Alabama's Richardson and Shelley celebrate after they defeated LSU in the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game in New Orleans

Knight Commission wants grad rates to affect BCS revenue distribution


If all goes according to plan, the BCS committee will leave Hollywood, Fla., today with two or three final postseason options to take back to their respective conferences for further discussion.

The consensus seems to be that a four-team playoff (or, “event”, if you’re weird like that) that continues to incorporate the current bowl sites is the preference. The logistics of a playoff, on the other hand, is far from concrete.

One area yet to be determined is revenue distribution under the new BCS model, which again, should take effect in 2014. Thanks to a report obtained by CBSSports and Brett McMurphy, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics has sent out a proposal to the 11 Division 1-A commissioners, their member presidents and BCS executive director Bill Hancock recommending that the revenue distribution be determined based on academic standards.

Here’s a basic rundown:

The Knight Commission proposed three payout models -– a proposed graduation success incentive fund sorted by NCAA football graduation rate. The Commission’s preferred model divides the football programs into three categories: Tier I (graduation rates of at least 70 percent), Tier II (graduation rates between 60 and 69.9 percent) and Tier III (graduation rates below 60 percent). 

In the commission’s preferred model, Tier I and Tier II schools would evenly split 50 percent of the new media rights revenue with the remaining revenue split among the Tier I schools. The Tier III schools would not receive any revenue. See the breakdown here. 

Based on the projected amount of the new media rights deal ($360 million), under the Commission’s model Tier I schools would each receive $6.34 million, Tier II schools would each receive $2.1 million and Tier III schools would receive nothing – but embarrassment for their sub-par graduation rates.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott called the proposal “noble”, and in theory I would agree, but it’s important to point out that 34 programs identified as Tier III (the graduation rates provided were from 2001-04) would have been cut off from revenue produced by the new postseason format.

Conference commissioners just aren’t going to agree to anything that could potentially deny one of their members a slice of the media rights pie.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah