Oklahoma and Texas have formally notified the SEC they are seeking "an invitation for membership" beginning July 1, 2025, according to a joint statement from the flagship programs of the Big 12.
According to the release, OU and Texas sent SEC commissioner Greg Sankey their request Tuesday morning.
"The two universities look forward to the prospect of discussion regarding the matter," the statement read.
According to the letter, which was dated July 27 and made public, Texas president Jay Hartzell and Oklahoma president Joseph Harroz Jr. wrote, "We believe that there would be mutual benefit to the Universities on the one hand, and the SEC on the other hand, for the Universities to become members of the SEC."
Sources said the SEC presidents and chancellors are meeting Thursday to consider OU and Texas for official membership in what would become the first 16-team superconference. In spite of the formal notification from the Big 12 schools, a source familiar with the process cautioned that it still doesn't guarantee the SEC will vote at that time. A three-fourths majority vote of SEC presidents and chancellors (11 of 14) would be required for invitations to be extended.
Sources previously told ESPN that it's believed enough SEC schools will vote to add the two new members.
"While the SEC has not proactively sought new members, we will pursue significant change when there is a clear consensus among our members that such actions will further enrich the experiences of our student-athletes and lead to greater academic and athletic achievement across our campuses," Sankey said in a statement. "The Presidents and Chancellors of the SEC, in their capacity as the conference's Chief Executive Officers, will consider these requests in the near future."
The boards of regents for both Texas and Oklahoma have scheduled separate special meetings Friday morning, during which athletic conference membership will be discussed. Oklahoma's regents will meet in Oklahoma City, while Texas' regents will meet via conference call.
Texas and OU stated in the letter that they intend to remain in the Big 12 through June 30, 2025, because that's when the current Big 12 media rights deal expires -- but that doesn't guarantee they won't find a way to leave before then. If it happens earlier, each university would have to pay a penalty of at least $75 million to $80 million to break that agreement, or hope that the Big 12 dissolves before the grant of rights contract expires.
One Big 12 source suggested the possibility that OU and Texas are banking on a relationship that turns so sour over the next few years, the Big 12 agrees to cut them loose for less.
A source within the SEC said the Longhorns and Sooners "have a lot of legal work to do before they can just walk over to us."
If the image is too blurry, I typed out the teams, with new teams to that conference in italics.
East: Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland
North: Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota
South: Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois
West: Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska, Kansas
East: South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky
North: Mississippi State, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Missouri
South: Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Auburn
West: LSU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Texas
East: Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Oklahoma State
North: Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State
South: Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State
West: UCLA, USC, Stanford, California
East: North Carolina, North Carolina State, Duke, Wake Forest
North: Pitt, West Virginia, Syracuse, Boston College
South: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami
West: Louisville, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame
Reports are out there, that that the SEC has also been in contact with Clemson, Florida State, Michigan and Ohio State...
The article is fairly short, so I will leave it up to you to click the link to read, or find another source reporting the same information...In a nutshell, IF this rumor is true (I am not convinced) the SEC hasn't just been in contact with Texas and Oklahoma, but has also been trying to gauge the interest of forming a super conference with Clemson, Florida State, Michigan and Ohio State as well. The idea of a super conference is something that players of NCAA Football video games have toyed with in every version of the game that allowed you to create custom conferences, and it has been theorized as being possible...one day...but always well off into the future. This would indicate that the SEC deems it to be well into the future, right now.
However, as a Michigan fan, and that of the Big Ten in general, I can see both Michigan and Ohio State taking the phone call, to at least see what the SEC has to offer, but ultimately? No way in hell they ditch the Big Ten for the SEC.
1. Michigan and Ohio State don't consider themselves to be simply members of the Big Ten. They consider themselves to be the pillars of it. The Big Ten is THEIR conference. There are other schools that get to play there, but they built the playground. Their attitude would be the hell with the SEC, if we wanted to join a super-conference, we would make one ourselves in the Big Ten...
2. Money. Financially, Michigan and Ohio State are better off simply staying where they are. Michigan and Ohio State are both in the top 5 in terms of sports revenue already, and the Big Ten Network pays member schools more than the SEC Network does. The Big Ten is not only the oldest collegiate athletic conference in America, it's also the wealthiest.
3. Big fish. Even with Michigan's football struggles, they are still arguably one of the top two "brands" in the Big Ten, along with Ohio State. This kind of goes back to point #1, but Michigan and Ohio State have enjoyed their status as the centerpiece universities of Big Ten athletics for over 50 years. Why the hell would they ever give that up?
4. Travel. Geographically, joining the SEC makes no sense at all. It's called the South Eastern Conference. Michigan and Ohio State play in the northern midwest. Why would they join a conference that forces them to quadruple their travel expenses? They are college players still, who have classes to go to...it wouldn't matter if they were professional athletes, whose only job was to play sports, but they can't miss that much class time, as an every week conference schedule would demand.
Ultimately, they are like businesses. They will listen to the pitch, and then once the phone call has ended, laugh their asses off, because they are worth more as the cornerstones of the Big Ten, than they would ever be as members of the SEC. Instead, they are going to take the SEC's pitch, and turn it into a reason why teams should want to join the Big Ten. If there is going to be a super conference, Michigan and Ohio State will do what they can to be at the center of it, not the peripheral.
Rumors are fun, but in my opinion, there is no way in hell that Michigan or Ohio State would ever jump ship to the SEC.
Texas and Oklahoma have reached out to the SEC about joining the league should the two Big 12 powerhouses choose to leave their home conference, the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday. At least Texas has reached out to the SEC inquiring about admission into the nation's most powerful conference, sources tell CBS Sports.
Whether Texas was speaking for Oklahoma as well has not been determined.
University of Texas regents chair Kevin Eltife is behind the pitch, sources tell CBS Sports. Eltife is a 62-year-old commercial real estate investor in Tyler, Texas, who served in the Texas Senate from 2004-13. He was appointed as a regent to the UT system by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in 2019.
Here we are again, 10 years after the Great Realignment of 2010, contemplating realignment again for the same old reasons. Make that one reason: money.
The generator is that aforementioned CFP expansion. The conferences with the most best teams win.
The SEC favors CFP expansion that would include the 12 best teams. If it turns out that way, the SEC could wind up with six of those 12 teams if it adds Texas and Oklahoma to the fold.
OK, maybe that's an exaggeration. Maybe not.
The SEC has to give this inquiry serious consideration. It could conceivably become the first superconference of the modern era -- 16 teams from Florida to Texas. Such a realignment would basically scuttle the Big 12 and force the ACC and Big Ten to expand just to keep up with the SEC.
With Texas and Oklahoma, the SEC could conceivably go from a $44 million per team annual payout to $60 million. There wouldn't be many difference-making programs left to admit. Notre Dame is an independent. USC is in the Pac-12, which already has its own slew of issues.
Whether it happens, this is what's next for major college athletics. Adapt or die.
Who says the SEC stops at 16? Maybe it goes to 32, the same number of teams that populate the NFL, and just creates a separate league.
The Big 12 has a grant of rights agreement that would serve as an impediment to this happening immediately. That agreement states, if any team leaves the conference before the TV deal expires in 2025, the conference would own that team's television rights.The SEC would need 11 of 14 schools to vote in the affirmative to admit Texas and Oklahoma. Texas A&M would be a certain vote against expansion. Missouri and Alabama could be among the dissenters for competitive reasons. As with Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina may have concerns about future realignment loosening SEC footholds within their states.
Texas and Oklahoma could leave, break that agreement and simply say, "Sue us."
There are questions about how the Longhorn Network would fit in. Oklahoma has a third-tier agreement with Bally Sports, too. But the SEC and its two potential new partners are so big and so rich that those seem to be just details.
At worst, even if SEC expansion is not immediate, Wednesday's developments will be lingering over both conferences until the Big 12 contract expires in 2025.
"There is way too much smoke at this point," one Big 12 source tells CBS Sports.
Texas has long considered itself too aristocratic for the pedestrian SEC. If it left the Big 12, the ACC or Big Ten were considered more likely destinations. Oklahoma was the more likely choice and better fit for the SEC.
Either way, the schools' brands would be diluted. OU and UT rule the Big 12. In the SEC, Oklahoma and Texas would be perhaps the fourth-, fifth- or even sixth-best programs.
Making $60 million a year would soothe those egos. In a way, none of this should be surprising. The Pac-12 came within 30 minutes of the raiding the Big 12 in 2010.
The SEC is bigger and far better than the Pac-12. It's not likely to turn down this epic request whether it's in the next two weeks or two years from now.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney once said he’d quit if players were permitted to make money. (He hasn’t, yet.) Alabama coach Nick Saban has opted instead to pivot — especially since he sees a clear advantage from doing so.
On one hand, Saban is accepting the new reality because he has no other choice. Trends change, and smart coaches adjust. On the other hand, Saban (arguably the best recruiter in the history of college sports) already sees a way to use the new NIL rules to lure more great players to his program.
“Our quarterback [Bryce Young] already has approached ungodly numbers,” Saban said Tuesday, via 247sports.com. “I’m not going to say what they are. He hasn’t even played yet. He hasn’t been a starter. If I told you what he’s . . . it’s almost 7-figures. And it’s like the guy hasn’t even played yet. That’s because of our program.”
The comment about Young making so much money has become the headline, but Saban was sure to add the hammer. Young will be making that money because he’s playing for the University of Alabama.
And so the message to high school kids who suddenly see a path to big money becomes clear. Join us in Tuscaloosa, and you can make ungodly money before you ever even start a game, too.
The dynamic also gives coaches like Saban even more power over their players. Those who get on the field will get more opportunities to earn money from their names, images, and likenesses. While making the coach happy has always been an ingredient in getting reps in games, there’s now a clear and immediate financial benefit to earning playing time.
Of course, ungodly numbers won’t flow from every position. Saban addressed the fact that his locker room will have some players who make a bunch of money and others who don’t.
“Everything in high school and college football has always been equal for everyone,” Saban said. “It’s not going to be that way anymore. Aaron Rodgers makes $24 million a year [editor’s note: Rodgers makes more than $30 million annually on his current deal] and probably several million more in endorsements because he’s the quarterback. The right guard probably makes a million a year and he doesn’t get anything from endorsements. The same thing is going to happen to our team. Certain positions probably enhance opportunity to create value, like quarterback.”
Saban and other coaches will have to figure out how to navigate potential resentment in the locker room of players who get more NIL money than others. Saban’s explanation shows that he already has worked out a fairly reasonable “it is what it is” spiel. So when the left guard starts whining about how little he gets and how much the quarterback gets, Saban can say, “Get used to it, big fella. That’s how it is in the NFL. If you don’t like it, lose weight and learn to throw the ball.”
All coaches and players will have to learn how to live with this new reality of college football, one that essentially dropped out of the sky fewer than three weeks ago. Smart coaches like Saban will find a way to bend this development to their advantage, because that’s what smart coaches always do. Those who huff and puff and pine for the old days won’t have to quit over it; they’ll eventually end up getting fired because they won’t be able to compete with the coaches who embrace the change and benefit from it.
Now that I'm finally back in the US, I have access to the site again so I'll be able to post up more often. Thanks to Dave for carrying us for the last year.
The era of COVID-19
The biggest question facing the 2021 college football season is simple: What will that look like? Will all conferences be back in action? If so, will teams be able to complete a full schedule as planned, and can stadiums once again be packed? The easy answer at the moment is: We don't know. Vaccines, positivity rates, contract tracing, etc. There's nothing wrong with wishful thinking, but it's also not wise to deny reality.
Keep the caution coming
Regardless of what the college football season looks like in 2021, expect mitigations and policies put in place to tackle the coronavirus in 2020 to remain in place for years to come. Any sense of normalcy might still be a year or so away -- depending on which medical expert we're also talking about. Also, there's a new President of the United States and an administration that is most likely to follow the science. Perhaps more masks and even various lockdowns? Remember it's all fluid.
Who's No. 1?
OK, now that we've talked a bit about the coronavirus and the continued role it's playing in college football, let's shift to what's happening on the field. That starts with trying to figure out the best team in the land for 2021. Obviously, it's easy to start with reigning national champion Alabama. It should be Bryce Young's team to lead and the Crimson Tide will certainly reload instead of rebuilding, as always is the case. Meanwhile, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Notre Dame all expect to challenge for a national title. Nothing new there.
Tide on the roll again
No program has repeated as national champion since Alabama during the 2011 and '12 seasons. So, can the Crimson Tide do it again after going 13-0 to win their sixth national championship since 2009? Considering teams like Clemson and Ohio State also have some deep holes to fill, Alabama might be in a better position than others to move forward as favorites for the 2021 title with quarterback Bryce Young leading the way.
Looking for that darkest horse
So, it seems the usual names and traditional powers are likely to again be in the hunt for a national title to conclude the 2021 campaign. But, what about those darkhorse national championship contenders? The obvious choice might be Cincinnati. The Bearcats went 9-1 and earned a New Year's Six Bowl berth in 2020. Quarterback Desmond Ridder returns, and Cincinnati's defense could be just as stout in 2021 as the one that allowed an average of just 16.8 points in 2020. Others to watch: Iowa State, maybe? What about Texas and its new leadership?
More the merrier
We've already brought up potential participants in next season's College Football Playoff. The question, however, is will there be more than four teams involved? Expansion of the CFP is a hot topic, especially after this topsy-turvy season. Will expanding the CFP happen for the 2021 season? The safe bet seems to be "no." That said, talks will surely continue, rumors will fly and options are likely to remain open that this will grow beyond just four teams.
COVID-19 made a mess of the 2020 bowl season. Many were canceled and some might not surprise going forward. Something to certainly keep an eye on in 2021. Add that into the conversation regarding any conversations about the expansion of the College Football Playoff, and the future of "Bowl Season" as we've come to know over the years could look different -- perhaps as early as later this year.
Now, just because a program does not reach the CFP doesn't mean its season is any less successful if their record is good. In 2020, schools likes San Jose State, Coastal Carolina, Ball State, and Liberty all enjoyed some historical level of success. While we expect Coastal, Ball State, and Liberty to remain on the rise in 2021, one team to keep an eye on more than others is Indiana. Yes, the Hoosiers, who went 6-2 and nearly took down Ohio State this past season. Under the guidance of coach Tom Allen, Indiana will worth watching to see if it can be even
Time to bounce back
It would be easy to give some perennial national college football powers a pass for struggling in 2020. That said if so, it's also imperative that those teams show they can bounce back in 2021. Most notably, Penn State, which opened with five straight defeats for the first time in the storied history of the program. The Nittany Lions, however, manage to win their final four games and build some confidence for 2021. And, LSU, which struggled defensively and was inconsistent on offense, but did beat then-No. 6 Florida and finished 5-5. Other programs poised to rebound from sub-par or underachieving seasons in 2020 include Wisconsin (4-3 in 2020), Minnesota (3-4), and Arizona State (2-2).
Heading in the wrong direction
When it comes to programs on the decline, we'll stay in the Big Ten to see if Michigan can bounce back from its horrendous 2-4 abbreviated 2020 season. There's also no sign that 2021 will be much better for the Wolverines, who were held to 21 or fewer points three times in 2020. And yet, coach Jim Harbaugh will be back on the sidelines. Now, Michigan is not alone when it comes to prominent programs potentially headed for a decline. Virginia Tech (5-5 in 2020), Kansas State (4-6), Northern Illinois (0-6), Arizona (0-5), and Mississippi State (4-7) all have something to prove in 2021.
Change of address
Speaking of Notre Dame, that leads to some transfer talk. With Ian Book gone, the Irish appear to enter the 2021 season with former Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan under the center. Coan, who threw for more than 3,200 yards in three seasons with the Badgers, missed 2020 with an injury and now expects to highlight the transfer class of 2021. It will be interesting to watch when Notre Dame takes on Wisconsin in Chicago on Sept. 25. Other expected transfers of note: Quarterback McKenzie Milton going from UCF to Florida State and Baylor's Charlie Brewer moving to Utah.
Irish on their own again
Notre Dame enjoyed a strong 2020 season, reaching the CFP while playing in the ACC on a temporary basis. The Irish might not have as easy a time in 2021 when they go back to an independent slate. Notre Dame will still play five teams from the ACC -- Florida State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia Tech. However, USC, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, and Stanford are on the schedule.
Trying to follow up DeVonta Smith's act from 2020 will be a tough one. But someone has to be awarded the Heisman Trophy for the 2021 season. So, who should be on the preseason Heisman shortlist? How about North Carolina's Sam Howell, who has thrown for 7,227 yards and 68 touchdowns in his first two seasons? Or, Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler, who completed 67.5 percent of his passes for 3,031 and 28 TDs in 2020. Continuing with the quarterback theme, Alabama's Bryce Young, Clemson's D.J. Uiagalelei, USC's Kedon Slovis and perhaps Miami's D'Eriq King are also worth watching. Topping the non-quarterback list, Iowa State's Breece Hall, should he return, after rushing for 1,572 yards and 21 TDs.
Young and hungry
Is there a future Heisman winner among those true freshmen hoping to make an immediate impact in 2021? Perhaps. Although, the country's best true freshman might set up shop on the defensive side of the ball this coming season. Defensive end Korey Foreman, who is headed to USC, is regarded as the No. 1 incoming recruit in the country. It's worth also keeping an eye on another defensive end in Ohio State's Jack Sawyer.
Riding the coaching carousel
All eyes will be on former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian as Texas head coach. Sarkisian went 46-35 during head-coaching stints at Washington and USC and now will try to elevate the Longhorns to national title contenders. Other coaches in new spots to keep an eye on Bryan Harsin (formerly of Boise State) at Auburn, Bret Bielema back in the Big Ten with Illinois, and Shane Beamer now coaching Mississippi State.
That seat's getting hotter
While we'll keep our eyes on those coaches in new places, what about those in danger of losing their jobs in or after the 2021 season? Michigan's Jim Harbaugh is an easy hot-seat coaching target, but he received a contract extension . That said, Harbaugh's Big Ten-buddy Scott Frost at Nebraska might not be so fortunate with plenty of pressure to record his first winning campaign entering his fourth season with the Cornhuskers. Others like Tennessee's Jeremy Pruitt and even USC's Clay Helton continue to feel the heat.
While we're uncertain how many people will be allowed to attend college football games in 2021, that won't diminish the interest in some of the bigger non-conference contests scheduled for next season. Among the marquee matchups: Reigning national champion Alabama faces Miami, FL, and Clemson takes on Georgia -- both Sept. 4. The next week, Oregon will visit Ohio State (Sept. 11). Though it might not be a competitive contest, Nebraska and Oklahoma will hook up on Sept. 18, to celebrate the famed 1971 "Game of the Century" between these former Big 8 rivals. Finally, on Oct. 8, CFP-buster Cincinnati will visit Notre Dame.
The Sun (Belt) is rising
The Power Five get all the attention, but when it comes to the Group of Five, the Sun Belt might become a major player regardless of league status. At one point this past season, three schools from the Sun Belt were ranked, and Coastal Carolina and Louisiana finished 2020 in The Associated Press Top 25 with a combined 21-2 mark. Appalachian State (9-3 in 2020) is also among the top Group of Five teams in the country. leaving the Sun Belt as a conference to be reckoned with again in 2021 and perhaps beyond.
Don't forget about the FCS
While we tend to focus on the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) is still planning on going ahead with its "2020" season come spring. The 2020-21 FCS season is slated to begin in February and conclude with the national championship game on May 16, in Frisco, Texas. Things will look different, obviously, most notably that the FCS playoffs will be trimmed from 24 teams to 16. It's also safe to say that eight-time FCS champion North Dakota State will be favored to win a fourth consecutive title.
Pay to play
The NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) legislation that could compensate college athletes for their celebrity status might not be on the radars of many casual football fans, but it's worth keeping an eye on throughout 2021. It's unsure, at the moment, when any of this will be resolved or a decision will come to the forefront since the NCAA is poised to delay the vote on the matter. Still, the vote has potentially historic ramifications for the future landscape of college athletics, especially football and basketball.
This thread is related to the thread a few weeks ago about NIL, and the NCAA's decision to more or less give up the fight against allowing players to profit from their own images and likenesses. Since that decision came out, we've had a few former college athletes come out and request that the NCAA reinstate their records, their histories, their awards, after getting them stripped because they accepted money from boosters for NIL-based memorabilia, etc.
“Over the last few months, on multiple occasions, my team and I have reached out to both the NCAA and The Heisman Trust in regard to the reinstatement of my college records and the return of my Heisman,” he said in a statement. “It is my strong belief that I won the Heisman trophy ‘solely’ due to my hard work and dedication on the football field and it is also my firm belief that my records should be reinstated.”
Not too long ago, I have to mention, the Heisman Trust has stated that they would restore Reggie Bush's Heisman trophy, only if the NCAA reinstates Bush's status as an eligible player for the year 2005. That is, the NCAA has to move first.
Terrelle Pryor and the Ohio State "Tattoo Five":
"The affirmation of the NCAA athletes' right to make a living from their name, image, and likeness is a huge step in the right direction. Armed with the correct resources and support, we know they'll show what we felt to be true all along -- not letting athletes capitalize on what ultimately is their hard work was unjust and unnecessary,"
"Now that the fundamental right has been granted to a new generation of athletes, now that they finally have the freedom to share in some of the millions of dollars in revenue they generate for their coaches, their institutions, their conferences, and the NCAA as a whole, we would like to see our hard-won accomplishments reinstated."
Ummmmmmm soooo …whoever has the key please hit me up. I need that key.. you know… the one to the secret room with the Banners…
The argument is, that had these rules been in effect when those players all played, they wouldn't have need to take any money under the table.
And as ESPN personality Jay Bilas says:
"The gesture of reinstating records does not mean rules were not violated. It means the rules themselves were improper and illegal. The NCAA has been quick to punish for such things, it should be equally quick to admit its wrongs and correct them, and restore credibility."
Now, there are two ways you can look at this. Technically speaking, those players all broke the NCAA rules, when they were NCAA rules. Is it fair to reinstate their records, Heismans, banners, etc, when nobody actually disputes they broke the rules?
OR, do you kind of follow Bilas's logic here? If the NCAA rule itself was improper and illegal (as the Supreme Court decision would certainly indicate it was) it is fair to continue to punish athletes for violating a law that never should have existed in the first place? That is, how can you continue to punish someone for breaking a rule that was illegal to begin with?
What do you think guys? Should the parties responsible restore the records, banners and awards, or is this a case of "you knew the rules, you broke them"?
Well, it looks like the odds of us getting new NCAA Football video games just skyrocketed...After the Supreme Court's ruling a week and a half ago, yesterday, the NCAA voted to suspend it's rules on amateurism on an interim basis. That means college athletes can officially begin to be reimbursed/compensated/paid for the use of their name, image and/or likenesses.
What does this have to do with video games though? Well, as you may recall, the reason EA Sports stopped making NCAA Football video games was because of a lawsuit filed by former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannion, who sued because he believed EA was using his likeness in the NCAA Basketball/Final Four games without license, without paying him. He pointed out that the unnamed player on the UCLA team was his skin tone, his exact height, same handedness, with same shooting skill. Basically, that the unnamed player WAS him, just without the name.
At the time, EA Sports indicated they would fine with paying players in order to use their likenesses, but the holdout was the NCAA itself. Paying players would be a clear violation of the NCAA's amateurism rules. So rather than risk another lawsuit by continuing to produce NCAA based video games, EA Sports simply stopped making them.
Well, fast forward to today...The college environment is worlds different than in was in 2013-14. Thanks to SCOTUS, student athletes can be paid for their likenesses. That means, EA Sports can not only license official NCAA teams and logos, just like they had previously, but that they could theoretically also be able to license the use of actual NCAA athletes names, images, and likenesses.
Now, this would likely take some kind of NCAA group license, I can't see EA trying to license individual players to be on rosters (maybe the cover though)...I suspect what will happen is that players will be given the option to join a group licensing agreement, giving the NCAA permission to use their NIL for outside purposes (like licensing in video games), in exchange for some financial benefit, whether it's a straight cash payment, a weekly stipend increase, whatever...
Basically, the athlete gives the NCAA permission to use their NIL, the NCAA charges EA Sports a licensing fee for those NILs, and then the NCAA compensates the athletes participating in that group licensing agreement. Basically, like how EA Sports doesn't license individual players for Madden, rather the individual portion is done by the NFLPA, and EA licenses a group rate with the NFLPA to get everyone at once. Same kind of thing here.
Either way, the pathway towards new, officially licensed college football games just became a lot clearer, and a lot easier to navigate.
This also means that players can start getting royalties on jersey sales. If the university bookstore sells the starting QB's jersey, he can get a cut for every one of his jerseys being sold. It also means that those jerseys can actually have the player's name on it. Right now, NCAA rules bar the universities from selling jerseys with the player's name on it, they can only use the player's number...that's obviously going to change, thanks to this ruling.
Using Michigan's roster as an example, instead of having a jersey that just had the #12 on it representing QB Cade McNamara, it would actually have McNamara on the back, just like the authentic jersey he would wear during games. It would also allow universities to sell jerseys from previous players, with the name...So bye bye, generic #2 and #10 jerseys...and hello to Charles Woodson and Tom Brady jerseys! Honestly, if I was on the Michigan campus, and I wanted a Charles Woodson jersey, given the choice between just the #2 and a jersey that not only had #2 on it, but also said Woodson on the back, I would be much more inclined to purchase the one with the name, even if it was a few dollars more. Lots of players at the University of Michigan wore the #2...but I don't necessarily want their jersey, I want a Woodson jersey...
Over the past few weeks, there has been numerous sources that indicate the current belief around the NCAA is that the 4-team College Football Playoff, which is really just the BCS+1 model under a different name, is in its final years, as the College Football Playoff Committee has submitted a proposal to replace it with a 12-team Playoff, to make Division IA football more in line with every other college football sub-division.
Well, yesterday, a very important hurdle was cleared. The 11 College Presidents and Chancellors that run the entire CFP show, just authorized a review of not just the feasibility of expansion., but the actual steps that would be required to implement it. That is, it's more than just an exploratory committee kind of thing, this is "Assuming this happens, how do we go about installing it?" level. As in, CFP expansion to a 12-team model is probably a mere formality at this point. It's happening, they just have to figure out how to do it.
So, what is this proposal, anyway? Well, the committee came up with the idea of taking the best (highest ranked) 6 conference champions, and then taking 6 at-large bids. One of the interesting things about this proposal, is that it erases the idea of the "Power Five". That is, the current P5 conference champions are NOT guaranteed...something the PAC-12 is currently fighting to include. The PAC-12 wants a guarantee that the champions of the five power conferences are automatically included.
Personally, I think it's a silly argument, it's almost guaranteed that the the P5 conference champions would be considered better than just about any non-P5 conference champion anyway, so I am not sure what the PAC-12's real issue is...are they really that worried about the Mountain West, and Boise State? If a P5 champion fails to make the Playoff field, even with 6 conference champion slots and 6-at large bids, chances are they don't really belong in the playoff anyway...
Now, obviously, with 12 teams, that is 4 weeks of football...so when would this all happen?
The top 4 teams would all get byes, so the first round would consist of the #5 through #12 seeded teams. The First round would be a week or so after the Conference Championship games, at the higher seeded school's campus, and would match up 5/12, 6/11, 7/10 and 8/9 seeds. Then, the Quarter and Semi-Finals would be at standard bowl locations, (likely on or around January 1 for the Quarters, and then a week after that for the Semis) with the National Championship game being at a rotating neutral site...just like it is now.
One possible major stumbling block also never came to be. Under the proposed model, because Notre Dame is back to being an Independent officially, and not a member of the ACC, they cannot be one of the included conference champions. Notre Dame only has the 6 at large bids to count on, while other teams can get in either as an at-large, or as a conference champion. Yet, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick says he is perfectly fine with that.
- 6 champs, 6 At larges.
- Top 4 get 1st round bye
- 1st Round games on campus
- 2nd Round on/around New Years Day
- No truly guaranteed bids
- Slightly harder for Independent to make it versus team with conference affiliation.
As a diehard Michigan Wolverines fan, this is a hard post for me to write, as I am very conflicted about what is going on in Ann Arbor right now. Especially since one of the center pieces to this story, Glenn "Bo" Schembechler, is the primary reason I became a Michigan fan, instead of a Michigan State fan. As a new fan to football in the late 1980s, I bought into the legend of Bo. I bought in to the integrity he exuded, his commitment to doing things the right way, the honest way. I bought in to the idea that you can run a very successful program, and still be squeaky clean. Bo Schembechler was a LEADER OF MEN, someone you could believe in to do the right thing, to mold his football players into honorable men...
Over the past few days, details about the official report of former U of M physician Dr Anderson have been coming out. More specifically, that at least some of the sexual abuse he perpetrated on members of the Michigan athletic department was known to former football head coach Bo Schembechler. The report indicates that at least 4 former athletes came to Bo with their concerns about Dr. Anderson...and similar to Joe Paterno, Bo didn't do anything about it.
I don't know if the information contained within these reports are true or not, and we can't ask any of the accused for their side of the story... However, if these accusations are true, then the University of Michigan needs to own up to this, be upfront with every detail, rather than attempt to cover it up like MSU and Penn State did. If the University of Michigan truly prides itself on integrity, and doing things the right way, now is the time to prove that commitment.
Exonerating Bo Schembechler's legacy against false accusations is not the same thing as protecting his legacy from true accusations against it. If Bo is innocent, I have no problems at all with the University of Michigan doing everything it can to protect him. But if Bo is guilty of doing nothing, or of actively trying to cover up Dr. Anderson's crimes, the University of Michigan needs to set an example to the rest of the NCAA, and allow the reputation of its biggest icon, its biggest hero, to be dirtied.
I am not suggesting that the school pretend like Bo didn't exist, not saying they should tear down the statue of him, or remove his name from any official school buildings...But it is time to separate the man from the myth. Myths can be perfect, but men are not. If Bo Schembechler did nothing to stop Dr. Anderson, then shatter the myth, and expose the flawed man behind it. Come clean. There is no shame in saying that while Bo was one hell of a football coach, that he was also flawed, that he also made mistakes. The University of Michigan can acknowledge both Bo's incredibly deep contributions to the University, but also be remorseful that more wasn't done to protect students from Dr. Anderson under Bo's watch.
If these allegations are true, Michigan can, and ought to do what Michigan State and Penn State could not: Refuse to protect someone who doesn't deserve to be protected.
It hurts me to acknowledge that Bo Schembechler may not have lived up to his reputation after all. Goodness knows, I have defended that reputation in the past, I have lauded Bo, I have given him all of the praise it's possible to give a college football coach, and then some. Bo Schembechler represented the kind of man I'd hoped I would become when I was younger. But one of the lessons I teach my kids, is that it's far better to own up immediately and face the consequences, than to lie about it, and have me find out later...I have to apply that same lesson now to myself too, and to my favorite football team.
I have made it a point to mention in years past, when the Penn State and Michigan State scandals came to light, that if I ever found out that the University of Michigan actively tried to cover up something similar, that I would wash my hands of them, and that I would be looking for a new college team. We are now at that crossroads. What the University of Michigan does in the next few weeks or months, how it handles the reports, will determine whether or not I can continue to root for this football team.
Do the right thing, Michigan. Please.
This is NCAA Football talk.