The Strangest College Football Season Ever – 2021
Remember when we had the COVID_19 (insert joke about how there was never a real pandemic or get triggered- either/or that is not what this is about), and the global pandemic effect upset the WHOLE 2020 NCAA FBS football season?
And remember how the B1G was all like-- "We need to cancel the WHOLE 2020 season"? And also how the PAC 12 was in agreement? And then how the SEC was more like, "It's not big deal that the states our schools are in have a >33% positivity rate compared to you >20%-- we are still playing football"? And then the BIG 12 was all, "Yeah, we are going to ride with the SEC-- have fun with no football, though." And then we still had football-- even if it was an adjusted/abbreviated schedule?
You remember all of that right? And we thought that college football could not get any more strange?
Then 2021 happened-- this has been the strangest season ever. But so, so fun...
THE 9-0 SUPREME COURT NIL DECISION
In June, college athletes had pushed hard enough to possibly reshape college athletics as we know it-- for years student-athletes had even tried (successfully) to stop video games from using their name, image and likeness. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court, in an unanimous decision, ruled that the NCAA rules are not reasonably necessary to distinguish between college and professional sports.
Students in all sports, but let's be very honest-- mostly football, could make money off of their name image and likeness. It was rumored that future Alabama QB Bryce Young was close to making 7 figures before he even took a snap under center for the Crimson Tide.
If you have followed college football, you know why Reggie Bush wants his Heisman Trophy reinstated and that Chase Young should have never been suspended.
OKLAHOMA AND TEXAS JUMP CONFERENCES
In July, the board of regents in Texas and Oklahoma unanimously voted to formally accept invitations to join the SEC.
This lead to a conference alignment frenzy and also too much speculation that the BIG 12 was dead and so was the future of conference football. The PAC 12, ACC, and B1G conferences all made an alliance in August-- the agreement between the three conferences was described as a "collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics and scheduling." but in reality it was to stop the SEC from any single hold they have on college football.
WE FINALLY HAVE FOOTBALL AND CINNCY(DERELLA) IS CRASHING THE BALL
Such a great year of games but we are so close to seeing a first time in the College Football Playoffs that a team outside of the Power 5 in the playoffs. Although the Bearcat beat a Top 10 Notre Dame team, the committee had kept them out of the initial playoff rankings for the first 3 week until (because of losses and UCINN wins) they could no longer keep them out. All the Bearcats have to do is win against #24 Houston in the American Conference Championship and they are in.
Also-- for the first time ever, Florida State, Texas, Nebraska and USC will all finish the season with losing records. EVER.
CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND IS MISSING FAMILIARITY
This Saturday in Indianapolis, the Iowa Hawkeyes will face the Michigan Wolverines for the B1G Championship. Iowa is representing the West for the just the second time-- first since 2015. The Wolverines won the East for the first time ever.
The Big XII Conference Championship will be without the Oklahoma Sooners for the first time ever since they resumed the Championship game-- there was a hiatus from 2010-2017. Baylor will face Oklahoma State in Saturday's game.
THE STRANGE COACHING CAROUSEL
Odd things started to happen after the regular season games ended this past weekend. Reports started to flood the internet that Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma's head coach, was leaving to go to USC. Seemed like just internet rumors-- but hold up, they were true. He left for L.A. and so did some of the Oklahoma 2023 committed players.
I love this...
Then Notre Dame, who still has a 58% chance to make the College Football Playoffs, started to hear faint rumors that LSU was courting head coach Brian Kelly to take over the duties in Baton Rouge in 2022. And they became true. Coach Kelly had to verify those rumors via text to his players.
I don't know many people who has accused Brian Kelly of being a good person but this will quiet any of those voices...
AND THE SEASON IS NOT OVER YET
That is what makes this crazy-- Championship Saturday is days away and we have the playoffs coming up. Plus, these vacancies have created coaching situations for bowl games, speculation of coaches leaving, and contract extension to coaches whose schools are paranoid they will leave them.