Woulda, coulda, shoulda

After reading the latest Mark Bradley opinion piece, “The BCS blows it again”, I’m reminded once again how dishonest some of the folks in favor of junking the BCS for a playoff can be in making their case.

In Mark’s world, it really doesn’t matter whether it’s Michigan or Florida playing Ohio State, because the real crime is that “(w)e’ll never know if Michigan is actually superior to the Gators…” And, just as horribly, “(w)e’ll never know if Michigan could have taken Ohio State on a neutral field, or if Louisville or even Boise State could have pulled a George Mason in Glendale…”

And that, of course leads to the inevitable conclusion:

There needs to be a playoff, but there will never be a playoff.

Except, wait a minute: the only way we could know whether Michigan or Florida is the superior team is if they played each other. And since he wants to know what Michigan and Ohio State could do on a neutral field, I guess that means he wants some kind of playoff that drives #2 and #3 to play each other before facing #1. And I suppose he wants #12 to have some kind of shot to take on Ohio State, too.

I wasn’t that great in math, but how in the hell do you set all of that up? If you say with a 16-team playoff, how do you guarantee the matchups that ol’ Mark wants?

The simple answer, of course, is that you can’t. And that’s the problem that playoff advocates like Bradley gloss over. For all the bitching about Florida and Michigan this year, the simple matter is that Ohio State deserves to play for the MNC, no ifs, ands or buts, and any playoff format that requires the Buckeyes to audition for the final game by playing another team first necessarily diminishes what OSU has already accomplished. That’s not right.

The BCS blows it again? Something blows, for sure…

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2 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

2 responses to “Woulda, coulda, shoulda

  1. Senator Senator Senator….

    There does indeed need to be a playoff, and dare i say never say never my friend. Who really cares about guaranteeing the match-ups that mark wants?
    As far as I can see it we need a playoff system that includes either the top 12 or the top 24 teams. You would give either the top 4 or top 8 byes the first week depending on which one you do. No one is trying to take anything away from all that OSU has accomplished. They truly are a great team but wouldn’t it be interesting to see what would happen if they were put against a few other teams? I say that their glory would only be that much greater if they were to come out on top. Think about March Madness and how enjoyable the whole thing is to watch. Now think about football – the excitement would increase at least tenfold!!
    Please join my cause and decide today which bowl you will boycott. It may sound insignificant but if enough people stop watching bowl games we have a shot at changing the system. Please give it some thought. korey

  2. korey –

    I actually have more respect for your position than I do for Bradley’s. It’s just that I don’t see March Madness as a good template for college football.

    Like it or not, an extensive playoff set up will cheapen the regular season dramatically. That’s certainly been the case with college basketball, for which the regular season is a shadow of its former self (said from the perspective of a mid-’70s graduate of an ACC school). I’d really hate to see that happen with football.

    The other problem I see with your proposal is that because of the almighty dollar, I doubt things would stop with 12 or even 24 teams. And a 64-team playoff would truly be awful.

    Thanks for dropping in here. I hope you’ll come back and comment some more…