Week 13's college football action is in the books, so we decided to fire up the Tuesday Tweetbag to tackle the burning topics on your mind this season, from top pro prospects to the best teams in the sport.
Feel free to submit your questions to @BryanDFischer on Twitter each Monday or early Tuesday morning to get them answered every week. Without further ado, let the smorgasbord of questions commence.
I wouldn't say most loathed team of the last 20 years, but they're up there and closing fast. Obviously you would have to go back a bit further than 20 years (yes, we're all getting old) to reach back far enough to get to those late 1980's/early 1990's Miami Hurricanes teams that featured the likes of Michael Irvin, the Blades brothers, Alonzo Highsmith and others that gained plenty of fame for what they did on and off the field. Even with all of the issues regarding the Seminoles, I don't think they come close to the bar set by "The U" back in the day when the team was making headlines with every action.
If we're really talking about the last 20 years, the only program/team I can think of that comes close to FSU is the 2004/2005 USC teams led by none other than Pete Carroll. They won big with some star players, but I think a lot of folks resented their "Hollywood" lifestyle that saw Snoop Dogg and Will Ferrell become regulars on the sideline. Add in a massive NCAA scandal and controversial finishes (i.e. Bush Push) and you get a very loathed power program that many already disliked for their success. There's a reason why their BCS title game matchup with Texas was the most watched in a long time, and the constant "greatest team ever" talk that surfaced in the run-up to the 2006 game at the Rose Bowl probably didn't help people feel sorry for them when the Trojans lost.
Two other recent teams that Florida State is competing with for most loathed hail from the SEC: Tim Tebow's Florida squads and any of Nick Saban's Alabama teams that won the national title the past few years. Given all of the issues with Jameis Winston in particular, I think the Seminoles are a little more loathed than their SEC brethren. As far as most loathed ever, the Noles still need a few more wins and some more off-the-field issues to surface to overtake USC and those Miami teams, though.
I do. If the College Football Playoff selection committee didn't reward the Thundering Herd with a top-25 spot after what is likely their best win of the season against Rice, they probably won't after a close call against UAB and a pair of wins over Western Kentucky and (likely) Louisiana Tech. It would be a bummer for a lot of fans to see an undefeated team miss out on a major bowl, but Marshall's schedule is worse than some FCS teams this year, and the school appears bound for a fate similar to Tulane back in 1998.
As for Boise State, the Broncos would win the best of the Group of Five leagues according to a number of metrics. A loss to Ole Miss in Atlanta in which they were close for three quarters isn't that bad and wins over Colorado State, BYU and Utah State would be way better than anybody else except for the Rams themselves. The Broncos are the best of a host of bad options for the Group of Five bid, and I think they would be able to put up a better game against a power team than others. In an ideal world, the committee could pick Colorado State, but since the Rams wouldn't even have won their division, they won't be able to be selected.
Expect athletic director Jeremy Foley to conduct a quiet search before announcing a new head coach not long after the Heisman Trophy ceremony. I know Arizona's Rich Rodriguez has reportedly not been a target, but I still maintain he'd be a perfect fit in Gainesville. Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy will continue to draw mentions, but it's starting to sound like it won't be one of the humongous names a few have been throwing out.
As for Will Muschamp, I can't see him going to South Carolina to take over as defensive coordinator for a number of reasons. While he and Steve Spurrier are close, I doubt the Gamecocks will push aside Lorenzo Ward, and I'm not sure Muschamp himself would view that as an attractive job considering the team largely was responsible for being the nail in the coffin of his tenure. Plus, others are likely to pay him far more. I can see him end up at Auburn or with the coach he shares a beach house with in Jimbo Fisher at Florida State. Don't be surprised if he at least listens to Texas A&M if Kevin Sumlin decides to make a move, too, because the Aggies could pay him the most.
I'll go with Marshall as the most overrated Group of Five squad, but only because it is two spots ahead of Colorado State in the AP Top 25 and I happen to believe the Rams are a better team. When it comes to the Power Five, I'll go with Georgia sitting as the top two-loss team in the polls ahead of UCLA. Both teams are playing well lately, but I can't get over that beat-down the Bulldogs suffered at the hands of Florida at the beginning of the month. They've built up their resume competing in a weaker SEC East division, too. I still think Georgia is a good team, just not enough to be ahead of UCLA given what the Bruins have done lately.
I will sell that. Thankfully, I believe that realignment at the major levels of college football is over for the current cycle of TV contracts. It would have been great to see a Pac-16 work out, but sadly it's not meant to be in the next decade.
As it looks now, each Power Five conference will take in about $50 million this year from the playoff system itself. There is no bonus for making it to the national championship game like you have on the basketball side with NCAA Tournament units, but a league would see a bonus of $6 million if it gets a team in the final four. For every team selected for a New Year's Six Bowl game outside of the semifinals, a conference would get about $4 million.
If you go off the current top four for example, the SEC would draw $12 million from their two teams in the playoff, while the Pac-12 and ACC would get a check for $6 million each. All of the Power Five leagues stand to make even more money when you consider merchandise, contracts with bowl games and more. It's a pretty penny when you're talking about their windfall from the new system and should at least double -- if not triple -- what they got from the BCS.
As for the Group of Five for those that are curious, those conferences should split about $75 million. The league that gets the Group of Five's spot in a New Year's Six bowl game will wind up with an even bigger payout. Marshall's own school website talked with Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky and others and estimated the Thundering Herd, for example, is looking at roughly $3 million if they can sneak in.