Well, where do we go from here? The BCS is being held up to the
ridicule normally reserved for the Tigers and Lions, Oregon and
Colorado are preparing to secede from the union and the Rhodes scholars
who populate sports talk shows have joined the media in demanding a
football playoff system. Just imagine if the Virginia Tech kid hadn't
developed a case of dropsy in the end zone and the Hokies had knocked
off Miami. You then would have to decide which TWO teams belong in the
championship game and considering Miami's schedule, the Canes probably
wouldn't be one of them. But this is bad enough without conjuring up
Let's face it, the BCS has been very, very lucky not to have had
this nightmare pop up before. And if the current formula continues to
be in place, rest assured that this won't be the last time it occurs.
There is simply too much parity in college football today to expect that
two teams are going emerge head and shoulders above the rest and make
the choice of picking the two finalists each year a snap. Oregon and
Colorado of course aren't the only teams on the outside looking in.
What about Maryland that won its conference and lost only to a BCS bound
team Florida? Or Illinois, who lost only to Michigan but still won the
Big Ten? Now we should keep in mind that Colorado and Oregon have only
themselves to blame for not making the final cut. The Buffaloes lost to
a Fresno State team that played the 84th toughest schedule in the nation
while the Ducks gave away the game to Stanford at home in the final
minutes. So putting all of the blame on the sorcerers who mix up the
BCS brew isn't exactly accurate.
So does this mean that a playoff is finally gaining momentum and
may be closer to fruition? Don't count on it. First and foremost,
the people who make the calls--- the administrators---are still heavily
against it. And it doesn't seem reasonable to assume that the
presidents of the non-football factories---which make up about 95% of
the NCAA Division I membership --give a rat's whiskers who is going to
meet for the championship. So why would they agree suddenly to reverse
their field and come out in favor a playoff? Even though the millions
of dollars generated by the playoffs through TV rights would probably
filter down to many schools. But it's doubtful it would be of the
magnitude to persuade them to drop their objections.
There is also the matter of where you draw the line for the playoff
eligibles. Four? Eight? Sixteen? Regardless of the number there still
is going to be controversy. Take this year for example Let's say a
playoff with eight brackets was in place. We already have conceded that
Miami, Nebraska, Colorado, Oregon, Illinois and Maryland belong. So who
is awarded the other spots? Florida, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee would
all appear to have legitimate claims. So where the does the line get
drawn? God help us if the BCS again has to do the choosing.
But if the BCS matchups are an ungodly mess, the Citrus Bowl
pairing is a match made in gridiron Olympus. The game itself is
tentalizing since Michigan and Tennessee are both legends in their
respective conferences and have never met on the gridiron. But the
coaching faceoff is even more intriguing. We all remember the
horrendous screams of pain by Vol coach Phil Fullmer when Charles
Woodson was given the Heisman trophy instead of Peyton Manning. His
diatribes were heated enough to prompt Lloyd Carr to decide he would
speak to Fullmer only when the Amazon river froze over. Fullmer thought
that would be too soon. Sounds like a fun day in the Magic Kingdom on
New Years Day.
You've got to be kidding, right?
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