Nobody asked me, but:
A.J. Green or Julio Jones?
Like most good debate questions, this one came up on the golf course.
If you’re drafting your own fantasy football team and it comes to wide receiver, who do you take: Georgia’s A.J. Green or Alabama’s Julio Jones?
Jones, a rising sophomore, is having hernia surgery and is expected to be ready by August. Last season he caught 58 passes for 924 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged 15.9 yards per catch.
Green, also a rising sophomore, caught 56 passes for 963 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged 17.2 yards per catch.
So who do you take? Green got an edge because he played with the No. 1 NFL Draft choice (QB Matthew Stafford). But Jones showed an uncanny ability (for a freshman) to run precise routes get open as a true freshman and his quarterback, John Parker Wilson, had a very efficient senior season.
Both players will be working with new quarterbacks in 2009 as Joe Cox, a fifth-year senior, takes over at Georgia and Greg McElroy, a fourth-year junior, becomes the man at Alabama. It will be one of most interesting position battles of the 2009 season.
Who would be your pick?
The Big 12 should adopt SEC tiebreaker: The Big 12 head football coaches are scheduled to meet today in Phoenix. Among the items on the agenda is whether or not to change the league’s tiebreaker rule, which created a huge controversy last season.
To review: Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech finished in a three-way tie at 7-1 in the Big 12 South last season. On the field, Texas beat Oklahoma (45-35 in Dallas), Oklahoma beat Texas Tech (65-21 at home), and Texas Tech beat Texas (39-33 in Lubbock on a last-second play).
After all the other tiebreakers were exhausted, the final tiebreaker was the BCS Standings. Oklahoma was No. 2 and Texas was No. 3 by. 0128. Texas Tech was No. 7. So Oklahoma got the spot in the Big 12 championship game, which it won to advance to the BCS title game against Florida.
Texas, as you might imagine, was not pleased. It wants to adopt the SEC tiebreaker which says: If there is a three-way tie and the top two teams are within five spots of each other in the BCS Standings, then the head-to-head competition between those two teams comes into play and is used as the final tiebreaker.
When possible, head-to-head competition on the field should be used as the ultimate tiebreaker. Oklahoma earned the right to play Florida fair and square because that was the rule last season and everybody had signed off on it. But now the Big 12 needs to adopt SEC model.
Home wins are expensive. Get used to it: Published reports reveal that Georgia will pay New Mexico State $925,000 to come to Athens in November of 2011. That may seem like a lot of money but trust me when I tell you that in the future such games will cost the big schools $1 million or more.
It’s supply and demand. The big schools, in order to make sure they have at least seven home games, need to play Division I-A opponents who do not require a return game at their place. In order for Georgia to play teams like Oklahoma State and Arizona State on a home-and-home basis, it needs a couple of games it does not have to return. Schools like New Mexico State of the WAC know this and are able to pit one school against another to get the price up.
The only alternative for the big schools is to play a Division I-AA opponent whose guaranteed payment will be around $450,000. That is what Georgia Southern is getting to play at Alabama in 2011. You can save about $500,000 by scheduling a I-AA which is why you’re going to see more of them on SEC and ACC schedules in the future.
Is that fair to the fans? Nope.
Coaches ballots should be made public—period: The American Football Coaches Association, in conjunction with USA Today, puts together the coaches poll that goes into weekly BCS formula. The votes by the coaches are secret until the week of the final BCS Standings.
The votes in Harris Interactive Poll, the other human poll used in the formula, are available to the public on a weekly basis.
This is an inconsistency that, given the high stakes involved, should not be continued. The AFCA has asked for an outside review of their poll, which has been in place since 1950. Those results will be presented to the AFCA Board of Trustees this week.
Would it make the coaches uncomfortable to have their weekly ballots released? Sure would.
Would it be a headache to have their ballots dissected on a weekly basis by smart-aleck guys in the media like me? No doubt.
You still have to do it. The BCS process only works if there is full disclosure. If the coaches aren’t comfortable with full disclosure, then perhaps they should continue with their poll but get out of the BCS business.
Okay, the NCAA is serious about the APR: When the NCAA instituted its Academic Progress Rate (APR) to track how student-athletes were progressing academically, there was talk that schools who didn’t meet a specific score would lose scholarships. I said I would believe the NCAA was serious about the APR when an SEC school lost football scholarships.
That could happen today. Reports out of Mississippi claim that Ole Miss football could lose as many as three scholarships when the NCAA releases its new APR report. The problems, according to the report in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, stem from the last season under former coach Ed Orgeron. Last season, the first under new coach Houston Nutt, the football program scored 939, 14 points above the minimum required score of 925.
Ole Miss will have until the 2010-11 season to cut the three football scholarships.