Our president-elect has clearly established himself ...
|With Saturday's loss to the Hawkeyes, JoePa's Nittany Lions would benefit with a playoff system. (US Presswire)|
As a gifted speaker with loads of ... experience?
As a slick speech maker who keeps his promises. At least when it comes to puppies.
Have I touched a nerve yet, America?
What about Barack Obama, BCS expert?
Now there's a bandwagon for everyone to climb on -- from Joe Six Pack to Joe Paterno.
When the Obamanator suggested an eight-team college football playoff last week the nation acted like he had discovered a cure for the common cold. (No, that wasn't a campaign promise but I'm still checking)
The sports talk world was astounded that this brilliant man had boldly unearthed (Indiana Obama?) some sort of jewel of denial. It was so obvious, why couldn't we see it front of our faces?
A playoff. Yes, of course.
Call the networks. Get the presidents together. Yes, we can!
|Dodd's Power Poll|
|2. Texas Tech|
|7. Penn State|
|8. Boise State|
|10. Ohio State|
|12. Oklahoma State|
|14. Ball State|
|17. Michigan State|
|18. Florida State|
|21. North Carolina|
|24. South Carolina|
|25. Air Force|
|(Out: Cal, Northwestern, West Virginia, Georgia Tech)|
Sorry, 52 percenters. Don't even hope for change. Even charisma has its limitations.
College football woke up Sunday with a heck of a playoff. It was better than anything an eight-team bracket could produce. The national championship race is essentially down to two conferences and six teams.
Not only do the Big 12 and SEC look like the last powers standing (USC still has an outside shot), but teams from those two conferences look likely to meet for the national championship.
That, Prez B, would be fair and just.
You want a playoff, you got it. Right now. Try Alabama-Florida in the SEC Championship Game. Both clinched their divisions on Saturday. The game shapes up as the best SEC title game in history. 'Bama could be undefeated. Florida, with one loss, could be right behind. The game essentially will serve as a national semifinal. The winner advances to the BCS title game.
In the Big 12, Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma are all inside a phone booth with machetes. You tell me who is going to emerge.
If Oklahoma knocks off Texas Tech next week, there is a chance for a three-way tie in the South Division. It would be broken by -- gasp! -- the BCS standings. Highest ranked team goes to the Big 12 Championship Game which itself would be another do-or-die affair.
Can't beat that with a schtick. Unfortunately, Obama's doesn't measure up. With an eight-team playoff in place Alabama-Florida would be for seeding. Both teams would be safely in the bracket. The same for Texas Tech-Oklahoma on Nov. 15.
How corporate. How crisp. How Obama.
Sure the SEC and Big 12 conference titles would still be at stake but admit it, you'd rather watch the Flying Wallendas without a net. All or nothing. Loser leave town.
Look, I'm not a huge BCS honk. I know trash when I smell it. Oklahoma (2003) and Nebraska (2001) playing for national championships when they didn't win their conferences still stinks. Auburn getting shut out of the process in 2004 was unfair.
But I also never want to see Michigan-Ohio State be for playoff seeding. Thankfully, that magic, emotional tragic week in 2006 during which Bo died and No. 1 played No. 2 is sealed in the time capsules of our minds. I wouldn't ever want bracket speculation to ever spoil the lead up to that game.
I don't want the losing coach of the SEC title game next month to be able to say, "We played hard, but we still have home-field advantage in the first round."
In that sense, I agree with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany's beer-leads-to-heroin theory. Once you start a four-team playoff, you're on a slippery slope to a 16-team bracket. Before you know it, you have the 2006 World Series. The St. Louis Cardinals, at 83-79, won it all.
That's good for baseball. Great for my Cardinals. For college football, not so much. I don't know if the suits, the bowls, the fans -- the tradition-bound SEC -- could ever put up with Boise State suddenly getting hot and hoisting the glass football.
In college football, socialism only goes so far.
To be fair, Obama's plan wasn't original. Sorry to shock you, Barack lovers, but your candidate wasn't exactly breaking new ground. Everyone from Spurrier to Bowden has endorsed a playoff at one time or another. The difference is that the coaches have been consistent. They weren't using the idea to pander to voters.
And the president-elect knows how to pander. That big picture machine in my living room is proof. Barack worked that sucker like Heidi Klum works the runway.
Not only does the BCS, at this moment, work, but it is thriving. The BCS commissioners reportedly are asking for $133 million per year from the next television rights holder of the Fiesta, Sugar and Orange bowls. Fox currently pays an average of $82 million per year.
If the commishes get their money in this economy, that's brilliant.
The BCS' economic viability has never been a question for its handlers. Rights fees keep going up. Folks keep tuning in. In that sense, it is the ultimate soap opera. It's not perfect but it has heroes and villains and you keep watching.
ABC/ESPN is kicking itself for letting this sports television jewel get away.
Stick to something you know about Mr. President Elect. Something will come to you, eventually. On this subject, we'll borrow from the 46 percent who saw beyond the speeches.