Category Archives: College Football

Football Playoff Follies and Acceptance

"Marcus Mariota vs. USC" by Neon Tommy-

“Marcus Mariota vs. USC” by Neon Tommy-

I’m finally coming to grips and coping with the fact that there will never be a great way to determine the “best” team in football.

The first rankings for the college playoff system were released Tuesday night. In case you missed it the committee shares this country’s love for the SEC with the following rankings:

1) Mississippi St
2) Florida St
3) Auburn
4) Ole Miss

Honestly I don’t really care about the “hits” or “misses” of the initial rankings. Sure Notre Dame probably got a little hosed being ranked at 10 considering they lost to the number 2 ranked Florida St on one play, while Ole Miss lost to two loss LSU. The committee is clearly emphasizing strength of wins as well. All in all that doesn’t matter because half of these arguments will take care of themselves over the next couple of weeks when all of these 1 loss teams are match up so arguing about it now seems a little arbitrary.

However, this system has finally led me to realize that I’ll never truly be satisfied with college football’s playoff system. I don’t believe that a four team playoff will ever satisfy my desire to find the “best” team in the nation. I heard a phrase on ESPN Radio this morning where Mike and Mike discussed that it wouldn’t find the “best” team but perhaps “the most accomplished.” Initially I liked that wording better but now I can’t decide if that is just a fancier synonym for an objective that can’t be determined. With 128 Division 1 FBS programs and each team playing only 12 to 13 games you can’t efficiently determine a true “best” or “most accomplished” champion. You throw into the mix a committee that while bound by certain criteria, will never be able to overcome at least some type of subjectivity, good or bad.

The NFL playoffs aren’t really that much better. You can feasibly win the Super Bowl having only played less than half of the league in a given season. The fact that geography and conferencing can affect a playoff almost as much as playoffs is a frustrating concept to come to terms with as well but that is another argument for another time.

Ultimately I’m not sure there is a much more efficient way to determine a “national champion” in college football. The change is an attempt to make it better which I respect, I just have to accept that it will never really be good enough.


Don’t Talk about the College Playoff Yet

collegetrophy

We are seven weeks into the college football season and have been blessed with a number of quality teams and headlines. That being said it is still way too early to really begin discussing who should/will be in the 4-team playoff at the end of the season.

Currently there are 3 undefeated teams: Florida State, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. The Egg Bowl between Ole Miss and Mississippi State will eliminate one of those two teams but with the beast of an SEC conference schedule to go, either team could lose before their in state rivalry match up.

There are also 18 other teams with only one loss this season. So currently 21 teams are up for realistic discussion for a 4-team playoff. That is entirely too many teams to even begin a discussion as to who should have the opportunity to play for the championship at the end of the season. Last week everybody wanted to criticize Alabama as being “mediocre by their standards.” Now after mollywhopping the Aggies they are back in the discussion. Don’t expect any thank you cards or flowers from the Texas A&M staff for motivating the Tide this weekend.

I realize that it is the obligation of sports media to carry on these discussions but lets spend more time analyzing current teams and match ups and less time speculating teams’ chances of competing 3 months from now. Let the schedule take care of the half the discussion which will allow for more relevant conversation in a couple of weeks.


Todd Gurley Did Nothing Wrong

By Thomson200 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Thomson200 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Georgia running back Todd Gurley was suspended indefinitely because he received money for signing merchandise. This isn’t the first time a player has been in the news over the past couple years for receiving money for signing autographs (See: Johnny Manziel). Manziel was subsequently suspended one half of the first game of the season last year. They even had video footage of Manziel performing the acts.

Gurley is on track to be nominated and possibly (probably) win the Heisman Trophy this year. I’m not saying his elite status within the college football realm entitles him to break the rules, it is stupid rule that somebody needs to fight to amend or remove from the bylaws. Don’t tell me you can’t change rules in the middle of a season either (See NFL Domestic Violence Policy). If Gurley receives any more of a punishment than Manziel then it is an absolute shame. Currently Georgia University suspended Gurley (the institution that will receives thousands from selling #3 jerseys), probably to follow protocol on handling NCAA violations (the other institution that receives millions from college athletes). The investigation will continue and it sounds like Gurley could be out 2 games. It is ridiculous.

The real crime is how little may have been paid for the autographs and the business owner/store that sells these items will go unpunished. Hopefully the right to sell your own autograph will be a rule that is looked into and ultimately changed because it is a shame to see this asinine rule (one of thousands from the NCAA) mess with a student’s college career.


Weekend Sports Preview

By Keith Allison (Flickr)

By Keith Allison (Flickr)

I have had a rough past few sports weekend. The Orioles have really been my only saving grace as Liverpool, Virginia Tech, and the 49ers have been inconsistent to poor in their past few performances leaving me to begin my work weeks with even more animosity and rage than usual. So here’s what I’m looking forward to:

Saturday

West Bromwich @ Liverpool: Liverpool are struggling lately. Settling for a point last weekend against Merseyside rival Everton, losing to Basel Wednesday in Champions League and with only 6 points this season, the Reds need 3 points from this matchup.

Virginia Tech @ UNC: Dear Brewer… please don’t throw more than one interception. The fall from the excitement peak that was the Ohio St. game has been long and rough. I want to believe the Hokies can challenge for the ACC although I know they’re far from it.

Tons of other ranked matchups including a handful of SEC matchups that should make for great television and solidify how bad I am at College Pick Em.

Sunday

Orioles @ Tigers: Up 2-0 after a huge comeback in game two the O’s are yet again pulling me through my other teams’ mediocre performances

Kansas City @ San Francisco: Big matchup as the Chiefs are coming off of mollywhopping New England all over the field. Alex Smith returns and I’ve never been more excited for him to throw interceptions.

More football and baseball postseason games and quality EPL matchups as well.

What are you excited for this weekend?


College Football Playoff Committee Flawed

By Bobak Ha'Eri (Own work)

By Bobak Ha’Eri (Own work)

So everybody is excited that there is now a playoff in place to find a champion in college football. The basic idea is that it gives more teams a chance to win a championship who deserve to have that opportunity. The idea is sound in principle (minus the fact that a team will become champion having played a total of 12 to 14 games in a sport where there are 128 FBS Division 1 opponents where you can be champion by playing 10% of the competition… but I digress.) Now teams in the top conferences have the opportunity to knock helmets a couple more weeks and hopefully actually determine a national champion. 

My issue is this… we took a system that was flawed but seemed to be somewhat objective in the fact that it was a computer (I don’t want to get into the semantics and philosophy about humans program computers), and replaced it with a group of fallible, subjective human beings. Think I’m wrong?

Look at Pat Haden for USC today. The Athletic Director for USC was on the field in discussion with referees about a penalty that was called in today’s game against Stanford. Not really sure that is the role of an athletic director, especially one who is on the selection committee. 

For a look at the selection committee as a whole click here: http://www.collegefootballplayoff.com/selection-committee.

You have current athletic directors of schools that are competing for this championship on the committee! So when it turns into a pissing contest do we really believe they are going to remain completely objective?! There are two people that make all of the sense in the world and yet no sense to me at the same time. Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and Former Superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy Lt. Gen. Mike Gould have little to no experience in college athletics. (It does do well to note that Rice graduated from Stanford so I can’t wait to see her and Haden square off after today behind closed doors.) 

I like the idea of a playoff… I don’t hate the idea of a selection committee but I don’t like current athletic directors who clearly have so much to gain by their team and maybe even conference’s success that it may jeopardize their decision making. 

 


College Football Week 1 Musings

By Thomson200 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Thomson200 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

College football finished their first week of the regular season and there was plenty of excitement to open up the season. Here are my week 1 thoughts in no particular order: 

Georgia’s Todd Gurley is a stud. 198 yards, 3 TDs on 15 carries is a ridiculous stat line for week 1. He made the Clemson defense look non existent. Incredibly fast and strong, he is going to be a headache for defensive coordinators in the SEC this season. 

Maybe Alabama has questions to answer still as they decide their quarterback situation but I don’t care. A) T.J. Yeldon is another great back in the SEC and the Bama rushing game accounted for almost 240 yards on the ground and 3 TD’s between Yeldon and Derrick Henry. Nick Saban will need to answer questions but I don’t want to hear all of this nonsense talk about how the focus is on new offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffen, or they can’t win with 2 quarterbacks. Saban is Saban and if anybody has earned the right to not be questioned it is that guy. 

Genuinely concerned Spurrier may have killed somebody after the A&M beating. 

Florida St will have to show up to play every week because even a young, athletic Oklahoma St. team gave them trouble all game. Winston is still a stud at QB but defenses are gunning for him. 

(Homer plug) Virginia Tech’s freshmen looked pretty good even though it was against William and Mary. Shae McKenzie is really fast at RB and Michael Brewer did a great job managing the game at QB. Interested to see the tough match up against Ohio St on the road Saturday night.

 

 


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