More Than I Wanted …

Yesterday, I did not pay heed to the adage:

  • “Be careful what you wish for lest it come true.”

I mentioned that the Yankees/Red Sox game and Monday Night Football would be on at the same time, so I wished that one of the games would turn out to be a blowout so I could focus on the other one.  Well, both of them were blowouts.  There was about as much drama in those two games as there was joy in Mudville back in the day.

CBS Sports had a report yesterday about the ongoing trial of Adidas execs for wire fraud regarding college basketball recruiting.  Here is an important paragraph buried in the middle of that report:’

” ‘We are closely monitoring the trial of three individuals charged with corruption in college basketball,’ the NCAA said in a statement Friday to The Washington Post. ‘If information relevant to potential NCAA violations is uncovered, we will continue to follow-up and investigate all the facts’.”

Why is that important?  Isn’t that what you would expect the NCAA to say?  Indeed it is, and it also demonstrates that the NCAA will – yet again – have to rely on outside efforts to bring to light “information relevant to potential NCAA violations”.  It is an organization that is not capable of monitoring and enforcing its own rules.  Is it any wonder why there might be programs that decide it is OK to act outside the boundaries of those rules?

USA Today did a poll to determine the salaries of college football head coaches in Division 1-A.  There are 129 schools that play football at that level and the poll found that the average salary for head coaches is $2.4M per year.  Doing just a tad of math here, that means head coaches – not all coaches on all staffs at those 129 schools – make a total of $309.6M.  Given that the NCAA and all its member institutions are tax-exempt entities that operate not for profit, that seems like a hefty financial burden, no?

Other information from the USA Today poll that I found interesting:

  • There are 44 head coaches in the country that make $3M per year or more.
  • There are 13 head coaches in the country that make $5M per year or more.

Staying with college football for a moment, Bob Molinaro had this observation in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot recently:

“Musical chairs: Clemson’s Kelly Bryant is bailing on the Tigers now, while Alabama backup quarterback Jalen Hurts is expected to change campuses after the season. Both have been dislodged by younger, better passers. Can’t blame them, though, for wondering why they were benched. As starters, their teams were a combined 42-4.”

The NFL has always been about “what have you done for me lately”; that attitude has trickled down to Division 1-A college football now…

As of this morning there are 11 undefeated college football teams in the country.  It is tempting to try to conjure up scenarios whereby all of them end the season undefeated so that the College Football Playoff Committee would have to squirm as they made their announcements of the CFP seedings.  Problem is that it will not happen because it cannot happen.

  • Alabama and Georgia are in the same conference.  One of them must lose a game.
  • Clemson and NC State are in the same conference.
  • Cincy, UCF and USF are all in the same conference.  Two of those teams must lose a game.

Looking at the other unbeaten teams:

  • W. Virginia still must play Texas, TCU and Oklahoma
  • Ohio St. still must play Michigan St. and Michigan
  • Colorado still must play USC, Washington and Utah
  • Notre Dame still must play Florida St., Syracuse and USC.

A reader asked me via e-mail if Notre Dame were to finish the season undefeated and not make it to the CFP, would that be the impetus for Notre Dame to join the ACC in football.  Actually, here is what I think would happen if an undefeated Notre Dame team were left out of the CFP:

  • That would provide the impetus for expanding the CFP to 8 teams.

As is customary here in Curmudgeon Central, one never looks at the undefeated teams in a vacuum; the ethos here is to search out the winless teams too.  If I have counted correctly, there are 4 of them:

  1. Nebraska
  2. San Jose St.
  3. UCLA
  4. UTEP

Nebraska and UCLA are recognizable programs with a history.  Both have new coaches this year.  Nebraska has Bethune-Cookman on its schedule along with visits to Minnesota and Illinois.  There should be a win in that mix, right?  UCLA’s schedule does not have any games that look like layup victories.

[Aside:  The Cards win over the Niners on Sunday assures that no team in the NFL will be winless in 2018.]

Finally, Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times found an intersection of sports and business with this observation:

“J.C. Penney’s portfolio for the past four years boasts a profit in just two quarters.

“In a related story, J.C. Penney has just been named the official retail store of the Cleveland Browns.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “More Than I Wanted …”

  1. You may be right that powerful people might try to push for eight teams in the playoffs. But I think the ACC would balk unless ND agreed to join as a full member. Also, the AAC already thinks they are equal to two (maybe three) of the P5 conferences. Any attempt to expand the playoffs with their conference champion being in the mix will be an awful PR mess. And the SEC and Big Ten will have a legit argument that their two division champions should be included. ND might still be outside looking in if the new format had six conference champions with guaranteed spots.

    1. Doug:

      It will not be an easy lift to expand the CFP to more than 4 teams – – but Notre Dame has a large and dispersed set of alumni who can be very vocal and supportive of their alma mater…

      Tony Kornheiser sometimes refers to Notre Dame as “The University of Football in North America”.

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