On the BCS, Part III

Posted by: Avinash on Friday, January 4th, 2008

And now we approach what will be college football’s extraordinarily feeble attempt to crown its champion in 2008.

I broached this subject a month ago, but let’s draw some closure to the argument. When I think of a national champion in college football, I think the regular season matters far more than ANY other sport. Because there is a six week gap between regular season and title game, you have an unusually unique situation in which teams play out their season and then don’t immediately play games to determine who should be on top. This has been going on for decades, and it always produced slumber fests for everyone but alumni and traditional fans. “I was here when Archie Griffin plowed the fields of Pasadena!”

Now, you might argue, play the games immediately! Yeah, cute. Dec 13th is bowl championship weekend? I don’t think that’s going to fly with the old people. You know, your parents and grandparents. Old people. And we know old people can’t play football anymore, so their opinions shouldn’t matter. But they do, and they are the majority, so the bowl games stay where they are.

How about the playoff way then! Go straight to the playoffs the week after the season ends! Well, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. An eight-team playoff takes three weeks and three more games for the best teams to decide who’s best, and that runs through finals and winter break, for students, alumni, athletes, etc.. Who exactly would pay for the bowl games? Who would go to all three, travel from bowl site to bowl site, etc? The playoff logistics would be like an endless road trip for college football players, and they can barely handle two weeks on the road. No no no.

At the moment any playoff system concocted is terribly contrived. So we’re going to have to hope that two legit contenders emerge, separate themselves from the pack, and provide us a wonderful buildup to a title game. Otherwise, just revel in everything that happened before the last game to produce all these chaotic logistics. And realize that the current system we have is imperfect and that it might be awhile before we have a better alternative that satisfies the would-be powers. Let’s enjoy what we have instead of griping on what we can’t get. As much as I hate USC, Pete Carroll’s sunny optimism is oh-so-infectious. Sunlight. Flowers. Love it.

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