7-0, 14-0, 21-0, 28-0. Halftime. Essentially game over. Unless you are an Alabama fan or really hate Notre Dame, that is the most exciting the 2013 National Championship game ever got.
The most memorable moments the game provided were multiple close-ups of former Miss Alabama and a shoving match between Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and his good friend and center Barrett Jones over the snap count.
Alabama completely embarrassed Notre Dame. They did it in a way that has never been seen before; they used much better football players. The problem is, this outcome didn’t surprise anyone.
Fans on social media outlets were asking if Oregon or Texas A&M could show up for the 2nd half so they could watch a competitive football game. But that obviously wasn’t possible. The BCS system had told us the two best teams were already competing on that field. It’s a joke, a sham. Every college football fan knew it wasn’t true, but tried to convince him/herself of it while ESPN and other sports outlets attempted to hype up the game for the last month.
The second ranked Alabama Crimson Tide was favored by 9.5-10.5 points over the first ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish on a neutral field. Yes, you are reading that right. Number 2 is suddenly better than Number 1.
This is what is wrong with college football. An awesome season filled with great weekly matchups, entertaining football games, and major upsets ended with a major dud. As was the entire bowl season. From December 15 until last night, college football fans were treated with mainly one thing, terrible football games.
The reason for this is simple. Bowl games are there for one reason, and one reason only, to make money.
The non-BCS games are chosen by a bunch of corporate sponsors who know next to nothing about college football, but are trying to make an extra buck. They choose the teams for their game that have better fan bases, who will buy more tickets and create higher television ratings. They don’t care about the fans, they don’t care about the football games, and they definitely don’t care about the players who worked so hard throughout the entire season and deserve a chance to be in a better bowl game.
The only bigger sham than how the non-BCS games are chosen is how the BCS system ranks each team prior to the bowl games. Who actually thought Northern Illinois was the 15th best team in the country? Who thought 4th ranked Oregon was only slightly better than 5th ranked Kansas State? Who thought Notre Dame was the best team in the country? Better yet, how come the Coaches Poll makes up one third of the BCS equation when every college football coach admits they don’t have time to watch any other games? They all scribble down a top 25 based on absolutely nothing other than the box score and then it makes up more than 33% of the BCS rankings. The result of all of this is terrible rankings, leading to terrible bowl games.
Everyone thinks all of this will be solved with the new college playoff system. They’re wrong, simply because the problem isn’t being eliminated. Sure the best four teams will finally be allowed to earn a national championship like they do in every other sport. Sure these four teams will finally be chosen by a panel of college football experts who watch hundreds of football games every season instead of by coaches who don’t have time and by computers that decide who is best simply based upon its creators’ fancy math algorithm. Meanwhile, the rest of the teams will be ranked in the exact same way. Incorrectly. Every other game will be chosen by a bunch of old rich men in suits trying to figure out how their bowl game will make the most money.
A solution to all of this is extremely straightforward. Keep the Coaches Poll and AP Poll throughout the regular season. They help the casual fan know who is supposed to win a certain game and how good of a season their favorite team is having. However, at the end of the season, have the exact same panel of college football experts that already chooses the best four teams for the playoff, rank every other team that is qualified* for a bowl game. Then, simply have the 5th ranked team play the 6th ranked team, 7th vs. 8th, and so on, with the only caveat being two teams from the same conference cannot play each other.
Will there still be blowouts and less exciting matchups? Of course. Anywhere near as many? Not possible.
Phew. That was difficult. This is a completely new idea. This isn’t the exact same ranking system that creates the greatest tournament in all of sports, known as March Madness.
Will this ever happen? No, probably not. It makes too much sense. But until then, get excited for another great season of college football, only to be followed by unwatchable bowl games.
*I will save my opinion that too many teams qualify for bowl games for a different day.