Friday, December 08, 2006

The sum of the angles of that rectangle is too monstrous to contemplate!

Beyond the Aggies I'm not really an avid fan of college football.

I may watch the occasional "big" game, but that's about it. I like the energy & tradition, but I only have so much sports watching time and it's consumed with Aggies, Cowboys, Cardinals, Stars, the Mighty Lakers, the Little Mavericks, etc.

But, let me sound off on this college football meltdown known as the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) real quick. I'm really getting whipped about hearing of how it has failed (again) to pit the top two teams in the championship game.

Hey, there's so much cagged with college football. Let me count the ways.

First, what's up with big schools being able to schedule cream puffs the first three games of the season to increase the win total to be bowl eligible?

Second, the whole conference thing is curious. Some teams are in one; some are not. Some have a championship game; some don't. That means an extra game at the end of the season whereby they actually have to play a good opponent just to win the conference.

Third, there's rampant cheating in the programs. How? By boosters either (a) giving a player money under the table or (b) providing perks that don't show up on W-2 forms for a player and/or his family members.

My solution, pay the players as though football was their part-time job. They put in a ton of hours ... in a job ... that makes the school thousands, consequently millions. Stick it to the man and share the love. Sure, there will still be some behavior to police, but one might be less tempted if he's at least getting some blow money for the weekends or money to save up or send home or whatever. As it is, they cannot work and have no income whatsoever ... legitimate, that is.

Fourth, the whole poll thing is odd. There are two polls, one voted by the coaches and the other the AP, written by sports writers. The former seems absurd because the average fan watches so much more football than does the coach, who tends to only watch his game film and scout upcoming opponents. Joe Paterno is not watching A&M at Tech or other such action that could impact rankings. Plus, don't you think a coach's sitz im Leben impacts his rankings. What's to stop him from ranking his opposition very low so their BCS rankings are impacted negatively? What's to prevent him from ranking the opponents he's beaten higher than deserved to make his strength of schedule appear better?

The sports writers tend to be consumed with regional teams and also are under-informed, so I question their poll. But I do prefer it due to less conflict of interest.

Incidentally, what's up with a preseason ranking? A new team with new players, but clearly not a clean slate to start the season. Before any games have been played a team could be way down the food chain so that an undefeated season won't get them in the top 5, let alone in the championship game.

They need a playoff system, if the goal really is an undisputed champion. If it's just money, then keep your current bowl system where any spare team with a pulse can get a bid to at least the Bowl.

My suggestion: Take the top 8 teams in the AP poll and put them in a single elimination tournament, where the (1) seed hosts the (8) and so forth. Or move the games around to some of the bowl locations.

Teams (9) through (93) can play in the other bowl games just like usual, with the semi-finals of the bracket the weekend before the bowls and the championship game the Sunday night that follows.

Sure, there's still some question about which team should be (8) and which should be (9), but at least then you have 8 teams with a chance to win the title, instead of just two. Plus, you're pretty well guaranteed to have those perceived to be the top two with at least a chance, which many argue didn't happen this year (e.g., USC or Michigan are seen as better than Florida).

Arguments against the playoff include disturbing finals for the students. To that I respond that (1) Division Two teams have a playoff and it's fine.

Iincidentally, what title DOESN'T have a playoff system? NHL? NBA? College Basketball? NFL? MLB? The only other thing I can think of in the genre of college football is ... Boxing and we know how wheels off that is!

(2) You could shorten the college football season to 10 games for all, eliminating a cream puff or two at the beginning. Then start up right after Thanksgiving, spreading out the three rounds of the tournament to do the first two before finals and the championship game around New Year's Eve/Day.

So, I realize folks are miffed that Florida jumped Michigan in the BCS standings due to human decision because they didn't want a rematch or whatnot. But college football has been so heinous about this stuff for so long it doesn't even register on my radar screen.

If I watch non-Aggie football it's typically the SEC championship game or the Big XII championship game, determined by record and not subjective opinion.

Without a playoff system, I'm afraid college football will continue to beat down the fan who wants it to make sense.

Trying to figure out the rhyme or reason to college football is borderline maddening. In fact, the sum of the angles of that rectangle is too monstrous to contemplate!


At 11 December, 2006 08:14, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Gators!


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