Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Little Respect For The Left Coast, Please

I'm bummed out on politics for the moment and as Keith Olbermann does more often than not escape into the world of sports entertainment as Plan B. Just to piss off Glenn Beck and annoy Rush Limbaugh who hasn't thought of it, I am applying for the position of College Football Czar as an adviser to President Obama.

With the powers invested in me by executive order, the first and only decision I will make is abolish the Bowl Championship Series aka BCS.

College football is the only major sport in America not decided on the field but by sportswriters, broadcasters, coaches and computers. It is not an objective way to determine a national champion. The reason it is this way is money, greed by college presidents and ESPN.

My plan is to install a 16-team playoff format. It would consist of conference champions, independents-at-large (i.e. Notre Dame) and, if necessary, conference runners-up if their records warrant an invitation to the Sweet 16. That way, the school ranked 17th, has no one to blame but itself. More on those guys later.

I would reduce the season to 11 games that would conclude on the Thanksgiving weekend with conference championship games played. The three Saturdays in December would hold the first three rounds of the playoffs. The national championship game would be played the first week in January. Proceeds from the games would be distributed proportionally to all the conferences participating based on how far they progressed.

That would mean the most any two teams would play is 15 games in a season which is two more than the way it is now under the BCS. Four teams would play 14 and, of course, 16 play 13. I believe that deflates the argument the college football season is too long since more than 100 other NCAA Division One teams would play 11 or 12 at the most.

Most of the nation is glued to their television sets during March Madness when college basketball holds its 64-team tournaments. Who's to say college football couldn't draw equal frenzy?

Under the playoff system, no longer would we hear sour grapes from Boise State or TCU because they played a weaker conference schedule than the SEC, Big 8, Big 10 or Pac 10.

It also would determine if the Southeast Conference is really the best football conference in America. They say they are but that's not enough. Prove it on the gridiron, not the press box.

I'm a native Southern Californian and for years believe the East Coast bias short-changed the really good teams playing in that media's wrong time zone. USC under coach Pete Carroll has received its national acclaim rightfully. But, why are they in the top 20 at the moment when they have been killed by Oregon and Stanford as well as losing to Washington?

Stanford is getting no love outside of the West Coast because they have the reputation of bad teams in the past. The last two weekends they could have beaten Florida, Alabama or Texas. The Pac 10 does not have a championship game so their chances for the national title are nil in the BCS format but a darling of destiny in a playoff system.

Under the playoff system, teams not qualifying could still play in bowl games and the bragging rights for the winners just the same as under the BCS. Last year, the Pac 10 was 5-0 in bowl games which raised no eyebrows from those elitist experts on the East Coast.

Unless they lose their next games, the BCS most likely will select either an undefeated Boise State or TCU play the loser of the SEC championship game. That's a half loaf compared to what really would be meaningful under a playoff format.

You see, Glenn Beck, being a czar is not a bad gig. Besides, I have the president covering my backside. He, too, wants a playoff system in college football.

Yours truly, a West Coast biased football fan. Go (Oregon) Ducks. Go (Stanford) Cardinal.

No comments: