The 2013 college football bowl season was particularly exciting.
The new format for the 2014 football NCAA Division I championship will have four teams playing actual games on the field to prove who will be crowned national champion. It should prove to be an interesting endeavor.
Controversy will no doubt go on for three months over which four teams should qualify for the final bracket. The new system basically breaks down to two national semifinal games with the winners playing for the national title.
The jury will be out as to how a committee of non-biased football people will be able to make the decision. It would be fun to be fly on the wall during the committee discussions offering up rationale for selection of one team over another. It will be great PR for the NCAA, but personal opinions may interfere with the process.
During the 2013 season, Michigan State might have had a real chance to win the national title if it had gotten a chance. The media bad-mouthed the Big Ten Conference all year, but if you watched Michigan State play Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game followed by their level of play in their Rose Bowl victory over Stanford, the Spartans would have been a hard out in a true national championship bracket.
How about Oklahoma’s surprise win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl? The Crimson Tide were a 17-point favorite, but the Sooners obviously got tired of hearing about how Alabama walks on water, so they totally dominated Alabama in every phase of the game.
Nick Saban was honest about the fact that everyone in the Alabama program took winning for granted. It is exactly the reason why athletic championships in any sport should be awarded only by a format that is based on actual game play.
The media would probably have chosen Ohio State and Alabama to play in the national championship game before the last regular season weekend. Television, newspapers and Twitter had them as dead ringers, but both teams lost their last games!
The bowl system has been a huge success and is enjoyed by college football fans every holiday season. I have attended four BCS bowl games and one national championship game, and it was a total blast (a ‘60s term for "a whole lot of fun")!
Fans and alums look forward to bowl selections every year. The bowl games are a financial coup for the schools AND the NCAA. However, for the most part, we spend three weeks in front of the TV watching a meaningless bowl game about every night followed by a meaningless national championship game.
I have been totally dumbfounded ever since the BCS came into play. You can tell me that media gurus and computers can actually determine who should play for all the marbles?
Florida State and Auburn had great years but at least five to six other teams could have been in the game if given a chance in a tournament setting. Perhaps we all just accept that money rules in the world of NCAA Division I football. At least now we have a four-team playoff system.
The most successful team sport in America is the NFL and the playoff weekends are some of the most watched sporting events every year. The NFL playoff season provides an opportunity for all the teams who have earned their way into the tournament to actually play games to determine who wears the ring. Every team with a successful regular season has an opportunity to advance according to its play on the field.
Enough discussion – let’s hope that next year will be a step in the right direction for NCAA Division I football and that we will all feel that a true champion will be crowned.
• I have had a lot of negative feedback about my lack of respect for the University of Texas. Thus I realize I need to take the high road. Charlie Strong is a great football coach. He has done an outstanding job at Louisville. He is a great recruiter and has a good defensive mind. He is one of the best young coaches in the country. He better be good – the Texas faithful can be harsh judges.
• Missouri’s Cotton Bowl victory will be a shot in the arm for recruiting. The Tigers are becoming a solid top-10-to-15 team pick in the country every year. Kids like to play in big stadiums in front of national TV audiences at the end of the year. Oh – by the way all you Tiger fans who kept telling me last year that MU needed to fire Gary Pinkel – Coach Pinkel won 12 games this year. It tied for the most in school history. He is now the all-time leader in wins in MU football history. His team won the SEC East championship and won his second Cotton Bowl. I’m so glad the wish to fire him was not granted. Just a thought.
• My quote of the week comes from Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster John Madden: “If there is a time when you’re going to be angry, then you’re going to be angry. And if you feel that way and you let it go by, then you’re being a phony. If I get angry, it’s for a good reason, either for an action or as a reaction. The same applies when I’m happy.”
Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 5-6 p.m. every Thursday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at email@example.com