First and 10: Pay to play? If you want to win, it's the only way
1. I don’t want to get on a soapbox, but …
There’s no turning back now. No magic fix.
College football has become an above-board, booming professional business.
And the SEC is knee-deep in it.
“You can kick and scream about it,” one SEC coach told me this weekend. “Or you can figure out a way to do it better. Which is what we’re being paid to do on the field, anyway. It’s one and the same now.”
The rush toward an open market and multiple forms of financial compensation won’t slow down. It will get bigger, broader and dangerously unwieldy.
It will produce winners and losers.
Two undeniable realities last weekend underscored the seminal moment for the future of college football and opened eyes all over the sport.
Last Friday, multiple reports circulated that All-American Pittsburgh wideout Jordan Addison – one of the top 10 players in the nation — was entering the transfer portal as the May 1 deadline loomed, and the likely destination was USC.
Two days later, former Clemson wideout Justyn Ross – a freshman All-American on Clemson’s 2018 national championship team – wasn’t selected in the NFL Draft because of previous medical flags (a neck injury).
Four years ago after that national title game, I spoke to a scout who told me two players – with all of those future NFL players on the field — stood out above all: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, who was the first overall pick in the 2021 draft, and Ross.
Four years later, and after a neck injury caused him to miss the 2020 season, Ross hasn’t even signed as an undrafted free agent.
If ever there were an argument for free movement among players and financial compensation in college football – NIL deals, and pay for play – Ross is it. He went from a multi-million dollar future to possibly never playing in the NFL.
He’s not alone. Five years ago, All-American Michigan tight end Jake Butt decided to play in the Orange Bowl and tore his ACL. His draft stock plummeted, he lost millions and had 10 career NFL catches over 3 seasons before retiring because he was never the same player after the injury.
Dylan Moses, Marcus Lattimore, Michael Munoz. On and on we go with careers eliminated or cut short by injury – with no monetary gain to show for it.
Make no mistake, there’s real value in a paid education, in professional development on the field. But when major college conferences are combining to run Fortune 500 companies and generating nearly $1 billion a year, nothing short of swift, meaningful change in the way players can move and are compensated will work.
It began with NIL, and the tentacles of a simply stated model – players can earn off their name, image and likeness – have almost instantly spread to the uncontrollable. Then the NCAA gave every player a one-time immediate eligibility transfer, and the combination of the two has the wildly successful NCAA amateur model bent over, on one knee, one hand raised in the air, gasping for breath.
Who in their right mind could argue that Addison should stay at Pitt, when his ability to earn off his NIL in Los Angeles is likely 10 times what he could earn in Pittsburgh?
Who in their right mind could argue loyalty, when coaches leave programs year after year in search of better jobs and financial security? Why then is it so difficult to acquiesce that players, too, deserve financial security?
It’s over, everyone. College football as we know it is forever changed.
There are only winners and losers to be determined. And that’s where the SEC takes control.
2. Follow the money
Florida was among the earliest universities to embrace the new frontier, though they – and likely nearly everyone not named Texas A&M – didn’t exactly know what they had.
The Gator Collective raised money for NIL deals for student-athletes, like other “collectives” have done throughout the nation. Less than a year later, mega Florida booster Hugh Hathcock developed the Gator Guard – another NIL “collective.” It began with a $1 million donation.
Within the first 3 hours of its existence, that number jumped to more than $5 million.
This is where we are with NIL collectives. The greater the alumni base, the greater chance to build a war chest and compete with Alabama and Georgia for elite recruits.
Every single program in the SEC saw the success Texas A&M had recruiting this season, and have – in one way or another — moved toward the model.
Two weeks ago, the state of Tennessee changed its state law on regulating NIL deals, removing a provision that prohibited entities whose purpose is “supporting/benefitting an athletics program by making deals with current/prospective athletes contingent upon enrollment and participation in athletics at a school.”
Translation: Get ready for more contracts like the reported $8 million NIL deal signed by 2023 5-star QB Nico Iamaleava to play for Tennessee.
The state of Mississippi also redefined its NIL law, allowing universities in the state to be involved with an athlete’s conversations with third parties. Athletes in Mississippi can now enter into contracts as soon as they offer a commitment to a school, prior to enrolling.
Just in case anyone is wondering: QB Arch Manning, the consensus No. 1 recruit in the 2023 class, is considering Ole Miss.
The Texas and Oklahoma collectives are growing quickly, too. Former legendary OU coach Barry Switzer announced the 1Oklahoma Collective, where every Sooners player will have an “opportunity” to earn $40,000-50,000 a year while “positively impacting the community.”
This offseason alone, Texas landed coveted transfer QB Quinn Ewers, who had a million-dollar NIL deal with Ohio State before arriving in Columbus. The Longhorns also outbid Tennessee for star transfer WR Isaiah Neyor, and landed TE Jahleel Billingsley and WR Agiye Hall from Alabama.
If you’re not raising money and spending money, you’re falling behind. But that also leads to dangerous unintended consequences.
“I told our athletic director, ‘Where do you think the money is coming from?’” an SEC coach told me. “It’s coming from the same people who gave for years to the athletics program overall. Now it’s football and basketball. You’re stealing from one to pay the other. Guess who loses out in that deal?”
3. The player procurement battle, The Epilogue
So which comes first? Winning or NIL money?
With deference to Jimbo Fisher’s passionate defense of the way his program recruits, money is increasingly becoming the factor in player procurement.
The Aggies didn’t land 8 – EIGHT! – 5-star recruits in the 2022 recruiting class because of performance. This is the same program that hasn’t won a conference championship since 1998, and whose coach can’t match the résumé produced by the previous coach (Kevin Sumlin), who was fired.
After the first 48 games as coach at Texas A&M:
— Wins: Fisher (34), Sumlin (34).
— Wins vs. ranked teams: Fisher (7), Sumlin (9).
— Wins vs. ranked teams on the road: Fisher (0), Sumlin (5).
Yet somehow Fisher and his staff landed the greatest recruiting class ever.
As adamant as Fisher was on National Signing Day in shooting down rumors of the Aggies paying top-dollar for the No. 1 class, he was dead-on accurate about one assessment: His staff worked harder than any other.
By working harder, I mean his staff figured out how to manage NIL unlike any other, and used it to supplement recruiting to an SEC school with immaculate facilities and on-field momentum.
Everyone in the SEC has state-of-the-art facilities. Every alumni base is passionate and will no doubt feed collectives.
That’s why it truly does come down to who can out-recruit the other – or who sells the process better than anyone else. Or in Texas A&M’s case, how it sells the program and The Fund, its deeply-funded collective.
Florida, Tennessee and Texas are 3 of 9 states with no state income tax, and 5 teams from the future 16-team SEC are from those 3 states. Every dollar counts, as does every advantage.
That’s why many of the sport’s elite coaches are bemoaning the problems associated with NIL and unfettered player movement. Publicly, they’re for it because it’s the only way to recruit at a high level.
Privately, they know NIL and player movement is the great equalizer.
It’s not about wins and championships anymore. It’s about money and a sales pitch.
There’s no turning back now.
4. Top of the mountain
The new world begins with money. It will grow and mature and develop into the backbone of a standalone SEC monster, built on reputation on and off the field.
The SEC is the most successful conference in college sports. Last year, the league’s revenue was $833 million, and the new, bloated ESPN contract doesn’t kick in for 2 more seasons.
A new playoff is (eventually) on the way, one that will pay out more than $1 billion annually.
The movement of star players toward the SEC (or within the SEC) is just beginning. Jermaine Burton, Jahmyr Gibbs, Spencer Rattler, O’Cyrus Torrence, Jaxson Dart, Jayden Daniels.
The SEC and Big Ten are atop the media rights money pile, and the SEC has the modern era history of winning big — and passionate alumni desperate to stay on top. The further along we get with programs figuring how to process the new system, the more players will want to be part of the SEC and playing at the elite level to showcase their NFL value.
A new NCAA president isn’t going to change things, because the NCAA as a governing body has no control over student-athletes earning money off their name, image and likeness. The Supreme Court, in its scathing 9-0 ruling last summer, took care of that.
Congress won’t get involved because it, too, doesn’t want to limit a player’s earning ability – and doesn’t want to butt heads with SCOTUS.
This is where we are, and this is how we move forward. Those who embrace it will thrive.
Those who don’t will fail.
5. The Weekly Five
Five reasons for optimism, post-spring practice: Georgia.
1. Backup QB Carson Beck’s emergence this spring will push starter Stetson Bennett to stay sharp over the summer – or risk losing the starting job.
2. Uber-talented TE Arik Gilbert took a year off and recalibrated, then showed in 15 spring practices that he hadn’t lost anything from a fabulous freshman season at LSU.
3. Brock Bowers, Darnell Washington and Oscar Delp give Georgia the most talented and deepest tight end room in the nation.
4. Watch redshirt freshman DT Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins. He’s a space-eater and can rush the passer. And he’s playing next to the best interior lineman in the game (Jalen Carter).
5. The offense could have a legitimate, consistent deep threat with WR Arian Smith.
6. Your tape is your résumé
An NFL scout evaluates a draft-eligible SEC player. This week: Ole Miss OT Nick Broeker.
“A really smooth player with quick hands. He’s a rangy guy who covers a lot of ground, and can easily reset and anchor. He’s probably a guy who will move inside when he gets to our league. He’s a tough guy who’s more physical than you’d think, and he has great balance. He’s not the longest guy, and you’d like your guys to have a little more reach. He has to be more consistent, but he made some really nice strides last season in pass protection. I’d like to see another year of that, and eliminate some of those functional mistakes like overextending.”
7. Powered Up
This week’s Power Poll, and one big thing: ranking the offensive lines.
1. Arkansas: 4 of 5 starters return, including powerful middle three of C Ricky Stromberg and Gs Brady Latham and Beaux Limmer.
2. Georgia: Broderick Jones and Warren McClendon are studs, and Sedrick Van Pran is a force in the middle.
3. Alabama: This isn’t your typical Tide O-line. Still better on talent alone than most in the SEC, but Vandy transfer Tyler Steen will have to start at one tackle, and a freshman could start at the other tackle (Elijah Pritchett?).
4. Ole Miss: WKU transfer Mason Brooks was a huge addition, and cold move Boeker inside. Jeremy James, who has started 23 games, is a strong RT.
5. Texas A&M: A young group last year played well despite the inexperience, and rising sophomores Reuben Fatheree and Bryce Foster will be big-time players.
6. LSU: Two transfers add starting experience and depth, and the emergence of freshman Will Campbell in the spring has changed the look of the line.
7. Auburn: Four projected starters – Nick Brahms, Austin Troxell, Brandon Council, Alec Jackson – missed some or all of spring because of injury. All will be ready by August camp.
8. Florida: Torrence was a big addition at guard, and will bring a nastiness and experience in the middle three along with solid C Kingsley Eguakun.
9. Tennessee: 4 of 5 starters return from a unit that got better by the end of 2021. LT Darnell Wright played well last season and has an NFL future.
10. Mississippi State: The middle 3 starters return and will be the strength of the unit. Can Nick Jones, or Middle Tennessee transfer Steven Losoya and JUCO transfer Percy Lewis, lock down at tackle?
11. Kentucky: After years of strong line play, UK enters 2022 with some significant questions on the outside. Talented 5-star freshman Kiyaunta Goodwin might be the best of the group by the end of the season.
12. South Carolina: The entire line returns from 2021, and that’s not exactly a good thing. Seven players who started at least 6 games are back, but they need to get stronger and better.
13. Missouri: Javon Foster and Zeke Powell are likely set at tackle. Other than that, it’s wide open.
14. Vanderbilt: Steen was Vandy’s best lineman, and it was limited around him in 2021. Bradley Ashmore could be solid at one tackle, and G Xavier Castillo emerged inside last season.
8. Ask and you shall receive
Matt: What’s your biggest surprise coming out of spring football? — Ken Philpot, Little Rock, Ark.
The biggest surprise — or maybe a better way to say it is biggest revelation — is the lack of talent at Florida. One source at Florida I spoke with said the new staff was “shocked” at the talent level in Gainesville when they arrived.
The starting 22 shouldn’t be a problem, but after that, the drop is significant. How far? Many of the backups and third-teamers, one staffer says, shouldn’t be playing at the Power 5 level. “Unimaginable,” is how another source explained it.
There’s a reason new Florida coach Billy Napier has been so public about the Gators being open for business in the transfer portal. He’s all but inviting unhappy players in their current situations to check out what Florida has to offer.
If you weren’t sold on the reality that former coach Dan Mullen’s recruiting handcuffed the program in 2021, you’ll see more of it in 2022 should Florida deal with injuries among the first 22 – specifically, the interior lines.
3.33. In the last 5 seasons at Notre Dame, Brian Kelly’s offense has averaged 4.95 yards per rush. Last season, LSU averaged a disturbing 3.33 yards per carry.
Despite the outside focus on quarterback (and it is a big deal), the offensive staff has zeroed in on drastically improving the run game. Change begins with Will Campbell, who already looks to have won the left tackle job.
Campbell’s emergence will likely allow Garrett Dellinger, a star freshman last season, to move inside and play guard. Transfers Miles Frazier (FIU) and Tre’Mond Shorts (East Tennessee State) could also win starting guard jobs.
More than anything, LSU is as deep as it has been on the line since 2019, though certainly not as talented. Still, the idea is a more consistent line will allow a deep and talented running back room – has talented TB John Emery finally figured it out? — to average more than 3.3 yards per carry.
10. Quite to note
Mississippi State QB Will Rogers on Georgia transfer WR Justin Robinson: “He needed reps at first, but once he got in and learned the system and got some reps under his belt, he did really well.”
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I wish all of the NIL deals made would be made public. I would really like to know what is real and what is smoke on all the money deals that are being discussed. Did UT really manage to get $8M for Nico? It seems crazy to me but if they did then it certainly isnt out of the question that ATM has $30M+ invested in that class that so many aggies say is untrue.
The NIL is a travesty. I hate it more and more each day. Sure give the players some dough but this is ridiculous.
I have tried to argue for sometime that the No State Income Tax in Tennessee will be especially beneficial for the Vols. With the majority of the States in the SEC that have Income tax at 5% plus, that makes a quite sizable difference in what you keep and take home at the end of the day. I see it all the time living in GA where the Income Tax is 5% for me. People say well the Sales Tax is where you get ahead. WRONG! GA has a 7.5% income tax, compared to 9.5% for TN, but that 5% income tax is a BIG difference. I mean a 1 million dollar NIL deal in TN will pocket you $50,000 more than in GA. Kids will definitely take notice of that if they have any sense at all.
So Tenn has to pay 5% more to get the same player. When you’re paying 8 mil for a player who cares about paying 5% more?
What is so crazy about NIL is NFL players in general aren’t killing it in NIL deals. How many national commercials do you see these guys in? Sure there are a handful of top guys but it is very limited and NFL players are much better known than CFB players. It took a super bowl win for Stanford to get a national commercial and I doubt that local deals were very lucrative. NIL is not remotely working working in the spirit of the rule. The players in general were not missing out on much based on their true NIL value. Paying unproven recruits who currently have no NIL value is crazy. They are now cashing in on pay for play not NIL and it is going to kill the sport.
Pro teams have no boosters who are financially invested in their success so pro player’s opportunities are strictly based on their success, fame, and marketability. Which is why the most pros don’t make any money on their NIL, especially backups.
College boosters don’t pay NIL money for advertising . They pay for participation. Of everyone. Market factors don’t apply. Thats the difference.
Ridiculous. Should your income be made public? Mine? Of course not. So why would player income be different? Pro contracts are divulged but that’s voluntary.
Because they are being payed to play for a public institution. Income is public domain for public employees…which is what they are now. Any outside monetary compensation has to be disclosed to avoid any conflict of interest. I also think they should now be required to pay taxes on their scholarships and room and board.
@weagle99, you are an absolute dolt. Your ignorance of the facts are astounding, these players aren’t public employees, they are independent contractors and nothing you’ve screeched us remotely accurate.
…and let me guess, you’re one of those “free market” guys that has zero understanding that there’s no such thing and there has NEVER been a free an open mark where considerable sums of money are concerned.
Here’s something some of you need to realize, other than some Hundred Dollar handshakes, Ark has been above board since joining the SEC. The Hunt Family has gotten behind NIL in a big way… I am hearing rumblings that one of the Giants in NWA are working on an NIL Package for Athletes – especially Football – that will put Arkansas on Par with EVERY Blue Blood. They know what they have in Sam, Eric, Dave and the other amazing Coaches at Arkansas and they are about to dominate. Hide and watch…
Tell us you are a socialist without telling us you’re a socialist.
Also you obviously have no clue how the $ works in college football . But you’re too dumb to try and explain it to you
I get that NIL is here and not going anywhere. Originally, NIL was to be about signing autographs, and pictures, and making some public appearances a new store openings. Man, did that escalate fast.
I want the players to be able to make money. But this is pay for play, nothing more, nothing less. Let’s not pretend that it’s something else. I’m aware that it has the potential to benefit all teams but If I’m honest, I know that my favorite team will benefit disproportionately to most college teams… as will most SEC teams. And, I hate it. I’m old and stubborn, and I hate it.
Nothing will change but, having said it, I feel a little better. Maybe a nice glass of Woodford Reserve will make me feel even better.
The Double Oaked is especially good.
That last paragraph under no. 2 is certainly concerning.
“I told our athletic director, ‘Where do you think the money is coming from?’” an SEC coach told me. “It’s coming from the same people who gave for years to the athletics program overall. Now it’s football and basketball. You’re stealing from one to pay the other. Guess who loses out in that deal?”
such a slippery slope. it’s going to be up to universities and ADs to get out in front, set-up and maintain proper appropriations of available funding coming in….and/or intended through back channels. that’s a tall order though, as certain egos within the booster communities would likely prefer credit for bringing in certain, individual players coming into a school verses maintaining a top-end softball field or first class dormitories for athletes not on the fb or bball teams.
it’s going to be really interesting to see which athletic programs maintain and/or survive. it’ll be really unfortunate to see a number of athletic teams within universities disbanded on account of an all of a sudden lack of funding.
We now have incoming freshmen making more than some NFL players. Pure lunacy. I can’t believe successful adults are willing to pay millions so they can hopefully brag about their favorite college football team. It’s entertainment. Nothing more.
‘We won because he have the wealthiest alumni” now that is going to bring in fan interest.
That’s basically Texas A&M
Actually I can see this. Nobody has more passion invested than college football fans-particularly in the SEC.
Not saying I agree with it, but I can see it. I could also see NIL influencing starting salaries in the NFL. Wonder how the league will deal with that?
I don’t see NIL having anything to do with the NFL. That’s purely a college thing.
I hate to be that old grumpy dude, but I honestly think this will end up making college football nearly unwatchable for anyone that isn’t a fan of just a handful of schools. We’re on the cusp of having about 10 schools that are fielding what would basically be NFL farm teams and all the rest being JUCO+.
I don’t think old and grumpy has anything to do with it. Truth be told the tiny playoffs have already, over the last decade or more, cut College Football down to 10 or so schools basically serving as NFL farm teams.
Uh…I think that’s where we’ve been for the last 15 years or so.
Stay grumpy! I’m right there with you.
Roughly 1/4 of the 5 stars went to one school last year. The number of teams that have a realistic chance or winning a NC was already small and it is shrinking.
I’m definitely a grumpy old man. I fell in love with Auburn Football because I was a student and there’s a sense of loyalty that players shared. Those days are dead. So is my passion for college football.
I think Matt is one of the best if not the best writer here even if he is usually wrong on anything predictive. This one is his best column ever imo. He hit the nail on the head about NIL. It is the best articulation of the new reality that I have seen. He made one point that I had not considered; the lack of a state income tax in Fla, TX, Tenn. That is not an obstacle that cant be overcome, but it means schools in taxed states will have to pony up more in NIL money to compensate.
Another article implying that this recruiting class was based solely on NIL. That it has nothing to do with the constant upgrades to facilities and the coaching. Take a break from this narrative. It’s old and worn out. Why would this money not be spent to keep Kenyon, Peevy, O neal, Wydemyer, and Johnson in school another year?
Also the comparison to Sumlin through 48 games is misleading. Sumlin was fired for what happened after those games. Running off two 5 star QBs, blowing a huge lead to UCLA, coaching staff, ect…
I believe TAM absolutely scored their best class because of NIL money. They’ve never recruited that well before. Not even close. But that isn’t a criticism. Thats a compliment. It shows that Tex AM was creative regarding the NIL and ahead of the curve this year. And why everyone else is playing catch up.
Well done TAM
“Not even close”? Jimbo’s last 8 rankings before his #1:
16 (transition to A&M class)
The #1 class is less about NIL and more about issues at OU, Texas, LSU and Jimbo’s ability to walk out of Georgia with multiple high end recruits.
No one says NIL has NOTHING to do with it. Only that it’s not the ONLY reason A&M got the class. Jimbo is a consistent top 10 recruiter. Also, A&M directly benefitted from their main in-state rival going 5-7 as well as coaching changes at Oregon, Oklahoma, Miami, Florida and LSU. Lots of stars aligned.
sure, a lot of stars aligned….but to put it in astronomical terms, the sun was NIL.
Here is Texas 8&4 with their delusional take on recruiting again.
Four 5 stars in the last 3 years, team looked terrible at the end of last season and all of a sudden the highest ranked #1 recruiting class with 8 five stars.
Don’t blame the rest of us for not believing Jimbo.
*Five 5 stars in the three years before this class.
Also, you realize the 9-1 season had a big impact on these recruits right?
The same season where you got boat raced 52-24 by the only elite team that you didn’t play at home. I wonder how you would have fared had you played Florida in the Swamp…
no, i don’t think that 9-1 season carried any real impact, let a lone a ‘big’ impact. especially, when you consider that it was sandwiched in between an 8-5 and 8-4 season.
why are a&m fans so offended by the label that NIL money bought that recruiting class? as far as we know, a&m didn’t do anything illegal. in fact, you should be proud and embrace the notion that your brain trust was first to the party, while the other schools were a step behind.
Please don’t tell me that you are implying Florida was elite that year.
“I wonder how you would have fared had you played Florida in the Swamp…” Well we didn’t. So take your L and move along.
Imperial, I want to pose this question again. Are you implying that 8-4 Florida in 2020 was elite? If so, that is the most hypocritical statement I may have ever seen. “Texas 8&4 got boat raced by the only elite team they played on the road! Imagine what ELITE 8&4 Florida would have done to them in the swamp!”. LOL.
…perhaps throw two shoes?
First of all, UGA fans should be the last to speak. That Florida team arguably gave Kirby his most embarrassing loss. Dominated in all sides of the ball with a score that could have been a lot worse had Mullen not placed his foot on the brake…
And yes that Florida team had an elite offense and was in 2020 a top 3 team in terms of a power rating and fell off after the LSU game not because it wasn’t good but because it had cultural issues. People forget that Florida played the greatest Alabama team of all time in that SEC Championship game and still was a timeout away from beating them.
Had Florida played any team not named Alabama (or Ohio State) in that SEC Championship, I can guarantee you that they would have beaten them. Texas A&M beat us because of a fumble and most importantly, because we played you in College Station and you were in wounded animal mode after being embarrassed by Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The same exact thing happened to Alabama this year. You beat them after being embarrassed by Arkansas and Miss State consecutively and were in wounded animal mode.
The TAMU fan logic is the same exact logic that Michigan State fans tried to use against Michigan this year because they beat them in East Lansing in a thriller game. Put that game in a neutral site or in Ann Arbor and Michigan easily wins. The same thing with Florida and TAMU in 2020.
Florida was a better team that got screwed over by schedule dynamics and Mullen’s arrogant decision to sit Pitts out for LSU which significantly reduced Florida’s offensive ability in the redzone resulting in 2 costly turnovers in the redzone, turnovers that are nearly guaranteed touchdowns had Pitts (who would have forced a double team on him) been playing.
Florida 2020 was a better team than TAMU 2020. Ask any sports bettor they would favor Florida over TAMU in a neutral site.
You left out the part about Strickland’s back pocket SEC Commissioner buddy juggling the cv d1 9 schedule around to force UGa to spend a month living out of a suitcase including travel to an impromptu away game to Ky the week before, and allowing pack the stands Danny boi and Fla to stay home and rest/recover from cv d19 for a month straight in the run up to the WLOCP. We saw the real Fla that year when they finally had to play 8 games in a row like the rest of the competition and lost 3 of them…
You are the king of excuses. This is hilarious. We beat you head to head with the most vanilla Kyle Field crowd in probably 100 years bc of the restrictions. and Mullen STILL complained. So 8-4 Florida = Elite, but 9-1 A&M (with a head to head over Florida) = not as good as Florida.
“We lost to A&M because of a fumble”. Hey Imperial, last time I checked that is a part of football you blithering buffoon.
“You were in wounded animal mode”. Again, how does that discredit the win?
You speak with such certainty regarding conjectures and hypothetical situations, yet you fail to acknowledge actual occurrences. “We would have killed you at home or at a neutral site” is not an argument, bud.
It is the argument made in Vegas. I look at statistics and power ratings when judging team’s. I don’t even think that TAMU team was a top 5 team that year. You barely beat UNC and UNC was missing its best receiver and two best running backs.
Bama, Ohio State, Clemson, Florida, UGA, Oklahoma, and prob Iowa State would all beat TAMU in a neutral site. An argument could also be made for Notre Dame and the regular season UNC team.
Again, ask any bettor, if they matched up Florida and TAMU in a neutral site they would favor Florida. That’s not an excuse that’s a fact.
So you pivoted your argument midway through. Nice. I could give a flying you know what about Vegas odds. On-field results speak more than your hypothetical scenarios and assumptions. Since when is “barely beating” a team a two score win. We won 41-27 and dominated the second half of the football game. Good try though.
You have to be a troll. I honestly cannot fathom how arrogant or plain stupid someone has to be to talk in absolutes about fictitious scenarios 2 years ago. We won Florida lost. Take the L and move along.
Then how do you explain ESPN’s FPI still having Florida ahead of Texas A&M after Florida barely lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship. I’ll wait…
Jimbo is offended because he works hard on recruiting and has had success long before NIL existed. He has finished in the top 6 classes 9 times in his 14 seasons. It’s no mystery what Texas A&M has to offer in the way of school, culture and opportunity for the NFL and beyond. Go ask why the kids are suddenly drawn to Jackson State – now that’s a much better question.
Jimbo has been a really good recruiter but not this level. The truth is A&M hasn’t won anything of note. The 9-1 season didn’t get anyone excited except A&M fans. No SEC championship game, no playoff game, and nobody really cares about New Years six games. Yes you have great facilities but so do all of the top teams. Great academics have never helped in recruiting and in many cases have hurt. I don’t understand why A&M fans are so sensitive about it. They figured about the system and have more money than most to spend on it.
Jumbo has indeed always been a respectable recruiter, this is undeniable…and now that he’s leaving the co-eds alone, he seems even more focused, throw in a back pocket full of NIL deals and sky’s the limit for ol’ crabdaddy…
I advise Matt Hayes to go read Andy Staples’ article on The Athletic about what went behind in regards to NIL in the ’22 class. Loved the silence on its CFB subreddit thread.
And comparing Jimbo’s first 48 games to Sumlin’s is not the right comparison. Just like the comment above, it’s what happened after that led to Sumlin’s firing. You can’t put the two in the same graph and project Jimbo’s to do the same based on similar trend. You think CFB is that simple and linear. What an idiot.
I am not a Jimbo fan by any means, although I readily concede that he is an elite recruiter and offensive coordinator/QB coach.
That said, my recollection is that Sumlin’s teams couldn’t finish games in the fourth quarter, and Jimbo’s first couple seasons at A&M were ridiculously tough schedules. Similar records but totally different circumstances.
2018 went 9-4. (Losses = #2 Clemson at home by 2; #1 Bama on the road; and unranked Auburn and Miss St on the road in back to back weeks)
2019 went 8-5. (Losses = #1 Clemson (road), #8 Auburn (home), #1 Bama (home), #4 UGA (road), and #2 LSU (road)
I would say that is a pretty tough baptism for Jimbo. 7 of the 9 losses in his first 2 years were to top 10 teams. 6 against top 5 teams. Now if we keep on losing these games, I will be worried. Bu the straw man comparisons to Sumlin’s record does not carry as much weight as people think.
And before band wagoning the 30MIL purchase, why don’t you actually look into the situation that happened around Texas recruiting region in 2021 & 2022 instead of trying to make sense of what happened years before and the unprecedented number of sheer top talent in the Houston area.
Y’all write all these articles on the coaching carousels and instability for the schools that recruit in Texas heavily and still can’t connect the dots. Again, what an idiot.
All I see is complaining. We won the battle. The war has yet to be decided. Instead of griping about “Texa$ A&M” and “Texas8&4”, why don’t some of you inbreds give some credit where credit is due.
You failed to mention the INSURANCE that players can purchase. Many times the NCAA provides the funds and then the player either pays it back from their NFL contract or from Insurance proceeds should they suffer injuries that impact their ability to play! I know it’s not as much as the multimillion contracts, but they’re not left empty handed.
College football has never been fair. Gross disparities have always existed in alumni financial support, access to recruits and brand.
Most fans and coaches who bemoan NIL are from the traditional football powers and don’t like seeing their unfair advantages disrupted by upstarts like Texas A&M.
But to the extent that Texas A&M reeled in some of their recent 5-star haul with NIL (Jimbo is in fact an elite recruiter and A&M did in fact enjoy a confluence of favorable events and circumstances), is that really any less fair than Alabama, Ohio State or Georgia starting each season with more talented rosters than most of their opponents largely because the rich tend to get richer?
NIL won’t make college football fair, but it may somewhat dilute the concentration of talent at the top programs.
Expect the recruiters at legacy football powers to start comparing NFL earning potential to NIL money. And expect NIL proponents to push “hedge against future uncertainty” arguments.
Dilute the concentration of talent? I reserve the right to say I doubt that…What’s to stop the top athletes from taking huge NIL deal offers to go play for CBN, and transferring out a few years later to say, a Nick Saban get me ready for the NFL type program? NIL deals don’t seem to be contingent on staying at the college selected from what I’ve been reading about some of the ludicrous deals…
I don’t think you’re wrong about the “get paid for a year and jump ship” idea. Although I’d be very surprised if NIL contract provisions don’t quickly evolve to address that. Call it the “Ewers Adjustment.”
But it’s inevitable that the top 100 players in each class will get spread out across more programs, in a manner similar to the at least temporary leveling of the playing field that occurred after the 85 scholarship rule went into effect.
I think staff player development ability is overrated. Great college coaching staffs are a revolving door and head coaches don’t have time to do much teaching. But being able to benefit from a premier S&C program and to practice against more talented players are very big deals.
NIL…Many of us were very skeptical concerning this “pay to play” scenario that NIL brings. Most of us still believe that a commitment to play a sport for a university is a Commitment. Playing all and the college life off the playing field were to be enjoyed, as many of us enjoyed our college years. But for some elite athletes, all of that seems to have disappeared…now Ca$h is king. Few athletes or fans ever dreamed of buying a H.S. Quarterback for a $8 Million NIL deal. If NIL is not controlled the game of college football, which we all love will morph into something that was not ever intended & sadly those seats in our mega-stadiums will not be filled. NIL must be regulated…or else.