Who Wants A College Football Playoff?

This blog is going to be a little off subject for me, unless you consider that college football fans maintain a relationship with the sport.  Well, I guess that is kinda true, after all, we miss it when it is gone and can’t wait to see it again when it returns.  And when it does return, we embrace it, cant’ get enough of it and sometimes go to bed with it.  Sounds like an adult relationship to me!! Regardless, I just felt this had to be said and couldn’t contain myself any longer.

To all the people who like to bash the BCS and who want a playoff in Division I (Yeah, I know, FBS, well sorry, I’m old school!!) – We Already Have A Playoff!!  Okay, so it is a two-team playoff but a playoff none the less.  Think back to the days before the BCS when all we had to determine the “mythical” national champion were the polls. And sometimes the pollsters couldn’t agree and we ended up with multiple National Champions.  We rarely, if ever, got to see Number 1 play Number 2 in a bowl game.  Instead, almost always, Number 1 would play in the bowl that had the agreement with their conference and Number 2 would play in another bowl for the same reason and Number 3 in still another bowl and so on and so on.  And when all the bowl games were over it was up to the “experts” who voted in the polls to decide who got the crown. 

NO ONE LIKED THIS!!  Instead, everyone wanted a way to pit the two best teams against each other so we could have a “Real” national champion.  And, voila, the BCS was born. No, they did not get it right all the time. Witness Nebraska playing for the National Title when the best they could claim in their own conference was third!  But the system has been tweaked and changed to the point where, most years, we get the two most deserving teams in the National Title Game, a one game playoff, if you will.

“Well, they have playoffs in the lower divisions so there is no reason it can’t be done in Division I!”  Wrong. There are a variety of reasons. One, except for some championship games, the playoffs in Division IAA, Division II and Division III are all held at the higher seeded team’s home field. Home fans can go to these games just like they go to regular season games. No extra cost or time is involved other than the normal cost of attending a home game.  And it gives a distinct advantage to the higher seeded team, playing on their home field in front of their fans. If you tried to do that in Division I, then which teams would go to the bowl games?

“We could use the bowls for the playoff games.” No, you can’t.  Reason two, if you use the bowl games, then, in a 16 team playoff,  the two teams that make it to the final game will be playing in their fourth “Bowl Game”!  Fans are NOT going to travel to four different cities across the entire country for four consecutive weeks to watch their teams play! It would be too time consuming as well as four times as expensive as going to one bowl game.  And, this is important so pay attention, the fans are the most important part of the bowl system!!  The fans flock to cities and venues and spend lots of money when they get there.  If the fans don’t go to the bowls, or go to only one of the four bowl games their team ends up playing in, then less money will be spent in the cities hosting the bowls and the bowls will die!! Bowl Games are about MONEY!  Why do you think there are so many bowl games now? Because they are profitable for the cities that sponsor them. Some venues even host TWO bowl games each year!  If you take away the fans, then you take away the money, you take away the profit and the bowl game will die! 

And I , for one, would hate for that to happen. I LOVE bowl game season!! For the players, getting to play another game in a far off city where they treat players and coaches like royalty is the reward the team gets for having at least a .500 season. The teams with better records get to go to the better bowls with better gifts and bigger checks.  For the fans, they get a chance to travel to locales they may not have ever gotten a chance to visit otherwise.  And the locale can change from year to year so it is more incentive for the fans to follow the team – they get to see another city! The Cincinnati Bearcats have been to three consecutive bowls in three different cities and have taken HUGE contingents of fans to each one of them.  For college football lovers, the orgy of games on TV is, well, almost orgasmic!! 

The bowls are unique to Division I. It is part of the tradition, history and charm of big time college football. And besides, if we had a playoff, what would we have to talk about from January to September?

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One Response

  1. I like your writing style thanks for the info -cheers-

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