My writing life always comes and goes in streaks. Usually, my times away from writing are spent being lazy but that just wasn’t the case this time. I took a short break from writing entirely just to focus more time and attention to my wedding next month; we didn’t hire a wedding planner which means all that work fell on mine and my partner’s shoulders. Which is 100% fine. We’ve been doing pretty well with the project, and we made things easier by having the reception be a week after a wedding.
And our ceremony will just be us, the officiant, a photographer, and a fifth witness (officiant’s friend). It’s going to be perfect.
We still have a lot to do in the final weeks before we get anchored down for life, but I’ve finally gotten enough chores done to let myself write again.
Moving forward, I’ll have some ~daily writing here on the blog, and more structured (and EMU-sided) posts over at The Ypsilanti Eleven. The daily posts on the website you’re reading right now will look sort of like this. Sometimes they won’t. I’ll read something, share something, say something, and will in large part write for an audience of one: me.
“MWAHAHAHAHA! FOOLS!” -GREG SANKEY
There’s nothing in the world that’s more powerful or stronger than dried ink on paper. Last June, the proposed 12-team playoff expansion format was introduced to the media, and it’s a format that the was widely assumed to be the inevitable future of the sport. A month later, we found out that Texas and Oklahoma would be leaving the Big XII for the SEC. Greg Sankey, the SEC commissioner who’s hands have been heavily involved with both moves, said in October that he rejects the idea of having an 8-team playoff, and would only accept a new 12-team model, or keep the current 4-team playoff. Translated: Either I win, or I win.
Last week, from The Associated Press:
Not expanding the College Football Playoff sooner won’t make it easier to expand it later.
“In fact, I think it becomes more complicated,” Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey told The Associated Press on Friday.
The CFP is set to remain a four-team format through the 2025 season after the administrators who manage the postseason failed to agree on a plan to expand before the current contracts run out.
What started with an enthusiastic unveiling of a plan for a 12-team playoff last summer has come to a halt. The college sports leaders tasked with working out the details are at an impasse.
“Seems like everyone says they’re committed to expand the CFP, but it’s hard to believe that because we can’t expand the CFP,” Sun Belt Commissioner Keith Gill told The AP.Ralph Russo (The Associated Press)
RANDOM MAC PLAYER OF THE DAY: JERJUAN NEWTON
As a part of my ~daily writing, it’d behoove me to actually talk about the guys that make me care about MAC football the most: the players.
So let’s start these unprovoked MAC player musings by looking at Toledo receiver Jerjuan Newton. Newton’s entering the season as a 5-11 slot receiver that from St. Petersburg, Fla. Newton’s been a good weapon to roll out there, especially since his speed makes him such a great deep option.
Here’s a fun note about his season-to-season statistics: he actually had more production through fewer games in 2020 than he did last year in 2021. In 2020, Newton played every game (no starts), caught 15 passes for 2013 yards, and scored twice. Last year, he played in 11 games (8 starts), caught 13 passes for 144 yards, and scored one time. On the surface, I don’t think he’s any less of a receiver in 2021 than he was in 2020.
It’s probably worth noting here that Toledo saw a couple of QB changes in each season too. In 2020, and injured Eli Peters led to more playing time for Carter Bradley, probably the best deep-ball passer Toledo’s fielded since Logan Woodside. Bradley lost the starting job in-season to Dequan Finn, probably the program’s best running QB since… Tavares Bolden? Finn rushed for 502 yards on 112 official attempts, which doesn’t usually happen at UT. This program loves to air it out and let guys like Newton make plays, but a change in the offense took away from his opportunities.
Toledo’s offense is losing some pieces (both QB Bradley and WR Isaiah Winstead transferred out, RB Bryant Koback graduated, for instance), so I don’t see Newton getting any less playing time. My question I’ll have for him heading into next season is how much stronger will he be able to get? The speed’s good enough to burn a lot of defensive backs he’ll go up against, but can he build up more strength to win some contest throws?
Last year, Newton was 7th on the team in targets (23) and was only 1/2 on contested throws (per PFF). Winstead was the most targeted receiver for contested throws, and now he’s gone from the team. Newton doesn’t need to suddenly turn into Randy Moss, but if he’s more able to make a few plays in tight spaces this year, then that’ll definitely help move the offense forward in 2021.