What an absolutely amazing end to the college football season. It’s funny that in the last year of the “horrid” BCS, we see the best set of BCS bowl games ever, by a long shot. Every single one of them was exciting. This is what the BCS was supposed to be. It just took 16 long, agonizing years to get there.
And I was so close to getting the right score (I had FSU 34-30 over Auburn). So I gave myself a pat on the back since I became a beacon of mediocrity with my bowl pools this year. Went 23-12 which isn’t bad but those damn confidence pools bug me in that regard. You don’t have to get the most right to win those things. And it’s not like you’re picking against the spread. Anyway, enough of that quasi-gambling-based rant.
Announced just an hour or so ago, James Franklin will be heading to Happy Valley to be the head coach at Penn State. What an unreal hire. Arguably the best coaching hire in a while. Don’t get me wrong, Charlie Strong to Texas and Fun Bobby Petrino to Louisville are good hires, but nothing compares to this one. Now the carousel comes around to Vanderbilt which is all of a sudden a fairly highly prominent job to have. Don’t be surprised to see a great assistant or a good non-BCS school head coach get the nod here. I still think Pete Lembo out of Ball State is due for a move up but don’t sleep on Doc Halliday out of Marshall or Clemson’s OC Chad Morris.
There’s very little of it. Here’s a rundown (so far) as to the differences you’ll see next season:
- Rutgers and Maryland move to the Big Ten East Division (yes the Big Ten has decided to stop with the absolutely fucking ridiculous Leaders and Legends divisions)
- Louisville moves to the ACC and instantly becomes a contender there
- East Carolina, Tulsa, and Tulane move to the American conference. Navy will follow one year later and God only knows what kind of divisions they’ll come up with there.
- Western Kentucky and Old Dominion move to Conference USA. The Monarchs will be ineligible for a bowl game this season but this program looks a lot like UTSA…meaning a team that, once eligible, will be above .500 probably almost every season. Charlotte moves here in 2015.
- New Mexico State and Idaho go back to the Sun Belt. And yes, they will still be pretty horrible. There’s a good chance they will be worse than the other Sun Belt newcomers, Georgia Southern (fresh off their victory over Florida) and Appalachian State (yes, THAT Appalachian State).
As for what will happen beyond 2015, who knows. I know that at some point, one of the Big Five will go to 16 teams. Whether that’s good or bad is anyone’s guess.
The one good thing about college football is that usually games are scheduled years in advance. Even the Pac-12 has already come out with their conference schedule for next season (and I’m pretty sure another conference or two have as well). Some point during the off-season I will look at the most important games to look forward to in 2014.
This will be an interesting year when it comes to FBS broadcasts in Canada. We will always get CBS, ABC, Notre Dame on NBC, and FOX games. However, Sportsnet now has the ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE NHL deal so they will be showing hockey games most Saturdays. It’s not that Sportsnet really showed all that much college football but we can be rest assured that that number will fall to almost zero this coming season. So hopefully TSN picks up the ball a bit. It will be interesting to note if we see the TSN of the latter part of the season when there were multiple games on every weekend or the TSN of the early part of the season where the amount of games showed per week, on average, would have to be a number between 0 and 1. This is where I am glad I have the U.S. College Sports Package from Bell. Yeah, it’s pricey and I can see the price going up but it has all the ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU games that aren’t shown elsewhere. My hope is that this (and the Super Sports Pack from Rogers) starts to include some ESPNews and ESPN3 games or some Fox Sports 1 games. I am sure the Fox games won’t be shown but to have more ESPN games could happen. We will have to wait and see on that one.
Starting next week I will post on my predictions from this season as well as my NFL predictions (my Denver-Seattle Super Bowl prediction still has a chance!). I plan on using the same method as they use on www.stassen.com to compare preseason magazines and their predictions to one another. It will be interesting to see how good my predictions were (spoiler alert: they probably weren’t).