Alright, we’ve avoided it long enough and I think it’s time we finally talk about the LSU football QB battle. TJ Finley is on his way to Auburn and LSU is down to three real candidates for their starting quarterback for the 2021 season. There’s a lot that needs to be taken into account when making this decision. But who will ultimately be the starter come September 4 in Los Angeles for the LSU football program? Let’s make a case for each quarterback
On Thursday, June 3, 2021, the SEC Presidents and Chancellors voted to amend the conference’s transfer policy. This vote follows the NCAA’s rule change from April that allows all student-athletes to transfer one time without having to sit out one season as penalty. While this rule change was announced in April, each University was still bound to the rules of their respective conference. This ruling by the SEC is monumental, but how will it affect the college football landscape?
The SEC’s amendment allows for players to use this new NCAA transfer rule to transfer intra-conference without the one year penalty that we have seen in the past. For instance, after the 2019 season Cade Mays transferred to Tennessee from Georgia and petitioned for immediate eligibility. This bid was declined by the SEC and thus one of the best offensive linemen was not eligible to play football this past May.
This rule is effective immediately, and it opens plenty of doors along with it. Players like Arik Gilbert (UGA) and Henry To’o To’o (Alabama) will be immediately eligible to play. It has been reported that TJ Finley will be eligible to play for Auburn in September as well (via FlyWarEagle.com & AL.com), but this falls into a bit of a grey area.
This ruling by the SEC comes with caveats, just as the ruling by the NCAA did. According to the amendment by the SEC, players participating in Fall sports must enter the transfer portal by February 1. The player does not have to have their destination chosen, but they must have entered the transfer portal. The NCAA requires fall sport athletes to enter the transfer portal by May 1.
The TJ Finley Dilemma
TJ Finley recently announced that he would be transferring to Auburn and intended to compete for the 2021 starting quarterback job. The issue here is that Finley did not enter the transfer portal until May 6, which doesn’t meet the SEC or NCAA’s transfer deadline. Still, it has been reported by FlyWarEagle.com and AL.com that Finley will be immediately eligible. Recently, Mark Murphy of 247sports.com reported that all players in good academic standing will be eligible to transfer without the one year penalty for 2021-2022 seasons.
If this transfer rule does nothing else, I believe that it will give more power to the athletes within the NCAA. It certainly grants more flexibility for collegiate athletes.The transfer process for collegiate athletes is something that the NCAA has handled fairly poorly in the past (i.e. Luke Deal). This new rule by the SEC will allow for players to transfer freely within conference once without penalty.
This ruling will give SEC fans the best possible product on the field, I believe. This is because we will see far fewer great players transfer out of conference to gain immediate eligibility. This ruling could bring back the SEC dominance that we saw between 2006 and 2012. This new rule could also cause greater competition within the conference. Things didn’t work out at Alabama? Transfer to Florida. Try the other division. Etc.
Not only will this create more competition within the conference, but it will also allow for recruiting to pick up even more. The SEC is the last of the Power 5 conferences to vote on eliminating the one year penalty for intra-conference transfers. This may have been something that was negatively affecting recruiting, but now it is not an issue.
The Negative Consequences
As is the case with any net positive, there is at least a little bit of a downside. Truthfully, the only downside to this that I could see is a potential upswing in player tampering. With this rule in place, there will surely be tampering within the SEC. We could see coaches recruiting players while they are still enrolled at their current schools. While this is still illegal in college football, it is not out of the realm of possibilities.
All in all, this new amendment set in place by the SEC blazes a trail for player empowerment and should be seen as a positive thing. I, for one, am very excited to see what the future holds for college football and the athletes that are affected by this transfer rule.
Once again, the picture. The picture… I’m just out of them. I’m using the pictures of the actual game for the blog, so relax. Let’s get this started though.
So I finally find my way to the Press Box after dealing with almost everyone who was working the event. I get on the world’s oldest elevator (I’m assuming) and we slowly creep up two stories to where I am supposed to be.
Ya know, it’s actually kind of funny that I say I found where I was supposed to be. I don’t necessarily want to out myself right now, but I will try to give you guys the gist of what happened. I will not use specific names in the following paragraphs in an attempt to not dox anyone. To preface this, I cannot confirm that this was what happened to me. My lawyer has advised me against talking about my own, personal experience in the next few paragraphs. So for the next few paragraphs, I have fictionalized an account of what may happen to a person the first time that they find themself in a press box.
Before you ask, I’m running out of cover photos, okay? Deal with it.
On Saturday, January 25, 2020, I was given the opportunity to cover the Senior Bowl in depth. If you follow the podcast (link to the right) or this blog whatsoever, you already know this. Also, if you have been following this series at all, you’ve probably realized that I did not post a recap for Thursday, so I will do a quick recap of Thursday’s North Team practice before I get into my game recap and notes.
North Team Practice
So Thursday was kind of a slower day. I mentioned in my previous blog that it was raining all day on Thursday so practice had to be moved across town to the University of South Alabama’s “indoor” practice facility. I use quotations there because, well, just look for yourself.
So I have gone another day where I was not stripped of my media credentials, so it was a good day. I’m still out there with writers and reporters from The Athletic, ESPN, etc. So when I introduce myself to media, or even other members of the media, I get looks when I tell them that I am with The Bluebloods College Football. But that’s fine, I have nowhere to go but up, really.
Let’s go ahead and get into the meat of it. Wednesday was my biggest day yet, so let’s get started.
One last note that I’ll make before I get into it is that I’m going to leave times off from here on out. Trying to keep time in mind when writing these articles is very confusing because, believe it or not, I am not constantly checking my watch while I am at these practices.
Senior Bowl week is in full swing and I’ve never felt more out of place in my life. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I love seeing giant media companies all around me.
I just needed to get this off my chest. Something about The Bluebloods being in the same room as a mix of NFL Scouts, Pro Football Focus, USA Today, and others is just surreal. I never thought that I would be in this position, it’s really a blessing.
That’s really all I’m going to say to preface this, I’m done being sentimental. Let’s get down to business.
(Senior Bowl Coverage begins at 11:30am)
On Monday January 20, 2020, I was granted access to the introductory press conference for the 2020 Senior Bowl Game. Rather than giving you guys a rundown, I’m going to give you a summary of events from the day, and this is more than likely how I will deliver my recaps for the week. Somehow, I feel like this is more interesting than simply relaying the notes that I take every single day. I mean, If I could do that by posting pictures of my notes. Now, my notes aren’t necessarily “legible” or “important to the game” or even “good”, so I’m going to give all of you the play by play from Brandon’s Monday at Senior Bowl Week. (Press conference content is between 5:30pm and 6:30pm)
12:30pm – I pick up my Credentials
I finally roll up to the hotel where the players and important people are staying (so not me). I walk in, wander around for a minute, then finally find the media check-in desk. I ask for my credentials, receive them, then I think about leaving to go back home. The reason that I am only thinking about going back home is because players are just walking all over the place at this point. I kick myself for not bringing my laptop or notepad with me.
It’s at this point that I give Zach, my co-host, a call to tell him what’s going on. He suggests that I go home quickly, grab my laptop, then come back to try and score an interview or two. Easy enough. I head back home.
By this point, I know what you’re all thinking. And yeah, I can also recognize how things might look right now. I’ll go ahead and answer your question. At this point in time I might be an LSU beat writer. Is that a crime? I mean they just won a National Championship and completed (one of) the greatest college football season(s) of all time. Sue me.
Now it’s time to address the situation at hand. Obviously Odell Beckham Jr. is the center of an NCAA controversy right now and LSU fans are fast to disown their former favorite wide receiver. Sure, there were times that I was curious why OBJ was in the middle of everything during this championship run. I was never really a critic of him, during this run, but I’ve found that I am the minority here.
If you’re reading this, that means you made it. It is finally January 13, 2020, which makes today the greatest day in the history of the world. You may be wondering why, but let me tell you: Today is the day that Clemson will win the NCAA Division One Championship for the second year in a row and their third championship in four years.
I can hear the critics now, as I’m writing this. “Brandon, this will probably be a really good game” or “Brandon, LSU’s offense is the best in college football” and you know what I have to say to those people? You obviously haven’t been paying attention this season. Clemson is the best team in college football and it isn’t close. This team is playing angry with a chip on their shoulder.
I’ve compiled a list of reasons why Clemson is destined to win the National Championship tonight. All irrefutable evidence here, so don’t even try it.
Sources close to The Bluebloods have reported that Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB, LSU) was injured at a team practice on Tuesday, December 17. The reported injury was hamstring related.Nothing has been confirmed, but sources say he was seen on campus in Baton Rouge on crutches. There is no update on his status for the Peach Bowl on December 28. Updates to follow.