Finally the NCAA comes to their senses

The College Football season is less than three months away but I am already giddy with anticipation. The NCAA announced a 12 team football format that should officially eliminate selection controversy – for at least any rational fan.

The field will consist of the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large teams with the top four champions receiving byes. If your team is on the fringe for the playoffs, you really can’t consider yourself a contender. I am sure that it is possible for a two-loss Power Five team like Florida to go into the SEC championship game and lose, see their ranking drop below 12 and get eliminated from the playoffs. I seriously doubt that would happen to any one-loss Power Five team. And, if you have three defeats, is there really any room to complain? At some point, you have to win games.

Not to mention, but perhaps in future years there may actual be suspense to the selection. Currently, the selection process is as predictable as a Fast and Furious movie. Recall, that somanystadiums easily predicted the final bracket before any of the conference championships were played. Considering that we go only slightly above 500 picking games every year tells you how easy it is to determine what the committee is going to do.

Perhaps, even more importantly, the Notre Dame golden ticket has been eliminated. The Domers either need to join a conference or just plain win. The proposal gets it right as anyone who has witnessed the recent carnage of Irish college football playoff performances could testify to.

This also gives the Group of Five teams a legitimate shot at the playoffs. Do I expect to see Boise State, Coastal Carolina or UCF make a run to the National Title? Not at all, but I do see them scoring the occasional upset. Not unlike March Madness, “December Desperation” (yeah – I am still working on that), will sometimes result in the “best” team not winning it all. I am okay with that. It is far better to settle it on the field than to have someone decide who the best four teams are. Better to leave the judging to figure skating.

In other news, we are feverishly working on our full 2021 fall schedule going on faith that the games will be back to normal. Get your vaccines folks. I don’t want to see any partially full stadiums. Well, okay, even 100% vaccination rates are not going to guarantee the likes of Rice, UAB, or FIU having full stadiums. There are some things even science can’t solve.

Tree

 

Coming out of hibernation

Hello all,

It’s the first post, post my annual winter hibernation. Of course, the entire 2020 season felt like a hibernation. For the first time in years, I went to no football games. From the risk of covid, to reduced attendance, to tailgating bans, it was awfully hard to justify going to any stadium. I would have felt compelled to re-visit any of the sites that I visited in 2020 given all the restraints. I mean even the SEC wasn’t quite the same, except for ‘Bama winning again.

While I find Alabama’s dominance frustrating, I have come to realize that I should actually savor the experience. There may be another program that has similar success in the future, but for now, I am cherishing Saban’s success as one of those things I can tell my grandkids about. Like seeing Alabama struggle early with Ol Miss initially, only to simply press on the gas and end up sealing the win at the end of the first half. That was one of my big games from 2019 and one that will stand out for the sheer superiority of the Tide. Roll Damn Tide indeed.

As I look toward 2021, I am already in the early planning stages for the season. I am not the only one as I have received multiple texts from the Somanystadium crew as to what games we are going to hit. It is too soon to say for sure, but I have already claimed a pass from the boss (my wife that is) that Labor Day weekend is in the Great Lakes region. Hopefully, we will be heading to Minnesota to see Gophers host the Buckeyes. (Sorry Betsy, but I’d rather see the Gophers in a t-shirt than a parka, even if that is cheating). Then, it is over to Camp Randall to see the Badgers host the Nittany Lions. Yeah, you betcha. That’s a great opening weekend.

I have my eye on some other teams, mostly in the mid west and mountain west. Other places I like to get to include Oklahoma and SMU where I can do a full tailgate spread.

In the meantime, we’ll start adding more content and videos soon.

We are glad to see the end of the pandemic tunnel.

See you in the cheap seats,

Tree

 

Championship Weekend

It is championship weekend in college football. With the current playoff approach in the FBS, this weekend is at best, a slate with one or two big games and at worst, a weekend of frustration coupled with a false sense of importance. This year it is definitely the latter rather than the former. You might as well call this “Whoever is healthy enough to play weekend” with the Sunbelt game between Louisiana and Coastal Carolina being cancelled and Oregon being the substituted for Washington for the PAC 12 championship. The Cajuns against the Chanticleers was one of the games that actually had some appeal this weekend. As for the PAC 12, they, again, made the case for being the weakest of the Power 5 as USC managed to lose to the understudy Ducks of Oregon.

These examples are the appetizer to the real problem of championship weekend and that lies with the moronic approach to the college football playoffs. I will save my full diatribe for after selection Sunday, but suffice it to say, this is a beauty contest. Case in point, does anyone believe that Alabama won’t be in the playoff even if they lose the SEC Championship game? Likewise, if Notre Dame loses a close game to Clemson, do they still get in? And then what happens to Florida or A&M? I can tell you what won’t happen. Cincinnati could beat Tulsa by 50 and they still aren’t getting in.

Now, I get it. This year is so goofy it does not really matter. This year’s national championship is, well, asterisk worthy. Of course, this begs the question, “Then, why not expand to eight teams?” Hard to make a case about safety when most teams did not play a full slate and frankly, games were played during a pandemic anyway. It is also hard to argue that you can’t do it from a logistic perspective. One of the best games this season, BYU versus Coastal Carolina, was scheduled on a Wednesday and played three days later. I don’t know what is more unsettlingly, that Alabama could roll out their jayvees without about impacting their playoff spot, or that those jayvees would still roll Florida by 20.

In other notes, I tried to assemble the December SI Wall Calendar with only red and green covers for Christmas. As you can see, it was not exactly the effect I was looking for. Surprisingly, there were not enough solidly colored covers. By the end of the month, I was forced to go with silver and gold as well. This effort was a definite fail. I will add it to the list of 2020 disappointments. I can tell you what my early Christmas wish is. Florida thumps Bama, Notre Dame crushes Clemson, Tennessee upsets A&M and Northwestern upsets Ohio State. Let’s see what the selection committee does then.

Doubt that’s going to happen, so I will settle for a some good games.

 

MEH

Meh. That summarizes my feeling about college football this year. You can see my malaise by my lack of updates. You know things are bad when ESPN felt they had to spice up Gameday by holding it at the Masters last week. Look, Augusta is beautiful and all, but Golf versus Football? No contest.

I had hoped to catch the Navy SMU game on Halloween but I could not convince my wife to go with me. Normally, I would go solo to a game like that in a worst case scenario but Covid protocols fundamentally altered the economics of that game. I would have had to buy four tickets. The SMU Mustangs program is in a bit of a resurgence, but $150 to sit in a 3/4 empty stadium of a Group of Five team was not happening.

Today, Gameday is at Oklahoma for Bedlam. It is another grim reminder of what could have been. Bedlam was our big group game of the year. We had locked it in after the Va Tech – Notre Dame game last year. Alas, the original date was scrubbed and moved to this weekend. Either way, we weren’t going. MEH indeed.

This week’s games?

  • Bedlam – Ok State vs Oklahoma, I guess is the best game on the slate. Still don’t believe in OK State. They have to prove it to me.
  • App St vs Coastal Carolina – Hard to believe the Chanticleers are undefeated, but App State is the big dog in the Sun Belt. Time to earn your stripes Coastal
  • Indiana vs Ohio State. – I am hopeful the Hoosiers can hang. Unfortunately, I am also doubtful that they can run with the Buckeyes
  • Cincy vs UFC – Another Group of Five game that may be better than anything the ACC or SEC is highlighting this weekend.

Even the November SI Calendar is down on college football. Til next week, I guess.

Week Five

Week Four was only slightly better than Week Three. Despite all the fanfare about the SEC season kicking off, most of the games were fairly pedestrian. However, some matchups did not disappoint.

My random thoughts on the Good, Bad and Ugly of last week.

  • The Ole Miss – Florida game wasn’t as close as it seemed, but Lane Kiffen does seem to have Ole Miss playing better. I was a bit surprised to see Rebels spray painted on the end zone. I thought that moniker had gone the way of the Confederate War statues. 
  • What an exchange in Kentucky-Auburn at the half – no touchdown for Kentucky, then the pick 6 was taken off the board for targeting by Auburn. Kentucky was better than I thought. Had they not been cheated on that touchdown at the half, the game might have had different result.
  • Again no ACC channel. Missed Louisville-Pitt game and the Hokies dominating win over NC State despite missing 23 players. 
  • Bo Nix has enough challenges, SEC Network. Can’t you air brush out the poor kid’s acne on his promo photo?
  • Sweet play by Army on the option scoop and score. It was not enough to allow them to keep up with Cincinnati.
  • Oklahoma crashes and burns against K-State. I did like the uniforms though. Lincoln Riley can thank Texas Tech’s Matt Wells for blowing a lead in an even more dramatic fashion. Up 15 points with about three minutes to go and the Red Raiders still lost. Rough.
  • Miami – Fla. State was a debacle. Was there anyone that didn’t see that coming? I can’t believe that was the national game on Saturday night. 
  • LSU was missing their shutdown corner, Derek Stingley Jr, so losing to Mississippi State is not shocking. I can’t help liking Mike Leach. 623 passing yards. The SEC just got a bit more entertaining.
  • A&M yikes. You do know you play “Bama this week right?
  • South Carolina – “Peter, Peter, Peter”
  • UTEP is 3-1. Man, 2020 is a weird year.

Week 5 Thoughts:

There still really isn’t that much to watch. Thoughts for this week:

  • I really hope the Aggies were looking ahead to Alabama against Vanderbilt. If not, it’s going to be a rolling Tide all afternoon.
  • Auburn at Georgia should be a game worthy of a Saturday night. It is the best of the bunch on a pretty light slate.
  • I would like to think that Virginia could give Clemson a good game. I doubt it, but at least I can hope.
  • Navy – Air Force may be worth watching for rivalry’s sake. 
  • UNC at Boston College is on ABC so I will probably have that on a secondary TV. I do like Coach Mac Brown. There’s something very appealing about his persona and affection for his players.
  • Florida State is so bad that Jacksonville State may be able to keep it close. If not, just hope that ESPN3 shows the JSU band. Check out our youtube video on collegemarching.com to see why.
  • The worst game of the day looks to be 0-2 Western Kentucky at 0-3 Middle Tennessee State. Bleh. 

It looks like this will be one of those weekends that will require a fair bit of channel surfing to find the good games. I just hope they aren’t on the ACC Network. Sigh.

Enjoy the Games, Tree