January 8th, 2013 at 1:38 PM ^

I don't think it's so much about them being faster ... it's about them being 20-60 lbs bigger and just as fast. There's a big difference between a 245 lb LB that runs a 4.5, and a 220 lb LB that runs a 4.5. Bama basically had 3 or 4 Teo's ... to ND's one Teo. Other positions were the same story. Oregon has speed, ND has size ... Bama has players with ND size and Oregon speed.


January 8th, 2013 at 12:30 PM ^

But with the way things are in the B1G and the huge disparity in the admissions standards in the SEC, its going to be difficult.  I was just having a conversation with a friend at work who is an LSU grad.  As hard as he was trying to be fair in his discussion, the SEC bias was hard at work.  Until the NCAA applies universal restrictions to oversigning and admissions standards, I'm afraid we're looking at a situation where the rich get richer and the B1G is forced into needed extraordinary measures be taken to dominate college football.  Just one man's opinion...

For the record, I'd rather UM do it "the right way" than to be taking the path that the SEC does to win at all costs. 


January 8th, 2013 at 12:49 PM ^

That probably isn't possible.  The closest we've seen a team that does things the "right way" come to winning the BCS was Notre Dame and as we saw last night, they really weren't that close at all.

It's really hard to envision a program like Michigan that requires recruits to meet a higher academic standard, limits over-signing, and closely monitors booster activity ever achieving a dynasty the like of what Alabama has created.  The closest a B1G team has come to that is Ohio and they don't meet all the criteria I mentioned above.  We can all hope for the NCAA to attempt to enforce a uniform standard amongst all schools, but I think everyone is making too much money to care right now.

Dutch Ferbert

January 8th, 2013 at 1:08 PM ^

But that seems like a decades ago.

I agree that it's not very likely that a team that does not oversign can win 3 out of 4 NCs, but Michigan could sneak in there every so often if Hoke keeps recruiting like he is. The problem is that injuries and 4-5 star recruits not panning out are harder to cover up when you do not oversign.

But it cannot just be oversigning that is giving Bama the advantage. They are better than the rest of the SEC. Yes, A&M upset them, but so did LSU last year and look what happened to LSU in the title game. I do not understand how Saban and his staff can be so much better than every other coaching staff when given a month to prepare.

Right now, college football has a few tiers:

1. Bama

2. SEC

3. Big 12/Pac 12/B1G/ACC (and these teams can compete with the SEC, but they are here until they consistently beat them)

4. Everyone else

Dutch Ferbert

January 8th, 2013 at 1:17 PM ^

Back in Bo's day, he had over 100 scholarship players. Yes, there was less overall parity, but there was also more parity at the top of the college football ladder. The haves all had more, and the have nots all had less. Now, the haves that oversign have more than everyone else.

If everyone had 100 plus spots, then oversigning would be less necessary and would be less of an advantage for those that continued to do it.

I probably could have said this more eloquently, but I'm supposed to be working right now.


January 8th, 2013 at 3:20 PM ^

sorry but all of this is starting to look like sour grapes to me.  Alabama has a great football team with a great coach and they kick ass and take names.  I have no reliable information that Alabama play it fast and loose with boosters nor do I think that there is a reliable correlation that good football players are "bad students" and thus can't possible go to Michigan.  Alabama has set a new standard for quality of play in terms of college football and the rest of the nation needs to raise their game or this team is going to win the title every year.

Dutch Ferbert

January 8th, 2013 at 3:40 PM ^

except for the oversigning. They are a great team and by far the best program in college football right now. I'm not insinuating they are otherwise cheating, and I hope they are not.

I just wish the NCAA had some real authority and could curb oversigning or increase scholarship limits. It is a competitive advantage to have a more athletes than your opponents. If one team is recruiting 25 kids per class on average and the other is recruiting 5 to 10 more kids per class (I'm not saying these are the actual #s), obviously the team with more recruits has more room for error and injuries.

At the same time, Bama is not the only school who oversigns, so they clearly are doing a lot of other things right.

The whole point of my original post was that I would rather do things the "Michigan way" and know that the coaches are doing everything by the book and that they are honoring scholarships to athletes instead of pushing them aside for more talented kids.

I just hope that if the rest of college football tries to catch Bama that they do it by the rules, but we all know some teams will cheat. I'm just hoping Michigan doesn't cut corners and cheat to get there.


January 8th, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

I agree.

However, I don't think it is possible for Michigan to ever develop a football program as dominant as Alabama's is right now, at least not in the current college football climate.  I don't like having to say this, but Michigan weather, the Michigan economy (prospects for employment outside of football), and Michigan's fairly rigid adherence to ethical standards make it all but impossible for Michigan to compete on the field with a team like Alabama.  There is a reason why Brady Hoke focussed everybody's attention on winning "the Big Ten title" and has really never mentioned national titles.  There is a limit to what is possible for Michigan right now.  They need to establish regional dominance, go 50/50 with Ohio State and win a Rose Bowl.  Some time down the road things will fall into place like in 1997, but I'm afraid that Michigan will likely never play the kind of football that can regularly compete with what you saw last night. 

I know, I know, fuck me.


January 8th, 2013 at 12:42 PM ^

"But I also don't think that over signing is the only unethical advantage Alabama uses."

MIght I inquire Stephenr why?  I know it is terribly popular here to imply that any (all?) teams with superior records must be cheating but is there anything anywhere that looks like proof of this claim?  Personally I think they have created a virtual "perpetual motion machine" as potential recruits can be legititmately promised an opportunity in the NFL IF they are better than other recruits thereby ensuring future recruits will want to attend.  Oversigning of 4 & 5 star players ensures Alabama's talent pool will be deep and wide and as we witnessed in September and again last night, vastly superior to virtually anyone else they play.  

Do you know of other activities that they are doing that are unethical?  


January 8th, 2013 at 12:57 PM ^

Well Denard and others who were recruited by the SEC have strongly implied that young ladies tend to appear in the rooms of recruits. I'm not sure there's a specific NCAA rule against it and I'm not saying the ladies get paid, but to the extent it's facilitated by the teams it's pretty damn sleazy.

Beyond that it just seems that in general boosters have much more direct involvement in recruitment in the SEC. It's hard to believe there are no hundred dollar handshakes or other shadiness there - we can't prove it, sure, but such things are difficult to track if you're not as dumb as Terelle Pryor.


January 8th, 2013 at 1:11 PM ^

But see you've basically validated my point.  Because Denard and "others" say that young ladies were in their room it your saying it was: A - True, B - Condoned and sanctioned by the school and C - not done elsewhere.  And I dont know that any of those things are factual.  And I guess it bothers me that we assume all those things to be true simply because John Bacon wrote it in a book.  And as much as I liked "3 and Out" there were many historical inaccuracies (hello Purdue game) that keep me from taking everything he said as Gospel.  And I dont think Denard has been quoted anywhere else with that statement (I could be wrong but I dont remember seeing it anywhere else).

Boosters are everywhere - MIchigan included - and some do cross the line.  I'm just saying absent of any sort of proof we may wish to consider the very unpleasant reality that Saban is one hell of recruiter with one hell of a good story to tell.  And that, not getting laid, might be the reason great players are going to Alabama.

Ali G Bomaye

January 8th, 2013 at 2:31 PM ^

I don't know if there's any evidence that going to Alabama helps a recruit's NFL future any more than going to any other well-coached BCS conference school.  Alabama has had a lot of high draft picks, but they've also had a lot of raw talent.  If anything, it seems that a lot of recent draft picks from Alabama have disappointed in the NFL.  Andre Smith, Rolando McClain, Kareem Jackson, and Mark Ingram have all been busts to some level.


January 8th, 2013 at 11:48 AM ^

Is it me or does it seem like everyone has to get in on the "college football revenue" reporting train?  Forbes, WSJ, 60 Minutes, etc.  Its not really breaking news . . . (no offense to the OP - I'm always happy to read these kinds of articles).


January 8th, 2013 at 12:06 PM ^

If more outlets keep reporting the revenues, maybe the NCAA will end sham-ateurism for good and let players take money from wherever they can get it.  

I think Bama's run the last four years has shown how a program with a good coach and a world-class player procurement department (read: "hostesses" and generous boosters) can make a mockery of the current system.  The more that college football's revenue is reported, the less "justification" the NCAA has for not letting the players make money, too.


January 8th, 2013 at 2:43 PM ^

So they sign up to play a sport, and get a full ride, and opportunity to make a living playing the sport (obv very few will do this); or an education that will enable them to build a career after college. Their other choice is to not take the scholarship or play the sport and go into the workforce.

Ali G Bomaye

January 8th, 2013 at 12:11 PM ^

Regardless of whether this were limited to major-conference schools, would any minor-conference school be ahead of any major-conference school?  Since an enormous part of revenues lie in TV deals, I can't imagine even the most valuable minor-conference school would be able to compete with even the least valuable major-conference school.

So this study might be limited to the 69 major-conference schools, but those are probably the top 69 anyway.


January 8th, 2013 at 12:14 PM ^

Surprised by a couple of things. Surprised by #1 being almost double the value of #10, Surprised by Iowa being the #3 B1G school, surprised by Arkansas and South Carolina being so high, and Wisconsin and Penn State being so low. Very surprised to see  USC, Florida State, and Miami combined still fall short of Michigans value. (Oh how the mighty have fallen) Looking at all the little teams that are worth more than those 3 like Colorado, Kentucky, and Oklahoma State, who have a long and splended history of irrelevance, is kind of satisfying knowing how ill gotten some of the bigger schools gains were.

Roy G. Biv

January 8th, 2013 at 12:14 PM ^

(In Steven Wright deadpan) Woo Rutgers and Maryland. ( In disgustipated normal voice) Combined, their estimated value in this study is just over HALF the individual worth of . . . . MSU.  Reach for stars, Jim Delaney.

True Blue Grit

January 8th, 2013 at 12:15 PM ^

they get rid of Mack Brown.  He's arguably the biggest underachiever in the Div. 1 college coaching ranks given the enormous talent he brings in and is surrounded by in Texas. 


January 8th, 2013 at 12:32 PM ^

I would've suggested another school or two if it weren't for the fact that Texas under Mack used to be such a powerhouse. He must be getting tired, or something. Their valuation will continue to slip as long as he stays on. if A&M continues to succeed in the SEC while Texas continues to scrape by they could end up gaining alot of ground.


January 8th, 2013 at 12:19 PM ^

The Big Ten average valuation turns out to be $298.2 million, which is short of the average of the listed SEC schools, and that was $337.7 million. Going through other conference averages here, they fall in line almost precisely with the value of the television contracts, which I find interesting really.

That being said, it is intriguing that the variance among Big Ten teams is this high ( the major conferences seemed to have higher variances overall), with five teams coming in at over $300 million (albeit one by a hair), and only Michigan and Ohio State coming in at over $500 million, but then that two aren't surprising at all.


January 8th, 2013 at 12:44 PM ^

the biggest role when it comes to doing these type of valuations - power schools that seem lower than expected most likely have either higher than typical risk that may impact future earnings of the program (Miami, Penn State) or has a lot of money tied up in either debt to pay for stadium expansions or payout fired coaches.  I suspect the $65MM expansion of Memorial Stadium  is pushing down Nebraska's valuation.


A school like Iowa, on the otherhand, is highly stable with no major FB investments in the past few years (that I am aware of anyway) so it stacks up very well in this type of ranking


January 8th, 2013 at 2:44 PM ^

It seems the consensus is that there is rampant oversigning in SEC?  If so where is the NCAA in all this.  It seems if you oversign year after year as well as having differing academic standards that the schools playing by the rules or having higher standards will continue to have difficulties competeting on a consistent basis.

When Saban left MSU he complained bitterly about not being able to compete with Michigan in recruiting.  Was this due to his lack of recruiting ability or because he was expected to play by the rules?  What has changed; he is in a situation where he can flaunt the rules or is he where players don't have any options because of lack of academic ability.

Just seems to me if rules are being ignored or worked around, the other schools would start raising some questions.

Like to hear from others.

French West Indian

January 8th, 2013 at 3:26 PM ^

The NCAA basically punts on this issue.  That is why there is no NCAA sanctioned, true "national championship" at the FBS level, i.e., there's too many discrepancies between teams and conferences to really have a level playing field.  But, hey, it must be also nice for Alabama to win all of those BCS championships.  Very prestigiuos, no?

It's also why I, on a personal level as a Michigan Wolverine, don't care about mythical national championships at all.  Give me the Rose Bowl any day.


January 8th, 2013 at 3:42 PM ^

Weird how Forbes put MSU and OSU right next to each other but this article has OSU blowing them out of the water.  How could they find such huge differences?