Everybody seems to have some sort of opinion on the push for a college football players union unfolding before our eyes. That includes college football’s only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, Archie Griffin. The president and CEO of the Ohio State Alumni Association was on hand for a recent Buckeyes spring practice, and he took some time to answer some questions about the news this week regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling that Northwestern football players should be classified as employees of the university, a ruling that helps the College Athletes Players Association move another step closer to formal unionization.
“It doesn’t surprise me, I’ll say that,” said Griffin according to The Columbus Dispatch. “We should have seen it coming with college football the way it is today, with the dollars being made, the prices being charged for tickets, and the salaries of coaches and administrators.”
While the idea of actually paying the players is not at the top of the agenda for the CAPA, having a seat to represent players at the NCAA table and addressing other concerns is. As the sport has grown over the years, so to has the business operations behind the scenes. With student-athletes not receiving a slice of the pie, Northwestern players, led by Kain Colter, formed a group seeking to unionize at some point in the future. It is no surprise to Griffin to see how this group of players has come together and started to have some impact.
“The players are not blind,” Griffin said. “They see the dollars being made in the game. It’s obvious. That’s kind of why they are where they are. They feel the term amateur is keeping them from getting what they deserve.”
The union talk has led to reactions from many coaches, including South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Clemson’s Dabo Swinny. Both coaches are in favor of stipends, but had slightly different reactions to the news out of Chicago this week. Asked how his former coach, Woody Hayes, would have reacted to the news, Griffin said Hayes would have supported the players.
“I honestly think Coach would have been for what’s best for the players,” said Griffin.
It’s a pretty good day for Isaiah Simmons.
The Clemson linebacker woke up Sunday as an ACC Champion, found out later he was going to the College Football Playoff as the No. 3 seed and was also was named the winner of the 2019 Butkus Award as the best linebacker in the country.
“Simmons is one of the most versatile athletes to play the linebacker position. He’s an exceptional athlete with unique length and makes plays at all three levels, with terrific rush ability, blitz timing, cover skill and tackling range. He’s a modern-day linebacker with special match-up skills. For as good of a football player as he is, he’s a better person and will represent the Butkus Award with class,” a release confirming the news said.
The Kansas native has 93 tackles, seven sacks, a fumble and two interceptions on the season.
Simmons beat out Cal’s Evan Weaver, Wisconsin’s Zach Baun, Texas Tech’s Jordyn Brooks and Penn State’s Micah Parsons for the award.
LSU linebacker and top 10 pick Devin White won the trophy last year.
The College Football Playoff is set, now it’s time for the rest of the postseason picture to shake out.
The CFP Selection Committee followed up the announcement of the Peach Bowl (No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma) and Fiesta Bowl (No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson) semifinals with the rest of the New Year’s Six matchups and there are some enticing games to take in over the coming month. Making some tough decisions and throwing in a handful of surprises, here’s the full lineup of the major bowl games:
College Football Playoff Semifinals — December 28, 2018
- Peach Bowl: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma
4 p.m. ET, ESPN
- Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson
8 p.m. ET, ESPN
New Year’s Six
- Cotton Bowl: No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 17 Memphis
December 28, 2019, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN
- Orange Bowl: No. 9 Florida vs. No. 24 Virginia
December 30, 2019, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
- Rose Bowl Game: No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
January 1, 2020, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN
- Sugar Bowl: No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 7 Baylor
January 1, 2020, 8:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
The College Football Playoff National Championship Game is scheduled for Monday, January 13, 2020. Kickoff in that one is slated for 8 p.m. ET on ESPN from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La.
The Selection Committee also released their final set of rankings for the 2019 season. They will not release a top 25 after the bowl games — as that’s left for the AP and Coaches Poll — so the members on the committee are done with their duties this year. In what is sure to be a controversial ranking (or two) for some schools, here’s the order they put teams in:
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Notre Dame
- Boise State
- Appalachian State
- Oklahoma State
South Carolina fans will soon be able to yell ‘Run the dang ball Bobo!’ next fall.
According to the Post and Courier, Will Muschamp is set to hire ex-Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo as the Gamecocks’ new offensive coordinator “barring a last-minute change of heart.”
Receivers coach Bryan McClendon is expected to remain on staff after serving as OC this past season while Bobo is likely to fill the role vacated by recently fired QB coach Dan Werner.
Bobo is no stranger to South Carolina or SEC fans, having spent eight seasons as the coordinator at his (and Muschamp’s) alma mater of Georgia. He won two conference titles and five division titles while with the Bulldogs and spent 15 years on staff in Athens.
The Rams and Bobo announced they had mutually parted ways after the end of the regular season last week after the head coach spent five seasons in Fort Collins.
Let’s be honest, there was no debating the College Football Playoff this season. You want to try to stir things up and say that Ohio State and not LSU should have been No. 1? Fine.
But those top four teams? That seemed set in stone from the moment Utah fell flat on its face in the Pac-12 title game against Oregon. It was always going to be the Buckeyes, Tigers, Clemson and the Sooners after they beat Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Game.
For formality sake though, the Selection Committee still had to go through the motions and tick off all the boxes in the process. That included, as chairman Rob Mullens told ESPN, discussing final spot in the field between OU and what he revealed to be the No. 5 team in the rankings: Georgia.
“That conference championship win against Baylor moved (Oklahoma) to the No. 4 spot. Wd did spend some time talking about Oklahoma and Georgia but in the end, it was a solid selection for Oklahoma in the No. 4 spot,” said Mullens. “We put them on the board because we want to be thorough and we want to make sure that we consider everything. So we did have Oklahoma and Georgia on the board and Oklahoma was the number four team.”
Such a debate may not have lasted much more than 30 seconds but there you go Bulldogs fans, at least there was some consideration for your team.
Perhaps more notable is the fact that Mullens all but confirmed UGA was the No. 5 team in the full rankings released later on Sunday, which means they’ll be put in the Sugar Bowl against Baylor.