Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Time to Whine (again)


Every year around this time, my friends and I pick up where we left off last January--fighting about the bowls. No, it's not the battle for the leftover icing bowl, cookie dough bowl, or cake batter bowl. I'm talking about the college football bowl games, the Bowl Championship Series, the biggest joke of the sporting universe.
Aren't we past the question of, "Why does the BCS exist?" It doesn't even matter why it exists. What matters is the fact that college football fans DO NOT like it. Go ahead, do a poll. If you can find a fan of the BCS who is a fan of football, have him give me a call. I'd love to know what benefit he thinks it has to fans or teams.
March is the best sports month of the year because of the college basketball tournament. If Americans are so involved with March Madness that CSTV had to come up with a fake spreadsheet to cover their online game broadcasts, why does football not get such treatment? I just don't get it. I went to a school (Utah State University) that switched conferences admittedly to get more money from the football games. If basketball brought in all the money, I would understand why you would want to give it the tournament and the special name, but it doesn't. Football brings in the most money of any collegiate sport. That is why schools like USU keep it around. Honestly! Why else would schools that have their first snow in October keep sponsoring a sport that carries into January? It's all about the Benjamins.
The title of this post links to an article by Dan Wetzel. He becomes the millionth writer to propose a solution to the tournament-less world of college football. He is the first I've read who convinces me why it is possible to eliminate the bowls from the tournament scenario while still letting them exist, benefit the schools (monetarily), let the fans see their teams without traveling all over the country every week, and end the year with A champion.
Last year, I worked a scenario that allowed the bowls to be the homes of the tournament themselves, but it did lead to a lot of travel every single week. While the basketball teams (with twelve players on a roster) can do it for their tournament, it is a bit more difficult for football teams (with more than one hundred players on a roster) to do the same thing. Add to that the fact that you have a potential group of thirty thousand fans needing to travel for football instead of five to ten thousand for basketball, and you can see how this could be a problem. Besides, I like Wetzel's idea of giving teams a couple more home games.
Just like in basketball, I like the thought of my Aggies having the chance to play in a tournament if they win their conference. I like the fact that the Utes under Urban Meyer would have had a chance to prove themselves. I like that this year's Hawaii team wouldn't be snubbed for being from a small conference or having a poor strength of schedule. They win the conference, they play in the tourney. I like that Kansas has to prove itself for the same reason--poor strength of schedule. If you are good, prove it in the tournament. There is no less importance put on the regular season. There are only sixteen teams, so you don't have six bids from the ACC like in March Madness. I love a Final Four that gets played in four cities. What is there not to like about all of this?
While college basketball will always be my favorite, football fans should be screaming for something like this to come about.

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