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Coach Nick vs. Jimbo, Chapter??

By now, if you are a college football, you are aware of the verbal jousting between Alabama coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher, who also is a former Saban assistant.

My TMG partner, Mr. College Football, Tony Barnhart, provides an apt play by play of the battle.

And once again it is a case of men being boys in an area which has long  stopped being a game, and is a cut throat billion dollar business.

With a number of issues, including the Name, Image and Lkeness topic which triggered the Saban-Fisher battle, consuming college football, it has come down to Saban said A&M cheated and Fisher saying No it didn't, but Alabama did.


Each of you, go to a time out session in your office and come out with some realistic ways to fix what is now close to being broken in a sport which n desperately needs the adults  i n the room to take charge.

The operative word you currently hear in college football and basketball is "chaos''.

Whether it is issues involving Name, Image and Likeness and the presence of boosters or the "transfer-portal'' which has created a torrent of movement in college rosters at all levels.

Ground zero, however, appears to be at the "mid-major'' level in college basketball, where rosters are being picked apart by bigger programs, seeking their own quick fixes.

Programs such as Rhode Island, Northeastern, who have put together solid, competitive programs, capable of competing for conference titles and NCAA bids, now face yearly raids on their talent pool.

And that has turned the Madness of March into an annual struggle to keep programs not only competitive, but together for more than a one-year span.

 It could be argued that Duke and Kentucky, a pair of blue blood programs, which have succeeded with "one and done'' systems, which infuses new talent into the system on a yearly basis, have moved from the high school blue chips to mid-major players with experience as well as talent.

What opened the system to the chaotic--more than 3,500 football and basketball players have entered the portal in the last 10 months--was the transfer rule which allows players to transfer without penalty (of sitting out a season).

That rule was passed with a "one time only'' provision. 

The chaos was created when second, and some time, third four-time transfers appeal to the NCAA for exemptions, which more often than not, have been accepted

The ""good'' part of this situation is that it allows programs to rebuild quickly.

Take Butler, for example, which fired Lavell Jordan in April following a 14-19 season.

The Bulldogs' hired a former Butler coach and player, Thad Motta, who had moved up the coaching ladder to Ohio State before a series of medical  issues forced Matta into an early retirement.

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Matta is now back and moving at warp speed, using the portal process.

With only three core players returning on the Butler roster, Matta restocked quickly. adding four transfers Eric Hunter (Purdue), Manny Bates (NC State) Jalen Thomas (Ga State) and Ali Al (Akron).

On the MarchMadness 365 podcast, Matta explained his philosophy.

""Recruiting is still recruiting,'' said Matta. ""You're trying to build relationships, whether it is a transfer or a young man coming of high school.''

True enough, but building relationships in a narrow time span is difficult, especially if there are outside factors.

Bill Herrion has been coaching at New Hampshire since 2005 with varying degrees of success and failures.

UNH finished this season with a 15-13 record, 'it's 3rd straight winning season.

But UNH competes at the America East low major level. Herrion will have to restock his roster with  9 new players next season.

Herrion concedes it is a difficult task, but he has few options.

'"This year, we got hit really, really hard,'' said Herrion. ""A lot of schools  are with us. You recruit a really good, young, kid, you're  going to lose him.''

"It's a double edged sword, You are now recruiting older players. It's not the good old days. You built programs. But we're not even looking at high school kids. 

The first place you are  going to look at is the portal, because you need a quick fix.''

There are other issues.

"The chemistry aspect has changed,'' said Herrion. "Now it's and done and chemistry of putting a team together is really challenging.

"At the end of the day, we all got to win,'' said Herrion, who is trying to put a core roster of freshmen and portal players."i don't know how they are going to fix it.''

Right now, that seems to be the universal answer to a question every one is asking.