Dennis Dodd raises a point today that I thought about when I heard the stat last night that Fresno State had been on the road for 39 days: college baseball’s postseason is too damned long.
Even David Perno agrees.
… but something is missing from this year’s CWS. A buzz, mojo, the usual carnival atmosphere that made this place a Midwest Woodstock.
“Without a doubt,” said Georgia coach David Perno, whose team is one game away from a championship after a 7-6 victory over Fresno State in Game 1 of the championship series Monday night.
“It’s real simple. It’s a tremendous experience but I stayed up watching the Miami game film last night. I felt like it was last year.”
“Nothing negative but I think it’s a little bit too long,” said Perno, who is trying to win the school’s first baseball championship since 1990. “I think they play too many games.”
So why has it happened? One guess.
… Perno was a Georgia player on that ’90 title team. The entire CWS that year took nine days. But the event has gotten bigger and more popular. A championship series was added in 2003. Certainly, a best-of-3 final was fairer to the teams than a single championship game, but all this baseball has begun taxing wallets as well as attention spans. Beginning this year ESPN moved the series to prime time starting on Monday. Prior to this year, the series started on Saturday, meaning the latest it could end was on Monday.
So while the product might look good on television, it’s starting to get on everyone’s nerves.
Now, granted that a best of three series is a far more appropriate way to determine a baseball champion than a football champion, but it’s trends like this that touch on the BCS/playoff debate. How well are teams and fans going to travel for an extended D-1 football playoff format?
There’s somebody in Omaha right now from whom I’m surprised we haven’t heard much on the subject.
… Maybe Michael Adams was onto something six months ago when the Georgia president proposed an eight-team football playoff. Maybe football is a different animal. Maybe fans would pay for the travel and tickets of three rounds of football. The popularity of the game is at an all-time high and fans, in general, haven’t stopped filling stadiums.
Or maybe Adams is full of the same load of poo he was in January. The prez was here Monday to watch Georgia inch closer to its first baseball championship in 18 years.
But his players, coaches and fans have been here a lot, lot longer. They’re excited but also tired and ready to go home.