When we spoke last week, it may have come across that I was against the brand new playoff system in major college football. While that would be entirely factual, I will say there is one positive to come out of this change in postseason plans: you actually have some pretty decent non-conference matchups.
Look at week one alone: Florida State-Oklahoma State, Alabama-West Virginia, LSU-Wisconsin, Clemson-Georgia, and Boise State-Ole Miss were the marquee matchups. In the coming weeks, Michigan State plays Oregon, Ohio State hosts Virginia Tech and UCLA knocks helmets with Texas. I’m a proponent of FCS schools scheduling games with FBS schools (hey, you have to make money and run an athletic department somehow … if you’re willing to get embarrassed, that’s your right), but finally seeing more solid non-conference matchups outside of the usual rivalries is awesome for fans and great for the sport.
I’m even going to take it one step further: do like the pros do and play a set conference each year for your non-conference games. Much like the AFC East is playing the NFC Central this season, have the ACC take on the Pac 12 … while the SEC takes on the Big Ten for their games. Each school can keep one non-conference game to protect rivalries (FSU-Florida, Clemson-South Carolina, Colorado-Colorado State … you know, the big ones) and the other two or three games will be against teams from a set conference. You can make a set formula so that, for example, Wake Forest doesn’t play Texas, Oklahoma and Baylor at the same time, and everything is even.
This has genius written all over it!
This week’s 4 in 40 … four points, forty words each.
1. Todd Gurley proved he is a grown man this weekend, and should be the front-runner for the Heisman. Everyone can swoon over Kenny Hill after one game, but Gurley is head and shoulders a better overall player at this point.
2. Something to make you feel old (a day after my birthday): Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya, who started the opener last night on the road at Louisville, wasn’t even born when the movie Friday, featuring his mother, was released. Bye Felicia.
3. You’ll have to wait until Thursday to see which team or teams it will be, but I’m calling at least one top ten squad to lose. Take the next forty-eight hours to see if you can guess the upset(s) correctly.
4. It’s nice when a six-point win over a decent team away from home is considered a “disappointment” by some in your fan base. If that doesn’t symbolize that your program is back (or close to it), I don’t know what it does.
This week, a situation arose here is South Florida involving the athletic department at Florida International University not giving credentials to a beat writer from the Miami Herald – the only publication that assigned a beat writer for the school to begin with.
Depending on whom you speak to, the issue at hand was how the school and teams were covered. Let’s put aside for a second that the football team was 1-11 last season (and is 0-1 this year after losing at home to FCS Bethune-Cookman for the second consecutive season). For a program that is about sixth on the caring depth chart for sports fans in South Florida (after all the pro teams and the Miami Hurricanes), it’s pretty much the most asinine thing in the world to kick out the only media outlet willing to give you consistent coverage.
The athletic department, namely athletic director Pete Garcia (excuse me … he would like to be referred to by his self-appointed title of Vice President of Sports and Entertainment), has done some head scratching things – from hiring Isiah Thomas, to firing the one football coach who led the program to bowl games … in favor of a guy who has made a habit of losing to an FCS school at home. The positive direction the athletics department was taking has been destroyed by a series of mistakes on and off the field.
You don’t want people writing bad things about your program? Don’t lose embarrassing games on a consistent basis.