No love for Philip Fulmer or UT but this writer gives it to Fulmer in the neck - after complaining that Fulmer would like to do just the same to his coach.
He, of course, provides no evidence that Fulmer wants the coaching job again (especially at his age), would take it or would be permitted to take it. But the media are now above trifles such as sources, facts and corroboration.
The question I pose at the start of every season - and one which remains unanswered - is: ‘If all these fans expect their team to go 11-1 every year exactly which 50% of the teams will be losing those games? It’s simple math.’
It’s hilarious to see scorelines now with XYZ State listed with a 2-2 record. You think - ‘Hey they’re a .500 team they can’t be that bad’ until you recall that the 2 wins were against the equivalent of junior colleges. Which means they lost their first 2 real games. But coaches and ADs certainly know it - but keep quiet about it. Easier to sit at the year end press conference and say ‘We were 2 games above .500’ or ‘We had a .500 record in our league.’
The NFL has more problems that it can shake a stick at but the one thing it has is (enforced) regional rivalries and an extensive - and mostly fair - playoff system. The talk has been growing of 64 D-I aka FBS schools breaking away from the NCAA and forming the university equivalent of the NFL with regional divisions and the prospect of matching division A against division B as they do in the pros in order to cross-pollinate the sport.
This would resolve all the conference high jinks and would put regional/historical rivals back on each others’ schedules eg Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Syracuse, Maryland et al. It would eliminate the silliness of having Clemson and South Carolina in different conferences - ditto for Florida, Florida St and Miami, Texas/Texas A&M, Nebraska/Oklahoma and so on. Traditional rivalries, especially those most important to the Big Ten and SEC would be retained. A wild card system similar to the pros would still allow good teams that don’t finish in first place to enter the playoff(s) and set up additional potential matchups with rivals in the playoff(s).
The one major problem with a closed shop is that it’s a closed shop. Although they were upset yesterday, UCF, for example, is an up-and-comer in football but would possibly be locked out of a 64-team league of old-line schools. Why should Rutgers enjoy the fruits of others’ labor? A relegation/promotion system might work but would require agreement between NCAA and the top tier system, whatever it’s called.
It would be better to revert to club sports, get rid of athletic scholarships, pay coaches like ordinary adjunct faculty, and reinstate real academic requirements. The players should carpool to away games, or at best take a team bus, with no more than two overnight games a year as a special treat. That would restore local and regional rivalries and traditional conferences at a stroke. Any tv revenues would go to the general scholarship fund. Alums could still tailgate and party, but they would be watching student athletes, not NFL farm teams.
I hate soccer. BUT - my son tells me there is an interesting system in Europe (I think he said England). There are two tiers to their professional (?) league. Only the top portion of the top tier get to remain there. The top portion of the bottom tier move up each year.
If we had a two or three tier College Football system for Division I, and only the top tier could compete for national title, and the worst teams in the top tier were put down into the next lower tier - unable to compete for the title next year... That would sort of put a natural competition into the recruiting, wouldn’t it...? Data only - wins/losses, strength of schedule - no coaches or sportscaster voting.