DEMAREE: National Championship Debate Rages

Is there any joy in Mudville? We say that itbdepends what side you subscribe to in the yearly debate on whether there should be a playoff system in Division 1-A college football. For the traditionalist, who likes things the way they are and want to keep it the way it is and strongly believe there is no change on the horizon, they have joy in Mudville and enjoy the mud.

The mud, short for muddle, is the rage that some national talking heads express every year about this time. Most of the systems they propose are about as clear as mud.

First this writer is not for a playoff system for various and sundry reasons, which we will explore later in this writing. But for now we will just say that we enjoy the ambiguity involved in it all.

The fact that coach Urban Meyer of the University of Florida is so outspoken about the matter and letting it be known that he strongly favors a playoff to decide the National Championship, is unacceptable. Any coach that has a dog in the fight puts his credibility on the line. Conversely a coach such as coach Rich Brooks is much more credible in his opinion however bias that opinion might be. As for as most cases, coaches have self interest at heart but coaches who are not contending for a championship, because they are not blinded by the glitter of the trophy in their eyes can see more clearly.

"I think it's great for college football because it's got everybody talking about it," Brooks said. "It will be decided a week from Sunday and a week from Sunday, somebody won't be happy. That will also keep up the talk about college football and that's a good thing. Is it ever going to be perfect, no, and I don't think a playoff system will be perfect either because a team that gets left out of the playoff maybe able to come in and beat all the teams that are in the playoff.

Nonetheless, Brooks believes the current system may not always be the same. "I think they could maybe change, instead of having what they have this year, a BCS championship game and the four BCS bowls, I think they could the four BCS bowls and then have a one game playoff for national championship of the teams ranked one and two," he said. "That would be to me the easiest and simplest solution and the least intrusive on the players."

Even the NCAA basketball tournament has warts. Every year there are five or six teams that feel like they got slighted by the selection committee and were unnecessarily left out of the tournament.

For many years I have observed the personal off-season workout activities of the players. The 6:00 early morning workouts, the running in the blistering summer sun, the grunts and groans in the weight room, the excruciating rehab of off-season surgeries, and at the same time, having to keep up in the class room are a tremendous burden to the student-athlete. Whoever said the education was free, furfurah…balderdash! After all that sacrifice, players deserve a reward for all that work. The talking heads that subscribe to a playoff system depriving the players of that fanfare involved in being at a bowl site, are all wet.

Finally, there is too much money involved in the existence of the bowl system. Corporate sponsorship grows at each passing moment. Just the other day, Papa John is in the market of putting up millions to sponsor a bowl. So let the debate rage on while through such a debate, the popularity of college football continues to escalate!

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