Friday Skull Session

By Johnny Ginter on June 1, 2012 at 6:18a
49 Comments

Happy Friday everyone, and welcome to your morning Skull Session.

The offseason continues to roll on, as we approach Jane's Addiction levels of ennui and make a last ditch attempt at trying to stave off the slings and arrows of outrageous boredom. So far it seems to be working, and this week was a particularly fun week in the world of sports, specifically the sport of spelling things.

Yes, that's correct, the Scripps National Spelling Bee was completed last night, with Snigdha Nandipati winning the overall competition by spelling the word "guetapens," which is another word for a trap. Snigdha apparently studied for 6-12 hours a day for this thing, which doesn't sound like a lot at first, but keep in mind that all of her remaining hours were not spent asleep in some kind of chamber in Superman's Fortress of Solitude and that she actually had school and stuff.

If you feel bad that a 14 year old kid is probably smarter than you, don't feel too bad about that because there's a 6 year old who almost got to the semifinals this year who is also smarter than you. On the plus side, you would destroy them both in arm wrestling.

PAX SOUTHEASTIA Picking up from the Saban story in yesterday's Skully, the SEC is trying to dictate the way a potential four team playoff would work, favoring the idea that the four best teams would be selected rather than four conference champions and you know what, I'm totally on their side with this.

Of course, obviously this concept interests the SEC because given recent college football history, having the top four teams compete in a playoff would greatly favor their conference. The SEC would've had two representatives in a hypothetical four team playoff three times in the last five seasons under this concept, and would be pretty well set up to continue their dominance of college football. Still though, my personal motivation for this idea is that now this is more or less the only way that a fringe team would ever be able to compete for a national championship, barring an expanded playoff. If allowing two SEC teams in the mix means that by some crazy fluke Furman gets a shot at the title, I'm all for it.

NOT LAUGHING Oh James Franklin, you're so funny and cool!

I’ve been saying it for a long time, I will not hire an assistant until I see his wife. If she looks the part and she’s a D1 recruit, then you got a chance to get hired. That’s part of the deal. There’s a very strong correlation between having the confidence, going up and talking to a woman, and being quick on your feet and having some personality and confidence and being articulate and confident, than it is walking into a high school and recruiting a kid and selling him.

Hahah! Yeah! Misogyny!

Look, beyond the pretty awful "no fat chicks" implications there, as an added bonus he literally compared picking up women to picking up recruits. All I'm saying is that given recent events in Ohio State recruiting and elsewhere, that's uh... pretty gross. Franklin later went to Twitter to offer up a half-assed apology, but honestly even though I doubt Franklin really does what he describes, it's still some pretty petty crap with worse undertones. Also, you know, it's 2012.

Money money money money... muh-nay!

OL UNCLE PENNYBAGS Wow, didn't mean to turn today's Skully into the SEC show, but it looks like it's shaken out that way because I want to briefly talk about the money involved in Steve Spurrier's plan to play football players between $3500 and $4000 per season. Let's say that teams pay everyone who plays in half the games per season that amount. Conservatively, we're talking about roughly 40 kids. So let's lowball it and give em $3500 bucks each, which works out to $140,000 dollars total. In one sport.

My point is, who pays this? Big schools will have no problem chucking 4 G's at a few dozen kids, but what does Indiana do? What does every second tier team in the Big East do? What does the entire Sun Belt do? The problem is that if you want to create a level playing field in college sports, paying players will have the opposite effect. Why should Recruit A go to School 1 when School 2 can pay him 2 or 3 grand more a year to play there (in addition to the scholarship he's already getting)? It'd further corrupt an already unequal system.

GRRM KNOWS FOOTBALL I don't really know why this happened, but here's an interview with A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R R Martin about his two favorite teams, the Jets and Giants. Included are such hard hitting questions as:

  • Are you ever going to finish the series or is the TV show just an elaborate ruse?
  • Why suspenders?
  • Rex Ryan versus you in a wings eating contest, who wins?
  • (obligatory Tim Tebow question so when you answer it we can go "Eeeeeee!!")

THE LINKS OF CHOCOLATE... MMMM Awww, poor Weezy... PRAISE THE LORD, PROGRESSIVE BOINK IS BACK... Rex is gonna make Nick watch his sister compete in the Olympics. Uh, duh.... Bill Self? Okay fine... Accurate... Reenacting Dukes of Hazzard is not advised when you weigh over 300 pounds

49 Comments

Comments

Abe Froman's picture

Sure the SEC wants to have 2 out of 4 teams in the four team race.  Who wouldn't want a 50% representation and home field advantage in those games?  Not saying the Fiesta and Rose bowl aren't obvious choices too, but the South has equal amounts and Arizona will rarely throw up a top 5 team.  I am all four a chosen four playoff, but the site locations need to move to other cities.  Fans will watch the games no matter the weather and guess what.... If you are that good, you will play in the cold at the next level.

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

Buckeye414's picture

If you looked at Urban, Fickell, and Vrabel's wives during the town hall you realized that the Blonde Mafia may have come to town.  On the flipside Brady Hoke only hires assistants that have D1 deep fryer talent.  What can you say, the man loves his deep fried hams!

-Go Bucks!

Denny's picture

The PBoink Yankee Fan gif article yesterday was manna from the Internet heavens.

Taquitos.

Maestro's picture

Sevy says F-You Mayo

vacuuming sucks

nickma71's picture

Paying them makes it the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals. But never forget, the NCAA only prohibits it because they want all the money for themselves, and keep the slaves in check.

slippy's picture

Why can't football players take out loans like the rest of us?

ArTbkward's picture

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think it's a violation to get a loan based on future earnings potential.

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...
(Also, I'm not a dude)

Catch 5's picture

That's true, but I believe they can still get student loans like other students. I don't see what the big deal is to help some of these guys out by giving them enough to go home on breaks and stuff like that. If the guy lives across the country, it is quite an expense just to go home for the holidays.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Denny's picture

I've heard that scholarship athletes can't take out NCAA loans, but I may have heard wrong.

Taquitos.

Baroclinicity's picture

It was an expense for me to go home, too. 
If it's such a bad deal that kids aren't getting paid to play college sports and are only getting free schooling, then why aren't they choosing other paths? 
This is a slippery slope.  Do you make it fair for all athletes, and pay the Fencing team?  Or just the ones that bring in revenue? 
 

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

yrro's picture

I think that a full scholarship plus a % of the revenue brought in would be good.
You ought to get something for the jersey sales with your number on it.

Baroclinicity's picture

Buckeye football players would be fighting over 2, 7, 10 etc... riding the legacy of great Buckeyes in the past.  I can see it now... new recruits saying, "I'll play for Ohio State, but only if I can wear #7." 
To me, that would be a disaster.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

GABuckeye's picture

I actually thought they should get a portion of the jersey sales too (baroclinicty) until you made this point.  You are absolutely right about the slippery slope.  Do you pay all sports and, within that sport, pay all athletes equal amounts?  Does the walk-on backup kicker get the same as the starting QB?  Where would it end?  

Maestro's picture

Say I have a 4-year-old son and I want to buy him a #36 jersey because Spielman is my favorite Buckeye of all time.  Conner Crowell should get a piece of that?

vacuuming sucks

Maestro's picture

I can have an A.J. Hawk Green Bay Packers jersey made and he doesn't get any of the money from it.

vacuuming sucks

Catch 5's picture

I think you make it available to any sport where the NCAA restricts how/where the players have outside jobs.  Other non-revenue athletes can earn money on their own.  It is more difficult for scholarship football players to do so - training scheduling aside. 
I also think it would have to be need-based.  A player who hails from a wealthy family that lives less than an hour from campus doesn't need anything, but a player that comes from a single parent living in poverty two states away - why not allow a stipend that would allow that guy to get home a few times a year (or help with momma's power bill a couple of times).  I'm definately not for having the guy get rich off of this, but rather eliminating the need that many of them have that leads to potential violations for the school (see Pryor's latest claims)

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Baroclinicity's picture

No need for the poke to the side.
And as far as a need-based system, good luck with drawing that line.  That's an obstacle no one would want to try to negotiate. 
I think they should be able to get work in the off season, but that's it.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Pam's picture

The Ivy League does not offer athletic or merit scholarships, only need based for all of its students. If Diddy's son wanted to play at Princeton, Diddy would by paying.

Catch 5's picture

No poke intended.  Now, I don't believe Pryor for a second when he made that claim recently, but you would have to be blind or ignorant to think that the scenario he laid out isn't happening with others, and it's those guys that the schools should be finding a way to help.  I agree that the specifics will be difficult to manage, but if we are truly concerned with the kids, why wouldn't we want them to have enough to pay for the un-accounted expenses of college life?  This doesn't mean money for x-boxes and new cars, but like I said before - simple travel home and basic needs.  A good kid can get caught up in the bad part of this if he is broke/can't get home for holidays/has family that can't pay for basic needs and some booster comes by with a pizza with a few $100 bills on top.  Simple stipends won't get rid of the rogue boosters, but perhaps it will at least take away the desperation many of these kids feel they are in - enough to keep the good kids honest anyway.  Of course, I'm an optimist with a bit of polyanna view of things so this could well turn into a thinly veiled pay-for-play scheme - and any measures they come up with to control that I'm all for.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

Pam's picture

There is also a limit as to how much financial aid they can receive. Schollies and PELL grants would make them ineligible for student loans.

Phoenix824's picture

Student loans are for tuition, room and board.    Those are already paid by the university.    So nothing to get a loan for.   

ShadyBuckeye's picture

umm yes there is... bling, tattoos, making it rain in strip clubs, cars, drugs, guns, alcohol. roids, abortions, mo bling fo they homies, cell phones to call escorts..... escorts.

rdubs's picture

I support the B1G's view of the playoff: 3 champions and a wild card.  I don't want to see 2 SEC teams against 2 Big 12 teams or even to B1G teams any more than I would want to see the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays all make the baseball playoffs.  
The irony about the playoffs is that I think it makes it much harder for teams like TCU or Boise to win the national championship.  If they can even get in, they will have to win 2 games not just one.  

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Johnny, I'm not sure how/why the SEC proposal - top 4 regardless of conference winners - would give better access to a "fringe team" compared to what Delany suggested. If a Boise, Rice, etc. is among the top 4 in ratings at the end of the season, it's pretty much guaranteed they'd have won their respective conference.

Johnny Ginter's picture

right, except it isn't "4 random conference winners," it's "4 specific conference winners from the same 4 conferences every year"

NW Buckeye's picture

From what I have read about the B1G hybrid proposal the conference champions can be any conference champion so long as they are nationally ranked in the top 6.  That would encompass the first 3 teams to get in.  The next team in would be the next highest ranked team regardless of league championship.  I have not read anything that would limit it to the champions of 4 select conferences.  Do you have any information on that and where you pulled it from? 
The reason I ask this is that the SEC seems to be drawing a line in the sand claiming that the B1G is backing the 4 conference champion idea like you have described.  Yet, everything I read says they favor the hybrid of 3 conference champions (any conference) ranked in the top 6 and one at large (the next highest ranked team).  Other non conference champions could still get in if there are not enough conference champions in the top 6 to fill the 3 spots.  So I am really curious where you are getting that information.  I would like to read it. 

Johnny Ginter's picture

it was more of an implication that because of the way voting is done, the top four conference champions are virtually always going to be from the same four conferences by the nature of how people vote. instead of voting based on which teams, say, boise state of 2010 or whenever had played during the season, now there'd be voting based on the perceived strength of the conference that they play in. it's a stacked deck.

NW Buckeye's picture

So, what you are saying is that because of the way people vote, it is a stacked deck if we use conference champions as a qualifier for 3 of the spots.  But, it is not a stacked deck if we just allow the voters to decide on the top 4 teams???  Sounds like twisted logic to me.  I just don't think the voters will change the way they vote because of the system.  The deck can be stacked in either case.  Boise State lost one game by 1 point in 2011 and was 7th in the BCS before the bowls.  Bama lost a game by 3 points and was ranked 2nd.  If that is not a stacked deck, I don't know what is.    
This is actually why I am in favor of the hybrid system - it requires conference champions to be in the top 6 to qualify.  Any other qualifiers are simply taken in order from the highest ranked teams.  The odds of a 2 loss conference champion being in the top 6 are not very good.  Certainly undefeated or one loss teams would most likely be ranked ahead of them.  And I certainly can not imagine any voter putting any 3 loss conference champion in the top 6 unless it was an SEC team - that is the league most voters seem to favor (sorry, that's not very likely, just had to throw that shot in some place). 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

One option is to create a special status for revenue-positive sports, fball and bball. Athletes participating in those two sports would be full-time students on full scholarships with all the same opportunities and responsibilities as any other student; however, they wouldn't be "amateurs" in the traditional (Victorian English) sense. The numbers of participants, budgets, etc. associated with these special status sports would not effect Title IX requirements; however, the revenues generated could continue to subsidize the negative-revenue sports.
The FBS, formerly known as Div. 1A would be further subdivided, with the top 45-50 fball programs in the top tier. Schools in the top tier could pay their athletes stipends. Those schools unable to afford and/or be competitive at that level would have the option of dropping down to the level below, with the likes of Rice and Fresno State.
All the other negative-revenue sports would maintain their traditional amateur statuses. Title IX could still apply to this sphere of college athletics.

Flava Flav's picture

To anyone that doesn't support some recognition of conference champions in the playoff: Last year, top 4 teams would have put Stanford in over Pac12 champ Oregon, who beat Stanford. Oregon was ranked lower due to their tough OOC loss to LSU, while Stanford only played ND OOC. Only in college football...

Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

I don't get the attraction of the "four highest ranked teams" approach.
That leaves us with pollsters still having a say in the process. That HAS to end and the only way it does is to have champions play. If the second best SEC or B1G team wants to get in, win your league.
This happens in the NFL all the time. The third best team in a division may not make the playoffs yet have a better record than a different division winner. So what? You know the set up, so win your games.
I would prefer that to a potential Bama-LSU match up...for the third time.

GABuckeye's picture

I don't get those that DON'T like the "four highest ranked teams" approach.  The only reason OSU fans don't like it is because the BIG 10 got screwed with the Michigan thing and then the SEC got an Alabama - LSU rematch.
Look if Ohio State & Michigan went 12-0 and 11-1 (I know not likely anymore with the BIG 10 championship) with the lone loss being to the other team, you'd bitch and moan about not getting a shot to play for the national championship.  
Seriously why can't 2 of the top 4 in the country teams be in the same conference (or division)?  No one can answer that question because if you don't think they can you are a complete moron.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

How about making an actual argument for the "four highest ranked teams" approach before suggesting that those who disagree with you are "complete moron[s]"?
First, you question their motives. Not sure how you were able to get into other people's minds to ascertain why they don't agree with you.
Second, under Delany's proposal, 2 of the 4 teams in the 4 team playoff can absolutely be from the same conference. Under his model, Bama would have been in the playoff last year.
If we had applied the two respective models to last year, the only difference would have been Delany's model would have had LSU, Okla St, Oregon, and Bama; SEC model would have LSU, Okla St, Stanford, Bama. But only morons would think that Oregon was more deserving that Stanford, right?
Please try again.

GABuckeye's picture

First - I never once said the opposition to the four highest ranked teams was 4 conference champs or a hybrid of the two.  It was a dumb assumption, but my assumption was the opposition was for the conference champs.
Second - My last paragraph was solely intended for those that think we should have the 4 conference champions in a playoff who argue that a team who didn't win their conference can't possibly be one of the top 4 teams in the country.  If you believe that, yes you are a moron.  
Third - It was a generalization from what I read, but a lot of fans stated that they were pissed that Michigan didn't get a rematch and Alabama did.  My bad for that part.
Feel free to disagree about what route the playoff should be in, I don't care.  But you can't disagree that the 2 of the top 4 teams CAN come from the same conference.  That's stupid.  It's just like saying the Yankees and Red Sox CAN'T be the 2 best teams in the AL because they're in the same division.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

It's a good thing you don't write in English, or else it might become painfully clear to me just how much of a moron I am.
Even a moron like me, though, tries to fall back on basic logic:
Your original statement took the form of: "If it's not A; therefore it cannot be B."
I pointed out: "C = B."
You reply: "I really meant to suggest that, 'If it's D; therefore it cannot be B. And it was dumb of you to assume that I might have been referring to something else besides D."
But isn't that expecting a lot from a moron like me?  
 

NW Buckeye's picture

The plan that the B1G is supporting is 3 (yes three, one short of four) conference champions and one wild card (at large).  And the 3 conference champions have to be in the top 6 ranked teams.  If not, another ranked, non conference champion will be selected.  That leaves the door open for a single league to have 2, 3, or 4 teams playing for the NC.  But, it also gives consideration to conference champions that are top ranked.  Why is that so difficult to understand?  I DO NOT like the "four highest ranked teams" approach.  I much prefer the hybrid system that the B1G is supporting. 
And, for what it is worth, I would not bitch and moan about the scenario that you laid out with scUM and tOSU going 11-1 and 12-0 in any combination.  I have stated this before - I do not believe tOSU should be playing for a NC if they can not win the B1G.  It is that simple.  I am not a moron.  It is a different point of view.  Just like yours is a different point of view.  What I don't get about your point of view is how does the hybrid system that the B1G supports eliminate the possiblity of 2 teams from the same conference participating in the 4 team playoff?  Last year the 4 team playoff would include LSU (SEC Champ, top 6), Oklahoma State (Big 12 Champ, top 6), Oregon (Pac 12 Champ top 6) and Bama (wild card, next highest ranked team).  The only bug about that in the rankings is that Oregon leap frogged Stanford because they won the Pac 12.  (On a side note, this is probably the biggest reason most of us do not want to go on polls alone - Stanford, despite getting buried in the regular season 53-30 was ranked ahead of Oregon in the BCS standings.  Not only did they not win their league, they were beaten on the field by the league champion. There is absolutely no way Stanford would have deserved a spot in a 4 team playoff unless they were the highest ranked team after the other 3 had been selected)
Why is it moronic that we (supporters of the hybrid system) can see that?  Your view on the highest ranked teams only is certainly valid, but in last years scenario Oregon would have been on the outside looking in at a team they destroyed during the regular season, a team that could not even make it to their own league championship.  Most often supporters of the 4 highest ranked teams format argue "win it on the field!"  Yet, last year stands out as a prime example of one team, Stanford, winning it in the polls and losing miserably on the field.  I guess my question to you is do you think that Stanford deserved to be in a 4 team playoff more than Oregon last year?  (and no, I do not think you are a moron!)

bassplayer7770's picture

Yeah, that hybrid plan makes a lot of sense to me.

GABuckeye's picture

Read response above... I don't mind the hybrid, but would still prefer the best 4 teams - it's the supporters of the "4 best conference champions" argument that I despise.

NW Buckeye's picture

You still did not answer my question about Oregon and Stanford.  In your format - top 4 - last years match ups would have involved Stanford instead of Oregon.  Oregon won their conference, dismantled Stanford in the regular season, and Stanford did not even qualify for the Pac 12 championship.  Yet, the esteemed pollsters and BCS rankings had them sitting at 4 and Oregon 5.  This is why there are so many of us who are opposed to just using the rankings to seed the teams.  Am I to assume that you would have been happy to welcome Stanford last year?  Because that is surely what would have happened in a top 4 system.  Kind of takes a lot away from the regular season and puts us back into the same old BS the BCS forces down our throats now. 
And, if the SEC is so dead set on the top four why is it that their own league championship features the winners of each division instead of the 2 highest nationally ranked SEC teams?  Talk about hypocrites. They take the cake!!!  

Catch 5's picture

I guess it is possible that a division champ is ranked below another team that doesn't go to the SEC CG, but I'm not aware of it occuring.  In fact, if there is a 3-way tie like the B12 had a few years ago, the BCS rankings do (did) prevail as the deciding factor as to who would represent that division.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

NW Buckeye's picture

It happened just last year.  Georgia was ranked 16th nationally and played in the SEC championship.  South Carolina, a team in their own division was ranked 9th nationally.  Bama, a team from the other SEC division was ranked 2nd nationally.  Yet, the CG game featured Georgia against LSU.  If the SEC is so dead set on committing to the highest ranked teams according to the polls for a NC then why do they adhere to the division season winners for their own CG?  If they truly believed in taking the highest nationally ranked teams for playoffs they would have had Bama vs LSU in their own CG.  That is what I am saying about them being hypocrites.  Once they commit to the two highest ranked teams in their own conference competing for their own CG I will listen to what they have to say about the NC with only the highest ranked teams.  Until then they are just two faced, backing the playoff formats (one for CG, a different one for NC) that favor them the most. 

RedStorm45's picture

I  don't get why people are shocked that the Spelling Bee is on ESPN...ESPN, the one that stands for ENTERTAINMENT and Sports Programming Network.  That's why poker, scrabble, etc. is on there.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

The spelling bee is probably more interesting and entertaining than the afternoon talk shows, with Steven A. Smith and friends.
Now, maybe there are ways to make the spelling bee much more intetesting, such as inviting General Studies majors to compete against female porn stars?    

William's picture

Honestly I'm looking forward to the National History Bee way more, although it's on the History Channel anyway. I really wished they had that when I was still in middle school/high school.
 

ShadyBuckeye's picture

I wouldnt mind just keeping the current BCS system. If you look at all the past winners I'd say the best team won every single year. I think they should do a plus one on certain years when there are undefeated teams or "split" nat'l champions. This isnt hoops, you cant make these kids play an extra 5 games with a tournament (especially for free.) Most will not agree but the system really isnt that bad. If you have all these plus one or plus two games then how is that fair? Alabama has to play Michigan, Florida, LSU, Georgia then the SEC championship, then a team like USC to get a shot to play the title then have to go play the national championship game.. is that what ur proposing???

BrewstersMillions's picture

Eh. Except 2002. I won't buy Ohio State as the BETTER team over that Miami one. Better coached maybe, more motivated definatley. Talent wise OSU didn't belong on that field with Miami. Thankfully, games aren't played on paper.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

ShadyBuckeye's picture

I didnt really mean the best team WINS every single year, I meant the best teams are usually playing for the title every year. If you had this system in the NFL, The Packers would have played the Patriots in the Super Bowl. If you ask me those were the 2 best teams, it wouldnt be fair to everyone else if the system was like that but how else do u do it? there is no perfect system. At what point does it get watered down?  Im kind of sick of wild cards coming in every single year, getting hot at the right time and going on a run and winning. It takes away from the dominance in the regular season. Idk, like I said there is no perfect system. Mine as well keep the one we got. Im contradicting myself cuz like u said, OSU was the underdog against Miami, we got hot at the right time perhaps? who knows but there is no perfect system. The BCS isnt all that bad. Win all your games and you will play (most years.) When there are multiple undefeated teams you have to do something like a plus one.

BrewstersMillions's picture

I can get on board with that. I am by no means a fan of the BCS as it stands. I am however a fan of it because nothing viable has been suggested as a replacement in my opinion. More often times than not, the game features the best 2 teams in the country as a whole. A lot of teams have beefs about how they get there-but NFL teams sometimes get found on the outside looking in because of being on the wrong side of some obscure tie breaker when your standard ones fail. The idea is simple-don't lose and you are in. The problem with the BCS is that they say that but also add in the "Don't lose late" caveat that can be a problem.

4-6 seconds from point A to point B and when you get to point B, be pissed off

klfeck's picture

I have two problems with this skull session.
 
1. Franklin was trying to imply that he goes after winners when he inserted his foot in his mouth. Winners aim high and go after lofty goals. Leave it to a football coach to screw up what he was trying to say, but I get his intent.
2. As far as trying to have a level playing field for all colleges. I call BS. There is no such thing, never was, never can be, never should be. Not the way life works so put your blankie away and live in the real world. The best players go to the best football schools and they reap those rewards. What would you prefer? Only allowing so many 5 star recruits per team so we can be fair? Puke!!!!!!
 

Kevin
OH!!!!!
Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University