Sadly, Ed Gunther is shuttering his fine blog, The National Championship Issue. I hate to see any blog I enjoy go by the wayside, but in particular, it’s Ed’s rationale which resonates with me:
… Back in 2007, I was vehemently anti-playoff. Not that I liked the BCS, but I felt, and still feel at times, that the negatives of a playoff outweighed the positives. About the time that I created a series of posts attempting to explore all sides of the playoff debate in spring 2009, my thoughts on the issue started to change. But not in the way you might think. That exercise did help me to see some of the positives of a playoff, and my stance against one has definitely softened. I admit that I would thoroughly enjoy some semi-final matchups between four of the top teams in the country, and how the playoff-creation process itself plays out is still fascinating to me. But while I’ve come to see that there are better possible ways to handle the national championship issue, I’ve also come to firmly believe that it’s not worth it. And that’s the main reason that I’m putting this site to rest – I believe that the national championship issue and all that it entails has become too much of the focus of college football in recent years and is overshadowing many of the things that make the sport so unique and enjoyable. [Emphasis added.]
I know how he feels there. It’s not the concept of a playoff (at least not an extended one) that bothers me. It’s how much we’ve allowed the focus of the sport to become transfixed on the subject.
Even more troubling, now that the movers and shakers are getting a little scared about the money flow, they’re suddenly finding Jesus for all the wrong reasons.
… Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said last week that he hadn’t really given much thought to the BCS changes, but he did say one thing about the movement to a playoff.
“This is what the public wants,” McGarity said.
What, he just figured this out? The truth is it simply didn’t matter much until now, when the suits started feeling slightly threatened. Now we matter (unless we want to preserve conference rivalries)? The truth is we’re a convenient excuse for them to get their hands on a few more dollars. Okay, a lot more dollars…
Where things go from here is anyone’s guess, but I’d be very surprised if Ed’s concern over what’s good about the sport being overshadowed doesn’t mutate into something far sadder, given the new postseason reality. I just hope I’m not writing a similar post here at GTP in a few years.