Skull Session: College Football Playoff Will Still Pick Four Best Teams, Urban Meyer Offers Advice to Big Ten Coaches, and Some New Projected Win Totals

By Kevin Harrish on July 10, 2020 at 4:59 am
The grey lady stands in today's skull session.

Nothing says "happy birthday, Kevin!" quite like suddenly canceling 25 percent of football season!

This sucks, but in times like these, I like to take solace in poetry.

Word of the Day: Sanguine.

 BEST FOUR TEAMS. If it's played, college football's going to look a hell of a lot different this year. But don't worry, we'll still have the College Football Playoff selection committee!

“Clearly there will be challenges this year, and we will see what those challenges are and work through them,” College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock told USA TODAY Sports.

Even if given only conference games to consider — and even as the details of conference schedules, such as how many games teams in the Big Ten will play, remain undecided — the playoff selection committee will use the same protocol used throughout the postseason format's existence in determining its weekly and final rankings, Hancock said.

“Whatever the season looks like, the committee will select the best four teams based on the protocol,” he said.

I am glad to hear that they will not change the protocol, which they've made clear does not actually exist anyway.

Given that they have always chosen the correct teams with absolutely no controversy or contention, I have nothing but faith that they'll do it again with a much smaller and varied sample!

But hey, if they're just going to arbitrarily choose four teams and then rationalize the decision how they see fit regardless, I guess it shouldn't really matter how many games are played anyway.

 DISAPPEARING MILLIONS. Losing a quarter of the football season came as a firm kick in the dick to all football fans, but look on the bright side – at least for you, that news didn't come with the immediate evaporation of millions of dollars.

The MAC certainly can't say the same.

Big Ten football teams had been scheduled to play 33 non-conference games at home. USA TODAY Sports has been able to obtain contracts for 26 of those games – and they had been scheduled to have total payouts to the visiting teams of nearly $22.2 million. That figure includes payouts connected to single, one-off games and games that were to be parts of series.

Most of this money was headed to schools in conferences outside the Power Five – schools that could be significantly impacted by the loss of revenue.

“I know the impact that these guarantee games have for these programs — and it's dramatic,” said Big Sky Conference commissioner Tom Wistrcill, who worked as Akron’s athletics director from 2009 to 2015. “It certainly sends a shock through the system. And I certainly feel for those programs, especially in the (Mid-American Conference) … that has a lot of games with those Big Ten schools and rely heavily on that income.”

Altogether MAC schools stand to lose more than $10.5 million from games against Big Ten teams.

Without hyperbole, this is going to absolutely ruin entire athletic departments. But if you think this is financial carnage, just wait until the season is actually canceled. Prayer's up that never happens, because it wouldn't be pretty across the board.

 FREE MONEY. "Marriage" and "Sports Gambling" are not two terms that overlap peacefully, so I'm decidedly out of the game, but that doesn't mean there isn't money to be made by my delightful readers.

And folks, the OVER on Ohio State's new 10-game win total is absolutely candy.

Look at it this way, to lose this bet, Ohio State would have to lose just one fewer Big Ten regular-season game *this season* than they have in the past eight years combined.

Bet the mortgage.

 SAGE ADVICE. 2020 is proving that Urban Meyer picked one hell of a time to toss the sticks to Ryan Day, but just because he's not in the game anymore doesn't mean the coaching legend – and birthday boy! – doesn't have some sage wisdom to impart.

2020's been a shit show, but it's also brought us the end of the Urban Meyer return to coaching speculation, and I am grateful for that.

 SONG OF THE DAY. "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley.

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