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YFD Is Definitely a Have

Big CFB news this week.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Merely three weeks before games are actually played, the NCAA came out with a pretty big ruling this week. The Div-1 Board of Directors voted to allow the "Power Five" conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, and SEC) to make their own rules separate from the rest of Division 1. This effectively means that the 65 schools in those five conferences can govern themselves autonomously on most things student-athlete - including things like stipends, scholarships, agent contact, recruiting, and academic standards.

This is not a small thing. And it's of course all about the money. This gives power conferences the ability to do things like cost of living stipends, four-year scholarship guarantees, and other perks that gigantic athletic departments and conferences can do without really impacting their bottom lines much. But these are exactly the same things that smaller programs can't afford, hence why many smaller schools have in the past voted against such changes.

The long-term consequences of this have yet to be fully sussed out, and nothing's been voted on yet, but it's easy to look at this decision and point to the continued stratification of college athletics. This is accurate. The rich are getting richer. No question about it. With gigantic TV deals and networks, more money is rolling into conferences and athletic departments than ever before. The Pac-10, Big Ten, and SEC all took in over $300 million last year, and the ACC and Big 12 cleared $200 million. In that same excellent article, Grantland's Matt Hinton writes:

You know by now that the NCAA is an unstructured, Darwinian ecosystem completely lacking the central brain and top-down logic that has defined every other league in America. And you know that the constant, central narrative in the business of college sports over the past 40 years has been the ongoing stratification of the "Haves" and "Have-Nots"

This doesn't really change a whole lot in the near-term. The big conferences are still somewhat limited by the NCAA - don't expect players to get salaries - but small changes are probably going to start trickling in. That money has to go somewhere. It's not going to me, or to Zach, for reasons that should be abundantly clear:

Josh: "We collected more money than we ended up using."

Donna: "What's wrong with me getting my money back?"

Josh: "You won't spend it right."

Zach's just gonna blow it on Heineken.

How this ruling could get really interesting is how it impacts actual play on the field. Have you taken a look at Michigan's nonconference schedule this year? Home games of App State, Utah, and Miami. Mmmmm. But that could be changing. You've by now read about when Saban and other coaches are trying to do away with body-bag games. We could be looking at a future in which the Power Five schedule within each other and basically completely ignore the non-power conferences. This could have serious implications for determining a national champion and the monetary implications could ripple throughout the sport in terms of scheduling, coaching salaries, and recruiting.

This brings me to your BrewShot of the Week:Mnb_bs_d1_medium
Who knows. Hopefully this means student-athletes will be compensated more fairly, but spoiler alert: I've seen this movie before, and Leo dies.

What should you be drinking this week? I got you:

We generally try to stay somewhat local at MnB, but it's nearly doppelbock season (when isn't it?) and one of the very best comes from Abita, down in Louisiana. Not surprisingly, the Beer of the Week is Abita Andygator dopplebock. It goes well with fried food and seafood - I'm thinking it'd be the bomb with a po'boy. I've got a pretty extensive list of beers in an app on my phone, and only a few of them have five stars - (I shit you not, Natty Bo has five, along with Delirium and some others)... this is one of them. Fantastically crisp and dark enough to merit a smooth, smoky 8% ABV, this beer goes well with just about anything.

On the horizon: I've got just about enough brew mail to do some user-generated BrewShots (MnBBrewShots@gmail dot com) and some reader questions. Oh, and I owe the Internet a shitty prediction thread soon, which is only good for the beer recs, I swear.

Until next week, Cheers, Michigan Faithful!