With the College Football Playoff kicking off this season, it’s officially a new era for the sport.
The playoff brings a freshness to college football that fans – even the “there was nothing wrong with the BCS!” detractors – will come to enjoy.
But how innovative is the concept of a four-team format with a selection committee really?
As it turns out, the folks behind the new playoff aren’t geniuses. Notre Dame’s Rudy predicted this exact scenario 40 years ago!
Take a look (and cheers to those who came up with this ESPN video idea; it’s great):
THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. It’s Day 2 of SEC Media Days from Hoover, Alabama. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and Tennessee’s Butch Jones will all take the podium. The quarterbacks – or the QB races – will get much more attention today. Sumlin will be asked about replacing Johnny Manziel and sophomore Kenny Hill’s arrest earlier this spring. South Carolina’s Dylan Thompson will be in Hoover and the focus of replacing Connor Shaw. MSU’s Dak Prescott, also attending, is getting some Heisman sleeper hype in the preseason, and Tennessee’s QB situation is entirely unsettled. Should be a fun day. Here are five storylines for Day 2 from Cory McCartney.
2. The biggest story by far at Day 1 of SEC Media Days was the absence of Auburn QB Nick Marshall and what Gus Malzahn will decide to do with his starting QB after he was cited for marijuana possession last week. Malzahn said Marshall will “suffer the consequences” of his decision, but he wasn’t ready to say what those consequences were. Most people are split on whether Marshall should have been in Hoover to take responsibility for his actions. I would have sent him to address the situation in person, without taking questions, and then leave; it wasn’t fair for the Auburn players in attendance to have to speak for him. As for Week 1 against Arkansas, Dennis Dodd thinks Marshall should sit, as does Joel Klatt. What say you?
3. The other main storyline from Day 1 in Hoover was the status of Florida coach Will Muschamp and how the Gators can rebound from a 4-8 season. As expected, the “hot seat” talk began with Muschamp, and he anticipated it and took it head on. I liked this quote on the subject of hot seat rumors from Florida’s head coach:
If Florida is to have a successful season and Muschamp is to keep his job, both will largely depend on how well QB Jeff Driskel takes to new OC Kurt Roper’s offense (and, of course, health). Good stuff here from Bruce Feldman on how Roper is trying to develop Driskel.
THREE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
1. New Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason had a great day at his first SEC Media Days. He spoke conviction with the Dores, which is different than speaking with bravado, I think. When Mason talks, you believe the he believes in what he’s saying. As Gary Laney details here, Mason believes the “Stanford way” – i.e. matching world-class education with elite football – can work just as well in the SEC. Also: I loved this quote from Mason on recruiting ranks and all that talk.
2. The College Football Playoff trophy was unveiled, and here it is:
3. Brett McMurphy reported Monday that Oklahoma State is under NCAA investigation and hopes the process will be completed within a couple of months. The school has also been conducting an internal investigation and will release a report once the NCAA has completed its inquiry. The investigation stems from a multi-part Sports Illustrated series called the “Dirty Game” that was published last year. The series received a fair amount of criticism for its execution.
2. Earlier this month, Hueytown, Alabama, held Jameis Winston Day to celebrate its most famous son, the Florida State quarterback. Brendan Sonnone digs deeper into Hueytown to explore the “love-hate” relationship between Winston and his hometown. Give it a read – good reporting.
3. It’s a long way out, but on Monday Oklahoma and Michigan announced a home-and-home series for 2025 (Sept. 6 in Norman) and 2026 (Sept. 12 in Ann Arbor). It will be only the second and their games ever between the programs. Their only meeting came in the 1976 Orange Bowl, in which Oklahoma won 14-6 to win its fifth national title.