Why the Compromise?

Jun 29, 2012 by

Why do we continue to comprise our ideals?  The people in our world who have the influence to bring about change for the better often neglect to do so .  The NCAA is no different.  It appears they will always choose the path of least resistance.  Their inability to correctly deal with the issues of college sports has resulted in another lost opportunity at the expense of college football fans.

NCAA Division I football dominated the headlines this week with the announcement of implementing a four team playoff beginning in 2014.  Approved by a presidential oversight committee (not the most progressive bunch), the semifinals will be held at current bowl sites and the championship game’s location will be awarded to the bowl that bids the highest. (More cash please!)  A “selection committee” will choose which four teams will play the mini-tournament each postseason to crown a national champion.  Problem solved?

The four team playoff format will run through the year 2025.  I will check back then to see if 12 years was ample time for intelligence to enter the realm of the NCAA’s governing body.

If you are a college football fan or just a sports fan in general, the notion of a champion finally being decided on the field must have brought a sense of pleasure, and quite possibly closure, regarding the ongoing debate.  What‘s not to like about a playoff system in major college football?  Gone are the days of a computer program deciding that two teams from the same conference will play for the college football’s ultimate prize.   Gone are the days when the elite teams are forced into meaningless postseason bowls that have zero impact on deciding a champion. (Not exactly true, but I guess at least four teams will have a relevant bowl game)  Gone are the days when the Bowl Championship Series’ (BCS) supreme power over Division I football is greatly reduced.  Are we happy now?

The popularity of college football has never been in question.  Fans care immensely and still would, whether there is a bowl system or four team playoff.  What makes this high comedy, and why there hasn’t been a significant change to the postseason (despite near unanimous agreement it’s needed) is college football doesn’t even run its own fucking post season.    The NCAA allows private companies to create a bowl, send out invitations to teams, and then slap a sponsor’s name on it.  And you wonder why it’s a broken system and has been since its inception.  Unfortunately, immense popularity combined with the huge profit from college football’s current post season format are the two components that make sensible  dramatic changes extremely difficult to get everyone to agree upon.

Just yesterday, I listened to an interview with Bob Stoops, head football coach at Oklahoma, proclaim his love for the bowls.  He also mentioned his support for the newly adopted playoff system; however, since it was radio, it felt like someone was holding a gun to his head ensuring he used the words “love” and “bowls” continuously throughout the interview.  It was disappointing to hear and came off scripted.  Is it possible that football coaches are forced to side with the NCAA rather than express their true opinions on such issues?   Then again maybe it’s simply their unwillingness to take a stand.  We know what happens when an employed Division I coach speaks out against the NCAA.

Since I was not asked to partake in the playoff talks with the presidential oversight committee, I am sure there are details discussed not available to the public.  I would bet the basis of their shitty playoff system began and ended with dollar signs. ($$$$$$$$$$$$$)

Below is what I would have proposed.   I would be reluctant to field any counter proposals from the oversight committee, since they have already showed their ineptitude and inability to use common sense.  I am certain the presidential oversight committee would poke holes in my playoff proposal by using rolled up one hundred dollar bills.

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NCAA Division I College Football Post Season Proposal by Matt Ankerson (Who by the way, thinks college football is one of the dullest sports to watch either in person or on the television.  I often ask myself why I care so much.)

Implementation Date: 2014 college football season (The start date is the only aspect of the new playoff system the oversight committee and I agree with)

Bowl Games: All bowl games, regardless of their ability to generate revenue or historical relevance, will be terminated.  Private companies running these bowls must pack and leave college football alone forever.  They can go fuck up some other sports organization’s format, their hands will be out of the NCAA football post season cookie jar.  The removal of all remaining bowls includes meaningless mid-December bowl games that no one gave two-shits about anyway, the teams playing in them didn’t even care.  No bowls;  not now, not ever.  This chapter in major college football is now, and for evermore, closed.

Playoff Eligibility: All current NCAA Division I-A football teams that have membership  in a conference.  Teams who play independently from conferences will be prohibited from  participating in the newly proposed playoff system until they join a conference.  So with that being said, Notre Dame must join either the Big Ten or Big East – It’s their choice to remain relevant.

Format: 16 team single elimination

Schedule: All playoff tournament games will begin play on the first weekend in December and conclude with the championship game on January 1, 2012.

Seeding:  Tournament seeding will be determined by the following formula:

  • End of year AP Poll Ranking (weighted 50%)
  • Overall strength of conference (weighted 25%)
  • Wins over nationally ranked top 25 opponents (Weighted 20%)
  • Strength of non-conference schedule (5%)

Automatic Bid Entry:

  • Ranked 1-4 in AP National Poll (end of season)

And/or

  • Win conference title championship game in the following conferences: ACC, SEC, PAC 10, Big 12, Big Ten, Big East, Conference USA, Mountain West, and WAC.

Note: That leaves nine automatic bid and seven at-large bids

Eligibility requirements for an at-large bid:

  • Win, or share, a regular season conference title

And/or

  • Must have no more than 2 regular season losses
  • Must not have a regular season loss against a Division I-AA opponent
  • Must be ranked in the top 20 end of season AP poll

Locations: Higher seeded teams will host playoff games at their home stadium.  The championship game will be played at a neutral location.  Championship game locations will be held in the following cities on an annual rotating schedule:  New York City metro area, Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Phoenix, and Indianapolis.

The proposal solves the following issues:

  • Conferences stay intact and remain regionally based.
  • Mid-majors are not discriminated against for postseason entry
  • Independents have to join a conference
  • Extra home games during tournament play will generate additional revenue for school and local economy.
  • There are no longer large gaps between the final regular season game and post season play.
  • No more irrelevant and unnecessary bowl games
  • Regular season remains as significant as ever under this proposal (I had to address this often stated argument from  idiots who take the stance that the bowl system must remain intact.)
  • No more BCS bullshit
  • TV ratings will sky-rocket
  • Private corporations no longer run the post season
  • College football would own the month of December
  • A true champion is crowned

Here how the 2011 season bracket would have looked like under my proposal:

Seeds and first round match-ups:

(1)LSU (Automatic bid – Top 4 Ranking and conference champ) vs. (16) Louisiana Tech (Automatic bid – Conference champ)

(8)  TCU (Automatic bid – Conference champ) vs. (9) Kansas State (At large bid)

(5) Oregon (Automatic bid – Conference champ) vs. (12) Michigan (At large bid)

(4) Stanford (Automatic bid – top 4 ranking) vs. (13) Boise State (At large bid)

(6)Wisconsin (Automatic bid – Conference champ) vs. (11) Virginia Tech (At large bid)

(3) Oklahoma State (Automatic bid – Top 4 ranking and conference champion) vs. (14) West Virginia (Automatic bid – Conference champ)

(7.) Clemson (Automatic bid – Conference champ) vs. (10) Arkansas (At large bid)

(2) Alabama (Automatic bid – Top 4 ranking) vs.  (15) South Mississippi (Automatic bid – Conference champ)

Note: The time I put into this proposal was exactly 15 minutes.  So feel free to poke holes if you must, I am not claiming it is perfect by any means. However, you can’t deny, at its core, it’s much more intriguing than what the oversight committee took a week, possibly months, to create. Which system would you prefer?

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The dichotomy of instituting a change within college football is to ensure the Brinks truck makes consistent and frequently scheduled drop offs to both the NCAA and major universities.  So with that, the oversight committee came up with a poorly thought-out playoff system put forth by the fear of losing an effortless way for private corporations to drop boatloads of cash in their laps.  The result of all this? Fans and the players get fucked once again with a mediocre product.

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2 Comments

  1. Steve Yeger

    Go Badgers!

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