Tuesday, August 22, 2017

2017 CFB Conference Projections

It’s that time of year again when every CFB media guy and blowhard fans like myself make their predictions for each conference and attempt to pick a Final Four for the College Football Playoff. So, here it goes…

ACC: Division winners will be Florida State and Miami. The Atlantic Division leans towards FSU over National Champion Clemson, with the ‘Ville in third. Barring a major injury to a playmaker on FSU it is their division to win. In the Costal I like Miami. Give Mark Richt another year and I think he can make a big push into the Top 10 for sure. Conf Champ: FSU over Miami

Big XXII: Aw, the B12 with ten teams and no divisions. This makes this conference very interesting and magnifies head-to-head games ten fold. This is a 3 team race. Oklahoma, Texas and Ok State. All of these individual games will be a fight since they all hate each other. Lincoln Riley has a new gig as Head Coach with Bobby Stoops retiring, Riley’s first HC job. Also new to Texas is Tom Herman who turned Houston around. I like the Sooners to continue its winning ways but that’s why you play the games. Give Herman 2 more years of recruiting and he too will be in the Top 10. Conf Champ: Oklahoma over Texas

Big Ten: Aw, the B10 with 14 teams. Glad to see these Midwesterners know how to count. East Division is loaded in the top three teams: Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan. Like the B12, those 3 head-to-head games will determine who wins the division. I’ll take Urban & the Buckeyes. The West is a bit more diluted with Wisconsin leading the way and about 3 or 4 teams all in a fight for the 2-5 spots. Pundits like Northwestern as the #2 team & Nebraska #3 but I have it flipped. Mike Riley knows what he’s doing. And I know a kid on the team. Conf Champ: Buckeyes over the Badgers.

Pacific 12: Finally, a conference that’s name reflects the number of teams in the league!!! For a conference that has had pretty good parity the 3-5 years I see clear cut winners in each division (barring a major injury to a playmaker). In the North it is Washington, and get used to hearing that as Petersen is building a top notch program in Seattle. UDub has a super easy non-conf schedule with Rutgers, Montana, and Fresno State. Add that with the rotation system and they skip USC this season. Can they go 12-0? Maybe. Their toughest game is Week 11 at Furd. Stanfurd is going to have a rough time after going to Australia (Jon Wilner has the Trees losing to San Diego State in SD). Oregon will make a push with Willie Taggart getting back to fundamentals in Autzen. Give him two more years and he’ll be pushing UW & Furd for the division crown. In the South, it is all USC. I can see them running the table. Troy has 3 tough games: Furd, Texas and Notre Dame. I don’t care what you read, but Josh Rosen is not the second coming of Troy Aikman in Westwood. UCLA will place second, but only at 7-5. Conf Champ: Washington over USC in one of the best conference championship games of the year. Too bad its on a Friday night, fucking dickhead Larry Scott!

SEC: In the East I have Georgia topping Florida and Tennessee. In the West it is all Bama as they have a ton of returning players and are ranked #1 in every preseason poll. Yes, Alabama will win the conference champ game.

Bonus- Mtn West: San Diego State is back-to-back champions yet everyone is once again picking Boise State. Mindless lemmings! The Aztecs will take with West Division once again and the Broncos should win the Mountain Division. Conf Champ: SDSU over Boise making it a 3peat! Can you believe that jackass Phil Jackson copyrighted that saying? Zen Master my ass!


Let’s have a great CFB season, few injuries, even fewer referee controversies, and a lot of great tailgating before (and after) the game!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Conference Champions or Best Teams? The Debate Continues

Welcome Back College Football Fans!  It's been a great 2016 season with a handful of outstanding teams, some teams on the rise, and others on the fall. That's pretty normal in our sport with everything being a bit cyclical. New coaches, new conferences, and of course star play makers.

Today we witnessed the College Football Playoff Committee struggle with such metrics as Conference Champions, Wins-Loses, Strength of Schedule, FPI, and much more. If you watched the ESPN CFBP Show you know it got down to two distinct thoughts: 1) The Four Best Teams or, 2) Conference Champions, or what Danny Kannell called "The Most Deserving." He believes that if you win your Conference Championship it holds more merit than record, FPI, SOS, etc. "That's why you play the games. The entire season has to count for something." was his thought (I'm paraphrasing).

We all have read articles, watched the talking head "experts," and scanned through thousands of tweets since last weeks games discussing the "What Ifs" and "What matters more" thoughts from just about everyone associated with college football, including us, the fans.

I hate to say it, but "I told you so." The CFBP needs to be a simple (rofl) 8-Team Playoff. As simple as things can get IMHO at least.  Here is an update to my plan first laid out FIVE years ago (see Dec 6, 2011 post).

1. 8 Team Playoff consisting of the 5 Power Conference Champions, 1 Group of 5 Champion (highest ranked, and 2 teams of the Committee's Choice.

2. Yes, keep the Committee. They will still rank teams 1-25, set the 8 team playoff schedule, and of course have to select the 2 best teams that are not Conference Champions.

3. ALL conferences will play a NINE game conference schedule and THREE non-conference games. Each team must play at least ONE P5 team, ONE G5 team, and ONE in-state FCS team. The FCS game allows the FCS team to get a big payday from the P5 team. Examples might be Alabama vs S. Alabama, Cal vs UC Davis.

4. In determining the two "committee's choice" teams these factors shall be used: 1) W-L, 2) SOS, 3) FPI, 4) OOC SOS, and 5) who is playing the best in November/eye test, all in no particular order or weight.

4. Since the FANS are the ones who buy the tickets host all of the first round games (4) and second round games (2) at the highest ranked teams home stadium. The National Championship Game will still be at a site chosen by the committee in advance like it is now. This allows the fans to still travel to games if they so chose, but it also allows for the home fans to attend a playoff game. This benefits the thousands of season ticket holders, donors, and boosters. The Visiting Team should be allocated 15-25% (TBD) of the seats. If the visitors can not sell all of those tickets by 6pm Wednesday then the home team can go down their list of those who did not get seats via a lottery  (ie: new season ticket holders, small donors, etc).

5. The standard 8 team bracket will be used:
           1-8  Round One, Quarter Finals
           2-7
           3-6
           4-5

           1/8-4/5  Round Two, Semi Finals
           2/7-3/6

           1/8/3/5 vs 2/7/4/5  Championship Game


The only issue I worry about with my plan are the financial implications to ALL of the schools. How much money each playoff team gets, how much money each conference gets per playoff team (including G5),  There must be some sort of equitable revenue sharing among the P5 & G5 conferences. Stronger G5 conferences makes for better OOC football (see MAC & MWC).

It's short, it's simple, and I think this plan could be a huge success for CFB and its fans.

Thanks for reading,
Nor-Cal Scott




Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Debate Continues... 4 or 8 Team Playoffs?

Late in the evening on January 11th we will have an undisputed National Champion for the second straight year with the College Football Playoff.

While there will always be one or two fan bases who think their team got robbed of the pivotal #4 spot, but I think the Committee did a pretty good job this year. I'm sure fans of Iowa and Ohio State are upset, but Michigan State won the Big Ten. I'm happy to see a different conference in each of the four spots.

Stanfurd fans could possibly have a beef too, but they ended at 10-2. Their week one loss at Northwestern was a huge blunder. They looked as if they were still asleep as they played flat and with little enthusiasm. The Pac12 has to get an agreement with other conferences that games played in the Central or Eastern time zones do not start until at least Noon pacific time, but I digress. I will say this, and as a Cal season ticket holder it pains me to say, Stanfurd looked like one of the best 4 teams in November and on Championship Saturday.

By now we've all heard the talking heads on ESPN and elsewhere say the playoff needs to be expanded to 8 teams. Well, I said that 4 years ago right here on my blog. Former FSU QB & ESPN CFB guy Danny Kanell is very outspoken on this subject.





Is an 8 team playoff good for CFB? Hell yes! Major pros: money, money, money. Additional revenue for 8 teams, conferences, and every FBS team. Four additional fan bases who are very happy! Major cons: one more game, possible interference with school.

So let's look at what this years first round might have looked like with an 8 team playoff:

1 Clemson vs 8 Notre Dame
2 Alabama vs 7 Ohio State
3 Mich State vs 6 Stanfurd
4 Oklahoma vs 5 Iowa

Game 1-8: In week 4 the Tigers eeked out a victory 24-22 over the Fighting Irish. Clemson is undefeated and ND only lost to Clemson & Stanfurd. This would be a helluva rematch.

Game 2-7: I hate both teams, mainly for their obnoxious fans, but you can't argue that Nick & Urb are program builders and more importantly winners. Another game that is a win for the fans.

Game 3-6: The Rose Bowl on Steroids. Big Ten Champ vs Pac 12 Champ. Very similar styles of play and two stout defenses. And who would not like to watch Christian McCaffery go against Sparty's defense?

Game 4-5: I'm still not sold on Iowa and I really like the Sooners this year. But will the Big Game bite Bob in the ass once again? Stoops & Ferentz coached together back in the early 80's on the Iowa staff. This would be an old school grinding game with Baker Mayfield airing it out for OU.

In all reality any of those 4 mythical games could result in an upset, and I'm 90% sure that at least one of the 5-8 teams would win on the field. All four games would be a TV ratings bonanza meaning huge revenues for ESPN and more money for all FBS schools. This is a huge bonus of the "Group of 5" conferences like the MAC and Mtn West.

The CFP contract is for 12 years, meaning it would end in the 2025-26 season. But, contracts have been broken in the past so there is no reason to believe this contract could not be revised.  I personally believe the committee has an unofficial agreement to keep it as 4-teams for at least 5 years to see how everything goes.

Even though the book "Death to the BCS" is a few years old and we no longer have the flawed BCS system I believe it is still a good read for crazy CFB fans like myself. Especially those with a business background who are interested in how the non-CFP bowls work, where the money goes, etc. It was really an eye opener.

I will be a proponent of the 8-team format until someone can prove to me how or why it is bad for CFB, the conferences, the universities, the teams, or the Student-Athletes.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year's!  Enjoy the CFB Bowl Season!


Monday, September 7, 2015

Grad Student Transfers

Grad Student transfers all all the rage the past few years in college football, and I don't like the trend.



For those of you who do not know what a GS transfer is, it is a student-athlete who was usually redshirted their freshman year at University "A," they play 3 years, and at the end of their 4th year at Univ "A" they graduate with a degree.  After footbal ends and in the spring semester, this student-athlete applies to another school for grad school at another school (his oringinal school "A" can not have that masters program however). Then this player is allowed to join the new football team at Univ "B" and play instantly. He does not have to sit out a year like players who transfer schools before they graduate. Whew! That's hopefully easy to understand.

The past few years college football has seen more and more examples of the GS transfer. This year there are a handful of well known players who have done this. Vernon Adams Jr at Oregon is getting the most press, transfering from FCS Eastern Washington. But this is also Everette Golson who went from ND to Florida State. The new Georgia Bulldogs QB Greyson Lambert (soap opera name!) is also one, as is one of my favorite Cal players, Avery Sebastian who is now at Notre Dame. Cal also lost often injured but impactful Brennan Scarlett to our arch enemy, Stanfurd. This one is a tough call, as he decided to transfer simply to play on the same team as his lil brother who is a freshman on The Farm. And who could forget the Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. He went from North Carolina State to Wisconsin a few years back.

Here's my take. You accepted a scholarship to the university to play football. You've played three years out of four with your freshman redshirt. You graduated from college, congratulations! And you probably did not have to take out a student loan, get thousands of dollars from your parents, or work a part-time job on campus like the vast majority of "normal" students. Don't you owe the university a little loyalty? Shouldn't you stay at your original school, enter a grad program there, and play your fourth year of football?

What bothers me is that most of these grad transfers are players looking to go to a better school and to a school where the system fits their skill set better. And most of these players are offensive skill position players, QB RB or WR who are trying to improve their chance of making to the NFL.

If the player is truly transferring to a new university they will not have an issue with staying out one year before playing. It will allow them time to set a solid foundation for his grad studies, meet his new teammates, learn the campus, etc.

I wish there was a stat on how many of these grad transfer students ever really achieve their Masters Degree. I'm guessing this percentage is very, very low.

This grad transfer loophole is making a mockery of college football. A sport built on tradition.

End the Grad Program transfer rule. Or at least make the player wait one year.

          Nor-Cal Scott
          09/07/15

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Delete - yes, again

"What a long strange trip its been..." - The Grateful Dead

I totally blew it last football season. I tried to do a column each week on Sunday, but life got in the way. I had a few posts during the season, maybe 4 or 5.  Then at the end of the season I had several more dealing with the issue of Cal's Coach Tedford.

One column talked about where the Golden Bears program was, the direction it was heading, and my thoughts on what needed to be done. Another was on the announcement of Jeff Tedford's firing after 11 seasons in Berkeley. And the last was a plea to Boise State Coach Peterson to consider taking the Cal job.

Well, I got another wild hair up my caboose and deleted those posts from last season. I was disappointed in myself for the lack of consistency in writing a column.  No other reason that being lazy... no, really it was just forgetting to do it on Sunday. I was probably wrapped up in the 49er game.

So, with the start of the College Football season just 11 days away until the first games on Thursday night, I pledge to you, other CFB fans, that I will make a huge effort to write a weekly Sunday column.

And it is not just about Cal football, but all of CFB.  The Top 25, the best games of the weekend, the referee blunders, and the outstanding performances. Sure, I'll have more to say about Cal games, especially home games that I will be attending.

One thing I will be keeping a sharp eye on is the formation of the "College Football Play-Offs," or what I've seen in print as CFP.  We all hated the BCS for our various reasons, but how this "Committee" is formed is crucial to the integrity of crowing a true National Champion.

I have a background is sports writing, dating way back to my high school and college days.  I also spent years writing sales & marketing material for the small company I worked for in the corporate special events industry. I enjoy writing about things I am passionate about, so CFB is only a natural.

Please feel free to leave comments and let's have a dialogue throughout the season.

     Nor-Cal Scott
     

Friday, June 22, 2012

Conf's Agree & a Selection Committee

So this week will go down in the history of college football as a "landmark event" with the announcement that the Conference Commissioner's have reached an agreement on a Four Team Playoff.

Some details are still in the works, and this agreement still needs the vote & approval of the University Presidents before CFB fans can rejoice.

One of the key portions of this Playoff agreement is how the four teams are selected.  Similar to March Madness the Grand Pooba's have decided upon a "Selection Committee."  While few details have really been released, bits & pieces have.  It sounds like this committee will be larger than the hoops committee, and be represented equally by all conferences. Another part is that most, if not all, committee members will be former AD's, coaches, & players.

Hmmm, where have we read a very similar idea?  That's right, here: http://nor-calscott.blogspot.com/2012/02/4-team-playoff-8-team-playoff.html  read the last part of item #3.

"I think [a football committee] might be a little bit larger, just because you have a situation where there will be lot of recusals," said Delany. "Individuals that get appointed to a conference, if their conference is involved in the discussion process, will have to have a significant recusal process. I don't think you can be left after the recusal with too small a number. I don't know what the number is, but I don't think it's nine or 10."

To me, that is great news.  Due to how members will have to not participate in talks about schools from their conferences (AD's or Conf Commish) the size needs to be about 25 IMO. Fair & equal representation is the most important part of this committee idea.  And so is transparency, which has been mentioned.  Knowing how these power brokers work, I'm sure the committee won't be as big as I hope, but if the fans, coaches, AD's, and Univ Presidents can actually see who each member voted for (ie: ranked Top 4) it will give everyone more confidence that everything is done right.

Let's admit it, CFB fans currently have a distrust of "the system."  But you never hear too much complaining for March Madness, now with over 64 teams (with the silly multiple play-in games).  Of course, this leads me back to my premise that four teams is simply not enough.  Hopefully this is just 'Step 1" of a plan to expand a college football playoffs to 8 Teams.  Seriously, just wait for this system to be put in place and the listen for the uproar from team #5.  Granted, with my plan you can say the same thing with team #9, but at least we have doubled the amount of teams.  And how much difference is there between team #4 and 5, or #4 and 7?

I await the details of the Selection Committee to be released, because this is a very critical part of the entire playoff idea.

From SI's Stewart Mandel's column:  "The commissioners also intend to reward teams that schedule challenging nonconference games rather than playing eight home games and loading up on cupcakes.

And, as departing Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas said Wednesday: "[What] we're going to do is reclaim New Year's Day and New Year's Eve for college football. These are [going to be] the games you can't miss."

Surely any right-minded college football fan will be elated about all of that."

Mandel is one of my Top 4 CFB writers. You can read his entire column here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/stewart_mandel/06/21/college-football-playoff-selection-committee/index.html#ixzz1yXbMSHw6

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A CFB Playoff... More Talk

It has been five months since the BCS NCG and talks of a true college football playoff has picked up during the past few months. 

Currently, a four team playoff is the scenario with the best chance of becoming a reality.  However, the four "Power Conferences" (SEC, Pac12, BigXII, Big10) can not agree upon which format to select the four teams: a ranked top four, conference champions only, a selection committee (ala March Madness) which, etc.

Each conference has their own reason(s) for there stance. Obviously the SEC does not like the "Champions Only" idea because they traditionally have more than one team in the top four. The Big10 likes the that scenario because it guarantees them a spot in the playoffs.  Right now it looks like a power struggle between conference commissioners Mike Slive (SEC) & Jim Delany (B10).

In my opinion, this shows the problem with only a four team playoff.  Seriously, how much of a gap is there between the #3 & #5 teams?  Or #4 & #6?  With ony four teams the playoff is too narrow.  Imagine March Madness starting with only a "Sweet 16."  Where would be the Cinderella stories?  And don't tell me Butler would ever make the Top 16 before they made their two year run.

This is why I still believe college football needs an EIGHT TEAM PLAYOFF.  Let me review my brief idea:

1. Blow up the BCS. Reorganize & change the name. BCS has a bitter taste to most CFB fans.

2. With all of the recent & on-going realignment ALL conferences must play 9 conference games & only 3 OOC games. Only 1 OOC game can be a FCS school. This is called the Cupcake Rule. There are no AQ or non-AQ conferences. Schools like TCU, Boise, Houston, etc all have a fair shot at landing in the playoff no matter what conference.

3. Expand the AP voters to include more media members: national columnists, beat writers, CFB TV guys. Eliminate the Coaches Poll for two reasons: 1) most coaches don’t fill out their poll, & 2) there is too much politics in placing teams in your conference higher than a team which is obviously better. To replace the Coaches Poll create a new group consisting of former a wide variety of former coaches, ad’s, & maybe players. This is basically what former Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden talked about this past week. This group of 100 people could also be a paid group. Give this group access to online live streaming video of all games, and videos of all games played that weekend. This allows the person to watch games, review highlights, etc of all the games they would like to see.

4. At end of season use the AP, my new group, and the computer polls to set a final ranking of 1-25 to seed the Top 8 for a playoff.

5. Use the existing 4 big bowls (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange) as sites for playoff games of 1vs8, 2vs7, 3vs6, 4vs5. Seeding games will rotate between sites. Winners advance to 2 Semi Finals game (neutral site games), then winners advance to the undisputed National Championship Game. Another idea is to play the first round games at some of the other bowl's in mid-December, and use the 4 Big Bowls for the 2 semi games (rotate every other year), and then the NCG two weeks later.

Note that in this scenario that the two teams who play in the NCG will only play two additional games as teams do now. With 3-4 weeks off in December players bodies can handle this fine.

I know this is short, but hopefully simple enough to understand. I have taken what we have, tweaked it to improve it, and added a simple 8 team playoff using the four traditional bowl sites.

And let's not forget how much money can be made for universities athletic departments, conferences,etc.

ONLY 80 Days until Sept 1st and "Kickoff Saturday"!

     Nor-Cal Scott

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

California Memorial Stadium Tour

As a season ticket holder for Cal football I received an email about an upcoming preview tour of the "new & improved" California Memorial Stadium. I instantly shot back an email saying I'd like to RSVP. I attended on Wed 5/30.

Once at the new adjoining Simpson Center for Student Athlete High Performance we (about 25-30 guests) were brought to a large conference style room, I'd guess about 100 X 60. It was obvious this was not only a preview tour but an opportunity to upgrade to the fancy high roller ESP donor seats. I was pre-qualified very well by a staff member asking me “if I intended to upgrade." I laughed a bit and told her that my priorities were to get my two kids through college first.

The Athletic Department Sales Staff did a wonderful job presenting the material about ESP seats, dispelling many myths, and breaking down how the price structure was set (based on 2010 pricing basically). The ESP seating includes three sections: Field Club- standard stadium chairs in the lower levels, Stadium Club- a padded chair with an extra inch wide, and the University Club- a luxury seat, even wider, and leather. Alicia (a former Cal swimmer) & Justin were the two point people of the day, but I did have great conversations with Valerie (former Cal softball), and “my” rep Kevin who has assisted me over the years.

We had a chance to sample some of the food that will be offered at the new & improved concession stands. It was 4pm and I wasn't really that hungry but I did grab a half a Sausage-Dog of some sort, Waffle Fries, and a really yummy Tri-Tip appetizer type of thing. They will also be offering Sushi and more upscale food ala AT&T. They also had ice cream bars, and a slushy type of icee drink.

A pleasant surprise was a short chat with our beloved AD Sandy Barbour. I've seen her at games, heard her on TV, and we even swap tweets now and then, but Sandy really impressed me. She has a dynamic personality with a genuine feel. She talked about the need for getting the stadium remodeled upon her arrival in Berkeley. Sandy explained she had experience in fund raising, facilities management, etc. Then she deadpanned, "But the one thing I didn't have was experience with tree sitters." This statement received both laughs & applause from the guests.

The Tour:

My photos of the tour are available to look at here: http://s1261.photobucket.com/albums/ii595/norcalscott2/ They’re nothing great but I did want to share with fellow Bear fans.

Considering the stage of construction we had to really visualize what things will look like come September 1st and the first game vs. Nevada. Some areas, like the main concourse, were more completed than the three ESP levels & their respective private club rooms. One thing is for sure, it is going to be awesome. We were told that in the main concourse the area is 3 to 4 times as wide! And it looks like it! The concourse has bright blue (almost a royal hue) tile in the customer service areas like concessions & restrooms.

One area that has fascinated me is the grass plaza area that doubles as the roof for the Simpson Center, the Student-Athlete High Performance Center. We learned that on game days this will be a ticketed area so only ticket holders will have access to the plaza. It consists of lush green grass and what looked like a combination of pavers & concrete. I did not get to ask the question, but I wonder if ticket holders will be able to bring in food to basically picnic in the plaza.

For me the highlight of the tour was being in the University Club room area. We were taken to the backside and out to the new overlook area. This overlook area looks out over the campus with a great view of the Campanile. Views of downtown Oakland & San Francisco filled the horizon. It was breathtaking. The most unique thing we were told is that the floor will be made of tempered glass, allowing the Richie-Rich Donor to look down below.

We all know that with this major renovation CMS will lose about 10,000 seats, about 1/7th of its former capacity. We learned that with the expanded leg room and various seat widths of the three levels of ESP seating this is where most of the seats were lost. While a better explanation could not be given, some seats were lost in the other 2/3rds of the stadium where the renovations took place. Due to new wider concourse tunnels and new ADA seating accounted for this. Just by looking around it was fairly obvious to me that the new concourse tunnels have also been moved slightly in most areas, and they looked slightly higher too. These tunnels are also much wider, and no longer have steps but small ramps. The ramps double as entry to the ADA seats.

My Disappointment:

This tour could have been so much better. Yes, the main intent was to upsell season ticket holders to ESP seats, but even a quick 15 minutes through the Simpson Center would have been a nice added bonus. From the large room were we gathered and watched the power point, heard the sales pitch, and heard Sandy speak we could look through the glass wall down two floors into the expansive training facility. Tons of weight machines, racks, treadmills, etc etc. I've seen photos of this room via the Bear Blog and even on twitter from various current & former players, but this training area looked awesome! As a former jock myself I would have loved to walk through and see what else was there. Plus just to see other areas for the student-athletes: dining hall, trainer’s rooms, coaches offices. I want to see it all! If Cal wants alumni & donors to increase their annual giving they need to show off these new facilities. I’m sure it costs a pretty penny to run & maintain the new Simpson Center.

My Prediction:

Without a doubt Cal has done a complete 180 degree turn in the type of facilities our student-athletes have at their access. The stadium & Simpson Center now match the academic reputation of the University of California as the #1 public university in the world. I believe that these facilities will have a positive impact not only on recruiting for the future, but inspire current student-athletes to push a little harder, to do that extra set of reps, or even stay a little bit longer in a trainer’s room getting treatment simply because the facilities are inviting & beautiful. While it is hard to predict how the renovations will impact season ticket sales we were told that about 70% of the regular bench seating is sold. I did read a tweet yesterday (Mon 6/4) from one sales staffer saying that the phones were ringing off the hook for new season ticket sales.

A giant "THANK YOU" goes out to Sandy Barbour for her hard work & leadership. Kudos to the many behind the scenes staff members who solicited funds from alumni & boosters to make this dream a reality. And a special nod to the Judge who kicked out the damn tree sitters!

GO BEARS!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Finally! The BCS Talks PLAYOFFS!

Well, this week history has been made. The BCS Cartel has finally came out and publicly said that they are looking into possible playoff scenarios.

On the table is the "Plus One" and a 4-Team Playoff. Great! Just the fact that the BCS is talking with Conference Commissioners, TV Execs, & Power Brokers is a step in the right direction. The fact is that College Football Fans do not like the current system and want (read as: demand) a playoff system.

There are a list of Pros & Cons for each different playoff idea. We, CFB fans, will have a million different opinions about things like "should games be played at neutral sites or at the home stadium of the higher ranked team?"

I'm was not surprised to read that "brain trust" of college football still believes that an 8-team playoff is not the way to go. I strongly believe it is, you can read my opinion and plan in my earlier posts. Perhaps they do not want to admit it and say it, but perhaps they do like the idea of an 8-team playoff but they want to test drive a 4-team playoff for a few years first to work out any bugs. I'm trying to stay positive.

A 4-team playoff is simply too small. What is the difference between the #4 team and maybe the #6 team? Margin of victory, style points, or worse, a "signature win?"

Since the BCS moves at the speed of a low & slow pig on the barbeque at an SEC tailgater (that's for you Andy Staples of SI) we will not see any changes until probably 2014 at the earliest.

I'm looking forward to change. Any change. Once the BCS goes for the 4-team playoff it will only be a couple more years until they expand it to 8-teams, IMHO. The fans will be screaming for it.

Only 156 days until KICKOFF SATURDAY on 9-1-12!

Nor-Cal Scott

www.twitter.com/norcalscott

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

4-team Playoff? 8-team Playoff?

Fast forward two months since my last blog post. What’s changed? Nothing. The BCS system proved to be flawed once again. Fans & media alike believe there is room for improvement.

This week the three-yards and a cloud of dust Big Ten proposed a 4-team playoff, something that the SEC & ACC did four years ago. I guess this is Big10’s Jim Delaney’s attempt at not being former BigXII Commish Dan Bebee.

One of my favorite college football writers, Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, outlines the pros & cons of a 4-team playoff here: http://bit.ly/AqJOX7

I still believe that an 8-team Playoff is best for CFB. It allows for the Top 8 teams to participate, instead of only four. Let’s admit it; the margin between the tops teams is usually not very much. What makes one team #4 and another #6? Margin of victory? Style points? Out-Of-Conference Schedule? Again, not much.

Let me review my plan for an 8-team Playoff:

Below is my simple playoff solution tweaking what we have & improving upon it. It will level the playing field for everyone, and if your team is good enough you have a fair shot at the National Title. This will also generate a ton more money to be shared upon the playoff teams, and all conferences & schools.

1. Blow up the BCS. Reorganize & change the name. BCS has a bitter taste to most CFB fans.

2. With all of the recent & on-going realignment ALL conferences must play 9 conference games & only 3 OOC games. Only 1 OOC game can be a FCS school. This is called the Cupcake Rule. There are no AQ or non-AQ conferences. Schools like TCU, Boise, Houston, etc all have a fair shot at landing in the playoff no matter what conference.

3. Note: this has been tweaked since my 12/2011 post. Expand the AP voters to include more media members: national columnists, beat writers, cfb tv guys. Eliminate the Coaches Poll for two reasons: 1) most coaches don’t fill out their poll, & 2) there is too much politics in placing teams in your conference higher than a team which is obviously better. To replace the Coaches Poll create a new group consisting of former a wide variety of former coaches, ad’s, & maybe players. This group of 50-100 people could also be a paid group. Give this group access to online live streaming video of all games, and videos of all games played that weekend. This allows the person to watch games, review highlights, etc of all the games they would like to see.

4. At end of season use the AP, my new group, and the computer polls to set a final ranking of 1-25 to seed the Top 8 for a playoff.

5. Use the existing 4 big bowls (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange) as sites for playoff games of 1vs8, 2vs7, 3vs6, 4vs5. Seeding games will rotate between sites. Winners advance to 2 Semi Finals game (neutral site games), then winners advance to the undisputed National Championship Game.

Note that in this scenario that the two teams who play in the NCG will only play two additional games as teams do now. With four weeks off in December players bodies can handle this fine.

I know this is short, but hopefully simple enough to understand. I have taken what we have, tweaked it to improve it, and added a simple 8 team playoff using the four traditional bowl sites.

Finally, if you have not read the book, "Death to the BCS" I highly recommend that you do so soon. It discusses the winners & losers of this flawed system, and shows several money trails. It also outlines the benefits of a playoff system, and its giant financial reward for college football.

Best Wishes College Football Fans!

Scott