Thursday, December 4, 2008
College Playoffs? Don't Talk To Me About College Football Playoffs!
Thats right, I stole a line from that famous Jim Mora quote you can see abused above to emphasize the point that I think discussion of college football playoff system is overrated. Every year I hear people fantasize about some cure all fantasy idea that having a playoff system will heal the bleeding that is college football. I am sorry but I like college football as it is today and don't think it needs any major changes. So please allow me a few minutes to explain why I love the BCS system and think a playoff is more hype then answers.
So how many teams should be eligible for this playoff system? Four? Eight? Sixteen? Heck, do like they do in basketball and try 65? For the record, even with their 65, teams with qualities wins who deserve a chance to make it, are in fact left out (which as a Syracuse Orange fan, I can attest to personally). And when you decide on a number, how will the chosen few be selected? Do you mandate conference championship games and advance the winners from those games or go by the current ranking system we have now? If you choose plan A, what happens when a team upsets a favorite in the big game and earns the bid with a record that 15 other teams end up with better records and are left out? If you go by the polls, isn't that just as subjective as we have now and could potentially leave someone out just as deserving? So what exactly is the "perfect" criteria that will make this playoff system to meet the levels of your expectations.
I personally enjoy the bowls games every year. It's a chance for teams from smaller conferences or good teams bogged down in top conferences to go out and prove they are good teams as well. It also allows the school to give the students experiences they will never forget while earning money that will go back into the university and the programs to help better themselves. It's also a chance for people like me who love to see football games even during the week and the holidays to experience teams I may not get the chance to see otherwise. I have loved the fact that for years, I can sit down during the holidays and watch them when dinner/presents are done (or sometimes even sneak them into the backdrop). And it doesn't matter to me if it's IUP, UNLV, or USC, I would watch just to see what happens because I enjoy college football.
One other aspect I like of the current system is that it makes every game of the season count. Everything a team does reflects their value and their ranking within the system and thus, more important. What may have been some rivalry game is now suddenly a chance for one of the teams to move higher in the rankings with a victory. It also makes sure that those teams fighting for their chance, play every game on their schedule with an unmatched intensity and are forced to win or lose out. For instance, Texas was ranked #1 when it lost to a #7 ranked Texas Tech team who in turn made it to #2 before being defeated by #5 Oklahoma. This may sound confusing but if you look at it from the ranking standpoint, Texas lost to a team ranked 6 slots below them, Oklahoma lost to a #1 and defeated a #2 so it seems logical that Oklahoma get the first chance at a shot to advance to the BCS championship game. This is proof that the quality of your wins in every game and the rankings make such matchups more meaningful throughout the whole season.
In conclusion, I support this BCS system despite the many critics which include our current President Elect. People tell me that I would change my tune if the Syracuse Orange where left out when they deserved a chance(as I mentioned above, been there and done that in basketball). Then again, right now I would be doing back flips if Syracuse was even mentioned in the Big East title picture, let alone nationally. But that aside, I argue that is not true and I would still emphatically believe the Orange should earn their way in just as other teams have to do. I keep hearing people who want the playoff system state that it should be decided on the field. I contend that it is decided on the field and every week you earn it. The top two teams are rewarded with the BCS Championship Game and will determine the new champion on the field because they earned it throughout the entire season and are the most deserving. That's my opinion, let me know what you think. I know it says above don't talk to me about it but some lines are so priceless, you have to keep them going and that Jim Mora line is one of them (and about half the lines from the Office including the famous "That's what she said" which I personally love to use when I get the chance).