The second installment of the Dawg Gone Podcast will be out tomorrow, and we cover everything not football. That includes a discussion on the huge mess our baseball and basketball programs are in. There's some words about gymnastics and lacrosse in there as well. It's kind of a year end round up for non football athletics, and we hope you can dial in.It seems as of late around Dawg Sports posts of all sorts are susceptible for a thread killing comment. I remember taking advice from T Kyle King about this a long time ago, he said, "You never know how these things are going to go." But, I'll go ahead and give my party speech again: We, the staff at Dawg Sports, are often in agreement about many things, but not everything, and while we are expected to represent the site well, our opinions are our own, and our interests are as well. We try to give you updates and cover a large number of sports, but that doesn't mean it's perfect for everyone all the time. What we (and I) can do is support your writing and opinions by promoting fanposts; we do that regularly, and we do that even when it's a different opinion. By the bye, it's May, and we have summer ahead. Let's have fun on Dawg Sports...
There is talk, as always, about super conferences. And talk of paying a stipend to players. So, before people's head's get blown about these ideas, Vince Dooley hinted around about a super division - call it 1Div A1 or something, and my Dad and I talked about it 20 years ago. 64 teams or so in a super conference has been the path for a long time. I don't mean to hate on the smaller schools, but let's face it: Each year only around 10-20 schools have any chance of a National Championship, and the smaller schools are not in that equation. I can tell you if I was king of football for a day I would happily chop about 30 schools out of what ever we are calling Div 1A nowadays, and I wouldn't allow mixed division games. Paying a school $1M to come to your home, take a loss, while giving enough money to keep that school's program afloat another year is an idea that may have played out by now. The level of competition and ability is so vastly different as well, resulting in not much of anything for anyone except the school getting paid.
On stipends, I will say I am for it. My support of it goes back to the ring scandal, where UGA players sold their SEC rings for cash. Student-Athletes do have a free ride, something I didn't have, and something I am jealous of, however, unless they come from a family of means they also don't have a way to pay for a pizza every now and again. Is it the most ideal answer? Maybe not. But it also isn't ideal the schools make a ton of money on the players and the players don't have gas money, leading them down a path of doing things for money that land them and the school in trouble. I'd rather give a student $50 a month for pizza and gas and have a zero tolerance policy on other money issues than to keep dancing around what we all know to be true.
2013 is the last year of the two team BCS playoff. In 2014 we go to a four team BCS playoff. Don't let ESPN and company full you. The BCS has always been a playoff, just with two teams, and it has always been a stepping stone to 4 teams. In 15 years when we go to 8 teams, don't be surprised either. The top powers of college athletics figured out 25 years ago what direction the ship was sailing, and in a sport made of history, tradition and reluctance to change, they put in a long term plan of having a playoff system come to fruition, because that's where the money is. There is no guarantee of better football, and as I have always said the people that make the most money are the networks and the bookies. The fans aren't going to be able to travel and be as personally involved, and we will have just as an exclusive system that will allow the top 20-30 schools repeated shots at a championship, leaving those smaller schools even further behind. So, as we bemoan the idea of a super conference or paid players with one hand, we are encouraging it with the BCS system with the other.
Start watching out for the ESPN narrative. In a couple of months they will start drawing up story lines and telling you "the schools you should be watching out for." This is the beginning of selecting a National Champion. It can be overcome by a) winning and b) winning big, but, it's still there. And they hate letting go of it, which is why the Manti Teo story would never die even though UGA sent two linebackers in the first round and we had the 2nd greatest freshman running back ever without much national attention at all. Now, with the draft and the stats from last year, the story makers will slowly catch up to Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley, and it's a time when we need our players to focus on the task at hand, and we as fans to not try and celebrate January in August. One step at a time. But watch as the narrative starts to leak out and shape up here soon.
As always, I'd love to hear your takes, your thoughts, and ideas. And I named this week's post in memory of my former handle and in honor of the KC-135 aircrew that lost their lives last week. That hit home pretty personally. Stay in touch...