Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gainer's Thursday Thrashing

Hello Hebrews and Shebrews!  Today I'd like to start, hopefully, a tradition of bringing you a rant each Thursday throughout the year.  A thrashing is defined as a "clear victory."  In my rants, I will be 100% right 100% of the time.  You may argue your point but I will tell you to cram it up your cramhole.

"Go ahead, make your jokes, Mr. Jokey...Joke-Maker.  But let me hit you with some knowledge.  Quit now.  Save yourself the embarrassment of losing with these losers..."
Yes, you are a loser, I'm a winner.  Deal with it.  And without further ado, here is my topic this week:  the BCS, the bowls, and what a playoff should look like.

Get it?! HAHA
Like the great Splinter of TMNT once said, "I made a funny!"

Now would be a pretty good time to assess the BCS and just the overall bowl system in Division I football.  All the non-BCS BCS Championship Games have been played even though one would argue the Kansas State – Arkansas Cotton Bowl on Friday Night is better than the Orange or the Sugar Bowl that we just witnessed the past couple of nights.  There are now 35 bowl games that range between mid December only 2 weeks after most schools seasons end to nearly mid January.  35 games equals 70 schools.  Last time I checked there are 120 FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) schools TOTAL.  That means 58% of schools get a bowl game.  The requirement is simply get to 6 wins and you are eligible.  Most teams play 12 games (13 if qualified for conference championship). 

I’m all for inclusion and rewarding student-athletes for their hard work but doesn’t that seem kind of insane?  Congrats for going 6-6, you get to play on New Year’s Day on National Television!  Even worse are the names of these bowls.  Why some of these even exist is beyond me.  I understand the sponsorship attachment but why the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Pinstripe, Famous Idaho Potato, Franklin American Mortgage Music City, Meineke Car Care of Texas, BBVA Compass, or bowl games?  At a certain point, these games become meaningless.  I fear we have reached that point. 

Seriously, you're putting the whole news team in jeopardy...bears

I love the bowl games, don’t get me wrong.  I hope we never lose them.  There’s something special about them.  I just hope we don’t get to a point where we just say, “screw it, let them all in, the TV ratings are just too good not to have them all play!”  That of course leads into what I hear most people clamoring for:  a playoff.  This can be tricky.  The NCAA (a story in of itself for another time, hypocrites…) doesn’t want their student-athletes playing anymore games then they really need to or keep the season going pass the already near mid-January games being played.  However, it does surprise me they just gave their best sport over to a system and do not even give out their own championship trophy.   It’s like the NCAA should be more involved in this discussion but I kind of don’t want them to be because the NCAA is a joke. 

The NCAA and ESPN are definitely gay with each other

So what can be done?  It is really difficult to determine the right answer.  I will give you my thoughts about a proposed playoff system fitting under the current BCS system.  As more and more conferences expand, it seems eventually certain conferences may even disappear.  In keeping with the BCS, you finish the season with the top 12 teams.  If we ever get a few of these super conferences, a conference tie in to qualifying for the playoffs seems pointless.  You join the conference to play against better competition so you are better prepared for your last games.  12 is a nice number because it will include at least one non-BCS school in most years, sometimes two or multiple.  This past season it will have only included Boise State but Houston and TCU both were only 1 win away from being in the conversation.
Final 2011 BCS Standings (before Bowl games)
1 LSU 13-0
Alabama 11-1
3 Oklahoma State 11-1
4 Stanford 11-1
5 Oregon 11-2
6 Arkansas 10-2
7 Boise State 11-1
8 Kansas State 10-2
9 South Carolina 10-2
10 Wisconsin 11-2
11 Virginia Tech 11-2
12 Baylor 9-3

Here is my proposed bracket: 
·         Top 4 teams receive Bye’s in first round (LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, and Stanford)
o   No. 5 Oregon plays No. 12 Baylor – SHOOTOUT!
o   No. 6 Arkansas plays No. 11 Virginia Tech
o   No. 7 Boise State plays No. 10 Wisconsin
o   No. 8 Kansas State plays No. 9 South Carolina
·         In the second round in which each of the BCS Bowl games would host (Rose, Orange, Fiesta, and Sugar)
o   No. 1 LSU vs. No. 8/9 winner
o   No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 7/10 winner
o   No. 3 Oklahoma State vs. No. 6/11 winner
o   No. 4 Stanford vs. No. 5/12 winner
·         In the semi-finals (for arguments sake, let’s do the top seeds from here on out)
o   No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Stanford
o   No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Oklahoma State
·         Finals
o   No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama

That looks pretty fun in my opinion.  Of course, if you are lower ranked team and run the table with a conference championship game under your belt, you would finish the season having played 17 games.  However, most teams would only play just 1-2 extra games.  I think this is a real possibility.  The initial round would take place the second weekend of December.  Army/Navy game should probably get a clue and be like the rest of the teams and finish on time.  The second round would take place the following weekend where the top 4 teams are now included.  In the calendar, there would be a week break for Christmas then the games would be picked back up the following week for New Year’s (semi-finals) then that Monday (Jan. 9, 2012 this year) would still be the championship date.  Ideally these games would be played on Saturdays to keep it uniform but during the holidays, these games will draw no matter what, so day may not matter much. 

I nailed a boss
While I think this is a great idea, the biggest drawback, of course, is the BCS itself.  The rankings determine this and schools will be left out.  This scenario shows Michigan and West Virginia not making it even though they just won the Sugar and Orange Bowls, respectively.  The Big East doesn’t even have a representative at all and the Big 10 only has one.  However, just like with the NCAA Basketball tournament, teams won’t get in.  To be brutally honest, 12 teams are arguably too much.  You can make a pretty good argument that you should just match up LSU vs. Boise/Stanford and then Alabama with Oklahoma State and just play a quick 2 round playoff.  But seriously, where is the fun in that?

Let's make college fun because it disappears after Draft Day for these kids

To bring everything full circle, it would be easy to play these playoffs while playing the other bowl games.  I highly encourage it.  And now ladies and gents, I leave you with this...WWTD?

I just Tebowed in my pants! HEYYYOOOOOO