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Inter-conference playoff part of proposed Big 12/Pac-12 scheduling alliance


We know the proposed Big 12/Pac-12 scheduling alliance is not going to happen. There are a million reasons why it won’t, but the important thing to note is that it’s definitely not happening. CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd on Thursday spoke to a Big 12 official on the topic of former Kansas State president Jon Wefald‘s idea to have the Big 12’s entire non-conference slate include nothing but Pac-12 opponents to see if it was actually going to be considered, who said, “Not at all.”

Dodd was able to get his hands on the full, 11-page proposal, and included in there was some interesting food for thought for all scheduling nerds (like myself). Wefald boiled his idea down to 10 bullet points, and No. 7 is really interesting (yes, the full report is in all caps):


So, all 10 Big 12 teams would devote all three of their non-conference games to Pac-12 opponents, and vice versa (six Pac-12 non-conference games would go unaccounted for in this proposal, since the Pac-12 has two more teams than its eastern counterpart). Each school would then play a 9-game conference schedule, and then turn around and play one (or perhaps two) games against the other conference in an inter-conference four-team playoff, whose championship game would alternate between the Rose Bowl and AT&T Stadium.

Obviously, this would be a seismic shock to the college football ecosystem. The entire schedule would have to be adjusted to make room for a 14th regular season game, and the lucky winner of the Big 12/Pac-12 alliance would then have the opportunity to play a 15th and 16th game in the College Football Playoff.

Those three words would be the stopper right there. There are a million logistical and logical obstacles to this idea (what happens if the championship game is two Big 12 teams and the title game is at the Rose Bowl?), such a brutal slog where Big 12/Pac-12 teams play 14 Power 5 opponents and the SEC champion plays 10 is a complete non-starter for every AD, coach and president who actually pays attention to college football as it’s played today. Even if the Big 12/Pac-12 champion was guaranteed one of the four golden tickets, that team would be so beaten down they’d have no actual chance to win the thing. (Counterpoint: no Big 12 or Pac-12 team has won a national title since 2005 Texas anyway.)

The Wefald Way (as I’m dubbing it here) is an interesting idea — in a pre-BCS/CFP world.

Back in the poll-and-bowl era, it would have made lots of sense for, say, the Big Ten and Pac-12 to pool their media rights, schedule as many September games as possible against the other, get the Rose Bowl on board, then sell those broadcast rights to a partner who would then clear their Saturday schedules for weekly Big Ten/Pac-12 doubleheaders. Think about it: Penn State at Michigan at 3:30 Eastern, USC at Oregon at 7… this Saturday on NBC! 

But the poll-and-bowl era is dead and gone, and we’re now in the game’s Championship Era. The best teams are still crowned by a consensus of voters, and those voters have shown that minimizing your losses is the safest path to the Playoff, not maximizing your victories. Because of that, the Wefald Way, interesting as it may read on paper, was dead on arrival.

Star Clemson WR Justyn Ross will miss entire 2020 season because of neck issue; Dabo Swinney says there’s no guarantee he can play football again

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One member of the Clemson football program has been dealt a very significant blow.  Whether it’s a blow that costs him the remainder of his career remains to be seen.

Justyn Ross was very limited as Clemson worked its way through spring football practice that was ultimately scuttled because of the coronavirus pandemic.  In lieu of an official explanation from the program, rumors of the seriousness of Ross’ health issues have been bouncing off the vast expanses of the Internet.

In mid-March, Dabo Swinney attempted to clear the air, saying that the standout wide receiver is “perfectly fine” even as he’s dealing with what’s being described as “stinger symptoms.” Late last month, however, it was reported that Ross will undergo surgery in June.  A Clemson football official subsequently confirmed that a medical procedure is in the offing.

Monday, Swinney confirmed that Ross will undergo surgery this month.  In doing so, Swinney also confirmed that the receiver will miss the entire 2020 season.  And, it’s an issue that could end his playing career.

Ross was the No. 1 player in the state of Alabama in the Class of 2018, and he has more than lived up to the recruiting hype.

His first two seasons with the Clemson football program, Ross has totaled 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns on 112 receptions.  This past season, caught 66 passes for 865 yards and eight touchdowns.

In four career College Football Playoff games, Ross has a statline of 23-424-3. for the Tigers

Texas kicker/punter Chris Naggar reportedly transfers to SMU

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SMU is once again on the positive side of the football transfer portal.

Earlier this offseason, Chris Naggar entered the NCAA transfer database.  This weekend, indicated that the kicking specialist has transferred into the SMU football program.

As of yet, neither the player nor the school has confirmed the development.

Naggar would be heading to the Mustangs as a graduate transfer.  The upcoming season would serve as his final year of eligibility.

Naggar joined the Texas Longhorns as part of its Class of 2016.  His first three years in Austin, the Arlington, Tex., native didn’t see the field.

This past season, Naggar appeared in seven games for the Longhorns.  He punted the ball 25 times in 2019, averaging 39.3 yards per punt.  He also kicked off three times in his seven appearances.

This offseason, SMU has added a pair of Power Five transfers to its football roster.  Stanford offensive lineman Mike Williams joined the AAC team in February.  Arkansas wide receiver TQ Jackson did the same three months later.  Additionally, starting linebacker Richard Moore was granted a sixth season of eligibility.

The Mustangs are coming off a 10-3 campaign, the program’s most wins since the pre-death penalty season of 1984.  In December, SMU announced it had reached an agreement on a contract extension with head football coach Sonny Dykes.

Tom Allen addresses ‘devastating’ shooting death of former Indiana defensive lineman Chris Beaty

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A tragedy that struck the Indiana football program has drawn a response from its head coach.

It was reported Monday that Chris Beaty “was one of two men shot and killed in separate incidents over the weekend as violence erupted in Downtown Indianapolis.” The 38-year-old Beaty was shot multiple times shortly before midnight local time Saturday and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Beaty was a defensive lineman for the Indiana Hoosiers football team from 2000-04.

Monday afternoon, Tom Allen addressed the tragic development.

“I am at a loss for words. The news of the passing of Chris Beaty is just devastating. Since I returned home to coach at Indiana, Chris embraced me, encouraged me and supported me! His passion for life and Indiana Football energized me every time we were together. He was one of our first alumni that displayed his unwavering support for what we are building here at Indiana and how we are building it. I am so heartbroken for his family and he will be deeply missed by all those that were blessed to call him a friend! LEO”

Despite being away from the Indiana football program for nearly two decades, Beaty remained close to it. wrote that “Beaty was still actively involved with IU football. He tweeted on April 26th a screenshot of head coach Tom AllenMark Deal and several other Indiana football alumni. He thanked Allen for checking in with the former players and said that IU football was in good hands.”

Included was a tweet from Beaty’s personal Twitter account.

College Football Hall of Famer Pat Dye dies at 80

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In Pat Dye, Auburn has lost one of its most storied head coaches.

Last month, Dye was hospitalized for kidney-related issues.  During that hospital stay, Dye tested positive for COVID-19.  At the time, his son, NFL agent Pat Dye Jr., stated that “[w]e fully anticipate his release from the hospital in the next few days once his kidney function is stable.

Sadly, is now reporting that Dye died on Monday at 80.  A cause of death has not been released.

The website wrote that “Dye, who was moved to Bethany House in Auburn following a stay at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, listened to phone calls on Monday morning from family, friends and former players on Monday morning.”

A Georgia native, Dye played his college football at the University of Georgia.  He began his coaching career as linebackers coach at Alabama from 1965-73.  From there he became the head coach at East Carolina from 1974-79, then at Wyoming for one season in 1980.

Most famously, though, Pat Dye spent a dozen seasons as the head coach at Auburn.  From 1981-92, Dye went 99-39-4 with the Tigers.  Included in that was a 6-6 record in the Iron Bowl.  And a national championship in 1983.

Under a cloud of NCAA controversy, it was announced on the eve of the 1992 Alabama game that Dye would be resigning at season’s end.  There was also the Condoleeza Rice playoff committee flap.

All told, though, Dye went 153-62-5 as a head coach.  In 2005, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.