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College football is great as it is, but that doesn't mean a little tinkering and some fresh ideas wouldn't improve it. ESPN.com columnists Gene Wojciechowski, Ivan Maisel and Mark Schlabach have a few suggestions for things they'd like to see as it relates to this season's on-field product as well as larger issues concerning the sport.
Nowhere on the Heisman Trophy ballot does it say anything about strength of character. You can be a knucklehead, Zac Efron's frat brother, a crummy teammate, or a creation of someone's sports information department. But if you're a full-time student in good standing and you abide by NCAA rules, I can vote for you. Not everyone in the Heisman House is going to be Tim Tebow or Mark Ingram. After all, the trophy features a guy carrying a football, not the Ten Commandments. But it would be nice if future Heisman candidates and recent winners took a lesson from the Ingrams, Tebows, Sam Bradfords, etc., of the world. In short, if you can read a defense, then you can read the pricing label on a package of seafood. You shouldn't need a school-supplied 24-hour babysitter. And if you screw up, write your own apology statement. And speaking of writing ... let's read the NCAA fine print about autograph sessions. No more Johnny Sharpie incidents.
First, Frank Beamer, who leads all active FBS coaches with 266 career victories, turns 68 in October. With three very good seasons, Beamer could reach 300 wins at age 70 and get out and go to his vacation home at Lake Oconee in eastern Georgia and play golf with all the other coaches who have homes there while he can still turn on the ball. Second, given the money that head coaches make and the pressure they are under to succeed, I am skeptical that any coach from this generation will stay on the sideline long enough to win 300 games. Beamer may be the last candidate to join the club.
Chaos has always been good for college football, and here's hoping that the 13-member College football Playoff committee will have to choose from among several undefeated or one-loss teams to fill the four-team College Football Playoff and other major bowls. The committee is striving for as much objectivity and transparency as possible, but there are still a lot of unknowns surrounding the process. I want to see guys like former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne and Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez sweat over some really tough choices, and then keep a straight face when they say their allegiances (current or past) didn't have anything to do with it. I also want to see if the committee is willing to select a one-loss team at the expense of an undefeated team with a soft schedule (such as Baylor or Wisconsin).