Good morning. You’re surely aware that it’s June, which means the folks atop the college football pyramid spun their annual “wheel of offseason attention” this week, with the needle bypassing topics such as realignment and landing on playoff expansion. At the same time, Larry Scott blamed everyone but himself on the way out of town in true a**clown fashion, and the newly-resumed “in person” recruiting period is butting up against super senior/scholarship limit reality. Let’s have a look around, shall we?
College Football Playoff Expansion
Just a couple thoughts: if you’re in the “expand the CFP” camp, I don’t want to hear or read your lip service regarding health and safety of the players. More CFP means more games means more injuries, such as concussions. You either want their exposure limited to mitigate injury risk, or you want to see more football, risk be damned. Can’t be both.
If it were up to me, a 12-game playoff would come with a reduction in regular season games to 11, including nine-game conference schedules for every league. Conference championship games would also be eliminated. That way, the absolute max number of games a team could play is reduced by two. But while fans and administrators will pretend to care about such things, the reality is that most people in both of those camps want to see more football (fans) which will mean more money (administrators). Fewer games equals less money, so here we are.
And since you didn’t ask, I would make the CFP a six-team field max, with the top two seeds earning byes, the first two games taking place on-campus, and no auto-bids.
Most importantly, are they going to change the football on the CFP logo from having four threads to 12? Let’s think about what really matters here.
My man Tom Fornelli was able to sum up my feelings regarding CFP expansion in a much more articulate manner than I ever could, so take a listen. Like he says, change =/= improvement or progress. Pretty good discourse throughout the entire episode.
I waded through scores of tweets on the topic, and thought these were worth a mention. I truly love how administrators have gone from “a playoff will kill the regular season!” to “WE NEED A 12 TEAM TOURNAMENT ASAP” in under a decade, with a few stops in between. Just say you want more money and spare us the BS.
Bill Hancock: "12 keeps September important but also keeps November important."— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) June 10, 2021
(Now go back and find all his old quotes why more than 4 would hurt the regular season.)
Oh, Bob. Poor, naive Bob. Are you taking lessons from Bill Moos? SEC leadership only cares about the SEC, rightfully so. Greg Sankey and Co. do not give a good goddamn about you and your Texas Techs of the world. Get back to me when Sankey and his SEC mates agree to split the TV money evenly throughout the FBS conferences. Pretty sure I’ll be waiting forever.
Bob Bowlsby gives credit to Greg Sankey for how they reached a consensus. "The SEC’s going to do just fine whether we stay at four or go to 8 or some other number. I really feel like everyone in the room was looking at it from the standpoint of what is best for college football."— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) June 10, 2021
Tom Fornelli is my spirit animal (except that he likes soccer way more than I do).
They’re just gonna say things, and most people are gonna just accept what they say cuz they *want* the expanded playoff cuz it sounds fun.— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) June 10, 2021
And in the end, it’s going to be 11 teams from the same group of 15 every season getting in, and one lucky G5 who is just honored to be here with you.— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) June 10, 2021
Oh and to be clear I’m gonna watch every damn game, but I’m not gonna sit here and accept the bullshit about how this is to increase interest or solve anything. It’s far more likely to just create new problems than solve any of the current ones.— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) June 10, 2021
I, too, will watch every game, because I love college football. That doesn’t change my stance as to whether this will make the sport any better, because it won’t.
Want one more reason why this new 12-team CFP isn’t a good idea? Judging by the headline, resident Seattle Times lava-take machine Matt Calkins likes it. I rest my case while not linking the article.
Pac-12 Commissioner Turnover
Larry Scott is a gutless, no-account stooge who couldn’t lead a fly to a pile of dog crap. But you already knew that, and I am here for some Larry-on-Larry crime! Mr. Stone did not hold back.
The outgoing Pac-12 commissioner, who never met a room he couldn’t misread or a tone he won’t be deaf to, leaves office June 30, one year before his contract expires. That’s when his replacement, George Kliavkoff, officially takes over.
Instead of leaving gracefully and graciously, Scott has raised one final set of hackles with his exit interview given to The Associated Press. It’s an honors thesis of buck-passing, back-patting, blame-avoiding and reality-shifting.
Well ok, maybe Scott was right when he took a shot at the Huskies, but that’s all I agree with!
The real head-shaker is how Scott blamed the Pac-12’s lack of football success — the singular failure of his regime — on underperformance by its marquee schools, specifically USC, Oregon, Stanford and Washington. The fact that they didn’t get to the playoff more often or win as much as they should have, he said, “has very little to do with the conference office.”
No matter how Larry Scott spins it, the outgoing commissioner contributed to the Pac-12’s football mess | The Seattle Times
If you were expecting Larry Scott to go gentle into that good night, you weren’t paying attention over the past 12 years.
When the pandemic (mostly) gutted the 2020 college football season, and the NCAA gave all athletes a bonus year of eligibility, it didn’t take long for me to wonder about the second-and-third order effects of the decision. While I’m all for players getting more eligibility, it seemed like the powers-that-be didn’t consider the perils of such a move, particularly roster management and scholarship limits.
It seems rather bizarre that administrators only viewed this an a one-year anomaly, and everything would work itself out. Then as now, that is laughably untrue. As Pete Thamel writes, this issue will get worse before it gets better, especially for high school recruits. Where as a normal year would see 15-25 scholarship slots open, the next couple years could see far fewer, shrinking options for high school graduates. At the same time, the transfer portal is inundated with names. Every time I see news that another player has entered his name into the portal, my first thought is, “Where do all these guys think they’re going? There are hardly any spots available.” Hopefully the people who claim to be in charge figure out some sort of solution. Not bloody likely.
As college football recruiting reopens, high school recruits 'are getting screwed'
With the NCAA deciding in August to grant an extra year of eligibility to all Division I fall athletes, the unintended consequences of that decision have college football coaches irate and perplexed on how to move forward.
One of the decisions that helped save the 1997 Rose Bowl season came after the overtime escape against Arizona, when Bill Doba moved Ray Jackson from safety to cornerback and benched Lejuan Gibbons, who was soooooooo bad.
Also, it’s odd that the WSU beat writer is unaware of which year featured the famed Palouse Posse. Spoiler: It was not 1997.
Twenty-three years removed from the Rose Bowl, ex-Washington State CB Ray Jackson is now a dedicated police chief and proud father who still has the ultimate resentment for Michigan
Jackson’s office may be the most impressive WSU shrine in the state of Indiana.
This Week in Parenting
Welp, as of Thursday, 10 June, yours truly and Mrs. Kendall are the parents of an 8th grader and a 4th grader. 8th grade! That’s like a couple years from high school! What is happening??!! We like to do the old “pencil mark” test at the front door, both on the first day of school and the last, in order to measure how much taller they got over the school year. According to reports, the 12 year-old shot up another three inches, while the nine year-old is a couple inches taller.
Cub Scouts for the nine year-old also concluded this week with, among other things, an activity during which the kids built Pinewood Derby cars out of Lego. As someone who has suffered through the experience of trying to pound nails into the sides of those damn wooden blocks ~45 seconds before the race starts, I immediately wondered why we don’t just switch full time to Lego-built derby cars. No paint, no hammering, no sawing, many more options for creativity! What am I missing?! Unlike the College Football Playoff, this would be actual progress and improvement!
The Snitch | The Atavist Magazine
In Scott Kimball, the FBI thought it had found a high-value informant who could help solve big cases. What it got instead was lies, betrayal, and murder.