Frying Pan Sports
By Bill Smith
The University of Alabama football team came into the 2009 Sugar Bowl believing they should have been part of the national championship game. They came out on the short end of a 31-17 loss to Utah. No one hated that result more than those college president pinheads that say that there is no need for a playoff in big boy college football.
There is a case to be made that Utah and not Florida should be in the championship game. To that end, let me provide some evidence:
Exhibit A: Florida allowed Alabama to score 20 points while Utah gave up only 17, 7 of which were the direct result of a turnover and 7 more on a punt return.
Exhibit B: Utah held the vaunted Tide running game to 31 yards net on 33 attempts. That is .9 yards a carry. Against national championship bound Florida, Bama also ran 33 time but for 136 yards and a 4.1 average including 2 tds.
Exhibit C: Utah forces 3 Bama turnovers where Florida only forced one.
Exhibit D: Utah held Bama to 5.7 yards per pass attempt while Florida allows 7.5 ypa against them.
Exhibit E: Utah now owns wins over 3 team in the pre-bowl top 15. The defeated #4 Alabama, #12 TCU 13-10 and #14 BYU 48-24. Florida has wins over #4 Alabama 13-20, and #16 Georgia 49-10.
Exhibit F: The only thing that vaulted Florida into the championship game was the win over Alabama.
Exhibit G: Utah is undefeated—in fact the only perfect team in division 1. Florida lost at home to a 8-4 Mississippi team in the regular season that was never ranked.
Now, why would Florida be allowed to play for the national championship and Utah be kept out? Why that’s the system—the BS, sorry, BCS system.
We have heard for years all the arguments against a playoff system in division 1 NCAA football. Let’s look a few of those excuses to see if they hold any water.
- A college president said that a 4 team playoff would dilute the regular season of college football. I am sure that if neither Ohio State and Michigan or Alabama and Auburn were in a position to play for a championship, the game between the rivals would be played in an empty stadium without television coverage. Yea, that’s going to happen.
- Several spokespeople for college football suggested that the Big 10 and Pac-10 would resist a playoff because it would detract from the tradition of the Rose Bowl. Of course those conferences jumped into the BCS even though it would mean (under the original system) the traditional matchup would be lost every 4th year. Money seems to count more than tradition. I wonder just how long it will be before the Rose Bowl will become the Flowers.com Bowl to pay the conferences more money. That of course would do nothing to dilute the tradition of the game.
- The playoff would violate the tradition of bowls. Yea, like there is any tradition there at all. Whom among us isn’t choked up at the very thought to watching the Pulan Weed-Eater bowl? Oh yea, that is gone replaced by the Who Gives a Crap Bowl.
- A playoff would cost the student athletes way too much class time. WHAT? The average basketball player be it the men or women loses 3 times the number of class days that football players do. They play twice a week and over a much longer season than football. If lost class time is so critical, let’s cancel the NCAA tournament and let the BCS formula or the power rankings determine which two teams play for the basketball championship. Look at all the time we could save for the fans so that they could do their St. Patrick’s day shopping.
- We also hear that the pinhead college presidents are convinced that the current system is what the people want because the revenue continues to grow every year. Evidently what we were all starved for was more bowl games because the NCAA agreed to add two more bowls to the plethora of nameless faceless matchups between two 6-6 teams. I set my TIVO to record every second of both of them! I am particularly thrilled with the idea of the Congressional Bowl in Washington D.C. Who says there is a no win attitude in our nations capital?
- Jim Delany, the Big Ten Commissioner, was quoted earlier this year as saying that a 4 team playoff like the plus one formula would quickly lead to expansion to a 8 to 16 team playoff system and stain college football with the brush of professionalism. Maybe we need to eliminate playoffs for Division 2 and Division 3 football. That would help keep professionalism out of the game at that level.
There has been some discussion of a plus one formula after the bowl games. But in a 4 team playoff who would you leave out? USC? I think they may be the best team right now. Utah? They handled Alabama easily in a game that was not as close as the score indicated. I don’t think we have any idea how good this team could be. How about Texas? They were last second field goal away from a perfect season. So forget the plus one. Give us the real honest to goodness playoff system or bag football all together.
The B(C)S is falling into the same bottomless pit that has swallowed so many businesses managed by Ph D’s. The only thing these pinheads understand is money. If you want a playoff, get to the big money donation people and convince them to send a note to their favorite college president. It should read something like “Dear Pinhead. Unless you support a playoff for division 1 football, your school is off my Christmas Card list. Don’t expect a donation this year either. Signed—the Boss!”
In my opinion that is the only way we are ever going to see a playoff in big boy football.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for NFLDraftDog.com and edits fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .Utah blows another hole in Airship B(C)S by Bill Smith