There’s an old parental saying that goes if you can’t play nice, you can’t play at all. Most of us have heard some variation on that at some point in their childhood. There is also the axiom that if you didn’t bring enough of it, whatever it is, than no one can have any of it. Both of these sayings should be applied by the NCAA to college football.
There is no doubt by the end of this season there will be a great outcry for the Big East to lose it’s automatic bowl qualifying bid because it is going through an enormous slump, and, the argument will continue, there are far better teams in the WAC and Mountain West conferences that deserve to be in the spot that will go to the winner of the Big East conference. There will not be calls for the substitution of the ACC winner, because at the end of the day it IS the ACC and in college football the bias is quite the opposite of what it is in professional football. College football is biased towards the Southern and Midwestern schools, while in professional sports it’s the East and West Coast teams that get the alleged bias. The Big East has been decimated in the last few years by both school defections and coach defections. The coach-poaching would cripple any conference, but it was particularly hard on the Big East as they were just recovering from what I call the Great Defections. Being that some schools were in rebuilding years already, and the best schools, (WVU, Louisville, and Cincinnati) had all had their head coaches lured away with the promises of fame and fortune, this was bound to be a bad year or two for the Big East. I have no idea what the reason for the ACC’s fall off is. I mean, yeah “The U” has been more like “the u” ever since they left the Big East. Duke ain’t never been shit in terms of Football, so there wasn’t much expected there. But what happened to BC, VTech and GTech? Seems like the only one pulling their weight there is the Wolfpack and that seems to be a rather large surprise to everyone.
Obviously the Big East and ACC are having lulls in talent, and the West Coast Conferences are having swells in theirs. This is, of course, cyclical and has nothing to do with the overall worth of the schools and players in the different parts of the country. What will happen is that people will overreact, be outraged, and demand satisfaction. They will storm the internet with virtual torches and pitchforks, laying siege to the Big East and ACC castles, demanding that they lose their automatic bids and give them to conferences that are more worthy. But as people who are far less reactionary know, these things ebb and flow, just like momentum. Some conferences have it when others don’t. The East will rise again, as will the ACC. The PAC-10 will come around, and the other Western Conferences will go through fresh depressions once again. Success in football, like all things, is sporadic. To everything there is a season! Turn, Turn, Turn!
I seriously hope that they don’t disband the Big East or the ACC; the majority of the country’s population lives in the Northeast, and it would be a damned shame if all of those people were denied college sports. There is no room for all of those athletes in the surrounding conferences. Before Rutgers became a decent alternative, NJ athletes went to PSU, PITT, WVU, and Maryland. More often than not they were benched in favor of local talent, and had no chance at all at making it into the NFL. I know there’s almost no chance that the ACC will be disbanded, but with this insane BCS system we have in place anything is possible. So what I propose is, of course, some kind of playoff system. At the very least there should be a Qualifying system. If they want to rate people, then maybe the first 6 bowl games should go to the first 6 highest ranking programs. The opponents go to the second 6 highest ranking programs, and so on until all of the bowl games are filled. The lower bowl games would probably filled with Big East and ACC Teams, and the BCS Bowl games would probably be filled with SEC and PAC-10 teams.
The upside of this is that since there aren’t enough toys to go around, no one gets an automatic bid. It’s basically a merit based system for Bowl Games. I think it would work, and if your school didn’t get into a game it’s because they simply weren’t good enough. There would still be the controversy of the BCS ranking system, but it would get rid of the unfairness of the automatic bid system. It’s clear the kids can’t play nice with their toys, so it will be up to us to take them away. Someone has to be the adult here, and it is obvious that the adult has to be the American public.
John Minus is a noted Bon-Vivant, Raconteur, and all-around Anti-Hero. He has a podcast called the Alter Negro Sho and co-hosts the Non-Productive Podcast. He can be contacted on twitter: www.twitter.com/DonCoyote and on his Facebook page John “Alter Negro” Minus