Some bold media predictions for 2017

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand posted predictions for sports media for the upcoming year. Among the more notable for college football fans: Fox will work out a deal to televise Big Ten football, sharing resources with the Big Ten Network.

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CFP solution: Why not create Power Five conference semifinals?

College Football Playoff logoWhy don’t the Power Five conferences have semifinals?

Now, don’t dismiss. Just hear me out. … You’re very quick to dismiss.

I’d like to offer a proposal for the ongoing debate about who should make it into the College Football Playoff, especially the argument about why conference champions should not be omitted. To many, the solution is to expand the CFP to six or eight teams. I’m suggesting the playoff expansion start from within the schedule of Power Five conferences.

Again, just hear me out.

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TV: College football games nobody watched (practically)

The Florida International-Western Kentucky game on Nov. 5 had approximately 2,000 television viewers, according to the data on Sports Media Watch, and it was one of nine games in the 2016 season that had more in attendance than actually watching from home.

Only 2,000?

FIU and Western Kentucky had an attendance of 15,516 (that’s seven times-plus the number of TV viewers). So, rounding up, that’s about 18,000 total people caring enough to watch that game.

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Most wonderful time of the year: Bowl gifts

Hawaii Bowl giftThe bowl season is here and, once again, the participants will have their stockings filled — no matter if they lose or win, naughty or nice. The 49 bowls will be giving players quite an array of gifts this season, according to the Sports Business Journal.

Most bowls give the same lineup of gifts: A watch, a bowl signature beanie and/or cap, sunglasses, an autographed “big game” football, and the mysterious “gift suite,” which contains almost anything.

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Well, with that name, did anyone else stand a chance?

Jake Butt top tight end

(The headline writer did this on purpose, right? … It’s from NCAA.com … Maybe it’s just my sophomoric sense of humor.)

The winner for the award for the nation’s best tight end went to Jake Butt, a Michigan senior.

Butt was announced on Wednesday (Dec. 7) as the recipient of the John Mackey Award presented by the Friends of John Mackey. The award honors the most outstanding tight end in college football.

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Heisman Trophy: Five headed to NYC

Heisman TrophyWhen the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner is revealed on Saturday, there will be five players anxiously awaiting his name to be called.

The Downtown Athletic Club announced that the finalists for this year’s award are Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson (considered the overwhelming favorite), Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (making his second consecutive trip to the event), Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook and Michigan defensive back Jabrill Peppers.

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Big Ten commissioner among most influential

Big Ten logoThe Sports Business Journal released its 50 most influential people in sports business Tuesday, and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney is highest ranked personality directly related to college athletics.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver tops the list, followed by Bob Iger (Disney) and John Skipper (ESPN) — tied for second — and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

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Remainder of 2016-17 bowl schedule announced

The complete bowl schedule was announced today, and not every “great game” will be played in CFP — speaking about the Alamo, Belk, Texas and Citrus, in particular.

The other “New Year’s Bowls” were announced after the CFP pairings (all times Eastern):

  • Orange Bowl: Michigan vs. FSU, Dec. 30, 8 p.m. on ESPN
  • Cotton Bowl: Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin, Jan. 2, 1 p.m., Fox
  • Rose: USC vs. Penn State, Jan. 2, 5 p.m., ESPN
  • Sugar: Auburn vs. Oklahoma, Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

COMPLETE BOWL SCHEDULE (below)

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CFP: Bama vs. Washington; Clemson vs. Ohio State

Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington are the Final Four teams for this season’s College Football Playoff, the CFP selection committee announced Sunday.

No. 1 seed Alabama will take on No. 4 Washington in the Chik-Fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta while No. 2 Clemson will face No. 4 Ohio State at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. Both semifinals will be on Dec. 31.

The semifinal winners will meet for the national title Jan. 9 in Tampa, Florida.

Did you know that more teams will make a bowl this year than won’t? If you didn’t know that, did you know that has happened almost every year for more than a decade? In fact if you’re team hasn’t made a bowl in the past 10 years … well, let’s just say you might want to consider rooting for another team.

Yes, there are too many bowls. And yet I’ll likely watch them all. (What’s wrong with me?)

College Football Playoff schedule

Semifinals

Dec. 31

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: 3 p.m. Eastern, ESPN, Georgia Dome, Atlanta. No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Washington Huskies

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: 7 p.m. Eastern, ESPN
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz. No. 2 Clemson vs No. 3 Ohio State

Championship

Jan. 9

College Football Playoff National Championship: 8 p.m. Eastern, ESPN, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.

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Tailgate recipe: Brunswick stew

brunswick-stewBrunswick stew is my favorite side at the most reputable barbecue places in the South. In fact, if you’re favorite place to order BBQ doesn’t have Brunswick stew, you need a new favorite.

The origin of this thick, meaty stew has been debated, mostly between Brunswick, Ga., and Brunswick County, Va. The story first told to me was that a politician in pre-Civil War fed those who rallied for him this concoction. Well, even that story doesn’t jibe with the Virginians.

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