Tony Barnhart, college football analyst for CBS Sports, was the featured speaker at the Aug. 2 meeting of the Dunwoody Rotary Club.
Barnhart, a Dunwoody resident, opened by saying this is the 150th anniversary of college football. He said he had recently attended SEC Media Days in Birmingham, Ala., four days of a wall-to-wall football marathon. Three past standouts of the sport were celebrated: Hershel Walker; Archie Manning; and Steve Spurrier.
Barnhart’s predictions include Georgia going undefeated in the regular season; Clemson winning the ACC; Ohio State taking the Big 10; and Oklahoma winning the Big 12 (as a result of Alabama’s quarterback’s transfer there). Oregon is predicted to take the Pack 12.
He predicts Alabama will beat Georgia for the SEC championship, but Georgia will win over Alabama for the national championship. Georgia Tech has a total remake this year under Coach Geoff Collins.
When asked if college players will eventually be paid, Barnhart said he did not think that would happen for a variety of reasons. However, the lives of players can be made easier by paying room, books, board, tuition, fees and giving them a cost of living stipend.
He also noted two rules changes for this season. The targeting rule now says if a player is ejected, the video replay must prove the targeting. If no proof is evident in the video, the player stays in the game. The overtime rule has changed as a result of the 7 overtimes in the LSU/Texas A&M game last year. Now, five overtimes is the limit with only 2-point conversions allowed.
When asked about the Florida/Georgia gap, Barnhart said that it is not as large as Georgia thinks it is, but it is also not as small as Florida wants it to be.