TCU’s Gary Patterson says somebody will always feel screwed by college football’s postseason

7 Comments

It was not all that long ago TCU head coach Gary Patterson was being respected for the way in which he handled his Horned Frogs being left out of the College Football Playoff. It was rather easily to compliment Patterson for his calm demeanor on the topic when Art Briles at Baylor was sounding off at every opportunity. Patterson reasoned TCU was working to reach the rung of the ladder programs like Ohio State and Alabama had reached, and admitted it takes time to earn that level of respect. Patterson kept TCU focused on the next opportunity, which resulted in a blowout victory over Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl.

Now Patterson is ready to share his true feelings about TCU being left out of the College Football Playoff.

“No matter what we’ve called it during my 33 years of college football coaching, whether we had the BCS or the coaches’ poll, whatever they had, somebody has felt like they got screwed,” Patterson said while talking to reporters this week. “That will go on.”

He is absolutely right. This is not going to change regardless of the number of playoff teams are handed an invite to the championship hunt. But Patterson was not necessarily saying TCU should have been a lock for the first College Football Playoff. He was more pointing out some of the possible concerns that should be had regarding the new postseason format. Most notably is the emphasis on a conference championship game.

“I was told why we had a committee was we were going to take all that stuff out of it. I remember talking about the championship games and they shouldn’t have mattered,” Patterson said, as quoted by The Dallas Morning News this week. “Their job was to watch all this film and pick the top four teams no matter where you played and what you did. And then, all of a sudden in the end it got down to they played a championship game and we didn’t. That’s not what we were told. We were told they would pick the four best teams.”

Patterson’s comments days after the latest developments in the possible deregulation of conference championship games was reported. The Big 12 and ACC have made a push for removing the title game requirements (12 league members, and two division champions), which figures to open the door for a possible Big 12 championship game with only 10 conference members (which is also bad news for BYU, Cincinnati, UCF and so on). Patterson actually thinks the championship game model should be ditched everywhere. Some feel the Big 12 would have had a much better chance to be represented in the playoff had a conference championship game been played instead of the final week of the regular season. Odds are that certainly would have helped the cause for Baylor or TCU (or both!), but it is far from a suggestion either co-Big 12 champion would have been awarded one of the four spots.

Judging by Patterson’s story of a pregame meeting before the regular season finale with Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads, he knew TCU was going to be left out of the mix unless some crazy things happened elsewhere.

“We were on the field before the ballgame and [Paul Rhoads] said he hopes if we ended up winning for us to have good luck. I told him, ‘Paul, we weren’t going to the playoffs.’ We were the first team playing on that Saturday and haven’t seen anybody else and I told him we weren’t going to the playoffs. I’m pretty good at gut feelings and I watched all the articles going through the week. I actually thought it was the kiss of death when we got moved to third.”

Patterson spoke earlier this offseason about college football royalty coming into play. Conference championship game or not, Baylor and TCU each lack that perceived royalty compared to the other playoff options that were on the table. The Big 12’s overall production in non-conference play did not help that cause either.

Vanderbilt transfer DL Rutger Reitmaier receives all-clear from NCAA

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Vanderbilt got some good news Wednesday when the NCAA approved transfer Rutger Reitmaier to compete this fall.

The Nashville native signed with Oregon out of high school in 2017 but did not compete for the Ducks. He left the team after spring practice, sat out the 2017 season and enrolled at Vanderbilt in January.

“Adding Rutger to our roster is huge,” head coach Derek Mason told Vanderbilt’s official site. “He adds depth, athleticism and will be a key piece for us. I’m excited about what an impactful player he is, and it’s great to add another quality player from Nashville.”

A 4-star recruit, Reitmaier was recruited by the likes of Tennessee, Ole Miss and South Carolina, but favored Vanderbilt when leaving Oregon.

“Vanderbilt was the first school I considered after deciding to leave Oregon,” he said. “It was one of my top-three schools during my initial recruitment in high school. Defense wins championships, so having a head coach like Coach Mason with that background was attractive for me. I’m excited to get going.”

 

Northwestern announces slew of schedule changes, including future home-and-homes with Tulane and Rice

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Northwestern claims they have the best home schedule in the country for the upcoming 2018 season and they have a pretty good case with Duke, Akron, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Notre Dame all coming to Ryan Field. Based on the latest moves on their future schedules however, that good run of big names doesn’t quite continue.

The school announced a slew of new games in the coming years on Wednesday, including a pair of home-and-homes with AAC and CUSA opponents. First up is a date with Tulane in Evanston on Sept. 12, 2020, followed by a return game in New Orleans on Aug. 30, 2025. As a result of that first game against the Green Wave, the Wildcats had to move their previously scheduled contest against Central Michigan from Sept. 12 to Sept. 19 in 2020 (also at home).

Another school in the South was also added to the NU docket with a second home-and-home series with Rice way out in the future. The pair will play in Houston on Sept. 8, 2029, while the return game at Ryan Field is set for Sept. 6… 2031. Yeah, 2031. The two teams will also meet in 2024 and 2025.

A single home game against FCS power South Dakota State was also announced by Northwestern and will be played on Sept. 12, 2026.

The moves mean the Wildcats’ non-conference slate is pretty much set in 2019 (at Stanford, vs. UNLV and UMass), 2022 (vs. Duke, Miami (OH) and Southern Illinois) and 2024 (vs. Duke, Miami (OH) and Rice). The games announced Wednesday fill in some of the holes left in other years but outside of the trip to the Farm next season and a home-and-home with Colorado in 2026/27, there’s not a ton to write home about.

At least Northwestern will always have that 2018 home schedule to point to.

NCAA data shows number of graduate transfers in football nearly doubled last year

Getty Images
1 Comment

The biggest issue the NCAA is tackling at the moment is an easy one to pick out: transfers. Coaches have chimed in about potential changes and new rules have been enacted but even as we approach the Media Days portion of the calendar next month, transfer talk has been one of the hot topics across all major sports at the collegiate level.

Perhaps that interest is one reason why the NCAA released a new study this week looking into the numbers of one particular category of players: graduate transfers. While the number of actual graduate transfers remains relatively low (about 1% of the total number of student-athletes), the number itself continues to skyrocket year-by-year as more and more players take advantage of rules that allow them to graduate and play immediately at their next school.

According to the NCAA, that number of grad transfers is five times bigger in 2017 than it was in 2011 for men’s sports alone and football in particular saw the number of players moving around nearly double from 117 total in 2016 to 211 the following season. The rates are higher in men’s basketball but the overall number is naturally much bigger in football given the vastly bigger roster size.

Data for 2018 was naturally not made available since we’re just in the middle of the year but a similar increase wouldn’t be too surprising to see given the number of big names that have made headlines prior to the upcoming season. That includes players like Michigan’s Wilton Speight (to UCLA), Cal’s Tre Watson (to Texas), Notre Dame’s Jay Hayes (to Georgia) and Alabama’s Brandon Kennedy (to Tennessee) all among those taking the grad transfer route. It seems like nearly every week we see one or two players announce their intentions to take a similar path.

While we might not have 400+ players listed as graduate transfers in football when 2018 comes to a close, it certainly doesn’t appear that this trend will be slowing down anytime soon and the coaches that are complaining about this brand of “free agency” in college football will just have to get used to the new reality of player movement in light of a number of new NCAA reforms on the subject.

Notre Dame LB David Adams stepping away from football for medical reasons

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tough news out of South Bend this week as redshirt freshman linebacker David Adams is leaving the Notre Dame football program as a player to take a medical exception. He tweeted a lengthy statement discussing the departure on his Twitter account Tuesday night:

The Pittsburgh native was a former three-star recruit coming out of high school and was an Under Armour All-American. He redshirted during his first year with the team in 2017 but will sadly not suit up for the team going forward.

The list of injuries Adams tweeted about shows why this isn’t super surprising news given that he had suffered, among other things, concussions, a torn left labrum, a torn rotator cuff, a knee injury and severe patellar tendonitis. He will remain on scholarship at Notre Dame but won’t count against the football team’s 85-man limit going forward.

Though Adams was expected to help contribute some depth to the Irish defense this year, the team is pretty set in the middle of their defense at linebacker on the two-deep but could see incoming recruits Jack Lamb and Bo Bauer take some snaps earlier than expected if somebody else gets hurt.