Sportswriters Show They Are Not Bright Lights
By Michael P. Tremoglie
Tremoglie's Tea Time
College football is a game -- a very profitable game - played by unpaid college kids. The kids play for pride and a chance to go onto the pros. The universities, the television networks like ESPN, the bowl organizations and others reap the profits by exploiting them.
So lets stop the annual whining about the necessity of a college football playoff system. The present one works just fine.
I found a 25 year old television guide piece about the approaching college football bowl games on television. The writer said there were too many bowl games (16 then as opposed to the 34 now). The author said then that there should be a playoff system.
Well, now there is a playoff system in major college football. It involves the top two seeded teams.
Still the sportswriters, politicians and those who are not taking in the bucks they think they ought to be, whine. They say this is not much of a playoff, that it is not fair. They say ask why it is not like the NCAA basketball tournament -- which provides 64 teams a chance at the championship.
OK fair enough, let's examine the "fairness" of the college basketball tournament. 64 teams are seeded -- just as the two major college football teams are.
Why should there be 64?
The lowest seeded college basketball team ever to be champion in the 70 years of the tournament was Villanova. This did not occur until 1985! Villanova was seeded #8 seed that year.
So why should there be 64 teams? Think about it -- -- only one team not seeded in the top seven has ever won the college basketball championship - in the seven decade history of the tournament.
Now some people (especially sportswriters many of whom are as clueless and doctrinaire leftist as their newsroom brethren) say the bowl games are about greed. They postulate the only reason there is no playoff is because the bowl games will lose money.
There is no greed in the NCAA basketball tournament? How ingenuous can you get!
If they believe this then I have some oceanfront property in Nebraska they might want to buy.
The NCAA basketball tournament started in 1939 (37 years after the first bowl game by the way). It consisted of only eight teams then. It expanded to 64 in 1985.
Why do you think that was? Money!
Before “March Madness” came along (the advertising moniker television networks gave the tournament) the public was not very concerned about who the college basketball champion was.
Indeed, most teams played in the NIT (National Invitation Tournament) until about the '70's.
Do you think the NCAA, the universities, the television networks - and yes even the sportswriters - make more or less money because of “March Madness?”
The same thing can be said about small college football. No one was interested whether Podunk State, Coal Cracker College or Sunset Beach U. was the number one small college team in the nation. However, make small college teams determine their champion by a playoff and now there is some suspense for a TV audience. Now networks can sell commercial airtime.
The major college teams do not need to generate interest. They do not need the gimmick of a “playoff.” They already have an audience.
If the small college football teams, college basketball teams or college baseball teams want a playoff that is their business. Just do not say it is for righteous reasons.
Let major college football alone.
If Widget Inc. -- maker of the best paper fasteners in the world -- wants to sponsor the Paper Clip Bowl; the city of Osh Kosh, Wisconsin wants to host it; Middle Tennessee State and North Dakota State want to play in it; ESPN wants to broadcast it; and a few million people want to watch it; why should the federal government, the courts, or the sportswriters of America complain?
The current system is fine. The games -- for the most part -- are fun to watch. Players get a chance to be on a national stage -- for most their only chance to do so.
Even the marching bands have an opportunity to showcase their talents. Their efforts work and their desire are seen by thousands of people. Normally they would not be.
The bowl games are a blast for these kids. It is the only compensation they get.
Leave them alone.