I get that, like so many people, SI.com’s Andy Staples, really, really wants a football playoff. I just wish he wouldn’t write such appalling dreck about his heart’s desire. I didn’t think he could come up with anything more awful than his tortured comparison of the bowls to Pontiac, but I was wrong.
Because he’s found the Holy Grail.
Owen Good writes about video games for a Gawker Media site called Kotaku, but at first glance, he strikes me as the kind of writer who could turn an instruction manual into a page-turner. Why? This past weekend, Good produced a compelling argument that a playoff not only wouldn’t kill the bowl system, but might actually enhance it.
In a post that detailed his video-game simulation of a college football postseason that includes a 16-team, seeded playoff and the bowl games — minus some dead weight — Good illustrated that a playoff and bowls wouldn’t just offer a more fair system and distribute millions more to the dozens of schools currently using your tax dollars to subsidize their athletic programs, it would also be must-see TV…
That’s right. A video gamer has done what nobody else has been able to do so far – find a way for us to have it all. And Andy knows this is essential truth from personal experience.
… As a writer for The Tampa Tribune in 2007, I conducted a playoff simulation similar to Good’s using an Xbox.
Gawd almighty. And some of you wonder why I continue to get irritated about this debate.
By the way, this Good fellow’s constructed a 16-team playoff with Troy, a team that lost to Florida by 50 and Arkansas by 36, as one of the seeds. Why, you may ask? Well,
… I’d only add that teams like Troy are either major college football participants or they’re not. It’s not a self-declared thing. The NCAA admitted these teams to the highest level…
If you stretch that reasoning to its logical conclusion, you can justify a football playoff of any size you’d like, as long as it’s composed of D-1 teams, which, after all, play at the highest level that the NCAA sanctions.
The stupid, as they say, it burns.
Sadly, I haven’t even gotten to the dumbest part of Staples’ piece. That would be his insistence that the bowls wouldn’t be hurt by being bypassed by this new tournament. For example, the Sugar Bowl would be just as happy hosting Ole Miss as it would Florida. Happier, even.
… Since they never were about determining a national champion, one would think bowl organizers and civic leaders would prefer a thrilled eight-win team (Ole Miss) over a disappointed 12-win team (Florida).
Yeah, not hosting Tim Tebow in his final game as a collegian would go over great, one would think.
When you read Staples’ argument carefully, he’s not actually taking the position that the bowls wouldn’t be affected. In essence, what he’s saying is that their time has passed, anyway, and they just don’t know what’s about to hit them.
… I thought the bowls would be too important to leave out of the system. That was before the economic collapse dovetailed with the realization by publishers of newspapers that printing the news once a day on dead trees was no longer a sound business model. As I watched the industry that once provided my paycheck nearly collapse before reinventing itself in a streamlined form, I did two things. First, I thanked my current bosses for helping me escape to the Web before the bottom fell out. Second, I realized nothing is meant to last forever.
Just because the Rose Bowl has been around since 1902 doesn’t mean its honchos should help call the shots. Lehman Brothers was founded in 1850, and it certainly wasn’t doing the financial world any favors before it was swallowed by a sinkhole it helped create. The beauty of all this is that despite the grave predictions of those who run the BCS, the Rose Bowl wouldn’t go away…
Nah, it would host Penn State and Arizona instead. The bowl folks should be happy with that. Talk about your self-fulfilling prophecy.
It’s probably worth mentioning about now that the NCAA has plenty of experience running a postseason tourney alongside an exhibition event. The NIT has certainly thrived under that arrangement, hasn’t it?
Somebody needs to come up with a video-game simulation of negotiating a new college football postseason format. Sounds like that would be a lot of fun for some folks.