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641 entries.
Bob Gillen Bob Gillen from Chattanooga wrote on 2017/12/31 at 2:14 PM:
I don't think there is much argument regarding the Big Ten's success in the bowl games. Are there metrics that give the relative strengths of the various football conferences?
I enjoy your show on the SEC TV network.
jerry kochendoerfer jerry kochendoerfer from warren mi wrote on 2017/12/30 at 10:52 AM:
i believe i have the best solution in determining the 4 teams to play in the college football championship. take the five conference champions and through a reliable polling agency rate them 1 thru 5, teams 4 and5 will play in a "wildcard game". the winner will be rated number 4 and play the 1st ranked team. advantages- you are adding a 5th team, eliminates the playoff committee and saves millions of dollars not to mention controversy. the end result is settled on the field not in a boardroom. the only disadvantage that i see is that one team could possibly play 16 games. this possibility is very remote because the 4th or 5th ranked team would have to beat number 1.
CVN CVN from Indianapolis wrote on 2017/12/28 at 9:58 AM:
Three Good Reasons Why Alabama DOES NOT BELONG in the College Football Playoffs:

1. Alabama Never Won their Division

2. Alabama Never Won their Conference

3. Alabama Had A Weak Strength of Schedule
Sam Aloia Sam Aloia from SLC ut wrote on 2017/12/22 at 8:34 PM:
check this Union out it is simple & compelling it is a new way distributing wealth coach Sam Here is my link PAY'M coach sam
Sam Aloia Sam Aloia from SLC ut wrote on 2017/12/22 at 3:29 PM:
I called earlier today I was told that Paul will not take you tube addresses on the TV show I have a video on YouTube I think I would like you to see I have twittered your program twice with the link --8my Twitter name is coachsam1950 The YouTube video is titled THE UNIONIZATION of COLLEGE FOOTBALL--it is very important that someone like Paul look at this thank you for your time my home number on my landline is 801-352-7146 thank you for your time go to sale
Rebecca Rebecca from Madison wrote on 2017/12/22 at 2:50 PM:
Today is Dec 22. Paul took a call from a female Alabama fan. Lady is almost 80. She was distressed about the Sugar Bowl and specifically mentioned injuries. Paul said nothing about 7-8 players being game ready to play Clemson. Aside from Hamilton and Moses I think we r well.

It’s been an injury filled season. Starting w two valuable starters out and from there it seemed like Noah’s Ark every game-players out two by two. Paul should have informed her of the current injury report and helped her feel better about the situation.

I certainly enjoy the addition of Laura
Bruce Bruce from Nashville wrote on 2017/12/22 at 9:47 AM:
Paul-I noticed that several early football signees are also entering for the spring semester rather than the occasional enrollee. This will impact the long term success of the programs. You would also assume this will create more early signings in the coming years and supplant the spring signing. Enjoy the show. Thanks.
Ryan Ryan from Mooresville wrote on 2017/12/20 at 3:22 PM:
I'm a life long Gator fan. Paul I want your input on the Gators chances on being in the top 15 in recruiting this year we made some head way so far but with Dan Mullen at head coach do you see Florida winning 9 or 10 games in the coming season or seasons
Tony Stallard Tony Stallard from Lexington, KY wrote on 2017/12/19 at 2:42 PM:
Objects on the wall behind Paul, on set.

Object in motion appears to be the iconic SHURE 55 microphone such as seen in the hand of Elvis Presley; others at Sun Records, Memphis.

The stationary object is an antenna with signal in motion.

Stevo Stevo from Ravenswood, WV wrote on 2017/12/18 at 3:12 PM:
I learned about being a Do-Bee and not being a Don't-Bee from watching Romper Room many years ago. Let's update that to don't be a Jim-B!
Bob Wright Bob Wright wrote on 2017/12/18 at 3:07 PM:
The Finebaum Show with Laura Rutledge has turned into a joke. First of all, it is so silly that it is hard to watch, unless you are a 12 year old. Second, anyone who would suggest that Kirby Smart would not be where he is without Nick Saban, is totally misinformed, and I' not even an Alabama fan, I'm from Texas. Third, you guys keep talking about Jim's suspension and you may be opening yourself up to a lawsuit. Anyone with any sense knows that Jim has some problems.
Andy Golubic Andy Golubic from Cortland wrote on 2017/12/18 at 12:19 PM:
Jim Harbaugh publicly berates and disparages his own players as "not being good enough" and then jumps on a private jet, complete with Michigan logo, to take players from Ole Miss out to breakfast. When did you ever think you would see the head football coach at the University of Michigan be so desperate to to be the first in line to prey on troubled players from another school. Way to go Jim. A true "Michigan Man". Great example you just set for all those players in your locker room. Wonder if that locker room is divided? maybe splintered is a better word. So the U of M president, AD, Board of Directors and Board of Regents must all "on Board" with these tactics. Haven't heard anything from them so far. Would you for a second think that Bo, Gary Moeller or Lloyd Carr would have even thought of something like this, let alone have done it? Maybe this really is " The Michigan Way" under Jim Harbaugh. Players, their parents and families, recruits and their families are seeing the "Snake Oil" that Jim Harbaugh is peddling. It is extremely Toxic and its side effects are long lasting. BEWARE !!!It is also very disturbing to hear college football analysts actual condoning and applauding Jim Harbaugh's antics.
Mark Mark from Trrussville wrote on 2017/12/15 at 5:48 PM:
Called 50 times. I have factual info to support one thing for Jim, clear up a ruse from Ned, and correct the caller about Decatur golf. Jims not the only one stretching the truth. My cell is 205.914.0646
Jamie Jamie from SweetWater wrote on 2017/12/15 at 4:27 PM:
Ban Jim
Thank goodness
Please keep ban going
I am on the Ban Jim train
Chad McBroom Chad McBroom from Alabama wrote on 2017/12/15 at 3:47 PM:
Why has the media gave LSU so much flak for losing to a good Troy team? It is not like they lost to Alabama A & M. Troy was number 26 in total Def. when Auburn was number 25. Troy is also number 11 in rush def. They went 10-2 on the season and won the sun belt. Also they have a runnung back in Jordan Chunn that has produced 3678 total yards for his career around 5 yards per carry with 47 total touchdowns. It looks like people have forgotten how close of a game they gave Clemson last year ( #1 team in the country) Call a spade a spade, don't degrade a team when they got beat by a better team. Troy's total stats for the years as a whole is better than teams such as: Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, and the list can go on. I know there schedule is not the best, but look at what happened when they have played high caliber teams the last two years! Thank you, and I enjoy your show! Keep up the good work!
Mike Jordan Mike Jordan from Gulf Shores, AL wrote on 2017/12/15 at 3:35 PM:
Can Paul give a shout out to the University of West Florida football coach , team, and staff for making it to the championship game for Division II football in only its second season of football. ESPB2 will televise the championship game tomorrow.
Bill Rice, Jr. Bill Rice, Jr. from Pike Road, AL wrote on 2017/12/15 at 2:27 PM:
Alabama getting the chance to play for a national title was a much bigger deal than many may realize

Earlier this month I got worked up because I thought some of our state’s sports talk show hosts were not being nearly forceful enough in making the case Alabama deserved to be in the playoffs. More specifically, it rubbed me the wrong way these guys didn’t seem to appreciate just how big a deal it was for Alabama and its fans to play for a national title, especially when the Tide’s case to be in the playoffs was clearly superior to Ohio State’s.

Since some pundits seemingly didn’t fully appreciate why so many of us were so intensely interested in the committee’s decision, I decided to spell it out for them. By today’s date, my agitation has faded. However, I do think a presentation of the numerous reasons this decision was massively important to the University of Alabama, its athletic department, alumni and fans might be of interest to students of college football.

Some of these reasons seem self-evident; others might not be so obvious. To me, the sum of these points confirms how one decision made by 10 people could be so important to so many people. So, yes, this decision was a very big deal.

(Author’s aside: After I wrote this, I went back and numbered all the reasons I came up with that the committee’s decision was a “big deal.” This number ended up being 16. The symbolism and significance of this number to Alabama fans need not be explained.)

‘Punch in the gut’ to millions of fans did not happen
ONE. Surely we can all stipulate that the interest in and passion for “Alabama football” among millions of fans is almost unrivaled. If “interests” were determined via a poll and then ranked in order, for many people, “Crimson Tide football” would rank only behind family (including job and income considerations) and religious convictions. Now, one might argue that such a passionate interest in a game, or in one team, is warped, but as Nick Saban might say, “it is what it is.”

If Alabama had been left out of the playoffs in favor of Ohio State, millions of people who care so much about their team would have experienced the figurative equivalent of a punch in the gut. The fact this omission would have been viewed as grossly unfair by most Bama fans would have made this blow even more deflating and unpalatable.

TWO. Approximately 100 Alabama players would have been (unfairly in the minds of Alabama fans) denied the chance to play for a national title. For all we know these players might never get another chance to obtain the national title ring that is so important to them.
It was these guys who put in the work and the sweat, who overcame an epidemic of injuries, who won week after week despite getting their opponents’ very best efforts. If these young men’s sacrifices and consistent level of stellar play had not been rewarded with a playoff bid, it would have been a crying shame.

‘Wait until next year’ (ah, maybe not)
THREE. Also, if Alabama is going to win its 17th national title and Nick Saban is going to tie Paul Bryant for most career national titles, it better do so THIS YEAR.

Next season Alabama will compete for this chance with a roster that will be without dozens of its best players. The Tide will lose all six of its top defensive backs, two starting inside linebackers, two starting defensive linemen, its leading receiver, its All-American center and perhaps its two best running backs. If you are an Alabama fan, the battle cry of “wait until next year” might not provide the level of solace it has in the past. “Better NOT wait until next year” might be a more apropos statement this year.

FOUR. The opportunity to play for a national title is the “Rosetta Stone” of the sport. For most, it’s the reason the seasons and games are played. National titles - the rare opportunity to play for them - is clearly a “big deal” - even for a program that has won so many.

Money, money, money, money … money
The direct economic costs of Alabama being denied a chance to play in the playoffs would be significant. However, the “indirect costs” of NOT making the playoffs would likely be far larger, and even more significant to both the athletic department and the university. And, as I attempt to show below, the “long-term costs” might have qualified as “program changing.”

FIVE. Alabama’s direct payout from playing in a semifinal playoff game (followed perhaps by a national title game) would be much larger than the payout the team received from playing in a traditional bowl game. The difference in these scenarios is surely in the millions of dollars. Whether Alabama nets $12 million or, say, $4 million is a “big deal” to the bottom-line of the athletic department, which, in turn, is a big deal to every athlete in every sport in which the Tide competes.

The more money Alabama’s athletic department has in the bank drawing interest, the more money the athletic director can invest in Alabama football, but also gymnastics, tennis and baseball.

Direct payouts can be easily ascertained. More difficult to gauge is the revenue streams which would flow into university coffers from other sources.

SIX. Simply making the Final Four will significantly boost royalties from Alabama merchandise sales. Instead of fans suffering a “downer” from being left out of the playoffs (this on top of the sting of losing to its biggest rival), Bama fans are once again excited and upbeat, simply because their team has a chance to compete for another national title. If Alabama were to win another national title, the royalty cash register will ring even louder this Christmas and Bowl season.

SIX-A. And after they make their purchases of “officially-licensed products”, more fans will be driving around town or going to school or to work, effectively advertising to the world their allegiance to the Crimson Tide. It’s impossible to place a definitive long-term value on hundreds of thousands of people advertising their school and team for years to come, but the figure has to be significant.

SEVEN. Another significant source of revenue for any athletic department is apparel contracts with deep-pocket companies like Nike. Winning another national title, or simply making the Final Four, surely increases the likelihood Alabama’s athletic department will continue to be the beneficiary of the lottery-sized payouts elite programs receive from such companies.

What could have happened that might not have happened
EIGHT. Nor do we really know all the ways this value would/could manifest itself in the future. If Alabama wins, say, two scintillating playoff games, it’s certainly possible a sizeable contingent of new Alabama fans would be born.

EIGHT-A. Among the ranks of these “new fans” might be, say, a 12-year-old boy, formerly neutral or indifferent about his team allegiance, who ends up being a huge Alabama fan solely because of the impression the Tide made on him in these high-profile games. Who knows? six years from now this young man might end up as one the best high school players in the nation ... and eight years from now this same person could help Alabama win its 18th or 19th national titles (in turn leading to even more revenue for the school).

Here, some may be saying, “Bill, you are really stretching your thesis.” But surely big victories achieved in the past - and indelible impressions created in previous games - can and do make future success much more likely.

EIGHT-B. To argue this statement is false is to discount the importance of the intangible known as “tradition.” By being in the playoffs Alabama at least has the opportunity to make an indelible impression on future players. And to further enhance its most important asset, its rich tradition.

It’s all about your ‘brand’
Another point that should be beyond debate is that great success by a school’s football team enriches that school’s “brand.” This brand, in turn, can and does have a tremendous impact on things like student enrollment and fundraising.

NINE. By being given the chance to compete for another national title, Alabama can build on a brand that has already transformed the university. Put simply, Alabama should expect to have more students apply for admission if its team wins another title. Simply “making the Final Four” is a big deal (just as it is in college basketball even if a team does not win its final game).

No one denies that Alabama’s campus enrollment has surged since the arrival of Nick Saban. Notably, The University of Alabama has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of out-of-state students (who now make up more than half of Alabama’s enrollment of 34,000 students). Out-of-state students pay a large premium in tuition, which in turn makes legislative appropriations to a university less important.

In tuition revenue alone, Nick Saban has more than justified his eye-opening coaching salary. Apparently future students want to be associated with big winners. Students who are applying for admission to Alabama today are also stronger academically than students in the university’s past.

NINE-A. The increase in enrollment and in academic standards should result in more graduates who achieve great financial success in their working careers. This, in turn, should result in more alumni making large gifts to the university (and/or its athletic department) in the future.

So the economic impact of Alabama’s “football dynasty” over the past decade will probably generate (major) economic benefits to the Capstone decades from now. (9-B) I’m not even mentioning the possibility that some of these bright graduates may decide to remain in our state and help build businesses that will benefit our state.

TEN. Simply put, when Alabama’s football team is riding high it is much more likely that academic and athletic departments receive major fund-raising gifts. Alabama’s academic endowment programs, and its budgets for athletic facility improvements benefit when the football team is playing for and winning national titles. This is a big deal today, but might be appreciated as a bigger deal in the future.

ELEVEN. For those who care about the future of the University of Alabama, it is vitally important that the “brand” of Alabama football remain golden. Playing for yet another national title not only protects Alabama’s brand, it allows for the possibility that the brand can actually be enhanced. if Alabama had NOT made the playoff, its net worth expressed in the value of its brand might have experienced a dip. Instead, it will grow.

Riding ‘the wave of a lifetime’ a little longer
In surfing parlance, Alabama football has been riding the wave of a lifetime for a decade now. But this wave can crash at anytime. As once-elite programs such as Nebraska and Tennessee know all too well, it might be decades before your program gets back on top. It’s best to ride that wave for as long as you can while you can.

TWELVE. The more cash an athletic program can set aside for those rainy days when their program inevitably ebbs, the better. The more coins you deposit in your program’s piggy bank, and the more impressive your “tradition resume” becomes, the shorter your stay in “Irrelevancy” or Mediocrity should be.

As farmers say, “Bail hay while the sun’s shining.” By making the playoffs - and staying at the top of the football universe - Alabama gets to put away more hay. One example: Servicing debt from previous stadium expansions - or selling all your season tickets - might be a source of anxiety for other programs, but not for Alabama. (Thank you, Nick Saban). Anyway, Alabama gets to surf/milk that awesome wave it’s been riding a little longer. This is a big deal.

Free advertising worth millions
THIRTEEN. While the direct payout Alabama will receive from playing in one or two playoff games is significant, this dollar figure probably pales in comparison to the value of “free advertising” Alabama will receive over the five weeks leading up to the giant games.

For five or six weeks, Alabama football will be a staple of ESPN programming, as well as magazine and newspaper articles and feature stories. The program will be mentioned daily on sports call-in shows with national audiences. If Proctor and Gamble wanted to reach this many eyeballs and ear drums it would have to spend tens of millions of dollars.

If Alabama had NOT been selected to play in the playoffs, 99 percent of this positive exposure would not have occurred. Is it a “big deal” that Alabama WILL receive all of this positive attention? Of course it is. It’s not only a “big deal,” it’s a huge deal.

Alabama fans may want to skip this part ...
And here I transition to a concept economists label “opportunity costs.” What would Alabama have lost if it had not been selected to play in the playoffs? If you are an Alabama fan, some of these scenarios are scary to consider.

FOURTEEN. If Ohio State was selected over Alabama, is the following scenario not conceivable? Alabama, thoroughly deflated by the now-gone chance to play for a national title, instead goes to another bowl game. If past is prelude, there is a very real possibility that Alabama would lose said bowl game. It’s very possible one or more key players wouldn’t even play in the game and risk a career-ending injury before the NFL draft. Other players might not be “all in” in their pre-game preparation.

Alabama has seen this happen two times before. The probability a deflated and disinterested team lays an embarrassing egg in the bowl game not only becomes possible, it might be likely. Any opponent the Tide would meet in a bowl game would probably be much more motivated to play - to slay the giant that is Alabama. Maybe this scenario would not happen, but most will agree it could happen.

FOURTEEN - A. Now instead of Alabama playing for and maybe winning a national title (reaching the Mountaintop of the sport), the Tide gets embarrassed in its bowl game. This after the Tide had just lost by 12 points to Auburn, its biggest and most important rival. Suddenly, the perception of Alabama as the undisputed king of college football would be gone. Even Alabama’s position as the best team in its own state could be questioned. Clemson and Georgia would probably be deemed the new top dogs (or Tigers) in the sport. “The Tide has (finally) turned,” would likely become the new conventional wisdom.

Now, ‘tis true, the Tide could quickly turn back with another championship run or title in 2018. Reports of Alabama’s demise have been greatly exaggerated even in the recent past. But, as noted, Alabama’s prospects for a sterling season next year are far from a sure thing.

Alabama has also just lost its defensive coordinator and recruiting is said to have fallen off a bit - something that might change in a hurry if Bama rallies for another national title - yet another reason (14-B) making the playoffs was important. Question: Would Alabama recruiting have benefited if the Tide was left out of the playoffs and also lost its final two games?

What if the Tide wins, say, nine games next year … and - God forbid - loses again to Auburn? The “stock price” of Alabama football could - in the blink of an eye - plummet. And Nick Saban would be getting ready to turn 68 years old, three years beyond the age most people retire.

Some might cry “heresy” that such a dramatic swing in a program’s fortunes could occur so swiftly. But this “dark” scenario could, in fact, have become reality.

Football historians of the future might have traced the beginning of the decline in Alabama’s powerful brand, the end of the program’s dominance of the sport, to one decision - the decision of the selection committee (with bogus justification) to not let Alabama compete for a national title at the end of the 2017 season. (14-C) And if Alabama football had peaked, and was beginning a period of decline, the rest of the university and the school’s other sports programs would probably experience some degree of decline as well.

Okay, you can start reading again …
But - great news! - all of the above is moot, a “bad dream” that was not real, something that did not come to pass. Alabama IS in the Final Four. It does have a chance to win yet another national title. The Crimson Tide is still considered the elite team in college football. The brand is as golden - or as crimson - as it’s ever been.

Alabama is still riding atop that magical wave, a wave that could continue far into the future. (Coach Bryant’s Alabama teams essentially stayed at or near the very top of the football world for more than two decades).

Championships can beget championships, the rich can become richer
FIFTEEN. More so than any other team, Alabama finds itself in an enviable and unique position, with opportunities other teams simply don’t have. Championships can (and already have) beget more championships. Past successes can and do make future success more likely. When a football program gets a chance to build on previous success, it should be grateful and, if at all possible, take full advantage of the opportunity to move to an even higher level. The fact Alabama has such an opportunity is a big deal.

FIFTEEN-A. Future football historians could have written that Alabama’s football fortunes took a noticeable turn south in December 2017 when the Tide was denied the chance to add to its tradition. Now, however, these same historians might write that Alabama “dodged a bullet” in 2017.

In a year when some people said Alabama shouldn’t even be in the playoffs, the Tide could now win said playoffs. (15-B) Instead of a dynasty perhaps reaching its terminus, Nick Saban’s football program has moved even closer to approaching “all-time great” status (five national titles in nine years would be unprecedented). Achieving such status would be “historic” … which is a big deal.

It’s certainly possible Alabama loses to Clemson January 1. However, absent an embarrassing blowout, the standard the program has maintained over 10 years should suffer no great or terminal blow.

Bottom line: It’s much better to be in The Final Four, make a great deal more money, and enjoy five weeks of positive exposure than to be one of the 130 teams who are not reaping these rewards. And if your team happens to win two more games that would be special, an event millions of people would savor.

SIXTEEN. Winning the ultimate prize never gets old and should always be viewed as an incredible accomplishment.

In conclusion ...
I’m sure I missed some points, but hopefully this essay demonstrates just how much was at stake earlier this month when a group of 13 people concluded that Alabama deserved to be in the playoffs. As the length of this meditation shows, a whole lot was at stake. The contrast between what did not happen to Alabama (but could have) and what still may happen is the difference between sheer elation (Kenyan Drake’s national-title-securing kick return) and abrupt shock and despair (the national-title-destroying “Kick Six.”).

On the Committee’s decision hinged this dramatic elevation-change in emotion. And millions and millions of dollars - and everything such large sums of money can make possible for a school and athletic program.

This decision was a huge deal to the millions of Alabama fans who care so much about their university, and this university’s most important ambassador, its football team. As of December 2017, the Tide still rolls.


About the author: Bill Rice, Jr., a native of Troy, is a freelance writer now living in Pike Road. He has worked for several state newspapers as a journalist, editor and publisher. His late father was a member of Alabama’s 1961 National Championship team. Bill Rice, Jr. can be reached by email at:
Michael webb Michael webb from Iuka wrote on 2017/12/15 at 2:10 PM:
Roll Tide from Mike and Marcy Webb, Bridget an Valerie Welford William Page, and Brooklyn
Ben Michelson Ben Michelson from Phoenix wrote on 2017/12/15 at 11:52 AM:
Two items. #1 Did we date the same woman in El Paso, TX? #2 I went to school with the "Ball Coach" and would like to relate a story on the week he learned to play golf. from my dear fried, John Devlin, from Concord, MA. He use to play with a local supporter that owned a restaurant in Gainesville, "Dub's Steer room. He shot 133 for 18. The next week 85 and within 3 weeks he was a scratch golfer. Remember, he lettered in all 4 sports in Johnson City, TN before coming to UoF. Keep up the good work and l'chaim.
Thomas Thomas from Mullins,sc wrote on 2017/12/13 at 4:43 PM:
Pineapple with the pepperoni don’t knock it till you try it .its great ! But don’t add to it after the pizza is done , put it on when you it in oven !