Tyler Wilson, Alvin Bailey, Jordan Voelker

Bidding for ‘Champions Bowl’ to reportedly begin next week


Things are starting to fall into place as the bidding process for portions of college football’s new postseason will begin in earnest.

ESPN is reportedly “closing in” on purchasing the three-game playoff package that follows the 2014 season, and has already extended its agreement with the Rose Bowl through 2026, said to be worth around $80 million annually.

The so-called “Champions Bowl”, which pairs the Big 12 and SEC conference champions and was designed to ensure a quality postseason matchup that brought in the maximum value of media revenue possible, should net a TV deal similar to, but separate of, the Rose Bowl. However, the bowl must first figure out which city will host the game. CBSSports reports the bidding process for that right will start next week.

Dallas and Atlanta are one of a handful of cities interested in hosting the Champions Bowl, which will likely be among the six major bowls used as rotating playoff sites. Of those cities, Dallas is apparently the favorite. If the metroplex does in fact land the Champions Bowl, it would reportedly then become the Cotton Bowl. Likewise, if Atlanta grabs the hosting rights, it would be the Chick-fil-A Bowl and so on.

Which networks buys up the Champions Bowl is to be determined, but as I’ve said before, it’s easier if there are less networks involved in the broadcasts given the layers in which these postseason packages can be sold.

Video: There’s nothing wrong with Cardale Jones

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In the minds of some in the media and even more in the fan base, Ohio State in general and Cardale Jones specifically have been underwhelming through the first five games of the 2015 season.

Jones, in particular, has been a rather large target of much of the angst.  Coming off a Cinderella-like three-game postseason run that helped OSU to a national championship, the perception is that Jones has been underwhelming and underperforming; even head coach Urban Meyer appeared to be leaning in that direction as he considered making the switch to J.T. Barrett prior to the Western Michigan win before reaffirming his commitment to the redshirt junior.

Is that perception valid?  Statistically, he’s not that far off from where he was in the 2014 postseason, at least in a couple of categories.

He’s completing 61.3 percent of his passes this season compared to 59.4 percent in the games against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon.  It was 9.9 yards per attempt in that three-game stretch last season, 8.2 in five games this season.  When it comes to scoring and turning the ball over, however, that’s another matter entirely.

He threw a touchdown pass every 15 pass attempts in the 2014 postseason; this season, it’s one every 21 attempts.  Even more glaring, he’s currently throwing an interception every 21 attempts as well.  During the run that made him a household name, it was one pick every 37.5 throws.

So, fewer touchdowns plus more turnovers equals validation of the angst, right?  Not so fast, at least as far as the college arm of Pro Football Focus goes.

UCLA suspends P Adam Searl following arrest on rape charges

Tre' Hale, Adam Searl
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A very serious allegation has triggered the latest resetting of the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker.

UCLA confirmed in a statement that Adam Searl (pictured, No. 39) has been indefinitely suspended from the football program.  The move comes nearly a day after the punter was arrested on three counts of rape.

He was released a handful of hours after his arrest on a $300,000 bond.

“We have been informed of the situation involving Adam Searl, and we take these accusations very seriously,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora said in a statement. “Adam has been suspended from the team indefinitely while the legal process runs its course. Due to the ongoing police investigation, we are unable to discuss this matter further at this time.”

The arrest stems from an incident that allegedly occurred in the middle of last October, and is the result what the Los Angeles Police Department described as “an exhaustive investigation.” As for what led to the charges, here’s the Los Angeles Daily News‘ account of the alleged incident:

The victim, a student at UCLA, reported the alleged assault to the LAPD on Oct. 14, 2014. She told police that she had met the suspect outside of an off-campus house party in Westwood. They went to another residence, where she fell asleep and awoke to find him assaulting her. She was able to identify Searl following the police investigation.

Searl punted 11 times as a redshirt freshman last season. He had punted five times this season as the backup to Matt Mengel.