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Jumbo Package: Ignore Monday night; departures have been the story this week

Pro fortunes, starting jobs, and ignominy

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<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">2022 CFP National Championship - Georgia v Alabama

Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Boy, I sure am glad that we’re destroying the sport so that less than 5% of the country can tune into watch:

The good news for ESPN appears to be that ratings were up from last season’s title game. However, that matchup between Alabama and Ohio State produced the worst ratings of the playoff era with an average of 18.6 million viewers.

Monday’s national championship comes in as the second-lowest viewership of the playoff era, and the second-lowest title game viewership in 16 years.

By comparison, the 2018 national championship between Alabama and Georgia drew 28.4 million viewers. Meanwhile, the SEC championship between the two rivals last month hit 17.9 million viewers, making it the highest rated non-bowl game this season, per Sports Media Watch.

Contrast that with OSU-Oregon, in January 2015: 34 million viewers.

Almost no eyeballs were on the UGA-Bama rematch, comparatively speaking, yet we’re almost certain to get more of that in the future as the field expands and gets watered down — even Ohio State and Alabama couldn’t hit 18 million viewers.

If one thing has been abundantly clear in this miserable experiment, it’s that rarely are there four teams worthy of playing for a title, much less eight or 12. The vast majority of semifinals contests have been blowouts. And the title game has produced a few thrilling results, but the majority of those have also been decided by double digits.

Diluting the product even more practically assures that we’ll be seeing more and more one-sided games just to reach the same result that could have been achieved through a Plus-One model.

The irony in all this is that playoff was a designed post-season cashgrab by the major conferences, and now expansion is being fueled by speculated television dollars.

But how much money is there really going to be available in 2025, if the CFP’s ostensible marquee event is drawing merely as many fans as a conference title game? How many people are going to tune in to watch the Sun Belt Champ or Mountain West winner get sacrificed by a team with sixty-odd blue-chippers. One of the weakest teams Saban has fielded in the last decade played a strong AAC champion and blew them out just by lining up and diving into the line of scrimmage for 60 minutes. That’s what we’re going to see more of. Football is not the NCAA tournament: the more talented team usually wins. There aren’t Cinderellas in waiting.

I think those overly-rosy revenue projections contrasted with declining viewership is going to have a lot to say about the expansion format in the end.

Galaxy Brain 4000 and Nike Whore Kayvon Thibodeaux, hailing from an academic powerhouse that is 2 out of 10 in preparing students for college, had some interesting things to say as to why he chose Oregon over Alabama at the end of the day:

Thibodeaux — speaking with Fox College Football’s Joel Klatt during the College Football Playoff championship game on Monday — revealed the deciding factor that led him to attend school at Oregon: the “stigmatism” of an Alabama education.

“Do you know the stigmatism of Alabama education?” he asked Klatt. “It ain’t the West Coast.”

This dude has left college, so I now feel free to dump all over a nitwit who went outside of his bisyllabic comfort zone to all-but admit that he went to a poverty program to be affiliated with Nike and not have to compete for a position.

The last time I saw this many red flags was at a Barcelona corrida de toros.

And, Kayvon, get that astigmatism looked at.

We had been discussing this off-line, and I guessed that is what he would do at day’s end: Chris Allen is heading to the NFL:

Alabama redshirt senior Chris Allen has signed with Priority Sports Agency and will take his talents to the NFL. Allen missed most of the 2021 season with a foot injury he endured in the season opening game against Miami. Allen also missed the 2018 season with a knee injury but was granted a medical redshirt.

Allen is a redshirt senior already, and foot injuries have a habit of lingering. Alabama’s OLB and rush end depth doesn’t bode well for increasing Allen’s draft stock simply by virtue of staying another season and hoping for a big year, especially when there is a very real risk of re-injury.

Good luck in the draft, Chris.

He is not alone: Phidarian Mathis also is heading off to the NFL. And, after the breakout season that we’ve all been waiting for, now is the best time for him. His stock will never be higher.

He was the unsung hero this year on Alabama’s 3rd ranked rushing attack, and actually was second on the team in sacks and TFL...from the nose. He made those younger DL a lot better too. Go back and look at how guys like Tim Young and DJ Dale played this season with Phil manning the interior full-time.

Go get paid, Big Phil.

But, those two are not alone: There are a lot of players with draft decisions to make, most notably along the offensive line and in the receiver room. Next year’s team is going to look very different up front than this one will, and whether John Metchie returns really will depend on his grade, I’d imagine.

It’s clear the Tide needs its WR1 back in the worst possible way until this young-but-raw group of wideouts gets up to speed.

Speaking of guys leaving the program, Casagrande looks at why five players entered the Portal this week.

Some are self-evident: Tyson can likely be a starter, Billboard can’t ever show his face again in the state, etc. Some are less obvious.

Good read.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss:

The Preseason Top 25s are out, and this will surprise absolutely no one, but the two teams with the two best returning QBs are 1 and 2 in those polls.

Ohio State — Alabama are your leaders out of the gate.

I could not be happier about this addition-by-subtraction. Alabama CB coach, Jay Valai, has left to join Venables staff at Oklahoma. Valai is a competent enough coach, and a very good recruiter, but mercy have his DBs been miserable at playing the ball in the air. Even before Monday night, the Tide’s greatest vulnerability in the passing game was just getting the ball up in the air and daring the corners to make a play on it. Their awareness was off the charts...and not in a positive sense.

When you compare his coaching style with that of someone like Derrick Ainsley, where the DBs are aggressive and contest every pass, there is a night and day difference.

In a perfect world, I’d love to see Saban open up the piggy bank and take a run at Iowa’s Matt Caponi. You won’t see a team better in the country at staying in phase and contesting passes. There is a reason they forced 24 interceptions this year.

Imagine that production with Alabama’s blue chip raw talent.

After its fifth loss of the season, and it’s second in four games, the Alabama Crimson Tide Basketball team is bound to fall out of the Top 25 this week. But, the SOS and major wins have floated Bama’s NET ranking. Losing again dropped Alabama just to No. 23 overall, down from....22.