Posted: 9:40 am Monday, July 21st, 2014

June Jones whiffs on spring football idea 

By Jeff Schultz

June Jones might want to clear his plan with Larry Brown. (via SMUMustangs.com)

June Jones might want to clear his plan with Larry Brown. (via SMUMustangs.com)

Back from vacation.

First question: When Braves general manager Frank Wren has his performance review at the end of the season, does Liberty Media count Dan Uggla as one mistake or 62 million?

Second question: What is June Jones thinking?

The former Falcons’ coach has an idea. It’s a really bad idea. Jones who is entering his seventh season at SMU, believes football schools in non-“Power 5” conferences – including Georgia State in the Sun Belt — should move their season to the spring.

I’m going to assume that Jones has not run this idea past Larry Brown, the basketball coach on his campus.

Jones’ stems from the belief that lesser FBS football has a greater chance to thrive in the spring than in the large fall shadow of the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac 12. It follows the blueprint of the USFL, which Jones played in.

There’s one problem with that logic: The USFL failed.

“I think the have-nots [non-Power Five leagues] should go ahead and move to the spring just like the USFL did,” Jones told Tampa, Fla., sportstalk station WDAE-AM. “I think that there’s an opportunity to do a complete other side of that division and I think that if we don’t think that way as a group of have-nots, we’re going to get left behind.”

Yes. And no.

The quasi-secession by the “Power 5” will clearly define the haves and have-nots. The five conferences will be given greater autonomy from the NCAA to set up their own structure and command the most attention in the postseason. But it’s not that much different from what we’re seeing now.

A number of officials already have bashed Jones’ idea, which doesn’t make sense on a number of levels. Here are a few thoughts:

– The fact lesser conferences will be overshadowed doesn’t mean there’s not a place for it in the fall. Football has a season. The failure of the USFL reaffirmed that.

– Moving to the spring would play havoc with the bowl season, which would cease to exist beyond the “Power 5” conferences. So would other conferences arrange for bowl games in June? Good luck with that.

– The recruiting calendar: Forget it.

– Basketball: Remember that other sport on campus?

– The NFL draft: It’s in May.

Jones was correct in saying, “Football is the No. 1 sport on television right now and the advertisers want live programming.” But moving to the spring is a bad idea.

Some pre-vacation blogs and columns (free links)
– MyAJC: Back to reality: Payne a nice pick for Hawks
– MyAJC: Hawks’ quest: LeBron, Carmelo or anybody elite
– Blog: LeBron, Carmelo opt out: Are Hawks an option?
– Blog: It’s ‘Mark Emmert Appreciation Night’! (sort of)
– MyAJC: Soccer has our attention: Will we stay this time?
– MyAJC: Times change, we change: ‘Redskins’ have to go
– Blog: Braves out of first place — not that they deserved to be there
– MyAJC: Nats, trip may force Braves to make a move
– Blog: Possible Braves’ moves: Bethancourt up, B.J. to bench?
– Blog: Is it time to drop Freeman in batting order?
– MyAJC: Is La Stella that Prado-like spark Braves need?
– Blog: With ‘Hard Knocks,’ Falcons camp just became a clown show
– Blog: Weatherspoon injured (Is this happening again?)

 

27 comments
superdestroyer
superdestroyer

 Why would students at the have-not schools want to pay $100 per semester in student fees just so there schools can be door mats for the power conferences.  Wouldn't it make more sense for them to just drop sports and reduce college athletes to the 60 or so schools that have rabid followers?

Moe_Green
Moe_Green

Are you crazy? Spring football leagues always do well.

Wait........

JAS0N
JAS0N

 Braves Tryouts at Lead-off are Dizzying

Wilbo
Wilbo

Ohhh, no! You're back? I was so hoping they had fired your no talent self.


I think June Jones may have smoked too much pot.

JackClemens
JackClemens

My alma mater is spending $36 million to become a have not in the Sun Belt. The misguided president and Kool-Aid drinking fans claim it will raise the university's profile. Well, considering enrollment has grown from 6,500 when I graduated, to about 22,000 or so, today, I'd argue the profile was raised a heckuva a lot in FCS. Also, with $36 million, I could make it as well known as the University of Phoenix if that's so important.


Anyway, I'll be supporting my team, even if its postseason is in Shreveport in May.

Savdon
Savdon

I remember this guy, Jeff.

Panama68
Panama68

Its a silly silly silly idea. People at G-5, FCS, Div II schools enjoy the same culture as SEC and B1G. They tailgate in August, Sept and October just like the P5. They plan their Saturdays the same way at  ULM as at LSU. Its really sad when an offhand comment by the likes of June Jones gains this much traction especially after two G5 commisioners retorted with Heck No! and Never!

RangeRover
RangeRover

NO!  We have football from the start of training camps in July until the Super Bowl in February.  This leaves only four months without it.


Plus, if you take away the cream puffs, who would Florida play the first two games of every season? 

MikeS777
MikeS777

I actually like watching the AAC and MWC.  AAC is basically the old CUSA now, minus Southern Miss and UAB.  Meanwhile CUSA has sort of turned into the old Sun Belt.  Its like they just changed conference names.

I dont know if I would watch them in the spring though.  They aren't going to compete with March Madness and then NBA playoffs, not to mention what are they going to do for a postseason.  They may be able to compete with the power 5, but the power 5 have all the traditional teams people tend to watch CFB for.  They just need to let them in the playoff door like with basketball.  The power conferences carry basketball too, but a huge part of March Madness is the smaller schools get in and often upset the power teams.

Slippery Pete
Slippery Pete

You don't know much about the USFL if you think playing in the spring had anything to do with it failing.  Do some research before you write something like this.  The fact that the USFL was played in the spring was actually one of the few reasons that it had any level of success at all.  ESPN did a 30 for 30 on this exact topic.  You should watch it. 

Brent22
Brent22

That wasn't a vacation, that was a leave of absence. Great to have you back, Jeff.

GTBob
GTBob

I personally like his idea. If the Power 5 are going to keep doing everything they can to shut the have nots out of college football then why not just go do their own thing? Plus it lets me watch football almost year around.

BTC
BTC

Welcome back!

MikeS777
MikeS777

I don't think moving this to the spring is the answer though.  To me the answer will come when they see that 4 teams are not enough, and expand to 8 on this playoff.  That will give these non-power 5 schools a legit chance at getting in.  They can do 8, adequately cover all bases, and still keep the bowl system intact.  I do think 16 is too much, but with 5 power confereces + ND, clearly 4 is too little.

They would need to keep a BCS style ranking system too.  Look at the top 15 teams.  Take the conference champs, including the top independent, from that 15.  If there are any spots left for at large teams, fill them starting back at the top of the rankings, taking the top teams that didn't win a conference.  Seed the teams by ranking.  Apply this to last year and you get:

#1 FSU (ACC) vs #8 UCF (AAC)

#2 Auburn (SEC) vs #7 Ohio St. (at large)

#3 Alabama (at large) vs #6 Baylor (Big 12)

#4 Michigan St. (Big 10) vs #5 Stanford (Pac 12)

Win your conference with a good record and you're in (no 5 loss conference winners like Wisconsin a few years ago).  Lose your conference, and take your chance.  It's as good as it gets for every team to truly have their destiny in their own hands.


MikeS777
MikeS777

Well, of course they are going to bash it haha.  The power 5 like being the power 5.  They don't want the focus split.  CFB has always been about keeping the money in old hands as long as possible.  As much as people want to make up other reasons, that's why it's been such a mess to find a champion.  They falsely claim a regular season is a playoff.  Then when the opportunity presents itself to prove that (LSU 2011), they vote in old money Alabama for a rematch over new comer Oklahoma St.

In 2011, LSU had beaten PAC 12 and Rose Bowl champ Oregon, beaten two top 10 SEC teams in Alabama and Arkansas, beaten ranked SEC East champ Georgia, beaten Big East and Orange Bowl champ WVU, so all they had to do was play the Big 12 Champ and that pretty much settles it right?  Not to old money it doesn't haha.

So why do playoffs matter in this discussion?  Because that's what is truly separating the Power 5 from the rest right now.  The chances that a non-power 5 member will get into this 4 team playoff are just as remote as before.  We all know that at least the MWC and AAC can produce teams that can compete at a BCS level.  Boise St. was doing that while in the WAC as well.  CUSA has had good teams in the past.  When they get to the BCS, they more often than not beat up on the Power 5.

CobbCountyBraves
CobbCountyBraves

@Wilbo

Tough keypad guy, huh?

No worries, Shultz...I'll handle your light work and put this dope back in his playpen.

superdestroyer
superdestroyer

@JackClemens Wouldn't it make more sense for the Central, South, Atlantic, or International in Florida to just drop sports and encourage their students who care about football to cheer for Florida or Florida State like they did in high school?

GTBob
GTBob

@Panama68 You think people would stop going to games and tailgating just because the games were in the spring?

GTBob
GTBob

@MikeS777 There is your problem. The power 5 don't want to let them in the playoff door. The whole purpose of autonomy, and the new playoffs is to shut the have nots out even further. If I were the have nots, I would form an all new NCAA sub division, refuse to play the power teams, play in the spring, and setup a true playoff system. It would basically be an enhanced FCS. I think people would watch that more than afterthought Friday night games, and a few Saturday games on ESPN 8.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@MikeS777

Agree on the eight-team playoff format. That should satisfy most--and opens up realistic possibilities for the non-power5 teams. 

Panama68
Panama68

@GTBob Would it be disruptive? MLB? College Basketball? NBA? Spring Break? Tradition? Not to mention all the reasons against it mentioned in this column,There are a hundred reasons this is a silly idea, But lets talk about an idea for the rest of the day that will never happen ever. :)

GTBob
GTBob

@BigCrimson75 Im pretty well aware of that Crimson. Im not speaking about GT at all here.

GTBob
GTBob

@DawgNole If it opens up possibilities for non power 5 teams then it will never happen.

GTBob
GTBob

@Panama68 Why would it have to scheduled around every other sport? Should the current college football season be rescheduled because it falls during the world series? There is plenty of room for more sports programming. Especially programming that isn't going to be that overly popular. It isn't going to steal ratings from March Madness or the NBA. It will just be another option for sports fans.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GTBob @DawgNole

Wouldn't surprise me if it never happened, but there was a time not long ago that most thought a four-team playoff wouldn't happen in the foreseeable future. I'm hoping it does happen simply because it would be fair and manageable. That doesn't mean I believe it will happen.