FOUR BITS: Hill, Reed, Division IV, Idaho

By Adam Silverstein
May 30, 2014

1 » New York Giants safety Will Hill on Friday was officially suspended by the NFL for the first six games of the 2014 season, marking the third-straight year that he will open an NFL campaign unable to play due to league punishment. Hill was first suspended four games before the 2012 season for use of performance-enhancing drugs – he claims he tested positive for Adderall – and also missed the first four games of 2013 when he tested positive for marijuana and was suspended under the league’s substance-abuse policy. Undrafted after three seasons with the Florida Gators, the former five-star prospect did not play at all in 2011 and only got a chance with the Giants after supposedly staying clean of drugs and focusing on his familial duties during his year off. New York has “put a lot of time and energy into trying to keep Will Hill clean,” according to Tom Rock of Newsday. This suspension will likely end his career with the Giants.and could result in another missed season until if or when another team gives him a chance.

2 » A concussion ravaged Washington tight end Jordan Reed‘s rookie season, forcing him to miss the final six games as he failed to pass the NFL’s protocol for returning to the field while dealing with headaches and nausea. It was Reed’s third concussion dating back to his time with the Gators. Now entering his second year as a professional, he is confident that the medical issue is behind him and he will be able to progress with his career. “I started to get a little scared after about two months – like, ‘Maybe I’m going to be like this forever,’ or something like that,” Reed said, according to The Washington Times. “But it ended up going away. … I don’t think it’s going to happen again. I don’t think it’s going to be something that I’m going to have to deal with my whole career.” Reed will enter 2014 as one of Washington’s primary pass catchers after racking up 499 yards and three touchdowns on 45 receptions as a rookie. He will also benefit from a healthy quarterback in Robert Griffin III and the addition of wide receiver DeSean Jackson. “He’s obviously a force in the passing game,” new head coach Jay Gruden said. “We have, obviously, one of the more talented young tight ends in the NFL, I believe.”

3 » The way the Gators played in 2014, the team would have been relegated if such a thing excited in college football. But when Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive spoke on Friday about creating a Division IV in NCAA football, he was discussing building something that could be quite special. Slive believes the NCAA must approve autonomy for the “power five” conferences to provide cost-of-attendance benefits to student-athletes; if it refuses to do so, Slive envisions all five conferences breaking out of the current model and moving into a division of their own. “There are now six lawsuits that name our conference and specifically have to do with the whole cost of attendance. our conference. Yet we would like to make changes and yet we can’t because the NCAA doesn’t allow us to. We’re really caught between a rock and a hard place. We desperately would like some flexibility,” he said on Friday at the SEC Spring Meetings, according to‘s Jon Solomon. “If it doesn’t [get approved], I think our league will want to move toward a Division IV. My colleagues, I can’t speak for anybody else, but I would be surprised if they don’t feel the same way.” Florida president Bernie Machen echoed Slive’s words, calling the current situation a “crisis” for the power five and noting that he is “pessimistic” about their proposals passing.

4 » The SEC on Friday announced that the Gators will open the 2014 football season with a night game. Florida will host on the Idaho Vandals on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. in a contest that will air live from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium nationally on ESPNU. UF starts the 2014 campaign with three home games all taking place after 3:30 p.m.; the Gators only had five such games – combined home and away – the previous two years.


  1. Dave Massey says:

    I would love to see the power five conferences break away and form their own deal. This is similar to a plan I came up with 20 years ago. My thinking was to take the top 64 team and divide them into 4 sections. The teams below 64 would be allowed to play into the top 64 each year so it wouldn’t be set. Then the top eight teams would have a national championship playoff. I like this power five deal. I would like to see all five have the same amount of teams and require a conference championship game between the two divisions. Those five make the playoffs along with 3 at large teams. The interest is this would be huge and would make them a fortune. NCAA is so backwards anyways they can’t do anything except make a fatter rule book. Hey Adam, check out how I am registered.

  2. Michael Jones says:

    College football is not broke. So why are they trying to fix it?

    They’re going to keep messing with it until they mess it up.

    • Dave Massey says:

      What world are you living in dude? College football is the only college sport where the voters have such a huge say-so in the equation. If that isn’t broke I don’t know what is. Most of these voters watch maybe 1% of the games if that and they make the decisions? Come on man, let’s settle it on the field!!!

      • Michael Jones says:

        Oh, my bad, man. I thought we were having a playoff this year. Must be in that alternative world I’m living in.

        There will always be a subjective “voting” element to determining a national champion in college football, basketball, and baseball. As long as somebody somewhere is voting as to where a team is rated, who gets invited into the tournament, where they are seeded, there will be “voters” and a subjective element. Even the alleged “power” and computer rankings in the respective sports are somewhat subjective based on who determines the criteria and who inputs the data.

        If you think that is only true for football, then you’re just kidding yourself.

        • Dave Massey says:

          If you want to call a four team format a playoff then that is your deal. Nobody but you believes that this will be representative of all of major college football. There will be no automatic bids and the four selections, once again for your benefit, will be made by people who have seen very little of these teams play. I would say that at least 16 teams should be in the mix to play for the crystal ball to make certain that the best of the best get to settle it on the field. In looking at the standings for the last twenty years I feel that there were very many teams in the 5-10 slots or so would have had a very legit chance to win it all. As far as I am concerned this ‘playoff’ is just a little tweak on the BCS which everyone agreed was unjust. I really don’t think that going beyond 16 is necessary if you look at the history of the sport. Once, you get to 17 and higher you are mostly looking at teams with 4 or more losses or teams from smaller and/or weaker conferences. Now it will be unjust with 4 teams instead of 2. Now a bunch of athletic directors will be making the decision instead of taking the top 2 in the BCS. Guess there won’t be any bias there. The system for determining a college football champion has been broke for a long time and this new deal is not the solution. All the other divisions have a full playoff format so why not the top one? With the five power conferences getting an automatic bid after a conference championship and three at large teams really is putting about 16 teams into the mix. The conference champs will not be determined by any “voting” element. Another thing that this Division IV will do is force Notre Dame to join a conference if they want to be in the mix for a NT. The only reason Notre Dame doesn’t want to be in a conference is because of the affect it will have on their profit. ND cares more about money than what is best for college football. If they do this Division IV deal I hope they mandate at least 9 or 10 conference games and the rest of your games have to be against other D IV teams. This new requirement for the top five to play one other team from the top five conferences really is a joke. Most teams will be looking to schedule games against the lower teams who will be more than happy to do it for the big paydays they will get for it. The SEC only plays 8 conference games so it is not a representative schedule. If they reward teams with tougher schedules and higher power rankings it will encourage them to play tougher schedules in the hopes of getting those at large bids and I don’t have any problem with that. What other solution would you like to see?

          I really don’t believe your so called “voting element has any determination in deciding the champion in basketball or baseball. The basketball tournament has 68 teams and the baseball tournament has almost that many. I do favor adding more “play-in” games for the basketball tournament since there are so many automatic berths for all the conferences. But I don’t really believe that any team has been left out that had a legit shot at winning it all. Everybody can whine and moan about brackets and seeding but the format has to be set up somehow. The bottom line is that all these teams have an equal shot at winning the whole thing because they are in the tournament. If you lose it is your own fault, not where you were seeded or placed. After all, how many 16 seeds have won even a single tourney game? I really don’t care how much they use power rankings, computer rankings or strength of schedule to determine placements, it has to be done somehow and all the good teams are in. The same goes for baseball. If you are in you have a shot. I’ve seen a lot of Gator fans on these sites whining about their baseball bracket and pairings. Shut up, suit up, go play the game and win or go home. In the end if you want to win it all you are going to have to go through a lot of good teams. This is not so in football with a four team format.

          With the size of the fields in every sport but the top division in college football, the voting factor is mostly eliminated unless you want to argue that say the 69th team in basketball really had a legit shot at winning it all. The voting element really only controls the champion in football and if you don’t realize that you are the one kidding yourself and living in your own universe. So we will definitely have to agree to disagree.

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