Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Weight of Tradition

It's that time of year again. The time at which we mourn the end of the college football season and console ourselves by watching a bunch of meaningless exhibition games. It's kind of the BCS and the NCAA to throw us a bone during our post-season depression but wouldn't it be so much cooler if we could be watching a bunch of meaningful games leading up to a championship? I think in some circles this is called a play-off but maybe the college football folks would be more comfortable if we put random fucking useless terms like "Plus" and "One" to the name.

I'm sick to death of the arguments against a college football play-off as they are all, without doubt, full of shit. It's practically criminal to know your sport can be more sportsmanlike and fair and yet factions of people exist that oppose such a thing with every belligerent breath in their bodies.

This year has once again been full of examples of the stupidity of the college football post-season but I think its utter meaninglessness is highlighted by the situation at the University of Cincinnati. UC, like four other teams, went undefeated this year. In the current system only two teams, undefeated or otherwise, can play for the national title. So in a year like this the regular season of three teams means fuck-all because they have no chance at a national title. Think about this! These teams did everything they could possibly do during their season and yet they cannot compete for a national title! Instead, they are kindly invited to compete in an exhibition game, possibly against a far inferior team. What the fuck?

Oh well, sgwordy, don't you know that these teams still get to go to prestigious bowls laden with tradition to represent their schools and play for pride? Can you imagine? What an honor!

What a piece of garbage!

Let's examine this, shall we? Let's set aside the massive unfairness of it all and look at UC's situation. They went undefeated but are not deemed worthy of competing for the national title. Instead they go to the Sugar Bowl. That's pretty darn good! Most teams would want to make it to the Sugar Bowl. It's the upper echelon of bowls reserved for highly ranked teams. But when you're undefeated it's a kick in the sac. When you're undefeated the "prestige," "tradition," and "history" of the Sugar Bowl are a turd sandwich of a consolation prize. In fact, it's such a turd sandwich that Brian Kelly couldn't even stomach it. He was so pleased to take his team to an undefeated season and make the Sugar Bowl that he resigned his position before the bowl game to take a head coaching job at another University. It's no coincidence that his new University has more perceived entitlement than UC. Let's just say it's for damned sure that he will not be able to go undefeated at his new University and still be cut out of a shot at the national title. How is that sporting?

What a piece of garbage!

Brian Kelly has done the right thing. If he wants a chance at the top prize of his sport he's obviously not going to get it at UC. He did all he could and was still denied a chance. And he can move on. But what do you tell the players? How do you justify this unsportsmanlike system? They are stuck with the kick in the sac consolation of the Sugar Bowl. Players, I feel your pain!

Let's thank Brian Kelly for helping us to remember the luster and shine of the bowl games. Best of luck to you in the future and please become another voice in the college football community for a play-off. We need all we can get!


  1. You're preaching to the choir here! Couldn't agree more...

    I'd only add this for the naysayers who cling to the ludicrous argument that the college football regular season is an extended playoff: how is the regular season a playoff if three teams can be eliminated without losing a game?