College Football: Six Ways to Make a Playoff System Better Than The BCS!
David Stern, in spite of deserving prolonged anal abuse for treachery and debauchery in how he backstabbed the cities of Seattle and Vancouver BC, actually stumbled upon a concept that college sports would be wise to emulate.
Years ago, the NBA went to a regional play system split into the Eastern and Western Conferences, but instead of splitting the regions into a dual American vs. National League like professional baseball and football did, professional basketball went with only one-single league concept.
East vs. West.
If your city was in the east, you played against all the other teams in the east. More than you would against teams across the country in the west.
The advantage the NBA consequently fell into, was a regional style of play where the eastern teams played the game differently than the western teams.
For the past two decades, the Eastern Conference has brought a more slowed-down half court philosophy while the West is more wide-open. Almost like a miniature World Cup format of soccer, where different regions of the world play the same game differently.
It’s precisely what gives the “world sport” of soccer a unique place in competition.
Ball-play in Brazil looks distinctly different than the same game played in England, or South Africa, or Korea. And yet, technically, it’s the same sport on the same-sized field.
Each region of the world gets the opportunity to test their style of play against the other regions, based upon a distinctly original and unique theory on how best to win soccer games.
College football, if designed right, could do the same thing. And in today’s world of dopey polls and outraged fans to settle championships, there may be no better time to redesign conferences and playoffs like there is right now.
We hear the same thing every single year, and we’ve been hearing it for almost five decades now. Crowned champions got the reward more from college politics than play on the field.
This year TCU and until last week, Boise State, confounded the so-called sports experts by winning. And winning so frequently that it made a mockery of the sophisticated system that is the BCS.
Experts argue that small schools should not win. That they cannot win. And yet they did win.
So the system as we know it needs an overhaul, and as college sport dabbles dangerously closer and closer to their professional big brothers in terms of profits and stadium retrofits, it becomes all the more obvious that something is amiss.
The system needs fixed, it has needed fixed for longer than most of us have been alive, but nothing seems to be getting done.
We keep using the same flawed arguments for maintaining the status quo, using a formula that the majority of fans detest. And the system we use emulates one dependent on child labor. Or at least unpaid teenage labor.
So it’s time to change all of that, and thus my dubious six-point proposal for how to do that.
This is not scientific, nor does it compare the financial formulas of revenue generation and how to best exploit the masses.
Six proposals to change the system, so that the lowest of the low have as much chance at success as the pompous stuck-up elites.
Part II of this article can be found at:
Proposal #1 – Semi-Paid Collegiate Athletes
Starving the labor force is a concept that was proven both flawed and immoral back in the 19th Century when the Industrial Revolution took hold. All the college athletes who actually paid attention in history courses know that.
But sadly the deans of college athletics missed the memo.
This year we’ve all been shocked and disgusted over the alleged behavior of Cam Newton and his knucklehead father, who supposedly levered several prominent programs for the highest dollar amount.
But how can a country based on capitalism, and “working hard to soar like eagles,” be so offended and outraged by such a scheme?
As distasteful as it sounds, Newton’s father merely behaved like a true capitalist.
Likely he invested thousands in terms of both hours and dollars on this thoroughbred son as he grew up, and now that the horse can run, he sold the product to the highest bidder.
Isn’t that precisely what America is? Isn’t that what we all strive for, to leverage our talents vs. a market willing to pay for those talents?
So why the hypocrisy in college sports, where institutions are making boatloads of cash?
Host universities earn hundreds of millions in profits each year from a mostly unpaid labor force. The NCAA is a system that looks far more like communism than capitalism.
Run by an oft-accused corrupt NCAA employees who rumors suggest enjoy perks of private jets and swanky offices as they enforce rules that appear like something out of the Middle-Ages. A modern Gestapo of sorts.
A system that punishes the unpaid labor who so happens to be unlucky enough, to have committed to an institution engaged in cheating.
The guilty go free while the innocent pay with their budding careers. How does this make sense?
The entire system is a mockery of common sense, and thus my proposal is to pay the student athletes a semi-set amount based on their skills, and quit trying to masquerade as if this system of college labor is some sort of sacred deity.
It is not. This is the only time in the majority of these athlete’s careers, where they might earn something to pay them back, for all the hard work and lost childhood they invested in getting this far.
As is, the system is corrupt. The wealthy gain more wealth on the backs of unpaid serfs.
It needs to change, and it needs to change now!
Proposal #2 – Regional Play Prioritized Over Traditional Leagues and Conferences
As I mentioned at the start of this piece, regional play is far superior to the current scatterbrained and unorganized approach in place with conferences. Today’s system has cumbersome and outdated leagues, with some leagues having an advantage over other leagues for no apparent reason.
Teams from Florida play against teams from New York in a handful of separate competing alliances that prevent natural rivalries, based more on lucrative TV revenues than geography.
Furthermore, some of the better teams emerged from the mutt leagues. This past year TCU and Boise State demonstrated that the good ‘ole boys club of playoffs and payoffs for only elite traditional powers is good no more.
If it were done correctly, the country would be divided into eight regions.
North and sound in the east, north and south in the west, four in the center. Or something similar.
A school’s “league” games would all be played within the same region.
In the Southeast, that would mean Florida, Florida State, Miami, Southwest Florida, Auburn, Alabama and etc, would all be vying for the one single spot allotted to the southwest region. That’s right. One single spot, awarded after a season-long dogfight.
Forget about the stupid polls.
In the Northwest, that would mean Washington, Washington State, Idaho, Boise State, Oregon, Oregon State, Montana, etc, would all be rivals for the one single spot the region possessed. No more Pac10 vs. Mountain West vs. the WAC.
Rivalries would be strengthened, all-out war would ensue, and if a small non-elite school emerged against all odds, like a Northern Illinois in the Midwest rather than a Michigan, that non-elite institution would have the same chance of winning the regional entry as any of the traditional powers.
Annual teeth-gnashing would no doubt follow, as the pompous are humbled by hicks. How could it be any better?
Proposal #3 – Eight Regional Champions Qualify for Bowl Playoffs
Here’s a radical concept for all of you traditionalists: If you win, you’re in. But if you don’t, you’re not.
Oh the agony of such blasphemy if you’re a Notre Dame or Michigan, who for decades enjoyed goodies with teams that have about as much push as my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop.
Sorry fellas, but the gig is up.
From now on either you win football games, or you sit at home and watch those that do.
Eight regional spots are up for grabs, one per region. Each conference plays for those spots in December. We do away with 6-6 bowl teams entirely, and we replace those sub-par boring bowls with conference tourneys that actually matter.
After the melee and fist fights, the king of the mountain gains one of eight spots for New Year’s Day bowls.
The football world would return to the glory days of yore, where alas only four big-time bowl games happen on the first day of the year.
Meanwhile the Fresno States vs. Toledo in the Preparation H Horse-Pull Bowl, or the conference bottom-dwellers with barely a .500 winning record, can go bowl-crazy as far as the rest of us are concerned.
Why would we care?
If the Seattle Bowl wants to invite Washington State to play Northwestern on December 15, hey knock yourselves out! But for the rest of us interested in an actual champion, our attention will likely be focused on the bigger dance unfolding in mid-late December across the region and across the nation.
Big vs. small. Ugly vs. pretty. Villages vs. major metropolis’s.
You win, you’re in. Period.
Proposal #4 – Quarter-Finals on New Year’s Day
Count-em. Four bowls on one day, and only four bowls.
Rose, Cotton, Orange and Fiesta.
No. 8 seed vs. No. 1. No. 2 vs. No. 7.
That’s right kids, The punks who devised the detested BCS system can actually have a role in this charade.
Teams would be seeded based on the little computers and polls and all that nonsense.
But this is where it ends. After News Year’s Day, the BCS pundits can take their toys to grandma’s house while the survivors move on to the next round of television riches and media extravaganza.
Winners of these four bowls become the final four of football.
No more whimpering about you getting screwed because of your goofball uniforms and 400 color combinations with silly school nickname that belongs in a cartoon series. I won’t name names, but we all know who you are!
Proposal #5 – Semi-Finals the week after New Year’s Day
This is where it gets good. A March-madness-ish in January like we’ve never seen before.
Two big college football games with all the marbles going to the victorious.
Gone are the mid-leagues bemoaning the sacred system that locks them out.
You win, you play in either an afternoon or evening semi-final with the winner gaining access to the biggest throne in semi-amateur sports.
Universities and TV executives alike, are all as happy as kids with big juicy cash-cow lollipops. Huge bucks are earned, otherwise bored post-New Year’s day fans are entertained, and everybody wins.
It is a media blow-out not seen since the days of Princess Dianna and that funny looking guy with big ears and bad teeth known as Chuck!
Part II of this article can be found at:
Proposal #6 – The Championship Game – The second week in January
I’m getting all sweaty and goose-pimply just thinking about this.
A big huge game in a big huge stadium. Perhaps in Texas with 60-yard long flat screen TV mounted above the field?
Tourism big bucks, spent by alumni who know their team may never get there again.
Finally a championship college football game that is legit, not based on polls from pinheads, but on real football played on real fields!
Think about it. As is, each year the “championship” game gets later and later. It used to be on New Year’s Day. Then it got moved to January 3rd so as not to conflict with the sacred bowl games.
Then wise men (or profiteers) decided this would be better a week later, once all the hype from the real bowl games settled down and fans were re-energized and willing to bet their houses again on a meaningless.
And now this. A championship based on polls, where teams playing weak-assed terrible schedules are prioritized over those playing games where chunks of flesh and blood are trampled upon in the heat of battle.
It’s never been a good system, and even the corrupt schools who pay their athletes and seem to always show up know that.
Here would be an actual football championship manned by teams that have actually won football games. In bowls against good teams that all of us watched and got to know during the two weeks prior.
Hype? You haven’t seen hype like this would bring!
A real college football national championship game in front of millions of fans, with college universities and TV networks earning billions of dollars. And doing it on a weekend prior to the professional freak show and halftime singing contest of washed-up rock stars.
How could it be any better than this?!?
Part II of this article can be found at: