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College
College Football Playoff Committee quandary: Legendary BCS founder Roy Kramer weighs in
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College Football Playoff Committee quandary: Legendary BCS founder Roy Kramer weighs in

College Football Playoff Committee quandary: Legendary BCS founder Roy Kramer weighs in

College Football Playoff Committee quandary: Legendary BCS founder Roy Kramer weighs in

LANSING, Mich. Determining a champion in big-time college football has involved more polls, metrics, bowls and playoffs than all other sports combined over the years.

Controversy, it seems, is rooted in every system. The end appears nowhere in sight.

Six years into the current College Football Playoff system a four-team selection criteria has proven vague and inconsistent, leaving questions and controversy brewing.Concerns are pointed at a 13-member panel that includes sitting athletic directors and a cloaked voting process.

Indeed, former SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer said there's a reason he believed cold, hard numbers should be more heavily relied upon than human opinions in determining national championship playoff qualifiers.

It's why he designed the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) the way he did leading into its application prior to the 1998 season.

"We were concerned with regionalism and the emotion," Kramer said, explaining why the BCS relied on a pre-determined formula of computer rankings and polls rather than the veiled committee approach used by the current College Football Playoff.

"It's very difficult to totally separate yourself."

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Roy Kramer was the SEC commissioner from 1990-2002, in which time he created a conference title game and unified college football with the BCS. Photo courtesy Hoffman Photography Inc.

Kramer's BCS history lesson

Kramer was arguably the most innovative and influential college football figure of the last century. He expanded the SEC into divisions in 1992 and forged a league championship game that has since been duplicated in every Power 5 conference.

Perhaps Kramer's greatest feat, however, was unifying the college football championship with the BCS, the system employed from 1998 through 2014 that matched the top two teams in the rankings.

K ramer who convinced the Big Ten and Pac-12 to modify the tradition-laden Rose Bowl match of their respective conference champions for the greater good of college football.

Most feel the BCS sparked tremendous conversation and growth in college football. Fans flocked to the human polls and computer rankings each week, while programs scrambled to improve slates for the sake of the all-important schedule strength component.

The current College Football Playoff system in place, despite an expansion to four teams, has left room for skepticism and controversy with its lack of transparency and fluid variables.

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit and SEC Network television show host Paul Finebaum were openly critical of the process last season, to the extent of asserting there were external factors affecting the judgement of committee members.

RELATED: Kirk Herbstreit dismayed by CFP Selection Committee

"You know what I'm loyal to? College football," said Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback. "I want to see the four best teams get their chance because that's what's right and what's fair.

"Politics, for the first time in five years, got the best of the committee"

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Former Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is not a proponent of a committee choosing college football playoff teams. Photo Getty Images

SEC legends weigh in

Former Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said he's not a proponent of the current system.

"I certainly don't like committees determining the champs," Spurrier told DawgNation in an exclusive interview in July. "We're the only sport in the world that still does that. (Saying) that will probably not get me on the committee ever, but that's OK."

CFP executive director Bill Hancock points to a recusal policy that prevents athletics directors from being in the room when their teams are discussed.

But those same athletic directors are part of discussions involving other teams that their programs may be competing directly with for a spot in the playoffs or on the recruiting trail.

Georgia found itself relying on athletic directors from rivals Florida and Georgia Tech as its playoff credentials were discussed last season.

Further, athletic directors from playoff contending schools Oklahoma and Ohio State were being counted on to make a case for Georgia even though that would have been to the detriment of their very own programs.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said he had no questions about the athletic directors' ability to check their hats at the door.

"We trust people to carry their responsibilities into a room," Sankey told DawgNation at the SEC Spring Meetings in May. "I'm confident that the athletics directors on the playoff selection committee are fully capable and have done that very well."

Former Auburn coach and athletic director Pat Dye isn't so sure.

"Let's be realistic, if you've got an Auburn guy on the board, he doesn't want Alabama to win at anything, and he might say he'll be fair and objective, but that's stretching it," said Dye, who coached Auburn football from 1981-1992 and served as athletic director from 1981 through 1991.

"Georgia Tech didn't want Georgia in the playoffs, Florida didn't want Georgia in the playoffs. I guarantee you, that's their number one competitor."

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Georgia football coach Kirby Smart felt his program was one of the four best in 2018 and belonged in the College Football Playoffs. UGA Sports photo.

Kirby makes his case

Hancock said in a presentation at the SEC Media Days last month the current system has pleased everyone and no modifications are necessary.

"I want to emphasize that the conference commissioners and university presidents, who are my bosses, are pleased with the CFP," Hancock said. "It works, and it works well."

RELATED: Kirby Smart says every year (criteria) will be different'

Georgia coach Kirby Smart did not agree after the Bulldogs were left out after losing to then-No. 1 ranked Alabama, 35-28 loss.

Smart had lobbied after the game: " Do you want the four best teams in or not?(Alabama) sat at home last year and got to go in the playoffs "

Indeed, the 2017 Crimson Tide didn't play in the SEC Championship Game, yet it was awarded a playoff spot.

The committee decided that year that winning the conference was not necessary to be deemed one of the "four best."

Last season, however, Oklahoma won the Big 12 Championship Game and was deemed more deserving than Georgia as a matter of "protocol."

"The committee did not believe that any one team was unequivocally better than the next," CFP chairman Rob Mullens said. "That meant we went to our protocol."

Smart pointed out the inconsistency.

"Every year it's going to be different," Smart said of the criteria the committee applies behind closed doors, the votes kept private. "Do I have clarity? I don't think I have clarity."

The CFP Committee made the case that it didn't have clarity either, so it went with the conference champion.

"What we decided was amongst the group of three, Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio State, the committee voted that no one was unequivocally better than the other," chairman Rob Mullens said. "So then we leaned on the protocol. So we went with the one-loss conference champion."

Being a conference champion didn't matter in 2017.

Being a conference champion did matter in 2018.

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The CFP Committee could not determine the four best teams through discussion, so they reverted to protocol and rewarded the team that won its conference title game (Oklahoma)

Closing thoughts

The BCS, while somewhat more complicated, relied on public rankings and formulas that were based on wins, losses, strength of schedule and victory margins (to a point of diminishing returns).

Everyone knew the rules up front, subjectivity was at a minimum, and that's the way Kramer wanted it.

"We were concerned to try to keep as much personality types of things out of it as we could," Kramer explained. "Not looking at this team, or this school, because it has been good for 20 years, therefor they've got to be better than this team. That type of thing, so we tried to do it on a numerical formula.

"It was difficult to understand, and I understand the media had their concerns because of that, and so it was controversial," Kramer said. " But having said that, the committee is controversial as well, because somebody is going to get left out, and anytime you leave someone out, there's controversy."

Kramer praised the job the current committee has done, and he explained how he's very aware of the difficulty and challenge of their selection process.

"I was the chairman of the (NCAA Tournament) basketball committee one year (1992), and we picked 64 teams," Kramer recalled. "I never got so many bad phone calls, I think it was New Mexico State, because they were the 65th team.

"So you can imagine you're going to have controversy when you're just going with four."

Many in college football believe the four-team playoff will soon be expanded to eight.

Scheduling models at several Power 5 programs have changed, with stronger non-conference opponents being added in anticipation of schedule strength playing a bigger role.

Both Spurrier and Dye are proponents of an eight-team playoff.

"Eight teams give you four more chances to be right," Dye said. "With four teams, as strong as the SEC has been, someone needs to be able to get excited besides Alabama and Clemson."

Kramer, who was inducted into what was at least his 12th hall of fame in Lansing in July, hopes the playoff field doesn't grow.

"I hope we don't expand it, because the heart of college football is the regular season, and I don't want to see college football become like basketball where it all centers in March, and the rest of the season doesn't really matter," Kramer said.

"It's tremendously important that the Michigan-Michigan State game still is a great spectacle, or the Auburn-Alabama game, or the Texas-Oklahoma game. That's what the heart of college football is all about, and I don't want to see us lose that by trying to placate by having more teams in the playoff."

The post College Football Playoff Committee quandary: Legendary BCS founder Roy Kramer weighs in appeared first on DawgNation.

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Local News

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Morehead. “I appreciate this recognition from INSIGHT Into Diversity once again for our successes in this important area and our efforts to go even further.”   The central role that diversity plays at UGA is outlined in the institution’s mission statement, and efforts to promote diversity and inclusion include programs to recruit and support historically underrepresented and first-generation students; recruit and retain diverse faculty; and promote a living, learning and working environment where differences are respected and celebrated.   “The University of Georgia proudly embraces the diversity that is found in our faculty, staff and students,” said Michelle Cook, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Strategic University Initiatives. “We also are committed to building a community, culture and climate where everyone is supported and where everyone can be successful.”   Recruiting Students The diversity of perspectives and backgrounds that students bring to the University of Georgia enriches the learning environment by preparing students for success in the global society of the 21st century.   To help recruit historically underrepresented and first-generation students, staff from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and several other campus units visit high schools across the state through programs such as Road Dawgs. 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Bulldog News

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  • ATHENS Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book appears to have a 'California Cool' mindset going for him this week. Book represents the bullseye the Georgia defense has targeted in Saturday night's 8 o'clock game at Sanford Stadium. But Book, a 6-foot, 212-pound senior from the Sacramento suburb of El Dorado Hills, looked to take it all in stride in an interview taped in South Bend. 'We believe in ourselves, everyone in this building, this one family, we know what we do, and we know our potential,' Book said. 'So we're not worried, we're just confident.' Ian Book highlights The book on book Book has gotten it done against an SEC opponent before in addition to beating a Top 10 team, along a victory over a Top 25 team on the road. Book came off the bench and rallied Notre Dame to a 21-17 win over LSU in the 2018 Citrus Bowl, completing 4 of 6 passes in the fourth quarter for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Last season,Book humbled a No. 7-ranked Stanford team, throwing for four touchdowns in a 38-17 win. The next week, he led Notre Dame to a 45-23 win at then-No. 24 Virginia Tech. No wonder Book doesn't seem to care that the No. 3-ranked Bulldogs are a two-touchdown over the No. 7-ranked Irish in the first non-conference battle of Top 10 teams between the hedges since 1966. Book says all that has done is added a chip on Notre Dame's shoulder as the program looks to snap a nine-game losing streak against Top 5 opponents that dates back to 2005. 'Honestly, we don't care care what anyone says, if we're supposed to lose by double-digits, it's kind of a chip on our shoulder, we're going to use that as motivation,' Book said, 'and I think it's great, the pressure's not on us, we're going down there to do what we've got to do.' Kirby's concerns Georgia coach Kirby Smart hasn't stopped talking about Book all week. 'They have multiple formations, they have tempo, they have the ability to do a lot of things, they have a lot of offense,' Smart said. 'Then you throw in the fact they have the quarterback that can make you right every play,' Smart said. 'The coach could call a bad call, the kid will bail him out and go scramble for it.' Book's ability to scramble and extend plays seems to concern Smart more than any other element of the game. 'It's nice when you've got a guy that can make somebody miss, whether it's a pressure, whether it's a three-man rush, whether it's a four-man rush,' Smart said. 'I mean, he can make you right.' Book recognizes the pressure is on him to perform at his highest level with little margin for error. 'I think they have a great scheme, and they've got some athletes, obviously,' Book said, breaking down the Georgia defense. 'They've got some guys that can fly around, a lot of speed out in the field, and obviously for a quarterback it makes the windows smaller, challenges myself to give our guys a shot, the windows are going to get small.' The Georgia Defense Georgia ranks 17th in the nation in pass efficiency defense, allowing just one TD pass through the first three games. But Tyson Campbell, one of the Bulldogs' starting cornerbacks, was limited in Tuesday's practice after missing Mondays with what UGA reported was a foot injury. It's a safe bet Notre Dame has taken note. Book said he'll be spending more time in the film room, looking to build on the momentum the Irish generated with their 66-14 win over New Mexico last Saturday. 'I think it was huge, not just for me but for everybody to make those plays,' Book said. 'Just to get everyone's confidence up to show that we can do that for ourselves and start to prove our identity as an offense.' Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said playing for the Irish is like being on Broadway, in terms of the players relishing the big stage. Book agreed. 'You've really got to embrace it and have fun with it, these are the reasons you come to Notre Dame, to play in these games,' Book said. 'We've got a lot of guys that have been there and been to those environments, and now we've got to go there and we've got to win.' Notre Dame QB Ian Book DawgNation Georgia-Notre Dame David Pollack says Nolan Smith rising star Georgia zeroed in on Notre Dame quarterback Isaiah Wilson returns to Monday practice, Tyson Campbell not present World of difference in Jake Fromm now from 2017 Georgia newcomers proving pivotal to season success Jake Fromm, Crush it and flush it,' on to Notre Dame Brian Kelly says Irish found themselves' in 66-14 win Notre Dame coach says team in position to win national title The post WATCH California Cool Notre Dame QB Ian Book: We're not worried' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Georgia Bulldogs saw six former players score in week two of the NFL season, including Mecole Hardman who brought in a 42-yard reception from the reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes for his first touchdown in the NFL. In addition to Hardman, Nick Chubb, Matthew Stafford, Isaiah McKenzie, Sony Michel and Todd Gurley all scored this past weekend. And all of their teams picked up wins over the weekend. How they did this weekend Hardman 4 receptions 61 receiving yards 1 receiving touchdown Chubb 18 carries 62 rushing yards 1 rushing touchdown 4 receptions 36 receiving yards Stafford 73.33 cmp% 245 passing yards 2 passing touchdowns 2 interceptions 4 carries 13 rushing yards McKenzie 2 receptions 40 receiving yards 1 receiving touchdown 1 carry 4 rushing yards Michel 21 carries 85 rushing yards 1 rushing touchdown 1 fumble Gurley 16 carries 63 rushing yards 1 rushing touchdown 3 receptions 4 receiving yards
  • ATHENS Ever wondered what Kirby Smart says to his team in the locker room? The Georgia football film crew provided a snippet in the Bulldogs' highlight tape from their 55-0 win over Arkansas State. RELATED: Why Georgia could literally run the score up on ND 'Give them your best shot, make them remember when they play us, it's about how we play,' Smart said, firing up his team. ' We don't do it with our mouths, we don't do it with anything else, all we do it with is our flat back and pad speed.' The Reel: Georgia vs Arkansas State #ATD #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/RqdfJ0UZOZ Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) September 18, 2019 After the game, Smart's teaching points included the value of downfield blocking, with a shoutout to Lawrence Cager, and the importance of buy in. 'We have a really special team when everybody buys in,' Smart said. 'Defensively, up front when we can do that guys, we can wreak a lot of havoc.' #Dawgs Tell em Kirby! #GiveEmThree #GoDawgs #BeatNDAgain pic.twitter.com/DlvlQqoEnP GATA Dawgs (@BassinDawg) September 17, 2019 Georgia will look to do precisely that in its 8 p.m. game against Notre Dame on Saturday at Sanford Stadium. DawgNation Georgia-Notre Dame Georgia zeroed in on Notre Dame quarterback Isaiah Wilson returns to Monday practice, Tyson Campbell not present World of difference in Jake Fromm now from 2017 Georgia newcomers proving pivotal to season success Jake Fromm, Crush it and flush it,' on to Notre Dame Kirby Smart sets relaxed tone for showdown with Irish Brian Kelly says Irish found themselves' in 66-14 win Notre Dame coach says team in position to win national title The post WATCH: Kirby Smart fires up Georgia in the locker room appeared first on DawgNation.