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Where Barack Obama and I Agree:

In earlier posts, I have highlighted some issues on which I agree with prominent liberal politicians, such as with Hillary Clinton on Iraqi oil, and Dennis Kucinich's opposition to public subsidies for the new Yankee Stadium. I am glad to be able to add Barack Obama to this list, as he has recently taken a position on an important issue that I agree with completely:

Barack Obama has revealed his first major policy initiative: college football reform. In Obama's first televised interview since winning the presidency, he explained what's wrong with the current system, in which computers help determine the two teams that play for the national championship. "I think any sensible person would say that if you've got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season, and many of them have one loss or two losses—there's no clear decisive winner—that we should be creating a playoff system," Obama said. "I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I'm gonna throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do."

I'm much more a pro sports fan than a college fan. But I too believe that the BCS computer system is a terrible way to determine a national championship. True champions win their bragging rights on the field.

OKY:
In other news, Judge Leon in DC ordered five Guantanamo detainees released, including Boumediene.
11.20.2008 2:22pm
Wayne Jarvis:
It's one thing to agree that the existing system stinks. It's another thing to think the U.S. president needs to "throw his weight around" on the issue.
11.20.2008 2:23pm
hawkins:
Politicians need to leave sports alone, but at least we dont have to hear McCain rant about the dangers of steroids.
11.20.2008 2:24pm
Smokey:
"I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I'm gonna throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do."
Well, it's pretty clear that Obama considers himself a little tyrant/dictator who will use the Presidency to meddle in whatever he wants, no matter how far afield.

No wonder 0 sends that little tingle up the libs' legs; he can run every facet of their empty lives for them. Giving up some freedom is a small price to pay for that all encompassing security blanket, huh?

The messiah has come.
11.20.2008 2:25pm
A Law Dawg:
This change we need, but not a change I can believe in. The conferences get too much money from the current system.
11.20.2008 2:25pm
Hedberg:
I think that before Obama engages this critical question that he should dedicate himself to convincing the AKC to recognize labradoodles and goldendoodles as breeds. This unjust discrimination is causing widespread angst and is unjustifiably penalizing innocent canines everywhere. Obama should not rest until a ndoodle wins best of show at Westminster.
11.20.2008 2:27pm
Hedberg:
And then he should do something about the gross and disgusting DH rule in the American league.
11.20.2008 2:29pm
Headthump:
Unless Wayne Jarvis, hawkins, and Smokey are being sarcastic, comments here have sunk to a new low. Is there really that much frothing hatred?

The BCS is obviously not a policy initiative; the use of that phrase was tongue-in-cheek. Obama has talked about this before, and I can't imagine how people can claim that a football fan's desire to change the system is evidence that he's a tyrant.
11.20.2008 2:30pm
geokstr:
Yes, in principle, a playoff system would be best, However, logistically it would present some problems. Remember, this is not basketball, where teams can play every day or two. There is a week between games in football.

How many teams? At least 8 I would think, which would require at least 3 games, 2 more than at present, added to a college season that has already gone up several games in the last decade or so. And who gets to decide which 8? A computer program? If you expand it to 16 teams to make it easier to avoid leaving out some deserving teams, now you've added 3 more games to the college season, so you're either going to have to start playing in early August, or extend the season until you're conflicting with the Super Bowl.

I can remember when the college season was ten games and a bowl. Now many teams play 13 and a bowl. Pretty soon we'll be where I predicted we'd eventually be a couple decades ago. Every sport will be nearly year round, just on different nights for TV purposes.
11.20.2008 2:31pm
Steagles:
The BCS system ruined the entire Holiday season.

In the good old days, pre-BCS, the big Bowl games actually mattered on New Years Day. 3 or 4 or 5 teams might have shot at the "mythical" national championship. Good stuff.

Now, the Bowl games are a joke.

And the BCS title game -- no matter how many computer or vote-based rankings are used -- is just another middle-of-the week TV program.

Go back to the pre-BCS days. Get rid of conference playoffs. Let all the best teams play on New Years Day, then let the AP and Coaches polls decide. At a minimum, we'd all see better football on 1/1.

Obama's already off on the wrong foot.
11.20.2008 2:31pm
dude:

Obama: "I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this."



So if some people, like those quoted in this article (including a D-I coach), prefer the current BCS system or any other non-playoff system, these people must not be serious fans? The "any serious _______" construction is used way too often, and usually as an attempt to preempt disagreement.
11.20.2008 2:33pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Why is there this great need to settle who is the "best"? As we see from the many excellent one-loss teams out there, the winner of any one single game is not necessarily the "best" team, over the course of the season. They were simply the best on that particular day, in that particular game. That the particular game was against some other highly ranked team at the very end of the season doesn't change that logical result.

What I don't understand is, people appear to really enjoy debating football, and which team is really the "best." Why do so many fans want to give that up by instilling some sort of championship play-off system? If we went back to the pre-BCS system, fans could spend the entire spring and summer arguing over the results of the previous season, before slipping back into arguments over the next season. Many more teams would end the season as "winners." All of the bowls would be more important, more exciting; right now, all the oxygen is sucked out of the room by a relentless focus on the BCS championship game.
11.20.2008 2:34pm
ForWhatItsWorth:
Ok, so now Obama wants to be the football-commissioner-in-chief? "throw my weight around....." Who does he think he is? Oh, yeah, the *messiah* as noted above :)

Ok, I think it is safe to start using this one: Don't look at ME, I didn't vote for him!
11.20.2008 2:36pm
Wayne Jarvis:
"Unless Wayne Jarvis, hawkins, and Smokey are being sarcastic, comments here have sunk to a new low. Is there really that much frothing hatred?"

Frothing hatred? Lighten up, Francis.
11.20.2008 2:36pm
John Howard (eggandsperm.org) (mail) (www):
I'm with Steagles, go back to the way it was before BCS. We have to remember this is college football, it's not supposed to be a big league with a national championship, like a pro league.
11.20.2008 2:37pm
hugh (mail):
The BCS is a playoff: a two team playoff, but a playoff regardless. The old bowl system prior to 1993 was the last time there wasn't so much as an attempt at a playoff in major college football.

I like the BCS, and on the normal distribution of college football fandom, I'm somewhere way, way out on the right.
11.20.2008 2:38pm
Headthump:
"Frothing hatred? Lighten up, Francis."

I'm not the one who can't have a conversation about the BCS without turning it into a bitchfest about the proper role of the executive branch.
11.20.2008 2:40pm
hawkins:

We have to remember this is college football, it's not supposed to be a big league with a national championship, like a pro league.


You fail to realize that big time college football and basketball is little more than a minor league system in which the players arent compensated.
11.20.2008 2:41pm
dsn:
It seems to me that a 10 game season should allow us to distinguish 1024 teams if we used a standard tournament tree, no?
11.20.2008 2:42pm
Wayne Jarvis:
"I'm not the one who can't have a conversation about the BCS without turning it into a bitchfest about the proper role of the executive branch."

Bitchfest? Lighten up, Francis.
11.20.2008 2:43pm
Carolina:
I also agree with the president-elect on this issue, and hope he spends many, many months focused on this issue. Seriously. IMHO, using the bully pulpit to harangue college football programs is far superior than meddling with health insurance or any of the other items on his published agenda.
11.20.2008 2:44pm
Headthump:
WJ - You're a good example of why I rarely visit this blog anymore. I'll happily lighten up elsewhere.
11.20.2008 2:45pm
donaldk2 (mail):
Incredible to me that a serious politician - no, make that serious adult - would waste a minute's thought on such a triviality.
11.20.2008 2:45pm
A Law Dawg:
I'm with Steagles, go back to the way it was before BCS. We have to remember this is college football, it's not supposed to be a big league with a national championship, like a pro league.


What difference does that make? The NCAA has national championships for everything under the sun.
11.20.2008 2:45pm
A.S.:
I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this

He doesn't know any? Not a single one?

The circle of serious fans of college footbal that Obama knows must be awfully narrow-minded. Let's hope that on more wieghty topics, his administration includes people who hold differing views.
11.20.2008 2:46pm
zippypinhead:
"I'm gonna throw my weight around a little bit."
...if mucking around with the BCS system is really where he wants to throw his weight, er I mean "put his enforcement priorities," I guess he's entitled. If he actually means what he said, 50 cents sez that shortly after Obama's new Chairman of the FTC is confirmed, that agency will open a high-profile investigation into whether the BCS system is either an unreasonable restraint of trade under the Sherman Act or an unfair trade practice under section 5 of the FTC Act.

Although if the POTUS wants to throw his weight around in the sports arena generally (off the basketball court, that is), then how about working on repealing Major League Baseball's archaic and unique exemption from the antitrust laws? Then maybe the Cubs can have the right to decide to move someplace where they're not ridiculed by the other half of the city.

Oh wait... The Cubs permitted to leave Chicago? Never mind...
;~)
11.20.2008 2:46pm
Wayne Jarvis:
You're a good example of why I rarely visit this blog anymore. I'll happily lighten up troll elsewhere.

Fixed.
11.20.2008 2:48pm
Sarcastro (www):
Smokey, who clearly loves college football as much as I do is right that this is another example of Obama pulling a total Black Hitler.

Why are people talking about football when HitlerBama is going to march into Canada any day now?! This is serious business!

But Illya agrees with Obama here! He's either a liberal or one of those usefull idiots.
11.20.2008 2:53pm
Kerr's Sock Puppet:
Fight nice, children, or we'll have to call Professor Kerr in here to start spanking you with his patented Troll-banning paddle!

Somehow I suspect Ilya doesn't let the Socratic debate in his classroom sink to this level.
11.20.2008 2:55pm
zippypinhead:
Illya agrees with Obama here! He's either a liberal or one of those usefull idiots.
Sarcastro wins yet another thread! We may have to retire his number and hoist his jersey up into the rafters soon...
11.20.2008 2:57pm
gab:
Geez, no wonder you guys lost - absolutely no sense of humour.
11.20.2008 3:00pm
loki13 (mail):
I would agree with having a playoff system (8 team) with one caveat:

The Big10 should be forced to play-in with other, similar, conferences. YUou know- like the MAC, the WAC, and the Mountain West, and maybe NESCAC.

No more Little10 teams allowed to play for the National Chamionship until they've proven they can hang with the big boys again, because I don't want friggin' Ohio State in there unless its for comedic value.
11.20.2008 3:00pm
Allan (mail):
The BCS does make sense in one way. Take the Big XII this year. If there were a playoff, Texas Tech, Texas, and Oklahoma would be locks in a 16 team playoff and likely in an 8 team playoff. Missouri and Oklahoma State might be there too in a 16 team playoff.

If that were the case, the "big game" this weekend would be simple to decide seeds for OU and Tech. No excitement nationally, minimal ratings.

Now, Tech is in the driver's seat for the BCS championship. OU has a shot, as do USC and Texas. This game has garnered excitement and will get the ratings. As will the Big XII championship game.

The other slot will most likely go to Florida or Alabama winner. It will get great ratings.

Couple that with other games that got huge ratings this year and you have a bonanza when you add in the BCS bowl games.

To beat that, you will have to show that the NCAA regular season is worth watching and that, comibned with the post-season will get as many viewers as the current line-up. As ESPN is willing to pay $100,000,000/year, that is a huge monetary bet.

Make no mistake: money is driving this. It is not fan excitement of one format or the other.

One note. ESPN has the right to BCS bowls. If the NCAA changes the contract, it will have to make ESPN whole.
11.20.2008 3:01pm
Serendipity:
Seriously folks. Anyone who saw the 60 minutes interview that this quote came from knows that he was kidding. I don't think we need to worry about having a dictator-in-chief.
11.20.2008 3:03pm
hattio1:
Dude,
Wouldn't a D1 coach by definition not be a fan? I mean, fans are those who aren't involved. Those involved are players and coaches.
11.20.2008 3:08pm
Houston Lawyer:
"I'm much more a pro sports fan than a college fan"

College football is much more interesting than pro ball. I think the BCS system is as just as any other.

However, I'm really stumped on whether OU can beat Tech in such a way as to leave Texas ranked No. 2.
11.20.2008 3:10pm
Mac (mail):

I don't think we need to worry about having a dictator-in-chief.


You have no idea how much I hope and pray that you are right and how much I worry that you are wrong.
11.20.2008 3:12pm
Hadur:
There is precedent for the POTUS being involved in college football. See Theodore Roosevelt.
11.20.2008 3:13pm
Joker69 (mail):
I completely agree that the BCS sucks.

On a side note, however, Headthump said, "...comments here have sunk to a new low. Is there really that much frothing hatred?"

How is a mild expression of disdain for someone "frothing hatred?" Is this how Obama supporters are going to be? Is any criticism, any feelings of annoyance, any expression of dislike directed at The One going to be painted as "frothing hatred?"

The Bush haters were disgraceful in their treatment of the office of the presidency, and I hope the people who didn't vote for Obama don't act the same, obnoxious way. But please, Obama supporters, don't start trying to paint us Obama non-supporters that way until we really do go off the deep end as you guys did over Bush.
11.20.2008 3:13pm
Floridan:
If the Gators make it to the championship game, then I'm in favor of the current system.

Otherwise, the BCS is a corrupt and stupid concept that should be outlawed by presidential directive.

As for Obama, I think his sense of humor may be a bit too subtle for some.
11.20.2008 3:15pm
Sarcastro (www):
[I like pro ball better myself, because at the pro level it becomes more a tactical game and less an athletics sport. It kind of reminds me of old time nautical battles I read about in the Audrey-Maturin novels.

As someone who cannot deal with anything involving making spheroids to what you want (I swam and ran in HS/College), I prefer the game to the sport.

Of course, I got into Pro-ball when I was living in NorCal...49ers or Raiders...*sigh*]
11.20.2008 3:16pm
Wayne Jarvis:
"Seriously folks. Anyone who saw the 60 minutes interview that this quote came from knows that he was kidding. I don't think we need to worry about having a dictator-in-chief."

Could be, and since I didn't see it, I don't know if he if he joking or not. However, it doesn't sound like the NCAA thinks it's a just a joke:

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3708348
11.20.2008 3:16pm
A Law Dawg:
Seriously folks. Anyone who saw the 60 minutes interview that this quote came from knows that he was kidding. I don't think we need to worry about having a dictator-in-chief.


I wish he would do it.

It's also excellent politics. I think the Republicans would lose the SEC for a generation if Obama made this happen.
11.20.2008 3:17pm
Seamus (mail):
The BCS is obviously not a policy initiative; the use of that phrase was tongue-in-cheek. Obama has talked about this before, and I can't imagine how people can claim that a football fan's desire to change the system is evidence that he's a tyrant.

I agree that it was probably tongue-in-cheek (and I agree with Obama on the merits of the issue as well), but given that Theodore Roosevelt actually threw his weight as president around to get the rules of football altered, I'd say that Obama made an unfortunately choice of words, one that was certain to alarm those who worry that he's going to usher in a new era of federal meddlesomeness. (Similarly, it probably wasn't the most prudent thing in the world for President Reagan to say, in that famous sound check, "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.")
11.20.2008 3:18pm
D.R.M.:
The biggest defect of the current BCS system is not the computers, but the human polls. The decision of the computer algorithms may be inferior to a decision made on the field, but at least the only consideration that goes into the algorithms is on-field performance. Unlike the polls, they are not swayed by politics, hard-luck stories, speculation, or considerations of what would make the "best" game.

The approach that would involve the least change to the current system while maintaining the maximum amount of field-determination would be a two-round playoff. The top four teams, as determined solely by the computer rankings, would play semifinals on January 1st, #1 vs. #4, #2 vs. #3. Then the victors of those two games would meet on January 8th.
11.20.2008 3:19pm
Commodore:
You know what I'd like to see? US News Law School Rankings with as much volatility as the BCS rankings. With weekly updates.

PS: To the humorless, this isn't a commentary on the utility or validity of either BCS or US News.
11.20.2008 3:19pm
DiverDan (mail):

Obama: "I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this."


Dear President Obama,
I, for one, am a serious fan of College Football who does disagree with you. For starters, I would agree that, assuming we really need an undisputed "Champion" of College Football, then a playoff would be the way to go. But I dispute the assumption that a single "Champion" is either necessary or desirable.

First, it just goes further to "professionalize" the College game, and serves to further divert attention from the fact that the primary mission of our Colleges and Universities is to educate students, not to serve as minor leagues for the NFL, NBA, etc. The primary reason that several major football Universities out there have really diluted their educational standards for the sake of athletics is the "win at all costs" ethic that huge sums of money has brought to major college athletics. Does anyone here really believe that an athlete from, say, LSU or Alabama or Oklahoma or Texas who receives a B.A. in Recreation while majoring in Football has a college degree that is equivalent in quality standards to that which an athlete receives from another major University that is NOT a "Big Name" among college athletics, like Stanford or Brown, or even close to equivalent to a degree from an NCAA Division 3 or NAIA School? If I were looking for evidence of real academic achievement, I would look on the BA in Recreation earned by an Oklahoma Football Player as only slightly better (maybe even only equal to) an online degree from a diploma mill. The big money and "win at all costs" mentality of major college football has already relegated academics to a distant back of the bus at too many major universities. Do we really want to further denigrate academics for the sake of athletics only to achieve a "real" College Football Champion? That is a heavy price for a lot of real students to pay only to suage the desires of some footbal fans (and line the pockets of a lot of bookies).

Second, why is it that we insist that all but one school must lose its last game every season? Only a very small percentage of college football players will ever really make it in the NFL (even though most of the starters on every major college team dreams of it, for most, those dreams are unrealistic), and those that do will have plenty of time to compete for a true championship in the annual hunt for the Super Bowl. For the rest, College Football ought to stay a pleasant diversion, healthy competition that is and remains secondary to getting a solid education. Let the players on 16 or 18 teams remember their last game as a glorious bowl victory, even if they aren't playing in the mythical "BCS Championship Bowl".

Third, from a fan's perspective, I like the fact that we get to debate the relative strengths and weaknesses of teams and conferences without having every such debate settled on the field. And, I admit, I'm a fan of Big 10 Football (yeah, I know, the weak sister that can't play with the Southeast Conference and the Big 12), and I have to hear about the Mighty Big 12 and how Ohio State couldn't play with the big boys when they had their chance; my only response is that a degree from a Big 10 School, even Ohio State, is at least worth more than a GED, something I'm not too sure of with Oklahoma or LSU. But the ongoing debates which are never resolved are part of the fun of being a fan -- it is, after all, just a game, a diversion from reality. It is NOT life or death, or even all that important to our real lives. So why try to make it any more important than that by insisting on a playoff and one final game for all the marbles?
11.20.2008 3:20pm
zippypinhead:
Commodore wrote:
"You know what I'd like to see? US News Law School Rankings with as much volatility validity as the BCS rankings. With weekly updates."

...fixed it for you! ;~)
11.20.2008 3:25pm
loki13 (mail):

I'm a fan of Big 10 Football . . .


Ergo, you are not a college *football* fan. Perhaps a college soccer fan, or college ballet fan (as there is a similar amount of tackling).

Big10 Football != Real College Football.
11.20.2008 3:26pm
LN (mail):
When John Yoo argued that the President cannot be bound by the law during a time of war, I thought that was very sensible.

But when Barack Obama said that he favored a college football playoff system, and joked that "he would throw his weight around" to get something done on this, I became very afraid for the future of my country. Does Obama understand that the President is not a dictator? Or is he intent on becoming the next Hitler? Obama has talked a lot about "energy efficiency." You know who made the trains run efficiently? Stalin.

I spend about 3 hours a day praying that my nightmarish visions of an Obama dictatorship do not come true.

And for all the liberal wackos out there who want to suggest that I have some kind of mental disorder: lighten the fuck up. If you think it's unreasonable to worry about dictatorship when Obama jokes about the NCAA playoff system, then you maybe you need to get a sense of humor.
11.20.2008 3:28pm
South till you smell it, East till you step in it:
"a degree from a Big 10 School, even Ohio State, is at least worth more than a GED"

Speaking in my capacity as a Michigan alumnus, I question the accuracy of your specific example.

Besides, there are many who would argue even a regular degree from Oklahoma or LSU is worth less than a GED, but I fear that's getting off-topic.
11.20.2008 3:34pm
anon23:
LN:

You know who made the trains run efficiently? Stalin.

That would be Mussolini, "Bob".
11.20.2008 3:35pm
D.R.M.:
Alternately, for a real playoff, consider a four-round, 12-team playoff. Eleven spots reserved for the conference winners, one "at-large" spot given to the highest computer-ranked non-conference team in the top 16 (or, if no non-conference team qualifies, the highest computer-ranked conference #2).

Round one pits the seven lowest-ranked conference winners and the at-large team against each other on a Saturday in early December. Round 2 pits those four winners and the four highest-ranked conference winners against each other on, oh, December 26th. The four teams winning from that play January 1, and the two teams from that play in the national championship.

Note the absolutely secondary place of rankings, here.
11.20.2008 3:36pm
jb (mail):
I like D.R.M.'s system. Also it is amazing to me (although probably a good thing) that president's don't sound off on personal opinions more often, but then again they are politicians.
11.20.2008 3:39pm
Tom952 (mail):
Glad to have you on board, Ilya. NCAA Football is the only major sport in America that does not determine a clear champion by the end the season. The sport has been hijacked by the bar and hotel owners surrounding some stadiums, and the result is a season terminated by meaningless pageant bowls. A playoff tournament running alternate weekends during the holiday season would provide fans with interesting, dramatic, and meaningful matchups that conclude with a clear champion.
11.20.2008 3:45pm
dude:

hattio1: "Wouldn't a D1 coach by definition not be a fan? I mean, fans are those who aren't involved. Those involved are players and coaches."


That's arguably one narrow definition, but another one is "An ardent devotee; an enthusiast." Obviously players and coaches count -- indeed, especially players and coaches. If you asked 100 college coaches, "Are you a college football fan?", how many do you think would say "no"?

Regardless, I don't know what point you're trying to make.
11.20.2008 3:49pm
AntonK (mail):

"In other news, Judge Leon in DC ordered five Guantanamo detainees released, including Boumediene."
Boring....
11.20.2008 3:53pm
Piano_JAM (mail):
Is any criticism, any feelings of annoyance, any expression of dislike directed at The One going to be painted as "frothing hatred?" Yes, unfortunately, one cannot criticize the One, or you are a frothing, hating racist.

I am also at least the second person on this thread who is a serious college football fan who does not want a playoff. Playoff's don't prove who is the best.

Weren't the Patriots the greatest team of all time last year - lost in the playoffs.

Was NC State the best team when they won the NCAA hoops with Valvano. they were barely over .500.

The Steelers were 10-6 when they won the Super Bowl a few years back.

The list is endless.
11.20.2008 3:54pm
ray_g:
"...minor league system in which the players arent compensated."

Actually, they are compensated very well, with full tuition, room and board, books, etc. It is their own fault if they don't take advantage of that to get a degree in case they don't get into the pros.
11.20.2008 4:04pm
Oren:
ZPH nails it.
11.20.2008 4:08pm
Alan P (mail):
Eight team playoff. NO reserved spots for conference champions or anyone else. Yes, unfair to teams ranked nine or ten but tough luck. they probably would not win anyway.

Play round 1 in mid December using existing bowl games as the sites.

Round two on New Years Day in rememberence of years past when the games that day were special. Use two of four original bowls (Rose Cotton, Sugar, Orange) alternating every other year.

Final one week then following Saturday later.

Only four teams play more than one extra game and only two teams play two extra. Most schools have no classes in late December anyway so no interference with class schedules.
11.20.2008 4:12pm
Adam J:
And for all the liberal wackos out there who want to suggest that I have some kind of mental disorder: lighten the fuck up. If you think it's unreasonable to worry about dictatorship when Obama jokes about the NCAA playoff system, then you maybe you need to get a sense of humor.

I hope that a few people viewing can appreciate the blinding hypocrisy of LN's post. Don't worry though LN, I see the humor in your post... I just don't think it was intentionally humorous.
11.20.2008 4:13pm
LN (mail):
AdamJ:

You have no idea how much I hope and pray that you are right and how much I worry that you are wrong.
11.20.2008 4:16pm
Mhoram:
Wrong wrong wrong. The lack of a playoff and a "clear champion" is what makes college football better than every other sport.

I am amazed at all of the playoff zealots who want D-1A college football to be just like Lacross or other divisions of college football. Really, unless you have a specific rooting interest, do you have any idea who won the D-II or D-III football championships last year?

The NY Giants were the clear winner in last year's NFL season. Who was the best team, however? A Giants team that lost six games during the season and failed to win their division, or a Patriots team that only lost one game (albeit the very last one they played)?

College football is fun and exciting largely because of the debate and argument. I would much rather argue until the end of time about whether USC or Alabama was the better team in 1979 than have had a playof and some 3-loss team have a good game at the right time.

And don't give me the bit about how it would only be a 4 or 8 team playoff. Major league baseball once had a 2 team playoff - which was just fine. It made pennant races very exciting and every team knew that the only way to get to the world series was to be the best. Now, we've expanded to an 8-team playoff where 25% of all teams in MLB are in the playoffs. If it starts with an 8-team playoff, it will be 16 before you can blink, and up to 32 within a few years. To keep the number of games unchanging, the regular season will be reduced to 10 games that won't really matter all that much anyway. (See college basketball's regular season, for example)

The BCS is a 2-team playoff. Losses are often fatal (as well they should be in an 11 or 12 game season). With a playoff, Florida and Alabama could lay down against FSU and Auburn respectively and it would make no difference - they would still get in the playoffs.

And yes, I am a Serious College Football Fan.
11.20.2008 4:18pm
Azatoth:

Eight team playoff. NO reserved spots for conference champions or anyone else. Yes, unfair to teams ranked nine or ten but tough luck. they probably would not win anyway.


Nope, the NY Giants would have had no chance to win the Super Bowl last year.
11.20.2008 4:20pm
corneille1640 (mail):

Sarcastro wins yet another thread! We may have to retire his number and hoist his jersey up into the rafters soon...

There's no way of knowing for sure if Sarcastro won the thread. Maybe to determine future thread winners, we should set up some sort of computer algorithm to determine the overall effectiveness of any given commentator's post on any given thread. Doing so would be better than some sort of mythic "poll" of fellow blog-visitors. Or, we could establish an extra round of comments among the best commentators in the thread, to establish once and for all the winner.
11.20.2008 4:30pm
Mhoram:
Ooooohhh, I know!!!

I have a playoff system to choose a clear, undisputed winner. No questions or arguments possible.

No regular season at all. Just a playoff involving 120 teams. Seed them all from 1-120 and use a conventional highest vs lowest bracket.

Round 1 reduces the number to 60
Round 2 reduces the number to 30
Round 3 reduces the number to 15
Round 4 reduces the number to 8 (highest ranked team from Rd 3 gets a bye)
Round 5 reduces the number to 4
Round 6 reduces the number to 2
Round 7 determines the champion.

Teams can play a couple of pre-playoff games to get the traditional rivalries in, such as USC-ND, Alabama-Auburn and Army-Navy, and then we get into the serious business of determining the clear best team in the country. One loss and you are out.

Doesn't that sound like fun?
11.20.2008 4:31pm
xx:
"I'm much more a pro sports fan than a college fan. But I too believe that the BCS computer system is a terrible way to determine a national championship. True champions win their bragging rights on the field."

There are many problems with the BCS, but I don't understand why this is the most common criticism. If we move to an eight team playoff, analysts are going to spend almost as much time arguing over who was screwed by getting the #9, 10, or 11 seed as they do talking about who was screwed by getting the #3, 4, or 5 seed. There's always going to be a cutoff for who gets to "win their bragging rights on the field."
11.20.2008 4:33pm
genob:
I too am a serious college football fan who disagrees with Obama on this one...

First, Obama went to flippin Columbia. What the hell does he know about college football anyway? This is the one place where I am quite certain that my undergraduate experience at the University of Oklahoma makes me much more qualified than him to opine on this subject. So stick to what you know Barack...butt out of this one.

Second, what is wrong with what we have now? The college football regular season is the greatest sporting event going today. For many of the reasons spelled out above, any playoff system would significantly weaken the importance, intrigue and passion of the regular season. There is a reason that this week's OU basketball game against Davidson was merely interesting to watch, while this weekend's football game against Texas Tech is the event around which the entire weekend is planned. There is a reason that I'll glance at an NFL regular season game when its on, but I will hang on every play of a college regular season game. I love that the game against Texas in October borders on life or death.

Third, I think the present BCS is even too much of a playoff and has cheapened New Years Day. In days of old, you had to follow every major bowl to see if maybe UCLA was going to upset Ohio St. in the Rose Bowl so that OU's Orange Bowl game would be for the national championship after all... Now, only one bowl game really counts. That's too bad.

Fourth, why is a tournament winner any more a "true" champion than the team that has played the best season overall? A team can get hot and draw favorable matchups and win a tournament even though everyone might agree that they are not the best team in the field.

The college football season is an event, and IMO, the greatest sporting event that we have right now. It is fall madness. Leave it alone. And beat the hell outta Texas Tech this weekend!
11.20.2008 4:47pm
R Nebblesworth:
LN and Sarcastro both won the thread.
11.20.2008 4:48pm
ForWhatItsWorth:
Mhoram: "....Doesn't that sound like fun?...."

I can't TIVO that many games at once, though...... 60 the first week would be a little tough, no? lol
11.20.2008 4:52pm
ForWhatItsWorth:
genob: "....First, Obama went to flippin Columbia. What the hell does he know about college football anyway? This is the one place where I am quite certain that my undergraduate experience at the University of Oklahoma makes me much more qualified than him to opine on this subject. So stick to what you know Barack...butt out of this one. ..."

HERE HERE! You win!
11.20.2008 4:54pm
Alan P (mail):

Fourth, why is a tournament winner any more a "true" champion than the team that has played the best season overall? A team can get hot and draw favorable matchups and win a tournament even though everyone might agree that they are not the best team in the field.


Absolutely right but so what.

Were the Phillies the best baseball team this year? Were the Giants the best football team last year? Was Villanova ever better than Georgetown? and on and on

But they won the playoff and get to be called champions.

After all, its not life and death, Its more important than that
11.20.2008 4:56pm
New World Dan (www):
The facts were these:

1) There are too many bowl games. 6 wins should not get you sent to a bowl game.
2) There has never been a Division-1A national champion. Winning a sports writer popularity contest doesn't make you a national champion
3) Divions 1AA, 2, and 3 all have playoff systems so the argument about extending the season is crap, especially since bowl games are played about 5 weeks after most teams finish their regular seasons.
4) The system won't change until someone ponies up more money than the bowl games do.

Also, people aren't wearing enough hats.
11.20.2008 4:58pm
genob:
And P.S. Diver Dan....If my OU degree is not worth a GED, then I guess I've done remarkably well in life with less than a high school education. :)
11.20.2008 5:10pm
Cornellian (mail):
I'll never make it in politics because I can't pretend to care about college sports.
11.20.2008 5:22pm
autolykos:

The biggest defect of the current BCS system is not the computers, but the human polls. The decision of the computer algorithms may be inferior to a decision made on the field, but at least the only consideration that goes into the algorithms is on-field performance. Unlike the polls, they are not swayed by politics, hard-luck stories, speculation, or considerations of what would make the "best" game.


The thing that's funny about the computers is how people monkey with them to match the polls. People talk about how great the computers are, but if the formula ever fails to yield the matchup the pollsters think is best, the peanut gallery whines and complains about how the computers got it wrong and the people who write the programs are sent to rework their algorithms so that it comes back with the "correct" result.
11.20.2008 5:26pm
astrangerwithcandy (mail):

The Big10 should be forced to play-in with other, similar, conferences. YUou know- like the MAC, the WAC, and the Mountain West, and maybe NESCAC.


you tell'em! can we also ban the Big 12 bc Oklahoma has been crushed in 4 straight BCS games? and until the past two years their conference was terrible (in 2005 there was one team in the conference with a winning record against ranked foes; in 2006 the conference did not have a team with a winning record against ranked foes). we should also ban SEC teams bc the players and fans can rarely spell anything other than "S-E-C" and the conference's record against Big Ten foes in bowl games the last 10 years is 15 wins and 14 losses. hardly the dominance you should see against such an inferior foe.
11.20.2008 5:26pm
Dave N (mail):
The problem with the current system are the "little" programs that are having a particularly good year:

In 1984, Brigham Young University was crowned the "national champion" because it was undefeated in the regular season and then defeated a 6-5 Michigan team in the Holiday Bowl.

How BYU would have done in a major bowl is anyone's guess.

On the other hand, in 2004 Utah was undefeated--and the only undefeated team at the end of the bowl season when it won the Fiesta Bowl--but it was not the national champion.

Finally, in 2006, Boise State University was undefeated in the regular season and defeated Oklahoma, in overtime, also in the Fiesta Bowl. It wasn't the national champion either, but at least Florida was also undefeated.

That said, I think some playoff system is in order. The old system clearly did not work and the current system is not much better IF (and I acknowledge it is a BIG IF) the best team is from a smaller conference.

Now, out of fairness, I will state that I am biased with my three examples. As a Utah (law school) alum, I despise BYU out of general principles, think Utah was robbed in 2004, and yelled myself hoarse rooting for Boise State, a college my wife attended, in its bowl game two years ago.
11.20.2008 5:36pm
wfjag:

R Nebblesworth:
LN and Sarcastro both won the thread.

Illegal procedure. Premature election by commentator. Hoosier has not commented, yet.

Actually, I like the idea of a college play-off. Now, everything is over by the end of the first week of Jan. With a play-off system, if the same number of teams start as start in the NCAA Basketball tournaments, since football teams can't be expected to play more than 1 game a week, the final championship game may not be held until the following July or August -- or after the NFL draft picks show up for training camp. We could have year-round college football (which would surely eliminate stadium league football once and for all).

Next, maybe Pres. (elect) Obama will really do something important -- like getting the rest of the world to start calling that other game "soccer".
11.20.2008 5:37pm
LN (mail):
I think corneille1640 won both this thread and the discussion of who won this thread.
11.20.2008 5:57pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
I just want to know how Señor Mouse intends to bell this cat?
11.20.2008 6:22pm
ManBearPig:
I'm a serious college football fan. Frankly, i've got an unhealthy addiction to college football--it really is quite sad. That said, the bowl system is fine. The only change i would make is forcing the AP to stop voting on national champions, they're not great at it and it muddies the water. In some cases i even think there's a conflict of interests when they vote on a national champion.

But yay, thank God Obama opined on this issue. My guess is that now that ESPN has the rights to the BCS they'll start playing up the BCS system's many benefits and start to frame discussions as to why there shouldn't a playoff.

That said, Genob there's no way that his Columbia experience makes him any less qualified to opine than you. The mere fact that you've been to more games or have a diploma from a IA (FBS) school says nothing about your fandom or his or your relative knowledge/feeling for the game.
11.20.2008 6:40pm
Bob White (mail):
Dave N,
I don't know if you're just trolling, but Utah in 2004 was one of three undefeated teams after the conclusion of the January 2005 bowls-both Auburn and USC also won all their games that year. In 2006, Boise State was the sole undefeated Division I-A, n/k/a FBS team-Florida that year lost a game, to Auburn.

The lack of a playoff is actually fine with most of The Powers That Be in college football, because they're getting the money and/or prestige they want out of the system. I personally find the number of bowl games somewhat excessive, but each and every bowl game exists because it's making the money it needs to do so. If it's not, it goes away.
11.20.2008 6:46pm
New Pseudonym:
What's all this talk about Division 1A? Are you really college football fans when you don't realize that Division 1A does not exist?

A word for the suggestion that the seven conference champions get slots in an eight team playoff. This ignores the fact that the third place SEC team and second place Big 12 team could probably beat the Big East or ACC champion by more than 30 points.

And for those who claim expertise because they went to A football power. (and those in the past who have bragged about their Tier 1 law schools), I hold degrees from the University of Florida, University of Miami, and University of Southern California.
11.20.2008 6:58pm
KeithK (mail):
New World Dan already mentioned that all other divisions of college football have playoffs, so the argument that the season would run too long is invalidated by evidence. The obvious reason we don't havea playoff is a combination of tradition and money. College football has always (more or less) had bowl games to finish the season so lots of folks would hate to see that change (more than it already has with BCS). But the big reason is money. The bowls pump a lot of money into the participating schools and it's not clear that a playoff system would do that. So there's a financial interest in retaining the existing system, one that is hard to overcome.

I personally think that D1-A could use an eight team playoff system to clean things up. But then, I went to Cornell so I know only slightly less unqualified than Mr. Obama to opine ont his subject.
11.20.2008 7:11pm
Jim Hu:
I too consider myself a serious college football fan who is opposed to playoffs. Like DiverDan, I reject the premise that we need a single champion determined on the field. To those who argue that the bowls reflect capture by the hotel owners, etc., I say that the push for playoffs is driven by the 24 hour sports industry, who are looking for more TV revenue by dragging college football out beyond its current ridiculous duration. Although it goes against every libertarian instinct in by body, I believe College football should be banned after New Year's Day until the following September. Universities playing in games after Jan 1 should lose all their Federal funding!

What Prof. Somin and the President-elect seem to ignore is that once an 8 team playoff is instituted, it will have to expand to a larger field, due to the political pressure generated by excluding the conference champions from states with powerful congressional delegations.

If you think I'm making this up, then you didn't watch the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection hearings on College Football in 2005, where (IIRC) NCAA officials were grilled about why it was so hard for Wyoming and Utah to get into the BCS games.

This will actually lose the SEC and Big12 for a generation, as the notion of having 2 teams from any conference in the mix will drive the playoff to an unsustainable size.
11.20.2008 7:12pm
dude:
New Pseudonym: As one SI writer explained:

The terms 'I-A' and 'I-AA' are technically outdated. But so is college football's system for determining a national champion, so we're sticking with them anyway. 'I-A' is now officially 'FBS' (Football Bowl Subdivision) and 'I-AA' is now 'FCS' (Football Championship Subdivision), thereby satiating the public's endless longing for an even more confusing way to group college football teams. But we're using the more traditional 'I-A' and 'I-AA' designations, because they're more familiar and sensible. And if doing so happens to stymie the NCAA's clumsy attempt at re-branding, that's an added bonus.
11.20.2008 7:14pm
1Ler:
Count me in as another firm playoff supporter. I've experienced the worst of the BCS firsthand--I was at the school that was one of the all-time biggest "victims" of the system. But even with that, the regular season in college football is the most compelling, beautiful, agonizing, and incredible thing in the world: a playoff would kill it for a few weeks of fun.

Plus one? We can talk about that.

But maybe, Headthump, I'm just spewing frothy hatred out towards Obama's suggestion...
11.20.2008 7:29pm
Thales (mail) (www):
" You know who made the trains run efficiently? Stalin.


That would be Mussolini, "Bob"."

Yeah, Stalin made Ukrainian grain production run efficiently through the innovative tool of starvation.
11.20.2008 7:50pm
SenatorX (mail):
Yeah fix the Circus! Actually I demand a better Circus, and more Bread. How about letting wall street CEO's fight it out with knives on national TV? Or hmm, I'm sure there are a lot of things the government could do to make my entertainment more distracting. Go Gators.
11.20.2008 8:18pm
D.R.M.:
This ignores the fact that the third place SEC team and second place Big 12 team could probably beat the Big East or ACC champion by more than 30 points.

I don't ignore it; I do dismiss it as irrelevant. If we're going to have a playoff system to prove things on the field, then let's have one focused on proving things on the field.

If you can't manage to win your division, however tough, then it's nonsense to claim to be national champs. You already proved on the field you weren't the best team in your division, much less the country. Goodbye.

On the other hand, if you went undefeated in the Mountain West, or the WAC, or the MAC, well, you should get your shot to prove yourself on the field, not be written off as being from a "weak" conference.

So, that's the reason for my twelve-team playoff design. The only reason for the twelfth slot ever allowing a conference loser in is to avoid automatically handing a berth to a non-conference team with a lousy record. (Maybe that should be replaced with a bye for the 5th-highest-ranked conference champ when a non-conference team doesn't qualify.)

If our goal is to simply create exciting football games, then we should forget any sort of championship; just rank the teams from 1-end, and have them play bowls in evenly-matched pairs (1 vs. 2, 3 vs. 4 . . . 2nd worst 6-win team vs. worst 6-win team). If our goal is a championship to prove things on the field, we need a system that doesn't screw over some 12-0 or 11-0 teams in favor of a "tough conference" loser.
11.20.2008 9:07pm
nhertel (mail):
I know you're not a real college football fan if you're complaining about the softness of the Big 10 and not the Pac 10. What a joke. USC is the only power and although Pete Carroll is undefeated in all his Novembers, he can't make it through the 1-AA games.
11.20.2008 9:15pm
loki13 (mail):

The Big10 should be forced to play-in with other, similar, conferences. YUou know- like the MAC, the WAC, and the Mountain West, and maybe NESCAC.


you tell'em! can we also ban the Big 12 bc Oklahoma has been crushed in 4 straight BCS games? and until the past two years their conference was terrible (in 2005 there was one team in the conference with a winning record against ranked foes; in 2006 the conference did not have a team with a winning record against ranked foes). we should also ban SEC teams bc the players and fans can rarely spell anything other than "S-E-C" and the conference's record against Big Ten foes in bowl games the last 10 years is 15 wins and 14 losses. hardly the dominance you should see against such an inferior foe.


Defensive much? Actually, that's good- you have more defense than a Little10 team. Let me break it down nice and simple for you, since most Little10 fans couldn't spell CAT if you spooted them the C and the A.

The last time the cream of the Little10 was good was the 60s. While there was a blip after Tressel was hired and they decided to pay for their talent (see, e.g., Ohios State 2002), otherwise they have been awful. If you discount Penn State's championships before they sullied themselves by joining the Little10 and a co-championship, the last real winner was in 1970.

Bailout for the Big 3 automakers? Nah, it's the Little10 that needs a bailout. With real football teams. I hear NESCAC might have a few openings, and Michigan might make .500 f the regularly played Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, and Amherst.
11.20.2008 9:17pm
loki13 (mail):

I know you're not a real college football fan if you're complaining about the softness of the Big 10 and not the Pac 10. What a joke. USC is the only power and although Pete Carroll is undefeated in all his Novembers, he can't make it through the 1-AA games.


Since 1970-

In the Rose Bowl, the Little10 has won 11 games.

The Pac10 hass won 24 games.

Hmmmm.....

If the Pac10 is weak, I'd hate to think of a term for the Little10. Pathetic? Little sniveling whining craptacular conference of suckitude?

And don't even get me started on their performance in the National Championship? How many games does the Little10 have to ruin before we all say, "ENOUGH!" and drop 'em down to D3?
11.20.2008 9:25pm
DeezRightWingNutz:

On the other hand, in 2004 Utah was undefeated--and the only undefeated team at the end of the bowl season when it won the Fiesta Bowl--but it was not the national champion.


USC and Auburn were both undefeated after the 2004 season/2005 bowls. Also, Utah sucked then and they suck now. I love how the schools from crappy conferences hang their hats on Utah over Pitt (Pitt?!?) and BSU (plus three miracles) over the 2nd worst OU team in a decade.

TCU is the best crappy conference team this year, followed closely by Utah, and they both would lose a ten game series somewhere betweeen 2-8 and 0-10 against top five teams.
11.20.2008 9:27pm
loki13 (mail):

TCU is the best crappy conference team this year, followed closely by Utah, and they both would lose a ten game series somewhere betweeen 2-8 and 0-10 against top five teams.


I dunno. I think they could Penn State and Ohio State at least 50% of the time, and run the table against the rest of the Little10. It's too bad- not only does the eocnomy suck up there, and the weather, they don't even have Division 1 football. Maybe if each tem could have 11 zombie Woody Hayes to slug the players on the other team they'd have a chance.
11.20.2008 9:34pm
DeezRightWingNutz:

I'm a serious college football fan. Frankly, i've got an unhealthy addiction to college football--it really is quite sad. That said, the bowl system is fine. The only change i would make is forcing the AP to stop voting on national champions, they're not great at it and it muddies the water. In some cases i even think there's a conflict of interests when they vote on a national champion.


Yeah, we should use the coaches' poll. They're much less conflicted.



If you can't manage to win your division, however tough, then it's nonsense to claim to be national champs. You already proved on the field you weren't the best team in your division, much less the country. Goodbye.


This is such an idiotic statement, I can hardly believe it a serious comment. I hope you're not a lawyer, because it is is really easy to construct a hypothetical argument that would get 90+% of CFB fans to realize how dumb it is. If you play five non-conference road games against the top six teams in the country, win them all, and then go 7-1 in your conference, then lose a championship on a tiebreaker, you're saying that there's no way you're the best team in your country?

Also, you're an advocate of a playoff who should apparently think that many champions of playoffs in other sports are frauds, since they didn't win their conference/division.
11.20.2008 9:39pm
DeezRightWingNutz:

I dunno. I think they could Penn State and Ohio State at least 50% of the time, and run the table against the rest of the Little10. It's too bad- not only does the eocnomy suck up there, and the weather, they don't even have Division 1 football. Maybe if each tem could have 11 zombie Woody Hayes to slug the players on the other team they'd have a chance.



PSU and tOSU aren't top-5 teams. Alabama, Texas Tech, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and USC are. Yeah, that's six. So f'n what?
11.20.2008 9:42pm
loki13 (mail):
DWRN-

You're correct. And those six teams come from real conferences. At one point recently, though, Penn State was a Top5 team, as was THE OSU before the season and they played a real team.

I think that until the Little10 gets relegated (if only we had that!), there should be a rebuttable presumption against having any of their teams in the top 10. They can rebut it by playing (and beating) one good team from a real conference.
11.20.2008 9:45pm
Smokey:
wfjag:
R Nebblesworth:
LN
and Sarcastro both won the thread.
"Illegal procedure. Premature election by commentator. Hoosier has not commented, yet."

wfjag wins the thread! Oh, wait... are these like playoffs, or is this like 0's "no clear and decisive winner?"

Headthump takes his ball and goes home:
WJ - You're a good example of why I rarely visit this blog anymore. I'll happily lighten up elsewhere.
Headthump wins... the hanky award.

But LN loses the Alex Trebek Daily Double:
You know who made the trains run efficiently? Stalin.
Sarcastro wins the Godwin's Law honorable mention:
...this is another example of Obama pulling a total Black Hitler.
Now, can we forget the unilateral awarding of winners, etc? At least until the thread has 100+ posts, and there are at least three votes for the same post?

Or whatever.
11.20.2008 10:02pm
LN (mail):
You guys think you're so smart. But lookie here:


Always something of a maverick—he was the only Jew among top Soviet leaders to survive the purges—Kaganovich won Stalin's approval for his loyalty and toughness and got one top job after another. He played an important role in the party purges, was put in charge of the construction of the famed Moscow Metro and finally he became czar of Russia's railroads, a job that he pursued with such vigor during World War II that he instituted the death penalty for failure to make trains run on time.


See, Stalin WAS concerned about train efficiency! And he even hired a maverick to take care of it!
11.20.2008 10:21pm
guest 0299:
A word for the suggestion that the seven conference champions get slots in an eight team playoff. This ignores the fact that the third place SEC team and second place Big 12 team could probably beat the Big East or ACC champion by more than 30 points.

Except, of course, when they play on the field instead of in your mind. West Virginia seemed to do pretty well against the Big 12 champion last year, even without a coaching staff. And I seem to remember them beating the SEC champion as well, less than 3 years ago.

By the way, doesn't the Big 12 have a losing record against the ACC this year?
11.21.2008 1:00am
guest 0299:
Loki, you need to get a grip. Head-to-head, your mighty SEC and the Big 10 are even in the BCS era. That includes Ohio State's winless streak against the SEC, which means that you get beat up pretty regularly by the Little 9. And Ohio State has the second-most wins in BCS games, so I doubt they are particularly worried what you think about them.

You want a rebuttable presumption? How about banning Oklahoma from any BCS games until they can actually win one? Or how about a grace period from Florida fans on the Big 10 bashing, since a Big 10 team beat you in your last bowl game? I think that makes it a 2-4 bowl record against the "inferior" Big 10 over the past decade.
11.21.2008 1:40am
JeremyR (mail):
I think people who propose a playoff system are missing a couple of things.

First off, these are college students, not professional athletes. Forcing them to play 3 more games a season is taking 3 weeks away from their college studies. Yes, some of them aren't really students, but some are, and some use the degree they get in college to earn their way in the world after college.

Secondly, football is a tough sport. For those that are good enough to turn pro, any more games played is just adding wear and tear on their bodies and increasing injury risk, hurting their future careers
11.21.2008 2:57am
donaldk2 (mail):
Several bloggers have instanced T. Roosevelt as interfering with college football. He faced a different problem. Players were getting seriously injured (and at least one death) due to the kickoff return tactic known as the "flying wedge."

While the rulemakers were at it, they facilitated the passing game, a major improvement.
11.21.2008 3:22am
LM (mail):
loki13: Did you lose some kind of bet?
11.21.2008 5:25am
loki13 (mail):

loki13: Did you lose some kind of bet?


LM- No, I only win money on the National Championship game when the Little10 is involved. I just want to watch more competitive games. I bring this up for two reasons:

1. I enjoy taunting the Little10 fans. Look at the pathetic comment from guest 0299 for example. Yeah, the Little10 is okay when they aren't in a Big Game, against the lesser powers of other conferences. Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?

2. Last year, I had to deal with 'THE osu' will destroy LSU commenters. And yet they never appeared after the game. So I am now taking my delayed taunting opportunity.

The Little10 should be disbanded, and the teams sent to the Mountain West, WAC, and NESCAC (I'm looking at you, Northwestern). It's pathetic that they are allowed to fatten their records by playing each other and get a shot at making my viewing experience less pleasurable.
11.21.2008 9:13am
Joey Plummer (mail):
I don't really care if they institute a playoff or not, but I get exceedingly sick of the self-righteous slugs who continue to repeat that the only people who oppose a playoff are rogues or fools.
There are many points to be made against a playoff. They may not be decisive, but they include:

1. There already is a playoff. If you expect to be taken seriously you should at least use precise terms. The current system features a 2 team playoff.

2. Any proposal which features 8 or fewer teams is a total non-starter. Either you would have to just take the top 8 of some poll--no conference will agree to that; or you have some kind of auto bids plus 2 at large--this solves nothing most years, including this one.

3. A 16 team bracket would have to accommodate at least two factors that very few people discuss:
you can not play a game like that during finals week;
you can not compete against the NFL playoffs for screen time, so you would have to play the games during the week.

4. It is very unlikely that you can end the regular season prior to Thanksgiving Weekend.

Now perhaps a genius can come up with a 16 team playoff that satisfies these problems...but it ain't as easy as the talk radio meatballs make it sound.
11.21.2008 9:59am
George Smith:
Obviously, Boise State made a large contribution to the Obama campaign.
11.21.2008 10:49am
guest 0300:
Yeah, the Little10 is okay when they aren't in a Big Game, against the lesser powers of other conferences.

That 2-4 record must really hurt.
11.21.2008 11:21am
loki13 (mail):

Yeah, the Little10 is okay when they aren't in a Big Game, against the lesser powers of other conferences.

That 2-4 record must really hurt.


38-24 (and it was over in the first half).
41-14

'Nuff said. Feel free to play in the latest incarnation of the Poulan Weedeater Bowl- just stay out of the real Bowl Games.
11.21.2008 3:22pm
LM (mail):
loki,

Taunting being what it is, you're using plenty of hyperbole. Which, so long as it's in the spirit of taunting, is fine. I just want to make sure, since you're usually a reasonable guy, you don't take it too seriously. To paraphrase the President elect, I don't know any serious fan of college football who would dispute that the Big 10 sucks. But any twenty or thirty year picture won't give you an accurate picture of college ball, either historically or, I'm guessing, prospectively.
11.21.2008 6:39pm
bemyguest:
As far as I'm concerned, the NCAA ruined everything when they stopped playing all the major bowls on New Year's Day. But that's water over the dam.

But I don't get all the enthusiasm for a BCS division playoff.

If the goal of a playoff is to anoint a champion for the sake of having a champion, fine.

But having a playoff is no guarantee that the best team will be the champion.

In the current standings, Utah is No. 7. Does anyone who seriously follows college football believe that Utah is a better team than Alabama, Texas, Texas Tech, Florida, Oklahoma or USC?

And yet, in an 8-team playoff they'd have the ability to win a championship.

I love the NCAA baskeball tournament. But it doesn't always select the best team. Think Villanova in 1985.

Oregon State won back-to-back College World Series in 2006 and 2007, and in 2007 they would have never been selected as an at-large team to the NCAA tournament. They had to win the Pac-10 tournament to get a bid to the sub-regionals.

If the goal is to pick the best team in football, the current BCS bowl system does fine. Plus, I like the bowls. They're an entertaining piece of Americana.
11.21.2008 8:08pm
Mr. Mandias (mail) (www):
Good for Obama.

The BCS is incompatible with the traditions of a free people. Only a play-off will restore our position in the eyes of the nations.
11.24.2008 2:22pm
Mr. Mandias (mail) (www):
"ESPN has the right to BCS bowls. If the NCAA changes the contract, it will have to make ESPN whole"

Doubt it. The NCAA isn't a party to the BCS-ESPN contracts.
11.24.2008 2:33pm
Opher Banarie (mail) (www):
Maybe the stress of President-elect has gotten to Obama and he's lost all reference to what his priorities need to be. Could he just resign, say on January 22, 2009, and take over as the NCAA football commissioner? I'm sure he's much more comfortable in that role than President of the United States of America.
11.24.2008 5:09pm