John Feinstein manages to distill all of the “here’s why we need a playoff” stupidity in the college football universe into one supremely obnoxious column.
Let’s check off the list of ingredients. First, the traditional airing of grievances:
- People who know nothing decide who gets to play in the MNC game? Check.
- A craptastic team like Hawaii goes undefeated and doesn’t get a shot? Check.
- There are untold riches for college football to tap with a playoff? Check.
- Money grubbing college presidents? Check.
Festivus occurs in the middle of what would be the extended college playoff schedule. Coincidence? I think not.
Next, dismiss those who don’t see eye to eye with you on the subject as irrational idiots.
Every single reasonable person in the country knows the BCS is the single worst creation there is in sports.
Game, set, match. The jig is up for those of us who can’t (or won’t) appreciate the simple truth. Feinstein actually uses the phrase “It’s that easy”. Hey, it just might be - if you can ignore those pesky antitrust laws:
… All Brand has to do is use his influence as the NCAA president to get the non-BCS presidents to vote on one simple amendment to the NCAA charter: If a school wishes to participate in one NCAA-sanctioned tournament, it must participate in all NCAA-sanctioned tournaments. That would mean that if the NCAA started a football playoff for its division I-A member schools, all schools would have to take part or lose their shot at making the NCAA basketball tournament…
Anyone care to guess what the BCS schools would do roughly five minutes after the non-BCS schools waived that water pistol in their faces?
Oh, but how could they not love a playoff format like this?
The best number for the tournament would be 12. Why? Because that way, the argument that the BCS system makes the regular season important would go away. Four teams would get byes — you think that would make every game important? Four teams would host first round games — you think that would make every game important? And the last four spots would be up for grabs — think that would make every game important?
Does anyone have a clue what his criteria are for making the tourney? Maybe every game would be important because no one would have any idea what would make a school eligible.
The second most pathetic part of his article is Feinstein’s fervent desire to have college football emulate March Madness…
What makes the basketball tournament magical isn’t Florida winning back-to-back titles or Duke and Arizona making the tournament for the umpteenth year in a row; it is George Mason making the Final Four. It is Virginia Commonwealth beating Duke and Winthrop beating Notre Dame. You might not get upsets quite like that in football, but South Florida beating Southern Cal (or LSU or Ohio State, take your pick) or Hawaii playing a 48-45 game against Michigan or Oklahoma, would be pretty close to comparably cool…
because, after all, every regular season college basketball game is so important these days. But who needs a meaningful regular season when you’ve got brackets to fill out!
The saddest thing, though, is the anger. We’re enjoying one of the wildest, craziest seasons known to fandom in more than two decades, and it ain’t good enough for him. In fact, it sucks. What college football really needs to make Feinstein a happy camper is a train wreck.
… Let’s hope that South Florida wins out and there are a half-dozen teams with one loss. Let’s see what the reaction is when the computer picks — just for argument’s sake — LSU, and Ohio State, Oklahoma, Boston College, Southern Cal and West Virginia, all with one loss, are told to enjoy their bowl trips but, sorry, you can’t play for the national title.
Yeah – that’ll teach us a lesson. How dare we enjoy what’s transpired so far.
When you’ve gotten to the point that you take more pleasure from imagining the negative impact of a fictional scenario than the actual play on the field… well, that’s pretty much the textbook definition of an asshole. When he’s 80, Feinstein will be the cranky old fart sitting in the stands yelling at everyone around him to sit down so he can watch the game.
But he’ll leave with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter so he can beat the traffic home.