College Football’s 2nd Biggest Flaw

UH 36 - #5 LOUISVILLE 10. Louisville QB and Heisman Hopeful Lamar Jackson had his back to the wall all night in loss to the Cougars last night, 11/17/2016.

UH 36 – #5 LOUISVILLE 10.
Louisville QB and Heisman Hopeful Lamar Jackson had his back to the wall all night in a big loss to the Cougars on Thursday, 11/17/2016.

Unless you include the sport’s ability to ignore sexual depredation upon females by certain players under certain administrations at certain universities for the sake of keeping their best ability players on the field at all times, regardless of legitimate reasons for having them arrested and charged with felony crimes, the biggest problem with college football today is that the sport’s ability to determine an annual champion each year at the top NCAA level is that it still depends as much, if not more, to the very end, upon what the voting public thinks of a school’s tradition for winning, if not more, than it does upon whom a team actually plays and manages to beat.

Unlike the NFL, the NBA, Hockey, or Major League Baseball, there are no round robin schedules or extensive playoff systems to assure as much as possible that opinion and marketing minds are not making the greater mark on the determination of a national champion than direct head-to-head competition.

Things are better now with the four-team post-season playoff tournament, but those four teams still get there as much by name, historic reputation, and membership in one of the five self-designated superior conferences as they do by going undefeated – or 11-1 – during the regular season. Ultimately, the four team championship, two-game playoff competition will be determined by the blue ribbon panel of experts that selects which four teams get those head-to-head honors.

Last night, the # 5 ranked University of Louisville Cardinals most probably ended their chances for climbing one-place up into  the playoffs  by season’s end by coming to town and getting blown away, 36-10, by the unranked University of Houston Cougars before a record crowd at TDECU Stadium on the UH campus.

There won’t be many tears for Louisville beyond a 12-block distance from Churchill Downs. Louisville is still one of the new kids on the power conference block at one of the arguably two least esteemed leagues, the Atlantic Coast Conference. The other great pretender would likely be the Big 12.

Everyone else, except for Notre Dame, who plays independently – or who plays as members of one of the minor conferences, is just there to serve as set-up opposition for the big boys – and shut up about needing greater opportunity.

i.e, The probable Texas A&M message to Prairie View A&M before the latter signed to play Texas A&M at College Station this year: “Don’t worry about getting blown out. Just come play us before 100,000 plus fans and take the big pay check you will be taking home at the end of the day – and try not to spend it all in Hempstead on your first driving home pit stop.” And, in fairness to Texas A&M, it is not just the Aggies who schedule “breathers” with smaller schools who live for the big payday.  This practice is simply the long-time breath of the college football culture.

Texas A&M could probably lose 4 games and finish in the Top 25 in 2016. After all, they belong to the SEC and the voters need to cut them a break for their strength of schedule annual challenge. As for UH, we make no excuse. They may have beaten OU and Louisville this year, but they also lost to Navy and SMU! – How bad is any team that loses to SMU? The fact is that UH went into Dallas all banged up. And, so what? Everybody gets banged up – especially in an era controlled by ESPN, Thursday Night Football, and playing the game on short recovery time.  Besides, UH played SMU on a Saturday, and SMU was the better team that day. That kind of stuff happens in college football.

In short, we look forward to the day when the college bowls games are adjusted to handle a field of 16 post-season tournament teams. College football will never shed all of the subjectivity dangers of picking the field for obvious reasons of brand prejudicials, most notably, the fact that football, unlike baseball, is not a sport that lends itself to everyday play or doubleheaders. And there are more than 100 top level teams classified as potential champions at the start of every season. – When in doubt, the decision-makers will still pick the ones with the best reputations for winning – and for bringing fans that “have money, will travel.”

Having said that, we still think that a 16-team playoff is do-able – and that it will go a long way to assuring most fan bases that the real potential champion had been included in the format.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

___________________

eagle-0range
 Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas

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4 Responses to “College Football’s 2nd Biggest Flaw”

  1. Wayne Roberts Says:

    Absolutely great win for the Coogs. Congrats Bill.

  2. shinerbock80 Says:

    At the very least, an 8 team playoff makes much more sense and could use existing bowl games, bringing more money to those bowl committees. To not have it is flatly absurd.

    Also absurd is the premise that the SEC has this monster schedule that should separate them from everyone else. They routinely schedule powder puff games during what for every other major conference is exclusively conference foes. Alabama’s tough schedule this year has them facing Chattanooga this week, and they already played Kent State and Western Kentucky. In past years, it seems like they have played barber colleges and nunneries. They don’t usually play the toughest teams from the SEC East until the playoff, and not everyone in the West is exactly a juggernaut either. CBS with the SEC broadcast rights does a great job of hyping that league.

    Congrats on the Cougars big win, Bill.

  3. David Munger Says:

    As an LSU Grad I’ll stay out of the argument but your gripe is with Texas and OU. Great win last night.

  4. don matlosz Says:

    LSU -Florida State-Tennessee could all have 500 records and still be ranked. When Boise-UH-Navy lose they fall dramatically sometimes 11 places. Clear bias

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