College football continues to move closer and closer to a drastic change in determining its champion. This past week the Pac 12 has jumped on board with the SEC and the Big Ten in suggesting a playoff format for change to the new BCS contract. This is significant because any resistance to a new agreement would come directly from the most powerful bowl game left, the Rose Bowl. With both conferences in favor of change, I am confident they assured the Rose Bowl folks that the history of their game would be maintained. I dont want to throw a wet blanket on everyones excitement, but I doubt these public affirmations of change will be anymore than the plus one model we have already discussed. It would be the compromise between the bowls and the schools to try and give people what they want, while preserving the history and tradition of post season. I thought it was interesting that the NCAA was presented playoff scenario years ago by CBS and declined it. Today the NCAA has very little power in the evolution of college football and is basically an innocent bystander.
How the post season will be determined is the number one factor in reform. Under a new agreement which conferences would be eligible would also be a topic of discussion. Then there is the champion rule where teams like Alabama (2011) may not be eligible if they dont win their conference championship. I am not completely on board with this because look at Golf--the number one player in the world hasnt won a major championship. Are we going to omit a team from the playoff that meets the computer and human polls rankings? By the way, where is the ACC, Big 12, heck the Big East, in supporting change to the system? Do they think their vote would not count? Here is a quick solution combining ideas of all three conferences to form an eight team playoff:
- To be eligible your conference must have a championship game
- Six conference champions from the SEC, Big 10, Pac 12, ACC, Big 12 and one automatic from the other conferences to include the Big East and or Notre Dame.
- Two at large teams from any conference based on BCS standing and can be seeded no higher than 7 and 8 and will not be allowed a home game.
- Home games in Mid-December for the top four versus the bottom four.
- Home games on Jan 1 for two highest remaining teams
- Championship at venue that is open for bid years in advance would play each year on Jan 10th or so.
- Rose Bowl would get two highest non playoff teams from Big Ten and Pac Ten
- All other bowl games would work ties with best match-ups available.
This and that... Tough break for Missouri losing quarterback James Franklin in the spring. He has established himself as a legitimate, I am sure Gary Pinkel was going to use some practices to throw some SEC defensive looks at his signal caller. Most guys dont even think of game planning in the spring but Missouri returns so many starters and can actually get a sneak peek at preparation during March. Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M is trying to find a quarterback in the spring for his high powered offense. The guys competing for the job are Jonny Manziel, Jameill Showers, Matt Joeckel and Matt Davis. Sumlin said that no answer will be given by the end of spring ball. In Athens, Georgia will roll early freshman Keith Marshall into the running back mix. This could be huge for the Dogs if he can push Isaiah Crowell and make the Bulldog ground game deeper. Marshall looks to be a tougher runner and in the spring we will find out. Teammates have come to the defense of Crowell with the criticism of his toughness. Competition is good and if you can find two elite running backs in Mike Bobos pro-style offense that could be the difference in the East race. Carlton Thomas has decided to transfer for the Dogs largely because of playing time. He was used mostly as a third down change of pace type back. AJ McCarron will go through spring for Alabama after having minor shoulder surgery. It was mostly to clean up some where and tear, but as much as I have praised him it will be interesting to see him without Jim McElwain. McCarron admitted this past week that he still talks to the Colorado State head coach. This is not uncommon in college football at the quarterback position. More than any spot on the team, a player can develop a close bond with his position coach.