Jeff Long

College Football Playoff selection committee could devalue importance of regular season


College Football Playoff selection committee members will be tasked with finding the best teams in college football to participate in the new playoff model. This much we already knew, but on Wednesday more details and explanations started to come out about just how the process will be conducted. Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long, chairman of the committee, says the committee will focus on the best teams and not necessarily worry about finding the most deserving teams.

The hope is the best teams actually will be the most deserving teams, but that could also make it more difficult for some programs to crack the new postseason format. Think about a Boise State program going 13-0 with a Mountain West Conference championship being stacked up a pool of one-loss champions from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC. Where might Boise State fit in that mix? The Broncos, despite putting together a worthy season that would have likely clinched a spot in the old BCS line-up, could now be on the outside looking in once again, in theory.

This can actually go a long way to enforcing the argument playoff detractors have had all along, that the value of the regular season could be devalued as a result of the direction of the selection committee. Of course, perhaps this will all work out just fine once we get into the thick of things in the fall.

The selection committee will begin unveiling a top 25 ranking every Tuesday in late October. The revealing of the updated ranking will be aired by ESPN with the intent of explaining the selection committee’s logic behind the rankings.

Compiling those rankings could be a massive project. The entire committee will go through a detailed process to put together a consensus top 25 ranking. Long says the committee will begin working on the latest rankings each Monday and will work up to 24 hours with breaks for food until the job is complete.

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.