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Monday, December 04, 2006
A few random thoughts this morning about college football’s BCS:
Note to Michigan – how does it feel to be screwed? Think Peyton Manning in 1997. Yeah, that Heisman thing? We know how you feel. That doesn’t mean it is warranted, but we feel your pain nonetheless.
Let’s get something straight. College football will continue to suck as long as there is no settlement of the “national championship” on the field. Is Florida better than Michigan? Who knows. More deserving of the title game berth? I believe so, but that’s not relevant. What is relevant is that a team lost a single game by 3 points on the road to the #1 team in the country, and they are left out of the title chase. At least they’ve proven what they’re capable of. Florida has done nothing but play close games against great competition week in and week out. Top strength of schedule means something, at least this year.
See, that’s what’s frustrating about popularity contests like Heisman Trophies and AP Polls. The criteria changes. The “goalposts” move. Florida won the poll vote because they happened to be playing that week in a conference championship game. Michigan had already finished their season. Rest assured that if OSU-Michigan had been the first game of the season, and if Florida’s loss to Auburn had come in November, the Wolverines would be playing a rematch game with the Buckeyes in January. That’s just how the system is structured, and it’s flawed.
Which leads me to the following conclusion: it is time for a playoff. Now. Everyone wants one. Fans. Players. Coaches. Everyone except the ones who control the system. The time has come to implement a playoff. It can be done. Administration types need to quit whining about how much they care about the players, and how their delicate schedules can’t possibly manage a “second season”. They added a 12th game this year. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t to benefit the players.
Here’s what college football should do. Take the existing bowls, tie them into a playoff, and let the best team win. Top 4. Top 8. Top 16. However you want to do it. Just do it. Imagine a playoff round with Ohio State, Michigan, Florida and LSU. The top two teams from the top two conferences. I drool just thinking about it. Or go a step further. Throw in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Louisville, and Boise State. First round sites could be at the Capital One Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, and the Rose Bowl. Semis could be held at the Orange Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. And heck, play the championship wherever you want to.
Would that it were so.
As Pat Forde said on ESPN, “you've got to love a sport that reduces its championship to a politicized popularity contest/guessing game.” It’s time we moved into the 21st century and made it otherwise.
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