Quote of the Day “I think a change (a change) would do you good.” –Sheryl Crow
There is no question that 2008 was the greatest year the blog has ever known from both a financial and an artistic perspective. TB appreciates all of the regular readers of this humble website, even Madd Dawg, and hopefully we can attract a few new names in 2009. I’ll try and do my part and I hope you will do yours by continuing to engage in conversation, dropping your one liners and stories, recommending the site to others, and voting when applicable.
After a nearly two week journey through the South over the holidays, I’m back at work and back at the blog. I had a lot of good topic ideas come up during my trip including commentary on the Russian spy/professor’s predictions regarding the future of the USA. Stay tuned for that one, for today’s post is about something much more pressing–the issue of instituting a playoff system for NCAA Division I football. (You didn’t really think I’d start the year with a “damn political post” did you?)
For years, I have opposed a playoff system. My reasons were based on self interest and long held assumptions. You all know about the ARB New Year’s party by now. That party started back around 1983 and reached its zenith somewhere around the turn of the millennium. The glue that held that party together was the bowl system, and when eight games were played on January 1 from ten am until near midnight, the action was fast, furious and often pretty damn funny. But dropping down to four or five games with no need for more than a single television damaged New Year’s Day irreparably. Thus, reason number one for keeping the bowl system intact has been destroyed. The other reason I have always favored the bowls over playoffs is that my school, Mississippi State, has absolutely no chance whatsoever of making those playoffs. So what do I care about whether USC has a gripe that it could beat Florida if they ever played? Actually, I don’t, but I digress. State does (occasionally) play in, and even win minor bowl games, allowing our fans to (occasionally) revel in our perceived success. The final reason I’ve never favored a playoff is that I gave no credence to the proposition that the non-BCS conference teams could beat the BCS badasses, so there was no point in allowing them to compete in a playoff.
You may think that the Utah victory over Alabama in this year’s Sugar Bowl changed my thinking on that last point, or possibly Boise State’s victory over Oklahoma a year or two ago. But that’s only partially true. Those games definitely exposed the falsity of my prior assumptions, but more than anything, they caused me to finally admit the glaring truth that has been there all along. Any sport that crowns a champion while barring even one of the sport’s participants from competing for it, much less dozens, is a fraud. It does not matter that many of those teams have no realistic chance to win. Teams with no realistic chance to win have a long history of pulling off the impossible. The Jets over the Colts in Super Bowl III, Chaminade over Ralph Sampson led Virginia, USA 4-3 over the USSR in 1980 and Chico’s Bail Bonds Bears over the Yankees back in the mid-1970’s golden age of sports are all instances where athletics showed us that anything is possible if an underdog is given a chance. When an undefeated team is prohibited from playing for a championship in college football, the whole season is nothing more than a made for TV exhibition.
As for my self interest, hey, State doesn’t play in that many bowls in the first place and in the second, I’m sure that some minor bowl system for the also-rans can be worked out. And you already know I’ve found a new way to spend New Year’s Day. Change is in the air. Light is being shined upon the lies and half truths of the past. It’s time for a new era of fairness and open competition,and an admission of old assumptions proved wrong over the passage of time. I say let em play.
Bonus Quotes of the Day
“Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes; Turn and face the strange.” –David Bowie
“I know that it’s time for a cool change” –Little River Band
“What is a ute?” –Judge Chamberlain Haller, My Cousin Vinny