Swofford said schools considered options for a four-team playoff model and expressed a "strong preference" for one that would incorporate the bowls for at least the two semifinals _ if not also the championship game. He said the schools also would opt for a selection process that gives preference to conference champions. "They felt that was important as it relates to the regular season and as it relates to the meaningfulness of being a champion in order to play for the national championship," Swofford said. "So there's a preference there for incorporating conference champions into this, as best it could be done. And it may be difficult to make it four conference champions, but the feeling was, look at a hybrid that includes conference champions that meet a certain standard within the rankings. ... Maybe there's an at-large berth open. So we're interested in looking at that type of model first, as well as consideration of a 1-2-3-4 ranking model."
"Let's say Ohio State is hosting and it's January or December, and let's say it is 5 degrees. Is that right for the game? We're not pro." -- Gene Smith on the Big Ten ruling out playoff games at home stadiums, May 15
"New York City is the financial sports capital of the world. It's a global city like Chicago. We'll have conversations with them." -- Jim Delany on the Big Ten looking into December's outdoor Pinstripe Bowl, May 16
This all comes after a lifetime's worth of implications that weather-deprived teams from the pampered South would need to wheel enormous tubs of sizzling pork grease onto their sidelines just to survive a December game up North, though that one wasn't exactly an official Big Ten statement.
Bad weather? The NFL embraces it and thrives as the most-successful sports league on the planet. Campus sites only help the Big Ten? Current Big Ten teams would have been a semifinal host 10 times under the BCS, the same as the Pac-12 and fewer than the SEC (14) and Big 12 (13). Instead, the Big Ten says campus sites would hurt the bowl experience for players. Yet the Big Ten correctly supports changing bowl eligibility from 6-6 to 7-5 that would kill some bowls. Apparently, all bowl experiences aren't created equal. The Big Ten could have at least pushed for open bidding on the semifinals, potentially moving some "neutral" games out of the South. Domed semifinals in Detroit and Indianapolis -- where the Big Ten avoids the cold for its comfy conference championship -- would pump money into the Midwest's economy, save travel costs for Big Ten fans, and help the league's chances to win. Instead, the Big Ten clings to the Rose Bowl, which undeniably is a valuable property. Big Ten fans and players love going to Pasadena. But think they might want to win national titles, too? Think they might want home-field playoff advantage to finally silence the SEC? The Big Ten demonstrated once and for all it doesn't crave trophies like the SEC. Frankly, who does?
That the Southeastern Conference is the strongest football conference in the country is beyond dispute. Its champion has won five of the last six BCS Championships, and lost the last one to SEC rival Alabama. And it’s not a question of outspending, either; the SEC has only the third-highest television contract among the major conferences, and Alabama is behind Texas and Ohio State in total revenue. The SEC has the strong hand in this battle. They must make a firm stand against the NCAA and those member organizations that want to carve up the college football landscape into an Upward football, everyone-gets-a-trophy league where everybody makes money and nobody has to work hard to excel. What we are seeing in the statements by conference officials is an admission that their teams cannot win a national championship on the field, so it must be won in the public relations department. Once again, a superior product that has vanquished its competition must be sacrificed on the altar of fairness and parity.
Telltale stretch: Alabama faces three road tests in a four-week stretch beginning with Missouri on Oct. 13 in Columbia, Mo. A trip to Tennessee follows the next week and then it's back home to face Mississippi State on Oct. 27. You can bet that the Crimson Tide will get all three teams' best shots, which will make that trip to Baton Rouge to face LSU on Nov. 3 all the more difficult.
"He's one of our top targets as well. He was one of the first quarterbacks we invited to the Under Armour All-American Game. We've been excited about him as well. This is a class that is long on pocket passers. That's a little bit unique because the last couple of classes have had a lot of dual-threat type guys. Bateman's the type of guy that fits into Alabama's scheme. He's a drop-back guy that fits into Alabama's scheme. He's a drop-back guy that can play from under center, he can play out of the shotgun. He has a great feeling for timing, anticipation, ball-handling skills. He can make all the columns of a throw that you want him to make in the pocket. I think it's a fantastic marriage between a school's offensive philosophy and Bateman's skill set."
"Last year I wasn't in as good (of) shape as I could have been, but it was the smallest I'd been in the NFL so I was able to maintain it playing the game," Smith said. "This year I want to be in tip-top shape. Put together strength and wind so I can breathe." Smith is currently weighing in at 330 pounds and said he hopes to be down to 325 in the near future. With the Bengals opting not to pick up Smith's $6 million option to renew his contract for two more seasons, the left tackle finds himself in a contract year, looking to prove himself to either the Bengals or to any other interested teams.
Texas is way out ahead before you even get to the final "Other" category. It's primary advantage in revenue is that it both charges high ticket prices and is big in donations and contributions. All the rest of the schools are big in one but not the other. As long as Texas fans continue to be willing to shell that out, the Longhorns will remain on top.
UA coach Nick Saban is a West Virginia native, a former Mountaineers assistant coach, and according to West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, favored West Virginia's entry into the Southeastern Conference during the league's recent expansion move. The Crimson Tide's future scheduling also includes a home-and-home series with another school with ties to Saban, Michigan State, in 2016-2017.
WVU deputy director of athletics Mike Parsons confirmed the game "is in the works" and that some details need to be finalized before any announcement can be made. It would be played in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.
According to sources, Director of Player Personnel Ed Marynowitz, is leaving the University of Alabama Football program to accept a job in the Philadelphia Eagles organization
Two schools in Walker's list run a dedicated 3-4 defense (Alabama and Tennessee), while several others, including Florida, run at least some variations of the scheme. This could be important as Walker keeps growing, because he may not be agile enough to play defensive end in a 4-3 if he ends up at 290 pounds. That's not to say that Walker is not a good player. He's excellent. It's just a reminder that recruits are kids and they often grow a lot during and after high school.
The quarterback of the BCS national champions takes the stand. Crimson Tide star A.J. McCarron was a witness for the prosecution in a burglary trial this afternoon. Eugene Adams, jr. is accused of breaking into A.J.'s dad's house in March of 2010. A.J. was a redshirt freshman at Alabama, but was home for spring break, and was there when the burglary occurred.