Sunday, November 30, 2008

College Football

I know this isn't that important in the big scheme of things, but I hope the MESS that has been created this year via the BCS standings will finally, finally encourage the NCAA to move to a playoff system for college football. I will not hold my breath, as there have been several controversies already over the past several years that should have provided enough evidence to the powers that be that the BCS system is just not kosher.

As you may have heard, the Big 12 Championship game matchup was decided today by the 5th tiebreaker, which, unfortunately is the BCS ranking system. In brief, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech all ended with a 7-1 record in the Big 12 South (and 11-1 overall), and were vying to play Missouri, the winner of the Big 12 North division. Texas beat Oklahoma back in October, 45-35, Oklahoma beat Texas Tech 69-21, and Texas Tech beat 39-33. Oklahoma got the nod for the Big 12 Championship because of a 0.9351 average, slightly better than 0.9223 average for Texas.

Personally, I really couldn't care about this, except as a casual football fan. However, there are so many players, coaches, universities and fans that pour so much effort, time, money and their heart and soul into college football that it just seems ridiculous that a computer ranking system (that takes into account "style points") ends up determining the championship, when every other sport in the NCAA and in the world is decided on the field.

Plus, it leads to pathetic pandering and campaigning by the coaches and universities, which just is so uncouth. This is a sport played by strong young men, and should be decided mano a mano rather than some nerdy computer algorithm.

Get rid of the conference championship games and start either a 8 or 16 team playoff from early December and that culminates in early January. It would not lead to global academic underperformance. The players are already receiving tons of help/tutoring and are still practicing football all throughout first semester finals in preparation for the bowl game. Plus, only 2 teams would end up playing in all 3 or 4 games, the rest would be eliminated earlier and the net time spent away from the books would be about the same.

This system simply does not make any sense. All I know is that Texas beat Oklahoma, and that Utah and Boise State are undefeated, yet it is unlikely that any of those teams have any chance at winning the college football crown.


Don said...

I agree with you Coca, but I don't see it happening, because the NCAA has a monopoly on minor league football. "College" football is a misnomer at the I-A level, and there is too much money involved for the oligarchs to change anything. As long as fans continue to watch and attend games like the Poulan WeedEater Bowl, the NCAA will never switch. That's why I rarely watch semi-pro ball any more. I focus on college football and even attended a COLLEGE football playoff game this week. 12,000 people watched Richmond beat Eastern Kentucky with me in the first round, and it was a great time -- especially with no television timeouts ruining the pace of the game. As soon as other consumers get as smart as me -- the NCAA will change. :)

Will said...

It's true, this would never happen but it would be great if there were a system like baseball where kids could leave high school for the minors and get paid or take a scholarship to play in a still-competitive-but-saner college league where being a student athlete would be more realistic.

In terms of options that would more address this computer nonsense, eliminating the conference championships and going with an 8 or 16 team playoff played as 'bowls' with teams not in the 8 or 16 playing in the consolation minor bowls (Poulan Weedeater) would keep all vested interests intact. Each year the sequence of the playoff bowls could rotate so the Orange, Sugar and Fiesta would each have their chance at hosting the championship game . And , yes, this might mean the pac 10/big 10 and the rose bowl might have to further part ways. Oh the humanity!

Anonymous said...

Here is a possible solution. We can call it the BCS + 2. Play all the big bowl games on January 1. Take the top BCS ranked 4 teams after these games and play two weeks.

Jan. 8 4 vs. 1
Jan. 8 3 vs. 2

Jan. 15 winners play for it all.

You could play at site of higher ranked team or neutral sites. It would be a cash cow, ratings bonanza, etc. And, it is over by the 15th and no classes are missed as the 2nd semester will be just getting ready to start.

Just my idea.

Don said...

All of these are great ideas, but you are just worsening your pain. As long as people go to and watch bad, meaningless bowl games, the system will never change.

Instead, watch college football this weekend. Richmond travels to Appy State in the second round of the playoffs! Go Spiders!

Don said...

Speaking of the saintly world of pure athletics known as the Ivy League -- what did you think about the "reassignment" of Siedlecki?