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NCAA College Football: The SEC Bias and Other Thoughts

Well, there goes that SEC bias rearing its ugly head again when it comes to the College Football Playoff picture once again. Can anyone really blame the committee for putting the Crimson Tide in the fourth position now that the first official rankings are out? I am more surprised at the fact Notre Dame has leap frogged both Baylor and TCU (big surprise there) and that Oklahoma State and Iowa aren’t getting the love they deserve.

What would a November in college football be without controversy? And to think this weekend it could get a bit more dicey if Alabama knocks off LSU in a head-to-head thriller. This is exactly why the college playoff system works. And to think the SEC isn’t the best conference in the nation would just be a bit crazy to say the least.

As it was explained on USAToday.com in a story by Daniel Uthman, the decisions made by the committee, which is completely subjective and confounding.

The committee is a grading agent, not a projecting one. Its decisions are based on evidence, not forecasts. On what has happened, not what might happened.

Also remember the Ohio State team that snuck in last season as the fourth seed, jumping over TCU and Baylor was ranked 16th at the beginning of all this mess. The decision to add them to the mix proved to be the right call.

“In this first week of November, think of it more as an election judge rather than a polling firm (in fact the Playoff detests its rankings being referred to as a poll). But the committee’s data-driven assessments still raise questions, Uthman said,

I personally think a Clemson-LSU matchup for college supremacy would give the voters and the fans exactly what they wanted in the eventual championship title game.

BYE, BYE BEAMER

Now that Frank Beamer has stated he will retire as head coach of the Virginia Tech Hokies at the end of the season, another legend is walking away from the college football ranks.

Steve Spurrier retired immediately last month as the head coach at South Carolina.

The move to replace a legend is not easy and in most cases it is the person replacing the person who is replacing the legend that has the most success. Ironically, it was Urban Meyer who replace Ron Zook, who replaced Spurrier at Florida, who won two national titles in three seasons at the University of Florida.

Bruce Feldman’s story on foxsports.com lays out the groundwork for potential candidates to fill the void.

Beamer leaves behind quite a legacy. He turned special teams play and kick-blocking into an art. In fact the first story I ever did for ESPN The Magazine back in the late 90s involved traveling to Blacksburg, Va., to spend a few days with Beamer and his staff while several coaches from around the country came in to try and learn some of the Hokies’ special teams secrets.

Look for the athletic department to ask to interview the usual suspects like Justin Fuente of Memphis and Rich Rodriguez of Arizona. But keep an eye on Larry Fedora of North Carolina.

“Quietly, the Tar Heels are 7-1 and have won seven in row. Fedora is very well-regarded as an offensive mind and UNC is averaging 37 points a game,” said Feldman. “The 53-year-old is 63-37 in eight seasons as a coach. I’m not sure if Fedora would leave Chapel Hill, NC, for Blacksburg. One is still seen as a basketball school. The other is much more of a football brand”

IS THIS HEAVEN? NO, IT’S IOWA

Break up the Iowa Hawkeyes this season. After years of mediocrity and subpar coaching by Kirk Ferentz, the Hawkeyes are a national title contender and poised to have a huge season.

Yes, I said Iowa.

The Hawkeyes are currently ninth in the college football rankings and would have to jump over Ohio State and Michigan State to gain some modicum of respect in the College Football Playoff system.

In other words, as long as the other two teams continue to win, it’s not happening.

The football program, however, doesn’t seem too concerned about rankings and pundits making decisions on the team’s future. All the players are doing is winning football games.

“At this point, it doesn’t mean a thing,’’ linebacker Josey Jewell said Tuesday in a qctimes.com article. “I know it’s something people will talk about, but for us this week is all that matters. We can’t look at it any other way.’’

The story points out Ferentz has been using recent history to illustrate a point to his team that the inaugural College Football Playoff poll has little to do with which four teams will find themselves in national semifinal games on New Year’s Eve.

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