Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Prosecution Rests...

For any College Football fan, today should be the result of four months of build-up that encompasses the anticipation of the Super Bowl, the Americana of the World Series, and the magic of March Madness all rolled into one. To some of the most passionate and especially the fans of the teams involved it is.

But to most today is at least usually a night of "yeah, but". The climax of a series of thrown together matchups which were really for nothing. The only game that really means anything between two teams determined by a large enough consensus to be worthy of being called the best. I realized this as I saw Ohio State celebrating on Monday receiving their 2006 Fiesta Bowl Champions hats and T-shirt. Are those players going to wear those even a week after they are interviewed by Jack Arute? Probably not.

College Football's showcase is a series of bowl games, while exciting and feature some of the best talent in the country, don't reward the great seasons the teams involved have appropriately. Furthermore it rewards an exclusive group making up slightly more than half of college football programs in the country.

Most of my opponent's argument for this way of determining a National Championship mainly consists of the basis that the criteria is set out before hand, survive the regular season and advance to play for a championship. And while this is fair and to teams like Ohio State, I say they needed to make two more plays to make a case for being the best in the country, the field of College Football teams is to vast to deem a team whose path never crosses that of another's worthy of a National Championship.

An eight team, seven game tournament at the sites of current BCS bowl games among the six major conference champions and two at-large teams would serve the fans, the games popularity and its national champions validity much greater. It is almost a surefire ratings increase over the current bowls and will be a series of dream matchups that will answer most questions fans have most every year about the two teams playing in the National Championship game. Clauses like allowing all teams with an undefeated regular season would allow for some of the nation's smaller conference schools to add a cinderella element to the tournament that would rival the NCAA's basketball equivalent.

While I concede the two best teams are playing tonight in the Rose Bowl. If they were to beat the likes of a Penn State and even a West Virginia, they would not only still be the two best teams, but they would have survived the test that answers most all of the questions that temper the national passion for college football.
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At 1:32 PM , Blogger JHughes said...

While I'm firmly on the side of the playoff system because I think that is the only way I'll enjoy college football, one problem that a tournament imposes is to the students of that school. With the tournament being played at neutral sites around the southern half and west coast, students will not be able to afford to travel to three different sites to follow their team. What will happen is that schools like USC will lose support in the opening week because their students will not travel knowing they will be playing another week while the lower seed will have a huge stadium advantage because their students don't believe they will advance. I think that could lead to many first round upsets. If a cinderella team does advance to the title game, how many fans could they have after they traveled to games the previous two weeks? While a playoff system would be a huge boost to casual fans like myself, the diehard student body would be at a disadvantage for showing support at the stadium.


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