College Football: 50 New Year's Resolutions for 2012
The 2011 college football regular season gave us quite the thrill, and hopefully next season will be even better. There are many tweaks that fans would like to make in time for next season.
Whether it is regarding the BCS, conference alignment or all of the above, I attempt to talk about it all.
So, here are my top 50 New Year’s resolutions for the 2012 college football season!
Find Us a Commissioner
College football desperately needs to find a commish. Mark Emmert has enough issues as the NCAA president, so we need to assign somebody to be in charge of all decisions regarding the sport.
Wow, I never thought I would be caught saying the word. However, I have always been for a one-game playoff and that is something I would love to see before the 2013 season (though it won’t happen).
With all of the complaints, we just need to add one more game in the middle of January with the undisputed two best teams in the country playing for the crystal ball.
I can’t say I have been disappointed with the BCS many times—if ever—before this season. Unfortunately, it is all about who can sell the most seats and make the most for their bowl game.
Instead of worrying about the financial side of things, why can’t we just get the best teams playing in the best bowls?
Boise State was a better team all season than both Virginia Tech and Michigan, yet they were forced to hang over half a hundred on Arizona State in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl.
BCS Fix-Up Part II
There needs to be a simple rule change. Even if you win your BCS conference, you will not be guaranteed anything unless you rank in the Top 14.
If we cannot have the third best team from a conference in the BCS (assuming they aren’t a league champion), we at least need to get the next best teams in the system.
Teams like Boise State, Kansas State and Baylor would all be great candidates in the BCS this season.
BCS Fix-Up Part III
Can we throw out the tie-ins for conference winners?
Maybe it is just that we're spoiled a bit, but watching Oklahoma and Virginia Tech in the Fiesta and Orange Bowls can get a bit tiring when it happens nearly every season.
Make it a selection process, with the conference winners being selected first based on their ranking or popularity.
Notre Dame: Pick a Conference
Why can’t the Irish just move to the Big East to make life much easier for all of us?
I mean, if you believe they should move to another conference, that is fine, but the Irish should no longer be independent. Their schedule has been soft to begin with the past few seasons, and it certainly will not change much going to the Big East.
However, if they make the move by at least 2013, Boise State could develop a darn good rivalry with them. They would be able to keep a few non-conference matchups such as USC, Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State. Then throw in their typical conference schedule, and the rest will take care of itself.
NCAA Money Rules
There are many mixed opinions on this, but there needs to be more involvement to help players that do not have the time to work jobs.
They should all be given a certain amount—if you want to base the amount on the type of school, I would have no beef. Until the NCAA does something to help out the players, more suspensions and “improper benefits” will be thrown under the rug at major universities.
Three-Year Rule: No Change Needed
The whole purpose of this rule was to avoid having college football turn into college basketball, in which you can leave immediately after your freshman season.
Some have even suggested changing it to two years following high school graduation, but I think three is perfect. There are no minor leagues for the NFL other than Europe or Arena, etc.
The kids are still developing and maturing as young men, and the extra time in college will only help them in the long run. The negative, of course, is for players who need the money sooner than others due to family or personal issues.
Pregame and Postgame Activity
There is no place for extracurricular activity after games have been played. There have been random and innocent fans who have been nearly assaulted following games.
Obviously, it is the fans' problem for running on the field, but some players have taken shots at opposing fans.
Pregame and Postgame Activity Part II
Conferences need to have a specific rule about tearing down the goal-posts, because, in the end, fans are only going to get hurt. Now do not get me wrong, I love enjoying watching a mosh-pit on television…until somebody gets hurt.
It is always fun and games until an innocent fan is severely injured because he or she enjoys him or herself a bit too much. This is an NCAA and university issue that needs to be taken more seriously.
Many schools automatically bring down their goal-posts electronically to avoid any injury. Shouldn’t this be mandatory?
As Paul Rhoads would scream in his locker room with the Cyclones, we all should be so proud of college football.
The entertainment continues to be great to follow and the storylines increase by the day. Which team will shock the world and become a legit contender for a non-AQ team next season?
Who will run the table outside the SEC in 2012? Can any team knock off the SEC champs in the BCS?
The questions are endless and the sport is filled with excitement that lasts a lifetime.
Spread out the Bowl Games
Nobody enjoys college football and the bowl games more than I do, but can we spread them out a tad more? My head might explode watching four games at once on Jan. 2nd.
Consistency on Players Staying
It is a personal choice for players to stay for their senior seasons, but I hope more superstars in the future stay in college.
Andrew Luck stayed last year and thoroughly enjoyed his junior season, and Matt Barkley should enjoy his in 2012. Let us hope more collegiate superstars think twice about their futures and enjoy the college life before it comes to an end.
Continued September Games
There have been amazing games every single September in recent memory. Oregon-LSU, Boise State-UGA and Notre Dame-Michigan were just a few of the thrillers this season.
We can only hope that Michigan-Alabama, Michigan State-Boise State and Clemson-Auburn are half as good in 2012.
There clearly needs to be more integrity in the sport of college football. The fans have all suffered through a rather depressing year filled with an albatross of off-field events.
What happened to the days of people just being truthful and not worrying about anything other than the well-being of others? As evidenced by the catastrophic events this season, we need more good guys in the sport who are filled with integrity.
I love seeing so many games go down to the wire, but at a certain point, you have to say to yourself, “How can Boise State, Oklahoma, Oregon and Oklahoma State not get better kickers?”
Better Big East
Dear Big East of football, please do not stink this badly next season.
Boise State and a slew of teams are going to help in 2013, but in the final year of the agreed BCS (under contract at least), we should pray that some Big East team emerges close to the Top 10 in the rankings. Maybe Louisville or West Virginia will be really good—or so I hope.
Have 5 BCS Bowls as the Final Games Played
I don’t have a problem with the GoDaddy.com Bowl being played in January, but it just sounds weird to be talking and breaking down a game that does not mean half as much as a BCS game.
Get Back New Year’s Day Bowls
Luckily, in 2013, the bowls will be back on New Year's Day, so we won't have to wait an additional 24 hours for primetime games.
Still, it will be extremely odd not to be watching college football on New Year's Day this season, since it is the tradition.
SEC Finally Gets Tested
It has been a great six years and though I love the SEC, we need to have another team pony up and knock off the bullies.
Hopefully USC or Oregon will take their shots and be able to give the SEC a run for its money. Of course, it would be even nicer if they end up defeating the SEC, since “you play to win the game.”
Boise State Remains Boise State
Despite the Broncos losing Kellen Moore and a bunch of talented seniors that will be heading off to the NFL, most hope that Chris Petersen will still keep the Smurfs nationally relevant.
Keep the Regular Season
Many people love changes, but we should only make them for the better.
The regular season in college football is easily the most exciting regular season of any sport out there. The worst thing to do would be to take away a few weeks in late November to start a dumb playoff.
Spice Up the Non-Conference for Non-AQ’s
Some fanbases, outside of TCU’s and Boise’s, feel that their non-AQ programs could win against elite BCS competition.
We have a plethora of heavyweight battles every September, like I mentioned. However, we would have loved to see Houston or Southern Miss take on a Michigan or Georgia, etc.
Prestigious Programs Need To Be Officially Back
We thought Texas A&M, Nebraska, Miami (FL), Florida State and Notre Dame (to name a few) were all back and would contend for BCS bids.
Instead, we were disappointed severely by these teams (outside of the Huskers, I suppose), and we can only hope improvement is made in time for next season.
Preseason Polls Continue To Stay the Same
Though every single season, a few gaskets are blown over the polls in August, where would we be without them? The polls are used to signify expectations.
Assuming the pollsters are actually watching these games every weekend, the hope is that a top-tier team will plummet if it struggles in an early non-conference game in which it is favored by over 25 points.
Force SEC Teams To Avoid Cupcakes
I am one of the biggest supporters of the SEC, since they do rule the sport, but can we avoid these Furman and Georgia Southern matchups every stinking season?
The SEC schedule is brutal enough, but if we are the best, we should not be playing FCS schools. Line up games against solid non-automatic qualifying teams instead.
Attention Heisman Voters: Wait Until Regular Season Is over
It makes absolutely zero sense to turn in your vote when so much can happen on the final weekend of the regular season. In fact, we could argue that the Heisman is won on the final day of the season.
Robert Griffin had no shot of winning the stiff-armed trophy if he laid an egg against Texas. Some voters had Andrew Luck as their guy when he finished his game against the Irish; those voters do not really deserve votes if that continues.
Getting the Call Right the First Time
The officials are human, but they have seemingly made more wrong calls than right ones. They need to simply be in better positions to make these calls.
Still, even when officials are in the right positions, they still often make the wrong calls. I guess that is what reviews are for.
Obviously, college officials do not go into the booth like NFL referees do, but it should not take more than a minute or two to look at a play.
I can’t say I have ever needed more than three or four different angles on a specific play in the past, and even that only takes 60 seconds. As long as we can avoid instances like the most annoying review I have ever seen (in this year's Potato Bowl), things will be just fine.
Pollsters Need To Watch More
We can only hope that the pollsters actually stay up to do their jobs. Nothing screams falling asleep on the job like games in which teams sneak by the opposition and are still ranked highly compared to teams who obliterate the competition.
Changing the Big Ten Division Names
Is there anybody out there who enjoys the division names of the Big Ten? Seriously, these names are beyond atrocious and nobody can remember them.
What happened to the North/South or the million other better ideas? Anything else would be better in my eyes.
Less Talk, More Play
I prefer not to call out Mr. Burfict from Arizona State, or any other player that celebrates way too much, but it needs to stop. Football is a game filled with a bunch of emotions, but players need to be able to grow up and mature.
They are just kids, but they can’t let the high times get them too high or the lows get them too low. Some of the blame can be put on the coaching staffs or perhaps the NFL players, but these kids need to mature a bit quicker.
AQ Status of Big East
Does the Big East still deserve an automatic berth? West Virginia is a talented team that could beat many teams in the country, but they still lost three games against mediocre competition. They are barely ranked—are they really worthy of a BCS bid?
Many of the suspensions are more than deserved, but there are so many these days, they are nearly impossible to keep track of.
Kirk Herbstreit has mentioned it many times before, but there needs to be actual investigators at each FBS school tracking down the players that may be getting in trouble or receiving improper benefits.
SEC East Powers To Regain Swagger
Florida and Tennessee went just 11-12 this season, and they were once the elites of the elite. No program stays on top of the world forever, but there is no reason why these two SEC schools cannot be better.
More Conference Games in September
South Carolina and Georgia played a classic early in the season, but we rarely see that in college football. We deserve to see more conference games early in the season and the meaningless and cupcake city non-conference games later in the season.
Home Game Limit
I don’t mind seeing prestigious programs like Michigan and Ohio State play at home, because it usually only helps the game out.
However, it is a bit unfair that they both have seven homes games nearly every season. I had Michigan going 10-3 this season mainly for the fact that they did not have to leave their own state until October!
That seems a bit ridiculous, and though the athletic director deserves a pat on the back, the NCAA or the Big Ten needs to jump in and not allow cupcake city to occur every September. The same goes for the SEC with scheduling those FCS schools (slide mentioned).
Change Up Bowl Selections
What I mean by this is that we should jump on the wild side a bit and change history.
Now, I would never change the Rose Bowl between the Big Ten and the Pac-12, but why not allow the best non-AQ team that is not playing in a BCS bowl to get a crack at one of the top BCS teams who are not in a BCS bowl?
Houston-Penn State is solid for this season, but more often than not, we really never get to witness such intriguing matchups.
Change Up Bowl Selections Part II
I think we need to change up the early games up as well. Instead of putting the WAC champion (La. Tech) against the Mountain West champs (TCU), why can’t we throw in a middle-of-the-road Big 12 or SEC team?
I just mentioned these matchups, but I do not just want late-season matchups in January to involve the big boys and the little guys. Rather, I want them in December as well. Does Boise State really deserve to be playing in the MAACO Bowl when they could be obliterating any team from nearly any bowl (save the BCS National Championship, Fiesta and Rose)?
Boise State gets Michigan State in the opener next season, but for once I want to see the little guys get their shots in the postseason.
Texas-Texas A&M Rivalry
The rivalry is pretty much dead in the water and that is a crime. Florida State and Florida play every season and they are not in the same conference.
Obviously, the hatred is there between the Aggies and Longhorns right now, but we need to all get together and find a way to get these two prestigious teams back on the same field.
Coaches Held More Responsible
If a team is having its players get suspended more often than other programs, the NCAA needs to jump in and do something about it.
I am not saying we should reward the teams that are doing as they are told, but losing recruits or perhaps bowl trips may stop the nonsense. If it has to come down to coaches losing their jobs or being suspended/losing money (years on contract, etc.), then I am all for it.
Coaches Leaving During the Postseason
Do head coaches really deserve to make decisions even when they should be worried about preparing for their bowl games? What happened to the honor code of finishing the season regardless of how bad your team is?
Assistants should not be able to talk to other teams until the offseason officially beings (set a date—say, the night after BCS title).
If certain teams want to hire their coaches during the postseason, then maybe the NCAA should make a rule about that as well. It is disrespectful and distracting when coaches leave for their dream jobs, since the players are working hard, too.
Better Coverage in Secondary
The receivers are getting faster and the quarterbacks are getting stronger; however, the coverage is often soft as cupcakes. By no means could we, the fans, play a game (or even a series/down) against many of these players, but every weekend I see soft cushions being put on the wide receivers.
Better Coverage in Secondary Part II
My big beef deserves an extra slide because it is great to religiously follow high school, college and professional football to see the differences.
Many corners play as though afraid of getting beaten deep, and so they are unable to jump a simple curl. They will normally make the tackle in any level, but the soft coverage is frustrating to watch at times.
My expectations might be too high. Still, a few conferences, like the SEC, have proven to play the pass well and the stats back it up. LSU, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are all in the Top 10 in pass efficiency defense and fewest yards allowed per game.
Bracket Buster for Football
There is a bracket buster Saturday in college basketball involving all of the top non-AQ schools; maybe we should do the same in college football.
Perhaps right out of the gates, a bunch of schools should go all out and play loaded non-conference schedules. If you want your program to be the best, then you cannot be worried about who you play.
Fans Drawing the Line
I have no problem with fans disliking teams because they are rivals or conference opponents, but it does not say a whole lot when you are cheering for failure in athletes.
The hatred for Andrew Luck this season was a bit out of hand. Sure, the media spent all of their time on the superstar, but now, other deserving players will emerge from the dust.
Matt Barkley will surely get the hate mail next season due to the lofty expectations, but we should enjoy arguably the greatest sport in the world and keep it clean on the message boards, etc.
Pray That Conference Expansion Works
We should not worry too much, since the SEC is darn good to begin with. However, Missouri and Texas A&M may get their tails whipped in Year 1.
Utah hung in there in the Pac-12, although it did not fair that well. Also, Miami (FL) has struggled considerably since moving to the ACC (no conference championship appearances).
Let's hope these moves do not hurt the sport right off the bat.
TCU, Please Kick Some Tail
Some are still questioning the move by TCU to the Big 12, but they certainly have the scheme and talents similar to a Texas A&M or Texas Tech.
We could argue there is no difference between them and Oklahoma State (minus this year).
BCS Loss Limit: 2
I already discussed in a few slides the way the BCS should look, but there really needs to be an actual ranking and loss limit to earn a prestigious bowl bid.
I can admit, as a Florida State fan, that we were not exactly worthy of a BCS bid against Penn State back in 2006 due to our four regular season losses. LSU was stuck in the Peach Bowl hammering away at Miami (FL).
LSU was No. 3 in the country until they lost to Georgia and were bumped out of the BCS. Sorry, I love my college football and I want the best teams in the best bowls, period!
Keep Being the Best Fans in the World
The college football fans, in my humble opinion, are the best in the world; I feel this is because of the pageantry of the sport.
So many fans love nothing more in their lives than going to the games because of how enjoyable the thrilling moments are. It is amazing how much the fans love the sport and their own teams. College football is a way of life and a spectacle to watch in person.
The pregame tailgating is always a ton of fun, but nothing is better on Saturday than a stadium full of excitement and entertainment.
It is because of the fans that college football is arguably the best sport we have :-)