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He already sold out.

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Bill Connelly has headed to ESPN, and the effects are already showing.

We love Football Study Hall. And we love its founder, SBN’s old stat guru Bill Connelly—so much that we devoted a constantly-updating non-conference preview piece to his work. Hell, we lean on the crutch of S&P+, using it much more as the proverbial lamppost rather than a light.

But he’s gone now, and he’s gone to ESPN. (His reasons are fine, btw.)

And he’s already gone corporate.

Take, for example, his first real piece: “How each top CFB contender can win the national title.” Let’s take the introduction:

Flash back to this time last year. Think of all the things we didn’t know about the quarterback position alone. What was Clemson’s plan regarding Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence? Georgia’s plan with Jake Fromm and Justin Fields? Notre Dame’s with Brandon Wimbush and Ian Book? Was Tua Tagovailoa truly ready to be a star at Alabama? How much might Oklahoma’s offense regress with Kyler Murray replacing Baker Mayfield? The quarterback situation among contenders is a lot more stable this time around, but every team in the country still has questions to answer.

Yes, how would these historically-good teams contend without their starting quarterbacks?

(But that’s not our point.)

No, Connelly continues to do the chances of all the “national contenders”, and wrapped up in that little two-word phrase he gives away the fact that...well, facts don’t matter. Clicks do.

Let’s take his contenders, line-by-line:

Right! We’re not upset about that, are we? Alabama and Clemson just appeared in a national title game decided by the dumbest fake FG in history, Ohio State is here, and Georgia and LSU frequent the Top 25 despite doing fuck-all.

Nothing’s changed; we’re all fine here.

Let’s look at the next line!


I mean, that’s pretty irredeemable. College Football Playoff participant Notre Dame is not the worst inclusion in the world, and as Washington and Oregon are the two real front-runners for the Pac-12 Championship Game, I suppose we should talk about them.

Texas, of course, is back. So they should be here, and Florida is in the SEC East, so why not? Fine.

I know what you’re asking. But let’s just go on to the finish, shall we? Because there are some woefully underqualified Big Ten teams here in ol’ Billy C’s list:

Already desperate for any and every click, Bill. Should’ve included a poll to really get all your Nebraska readers wet.

We’re not going to engage the lunacy that involves calling wisconsin a playoff contender.