. 5, a decision would not be due until Jan. 13, because of the school’s winter break. The final game of the College Football Playoff will be played on Jan. 13.

    Convenient, no?

    Like

  56. Brian says:

    http://ohiostate.247sports.com/Article/Basketball-Signing-Day-Buckeyes-And-Illini-Lead-The-Big-Ten-32851709

    A look at B10 hoops recruiting since today is signing day for the early period.

    247 Composite Class rankings:
    7. OSU
    8. IL
    11. MSU
    23. NE
    28. WI
    29. PSU
    32. RU
    34. MN
    41. NW
    47. IN

    Really? NW out-recruited IN? Crean really is in trouble.

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      LSU signed the #1 player in the country today.

      http://theadvocate.com/news/10816714-123/lsu-mens-basketball-reels-in

      Like

    • gfunk says:

      What’s worse is both Purdue and IU sit in a traditionally strong hs basketball state. I do think IU is right at the scholarship limit. Bottom line, the BIG doesn’t keep its rich basketball talent with regularity – this has been all too common for a while now. We could weave together a colorful basket of top shelf talent that has left the footprint over the years & many of these players go onto win NCs:

      Sean May, Anthony Davis, Shane Battier, Antoine Walker, Eric Montross, Ryan Boatright, Wayne Blackshear, Chane Behanan (Oh & Ky), Khalid El-Amin, Jon Scheyer, Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich, Al Horford – I could go on here, but the misery index rises.

      Like

  57. Brian says:

    http://michigan.247sports.com/Bolt/Foote-Criticizes-Michigan-Recruiting–32853498

    Former MI LB Larry Foote gave his team some recruiting advice on the radio.

    “Like I said before, Michigan better go back to the ‘hood. They got too many trust fund babies in there, and they look like that when they’re playing. They got guys out there that are just happy, they’re happy they’re at Michigan, they’re losing and smiling. And that’s just not Michigan football. And that’s gotta change.”

    Good thing he’s not white, because they would sound awfully racist if he was.

    Like

  58. Brian says:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-nfl-should-expand-to-london-but-first-canada-mexico-and-la/

    Nate Silver says the NFL should expand to LA, Mexico City, Toronto and Vegas before London.

    Like

  59. urbanleftbehind says:

    Could not have happened to a nicer program:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/24802735/memphis-loses-exhibition-to-division-ii-christian-brothers

    P.S. If the Big East wanted to go “mega” and find St. Louis U a partner, there’s a relatively close candidate. Their H.S. spawned Tim McCarver, though…

    Like

  60. Mike says:

    Clemson may begin to charge students a $350-per-year athletic fee beginning next school year to supplement its athletic department budget against an expected rise in the costs to remain competitive in intercollegiate sports, said Lambert McCarty, chair of Clemson’s Athletic Council.

    http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/2014/11/12/clemson-considers-mandatory-athletic-fee/18938713/

    Like

  61. Mike says:

    Great article

    Mississippi State’s spending habits would be off the radar except for one thing: The Bulldogs are the No. 1 football team in America. Entering Saturday’s SEC West showdown at financial juggernaut Alabama, Mississippi State is proof of the power of efficiency in college football, even if Stricklin is reluctant to say precisely where saving dollars makes sense.

    “I’d hate to say,” Stricklin said. “I hope some people will keep spending money in some of those areas. We have more resources than we’ve ever had and because there’s so much more money in the system, I’m not sure the advantage of having more money means as much as it once did.”

    “Moneyball” has come to college football, where there are only so many ways to spend lavishly on facilities and salaries. Half of the top eight teams in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings live in the middle class financially — No. 1 Mississippi State, No. 4 TCU, No. 6 Arizona State and No. 7 Baylor.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/24803567/moneyball-how-college-footballs-middle-class-is-winning-big

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Very good article.

      Article mentions Gordon Gee’s comments about TCU. Would be kind of funny if 4 years later TCU gets the 4th spot in the playoffs and beats out a 1 loss Ohio St.

      Also kind of amusing Texas fans are recalling Darrell Royal’s quote about TCU, who upset his teams a few times. He compared the Horned Frogs to cockroaches, “It isn’t what they pick up and carry off, its what they fall into and mess up.” They’re saying UT should cockroach TCU on Thanksgiving. Texas isn’t going to pick up and carry off any titles this year.

      Like

  62. Brian says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/sports/ncaafootball/for-an-fsu-football-player-a-hit-and-run-becomes-two-traffic-tickets.html?ref=ncaafootball

    Tallahassee police had an FSU player leave the scene of an accident, and when he returned they only gave him 2 tickets rather than charging him with hit and run. They also didn’t check if he’d been drinking (it was after 2am).

    In the early-morning hours of Oct. 5, as this college town was celebrating another big football victory by Florida State University, a starting cornerback on the team drove his car into the path of an oncoming vehicle driven by a teenager returning home from a job at the Olive Garden.

    Both cars were totaled. But rather than remain at the scene as the law requires, the football player, P. J. Williams, left his wrecked vehicle in the street and fled into the darkness along with his two passengers, including Ronald Darby, the team’s other starting cornerback.

    The Tallahassee police responded to the off-campus accident, eventually reaching out to the Florida State University police and the university’s athletic department.

    By the next day, it was as if the hit and run had never happened.

    The New York Times looked into how the police handled this case, reviewing law enforcement records and interviewing witnesses, lawyers, the police and a university representative. The examination found that Mr. Williams, driving with a suspended license, was given a break by the Tallahassee police, who initially labeled the accident a hit and run, a criminal act, but later decided to issue him only two traffic tickets. Afterward, the case did not show up in the city’s public online database of police calls — a technical glitch, the police said.

    Mr. Williams eventually returned to the scene. But Tallahassee officers did not test him for alcohol. Nor did their report indicate whether they asked if he had been drinking or why he had fled, logical questions since the accident occurred at 2:37 a.m. The report also minimized the impact of the crash on the driver of the other car, Ian Keith, by failing to indicate that his airbag deployed — an important detail because Mr. Keith said in an interview that the airbag had cut and bruised his hands.

    The university police, who lacked jurisdiction, nevertheless sent two ranking officers — including the shift commander — to the scene. Yet they wrote no report about their actions that night. Florida State dismissed the role of its officers in the incident as too minor to require a report or enter into their own online police log, comparing it to an instance when campus officers responded to a baby opossum falling from a tree.

    Elijah Stiers, a Miami lawyer who helped write a state law enacted this year that toughened penalties for hit-and-run drivers, said the basic facts of the Oct. 5 crash warranted criminal charges and a sobriety test.

    “Two-thirty in the morning, people fleeing on foot — at the very least you’ve got to charge them with hit and run,” he said, adding, “You don’t get out of it just because you come back to the scene.”

    In their report of the crash, the Tallahassee officers justified not charging Mr. Williams because he returned “approximately” 20 minutes later without being contacted by the police. That stands in sharp contrast to how the police treated another driver who left the scene and drove home after a minor, low-speed accident in the same area late last month. That driver and his mother contacted the police about a half-hour later to report the accident.

    At 5 miles per hour, the collision inflicted far less damage than that caused by Mr. Williams’s car — and no injuries. Even so, the police charged the driver, who was not a Florida State football player, with hit and run.

    Like

  63. duffman says:

    Heading into the fourth playoff vote : 1 zero loss, 6 one loss, and 12 two loss teams

    0 loss teams (excluding Marshall)
    ACC | Florida State
    B 12 | none
    B1G | none
    PAC | none
    SEC | none

    1 loss teams (excluding Gang of 5 teams and IND’s other than Notre Dame)
    ACC | none
    B 12 | Baylor + TCU
    B1G | Ohio State
    PAC | Oregon
    SEC | Alabama + Mississippi State

    2 loss teams (excluding Gang of 5 teams and IND’s other than Notre Dame)
    ACC | Georgia Tech + Duke
    B 12 | Kansas State
    B1G | Michigan State + Wisconsin + Nebraska
    PAC | UCLA + Arizona + Arizona State
    SEC | Missouri + Georgia + Mississippi
    .

    …..

    .
    Week 12 clips Mississippi State from the undefeated ranks
    FBS football = 2 of 128 remain (1.5625%)

    Big 5 = 1 of 64 remain (1.5625%)

    ACC —- 1 of 14 or 7.14% remain
    Atlantic : Florida State (10-0, 7-0)
    Costal : None after Week 7
    Boston College (6-4, 3-3) vs Florida State

    B12 —- 0/10 || None after week 8
    B1G —- 0/14 || East : NONE after Week 5 | West : NONE after Week 6
    PAC —- 0/12 || North : NONE after week 6 | South : NONE after week 7
    SEC —- 0/14 || East : NONE after Week 4 | West : NONE after Week 12
    .

    .
    non Big 5 = 1 of 64 remain (1.5625%)

    MWC : NONE after Week 3 // 0 of 12 remain
    SUNB : NONE after Week 3 // 0 of 11 remain
    MAC : NONE after Week 4 // 0 of 13 remain
    AAC : NONE after Week 5 // 0 of 11 remain
    IND : NONE after Week 8 // 0 of 4 remain
    CUSA : Marshall (10-0, 6-0) // 1 of 13 remain or 7.69%
    Marshall @ UAB (5-5, 3-3)
    .

    .
    Drawing dead after Week 3 : Mountain West and Sun Belt
    Drawing dead after Week 4 : SEC East and MAC
    Drawing dead after Week 5 : B1G East and American Athletic
    Drawing dead after Week 6 : B1G West and PAC North
    Drawing dead after Week 7 : ACC Costal and PAC South
    Drawing dead after Week 8 : IND
    Drawing dead after Week 9 : none
    Drawing dead after Week 10 : none
    Drawing dead after Week 11 : none
    Drawing dead after Week 12 : SEC West
    .

    .
    Bowl Eligible Week 7
    ACC Florida State
    B 12 Baylor
    CUSA Marshall
    IND Notre Dame
    SEC Mississippi + Mississippi State

    Bowl Eligible Week 8
    ACC Louisville + Duke
    B1G Michigan State + Minnesota + Nebraska
    MWC Colorado State
    PAC Oregon
    SEC Georgia + Alabama + LSU

    Bowl Eligible Week 9
    ACC East Carolina
    ACC Clemson + Georgia Tech
    B 12 Kansas State + West Virginia + TCU
    B1G Ohio State
    MAC Northern Illinois
    MWC Boise State
    PAC Arizona State + Arizona + Utah + UCLA
    SEC Missouri + Auburn
    S B Georgia Southern

    Bowl Eligible Week 10
    ACC Boston College + Miami
    B 12 Oklahoma
    B1G Maryland + Iowa + Wisconsin
    CUSA Louisiana Tech
    MAC Western Michigan + Central Michigan
    MWC Nevada + Air Force + Utah State
    PAC Washington + Southern California
    SEC Texas A&M

    Bowl Eligible Week 11
    AAC Memphis
    CUSA Rice
    MAC Bowling Green + Toledo
    S B LA – Lafayette + Arkansas State

    Bowl Eligible Week 12
    AAC Cincinnati + Central Florida + East Carolina
    ACC North Carolina State
    B 12 Texas
    B1G Penn State + Rutgers
    CUSA UT – El Paso
    IND BYU
    S B South Alabama

    Bowl Eligible still possible
    AAC Houston + Temple + South Florida
    ACC North Carolina + Virginia Tech + Pittsburgh + Virginia
    B 12 Oklahoma State
    B1G Michigan + Northwestern + Purdue
    CUSA MTSU + UAB + WKU + ODU
    IND Navy
    MAC Ohio + Buffalo + Akron
    MWC San Diego State + Fresno State + Wyoming
    PAC Stanford + California + Oregon State
    SEC Florida + South Carolina + Tennessee + Kentucky + Arkansas
    S B Appalachian State + Texas State

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Those 0, 1, 2 loss teams are your likely Big 6 bowl contestants except for the Orange host and the G5 best team. Marshall (unbeaten), CSU (1 loss) and Boise (2 loss) are the leads for the latter. If they start losing, it goes to a 3 loss team like Memphis. Orange host could be Duke, Georgia Tech or Clemson, with Louisville a long shot.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        Tend to agree, as the lone lesser child will get a spot and the rest will get divided among the 5 primary. Notre Dame picking up the 3rd loss probably eliminated them from the 6 bowls.

        Like

  64. Brian says:

    Sources say Will Muschamp has been fired at UF.

    Like

  65. Brian says:

    http://sportspolls.usatoday.com/ncaa/football/polls/coaches-poll/

    Coaches poll:
    1. FSU
    2. AL
    3. OR
    4. MS St
    5. TCU
    6. Baylor
    7. OSU
    8. MS
    9. MSU
    10. UGA

    15. WI
    19. NE

    By losses:
    0 – #1, 18
    1 – #2-7, 23
    2 – #8-16, 19-20, 25
    3 – #17, 21-22, 24

    Like

  66. Brian says:

    State of the races:

    ACC A – FSU clinched
    ACC C – 4-2 Duke needs to beat UNC and WF to win it. Otherwise 6-2 GT wins it.

    B12 – 5-1 Baylor needs to win out (OkSU, TT, KSU) to win it. Otherwise 5-1 TCU (UT, ISU) has the tiebreaker over 5-1 KSU (WV, KU, Baylor).

    B10 E – OSU needs a win (IN, MI) or a MSU loss (RU, PSU) to clinch.
    B10 W – 5-1 WI has the edge, but 4-2 MN controls it’s own destiny and 4-2 NE is still alive.

    P12 N – OR clinched
    P12 S – 4 2-loss teams (UCLA has wins over ASU and UA and plays USC)

    SEC E – 5-1 MO (TN, AR) leads 6-2 UGA, but UGA has the tiebreaker
    SEC W – 6-1 AL (WCU, AU) leads 5-1 MS St (Vandy, MS) and 4-2 MS which beat AL earlier.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      With an extremely improbably set of upsets, Texas, Oklahoma and/or West Virginia could tie for the Big 12 title. Someone calculated the odds of Texas tying, based on some websites game probabilities, and it was something like 700,000 to 1. But there actually could theoretically be a 6 way tie.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Also, Iowa wins its last two and Minnesota loses 1 and they win Big 10 W.

      Like

  67. Brian says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/opinion/nba-commissioner-adam-silver-legalize-sports-betting.html?_r=2

    Adam Silver wrote an op-ed advocating for the legalization of sports betting on pro games.

    Like

  68. Brian says:

    http://collegefootball.ap.org/poll

    AP poll
    1. FSU
    2. AL
    3. OR
    4. MS St
    5. TCU
    6. Baylor
    7. OSU
    8. MS
    9. UGA
    10. MSU

    14. WI
    21. NE

    Like

  69. Brian says:

    It looks like Todd Gurley tore his ACL in his comeback game against AU.

    Like

  70. Bob Marley says:

    I think something crazy may be possible in the CFB Playoff, let’s say that Wisconsin wins the Big Ten, USC wins the Pac-12 and Missouri beats Alabama for the SEC title. I could see the top 4 would be…

    1.) Florida State (12-0)
    2.) Baylor (11-1)
    3.) TCU (11-1)
    4.) Mississippi State (11-1)

    Would anyone complain about that? I wouldn’t, and it would show the CFB Playoff works but a 10-2 Wisconsin, 10-3 or 9-4 USC & 10-2 Missouri would be upset not getting in but I don’t think the public would hold it against the CFB Playoff committee.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      3 P5 conferences champions get left out, and co champs from one get in?
      Nothing to complain about here…

      Like

      • Bob Marley says:

        It would actually be 2 P5 conference champions in the CFB Playoff as Baylor holds the tie-breaker over TCU, which I think TCU could still be involved since they lost by a field goal to Baylor. It would be Mississippi State who wouldn’t be able to play in the SEC Championship getting in over Missouri or Georgia who wins the SEC Championship.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          That’s still 60% of P5 champios left out. Not a formula for wide acceptance from CFB fan base. This isn’t the NFL, whose national following could probably handle a beauty contest more easily yet actually has an objective result based playoff system (although far too large).

          Like

  71. Bob Marley says:

    I think the Big 12 should move to 14 schools. BYU, Cincinnati, Colorado State & Houston. Look at the divisions.

    Big 14 North
    BYU
    Cincinnati
    Colorado State
    Iowa State
    Kansas
    Kansas State
    West Virginia

    Big 14 South
    Baylor
    Houston
    Oklahoma
    Oklahoma State
    TCU
    Texas
    Texas Tech

    You get one permanent rival, rotate 2 out-of-division opponents and it allows the Big 12 to keep its 9-game scheduling. ESPN & FOX Sports would likely pay for the upgrade and it allows the teams to keep their Tier-3 rights.

    Like

    • Wainscott says:

      I’m sure Fox executives are salivating at a potential Kansas vs Colorado State matchup. BYU would maybe carry enough financial value to pay for itself–maybe. Cincy, Colorado State, and Houston would be mooches, decreasing per school revenue. No incentive to add those schools.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        Expanding to 12 makes some sense, expanding to 14 makes less sense than staying at 10. Two more teams and you get a CCG but might as well wait on the next 2 till the next round of realignment.

        Like

  72. gfunk says:

    So who will finish first, the Terps or the Gophers? Both schools have got the ball rolling on major upgrades to their respective athletics facilities. Minnesota is a bit ahead right now, but Kevin Plank is going to write a bigger check than the current top gift of 25 million for Minnesota’s vision. On the other hand, there’s an excess of riches in Minnesota, question is: Who’ll jump aboard?

    Btw, both look like great plans, Minnesota’s is a bit nicer and more encompassing, but I’m sure Md can keep pace. The Md plans include a significant soccer stadium proposal.

    Minnesota:

    http://www.nothingshortofgreatness.com/saexcellence.php

    Maryland:

    http://www.usmd.edu/BORPortal/Materials/2014/FC/20141120/4-umcpcole.pdf

    Have at it!

    Like

    • Kevin says:

      I’d say Maryland gets theirs done quicker. Apparently they have most of the funding lined up. Not sure Minnesota’s will be nicer. All these new facilities are generally similar. I’d expect Maryland to have an Under Armor feel.

      Like

      • gfunk says:

        I just read on 247 sports that Plank is stopping at 25 million, at least for now. That’s equal to Minnesota’s largest donation so far. There’s plenty of people in Minnesota who could fund this damn thing in a matter of minutes. But I think the fundraising campaign is definitely seeking a broad range of investments.

        I do think Minnesota’s will be nicer, click the links and view the photo galleries – more breadth to their vision – crafty layout. Minnesota’s will also be more expensive. Md looks to be sinking more into the soccer stadium than expected. But these are both far from done.

        I’ve been to all but Rutgers in the BIG. It’s a shame how underrated Minnesota’s campus is, but not for long. Just explosive growth on campus and now a major light rail line runs through the heart of campus.

        I am, however, disgusted by the trend of corporate, faux urban student housing throughout the campus, something quite common across the country.

        NW is also a campus on fire with development – also another underrated BIG campus.

        Like

        • Kevin says:

          That may be true on how much Plank is donating but from what I gather there are other donors and they are expected to break ground next year. They are asking the state to contribute for the medical building component and another 25 million will be borrowed and repaid through B1G revenue. The balance is mostly donors. Essentially most of the $155 is accounted for currently.

          Like

  73. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings/_/poll/21

    New CFP top 25:

    1. AL
    2. OR
    3. FSU
    4. MS St

    5. TCU
    6. OSU
    7. Baylor
    8. MS
    9. UCLA
    10. UGA

    11. MSU
    16. WI
    23. NE
    25. MN

    Notes:
    * SEC – 6, P12 – 6, B10 – 5, ACC – 4, B12 – 4
    * I was glad to see they took the weather and TOs into account for OSU.
    * I think MS is too high. MSU is too low.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Also, note that W/L record is still huge.

      Losses:
      0 – #3
      1 – #1-2, 4-7
      2 – #8-13, 15-16, 18, 20, 23
      3 – #14, 17, 21-22, 24-25

      Like

    • Kevin says:

      I am okay with most of the poll but I think Michigan State is too low. I think Georgia and Auburn are too high. I don’t get how Georgia’s strength of schedule is so high when you actually look at who they played and where. Their losses are not good compared to Michigan State.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Kevin,

        “I am okay with most of the poll but I think Michigan State is too low.”

        I’m with you.

        “I think Georgia and Auburn are too high.”

        The committee is infatuated with AU because of SOS. They won at #12 KSU. They killed LSU, but LSU isn’t ranked anymore. They lost at #4 MS St. They won at #8 MS (who is too high). That’s all great. But they lost to a mediocre TAMU and then got crushed by UGA.

        “I don’t get how Georgia’s strength of schedule is so high when you actually look at who they played and where. Their losses are not good compared to Michigan State.”

        But they crushed AU, and the committee loves AU. They also beat a ranked Clemson OOC and shut out a ranked MO team on the road. I agree they’re too high, but the committee is on that SEC bandwagon.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          The committee does love Auburn. They also rely way too much, IMO, on the eyeball test. Mississippi St. has beaten 1 top 25 team and only played 2. The only teams they have dominated are UT-Martin, Southern Miss and South Alabama. They struggled against UAB, Kentucky and Arkansas. But they look good performing in a mediocre manner. Alabama has only played 2 top 25 teams as well.

          Mississippi St. s/b 6 or 7. Alabama should be no better than #3. I don’t really have a problem with Ole Miss. UCLA is the only 2 loss team with arguably a better resume.

          I don’t know how you rate Georgia. They’re very Jekyll and Hyde. I am pretty confident that if they get in the SEC ccg, they win, no matter who they play.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/103413/playoff-breakdown-if-the-games-were-today-3

      If the games were today:

      12/31
      12:30p Peach = 10. UGA vs Marshall (yawn)
      4p Fiesta = 7. Baylor vs 9. UCLA
      8p Orange = 18. GT vs 8. MS

      1/1
      12:30p Cotton = 5. TCU vs 6. OSU
      5p Rose = 2. OR vs 3. FSU
      8:30p Sugar = 1. AL vs 4. MS St (rematch)

      Like

  74. Ross says:

    So, Kentucky just slammed #5 Kansas 72-40. I think it says more about Kansas, but I do expect this offense to improve.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Logic dictates Iowa soon to start surfing, Miami-an alpine ski team…

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Well rowing is one of the sports ASU is looking at adding for women.
        Sun Devils hockey!?!

        Like

        • Kevin says:

          Seems strange for ASU to add hockey. Who will they play? Are there nearby D1 programs other than in Colorado? Would think travel would be tough.

          Like

          • @Kevin – The Colorado schools (Denver, Colorado College, Air Force) are the closest schools. Granted, one thing that ASU has going for it is that it’s located in a major market that has direct flights to a wide breadth of destinations (so that has to be weighed against schools in small towns in the upper Midwest that don’t have that luxury even if they have other hockey schools are technically geographically closer).

            This is just my gut feeling, but I think ASU will be fairly successful for hockey. They will likely have a stranglehold over any hockey players that come out of California and I’m sure that they’d be attractive to Texas-based players that aren’t interested in cold weather winters, too. Those aren’t big hockey player-producing states on a per capita basis, but the sheer population from those two places alone (much less the rest of the West) can certainly support a solid D-1 hockey program. Plus, ASU has already been attracting a large contingent of Chicago students, too, and that’s another market where D-1 hockey talent is getting dispersed because of the lack of a home-based program. (Hence, my continuous call for an Illinois alum to spare $100 million or so to create an Illini hockey program that I firmly believe would do gangbusters.) There was a huge opening on the West Coast and in the Southwest for a D-1 hockey program to fill and Arizona State is now the first mover. I don’t necessarily think that there will be enough hockey talent to sustain a full Pac-12 hockey conference, but ASU alone can definitely fill a currently unmet need.

            Like

          • There’s also an interesting stat that Jim Delany pointed out a couple of years ago: the Phoenix metro area actually has more Big Ten grads living there than Pac-12 grads. While many Sun Belt towns have a fair number of Northern transplants, it’s particularly acute in Phoenix specifically. So, a well-located hockey team can certainly draw interest there. (Emphasis on “well-located”, as the Coyotes arena isn’t well-located at all in relation to the Scottsdale/Mesa/Tempe side of the area where most of the Midwestern transplants live.)

            Like

          • Mike says:

            @Frank – I just quickly pulled the home state of each player in the top junior league, the USHL, from their website. These kids are basically the top recruits for college programs. I’m a little surprised how much talent the state produces.

            MN 61
            MI 59
            IL 45
            NY 27
            CA 25
            WI 22
            MO 18
            OH 11
            NJ 11
            PA 11
            CO 10
            TX 8
            FL 8
            AK 5
            NE 4
            IN 4
            AZ 4
            CT 3
            VA 3
            UT 3
            MD 3
            IA 3
            ID 3
            ND 3
            WA 2
            NV 2
            RI 2
            NH 2
            NC 1
            VT 1
            SD 1
            TN 1
            OK 1
            GA 1
            ME 1
            DC 1

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Yep, ASU will do well in recruiting with CA nearby (winter sports definitely have adherents there). MO surprisingly high on the list. New England is pretty weak (I know that, unlike the upper-Midwest, hockey is seen as a rich kids’ sport there).

            Like

      • Brian says:

        ccrider55,

        “Logic dictates Iowa soon to start surfing, Miami-an alpine ski team…”

        Nebraska has beach volleyball, IIRC.

        Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          But all they needed to play beach volleyball in downtown London for the Olympics was to truck in the sand, and Nebraska does have the Sand Hills, so they have plenty of sand. They are laying the groundwork to take over the sport when the rising seas floods out all of the natural beaches.

          Like

  75. Bob Marley says:

    1.) Florida State
    2.) Oregon
    3.) Alabama
    4.) Mississippi State
    5.) Ohio State
    6.) Baylor
    7.) TCU
    8.) Ole Miss
    9.) UCLA
    10.) Georgia

    That’s my Top 10 CFB Rankings. Florida State hasn’t lost and shouldn’t be punished for being the defending National Champions. I’m not mad at Mississippi State being #4 but eventually I think Ohio State would overtake them. The Final 4 is most likely Alabama, Oregon, Florida State & Ohio State.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      The 2014-15 FSU team is not the defending champion. They didn’t win the 2014-15 title last year. People keep ascribing that saying born and somewhat more applicable in boxing (and perhaps other individual sports). Is everyone still the same as last year, opponents included?

      Like

    • bullet says:

      I think Mississippi St. is in if they win out, unless they completely re-evaluate things. Noone else will have a win over #8 in the last few weeks. Now sometimes they do seem to completely re-evaluate things. So there may be hope.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        In a radio interview, either Hancock or Long said 4-7 were very close right now. If so, then conference championships should matter and MS St will drop. Also, OSU still has the CCG and Baylor will play KSU. Those games are bigger than the Egg Bowl considering what’s on the line.

        And again, I don’t see how MS is #8 especially after Treadwell’s injury.

        Like

        • Kevin says:

          I agree that conf championships will be the decider ultimately. I have a lunch bet with my coworker who taking the opposite view. We’ll find out in a couple of weeks.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          I think AL and Miss. St. are overrated. Ole Miss looks about right for now. Who would you put ahead of them? I don’t think anyone has an argument but UCLA. After the top 9, everyone has lots of flaws in their resume or little to claim.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            MS has one good win, and they wouldn’t get that now with Treadwell hurt.

            I’d look at all of these teams above MS: UCLA, UGA, MSU, KSU and ASU

            Like

    • bullet says:

      http://big12fanatic.com/poll-position-week-13/

      Interesting take on how the poll played out. Says he was able to model it pretty well-until this week when everything got thrown out the window.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        https://secexposed.wordpress.com/

        Site questions this week’s playoff poll and has a few links of others saying the same thing. Mostly its a rant against the “SEC/ESPN conspiracy.” There’s starting to be more complaints.

        I really think the committee is starting to lose credibility this week with Alabama jumping to #1 and Miss. St. staying #4. Every criteria they’ve talked about says MSU can’t be as high as #4. And Alabama jumping that high is pretty questionable also. They talk about Baylor’s weak ooc strength of schedule but ignore MSU’s. They talk about big wins and Alabama and MSU each only have 1 win vs. their top 25. Then they invent the concept of “game control.” TCU didn’t have it vs. Kansas. Alabama did vs. MSU. But MSU stays high because they only lost by 5 (even though Alabama “controlled” them). And they ignore that Alabama almost lost to Arkansas and LSU.

        I don’t think having similar arguments 7 times improves their ability to get it right in December. The ratings haven’t been static, but positions may harden and you start to get silly new concepts to justify very subjective eyeball tests.

        Like

        • @bullet – That has been my problem with the committee so far. The standards are shifting from week-to-week where it’s basically all coming down to justifying a love for the SEC regardless of the results. I’m a Big Ten fan that doesn’t really buy many of these SEC conspiracy theories (because they legitimately have had a disproportionate number of the top teams in college football for almost the past decade) and I’ve stated on this blog before that Big Ten fans need to stop whining over any supposed love that ESPN has for the SEC. However, in this particular case, the committee’s reasoning this week is almost blatantly geared toward ensuring that at least one SEC team is in the playoff come hell or high water. For instance, if Ole Miss wins the Egg Bowl, then they’re in position to jump back into the top 4 since Mississippi State is still ranked so high (and whoever wins the Egg Bowl can stay in the top 4 even if Alabama ends up losing to Auburn or in the SEC Championship Game). Like I’ve said, the committee is showing to be a poll with just a much smaller voting population (so any single person with a bias is getting exacerbated in the results).

          Like

      • Brian says:

        Your link doesn’t work.

        Like

  76. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Coaches’ salaries from USA Today.

    http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/

    Top 27 ($3mm and over) by conference.

    SEC (10): #1 Bama, #4 A&M, #7 LSU, #10 S Car, #12 Auburn, #16 Mizzou, #17 UGA, #20 Ark, #25 Ole Miss, #27 Miss State

    Big XII (6): #3 Oklahoma, #5 Texas, #11 TCU, #15 OK State, #22 Baylor, #23 West VA

    B1G (5): #2 Mich State, #6 Ohio State, #8 Penn State, #9 Iowa, #24 Nebraska

    Pac-12 (3): #13 Wash, #18 Arizona, #19 UCLA (USC did not disclose)

    ACC (3) #14 Fla State, #21 Clemson, #26 Louisville

    Like

    • Mack says:

      Not many successful programs are off of that list. 55 of the 60 disclosed P5 coaches make $1.8M or more; Notre Dame at $1.5M is an outlier. Oregon, Stanford, and Wisconsin are successful at about $2M. Rutgers is the only P5 school that pays <$1M.

      Not on $3M+ list:
      SEC: KY, Vandy (not disclosed), TN (j#28), FL (will be with new coach next year)
      Big XII: KSU (#29, Bill Snyder is not going anywhere), ISU, TT, KS (Weiss was at $2.5M)
      B1G: MI $2.9M; NW $2.5M, WI $2,2M; IL,MD,MN,Purdue $1.9M-$2.1M; IN $1.3M; Rutgers 1M
      P12: ASU, WSU $2.7M; UT $2.2M, CO, OR, Stanford $2M; CA $1.8M, OrSt $1.5M
      ACC: VT, GT $2.6M; VA, Miami $2.3M; Duke, NC, NCSU $1.8M; Pitt $1.6M, others no data

      I expect Michigan will join the $3M+ club with a new coach; they are just below with Hoke at #30.

      Like

  77. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Details of the SEC bowl selection process.

    http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2014/1119/SEC%20Bowl%20Selection%20Process%202014.pdf

    Obviously SEC-centric, but I thought y’all might find it interesting since there are so many SEC/B1G bowls. There were a few items I wasn’t aware of as well, including this:

    “3) How can SEC Team be selected to participate in the Orange Bowl?
    When the Orange Bowl is not a semifinal game and an SEC team is the highest ranked team
    among the non-champions of the SEC and Big Ten and ranked higher than Notre Dame then
    that team will participate in the Orange Bowl. There are eight years in which the Orange Bowl
    is not a semifinal game and the SEC is guaranteed three of the eight years, the Big Ten is
    guaranteed three of the eight years and the remaining two years can be filled by Notre Dame,
    the SEC or the Big Ten based on CFP Selection Committee rankings. To be clear, the SEC
    Champion can never participate in the Orange Bowl unless it is a semifinal game.”

    Like

    • bullet says:

      What happens if UGA wins this year and doesn’t make the playoffs? They would likely be the highest SEC team not in the playoffs.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        Then they’d be in the Fiesta, Cotton, or Peach Bowls. The Orange cannot take a conference champ (that was a concession to the other 3 bowls).

        Like

  78. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Orlando gets in the opening weekend OOC neutral site game with Florida State and Ole Miss in 2016.

    http://www.seminoles.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=32900&ATCLID=209772693

    Like

  79. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/103462/ohio-state-deserves-to-be-in-top-four

    An ACC reporter for ESPN.com makes the case for OSU in the playoff.

    Like

  80. Brian says:

    http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2014/11/19/chip-brown-sec-will-prevent-am-from-matchup-with-ut/

    Chip Brown is reporting that the SEC is telling the SEC/B12 bowls they will not allow a UT/TAMU bowl game because of the potential recruiting downside for TAMU and the SEC if TAMU loses.

    Like

  81. Brian says:

    http://www.heraldsun.com/breakingnews/x761892513/ACC-commissioner-Swofford-8-teams-ideal-for-playoff

    John Swofford:

    Speaking at Wednesday’s weekly Durham Sports Club meeting at the Croasdaile Country Club, Swofford said an eight-team playoff, “in terms of the number of teams, would probably be ideal.”

    Swofford said educational concerns limited the initial rollout of the system to four teams.

    “I do think it has a great deal of potential,” he said. “The question is asked a lot, ‘Why not eight?’ or ‘Will it become eight in a few years?’ I can tell you why not eight, right now: The presidents made the decision as to how far we can go with the playoff, and the bookends are exams in December, and the presidents don’t want football to become a two semester sport. Those concerns are education-based. So I think they’re appropriate.”

    He expects the major college conferences to remain stable for a while after a “tumultuous decade” that saw many teams switch conferences, including his own league’s addition of four teams in the last three years.

    “For the next 12 to 15 years, I don’t think you’ll see movement in the Power Five conferences,” Swofford said. “Unless someone grows and adds a team not currently in the Power Five, but I don’t think you’ll see any teams moving within it.”

    Swofford also said that the ACC has been “quietly aggressive” in working toward an ACC television channel, similar to the SEC’s venture with ESPN that debuted this year.

    Like

    • bob sykes says:

      That should be fun. Two Heisman-quality quarterbacks on the same team. How would you get both on the field at the same time?

      Like

      • urbanleftbehind says:

        Do to Barrett what should have been done to Tebow in his latter Florida years – use him as a hybrid FB/TE/H-back. If it doesnt work, it was just one year and he could be a pilot case for a “bad-position-switch redshirt”. Jamarcus Russell would have been an all-pro TE in the NFL right now if someone had the nads to make him switch.

        Like

        • greg says:

          LOL! Tebow led the country in passer rating his senior year, while rushing for 910 yards and 14 TD. But they should’ve moved him to H-Back.

          The stupidity on the internet never ceases to amaze.

          Like

        • bob sykes says:

          I think I would move Miller to RB. He is a better runner. Barrett is a better passer. Both are too small for TE or H-back.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            bob sykes,

            “I think I would move Miller to RB. He is a better runner. Barrett is a better passer. Both are too small for TE or H-back.”

            OSU uses a small H-back in Urban Meyer’s offense (the Percy Harvin position).

            H-backs – Wilson = 5’10” 188, Marshall = 5’11” 205
            QBs – Barrett = 6’1″ 225, Miller = 6’2″ 215
            RBs – Elliott = 6’0″ 225, Samuel = 5’11” 196 (originally recruited as an H-back)

            I’d consider putting both in the backfield on many plays, especially to run true run/pass option plays. Miller fits OSU’s H-back role pretty well plus it’d make for some tough defensive choices when he touches the ball in the backfield.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            A pitch to Miller in a run-pass option sounds like a real nightmare for the linebackers with responsibilities on that side. That gives you not only multiple play action pass sets, but also multiple pass action run opportunities.

            Like

  82. Brian says:

    http://www.si.com/college-football/2014/11/21/duke-unc-acc-coastal-division-title-college-football-week-13

    In an important game last night, UNC crushed Duke 45-20. That clinched the ACC Coastal for GT. That means rather than FSU facing an easily out-manned Duke team, they’ll face the #3 rushing offense in the country with their unusual triple option. FSU’s odds of losing are much higher now. #18 GT is 9-2 and play at UGA next week. A 9-3 GT team will probably rank in the 20s. Assuming GT loses to FSU, they’ll probably become unranked. That would leave #22 Clemson and #24 Louisville as the possible choices to replace FSU in the Orange Bowl. Clemson hosts SC this year, but SC has won 5 straight in the series. UL faces ND and then UK.

    The Orange Bowl is really hoping Clemson beats SC so they aren’t stuck with an unranked team.

    Like

  83. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/gametracker/recap/NCAAF_20141120_KSTATE@WVU/no-12-kansas-state-beats-west-virginia-26-20

    In the other big game last night, #12 KSU won at WV 26-20. WV is now 6-5 (4-4).

    B12 standings:
    1t. TCU 6-1 (beat KSU, lost to Baylor)
    1t. KSU 6-1 (ends the year vs Baylor)
    3. Baylor 5-1 (lost to WV)

    This game had playoff implications. WV losing hurt Baylor by making their loss look worse, and AL a little (best OOC win). In turn, it helped TCU and OSU.

    If Baylor wins out, they’d win the tiebreaker to represent the B12. OSU is already ahead of them in the rankings, the WV loss now looks comparable to the VT loss, and they have comparable slates left (3 games each: Baylor – OkSU, TT, KSU; OSU – IN, MI, CCG).

    If Baylor loses to KSU, then TCU wins the tiebreaker. OSU is just behind them in the rankings, but OSU has a better slate left (TCU – UT, ISU) and thus a decent chance to pass them.

    TCU is helped because their loss to Baylor hasn’t been a factor yet due to disparate resumes. Anything that makes Baylor look worse helps maintain that separation .

    Like

  84. Brian says:

    Bowl eligibility by conference:

    ACC – 9 in, 1 5 win, 2 6 loss, 2 out
    B10 – 9 in, 1 5 win, 2 6 loss, 2 out
    B12 – 6 in, 1 5 win, 3 out
    P12 – 6 in, 4 5 win, 2 out
    SEC – 8 in, 5 5 win, 1 6 loss (5-6), 1 out

    Likely totals:
    ACC 10-11
    B10 10-11
    B12 6
    P12 8-9
    SEC 11

    That’s 45-48 of 64.

    Like

  85. Mike says:

    Goldy Gopher and Faux Pelini create the “The Bits of Wooden Chair Trophy” for Nebraska and Minnesota.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/CFB/comments/2mzlaz/goldy_gopher_has_creates_trophy_for_nebraska_game/

    Like

  86. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/24826158/antitrust-law-professors-support-ncaas-obannon-appeal

    15 antitrust-law professors wrote a brief backing the NCAA’s O’Bannon appeal.

    In the brief, the professors wrote that U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken “misapplied” the less-restrictive alternative prong of her analysis that found the NCAA violated antitrust law.

    If Wilken’s judgment is upheld, it “would substantially expand the power of the federal courts to alter organizational rules that serve important social and academic interests,” the antitrust-law professors wrote. “… This approach expands the ‘less restrictive alternative prong’ of the antitrust rule of reason well beyond any appropriate boundaries and would install the judiciary as a regulatory agency for collegiate athletics.”

    The professors wrote there is “limited appellate authority” regarding the question about the scope of the less-restrictive alternative. Most cases are decided by a plaintiff’s failure to establish harm to competition, or a defendant’s failure to support a procompetitive justification, the brief states.

    But the professors argued there are precedents “that make it clear the district court overstepped its bounds” and allowing antitrust courts to “impose their own views” could leave other organizations open to suit.

    “For example, a court could easily follow the reasoning below to require compensation for Little League baseball players at a level deemed ‘fair’ by a district judge,” the professors wrote. “Similarly, a kennel club could be required to alter its breed standard if a breeder claims to have been excluded because their dogs are an inch or two shorter than the adopted standard. … Courts would have free rein to rewrite any rule adopted by an organization plausibly found to have restrained a relevant market if they can identify modest changes that may (or may not) be fairer.”

    Like

  87. Brian says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2014/11/21/college-football-notebook-florida-pj-fleck-melvin-gordon-jt-barrett/70026216/

    The UF job isn’t quite as good as people think it is.

    The common perception is that Florida’s head coaching job, which opened this week when the school announced it would part ways with Will Muschamp at the end of the season, is among the four best in college football alongside Texas, Alabama and Southern California.

    The reason most often given is that Florida, as the flagship university in the nation’s most fertile talent-producing state, has natural advantages that should allow it to compete for Southeastern Conference and national titles practically every year.

    But is Florida really a top-three job, or is the national perception better than the reality?

    USA TODAY Sports posed that question to several agents and others tied to the coaching search industry, who agreed to give their opinion on the condition of anonymity to protect any potential dealings with Florida during the search.

    The consensus response: Though Florida is an excellent job, there may be some hidden issues that would, as one suggested, put it behind the likes of Texas, Alabama, Ohio State and perhaps a couple others.

    “If those elite jobs are a 10, Florida is a 9.5,” the person said.

    Why is Florida, which won national titles in 1996, 2006 and 2008, considered within the industry to be just a touch less attractive than the best jobs in the country?

    Facilities and expectations.

    Like

  88. Brian says:

    http://bloguin.com/thestudentsection/2014/uniforms-of-the-week-usc-and-ucla-continue-a-colorful-tradition.html

    I really wish more rivalries did this. Almost every major rivalry would be better this way. Army/Navy is about the only exception (black and navy might be too similar).

    Like

    • dtwphx says:

      I think someone mentioned this previously.
      Nebraska and Wisconsin should play each year for the right to wear red.
      Why does one team always have to wear white?

      Like

      • Brian says:

        You no longer have to wear white. The NCAA changed the rule, assuming the home and road teams agreed to do it.

        From the NCAA Football rule book, rule 1:

        ARTICLE 5. a. Players of opposing teams shall wear jerseys of contrasting colors. Players on the same team shall wear jerseys of the same color and design.
        1. The visiting team shall wear white jerseys; however, the home team may wear white jerseys if the teams have agreed in writing before the season.
        2. If the home team wears colored jerseys, the visiting team may also wear colored jerseys, if and only if the following conditions have been satisfied:
        a. The home team has agreed in writing prior to the game; and
        b. The conference of the home team certifies that the jersey of the visiting team is of a contrasting color.

        3. If on the kickoff at the start of each half, the visiting team wears a colored jersey in violation of the conditions specified in paragraph 2 (above), it is a foul for unsportsmanlike conduct.

        As you can see from 1.5.a.1, teams can prevent LSU from wearing white at home by refusing to approve it. I believe one team did that recently. LSU doesn’t always choose to wear white at home, though.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          USC used crimson at UCLA when the penalty was loss of a time out. Neuheisel imediately took a TO so the teams would start even. Rule was changed to allow soon after. Team could give two 15 yard penalties if they really wanted to when other team didn’t agree.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Oops…they wore cardinal. Crimson would have deserved a penalty.

            Like

          • urbanleftbehind says:

            Young Neuheisel looks like a protopical junior high quarterback from the Big Ten’s western states or the DuPage Valley Conference (Frank – are you in one of the “Valley” high school districts? – they’re gonna mop the old line DVC schools once they start playing rvery year.)

            Like

        • BruceMcF says:

          So if they have agreed in writing before the game that the next year, the winner may wear red, whether home or away, and the loser may wear white, whether home or away, and the B1G certifies that Red and White are contrasting colors, then they are allowed to do that under the current rules.

          Like

  89. Brian says:

    http://www.ncaa.com/news/soccer-men/article/2014-11-20/ohio-state-advances-second-round-after-15-rounds-penalty-kicks

    OSU beat Akron in the NCAA soccer tournament after 2OT and 15 rounds of penalty kicks (13-12). Not that it matters, since the winner gets #1 seed ND next. What a silly way to determine a winner, though.

    Like

  90. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/24825932/murky-game-control-becomes-a-tool-for-playoff-committee

    The latest playoff controversy – game control. What does it really mean? Why doesn’t it apply equally to everyone? And perhaps worst of all, is it a coincidence that ESPN started using their own made up stat of “game control” this season?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2014/11/21/college-football-playoff-committee-chairman-jeff-long-game-control/19347937/

      More from Jeff Long about it.

      As chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee, Jeff Long is charged each week with explaining the sometimes shifting rationale behind the committee’s Top 25. It’s sometimes a difficult spot to be in. But Tuesday, when he used some variation of “controlled the game” several times, it touched off some confusion.

      Was Long referring to “game control,” the advanced statistic created by and promoted by ESPN? Or to some other similar (and new) metric used by the committee?

      “There’s absolutely no metric involved,” Long told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s a discussion amongst committee members about controlling the game.”

      And he added: “The committee had not and does not and will not use that ESPN metric. Many of us were unaware of that ESPN metric.”

      Essentially, the “game control” concept, as used by Long, is just another attempt to describe a team playing well — or not — in winning: an evaluation of how a team wins. It’s subjective — but by definition, as the committee attempts to determine the “best” teams, so is the entire process.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Need something, because the anointed conference is playing: Charleston So
        Samford
        E. Kentucky
        S. Alabama
        W. Carolina
        Yeah, that makes up for only 8 conference games.

        (With the caviot that a few teams do schedule a couple good OOC games)

        Like

        • m(Ag) says:

          By the time next week’s games have ended, SEC teams will have played:
          -A Big Ten West Champion (Wisconsin might end up in a tie, but they have clinched at least a share of the title)
          -3 of the Top 6 teams in the Big 12 (If the Longhorns lose to TCU & WVU beats Iowa State, that will improve to 3 of the top 5 teams in the Big 12)
          -all 4 of the top 4 teams in the ACC, playing one those teams twice

          That’s a quite strong schedule teams even if you don’t consider top-tier mid-majors, like Boise State, Utah State, Memphis, Northern Illinois, and UCF, or lesser power teams, like Texas Tech and…sigh…Indiana.

          Now the SEC will likely take a few more OOC losses this week (I don’t think any of the 4 ACC/SEC East games this week are a given for either team), but there’s a reason why just about every computer ranking is very high on the SEC. It’s actually played many of the best non-SEC teams in the country, and produced a very strong, though not perfect (thank’s Indiana!) performance.

          The only thing really missing, is a Pac 12 matchup.

          Like

  91. Brian says:

    http://www.bigten.org/sports/m-hockey/spec-rel/m-hockey-standings.html

    B10 conference hockey got started this week. OSU and MSU split a pair of games and PSU beat MI.

    Like

  92. Brian says:

    A fairly important slate of B10 games at noon today.

    #6 OSU looked terrible beating IN, but did pull away in the fourth quarter. That’s going to hurt the resume, but they clinched the East.

    IL beat PSU and NW beat PU, so IL/NW is for bowl eligibility next week. PSU is already bowl eligible and PU was already ineligible, so no harm there.

    #25 MN beat #23 NE in a tight game. That’s good for OSU and TCU (and MN, obviously). It may be the loss that gets Pelini fired, though (not because MN is bad at all, but because NE fans are so sick of losing 3 games).

    B10 West race:
    WI 5-1
    MN 5-2 (beat IA)
    IA 4-2
    NE 4-3

    MN and WI control their own destiny in the West.

    If WI beats IA today: The WI/MN winner wins the West

    If IA beats WI today (3 teams at 5-2), things get messier:
    A. IA beats NE, so 2 teams tied at 6-2 – either MN (if they beat WI) or IA wins the West
    B. NE beats IA, WI/MN winner wins the West.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      And the afternoon games were pretty big, too.

      WI beat IA to set up the MN game for the West title.

      Also, UMD won at MI so MI has to beat OSU next week to make a bowl game.

      Meanwhile, FSU won on a late FG and AR is whipping #8 MS. Also, ND trails UL by 3 (important for the Orange Bowl).

      Like

  93. Brian says:

    Several top schools struggling early today:

    #1 AL 10, WCU 7 after 1 qtr
    #3 FSU 17, BC 10 at half
    AR 17, #8 MS 0 halfway through the 2nd quarter

    Like

  94. gfunk says:

    Congratulations to Michigan State Women’s Cross Country for being the first BIG school to win an NCAA title for this calendar year. I’m still scanning for full results. Colorado won the Men’s title.

    Like

  95. Andy says:

    Mizzou just won a share of their 5th divisional championship trophy in 8 years.

    Like

  96. Brian says:

    http://sportspolls.usatoday.com/ncaa/football/polls/coaches-poll/

    Coaches poll:

    AL passes FSU for #1. 3-7 stayed the same. #8 MS dropped to 19, so #9-17 all basically moved up one (UCLA passed KSU for #10, too).

    7. OSU
    8. MSU
    14. WI
    22. MN

    27. NE

    Like

  97. Brian says:

    http://collegefootball.ap.org/poll

    AP poll:

    Baylor too #5 from TCU. #8 MS dropped to 18, letting others slide up one. UCLA passed MSU for #9 and AZ jumped 3 spots to #12.

    7. OSU
    10. MSU
    14. WI
    22. MN

    28. NE

    Like

  98. bullet says:

    OOC record vs. FBS:
    SEC 34-3 (that’s why the computers all like them)
    Pac 12 22-5
    B1G 31-14
    Big 12 15-7
    ACC 30-20
    MWC 17-24
    CUSA 17-26
    AACK! 8-28
    MAC 8-31
    SB 4-29
    Ind 19-18

    Like

  99. Tom says:

    Not that it matters any more since the BTN is now available in the New York area, but for people wondering whether the B1G could ever capture the New York market, Michigan played in Brooklyn tonight (beating Oregon 70-63) in front of a sizable Michigan contingent. Will be interesting to see the crowd break down tomorrow night when Michigan faces Villanova.

    Like

  100. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings/_/poll/21

    CFP rankings:

    The top 7 are unchanged, MS dropped 11 spots to #19. MN up 7 spots, AZ up 4.

    1. AL
    2. OR
    3. FSU
    4. MS St

    5. TCU
    6. OSU
    7. Baylor
    8. UCLA
    9. UGA
    10. MSU

    14. WI
    18. MN

    23. Boise
    24. Marshall

    If Boise wins the MWC, they’d likely get the G5 spot over undefeated Marshall.

    Like

  101. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings/_/poll/21

    If the season ended today:

    12/31

    12:30 Peach = 9 UGA vs 7 Baylor
    4:00 Fiesta = 23 Boise vs 8 UCLA
    8:00 Orange = 16 GT vs 10 MSU

    1/1
    12:30 Cotton = 5 TCU vs 6 OSU
    5:00 Rose = 2 OR vs 3 FSU
    8:30 Sugar = 1 AL vs No. 4 MS St

    Like

  102. Stuart says:

    Frank, what about G5 and Basketball conference realignment?

    The rumor which seems the strongest is that UAB might drop football after 2016 and move sports to the A-10. That is bound to have a ripple effect beyond C-USA into some other G5 conferences, especially the SBC. I am thinking we might see some realignment not from expansion, but from collapse of one or two or three programs and consolidation of the survivors.

    Is something like that looming?

    Like

  103. Brian says:

    http://www.bcsn.tv/news_article/show/451258?referrer_id=878183

    A look at how OSU has changed academically in the past 20 years in comparison to U of M, and its impact on the field.

    Ohio State’s incoming class averaged a 28.8 on the ACT — up from 22.8 in 1995 and 25.8 in 2005 — while 61 percent of the freshmen graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

    Freshmen at Michigan, which is rated by U.S. News and World Report as the country’s fourth-best public college, averaged a 30 on the entrance exam.

    Different academic solar systems?

    “Not anymore,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said.

    Though Ohio State has endured some criticism as the school’s out-of-state student population soars — the percentage of incoming non-Ohio natives more than doubled from 13.5 in 2005 to 30.9 this year — it is Ohio’s new most selective public university.

    OSU’s main campus, ranked the nation’s 16th-best public college by U.S. News and World Report, admitted 55.3 percent of applicants last year while Miami (Ohio), billed along with Michigan as one of the eight original “Public Ivies” in the 1980s, had an acceptance rate of 66.7 percent. (Incoming freshmen at Miami averaged a 28 on the ACT.) Michigan accepted 32.2 percent of applicants.

    So is football coach Urban Meyer, who, as a graduate assistant at Ohio State in 1986 and 1987, remembers the chasm in the rivals’ academic status sometimes being used against OSU in recruiting.

    “You never hear that anymore,” he said.

    Meyer calls the school’s growing reputation a “big topic of conversation” with high school prospects and their parents.

    Like at other major-conference schools, athletes at Ohio State are clearly granted leeway in admissions.

    Data obtained via an open-records request shows athletes in OSU’s 36 varsity sports averaged a score of 24.9 on the ACT and 1108 on the SAT (non-athletes averaged a 1276). Football players averaged a 21.4 — the national average among all test-takers is a 21.0 — while averages in other sports ranged from an 18.9 (men’s hockey) to a 29.6 (women’s fencing). Close behind were women’s crew (29.9), men’s gymnastics (28.8), and men’s and women’s rifle and women’s cross country (28.7). Men’s basketball players averaged a 20.3.

    A similar dilemma confronts Michigan, where, earlier this month, new president Mark Schlissel said the university went too far in bending its admissions standards for athletes.

    “We admit students who aren’t as qualified,” Schlissel said, according to the Michigan Daily. “And it’s probably the kids that we admit that can’t, honestly, even with lots of help, do the amount of work and the quality of work it takes to make progression from year to year.”

    Michigan declined a request for the test scores of its athletes. An athletic department spokesman did not respond to a request seeking comment from interim athletic director Jim Hackett or another department official.

    Smith stressed that Ohio State admits only athletes he believes can — with aid from an academic support staff paid $2.7 million per year — succeed in the classroom.

    “We red color-code our guys in the [recruiting] war room, as far as you can only take a couple guys where you’ve got to be very cautious,” Meyer said. “That was much different than 25 years ago when I was here before. You’ve got to be very cautious about who you’e taking at this place.”

    I’ve always felt our mission is very similar to building an orchestra,” Gee said. “You build it one oboe, one violin at the time, and you get people with very particular talents, but in the end, you have to have an orchestra. And the university’s orchestra can’t be good without the oboe players who sometimes don’t perform as well on the SATs but are brilliant oboe players. On the other hand, the trumpet players are always very, very handy and smart.

    “That’s the way I think about athletics. No. 1, we want to make sure we admit students only if we believe they can graduate. That has to be the polar star. Then, we have to think very seriously about how we build a university in which people with many different kinds of talents can flourish and contribute but not all of them might have the same talents.”

    Could Ohio State’s orchestra ever fully catch up to its rival symphony?

    Probably not. With more than a century’s head start as one of the world’s premier institutions, Michigan is still Michigan. It is the school that prompted former President John F. Kennedy, a Harvard graduate, to call his alma mater the “Michigan of the East.” And, it is the place with a $9.7 billion endowment surpassed only by five universities: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, and Princeton.

    Like

  104. Brian says:

    A little history on The Game:

    110 total games (official record – 2010 OSU win vacated)
    Annual since 1918
    End of the season since 1934
    MI leads 58-46-6

    Stassen’s database only counts 1904 and 1918-now (does not vacate the 2010 win in head to head results page)
    97 total games
    MI leads 47-46-4

    B10 play (started in 1918)
    95 total games
    MI leads 46-45-4

    Since various years:
    Post-WWII: OSU 34-32-3
    Last 50 years: OSU 25-23-2

    MI went 13-0-2 in the first 15 meetings.

    OSU’s first win came in 1919. OSU also won in 1920 and 1921. The run of success inspired OSU to build Ohio Stadium with a capacity of 66,210 for 1922 (construction started before the 1921 season). OSU promptly lost to MI 6 times in a row in 1922-1927.

    Recent history:
    John Cooper era (1988-2000): MI 10-2-1 (1-4 when ranked higher in the AP poll)
    Post-Cooper era (2001-2013): OSU 11-2

    Famous Games
    1950 – the Snow Bowl

    The game was played in one of the worst blizzards in Columbus history. OSU was given the option of cancelling the game, and thus winning the B10 by default, but refused. There were 45 punts, often on 1st down. MI won 9-3 despite 0 first downs and 0 completed passes, scoring on 2 blocked punts, to win the Rose Bowl berth.

    1968 – Woody goes for 2

    Up 50-14, Woody went for 2 after the last TD. When asked after the game why he did it, he famously said, “Because I couldn’t go for three.”

    1969-1978 – the 10-year war

    Bo took over MI in 1969, leaving Miami (OH) after being an assistant under Woody for years. OSU was the reigning national champ and on a 22-game winning streak, but MI upset them 24-12 thanks to 6 interceptions. This kicked off an era of both sides having great teams and elevated The Game to it’s national standing. Between 1970 and 1975, 4 times both teams were in the AP top 5. MI was undefeated all 6 of those years but only won once. Because the B10 only allowed the Rose Bowl, MI had 10-win teams that didn’t go bowling in 1972-4.

    Woody was fired after 1978, with the War ending up 5-4-1 in favor of MI.

    1973 – the Vote

    Both teams entered The Game undefeated and the game was a 10-10 tie at MI. The B10 ADs had to vote to decide who goes to the Rose Bowl (the old rule of no repeat trips to the Rose ended after 1971). OSU won the vote, in part because MI’s QB broke his leg during the game, and MI has been upset ever since (they thought they had more votes because so many ADs had MI ties). The B10 only allowed 1 bowl team, so MI had to stay home. Bo was angry about it until the day he died.

    2001 – the Promise

    Soon after being hired, Jim Tressel appeared at halftime of a MBB game. He said “I can assure you that you will be proud of our young people, in the classroom, in the community, and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the football field.” OSU upset MI 26-20 for their first win in Ann Arbor in 14 years.

    2006 – Game of the Century

    It was #1 vs #2 for the first time ever in the series, and the game lived up to it. Bo died the day before and got a video tribute and a moment of silence. raising the emotions even higher. OSU won 42-39 at home on their way to the national title, with the game ending under the lights as this was the only 3:30 kickoff in the series (all others before 3pm, all but 4 before 1:30pm). 21.8M viewers watched it (the most since 1993 for CFB regular season games), and it was the first 3-game winning streak in the series for OSU in 43 years. Just after The Game, the lottery numbers were 4-2-3-9 with a lot of winners (over $2M paid out with a max win of $5000).

    Coaching records (5 or more games):
    Tressel, OSU, 2001-2010 = 9-1 (officially 8-1)
    Yost, MI, 1901-1923, 1925-6 = 16-3-1
    Crisler, MI, 1938-1947 = 7-2-1
    Moeller, MI, 1990-4 = 3-1-1
    Hayes, OSU, 1951-1978 = 16-11-1
    Schmidt, OSU, 1934-1940 = 4-3
    Bruce, OSU, 1979-1987 = 5-4
    Schembechler, MI, 1969-1989 = 11-9-1
    Oosterbaan, MI, 1948-1958 = 5-5-1
    Carr, MI, 1995-2007 = 6-7
    Willaman, OSU, 1929-1933 = 2-3
    Wilce, OSU, 1918-1928 = 4-7
    Kipke, MI, 1929-1937 = 3-6
    Elliott, MI, 1959-1968 = 3-7
    Cooper, OSU, 1988-2000 = 2-10-1

    Like

    • gfunk says:

      Game of the Century – not even close & the mass media will correct this overstatement in due time. After this game, OSU got smoked by Florida – the snails versus road runners game. Michigan got whipped by USC. Last year’s Iron Bowl will in due time be recognized as the best rivalry game since 2000 & perhaps all time. Heck, I’d put this game first, then the Iron Bowls in 2009 & 2010 over OSU-MI 2006 any day. I’d even put last year’s “The Game” over 2006. We had a nice brawl and Michigan had no business keeping that game close – 2 point conversion goes through, OSU has one of the most humiliating losses – ever – on its resume. No BCS game.

      The Iron Bowl’s current 5 year run is simply putting “The Game” a distant second & everyone outside Ann Arbor & Columbus, and yesteryear BIG fans clinging to the “big two” knows it. The winner of Mi-OSU will likely never produce 4 consecutive national champions, 5 consecutive NCs If Bama wins today, they may make it 6 consecutive Iron Bowl winners in the NC.

      I woke up in 2006 and realized the BIG, despite being a long-time fan, is exceptionally overrated because OSU and Mi have dominated the conference much of the time since 70 and both have too often flopped in post-season play. But Michigan gets credit for at least winning games against the SEC – something OSU still can’t do unless NCAA violations are running their course.

      I sure hope this rivalry means something again, national stage, but the Maize and Blue is teetering on further disaster right now while RRod is soaking up the sun in Az. Btw, RRod wouldn’t be the coach he is right now if not for the termination in Ann Arbor. The short term memory Internet posters seem to forget that RRoad had 3 very average seasons at Michigan and his final bowl game was a massive blowout loss to Miss State. I mean Mi got destroyed in that game.

      Like

  105. Chet says:

    The following is from a letter written to WJR Radio Station, December 20, 1977:

    Dear Mr Ufer, I sincerely hope this letter reaches you as I am writing it to congratulate you for what I feel is a job extremely well done: your broadcasting of the University of Michigan football games. I’ve recently had the pleasure to hear the album of recorded excerpts from your play-by-play broadcasts over the last several years, and even recorded it for the benefit of my friends here in Columbus. Being an OSU graduate and a devout fan of the university’s athletic teams and coaches, your harsh criticisms and attacks on Coach Woody Hayes upset me somewhat. However I’ve become used to hearing and reading such points of you and attribute them in part to the fact that very few people recognize or understand the total dedication with which Coach Hayes approaches his job, and to this his love and support of the athletes who play on his football team and the university itself, and I think it offers an explanation if not an excuse for some of his more radical actions and reactions. But this is a digression from the point of this letter. I have for some time considered myself a critic of play-by-play announcers of various sports. Granted I’ve considered some broadcasters who are relatively obscure in the profession to be very good and dislike the performances of some of the household names with six figure network salaries. My observance encompasses both national figures and local ones from many areas and I’ve come to two distinct conclusions. First I enjoy and admire a partial broadcaster, even a cheerleader, if I feel he is sincere and accurate in his reporting, and does not hesitate to give credit to the people on the wrong sideline if such praise is justified. And second I think you personify this type of reporter and I honestly envy the University of Michigan for having you as part of its football tradition. Perhaps at thirty I am mellowing a little bit. Perhaps I have grown more tired than I realize of listening to local announcers describe an Ohio State football game, in my opinion the greatest spectacle in all of sport, with all the excitement and enthusiasm of a greyhound trip to Pittsburgh. Whatever the reason I can actually thrill to the emotional ecstasy in your voice when Michigan makes a big play, yes, some times even against Ohio State. And sympathize with the emotional disaster you verbalize at times such as the heart rendering missed field goals at Purdue in 1976 and down here in 1974. Michigan football must mean a very great deal to you for you to be able to get it across to an anti-Michigan man like me. I would surrender almost anything short of a victory over the Blue and Maize to have Bob Ufer broadcasting Ohio State football. Mr Ufer, I wish you well in the continuation of your career. You do more than a fitting justice to the excitement and spectacle of college football and to its greatest game Ohio State Michigan. And your love for your subject in your work is coming through loud and clear. Although I would be quite happy if you never again have what must be the supreme pleasure of reporting a Michigan victory over Ohio State, I must confess one thing. My very next rendition of “We don’t give a damn for the whole state of Michigan, and everyone thereafter” have to include the parenthetical line “except for Bob Ufer”. Thank you and good luck.

    (Source: Bob Ufer Tribute, Produced by Mike Whorf, 10.26.1981)

    Like

  106. Brian says:

    Well, the NCAA can relax. No undefeated team will be left out of the playoff as Marshall lost to WKU (67-66 in OT on a 2-pt conversion). That gives Boise a huge edge for the G5 bowl slot, too.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      You mean the CFP organization. The NCAA merely allows it under their restructured rules.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        No, I meant the NCAA. They’re the ones that would catch the heat if 13-0 Marshall was left out for allowing such a biased playoff system. People already expected the CFP to screw the G5.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Why? What can the ncaa do to alter the CFP? Short of taking control/dictating participants (and thereby causing the P5 to actually leave) I can’t see anything, or the lessers would have already asserted themselves.
          Why should the ncaa care about what uninformed opinion thinks they control? Is it likely to lower their public perception?

          Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Why?”

            Because most fans are uninformed and blame the NCAA for everything in CFB.

            “What can the ncaa do to alter the CFP?”

            Start an official NCAA championship like they do in all the other sports.

            “Short of taking control/dictating participants (and thereby causing the P5 to actually leave) I can’t see anything, or the lessers would have already asserted themselves.”

            Fans don’t care about excuses from the NCAA for why they can’t/don’t do something.

            “Why should the ncaa care about what uninformed opinion thinks they control?”

            Why do they ever care? Angry people can lead to lawsuits and congressional interference.

            “Is it likely to lower their public perception?”

            Yes.

            Like

          • m(Ag) says:

            The NCAA could only start a football championship with the permission of the big conferences. Otherwise they’d just withdraw and have their own association.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “Start an official NCAA championship like they do in all the other sports.”

            What ag said. The ncaa has extracted as much as they can from the P5.
            That said, allowing a non conference champ and excluding other champs is not a playoff. Without that requirement this is just a poll – one that wrecks traditional bowls.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “Is it likely to lower their public perception?”

            Yes”

            Probably not with the informed. And I don’t think there’s any lower they can be regarded by the uninformed.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            ccrider55,

            “Probably not with the informed.”

            That’s great. What about with the other 90%?

            “And I don’t think there’s any lower they can be regarded by the uninformed.”

            There’s always lower.

            I’m not disagreeing with you guys that there is nothing plausible the NCAA can do. I’m just saying most of the public doesn’t care to find out what’s actually plausible.

            Like

  107. Brian says:

    And the chaos begins.

    7-5 Stanford whipped #8 UCLA. Since #11 AZ beat #13 ASU, that means RichRod is going to the P12 CCG to face OR.

    Meanwhile, #17 MO came back to beat AR and clinch the SEC East.

    That takes #8 UCLA and #9 UGA out of the playoff picture and presumably jumps AZ over #10 MSU for now.

    Like

  108. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/writer/jon-solomon/24846237/college-football-regular-season-tv-ratings-havent-been-hurt-by-playoff

    How TV ratings are different in 2014 from 2013 (playoff? SECN? matchups?).

    Through the first 12 weeks of the season, college football TV ratings were up 7 percent on ABC and down 11 percent on ESPN, according to figures provided by ESPN. Through the first 13 weeks, ratings for SEC games on CBS were down 5 percent, and ratings were up 7 percent on Fox and up 39 percent on Fox Sports 1. (ABC and ESPN did not have updated final ratings from last week at the time of publication.)

    The vast majority of college football games are on an ESPN-owned network. ESPN’s platforms averaged 1.72 million viewers on 220 telecasts through the first 12 weeks of 2014, compared to 1.86 million on 204 telecasts through the same period in 2013. Without ESPNews, which has the bulk of the additional 16 telecasts and less distribution than other channels, ESPN’s games have averaged 1.89 million viewers in 2014 and 1.97 million in 2013.

    ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions Ilan Ben-Hanan said the reasons for lower ESPN numbers can vary based on the game and could also be due to the launch of the SEC Network, which does not yet have its games rated. SEC teams have regularly appeared on ESPN’s Saturday night broadcast this season.

    Ben-Hanan points to Nov. 8 as a day that showed the value of the playoff. In the BCS era, No. 1 Mississippi State’s win over Tennessee-Martin and No. 2 Florida State’s win over Virginia that day wouldn’t have moved the needle for postseason implications.

    In the playoff era, that day also featured these games that had postseason consequences: No. 12 Baylor vs. No. 15 Oklahoma; No. 9 Arizona State vs. No. 10 Notre Dame; No. 6 TCU vs. No. 7 Kansas State; No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 16 LSU; No. 14 Ohio State vs. No. 8 Michigan State; and No. 4 Oregon vs. No. 17 Utah.

    “All day there was something with national relevance,” Ben-Hanan said. “It’s heaven. This is a golden age for college football fans, in my mind.”

    Across the country, TV executives and commissioners believe there’s more buzz with a playoff. But very few of them see a correlation between the playoff and TV ratings.

    SEC executive associate commissioner Mark Womack said the playoff hasn’t had a significant impact on ratings, “but it certainly has not been a negative impact.” CBS’s highest-rated SEC game so far this season is Mississippi State-Alabama with a 6.4 rating. At this time last year, CBS had two games rated higher than that: Alabama-Texas A&M (8.6) and LSU-Alabama (6.9).

    CBS ratings were up for this season until a 2.1 rating last week for the Ole Miss-Arkansas game. CBS vice president of programming Dan Weinberg sensed no dramatic impact in viewership based on the playoff.

    “The SEC continues to be the highest quality in terms of field of play,” Weinberg said. “That hasn’t changed this year whether the playoff existed or not.”

    ACC commissioner John Swofford attributes higher ratings for ACC games more to five games against Notre Dame than playoff interest.

    Bowlsby said the playoff has created heightened interest in regular-season games that essentially become elimination games. The ratings for the six playoff games and access bowls “will be extraordinary,” he said.

    Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said anecdotally he thinks there’s a connection between the playoff and what he calls “very strong” viewership for Pac-12 games.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      “but it certainly has not been a negative impact.”

      Maybe not on viewership.
      It’s definately had a negative impact on my enjoyment of the viewing experience. The way we have been constantly drowned in playoff forecasts, implications, “expert” opinions, about various matchups, etc…DURING GAME BROADCASTS! Please, save sports center type of analysis for pre or post game. Or better yet, for their own show.

      Like

  109. Brian says:

    Big day for the ACC with Clemson and GT winning their rivalries.

    Sad for me to see JT Barrett go down with an injury. The CCG will be tough with our 3rd string QB.

    Like

  110. Brian says:

    More chaos.

    Upsets so far:
    #19 Ole Miss over #4 MS St. – are both in the top 10 now?
    NR Stanford over #8 UCLA
    #16 GT over #9 UGA – FSU better watch out next week

    #1 AL is in a tight game with #15 AU at the half.

    Major injuries:
    #6 OSU QB (broken ankle)
    #7 Baylor QB (concussion)

    Will the committee use this injury as an excuse to keep OSU out (assuming they can beat a very tough WI)? Will Petty’s injury cost Baylor against KSU?

    Be ready to congratulate the new B10 champ – the team that lost to VT at home or the team that lost at NW.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      CFP prediction:

      If AL wins:
      1. AL
      2. OR
      3. FSU
      4. TCU
      5. OSU

      If AU wins:
      1. OR
      2. FSU
      3. AL
      4. TCU
      5. OSU

      Like

      • Richard says:

        That would be better for the image of the B10, frankly. I do not want to see OSU represent the B10 in the playoffs with their 3rd-string QB.

        However, there’s pretty much zero chance that ‘Bama stays in the top 4 if they lose the Iron Bowl

        Like

        • gfunk says:

          OSU will get in with an impressive win against Wisky, 10 or more points.

          But I have a feeling OSU is getting in & TCU as well because GT is going to upset FSU, well not really, GT is playing great football right now. FSU is out of 9 lives : ).

          In reality, Baylor lost nearly as much as OSU & TT is about as bad as Michigan. OSU went up by 21, though Mi fought hard for their last td. TT nearly tied Baylor, it was oh so close.

          I think OSU can pull it off and the young man running the wild cat could give OSU a tough 2-headed beast that will confuse Wisky.

          Question is: does Wisky suddenly have a passing game? OSU plays a sort of soft zone coverage, which has gotten plenty of criticism, and rightfully so because such won’t do it against uptempo teams & now the qb situation is a wreck. We know Gordon will get his yards against a suspect OSU linebacker corps.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Richard,

          “That would be better for the image of the B10, frankly.”

          Probably, yes. We’d get the best of both worlds because we could say we would’ve been in if not for the injury without the risk of getting whipped.

          “I do not want to see OSU represent the B10 in the playoffs with their 3rd-string QB.”

          At least he’d get a month of practice before then, but I agree in principle.

          “However, there’s pretty much zero chance that ‘Bama stays in the top 4 if they lose the Iron Bowl”

          We’ll never know, but I think the committee loves the SEC too much to drop AL farther than that.

          Like

      • bullet says:

        I’m going to predict virtually no controversy when the final 4 are announced.

        I think Ohio St. will fall w/o their QB. I think Bill Snyder will outcoach Art Briles and knock off Baylor. Alabama, Oregon, FSU and TCU cruise. So it will be Alabama, Oregon, FSU and TCU.

        Probably be a lot a screaming about the other 6 as they will load it with SEC teams with more losses than the options.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Think Georgia Tech is a lock in the Orange Bowl unless they lose, really, really bad to FSU. The G5 slot seems to be Boise’s to lose. Otherwise I think Memphis gets it, but Marshall might manage to be ranked higher.

          Like

  111. Carl says:

    For Land Grant Trophy, two decades of heavy lifting and snarky remarks might be at end
    http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/11/for_the_land_grant_trophy_two.html

    Like

  112. gfunk says:

    Pelini is gone. Most schools would never do this with his overall record. I think he could have saved his job if a better slightly better recruiter and certainly a better D coordinator. Ironically, Bo would make a great D coordinator again, hope he stays in the BIG: http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/11958376/nebraska-cornhuskers-fire-bo-pelini

    Like

    • Brian says:

      From ESPN’s story:

      In fact, no coach in the history of a Power 5 program had been fired for on-field performance after winning as many games in his first seven years.

      Pelini was 67-27 (0.713).

      Frank Solich was 58-19 (0.753) in his 6 years at NE.

      Earle Bruce was 65-19 (0.774) in his first 7 years at OSU before getting fired. He was 81-26 (0.757) when he was fired.

      John Cooper was 111-43-4 at OSU (0.715) at OSU before being fired (at least partially for on the field reasons).

      In other words, this is ESPN making up a stat that sounds impressive but really isn’t. Especially since seasons have gotten longer recently.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Mack Brown wasn’t officially fired, but we all know it wasn’t really voluntary. He went 71-19 in his first 7 seasons. Interestingly, he went 71-20 in his next 7 which included 2 trips to the championship game. Last 2 were 17-9.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Granted, UNL doesn’t have anything close to the recruiting territory of tOSU or UT-Austin.

        Like

  113. Brian says:

    It’s weird to see MI, NE and UF all looking for coaches. Especially since USC, UT, OSU and PSU all have fairly new hires.

    Like

  114. Brian says:

    http://sportspolls.usatoday.com/ncaa/football/polls/coaches-poll/

    Coaches Poll:
    1. AL
    2. OR
    3. FSU
    4. TCU
    5. Baylor
    6. OSU
    7. MSU
    8. AZ
    9. KSU
    10. MS St
    11. WI
    12. GT
    13. MO

    23. NE
    25. MN

    Like

  115. Brian says:

    http://collegefootball.ap.org/poll

    AP Poll:
    1. AL
    2. FSU
    3. OR
    4. TCU
    5. Baylor
    6. OSU
    7. MSU
    8. AZ
    9. KSU
    10. MS St
    11. WI
    12. GT
    14. MO

    25. NE

    Like

  116. Transic_nyc says:

    UAB dropping football after this season.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2014/11/30/uab-to-shut-down-football-program/19702899/?siteID=je6NUbpObpQ-YN_UpK_k1ITdQm7tC1UexQ

    Could it be a start of a trend at the lower FBS level?

    Like

    • gfunk says:

      I’m all for FBS contraction and a more celebrated and promoted FCS. I think Saban pitched this argument years ago.

      There’s just not enough room for more than 80 FBS teams. About 18 teams have earned the distinction of multiple AP NCs, all time, some of these teams will be quite fortunate to ever win one again:

      Army, Minnesota & Pitt.

      Of the remaining teams, most are Sun Belt teams with excellent recruiting bases in-state or nearby, plus enough tradition and history to be branded “national”.. The colder states are dominated by in-state flagships: Michigan, OSU, PSU or a unique situation – ND. I’d also probably put Tenn outside a Sun Belt state with a solid prep football.

      It’s no secret, most NC winners have tremendous in-state talent and resources.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AP_National_Championship_Trophy

      There should be an effort to encourage more FCS schools, or maybe another division between FCS & FBS.

      On the other hand, we could have a real problem with politicians and business types via FBS contraction. For example, who has more upside? Georgia Southern or several FBS schools in colder P5 conferences. Georgia has enough talent to feed 3 major FBS schools.

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Portland (OR) St. fired their coach and the athletic dept has been a mess for years. It’s just speculation, but quite a few think FB may very possibly get axed.

      Like