Posts Tagged ‘ bcs ’

Where College Football Has it Wrong

Two gripes about college football—the best, most entertaining sport in the land. The first is obvious: the BCS is pure BS. But that’s a yearly canard, and hardly original. The second is its replay policy. Let’s tackle that one first…

Constant Replay
I hate it. A few college coaches fought the implementation of instant play (Lloyd Carr among the most vocal) for logistical reasons and good ole’ fashioned if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it reasons. I thought, as I often did of him, he was being an old grump who was afraid of change. But I’m here to tell ya, if this is the way they’re going to do it, he was right.

If you’re unfamiliar with the policy, it’s different than the NFL’s. In the NFL, each team is granted two replay challenges per game, and is awarded a third if one of their challenges is upheld.

In college football, EVERY play is reviewed. EVERY play is under scrutiny and potentially reversible by the booth officials. You could conceivable have 10 stoppages per half, if the booth deems that many calls on the field are worthy of review. And I’ve watched games where that seems like what’s happening. Some of them aren’t even worth disputing by the aggrieved party. Some are plays that an opposing coach would NEVER consider worthy of tossing a challenge flag (which they can also do, by the way).

It’s ridiculous. It disrupts the flow of the game, it makes the whole spectacle a practice in perfection (when sports never is), and gives too much power to the cameras while taking too much away from the officials on the field. What results is not football; it’s a video game.

Why can’t they institute a coach’s challenge policy and leave it at that? The whole point of this was to make sure that games weren’t decided on one or two OBVIOUSLY horrible calls…like a TD that never was or a fumble that is clearly missed. It shouldn’t be the intent to make the officiating flawless, because it never will be. Even if they stop play to review EVERY SINGLE play of a game…which I guess they technically are…we’re never going to get it 100% right.

Can’t we all just settle for the standard that no outcomes will be erroneously decided by a blatantly blown call on the field…and leave it at that? Why go so far past what was originally fought against, to something not even the NFL would consider doing to take more fun out of the game?

Ugh. It’s for the birds.


PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS?!!! We’re just trying to win a game; don’t talk about PLAYOFFS!!!
Nearly everyone with a pulse agrees that the BCS is a joke. I don’t need to hash out that argument again here. But what I do think is worth mentioning is something that addresses the bowl-game die-hards who insist that the bowl system is the only way to end a college football season. (Really? Which bowls matter anymore? Why should we care who plays in—or wins—The Pepperidge Farm Tuscaloosa Nitwit Bowl? You REALLY wouldn’t prefer to decide a national champion on the field, as opposed to a computer and a bunch of vested voters?)

Aside from the championship game, which I think now plays sometime mid-March, there is nothing (aside from money) in it for any of the other teams “competing” in the lesser bowls. But a playoff system would change all that. I know. Here we go again…

Another argument I won’t hash out again on these here Internets is the virtues of a playoff system. But I have been hearing a lot about one proposed idea that I could really get behind. It’s laid out in a book entitled “Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series.” Though I haven’t read it, apparently what the author Dan Wetzel is proposing is parameters for a neat and tidy playoff system. It makes so much sense, it couldn’t possibly ever happen:

  • 16 teams
  • 11 division winners from all division-1 conferences
  • 5 at-large bids, selected by committee
  • first two rounds are home games, played at the field of the higher-seeded team
  • final four are three games at a destination, held in early January

I’ve run out of pixels (and energy) to fight this good fight, but from what I see, I like it. Tell me that sucker can’t make money. Tell me nobody would watch it. Tell me the kids wouldn’t like it.  Tell me that wouldn’t decide the TRUE national champion on the field of play.

Heck, tell me anything…that’s what comments are for….