College Football Myths That Need Busting, Pt. 1

Mitch WilsonSenior Writer IFebruary 27, 2009

While I love debates, I think it's time to actually check some facts and get things straight.

Here are some of the often-referred-to things in college football today that the facts don't bear out. I plan on doing a series regarding the myths.


1. These Florida Gators are an "elite" football program

The facts simply don't add up.

While three national titles puts you in some elite company, it just doesn't make you one of the elite—especially when zero of them have been undisputed.

Put simply, none of Florida's national titles came in a year where they ran the table. None of their titles came when they were the only one-loss team. None of their trips to the national title game came without some debate.

They have never won back-to-back titles.

When we look throughout history at all of the teams and programs who have won national titles, there are far too many that have done it by winning them all and putting together epic win streaks. These are the elite teams and, in the grand scheme of things, Florida has not earned the right on the field to be considered one of them.


2. Preseason polls are meaningless

This simply isn't the case. While they are useless and do more harm than good, the facts play out that they are far from meaningless.

In some of the computer polls, preseason and regular season rankings are part of the formula that goes in. Also, we all know it's much harder to jump a team that wins, regardless of who is better and how they got to that spot to begin with.

While we hope over the course of a season it all plays out, it simply doesn't always work that way.

While it's silly and unfair that a poll that has predicted the eventual national champion less than five percent of the time carries so much weight, the fact remains that it does.


3. East coast bias

This is another myth that doesn't exist. While the west coast teams may feel slighted and ignored sometimes—while of course doing nothing about their own scheduling to try and take a stab at fixing it—the facts don't play out that east coast teams fare any better.

If anything, midwest and southwest teams seem to get all the breaks.

While it's pretty well documented that outside of Texas, the Big 12 gets punished pretty regularly when they play ranked teams out of conference, the Top 15 is usually littered with Big 12 teams.

The same can be said about the Big Ten. While they do a lot better out of conference in big games then those teams from the southwest, they sure seem to get a lot of breaks.

Was anyone really convinced Ohio State deserved a BCS game this past season?

Do we even need to get started on another midwest team, Notre Dame?


4. Miami is a bunch of convicts

Go ahead and hit Google for a few hours, it won't be much. While Miami has been brash on the field the past 30 years or so, and the king of the trash talk, the police blotter doesn't even get a whiff of what is going on across the country at other programs.

Some people claim that everyone likes to take shots in the police blotter of teams that won the championship or have has success. In Miami's case, most of it is just made up out of thin air.

While Miami has had the most success of any team on the field over the past 25 years, with five national titles and the two longest winning streaks outside of the 1920s and the 1950s, the police haven't had to spend much time on campus in Coral Gables.

If you are looking for a roughing the passer flag, someone dancing in the end zone, some standard taunting, and an occasional fistfight, you may be in the right place. If you are looking for convicted felons, drug dealers, domestic violence, felony assault, theft, or credit card fraud, you aren't even on the same campus.

While Miami was often known for being highly penalized, they also have long sported one of the nation's highest graduation rates as well.


5. Instant replay works

Quite simply, it hasn't even come close to working, unless you think working means giving the networks time to stuff in more commercials.

Aside from making a routing completion or an obvious fumble a 20-minute pause in the action, refs often never get the call right in the end. It has also made the refs' ability to just make a call take as much time as a question on a math test, it's that ridiculous.

The worst calls aren't reviewable anyway. Unnecessary roughness, holding, and pass interference are among those "judgement calls" where a ref should need the most help, yet replay doesn't allow for help in these instances.

After 4.5-hour games that because of the clock rules have much less football than they used to, maybe it's time to revisit how replay is working out.

I'll be back with more myths, as there are plenty out there to work with.