Sunday, September 2, 2012

Boise State--semi annual rant

Semi annually--once right about now in early September, and once again in January--I write a rant about the problems with college football.   Things will improve somewhat as the NCAA has agreed to have a playoff system in a few years, but as of right now the problems are as they have been.

The college football season began three days ago.  No team has played more than one game. Nevertheless the season is over now for Boise State.  Over.  On Friday night they played Michigan State University at Michigan State. They lost a closely contested game by less than a touchdown in a hostile (away game) environment.  Because of this loss they have absolutely no chance, as in zero, to compete for the national championship.  One loss by less than a touchdown and, if winning a national championship was its goal--and there is no reason to think it was not, they might as well get ready for next season.

In basketball, lacrosse, baseball--every college sport including division 1AA, 2, and 3, football, a single loss would be an obstacle, but not an insurmountable obstacle to competing for a championship.  In division 1 college football, you lose one game and play a schedule like Boise State's and you are done.  Division 1 college football is like a single elimination post season tournament except that it begins during the regular season.

Other teams lost this weekend and are also essentially eliminated, but I feel particularly bad for Boise State. In 2010 and 2011, they lost only one game in each season, and were not allowed to compete for the championship. Moreover, Boise State always plays a powerhouse during the first week and has won these games prior to the loss in East Lansing on Friday.

College football operates as if the season is actually the post season, and the official post season--the bowl games--consist of nothing but exhibition contests except for one tilt in which two teams selected by a committee get to compete for a championship.  Last year's computer selected "championship" game was such a snoozer that it made sominex look like a stimulant by comparison. Tapes of that game are used to  pacify ADD kindergartners from what I am told.

Yesterday Michigan (not Michigan State) got pummeled by Alabama.  Because Michigan  plays  in the Big Ten, it is not as if they are absolutely positively eliminated but, realistically, they do not have much of a chance of playing for a championship unless they win every single one of their next games and do so by more than ten points.  Michigan was ranked 8th yesterday, but because of one shellacking they are out of it.

It is ridiculous.  College football is an exciting sport, but until a championship can be decided on the field, it will pale in legitimacy when compared to college basketball, baseball, lacrosse, soccer and any other sport that has a post season in which deserving teams are entitled to compete.

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