Hot Takes From College Football’s Media Days

As Steve Spurrier once said, the "talking season" is in full swing as conferences held their Media Day events.

As usual, coaches came up to sing praises about their teams, provide a lot of coachspeak and then, throw a rare opinion on the grill for us to consider. Here's some of those notable statements from across the country that definitely put a spark into this year's talking season.

ACC: Larry Fedora, North Carolina

"Our game is under attack. I fear the game will be pushed so far from what we know that we won't recognize it in 10 years. And if it does, our country goes down, too."

Fedora was referring to the criticism from many that the game of football leads to players having CTE, which has been the cause of many mental issues and notable suicides amongst former football greats. Fedora went on to say that he hasn't seen anything that proves football causes CTE.

This is a pretty awful response; it's a pretty big overreaction to what needs to happen. Football needs to take a clue from NASCAR, who made substantial improvements to HANS devices and to tracks nationwide following the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt. The sport needs to continue to invest in ways to protect the head ... be it equipment, facility changes, treatments ... whatever it takes. The sport doesn't need to reinvent itself; it just needs to show it will go the extra mile to protect those who love to play it.

SEC: Nick Saban, Alabama

"We should play all teams in the Power 5 conferences."


Saban couldn't be more right on this one. The Power 5 schools (64 of them) need to split off from the rest of the FBS and then do the following....

* Dissolve the Big 12 and create four, 16-team conferences, each with two divisions.

* Play four non-conference games, a game against someone in the other division and seven round robin games against their division rivals.

* Champions of each division meet in their conference title game (playoff quarterfinal), winners are ranked and become the current College Football Playoff.

Easy. Simple. Clean.

As for the Group of 5 teams, they need to take the upper tier of the FCS (cough, North Dakota State, cough) and create their own playoff. That way, UCF can claim a national title without anyone shaking their heads about it or heavily disputing it.

Big 12: Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma

"I don't know if people on the outside or even maybe us on the inside understand how different that rule is."

Riley was talking about the new redshirt rule, allowing a player to play in four games in a season and still qualify for a redshirt.

This is a fantastic new rule. Players that are injured three games into the year need no longer worry. Freshman who haven't experienced the faster college game live will get a chance to play. And, in the fourth quarter when a game is in a total blowout, there will be no excuse not to take starters out and give a lot of young players a chance to gain experience.

This one is easy. It's a total winner and a surprisingly good move by the NCAA.

AAC: Mike Aresco, Commissioner

"I salute the UCF Knights on their great undefeated season, and on the national championship that they have a right to claim."

Let's be very frank. If any website out there had declared UCF as the national champion, they would've taken it and run with it.

And why not? It's great publicity, the marketing is easy and the sales from merchandising go through the roof, none of which are negatives.

Aresco is right; schools are claiming national titles in a lot of ways. Even recently, Auburn was considering claiming a slew of national titles, including 2004, a season in which they finished undefeated, yet not one outlet claimed them to be the national champion over Southern Cal.

Which leads me to say the following: Pre-BCS, if the AP, UPI, Football Writers of America, or USA Today/Coaches didn't declare you the best, you shouldn't claim it. If those four polls split their choice of national title pick, it's a shared title. BCS: The BCS champ is the national champion. CFP: The CFP winner is the national champion.

Yes, UCF has every right to claim it, market it and sell it. But a title off of a computer matrix? I'm not going to recognize it.

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