Jim Mora

BcS commissioners to meet, continue playoff discussions


The next step in major college football’s seemingly inexorable march toward some type of playoff system to determine a national championship will take place Monday, Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News has so kindly reminded us Monday morning.

However, don’t look for much more than a postseason baby step to be taken.  If that.

As noted by Carlton — if you’re a college football fan, follow him on Twitter — the commissioners of the six BcS conferences will meet today to continue discussions on how the future of the game’s postseason will take shape.  While the current BcS cycle runs through the 2013 season, it’s been widely reported that a postseason plan for 2014 and beyond will likely be in place by the end of summer this year.

This next step, baby or not, will take place at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as the commissioners continue the process of whittling “50 or 60” suggestions for a playoff down to something that can be agreed upon by all 11 Div. 1-A (FBS) conferences — or 10, pending the Mountain West/Conference US merger — and independents such as BYU and Notre Dame.  While it remains unclear just what shape a new postseason would take, all signs point to a four-team dip into the playoff pool above anything beyond that number.

How those four teams would be selected could be a topic of discussion among the power conference commissioners today.

The Big Ten is reportedly in favor of a four-team playoff in which the semifinal games would be played at on-campus venues.  The Pac-12 has agreed in principle to put an end to the BcS and implement a playoff system, one in which all four spots would be filled by conference champions.  The Big 12’s interim commissioner, Chuck Neinas, has publicly stated that he sides with the Pac-12’s idea of “taking four conference champions.”

The SEC is currently and wholeheartedly against the latter proposal, while also believed to be in need of some convincing on the former.

We’re also guessing that a certain Utah attorney general’s name may come up for discussion.

Again, as Carlton notes, there will likely be precious little “hard news” coming out of today’s meeting.  The most important thing, though, is that there is a meeting that serves as the next step in a process that should’ve started — and resulted in a playoff system — a long, long time ago.

Former Texas A&M WR Thomas Johnson arrested on murder charge

Thomas Johnson
Associated Press

A very disturbing story has emerged out of Dallas, where former Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson sits in a Dallas County jail cell after allegedly admitting to hacking an unsuspecting jogger to death with a machete.

Just before 8 a.m. Monday, authorities say Johnson went to White Rock Creek Trail, a popular jogging trail in northeast Dallas, and randomly slashed a jogger to death. “It appears Mr. Johnson picked this victim at random. Absolutely random,” Deputy Chief Rob Sherwin told the Dallas Morning News. “He just attacked him. … It’s just very unusual. It’s quite shocking.”

Johnson then walked away from the scene in search of a cell phone. An onlooker had already dialed 911, and when police arrived Johnson allegedly told them there was a man “laying down with a sword in his head and not moving.”

“I just committed capital murder,” Johnson said and then repeated, according to his arrest affidavit. The only motive police reported was that Johnson was angry at his situation in life at the time of the slaying.

The victim, an unidentified male between the age of 25 and 35, passed away at a nearby hospital.

Johnson, meanwhile, remains in a Dallas County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Johnson was a highly-regarded member of Kevin Sumlin‘s first recruiting class at Texas A&M. As a true freshman in 2012, the Dallas native caught 30 passes for 339 yards and one touchdown through the Aggies’ upset of then-No. 1 Alabama and then simply… disappeared. He went missing for three days in November 2012 before turning up back home in Dallas. His mother told the San Antonio Express-News last April Johnson would like to return to college football, but a return to the game never materialized.

No punishment from SEC for Bielema’s sideline interaction with Alabama player

Bret Bielema

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.

“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”

That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.