Sport Imitates Life

November 17, 2009 4:10 AM

A College football playoff: Now or Never?

If you consider yourself a responsible college football fan and you haven't abandoned all hope for sense and sensibility in NCAA Division I, you'd better be rooting like hell for four teams the rest of the 2009 season:

Texas, TCU, Cincinnati and Boise State.

If you're a responsible college football fan, you don't need Beano Cook to tell you who those teams are and you don't need me to tell you why they're the four most important college football teams in the history of the world right now.

I don't care who your favorite team is and I don't care who your alma mater is: If you care about college football and you still hope for justice and equality in interscholastic athletics, we must unify now behind those four teams.

With the winner of the Florida-Alabama SEC championship game presumably finishing undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the country, that would make five -- count 'em five! -- undefeated, championship-caliber teams in Division I.

Never in modern times have this many teams been this undefeated this late in the season, and possibly never again will have this golden an opportunity to catch the BCS with its pants down once and for all.

Remember when there were three undefeated teams in 2004, and third-ranked Auburn was cut out of the BCS oligarchy while USC tally-whacked Oklahoma for the national title? Remember the uproar and outrage many felt at the omission of the undefeated SEC-champion Tigers?

Imagine the disdain and disgust this season if three undefeated, title-worthy teams are sent to bed without their supper while Texas and the Florida-Alabama winner -- and only the Texas and Florida-Alabama winner -- play for the preordained national championship.

There could also be other legitimate contenders just behind the unprecedented, undefeated top five at the end of the season. Are you telling me a one-loss Georgia Tech team wouldn't be a title threat if they survive the ACC title game at 13-1? Are you telling me an LSU team whose only two losses are to No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Alabama wouldn't cause problems in a postseason that included anyone other than those top two?

Even if one or all of the five undefeated teams happen to lose one of their final games, they would still be among the favorites to win it all if given a chance. What if Ninth-ranked Pitt beats No. 5 Cincinnati in two weeks and they both finish with one loss ... wouldn't they both be necessary participants in a true championship process?

College football is still trying to tell us it's best if only two teams are given a chance to win it all, even after all these years of our eyes (and the games on the field) telling us otherwise. When will we listen to our senses? How coerced must the racketeers make us before we demand better? The footsteps of lawyers and politicians gathering in the hall outside the BCS office is growing by the month, and it might be time to kick the door off the hinges and overthrow college football's culture of abject collusion, conspiracy and corruption.

Have you noticed most of the morons standing between college football and a playoff are non-football people? They're the conference commissioners and school presidents and corporate sponsors and the rest of the brown-nosing nit-wits and numb-nuts who tell us a playoff isn't possible as they gather behind closed doors to count billion-dollar bills.

When will a player and/or a coach look into the camera during a post-game celebration and say "Goddamn it this is bullshit we need a playoff and we need it now!."

Instead we get bought-and-paid-for poster boys like Kirk Herbstreit telling us it's "never going to happen". I respect Herbstreit and I enjoy his broadcasts, and while I realize he may know something I don't, let me be the first to proclaim once and for all that nothing is never going to happen.

If a college football playoff is so unfeasible and unachievable, then explain this:

That's a link to the Division II playoff bracket, courtesy of Their playoffs have already started, and they include four regions with six teams to a region and the top two in each region receiving first-round byes. That's 24 teams with a chance to settle it on the field.

Division I-AA begins its playoff push next week with 16 teams competing equitably and without financial preference or traditional bias for a national football championship. Check it out if you don't believe me:

A Division I playoff would be March Madness meets the Super Bowl, and I'd settle for an eight-team bracket that commences as follows:

All DI teams wrap up a more uniform, NFL-style season with 12 games and a bye week by Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving Saturday).

Conference championship games unfold Dec. 5, and the top eight teams in the final BCS standings then fill out the bracket for the first ever DI playoff. Every other bowl-eligible team goes to a bowl like always.

The eight playoff teams get an off-week to take finals and do all that other shit the university presidents insist can't be done during a playoff, and the first round is played Dec. 19. Eight quarterfinalists are reduced to four semifinalists, and the four first-round losers take their places in the appropriate bowls like always.

The four national semifinalists get a week off for Christmas and the semis are played Jan. 2. That Saturday's losers are paired in the highest remaining BCS bowl, and the winners play Jan. 9 for the national championship.

You've read that right: We keep the BCS and the bowl system while adding a playoff. Any questions?

Just as the Cheney administration made issues out of nonsense and nonsense out of issues, distracting America with gay-marriage proposals while its serpentine treasonists hijacked the world, the NCAA has used misdirection to hijack college football.

Like the American people, college football sat idly by and did nothing to stop the spread of tyranny, so now the big boys keep the big game to themselves and the rich get richer while the up-and-coming have to keep coming up.

If five teams finish the 2009 season undefeated, the calamitous cries for a playoff will be louder than ever, and we, the people, the college football fans, must demand one.

An eight-team playoff isn't too much too ask for, regardless of what Kirk Herbstreit might tell you. Right now, the NCAA and the BCS and the CIA and the FBI and whoever else grant just two of the 119 Division I programs a shot at the national title. Four would be a good start, and 16 would be a perfect world, but eight is the ultimate and most realistic goal.

Eight of the 32 NFL teams go to the playoffs each season. Likewise in major league baseball, and over half of the NBA is included in the postseason (16 of 30 teams). College baseball and basketball begin their championship tournament with 64 teams out of 300+ eligible schools, but only two college football teams are CHOSEN to play for the highest crown? Give me a break.

It doesn't make sense, but it makes a lot of dollars, and it's easier to keep those dollars bundled up amongst a few old friends in the good-ol-boy network than to share the plunder with the TCU's and Cincinnati's of the world.

That must change, and we are on the verge of the perfect opportunity to change it. Root hard, college football fans, for five undefeated teams when the regular season dust begins to settle in early December.

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