POSTED ON JANUARY 6, 2010:
Playoffs Won't Payoff
This year's round of bowl games add more fuel to the fire against college play-off system
Sometimes the outcome makes the argument a little too easy. Most readers watched either the Sun Bowl or the Cotton Bowl. Many football fanatics watched both.
I've preached for years the uselessness of a 16-team or even eight-team playoff system. This year's bowl games back up the claim.
"And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down; gonna stand my ground... and I won't back down." Tom Petty isn't afraid and neither am I.
The easiest argument against a revamped playoff system is the obvious. Each regular season game is a playoff game. Another negative is the possible involvement of our federal government. If those necktie wearing nerds think it is a good idea, then I rest my case.
Instead of an argument for the BCS system (which admittedly is limited) I'll argue--once again--against an eight or 16 team playoff system.
The Capital One Bowl pitted a couple of top-16 teams against each other. LSU and Penn State sloshed through a sloppy game in rancid field conditions. If you watched the game, you realized very quickly that neither team deserved a title shot. Both would be trounced by a legit top-four team. Why add them to the proposed post-season tourney?
The Rose Bowl showcased the yearly Big 10 versus Pac 10 matchup. Oregon had no answer for BCS punch line Ohio State. It was a fun tilt between two of the top-eight ranked college football programs. Did anyone come away from that game thinking either deserved to be mentioned in the same breath as Alabama or Texas? Why add them to the proposed post-season tourney?
Florida took Cincinnati, bent them over their knee and spanked that butt. Rarely have I felt sorry for collegiate athletes but part of me wanted the game to be over. The previously undefeated Bearcats did not belong on the same field with Florida.
Florida was dominated by Alabama. Using sports math, Alabama would have beaten Cincinnati by 100 points. Why add them to the proposed post-season tourney?
That leaves four contenders with a legitimate claim to the BCS title. Boise State, TCU, Texas and Alabama.
The "Plus 1" system would work. Alambama versus Boise State and the Texas two-step leading to a clash of unbeaten teams.
Why must so-called experts and whiny local blowhards try to shove a "pretty on paper" college playoff bracket down our throats? Nothing about the bracket is appealing except it is easy to read. People want to have the champion decided on their terms and not by a computer system they simply do not understand.
A "Plus 1" system is the answer. Loud-mouth, crybags get to see an easy-to-read four-team "bracket." University presidents can claim the integrity of the student-athletes, while fans get an extra game. Win-win-win. It's just too easy.
Back to our local schools. Oklahoma's encounter with Stanford is the reason for the bowl season. OU was not a championship-caliber squad this year.
If the unimaginative sports "journalists" and U.S. government had their way, the OU/Stanford game would not have been contested.
Instead, thanks to a bowl system, which rewards 34 teams and their respective fan bases with a victory celebration, the Sooners and Cardinals put on a show.
The back and forth battle left everyone satisfied. Sooner Nation enters the off-season with positive vibes. Stanford acquitted themselves extremely well in the hard-fought loss.
Then, there was the Cotton Bowl. Of course someone making the claim that bowl games are a waste of time could use this stinkfest as exhibit No. one.
This game had everything: failed center-to-quarterback exchanges, fumbled handoffs, passes so off target you wondered if the quarterbacks were still drunk from New Year's Eve.
Viewers who stuck around for the entire 60 minutes now have a lower football IQ. You know it is bad when Vegas sets an over/under at halftime on "what happened" exchanges between the coaches and players.
Andre Sexton played as if the game meant something to him. Ten tackles and two interceptions kept Ole Miss in check all day. Sadly, he couldn't play offense.
The game ended with the teams combining for 12 turnovers. OSU dropped the ball, literally, six times in the fourth quarter. That has to be a record, right?
Coaching failed to play a major role in the game. In one instance, it did. Quarterbacking.
Houston Nutt pulled Jevan Snead when the Rebel struggled (albeit after a bell-ringer). Gundy refused to remove the struggling Zac Robinson.
The sad thing is Gundy cannot play the quarterback loyalty card. Gundy showed no allegiance when he yanked the underperforming Bobby Reid a few years ago. No, this shows a continued lack of focus during actual game play. Inexcusable.
Finally, some answers to the questions you never asked.
Has a popular commercial ever jumped the shark quicker than the once-catchy Subway jingle? I say no.
Film critics and movie-goers alike pan Hollywood for unimaginative storylines all the time. How about Taco Bell's casting Christine as their version of Jared? Talk about non-creativity at its finest.
Channel 2 dropped the ball on New Year's Eve, literally. Kudos to a Tulsa entity for providing a local signature of the New Year. I've always though replaying the Times Square Ball Drop on tape delay was super lame.
However, why copy the exact practice? Is there a rule stating a ball must drop for it to be official? If you are married to the idea of a huge ball, why not raise the ball? Or better yet, drop something in lieu of a ball. Drop a cow, cowboy, dream catcher, something, anything except a cheap New York Ball imitation.
The heart was in the right spot, but the imagination was not.
If Tulsa can toss its name into consideration for the 2020 Olympics, I'd like to throw my name in for the role of Tulsa Olympic Chairperson Jedi Knight of the Republic Leader. I'd settle for being Tulsa's official Olympic mascot.
Let's close our eyes and pretend the Olympics end up in Tulsa 10 years from now.
Who would be the signature athlete for the area to promote? Probably a little gymnast from the region.
Where would the opening ceremony take place? We would need to build a multimillion dollar coliseum with the promise of the Dallas Cowboys playing a pre-season game in it twice a decade.
Where would funding come from? Tulsa would make budget cuts and use one policeman and two firefighters per 50,000 civilians.
Bless the council person in Tulsa who decided to take up the Olympic-sized effort. However, some ideas are better left on the drawing board. Just like the elaborate 16-team college playoff bracket.
Thanks, but no thanks.
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