Former University of Georgia senior athletic director Dick Bestwick takes on Rep. Neil Abercrombie and a certain unnamed, but easily identified, university president on the subject of D-1 football playoff in this opinion piece.
I never cease to be amazed and amused at the way politicians – both elected and self-anointed – seem to have all the answers on issues they basically know nothing about. Most recently, several of them have weighed in on the subject of college football playoffs, once again – and as usual – with an obvious lack of understanding of what they’re talking about.
One of these folks, who once proposed cutting back the number of regular-season games, now calls for an eight-team playoff. Since he never played the game, or any other team sport, he doesn’t realize football players don’t mind playing 12 games…
“One of these folks”, eh? I wonder who he’s got in mind.
He’s got some cold water advice for Abercrombie.
… As for U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii – one of the members of Congress pushing for a federal probe of the BCS -lamenting Western Athletic Conference and Mountain West teams not having a chance to be in a national playoff game: He needs to realize that isn’t because of the BCS, but because those conferences comprise schools that don’t have the same resources or potential to get enough of the kind of players it takes to win a national championship. Having a playoff isn’t going to change that. These conferences have never had any consistent contenders for a national championship, and doubtfully ever will. The Pac-10 and Big 12, as they always have, will continue to dominate recruiting in that part of the country, producing the kind of teams that have a chance to win a national championship. The only national title ever won by someone from outside the BCS was Brigham Young University in 1984, and it took unusual circumstances for that to happen.
Actually, the WAC and Mountain West should be happy with the BCS since they are virtually ensured a game in one of the BCS bowls where they can get their only big bowl check. Without that connection, they would have to be settling for checks from games like the Poinsettia and Humanitarian bowls. Payouts for those were $750,000, rather than the $17 million the University of Hawaii and the WAC got for the BCS Sugar Bowl.
And then a little bit more for that unnamed president.
… Rather than playoffs, the publicity-seeking politicians and hypocritical college presidents could better use their “bully pulpits” to find a way to take some of the loot from the bowl games to provide the blue-collar parents of the majority of players with some expense money to see their sons play in the bowl game. Since the players are the ones responsible for there being a game, it stands to reason that a $1,000 expense check for their parents to attend the game should be the least done for them.
I have to believe that would be much more appreciated by the players than rewarding them with a four-, eight- or 16-team playoff system that enriches everyone but them.
I dunno, Dick. Remember it’s a “work week” for presidents, too.