Friday, June 29, 2012

Different System, Same Problems

After my post Wednesday on the US Swim Trials, a few friends of mine issued their surprise on Facebook over the fact that my topic of choice was not the new College Football Playoffs.

Honestly? I hadn't even thought about it, which just goes to show its level of importance on my radar.

To be fair, it IS a somewhat important development in college sports. After all, the fall out from the conference re-alignments has settled somewhat, leaving a relative calm atmosphere before the 2012 season kicks off in August. I guess we needed something to fill the void.

The thing is....I've never been a proponent of a playoff system. I know the fans have been clamoring for it since...forever, it seems. "The BCS isn't fair!" has been the outcry across the country.

Well, now you've got what you wanted football fans. Let me point out a few factors that are going to make this just another pain in the ass system:

1. Mid-Major teams like Boise St. who had a hard enough time just getting into the hunt with the old BCS? Well, you'll still be watching the big boys play on from your tv. The new system favors those teams who will finish first or second atop the big power conferences.

2. Schools like Notre Dame and Big 10 affiliates, who "sometimes" get into bowl games based on name recognition rather than performance? Yeah, a playoff system kinda eliminates that. Oh wait, this one I don't mind so much.

3.Now your favorite team will be playing in a big bowl game around New Years, then possibly playing in another game in another venue a week or so later. Ummm, I don't know about anyone else, but I only scrape up enough funds to go to ONE bowl-like game a year. I can't imagine two. Plus, I imagine back-end details like ticketing will be a nightmare. We're talking a week or two to effectively sell to the hundreds of thousands of fans wanting to go to the game. Sure, playoffs aren't a new concept in D-I AA (I don't care what the new name is, it will always be D-I AA to me) or even pro football. The difference is teams aren't playing in a new location each time. There is always a home field advantage, making it slightly easier to manage.

Maybe I'm being too skeptical. When WVU hired Bob Huggins to take over as head basketball coach, I wasn't thrilled. In fact, that was perhaps my first sports blog post ever (RIP Myspace), where I enumerated Huggins's faults as I understood them. I fully admit I was wrong.

So hopefully I'll be wrong about this, but I kinda doubt it. And in a few years, when the masses are crying foul again and demanding a new system, I'll be interested to see the next foolish idea someone comes up with.


I know ya'll have opinions on this. Sound off to I crazy? Or do you agree that this new "playoff" system is just a piece of crap in sheep's clothing. Let me know!

Image provided by rantsports.


Justin Martin said...

I'll ignore the fact that this year would have had a team (Stanford) that didn't make the Pac-12 championship as the 4-seed (people loved Andrew Luck) and the champion (Oregon) who beat Stanford as a 5-seed.

More importantly, 3 years ago, there were 5 undefeated teams going into bowl season (Alabama, Texas, Boise, TCU, Cincinnati) and also a 1-loss Florida. Who are the 4 teams that go? 2008, you had 9 teams that were a 1-loss team or better. Who are the 4 teams that go? The only thing that a playoff system presents is the chance for even more teams to bitch and moan about being snubbed.

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