College football is, without a doubt, a great sport.
It's a great spectacle that brings thousands and thousands of strangers together every Saturday in the fall. If it wasn't for college football, we might not drink beer at 8 AM, eat bratwurst at 9 AM, and throw bean bags at small holes all day until our arms fall off.
ESPN touts the college football season as a go-for-it-all affair. One that is unforgiving, meaning lose one game, just one game, and your chance for a national title goes out the window.
It also touts bowl season as "the most wonderful time of the year". I'm not sure I agree.
Every year I tell myself I'm going to watch more of the bowl games. Problem is, there's 34 of them, and not a one matters except for the one at the end, the National Championship game. I find it hard to pay attention to a game that means nothing.
I mean, seriously, who really wants to watch Fresno State vs. Wyoming? Aside from the people associated with those schools, and maybe people laid up on the couch on a random afternoon, nobody is paying attention.
It's a nice reward for the players involved. You go to a warm-weather city (most of the time, some have to go to Detroit), you might get an iPod, and you get to play one more game. It's nice for the seniors to win their last game and all. But again...nobody cares.
It's just one more reason that a playoff system needs to be implemented as soon as possible.
Yeah, I know, it's all about TV contracts and money, but the fact is that if even half of college football fans feel the same way I do, the system needs to change eventually. Hopefully one day, the TV ratings will reflect that.
There has to be away for Division 1A to implement a playoff system.
Some will argue that fans can't travel week after week. I'll argue that most schools that would be in such a playoff have enough of a fan base that they wouldn't have a problem selling their allotted tickets.
Some will argue that the playoff schedule wouldn't allow the players to focus on their finals.
First of all, let's be honest. How many of these high-profile college football players really care that much about their academics. I'm not saying they totally disregard classes, but come on. Secondly, if the playoffs started immediately after the regular season instead of waiting more than a month (for some bowl games), most teams wouldn't have to worry about football interfering with finals.
Third and finally, if the lower divisions of college football can all have a playoff system, why can't Division 1A? Why can't the big boys play along? For the lower divisions, academics are most certainly more important to these kids than to the big boys.
Again, I'm not intending to say that kids at Texas or Alabama won't go on and graduate with degrees, but the reality is, the Longhorns or Crimson Tide players are much more likely to go on to the NFL than the Purple Raiders of Mount Union College.
Think about it. What are you more likely to watch? Idaho vs. Bowling Green, or Texas and USC playing for the chance to go to the National Title game? If the college football playoffs were televised on these weekends leading up to Christmas, it would be ratings gold. And that's really what ESPN wants.
So really, bowl season isn't the "most wonderful time of the year". It's the most useless time of the year.