Hamilton won the Home Run Derby, despite not winning

Michael HoppesCorrespondent IJuly 15, 2008

I like college football the way it is. I like that the regular season matters, that a team can’t sluff through the regular season and then end up champion. No rewarding easy schedules though either (Kansas, Hawaii), but a team that competes and is the best at the end of the season, ought to have a better chance at winning the big title.

It’s events like what happened at the Home Run Derby last night that exemplify my feelings. Josh Hamilton of the Rangers hit a record 28 home runs in the first round of the competition. He also had 3 of the top 8 longest home runs ever hit in the competition, and then he didn’t win. Despite not even needing to hit in the second round, he choosing. But in the finals, when it was Hamilton vs. Justin Morneau of the Twins, the slate is wiped clean; the regular season didn’t matter. Morneau hit a total of 22 runs (8, 9, 5), not even enough to match Hamilton’s first round, and nowhere in the same ball park as Hamilton’s total of 35.

Hamilton won last night. Morneau may have the title, trophy and other spoils of victory, but Hamilton won.

It wasn’t even a contest after the first round. It would be like a 14-0 USC being beat by a 8-4 Mississippi State (no disrespect intended) in the BCS championship game. Yes, Mississippi State won the game, but were they really the best team? Isn’t the point of competition to see who is the best team? Sure, achieving on the field counts for something. A great team that can’t win isn’t such a great team. But a the best team doesn’t always win.

I’m not really anti-playoff, I’m more that I love college football the way it is. If you don’t like it, why follow it? Why must it change to meet your expectations and thoughts? If you want a playoff in football, go love the NFL, and watch the best team lose in the super bowl after a perfect season to a fair competitor, but not the better team.

Love college football for what it is. It isn’t perfect in the selection of teams, but if you could be perfect in that, it would be the perfect sport.