I usually save a bunch of football comments for Football Friday; but I have several on my mind this morning so let ‘er rip.
First, I want to comment on the unfolding sign-stealing scandal in college football involving Michigan and some of its opponents. The investigation must continue because a critical element is the involvement of various coaches in the chain of command there. What was done – – and there has been sufficient evidence reported for me to believe that “sign spying” happened – – is a violation of NCAA rules. It is not illegal; it is a rule violation. Even if I think the rule is “wrong”, it is a rule and it has been violated. So, it is not incumbent on the NCAA super-sleuths to figure out who did the violating and who initiated the violating and who knew about the violating without putting an end to it.
Those activities are aimed at sanctioning individuals. There is – – in my mind at least – – already sufficient information to levy a sanction against “Michigan Football” as an institution. If the NCAA honestly believes that this rule is important to the fabric of college football, it needs to come down hard on “Michigan Football “right now such that “Michigan Football” is not a beneficiary of breaking that rule the NCAA considers important. Here is my suggestion:
- As of this moment, “Michigan Football” is under a two-year post-season ban. No CFP invitations and no bowl game invitations.
- AND … the NCAA proclaims that any other school or football program that engages in anything like this will face a five-year ban in the future.
The next issue is also related to college football. Last week, the first of the 2023 CFP
rankings were released by the Selection Committee. Here are the Top Seven:
- Ohio St.
- Florida St.
I have been saying for several weeks in my Football Friday commentaries that Florida St. deserves consideration for a CFP bid. No one should seriously consider me a “Seminole-hater”. However, if you look at the Florida St. schedule to date, they have played one significant opponent (LSU) and two (better than average opponents (Duke and Clemson). The problem with the Seminole’s schedule is that their conference opponents in the ACC just aren’t all that good in 2023.
Notwithstanding my suggestion above that Michigan be banned from any and all post-season action this year – – and next – – the Wolverines have played no one of consequence to date. Looking at their schedule, is it possible that the best team Michigan has played – and beaten – in 2023 is UNLV?
So, my questions now are simple:
- Why does the Selection Committee place such a low value on “strength of schedule”?
- Wouldn’t college football as a whole and the CFP more specifically, benefit from having top schools schedule other top schools instead of cupcakes?
Conference schedules cannot be regulated; this year the ACC is a week-sister conference in the Power-5: and this year, Michigan’s rotating Big-10 schedule has presented them with no serious opponents to date. However, the CFP selectors have it in their power to make teams schedule much stronger out of conference teams by rewarding the schools that do so. It seems to me there is a basic psychological principle at work here:
- You get the behavior that you reward; you change the behavior that you sanction.
The last football item for today involves a high school program in Texas. Tomorrow is election day, and the Prosper Independent School district has a bond referendum on the ballot for voter approval or rejection.
- Prosper Independent School district wants to issue bonds (borrow money) for four projects.
- The total amount of the bond issue is $102,425,000.
- Of that amount, $94M would go toward the construction of a new stadium for the Prosper Independent School District high school football team.
I do not support public money being used to build stadiums for billionaire football owners. Neither would I support spending $94M of public money to build a high school football stadium.
Finally, I’ll close today with these words of wisdom from former Notre Dame football coach, Lou Holtz:
“Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………