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Monday
Sep 15th

The 10,000th order of business for the new President

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Ryan T. Scott  I rank better snow plowing this year over an alternative to the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) for college football.  But I just may join the conspiracy theorists who think that there was never really a man on the moon if someone doesn’t figure out how to develop a college football championship system that pleases more than just the two schools “judged” to be the best in the country.   Unfortunately, there are occasions where teams who haven’t lost a single game are deemed unworthy of being able to duke it out on the field for their chance at being crowned national champion.  By no means is that fair.  In limiting the relevant teams through the current system, college football is merely denying the potential for some of the greatest sports stories of all time.

“The BCS is a five-game arrangement for post-season college football that is designed to match the two top-rated teams in a national championship game and to create exciting and competitive match-ups with eight other highly regarded teams in four other games” – bcsfootball.org

The operative elements of this are:  “Two top rated teams” and “eight other highly regarded teams.”  I guess some brilliant group somehow believed that subjective language could lead to a definitive answer…and that is my sarcastic response to their concoction.

Ok, so let’s make this very clear point before going any further:  Almost every sporting group on Earth has a simple tournament to determine the champion of their group!

(DING)…and then something dawned on me (actually the general revelation came a long time ago).  While trying to scrounge up the few examples where a tournament was not used to determine a champion, I realized that boxing and mixed martial arts fit into that category.  Then it struck me why boxing and MMA do it differently: …M-O-N-E-Y!  The general revelation that we all know is that “money is the root of all evil”…and the root of all jacked up college football championship systems.

"There is no greater fictional sports story than Rocky."

In boxing there is the person who holds the title, and then there are the people in line behind him or her, who have moved up in rank depending on who, and how many, people they have beaten up.  Now despite the rankings of those people in line behind the champion, the champion and his management may choose to fight someone other than the #1 contender.  Why?...M-O-N-E-Y!  Occasionally the #1 contender isn’t sexy enough to believe that a lot of people are going to pay to see the fight with the champion.  So instead, the champion chooses someone further down the line because that person is packaged a little better for the viewing and purchasing public (for now we will conveniently glaze over the fact that the champion avoids the #1 contender because he/she doesn’t want to lose and give up the belt…very convenient).

Ok, so now I’m starting to think this isn’t such a great analogy, and I sound like the Anthony Bourdain of sports writing.  But!  But wait!  I’ve got one for you.  There is no better fictional sports story than Rocky.  Rocky came from nowhere and beat Apollo Creed, and the movie will be a hit until “somebody turns out the lights on this small planet” – I’ve been waiting a long time to use a quote from the movie The Mack. 

With that in mind, there have been two Rocky-type stories in college football in the past few years.  In 2007 the undefeated Boise State Broncos (who?) beat the dominant Oklahoma Sooners in what could easily be classified as the best college football game ever.  That game was off the hook, and even included our favorite Minnesota Viking, running back Adrian Peterson, who played for Oklahoma.

This year, the undefeated University of Utah beat the dominant University of Alabama to further show that the little guys deserve a chance.  And as Boise State, Utah, and Rocky have proven, you can’t find a better viewing product than to see the little guy beat the proverbial Goliath.

There is no greater tournament than the NCAA basketball tournament.  The reason people tune into that tourney is because it is thrilling to see the “Cinderella stories.”  To this day sports culture celebrates the 1983 North Carolina State basketball team that came from nowhere to win the NCAA tournament and National Championship.

The only reason that college football hasn’t created such a tournament is because the college football aristocracy is: A. so used to making money the old way that they don’t want to rock the boat, and B. because they see value in the soap opera of everyone arguing over who they think is the best team.

So bring on the new President.  Obama said he doesn’t like the BCS, and I think that everyone outside of Florida and Oklahoma (the #1 & #2 teams that played this year) agree.  So after Obama fixes the economy, infrastructure, Iraq, Afghanistan, the auto industry, bird flu, and Michael Jackson, then we can get this college football playoff the way that it should have been 100 cotton pickin’ years ago!  Politics as usual. 

 

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