A blog . . . in spite of how pathetic blogging actually is.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

College Football is Stupid

I voted for Barack Obama for one reason: He's promised to "throw [his] weight around" in an effort to get an eight team Division IA college football playoff system in place.

Tonight is silly, and here's why. I'm not watching. You shouldn't either. It means nothing. It proves nothing. It's a game set up by a glorified ping pong ball lottery bin. ~JDJ


JoeW said...

There's college football tonight? I thought the season, with its customary whimper, had already ended. The heads-up is nice though; now I know what I'm missing when I'm watching The Office.

John Jacobson said...

You know what, your question is closer to the real state of affairs than I think most college football fans would care to admit. Abandoning the January 1st tradition (which has been great for the NHL and only the NHL) along with the mindf##k that is the BCS has alienated a lot of people.

If only there were some sort of model . . . some sort of tournament that the NCAA uses to determine a national champion of a major revenue sport . . .something NCAA college football could look to for inspiration and evidence that the nation will get really, really into a competitive format that produces a unanimously recognized champion because of what happens on the court . . . errr, uhh, I mean field . . yeah, field . . that's the ticket.

Mark B said...

But you know what? Playoffs will never happen. As a fan of college football, I get really sick of the ridiculous selection system for Bowl games, and would like nothing more than to see playoffs. However, here's why, sadly, I won't be wrong in my prediction.

It's all about the money. There is FAR too much money in it for the BCS by having a bowl system. For them to switch to playoffs would, in their eyes, be fiscally insane. Think of the sponsorship deals associated with bowl games. It's a big money-grubbing scheme.
The BCS doesn't really care about fans, as long as they get $$$. They aren't in it for the masses, they're in it for themselves, and fattening their wallets.

I would much rather see playoffs than bowl games. I think that more teams should get a chance to play for a national title, like undefeated Utah or Texas, who I think got shafted by not being put into the title game. The actual sport would greatly benefit from playoffs, and it would be great for fans. I would love it. But sadly, I don't think it will ever happen.

Sorry for the long comment. I got a little angry at the bowl system and had to let off some steam.

John Jacobson said...

CBS pays over a billion dollars for 15 weeks (5 years) of sports entertainment programming known as the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

That figure puts the BCS to shame. If it's about money, then the BCS is preventing NCAA football from realizing its full fiscal potential.

An 8 (or, better yet, 16) team college football playoff would blow the roof off of the current financial foundation of the BCS cartel.

Mark B said...

I'm not so sure. ESPN just signed a contract to show the BCS games a few years down the road. The contract is for $125 million a year for, I think, 4 additional games (they already have the Rose Bowl). That's $125 million for about 12 hours of football per year. Is that really less than CBS pays for March Madness on a per hour basis? I forget how much basketball they really show in a typical day.
Plus, you need to take into account the huge number of smaller bowl games and the huge number of teams that get into those games. More colleges get a share of the money than they would with a playoff system. They wouldn't give that up.

JoeW said...

Mark's probably right. While I think the BCS model should be thrown on the scrapheap, football playoffs and March Madness don't really compare. The cachet of March comes from dozens of people in bars watching multiple games at once that first weekend, all on CBS. The shared experience is a fun kind of chaos that an 8 or 16-team football playoff system likely couldn't create.

Still, to whatever extent that kind of thing could be achieved, it might be worth it for the NCAA. Like Mark said, though, there's already so much freakin money in the BCS, why would the power conferences event take a chance?

John Jacobson said...

See, I think this could all be integrated. The smaller bowl games become either the early rounds (in the 16 team scenario) or a sort of NIT for college football (in the 8 team scenario). Either way, those traditions can be preserved in name and place.

I prefer the 16 team scenario precisely because it would preserve the cachet Joe discusses. 2 Thursday night games, 2 Friday night games, 4 Saturday games for the opening week! Are you kidding me. That would be sick (<----This word, contextually, means 'really good'). Joe, you and I could sit in bars with crowds just like we would in March. And in a few years, Mark (who unapologetically wore his Florida sweatshirt to my class yesterday) could join us.

Mark B said...

That could actually be a good compromise. The bowl games would stay, and the BCS would get their money, and the winners would move on, so the viewers would have their playoffs. Everybody wins!

Regarding the Florida sweatshirt, though, if I didn't wear it yesterday, when would I? It was too perfect! ;-)

I actually got that on a trip to Florida. I watched a really good football game where they beat a team I didn't like, and decided I liked the Gators. I went to Steve and Barry's and bought it the next day.

That year, they were the National Champions in football and basketball. What do you know? I was a prophet!