The problem with what your using is that you cannot prove anything one way or another. you have not stats to back anything up and the example you used is a poor one. As pointed out above even the neutral observers watching it called it a catch. However that is never enough because the first words typed in reply is always "They wanted Bama to win too" "ESPN is completely Bama biased" and so on. Judgement calls go both ways. Each team wins and loses some. But you always remember when a team you dislike benefits. And more fans dislike Bama than most any other team.
It was always rare and avoided if there was another viable option. That will be even more true now that some of the conferences are forcing a greater level of competition between the two networks. (And I do agree with the conferences doing so in regards to an expanded playoff. Just makes sense money wise)
Why pay 1.4 million to prepare for something you would not see otherwise and carries a risk to your players and season? I get what your saying, I do. But after watching Bama's best Defensive player get injured from a cut block launched from yards out that ended up with helmet to knee. I can see where this comes from. Though I do feel that if you schedule a team that runs the triple option with cut blocking at the time the agreement is made, you should honor that. However if the team switches to the Triple Option after being scheduled then teams should have a rider in the agreement that lets them move on from said game.
It is kind of obvious from the position he plays and the teams listed that he is only targeting schools running a base 4-3 defense. Not uncommon, a number of High school DEs want to remain as such and avoid 3-4 teams where they would have to switch techniques as a DE or stand with possible coverage responsibilities as an OLB.
This is more about maxing out profits and increasing fan engagement for longer stretches of time. Not really a "participation" concern. The larger argument will be if the increased focus on post season reduces consumption of the regular season.
The word I would look to is "program". The season ranking is that of this year's team. But the program of Gonzaga, how they have been viewed over the course of the last 10+ years does not get the same billing as other programs that have underachieved in respect to how they are perpetually viewed. Point being if Gonzaga loses most if not all of its stars from this year and Kansas does the same. The Zags are not trusted to just reload in the same way Kansas is.
The weed possession is a bad look. However it is a common enough issue that teams are likely to still give a chance as long as that such was not an issue at his prior school. The gun charge I would need to know more. He was charge with not having a concealed carry permit, so does that mean he has an open carry? And if it is sitting on his lap, how is that concealed? Or is SC a state were a gun in a car is considered concealed at all times? It would be the height of hypocrisy for many to get nervous because he is a gun owner. If the issue is that it was a "hot gun" obtained illegal that is one issue. If it is a matter of him having the right 'type' of permit for a murky translation of concealed v open, that is another.
Both O'Brien and Marrone were College Head Coaches as well prior to jumping to the pros. BoB at Penn State and Marrone at Syracuse.