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Here we go BCS, Here we go!
BallHype: hype it up! Wednesday, November 14, 2007
There is still a month before the first bowls kick off and there are already screams around the country against the BCS.

ARE YOU NUTS?! There are about a million reasons people cite for instituting some sort of plus 1 or a playoff system in college football. That is all nice and well, but no one seems to realize long term ramifications this would have to the sport that has peaked in national interest in the last decade. Not only will a plus-one or a playoff be the start of a slow death for the intense passion that is college football, it will in effect be eliminating one of the greatest traditions in college football, the bowl games. Yes, I know we can rotate the big BCS bowls and have them host different seeded matchups in a playoff system thereby we are still honoring the bowl tradition right? If you asked that, you are definitely not a traditionalist and see nothing pure in college football and should begin looking for season tickets to the NFL immediately.

The bowl games are not only a tradition, they defined college football. Back in the good ol days when we didn't have 20 useless bowl match ups like the 'International Bowl', which isn't even held in this country for gods' sakes, there was the college football season, and then there was the bowl. National champions were declared as a result of the outcome of the bowls (Again, I must breath because Nixon declared Texas national champions over Penn State who were much superior before even watching Penn State play their bowl game the next day. I hope he doesn't do anything else as stupid in his time in office... oh wait). And what we have today is a bunch of commercialized bowls that basically rewards mediocre teams with a reason to drag the rest of their families to cities and states that otherwise would be quite empty during bowl season. Is there really a reason to have the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco? Most of you young'ins would not know, but back in the day, the Cotton Bowl was a big deal. Today its just the remnants of what once was BBCS (Before the BCS). Imagine what would happen to the significance of the Rose, Orange, Fiesta and Sugar bowl if we went to a playoff. Sure we could use them to rotate hosting the different seeded match ups, but that basically makes them all stepping stones to something else. What would be the difference between using the Rose bowl in hosting a playoff semifinal and using the International Bowl (in Toronto by the way) instead? Other than the location of course, there would be absolutely no difference, thereby forcing the major traditional bowls into insignificance. How does that benefit college football? It is a privilege to play at the Rose Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl garners memories of #1 Miami and #2 Penn State. What nostalgia can you conjure up thinking about the Motor City Bowl?

It should be hard to get to the title game. If college basketball did not have a playoff, do you think there would be empty seats when your team plays St. Lucia's handicapped institution during the regular season? You should have to go all out every single game, hold nothing back and let the fans roar their passions onto the gridiron every Saturday. Sometimes a fumble or interception goes your way, other times it doesn't. College football is just about skill and coaching as it is about luck. The last second fumble return for a touchdown or the blocked field goal to save the undefeated record is the thin line between collegiate and NFL football.

But my point being, it is because of the new BCS however that college football has the dedicated and passionate legions of fans that bleed their school colors. People can argue that the BCS is the reason why teams such as Hawaii and a few one loss teams (like Ohio State) does not have a shot at a title simply by losing a game or because they are a mid-major program. But ask yourself, isn't that exactly the way it should be? If we had a playoff and if Michigan didn't lose to Wisconsin last weekend, then they would have almost assured themselves of a playoff spot if they win out the rest of the season despite suffering the biggest upset in Div-I college football history and losing to Oregon only to pull out consecutive wins afterwards. Doesn't this basically make the regular season pointless? Every game won't matter. Lose to Appalachian state? Oh well, at least we can win the rest of the games and go on a hot streak to win the title. That is absurd. The reason why Michigan only has a Rose Bowl title to fight for since the third week of the season is what makes college football right. If you lose, you sit and wait behind the line vying for a title spot like everyone else that loses.

Oh, here comes the screaming from SEC country about going through a tough conference and schedule and how they invented college football and why they must be declared best fans in the land, oh wait thats just the fire alarm going off next door. But honestly SEC fans, enjoy these few years of dominance while you can, there will be years when your conference will be considered weaker than R Kelly's will power at a high school prom (just ask Auburn fans), and yet even then, you will want a national title game spot. Isn't this exactly why we as college football fans pounce on ever BCS bowl the moment it is released and actually care if another team on the opposite side of this country loses or does badly? Its because we don't have a playoff and their fortunes affect our fortunes. Hawaii is not even located on this landmass and people want them to lose just to free up a BCS spot. If you play a weak schedule, you'll be sitting in the back of those that play a stronger schedule (talk to Kansas and Hawaii). Voters and computer polls actually consider schedule strength so lets let that argument die. Undefeated Ohio State would have been ahead of 1 loss of LSU even if they played everyone in the top 10 before ending the season with 1 loss. Its just how the system works, LSU knows it, its not some big secret. If you want a good shot at the title game and forge your own destiny, make sure you don't lose. Its not that hard. Great teams have lost their shot at a championship because of it, but thats why we keep coming back like an abused spouse. The more you keep harassing us fans, the more we want.

So guys, take a long hard breath before you demand a playoff that is obviously not going to happen and I am glad it won't. The BCS keeps you attending games because even games against St. Mary's school of the blind affects your title hopes. A playoff will catalyze a slow death for the passion we have for this sport that makes it so much different from the pro game which has a meaningless regular season other than to win the required amount of games to give it their real shot in the playoffs.
posted by Nittany White Out @ 4:25 PM  
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