I was going to write something about this lazy, stupid piece Rod Gilmore contributed to ESPN’s five part series about making changes to college football (what do you want to bet that none of the articles in the series have anything to do with ESPN?), but Realist does such a complete dismantling of it that I can save my breath.
However with his installment today, Ivan Maisel completely redeems the World Wide Leader (for one day, anyway) with his thoughts on changing the BCS.
His suggestion? Don’t.
I truly can’t say it any better than this:
… It takes patience to let the season happen. That’s a hard lesson to learn, especially for writers like yours truly who delight in training a spotlight on the imperfections of the system. But the high wattage blinds us to the charm and tension of the regular season. The drama that attended Michigan’s visit to Ohio Stadium in mid-November would have evaporated if college football had a playoff. The game would have produced all the tension and significance of a Big Ten Basketball Tournament championship. That’s the game played on Selection Sunday, and I defy anyone without a blood relative playing for the winner to name the team that won last year’s tournament.
(Iowa, according to Wikipedia.)
With a playoff, UCLA’s dramatic upset of USC would have cost the Trojans a few places in the seeding and nothing more. Ask the Bruins how meaningful that would have been, and whether they would trade it for the mean-spirited delight of denying their biggest rival a chance to play for the national championship.
The thought of a playoff is intoxicating. But the reality of what college football now enjoys is just as powerful. College football fans merely take it for granted.
The entire article is like that – beautiful.
Good on ‘ya, Mr. Maisel. I doubt it’s what your corporate masters were expecting from you, but that makes it even more of a joy to read.