Leave Barack Aloooone . . . About A College Football Playoff

President-Elect Barack Obama is still 2 months from being inaugurated and some NYTimes op ed writers can not leave him alone. At least wait till he actually does something. Geezus Christ on a cracker! Look at Bryan Curtis:

Obama’s First Fumble

BARACK OBAMA went on “60 Minutes” this week and unveiled his first policy proposal as president-elect — a college football playoff. After detailing his preferred system, in which eight teams would meet in a three-week-long tournament at the end of the season, Mr. Obama said, “I don’t know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this.” Well, here’s one. To borrow Mr. Obama’s infelicitous phrase, I cling to college football in its current form.

All joking aside, I disagree with Mr. Curtis, as I will explain on the flip.

Mr. Curtis writes:

Unfortunately, [a playoff] would also ruin what is great about college football. The part of the sport to savor is not the finale but the regular season. In college football, every game has the fierce urgency of now. The uncertainty of what lies at the end makes the 12-game gantlet all the more nerve-wracking. Lose once, and your team finds itself at the mercy of the voters and the dreaded computers.

Mr. Obama’s playoff would render the regular season far less dramatic. Last year, a humbling by Stanford, a 41-point underdog, helped derail the University of Southern California’s title bid. Or to relocate things to the site of Mr. Obama’s first major electoral triumph: Two weeks ago, the Iowa Hawkeyes beat Penn State with a last-second field goal and all but knocked the Nittany Lions out of the hunt. With a playoff, those games would have been meaningless, because both U.S.C. and Penn State would probably be invited to compete for the championship even with a loss.

Actually, Mr. Curtis is wrong on both counts in his specific discussion of the USC and Penn State losses. But the bigger point is also wrong. He has it exactly backwards and, I think, reveals himself to be one of those Northeast college football fans that do not understand (and let's face it, nor really care) how important winning a conference championship is, well at least in the SEC. Perhaps other conferences do not think so much about that.

Let me tell you, that the Obama college football playoff plan would HEIGHTEN the excitement of the regular season and make each and every game that much more important. Why? Because winning the conference is the sure ticket to the playoffs. Every single conference game in every major conference becomes a huge event - except it becomes that for ALL the teams, not just the chosen few at the top.

In the end, we know that Curtis wrote this piece not because he actually cares about college football, but to make a joke:

Mr. Obama will find that, of all sports, college football is most in tune with his mind: the slow deliberation over many months; the technocratic appeal of the computer rankings; and the B.C.S.’s common-sense solution for a seemingly intractable problem that plagued the country for decades. That’s the status quo we can believe in.

Some of us are real college football fans and think more about this than whether we can submit a (to them) clever column to the NYTimes Op-Ed page. I am happy to see that President-Elect Obama is one of us, a REAL college football fan, not one of those dilettante college football fans like Mr. Curtis.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    I just read Penn State's minimum (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 08:17:19 PM EST
    bowl invite will be the Rose Bowl.  I'm sorry, but Penn State in the Rose Bowl just doesn't sound correct.

    I think she means that Penn St is still (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Teresa on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:24:08 PM EST
    considered a newbie to the Big 10.

    I agree 100% with you on Boise St.


    Are you telling me if (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 10:35:19 AM EST
    there was a playoff, Michigan getting clobbered by non-conference Toledo wouldn't bar U of M from making the playoff?  Good idea.

    P.S.  I think you should submit your post to NYT's editorial/op ed page.

    The Electoral College does not have much (none / 0) (#2)
    by JSN on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 10:45:43 AM EST
    to do why don't we have them do the bowl assignments?

    BTD is right (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 11:10:17 AM EST
    As of now, UT must beat Vanderbilt, Ky, SC, GA, and FL to be assured a shot to win the Conference. In addition they also play Alabama every year and two more SEC foes, typically MS State and LSU or AR.

    The rest of the conference does much the same.

    Lose 1 and you may not get in the conference championship game. Lose two and you might get in the championship but forget about a national championship...

    Time to let the players decide who's the best.

    There is only one UT. (none / 0) (#4)
    by lobary on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 11:19:15 AM EST
    It's the one in Austin.

    Excuse me as BTD would say. :) (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Teresa on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 09:01:11 PM EST
    We (the real UT, the one in Knoxville) are about 100 years older than your UT.

    That's telling 'em. (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 09:16:52 PM EST
    The thing about college football is (none / 0) (#13)
    by Makarov on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 03:10:10 PM EST
    we really don't know how good one conference (SEC, Big 12, Big 10, PAC, ACC) is, year to year, versus any other, because most out of conference games are against horrible teams. There are a couple long standing inter-conference games (like UFL/FSU), but those are few and far between.

    SEC fans, more than those of teams in other conferences, seem to hold the view that the majority of their conference teams are great each and every year. This might be true some years, but we'll never know, because UFL, LSU, Bama et al don't play teams USC, Ohio State, or Oklahoma typically in the regular season. We get a couple matchups in bowl games, and that's it.

    A playoff system would help settle this. It's quite conceivable that two SEC (or Big 12 or Big 10) teams could meet in a national championship under a playoff. Under the current BCS, it's nearly impossible. We'd also get more of a chance to see how good Conference X versus other conferences really is under a playoff.

    These are some of the reasons I support a playoff - but the biggest is it's conceivable for up to 3 or more teams to finish the season and the BCS undefeated, and then the "champion" is essentially crowned by human and computer polls. That's just wrong. A good example oh how wrong the polls are this year is LSU. They're currently ranked 10th and they're losing to Ole Miss atm. LSU has been overranked all year, and they're quite a bad team if you've watched a few of their games.


    meant (none / 0) (#14)
    by Makarov on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 03:17:16 PM EST
    that LSU was ranked 18 - with 3 losses btw. Even chance it's 4 losses after today.

    NY Times will spend the next 4 years (none / 0) (#5)
    by pluege on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 11:33:19 AM EST
    with the Sisyphean task of trying to convince the Neanderthal right that the Times is not liberally biased by taking up any and all moronic issues they can think of against Obama to prove it. But since convincing the right of such a thing is not possible, they will fail miserably and at the same time detract from the important tasks Obama has to accomplish. Its the start of the NY Times Clinton treatment part deux of Democratic Presidents.

    With the monster problems Obama and the nation has to deal with, put the NY Times in the column of part of problem, not part of the solution, right there along with republicans/conservatives.  

    Did we just get smeared? (none / 0) (#6)
    by NYShooter on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 11:38:49 AM EST
    "...one of THOSE "Northeast" college football fans..."

    "Some of US are "real" college football fans..." [emphasis mine]

    Where's the line between "those" and "us?" Tennesse? Kentucky? :)

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Trickster on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 01:02:51 PM EST

    Um us (none / 0) (#7)
    by lilburro on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 12:04:36 PM EST
    Northeast football fans are too worried about real football in the NFL to care too much about college footbal.  After all what is the toughest conference in the NFL?

    :P  actually all I care about are the Eagles.

    Who cares? (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Trickster on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 01:06:19 PM EST
    Seriously, the biggest stadiums are college stadiums, and they are routinely filled to the brim.  This is true even though there are four times as many teams, and that doesn't even include minor division teams, many of which have rabid followings of their own.

    College football is just a better game.  More passionate, more meaningful to the players, better traditions, more local color, no agents, no strikes, no diamond-encrusted millionaires, and I could go on. . . .


    Worse still... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Thanin on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 12:07:43 PM EST
    Ive heard richardson is angling for Football Secretary.

    Anyone know (none / 0) (#9)
    by Natal on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 12:45:32 PM EST
    a diehard college football fan and all-round sports enthusiast who is unamerican and unpatriotic and does not love this country? I don't.

    Boomer Sooner! (none / 0) (#10)
    by Tony on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 12:51:08 PM EST
    First team to get a stop wins.

    big Cities (none / 0) (#18)
    by mpBBagain on Sat Nov 22, 2008 at 10:23:36 PM EST
    I think in the big citiies with pro teams... the NFL is bigger... in non NFL cities and states... College football is god.

    here in Philly... we do not even have a good college football team....TEMPLE  will never be good football team in my life time.  We kinda root for PENN STATE by default.

    Mr. Curtis's regional credentials (none / 0) (#21)
    by Bryan Curtis on Mon Nov 24, 2008 at 12:50:38 PM EST
    Well, Armando and I can disagree about the BCS, but I can't abide this:

    "[Curtis] reveals himself to be one of those Northeast college football fans that do not understand (and let's face it, nor really care) how important winning a conference championship is, well at least in the SEC."

    I'm a graduate of the University of Texas--No. 2 in your BCS programs, but No. 1 in your hearts.  I also object to his business about "real" college football fans, which is right up there with the "real" America and the "real" Virginia, a vile insult I thought had been retired after the election.  

    As for the charge that I am a "dilettante," I'm afraid that word is not in wide circulation in Austin. Can someone help?

    Hook 'em,
    Bryan Curtis