The Golden State Warriors won 48 games last season and missed the playoffs in the West. In the East, the Atlanta Hawks' 37 wins "earned" them a trip to the post-season. To be fair, the Hawks took the eventual champion Celtics to the brink, but the point is the equity of the two leagues run incongruous.
In Major League Baseball this season, the three best records in the National League all reside in the Central. In fact, both the second-place Brewers and third-place Cardinals would be front-running in three of the six divisions in the Majors. Even the cellar-dwelling Pirates, a whopping 13 games back, would only be four games back in the putrid NL West, where no team is even .500.
That means a team in the central could win 90+ games and MISS the playoffs, while the Diamondbacks or the Dodgers (no locks to win 80) will take their place because SOMEONE from the West has to go.
We hear pro sports parity has grown with the advent of salary caps, revenue sharing, television contracts, and merchandising. Actually, it appears the disparity between the "haves" and "have nots" is as big as ever, if not bigger.
TV ratings are up not because everyone has a shot, but because we all wanted to see someone take down the big bad Patriots. That is certainly not parity.
That has always been the case in college football. When Florida matches up against the Citadel at the Swamp in late November (Florida always seems to come through with the most over-matched late-season opponent), you will see what I mean.
Yet college football has always been riveting due in part to the fan passion, but also because great teams match up every week. There are 112 of them, odds are, the good ones will play a few times.
College football draws our attention because there is no playoff. The top two teams play for all the marbles and that's it. Pressure mounts every week as one loss can mean the end of a season.
You have to watch every week, or you could miss the end of one team's season.
Meanwhile, the BCS has come through time and again, correctly crowning the BCS Champion. When I say, "correctly," I mean the eventual champion was, in fact, the best team in college football.
We like to say that in pro sports the playoff system gives any team a chance to win it all, but that isn't quite true. Sure every once in a while a team like the Giants or the Steelers come through with clutch playoff performances to stun the world.
We rarely get the kind of clash of the titans matchup in pro sports we want.
Not the BCS. By mid season we could see LSU and Ohio State were the best two teams in college football. Sure, LSU had lost two games, but that is why I love college football; by adding a human element via the rankings we can account for tough losses, questionable scheduling, and close outcomes.
Of particular importance is being able to separate the good teams from the great ones.
Since 1998 when the BCS began, there have been questions surrounding champions several times, but whether the best team won the title, it always seemed the right teams were playing in the big game.
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