The Hype Machine

by Brad Scott 11. March 2011 01:28

I have sat back and watched the happenings in the football world over the last number of weeks. There has been a lot with Superbowl, Signing Day, NFL combine, and of course the ongoing NFL contract issues. But one thing intrigued me. Actually it was a couple of things under the same umbrella. The hype bestowed upon players such as Cam Newton and Jadeveon Clowney.

 

Here's the deal. A number of these players come out of high school and college and we never hear much about them after a year or two. Basically, they were stellar standouts where they were. They have tons of praise, attention and promise attached to them. In some cases, they were considered to be the guy who “made” the team what it was. Some players were All-American, won M.V.P. Honours, won Heisman's, even National Championships.

 

I'm just not sure I understand why the media puts so much attention on what these players say or maybe do. The fact that it appears Jadeveon Clowney is already making a 'name' for himself with his comments in regards to hypothesizing about South Carolina football over the next few years with him on the field. The spectacle that was waiting for him to make his announcement on signing at S.C., lends people the right to roll their eyes and say “here we go again with another one”. Frankly, Jadeveon, you have chosen to go to the University of South Carolina with the offensively focused head coach of Steve Spurrier. You have played high school football and, yes you were given a 5 star recruitment rating, but I fail to see the reason why so much hype is further made about your signing announcement.   But from the publicity platform you and your 'handlers' did a great job in furthering your career from a marketing perspective and all the endorsement deals you now have lining up. Wait, you're a college player so technically you are not eligible for endorsements. Well I guess your draft status certainly increased. Wait, you have not played a down of even a spring college game yet. Perhaps your teammates will enjoy the rewards of the financial benefits your signing with S.C. will bring upon them. Wait, never mind.

 

Of course Jadeveon has had competition for the spotlight. Cam Newton et al have done a great job as well of boasting and promoting. That statue of Cam that has been commissioned to be put up outside of the stadium I'm sure will be amazing. Wait, what NFL stadium will that be in front of again? I wonder if the same company that was commissioned to build and erect the Ryan Leaf, Vince Young and JaMarcus Russell statues, to name a few, is building this one?

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College Football

The Excitement of National Letter of Intent Day

by Brad Scott 24. January 2011 23:11
  February 2nd 2011. For most of us its 12 days closer to Valentines, but this year its the 2nd biggest day of the year behind the BCS National Title game.

For those of you who are not aware February 2nd is National Letter of Intent Day, when all High School seniors declare their intentions for the University they will be attending to play football this coming fall. In other words, the best high school players today are the ones that will make or break their college teams in a few years. You want to know if your favourite team will have a chance in the BCS in 4 years? Then I suggest you watch and listen come February 2nd.

There have already been some interesting happenings. After the retirement (again) of Urban Meyer, the University of Florida lost out on 3 individuals who had gave verbal commitments. In the process of that taking place Notre Dame appears to be lining up to have its best recruiting season in recent years. There has to be something more than irony that Charlie Weis has just signed up with Florida after leaving Notre Dame.

Notre Dame needs to have a good class. The fact that the 'Independent's' NBC contract now runs through 2015 and up to now has not provided NBC with a championship team to sell to advertisers has to be somewhere in the minds of Notre Dame personnel. What would it mean to NBC and its advertisers to have an unbeaten team to air come November in any year?

While on the topic of recruiting and independent's, BYU is going 'Independent' starting this year leaving the Mountain West. This is not brand new news, however more exposure throughout the country appears to be a large reason as numerous changes to the Division 1 football landscape is taking place. Certainly helps recruiting if you can play anywhere you want and against stronger schools. But what I am pondering now is how large the potential is for Texas to soon turn Independent?

Here's one more bit about recruiting, TV deals and perhaps a soon to be 'Independent' all in one. Texas just signed an amazing deal with ESPN that will provide the University of Texas with its own television network. Imagine. The University of Texas can provide its athletic department with exposure on its own network that can go national, not that every football game is going to be on this channel, but the university itself is exposed everywhere. There will apparently be high school games broadcast on this channel as well. I wonder if the recruiting process for Texas will become just a bit easier with this helpful association. Some high school senior can sit back and watch himself and his team play the day after the game, and also watch numerous infomercials about the University of Texas.

National Letter of Intent Day appears to be setting up to be an even more important and widely watched and speculated day in the coming years than it ever has. I can see the day where it rivals NFL draft day in prominence.

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College Football

BCS is Still a Work in Progress

by Brad Scott 11. January 2011 22:39

I remember years ago as a kid how I would look forward to New Years Day for the Bowl games. That was an exciting day. Games would start in the late morning and go well into the night with either the Orange Bowl or the Sugar Bowl finishing things off. Generally speaking, the games were good with close match ups with teams with good records. Once in a while the Cotton Bowl might not be so great, but I could almost always count on an exciting Fiesta and Orange bowl at the least.

Fast forward to the 2011 edition of New Years Bowl games. I am desperate to find something worthy of interest. Thank you Wisconsin and TCU for at least giving me and the viewing public a game that wasn't over before the marching bands were in their seats. Out of the six games on January 1st, four of them looked effectively over at half time. Northwestern's strong second half against Texas Tech brought that game back to respectability. I know that Oklahoma and Connecticut were not miles apart at half, but honestly did anyone expect it to be even that close at that point? I think the final score is more indicative of what people expected.Three New Years day games ending with the winning team holding a 28 point or higher differential is bad. Embarrassing to the NCAA. On New Years Day of all days.  I understand that with the BCS the good match ups are now spaced out more over a period of days. Those games are supposed to provide the fans, sponsors, and advertisers with an opportunity to have a full game on TV and not interrupted or overlapping with another game as used to be the case. Well, lets quickly look at how that idea worked out this year:

Stanford and Virginia Tech, Orange Bowl, 40 - 12, 28 point difference.

LSU and Texas A&M, Cotton Bowl, 41 - 24, 17 point difference. Not too bad.

Ohio State and Arkansas, Sugar Bowl, 31 - 26.  However, 28 - 10 at half time I'm thinking might have a good number of viewers turn the tube off thinking this one was over too. Good job by Arkansas coming out and working hard in the second half.

Finally, the BCS National Championship game. Auburn and Oregon, 22 – 19. The game itself may not go down as a classic but it provided us with a game that had much hype about battling offenses and turned into a battle of which defense would hold the opposing offense and the team that made the least mistakes would win. Overall out of 35 Bowl games, 13 games were decided by more than 21 points or more. There was 14 games decided by 7 points or less. However, those 13 games and more specifically the bigger games that get more coverage and more money thrown around have to make the NCAA decision makers again question the process by which schools, conferences and bowls select who is going to play.

There is a need to keep those “big games” as big games and not have them as blow outs and games that few people are watching by half time.

 

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