|Don't pout, Nicky - they'll let you into the playoffs no matter what.|
Well, that’s inconvenient. I wish Alabama had lost yesterday. No, I am not a graduate of Auburn, I am not a Nick Saban hater, and I do not pronounce his last name “Satan,” nor do I think this is further justification for allowing a pedophile to win the Alabama Republican nomination for Senate last year. It just that it would have made writing this post that much easier.
For the thrust of the post is to proclaim the need for the NCAA and the College Bowl Playoff Committee (or whatever-the-hell-it’s-called group of smug pretentious college cucks who think they understand football) to get their collective shit together and come up with a real, legit, eight or sixteen team college football playoff. One that awards competitive spots to teams that are, y’know, actual CHAMPIONS of their leagues.
Last year I chucked (OK, guffawed) when Ohio State got blown out in the first round, courtesy of the same Clemson Tigers who ‘Bama beat. (Full disclosure – I was born in Michigan, and ANYTIME the Buckeyes take a pounding is a good day). OSU didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs last year for the same reason Alabama didn’t this year – they didn’t win their conference playoff. They didn’t even PLAY in their conference playoff. Why the hell reward mediocrity?
Oh, yeah. Money. Tradition. Stupidity.
Bowl games used to be something special before there were 40 of them. Top teams travelled to somewhere warm to put the best against the best; a reward for a great season. Now, mediocre teams that win as many times as they lose get to go to exotic December locales like Annapolis, Detroit (inside, thankfully), New York (not inside), and…Boise? Yeah, Boise. I doubt Central Michigan alums made the trip to the Famous Potato Bowl this year, even though the temperature was a balmy 37°. That’s 20 degrees warmer than last year, but I doubt many would have done this if the game was played in August.
Every other college sport has a National Championship where the winner comes from an actual tournament of participants that are not “hand-picked” by a so-called group of experts (with the help of a computer, for what that’s worth). If you win, it’s because you beat ‘em all. Upsets happen. But somehow the committee feels that they only need to invite teams they feel like inviting, and they can say all they want about only taking conference champions, and then THROW THAT OUT THE WINDOW TWO YEARS IN A ROW.
I wrote about this last year when they picked Ohio State over Penn State (reminder – OSU lost the Big Ten Championship to…wait for it…Penn State). Hell, at least then OSU played in the conference championship. Alabama suffered a last-game defeat in the Iron Bowl to Auburn, and got bumped from the SEC Championship. Of course, then Auburn was defeated in that championship by Georgia, a team they crushed earlier in the year 40-17. So Georgia went on to the playoffs, and…so did the team that lost to the team they beat. Say what?
I know Alabama has been in the last four playoffs, and they are a perennial winner. They’ve been rewarded for those winning years by being in the playoff. Now they’re being rewarded for when they don’t win. Sure, they won last night because they are a quality team. So is Ohio State. And Penn State. And Wisconsin. And UCF, too. Especially the undefeated UCF. Let them ALL slug it out.
And the committee wonders why we complain.
When you win your conference championship, that’s supposed to be the summation of “why you play.” When you make it “hey, win your conference, or, at least win most of your games until the end and then we’ll sneak you in because yargle bargle blah,” that just defeats the whole purpose, doesn’t it?
Make it eight teams. Make it 16. Make it a real tournament. It’s not like you haven’t changed crap around before. Besides, there’s more money to be made. You’d think that was incentive enough…