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Link – Leonard Fournette Christian McCaffrey start trend skipping bowl game NFL draft

“”The reality is that the NFL doesn’t care,” one Power 5 college assistant coach said. “At the end of the day, it’s about taking the best player, and they don’t see that as a big negative the way a college coach sees it.”

Another Power 5 head coach summed it up this way: “For players who are going in the first round? This is just a start.””

This is just the start. I fully expect to see a Sophomore who dominates in college to simply sit for a year instead of risking injury sometime in the next few years.

Eventually, it’ll lead to what I’ve always argued for, actual minor league football instead of kids going to school and not getting paid.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/19265734/leonard-fournette-christian-mccaffrey-start-trend-skipping-bowl-game-nfl-draft

What Bowl Season Taught Us

skeeze / Pixabay

First, Alabama and Clemson gave us a great National Championship game. No complaints there.

The semi final games, on the other hand? Ugh…

Speaking of those games, a few things that those results, and others, confirmed for me.

  • Ohio State clearly just blew their shot. I’m not going to argue that they deserved to be in the playoff when they didn’t even win their division in the Big Ten. But, talent-wise, they were so much better than either Michigan State or Iowa, and the bowl results showed us that, IMHO. I’m still not convinced that loss to Michigan State was on the up and up. 😉
  • I was all set to write about how overrated the Big 12 was, based on most of the top teams just getting creamed, and then Oregon blew a 31 point lead to TCU. Outside of that, however, there is some weakness there.
  • On that note, has there ever been a team as good as Oregon with their starting QB, and alternatively as bad as Oregon without him? Fun conversation for the off season, how much did Vernon Adams health not only mess up Oregon’s season, but also any chance the PAC-12 had of getting a team into the playoffs? If he’s healthy all year, does Oregon get in? If he had not been healthy when they played Stanford, does Stanford get in?
  • The SEC redeemed itself after flubbing up bowl season last year. Well, except Florida. I’m not surprised by that. The SEC obviously has a ton of really good teams, and had favorable matchups this year that they didn’t have last year. (see also, the second bullet about the Big 12. There were a few mismatches between SEC and Big 12 schools.)
  • Houston handing Florida State a beat down was the one game that made me stand up and take notice. A nice win for Tom Herman, but it kind of reminded me of some other bowl games where a “marquee” program just doesn’t show up on a lower bowl game too. It happens every few years, at least.

What was your biggest take away from the bowl season?

Another Band, Another Scandal

marching band photoI was saying this back when it was the Ohio State Marching Band that was in trouble for hazing and sexual harassment, and I’ll say it again now that it has been announced that Stanford’s band will not be making any road trips for the 2015 season.

This is what happens when the federal government starts hammering down on schools about sexual assault and sexual harassment. Stuff that people my age look at and think “Gee, that’s been going on forever, sometimes worse than that”, is no longer acceptable. As a University depending on federal funds, and just about all of them are in one way or another, you cannot have a campus organization, whether it be the band, a sports team, the debate club, the ROTC, or anything, that has a culture where sexual harassment is common, even if none of the members complain. You simply can’t allow it to exist. Knowing that alcohol and drugs are involved only serves to prove that the environment is dangerous toward female members, and not addressing that will get the University in much more hot water than a few put out alums.

It’s 2015, times have changed and some traditions have to follow suit, whether you agree or not.

Photo by –Mark–

It Might Be Bias But It’s Also a Problem with Preseason Polls

Southeastern Conference photo

By now, most of you have probably seen the Rolling Stone article in which they claim to show the bias of ESPN toward the SEC.

I’m not here to agree or disagree with the premise. There is definitely some cheer-leading going on with certain ESPN talking heads, but I don’t know that there’s an institutional bias. I think you can absolutely make the case that ESPN being an investor in the SEC network is a conflict of interest, but if there’s one thing we know about ESPN, apparent conflict of interests have never stopped them before. (They are the broadcast partners of many of the leagues they claim to “cover” from a news perspective after all!)

The one thing that the article really pointed out to me is the way that preseason polls create a real problem when it comes to ranking the teams properly.

Case in point, South Carolina was ranked #9, on the basis, I guess, of being a decent SEC team last year. When they got beat by Texas A&M in the first week of the season, the Aggies were credited with a victory over a top 10 team and rode that, and a few ridiculous non-conference wins, all the way into the top 10 themselves. As A&M lost to Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama in consecutive weeks, they were all, as the article pointed out, credited with beating a “juggernaut” in A&M. But here’s the thing, A&M’s reputation this season was based on beating a South Carolina team that, in fact, stinks. They stand 4-5 after losing to Tennessee this week. (The Vols FIRST conference win by the way)

So in reality, A&M really isn’t a good college football team, nor is South Carolina. The Gamecocks, in turn, beat Georgia, who’s other loss was the embarrassment against Florida on Saturday, another team that isn’t really any good.

Now as it stands, right now, there are some teams from the SEC who are probably overated. I don’t think it is a huge problem for the final four playoff teams as of right now, but moving forward, these 4 teams are going to change, and there’s a good chance that there will be those who argue for a two-loss SEC team, because, “SEC”, when they might not be all that good, due to the teams they’ve beaten being ranked too highly at the start of the season.

As of now, Mississippi State and Florida State are undefeated, and I think if they stay that way, they deserve to be in the playoff. Going undefeated is an accomplishment in any of the Power 5 conferences. I also don’t have much of a problem with Alabama and Auburn because of a couple of impressive non-conference wins. (Bama over WVU, Auburn over K-State) But, TCU, Oregon, Baylor, Kansas State and Michigan State are right behind them. I don’t think, if everything remains the same, either one can afford a loss.

For the record, just to show that I’m not biased, the Preseason Polls also had these rankings that were ridiculous and as these teams started losing, the teams beating them were given too much credit:

#5 Ohio State (ranking was pre-injury to Braxton Miller, clearly not the reality of that team early in the season)

#7 UCLA

#9 South Carolina

#11 Stanford

#15 USC

#23 North Carolina

#24 (Coaches Poll) Texas

Let’s ditch the preseason poll, and let the teams actually show us something before we start ranking them and giving teams extra credit for quality wins that aren’t.

Photo by Diamondduste