Sports from the point view from the guy that holds the clipboard for the guy that holds the clipboard.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Let's keep the NFL and College Football different.

Please re-read the tile and then I will explain.

I do not want the NFL and College Football to be the same.  They are fundamentally different games and to me that is beautiful.  I do not want College Football to become the NFL's minor league.  It would RUIN everything there is to love about the College game.  That and I don't want the NFL to become a water-down kids version of the game.

We'll keep this down to two big issues, even though the examples of the line blurring are almost endless.  Overtime and The Bowl Championship Series.

OT:  The NFL has the purest form of Overtime in sports.  It's rules have been in place, largely untouched, for over 50 years.  And those who fear the Doomsday SuperBowl settled in Overtime forget that the very first Sudden Death Overtime in NFL history was in a Championship Game.

And College football has probably the most ridiculous and unjustifiable Overtime's there is.  You know how much you hate the BCS?  I hate college overtime 10x more than that.  Honestly.

But I do not want College Football to adapt the NFL OT rules.  It is not right for College.  The rules should be different.  I kind of like the Tie, but I know that is a dirty word, because most sports fans cannot handle something so complex.  (OR they really do want to kiss their sister's and are uncomfortable with ties because of that.)  What should college do?  Have their silly shoutout, but limit it to only 2 chances.  After that, a tie.  Or just play 7 minutes of ball and let it happen as it happens, again max it out to 2 OT's unless it's a Conference Championship game or a Bowl Game.

The other side of this issue is the crybaby movement that wants to change the NFL overtime.  I cannot explain how angry I get whenever I hear someone talk about this.  And I get angrier when they used the Fox News (blatantly false) stat: Half of Overtimes are won on the first possession by the team that won the coin toss.  The truth is that happens less than one third of the time.  What really happens in games that go to OT is that both teams had their chance to win it in regulation and blew it.  Then when it gets to OT and you can't force a punt, I can't feel bad for your team.  Football has three parts to it: Offense, Defense, and Special Teams.  To lose in OT on the first possession means two out of those three failed to perform well enough for you to get the ball back.  I think this is fair.  I honestly believe that those who want a change in the NFL OT hate football.  They don't get it, and I'd rather they did not watch it, if they aren't going to get it.

BCS: Everyone wants a playoff in College Football.  But no one wants to think about what will happen to the game if there is one.  Everyone is obsessed with the end result and don't care about what gets destroyed to get that result.  Let's look at what the NFL has had to do to make it's Playoff system work and see if we really want College football to go down that road.

The NFL Schedule is setup with one obsession, Tie Breakers.  Tie Breakers dictate every aspect of the NFL schedule.  Remember the 2008 Big 12 South Fiasco?  Imagine the NCAA stepping in and dictating scheduling to every team in Div 1A to ensure that in a future situation like this that have enough tie breaking possibilities to get a fair outcome.

And look at the results of these tie-breakers and this NFL Playoff set-up.  The 2008 New England Patriots went 11-5, and were left out of the playoffs.  Two 9-7 teams and an 8-8 squad went in.  Imagine an NCAA Football tournament that lets in  8-4 Sun Belt, MAC, and Conference USA Champions but leaves out a third place SEC team that went 10-2, and was the only team to beat the SEC Champion.  Is that really fair?  Is it more fair than what we have now?  Right now that team gets left out, but the justification is that they lost that second game.  Had they not lost that second game they would have played for their Conference Championship and had a chance.  The regular season matters, tough shit.    How is it justified with a playoff?  It can't be.  Fair is a dangerous word that I hate when talking about sports. After High School, I do not want to hear the word fair when talking about sports.  The NFL has 14 of the each teams 16 games set in stone into the foreseeable future, because of tie-breakers.  Is this what we want with College Football?  Sorry non-conference rivalry, the NCAA has other plans.....

The key is keep them different!  The games are fundamentally different and that is a good thing.  College Football dies if it becomes just a minor league for the NFL.  No one cares about Minor leagues.  Only the passions of Baseball and Hockey can keep minor leagues alive in America.  No other sport can fully support it.

College Football and the NFL are different games, and I like it that way.  I am positive that when looked at rationally from this statement you agree with me.  But the nit-picking Fair Police are winning the argument, and if they sway the people in charge, they could ruin both games.