Slant Pattern Mailbag

Welcome to the latest edition of the Slant Pattern mailbag! As always, we do not get any questions ourselves, so we poach them from websites that do.

First, up Chris Vannini of The Athletic has a G5 mailbag. "Joe B." writes in to ask:

"Any further discussions about realignment of G5 conferences to save money and travel?"

I assume Joe is asking this question within the context of Covid. If so, I don't think so. Realignment would be a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Additionally, with some exceptions in Conference USA and the AAC, the G5 conferences are already pretty much as geographically constrained as they can be without promoting FCS and D2 schools.

What I'm surprised we are seeing more of is temporary solutions to the temporary problems of Covid. For example, why aren't schools ditching their far-flung non-conference games that are harder to control for Covid in favor of quickly drawn-up in-state games? Texas/Texas A&M, anybody? Florida/Miami? Even less sexy matchups like Oklahoma/Tulsa are better than nothing, or nothing until spring. Granted, this idea works better in states like Ohio and Louisiana than it does in states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, and New York, but still.

At NBC Sports' White Sox blog, "Typical Sox Fan" asks:

"Do you think the Sox would change their symbol/jersey in the coming years? This is the longest they have ever kept one style."

Probably not, for two reasons. No. 1, I think they have figured out that calligraphy really works for baseball marketing. No. 2. I think they are pretty deeply invested in the importance of sticking to what works considering they came up with the worst uniform idea in the history of major professional sports.

Over at awkwardly-named "Sportspac12 Magazine," we have a Oregon State fan, Harold of Philomath, Oregon, who's had it up to here and wants to know:

"What will Wayne Tinkle have to do to get canned next year? I'm pretty much done."

Next year? I think he'd pretty much have to go 0-for-conference or 5 wins or less overall.

Listen, every power-five fan wants to compete for conference championships regularly and national championships occasionally, but that's just not realistic for some programs and, so sorry, Oregon State is one of them. So expectations need to be adjusted, and here's the thing about Tinkle: his .389 winning percentage in conference play despite having a 1-17 season in there is the best an Oregon State coach has managed since Jim Anderson (1990-1995). His overall winning percentage of .475 is the best a Beaver head coach has mustered since Ralph Miller himself (1971-1989). He's also guided the Beavs to their only Big Dance appearance since 1990. He beats Oregon, too.

So barring a complete collapse, Tinkle has bought himself several more years at the helm, even though that won't include any conference championships.

Turning back to college football, "Michael S." presents a poser to Stewart Mandel's mailbag at the Athletic:

"Which will happen first: mega-conferences, an eight-team playoff or scheduling standards (such as no FCS opponents)?"

I'll start with what I think will not happen: scheduling standards. What Covid is teaching us is there is not a strong central governing body in college football. At the same time, different conferences and universities have different scheduling standards — the Pac-12 and Big Ten have both floated the idea of not scheduling FCS teams at different times, but the SEC, who feels they have the toughest conference and needs an FCS breather every now and then, has not.

This makes it hard for me to believe that all of FBS, or even all of the power five conference, are going to be willing to come together for some sort of scheduling standard. No one will be willing to back down. If they do, it won't be for tougher non-conference scheduling, as even the Pac-12 and Big Ten have backed off of that.

That leaves mega-conferences vs. an 8-team playoff as the next thing to happen. The great realignments of 2010-2014 seem like they were longer ago than they actually were, but while I think big school AD's are always looking to consolidate and expand their school's power, I think we are still going to be digesting the last big realignment meal for another decade or two. So put me down for an 8-team playoff being the first of those things to pass. Maybe even a 12- or -16 team playoff coming before mega-conferences or scheduling rules.

... or not, for in the same mailbag, Jacob G asks:

"What's the point in a college football season if only a handful teams ever have a chance to compete for a championship year in and year out?"

Shit. He's right. Shut down college football, boys, there's no point.

Leave a Comment

Featured Site