Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On Playoffs

Tony Barnhart's column today concerns the proposal for a 16-team playoff as outlined in Dan Wetzel's book Death To The BCS. I agree with both Wetzel's conclusion that the BCS is bogus, and also with Barnhart's real-world analysis that the current power structure in college football isn't remotely amenable to such a plan. That said, I think Tony missed an opportunity to mention the sports media's interest in maintaining the status quo.

If you want to rile up any MSM sportswriter, just point out to him how ridiculous it is that we've been subject to an Associated Press poll that's overwhelmingly populated by a bunch of beat writers who get to see one game a week and base their rankings off of (a) the highlights they see on ESPN and (b) justifications like, "well, that's where I've ranked [team] for weeks, and they didn't lose, so I'm not going to change anything." The unspoken statement in the latter is, of course, "If I did, that would mean admitting I was wrong about something."

At any rate, Barnhart asks in his conclusion whether readers would, if they were university presidents, vote for Wetzel's playoff plan. This was my response:

Hell, I’ve been voting for a playoff for 30 years. The current subjective, beauty-contest system is a complete joke. I’m all for a selection committee with absolutely no input from the polls, which are at best uninformed (Harris, AP) and at worst corrupt (SID-uh, I mean, coaches), or garbage-in, garbage-out computer rankings. I don’t think the Sun Belt, MAC, WAC, CUSA or even the Big Least deserve automatic bids; if they have a team good enough to qualify in a given year, a selection committee would catch them.

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