It is that time of year again!! Time to whine about college football’s bowl system and lack of playoffs!
I have engaged in dozens of fantastic conversations with friends in recent years regarding the topic of a hypothetical playoff system in college football. You may be surprised to learn that in the past I have been steadfastly AGAINST any proposed playoff that I have ever seen in print or heard discussed in the media.
This year, I have started to change my mind on the topic a little. I have come around a little to the idea as I have allowed myself to dream just like everyone else. (SFN’s own BJD has blogged the topic very recently and also suggested a workable playoff solution last year that is worth visiting.)
But, everytime that I try to go along with the playoff idea…they push me back away!!
Terry Bowden’s recent article on Yahoo that dreams of a National Championship playoff system served to remind me exactly why I don’t like the playoff idea — because the idiots running college sports (and the average fan) will NEVER actually get it right when it is time to organize the undertaking..
For the sake of discussion, take a look at Bowden’s suggestion for an eight team playoff before I obliterate it with common sense. (Link to article) and brackets are included below Just as important as Bowden’s comments, take a look at this entry and the 20+ comments following the entry from one of the best blogs in the country; notice how EVERY fan was so blinded by the dream of the playoff that not a one of them was astute enough to think of the most simple of hurdles to Bowden’s dream.
Let me clue you in to the #1 PROBLEM with 95% of the “proposed playoff systems” that exist out there — LOGISTICS.
Quite simply, nobody EVER thinks of HOW this proposed playoff is supposed to be pulled off in the necessary timeframe. It isn’t that it can’t necessarily be pulled off. It is just that nobody seems to ever think about the issue (and many others) in their proposed ‘solutions’.
Take a look at Bowden (and many fans’) proposal with a discerning eye and imagine how IMPOSSIBLE the logistics that such an undertaking would be for everyone involved – teams, fans, bands, cities, venues, hotels, etc. It takes cities and programs about a month to arrange the logistics and travel for a single bowl game…and these Einstein’s want to squeeze three different bowl games and trips across the country into a three week period?
I always LOVE the one about how a hypothetical playoff system will be “for the fans”. Riiiiight. It will be for the 50 fans per school that can afford to support their boys traveling all around the country on five days notice in the middle of the busy holiday travel season. ROTFLOL!!
Take a look at Bowden’s proposal through the eyes of an Ohio State fan. Bowden’s simple oversights and resulting logistical nightmare is exactly why this idea loses credibility every year.
A Buckeye fan’s “reward” for being #1 in the country all year would be to travel to San Diego, California a couple of days before Christmas to battle a team from California of all places. (Makes perfect sense!!!) Why shouldn’t the #1 team in the country travel across the country to battle an #8 seed a few hours drive from their campus?
So, your Buckeyes win at Cal (so much for playing a tough regular season schedule to earn a #1 seed) and within seven days you need to find another couple of thousand to book another set of travel arrangements to get to Dallas, TX to play Texas in the Cotton Bowl in about 7 days. You ever tried to book a flight from Columbus to Dallas on 5 days notice…in the middle of the holidays!?
After your Buckeyes win in Texas where the Longhorn fans are going to out number your fans 4 to 1 if you are lucky…and now it is time for you to take out that 3rd mortgage to get flight arrangements and travel BACK to California for the National Title game in less than a week. Of course, that will be a breeze!
At this point, you should consider the unhappiness of your shareholders for you spending so much time away from the company that you own. You see, you most definitely own the whole corporation – not just your own jet (which you obviously need to own) – because nobody else in America could have afforded this month long, dream vacation. Thank goodness that you own a company, because no other employer would allow you to miss over three weeks of work to travel the country and watch football!!
To be fair, you probably do have a little extra money saved to spend on the playoffs because you didn’t go to as many Buckeye games during the regular season. Why should you have gone to all of those stinker games against cupcakes? Now that the regular season doesn’t mean as much as it used to the Buckeyes changed their scheduling philosophy and dropped all of the interesting games (like Texas) to pad their results with enough wins to insure their appearance in the playoffs.
You also saved money during the year from not buying ESPN’s Gameplan now that games like FSU-UF, Miami-Louisville, Auburn-USC, Michigan-Notre Dame, Oklahoma-Oregon, Cal-Tennessee and USC-Notre Dame aren’t played anymore.
(sarcasm) Please never forget that any proposed playoff system is all for the fans!!!
(Note: I will follow this entry in the coming days with an attempt to propose what I think could be a logistically feasible solution that I might be able to get on board with. Unfortunately, it will be too reasonable and will never fly.)