Nobody asked me, but:
**–I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to rail about the number of bowl games that are played. Former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer once told me that if two conferences and one community decide they want to have a bowl game, then more power to them. Nobody compels us to watch.
But with 35 bowls approved for the 2010 season, the math does not look good. It means that 70 of 120 teams in Division I-A will participate in a bowl game. Last year 71 teams finished 6-6 or better. That’s cutting it pretty close. The rules say you have to be 6-6 or better in order to qualify for a bowl. There have been reports that the NCAA is working on contingency plans if there are not enough qualified teams for the bowls. I will have a problem if 5-7 teams are going to bowls. That is not good for the game.
**–Here is a guy who got some bad advice. After he threw 26 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2008, Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead came to the SEC Media Days in Birmingham in July of 2009 as a possible Heisman Trophy candidate and a potential high draft choice. Snead started playing poorly in the first month of the 2009 season and never really got better, throwing 20 interceptions. After losing at South Carolina in September, Houston Nutt did the smart thing and started putting Dexter McCluster in the backfield and running it. Snead could see his draft stock dropping with every game and decided to jump off the merry-go-round while he still could. He left school early to enter the draft and was not among the 255 players selected. He would have been much better off staying at Ole Miss and figuring out what was wrong.
**–The hot topic, in fact the ONLY topic at last week’s BCS meetings was the possible expansion of the Big Ten and what that could do to the rest of college football. Also during those meetings the BCS released the formula by which it is now possible for one of the non-automatic qualifying conferences (MAC, WAC, Mountain West, C-USA, Sun Belt) toqualify for an automatic bid. I’m not going to get into the formula because it would only give us all a headache. But here are two things you need to know. We are two years into a four-year evaluation period. At the end of the next two years, if the Mountain West keeps playing at this level (Utah in the Sugar Bowl in 2008, TCU in the Fiesta Bowl in 2009), the MWC will get an automatic bid for 2012-2013. That should keep Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, a big BCS critic, at bay for a while. Or maybe not.
**–There were a bunch of head scratchers in the draft but none more puzzling than what happened to Georgia Tech running back Jonathan Dwyer. The 2008 ACC Player of the Year had over 2,700 yards rushing the past two seasons and, when he turned his paperwork into the NFL, received word that he should be picked in the first or second round. Dwyer fell to the sixth round, taken No. 188 by Pittsburgh. He did test positive for a prescription drug taken for ADD, but that was not an issue with the NFL. Dwyer has also battled his weight (229 pounds or more on a 5-11 frame) and I know some NFL teams wondered about that. But someone suggested yesterday that Dwyer’s issue was Georgia Tech’s offensive system. That sounds like a recruiting junkie instead of somebody evaluating talent. If Paul Johnson’s offense was the problem, why did Dwyer get such a good NFL evaluation in the first place? I can’t think of anything NFL backs are asked to do that Dwyer can’t do.
**–I think this may come up in the May recruiting period. The SEC had 49 players selected in the draft followed by the Big Ten (34), ACC (31), Big 12 (30), and Pac-10 (29). The SEC has won four straight national championships and Alabama, the defending national champion, is a likely preseason No. 1. But here is an interesting stat: All 12 schools in the SEC had at least one player chosen in the draft: Alabama (7), Arkansas (1), Auburn (2), Florida (9), Georgia (5), Kentucky (3), LSU (6), Ole Miss (4), Mississippi State (2), South Carolina (2), Tennessee (6), Vanderbilt (2).
The ACC had 30 players chosen in the draft for the sixth straight year. Since 2005 only the ACC and SEC have had 30 or more players chosen in the draft every year. The breakdown: Clemson (5), Virginia Tech (5), Georgia Tech (4), Miami (4), Florida State (3), Maryland (2), North Carolina (2), N.C. State (2), Wake Forest (2), Boston College (1), Virginia (1).
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