10 Reasons Why College Football's Postseason Still Beats March Madness
March Madness is in full swing and people are scrambling trying to gain last minute inside information to fill out those brackets. This is the time of year that you really enjoy being a sports fan, and it is tough to argue that there is any postseason format better than the one college basketball provides.
However, if there is one that can compete with the NCAA tournament, it would be the college football postseason. Yes, the BCS format is better than March Madness. You know, the one that everybody complains about and will soon be replaced with an actual playoff system. Yeah, that one.
Don't get me wrong, I have filled out around 20 brackets already and will stay up late doing another 10, but there is nothing that beats college football's system.
Let the games tip off and the brackets being tossed in the garbage begin. Once it is all over with, you will realize that the basketball tournament is still a tad bit overrated.
A Lot More Professional Talent in Bowl Games
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When you watch a bowl game, there is a good chance you are going to see at least five players who have a chance to have a career in the NFL. In a single game in the NCAA tournament, you are lucky to find one kid who will even be considered by an NBA draft scout.
A lot of this may have to do with the fact the NBA draft is only two rounds and the NFL allows you to select nearly every guy off the board. However, the potential is much greater when it comes to the bowl games.
Just look at the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, which featured Trent Richardson, Michael Brockers, Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick, Dont'a Hightower and Morris Claiborne just to name a few. All of those players were high selections in the 2012 draft, and it was exciting to see so much professional talent everywhere you turn.
In a single tournament game, it is cool to see above-average skilled players play, but a majority of those guys will be forced to fall back on that degree and earn some desk job. Or they will end up playing overseas and the chances of you hearing from them again is mighty slim.
If you are a fan of elite-level talent, the bowl season is for you.
No Crying in Football
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OK, maybe A.J. McCarron proved that crying does actually happen in football. But the tears aren't flowing as rapidly as they do on Selection Sunday.
Every year, nearly every team that participated on the hardwood gets a shot to earn a bid in the tournament. And even with an absurd number of teams being invited to the Big Dance, you still end up with about 30 other teams upset that they weren't included.
Um, if you weren't good enough to be one of the 68 teams called, there is a pretty good chance you didn't deserve to participate to begin with. That is just a wild guess.
As for football—oh, there are many upset fanbases with the joke of the system we currently have with the BCS, although that only lasts about a day once the team finds out it will be rewarded with a trip to sunny South Florida and receive a cool goody bag.
Stop the bickering and complaining; there is always next year.
Bowl Games Are More Valuable to a Program
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Unless you are a college basketball fanatic that absolutely lives for the month of March, you can probably count on one hand how many Cinderella teams there have been recently. Sure, there have been plenty, but once they are done shocking the world and getting eliminated before the Sweet 16, their 15 minutes of fame is up and they go back to being that school nobody cares about.
It takes forever and a day for Gonzaga to become Gonzaga. It took more than a decade and four different coaches before Butler put its program on the map. Unless you are consistently making the tournament and known for making a deep run, nobody cares about you. Sorry, Robert Morris, winning an NIT game and trending on Twitter isn't good enough these days.
As for college football, reaching a few bowl games is good enough to generate excitement around your program. Teams such as Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Washington and even Baylor are slowly on the rise due to success in the postseason.
I love seeing programs come up and no longer allow themselves to be the doormat in a conference. College basketball seems to take too long for those success stories to take place.
The Breaks Between Games Makes for Better Competition
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If we are going to have a postseason, we want the matchups to be at least somewhat competitive. Right? Teams didn't put all of that work in during the regular season to not have its best showing when the games really count.
In college football, a majority of the bowl games are played about a month from being announced. A lot of folks don’t like such a long delay, but it actually benefits the teams participating.
Teams are allowed to practice multiple times before the big day. Film is watched over and over, schemes are broken down and coaches have time to experiment with different things. On Selection Sunday, the matchups are announced and teams are expected to go at in just a few days.
A lot of these contests are between teams that have never played against each other. The contrast in styles is different and due to the lack of preparation, it can really result in a sloppy game. A few more days of being able to adjust to a team that plays up-tempo or a 2-3 zone defense could make the world of difference in how competitive the game turns out.
Because of this, we see a lot of lopsided scores early on in the tournament, which doesn't seem to be the case in college football.
No Lousy Matchups in Football
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All right, you got me. We do have a few games that end up putting you to sleep during bowl season. Certain teams just aren't built for the bright lights and it doesn't help when the national championship is over before it even starts.
However, last season there were 14 bowl games that resulted in an outcome by 10 or less points. Considering there are 35 bowl games being played, that is 40 percent of the postseason resulting in a matchup that comes down to the wire. Even games between two teams you weren't remotely interested in caught your attention due to it being tight.
College basketball has its fair share of buzzer-beaters and games that keep you on the edge of your seat, but plenty of those result in games that are over before halftime. We knew the No. 1 seeds weren't going to lose, Marquette was going to stomp on BYU and did you really think Kansas could hang with North Carolina?
The tournament provides its entertainment and has great games, but it isn't worth it if you have to sit through several boring games to witness it all.
Don't Have to Channel Surf Every Two Seconds
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Us coach potatoes love nothing more than to sit in front of the television and spend an entire day watching sports. But the thing that can drive you crazy about the tournament is the fact that there are more than two games being played at once.
Now I don't mind flipping back and forth between a couple of games, but when I have to bring out the computer and search what channel truTV is, we have ourselves a problem. I'm one man with one remote control; I can't possibly catch all of the action at once due to this insane schedule. The chances of me catching that buzzer-beater is pretty good, but when watching that, I just missed Lehigh upset Duke.
The college football bowl season is fan friendly and spreads the games out by days and times. We put up with the nonsense on New Year’s Day, but one day of putting new batteries in your remote is worth it compared to what you go through during tournament time.
This is an issue that must be fixed.
You Don't Have to Lie to Your Boss
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Unless you are a crazy person that works odd hours and gets days off during the week, there is a good chance you are going to miss much of the opening rounds of the tournament. Whoever puts these schedules together must not live in the real world and thinks everybody is at home before lunch time.
Due to games tipping off the same time those soap operas come on, they really create a dilemma for you. Do you lie to your boss by calling in sick or do you tough it out and miss a majority of the day’s excitement? Sure, you can try and sneak on the Internet when filling out paperwork, but catching glimpses here and there just isn't the same as if you were at home in front of the flat screen.
Also, what are the odds your boss is going to believe that you caught the flu bug going around? You were fine yesterday and now you are too sick for work? Besides, you made up the same excuse last year around this time.
Your job is not in jeopardy when the bowl schedule is released, that's all I'm saying.
We Don’t Praise Mediocrity
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Say what you will about the NCAA tournament, but there are way too many teams participating. It makes the bracket fun and increases the chances of upsets taking place, but it sends the wrong message to the young generation. Mediocrity is not cool and it shouldn't be accepted. Shoot for the stars and always set those expectations high.
In the tournament the regular season means absolutely nothing. If you don't accomplish anything through the first 30 games, you will then be thrown into a conference championship game and be given yet another shot to earn a bid. This is how a lot of these teams that don't belong end up dancing and some of the better teams are the ones left home crying into a pillow.
If you have a losing record in your conference, you shouldn't be in the tournament. If you barely sniffed a .500 overall record, you shouldn't be in the tournament. This is not field day in elementary school where everybody gets a blue ribbon when the events are over. This is big boy stuff now, and a postseason should not include teams that limped towards the finish line.
College football wins once again, with college basketball considering everybody winners.
No Flukes Here
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No matter how close a bowl game may be, the better team usually comes out on top. Of course, there are upsets once in a while, like Louisville taking it to Florida, but for the most part you can count on the more talented team winning the game.
This isn't the case in the tournament as we all know.
No matter what anybody says, George Mason was not a better team than Michigan State, North Carolina or Connecticut when the Patriots went on their run in 2006. The Patriots just happened to be better that day.
A one-man show in Davidson back in 2008 shouldn't have been able to knock off Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin by himself. You call them upsets, but a tournament run by a team you never heard of is truly a fluke. Put those two teams in a seven-game series and the better group of players is going to win within five.
It is nice to see the little guys given a shot, but the format does have its flaws.
The Top Two Teams Truly Play Each Other
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Regardless of what people say about the BCS system, it really does produce the best two teams in the country. We can argue about the rest of the rankings, but as far as putting the best two teams in the big game, the BCS usually does its job.
The tournament only produces the two teams that got hot at the right moment. While I love me some Kemba Walker, Connecticut was not the best team back in 2011. Butler was a great story two years in a row, but name more than two players off of the rosters that made those championship games.
Very rarely, the top teams in the country end up playing in the Final Four, let alone the national championship in college basketball. In a postseason format, that should really be all you ask for as the top teams in the country should be the ones playing for the ultimate prize.
Would I change the tournament the way it is? Probably not. But that doesn't change the fact that the college football postseason is much better than college basketball’s.