Another "Silly Season'' in college football is almost over. Thank heavens.
Oh, there are a few gaps that must still be filled-Oregon looking for a replacement for Willie Taggart and SMU searching for someone to follow Chad Morris, but for the most part, college football can now concentrate on the insanity of recruiting and the glut of 40 bowl games that will soon be upon us.
But let's take a look at some of the events of the past few weeks in which the myth of football being a game for the benefit of the "student-athletes'' was unmasked in a world dominated by huge salaries for coaches, disregard for contracts and an assortment of other ""are you kidding me'' moments.
Six new (almost half of the league) coaches in the Southeastern Conference, which remains the benchmark for influence in college football.
In an inmates running the asylum moment at Tennessee, bloggers, tweeters and a fan base took control of the kingdom for a few days. There was a palace coup in which the athletic director was fired for doing his job. Fiscal irresponsibility ran rampant, resulting in Tennessee playing nearly 20 million in salaries for coaches and administrators who were fired and the school will also probably wind up paying for a coach who wasn't hired (at least not officially)[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
The culture, which spread from the SEC throughout the country, could exceed 80 million in contract buyouts and penalties.
A show-me-the money episode by former Oregon coach Willie Taggart took his third job in this calendar year, moving from South Florida to Oregon to FSU. Oregon is now looking for its third coach in three years, which is not the stability a Power 5 conference power wants.
A change in strategy at Arizona State where Herman Edwards was hired to run a football program that was being restructured to resemble a National Football League franchise, the last place that Edwards coached--10 years ago.
A mind-boggling and budget-busting (at most places) 10 year $75 million contract given to Jimbo Fisher, who left what almost everyone calls a "destination job'' at Florida State to come to Texas A&M, which desperately wants a seat in the SEC's elite table.
Another controversial decision by the College Football Selection committee chose a Final Four team which didn't win its own division over a team that won its Conference championship game. By picking Alabama over Ohio State, the CFB Selection Committee snubbed the Big Ten CHAMPION for the second consecutive season, but also excluded two of the Power 5 conference champions (USC and Ohio State) from the playoffs.
Using the edict that it wants "the best four teams'' as its playoff participants, the Committee chose once beaten Alabama, which finished second to Auburn in the SEC, over twice beaten Ohio State, which won the Big Ten championship with a win over previously unbeaten Wisconsin.
Almost everyone agreed that if Wisconsin had beaten the Buckeyes, to improve their record to 13-0, it would have been a mortal lock for the fourth playoff spot.
Here's the question.
In choosing between an unbeaten Wisconsin and a once beaten Alabama, how many votes would there have been for the Badgers as the better team?
But that is all behind us now--for at least another year.
Let the games continue.[/membership]