With each December arrives two very important yet diametrically opposed events in the sports fan’s life. The beloved college football bowl season is always coupled with strong opposition to the dastardly BCS system and intense discussion for some form of playoffs to determine the National Champion. 2008 is without a doubt the worst conclusion to the BCS since its inception. There are as many as nine teams that have a legitimate argument for playing in the title game: Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Alabama, Penn State, USC, Utah, Texas Tech and Boise State. Assuming you can put aside the discussion for a playoff system, it is incomprehensible how Texas Tech and Boise State have been left out of BCS games, while Ohio State, Cincinnati and Virgina Tech get the big pay days. In the end it is all about money.
We do not have a playoff system because the NCAA cannot figure out how to make more money from it than the current system. Cincinnati and Virgina Tech play each other because they each won their respective BCS conference. Boise State does not have that luxury and is solely dependent on an at large bid, which was given to Ohio State because their fans “travel well” meaning greater ticket sales and higher revenue for the host city. Texas Tech lost out because two Big 12 schools (Texas and Oklahoma) were already selected for BCS games. To come off as fair and prevent any one conference from receiving to large a portion of the BCS bowl revenue, the NCAA made a rule that prevents three schools from the same conference to receive BCS invitations. Texas Tech could very well be the second or third best team in the nation, but they are locked out of the BCS. NCAA – it is not about the student athlete, sports or sportsmanship – it is all about money.
- This week we all learned that head to head matchups are meaningless in college football. Texas beat OU in the Red River Shootout 45-35. It was decisive and on a neutral field. Texas’ only loss came on the road, after a miracle play with 1 second left. The BCS standings are a joke. Even more amusing is reviewing each Coach’s final votes in the USA Today poll. The media could have stepped up and voted Texas over OU to cancel out the computer rankings. Its a sad day for sports. Even the AP dropped the ball. UTs only hope is for a shared AP championship, though I would not hold your breath…
- Donovan McNabb. Since I am an Eagles fan, I can tell you unequivocally that he is one of the worst QBs in the league. This is due to the fact that his accuracy(not Philly’s WR play) is embarrassing for a professional. A few weeks back the Eagles tied the Bungles(Bengals) 13-13. McNabb quickly became famous afterward for declaring he did not know a regular season game could end in a tie. In a recent article Rick Reilly decided to quiz other NFL players about rules of the game. In his normal witty style, he presents the argument that McNabb may be in good company. This still does not alleviate my displeasure with McNabb as my team’s starting QB.
- Joey Porter. You have to respect players that can intelligently address a topic and not provide the pre approved statements given by their PR staff. Last week Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in a club with a unlicensed gun he was carrying for protection. Since then he has been attacked and labeled an example of what is wrong with today’s professional athlete. Today Porter spoke back, “Everybody has their mistakes, but that’s exactly what they are … Until you’ve been in that situation, when you’ve been robbed at gunpoint or you’ve had a gun waved in your face or had your house broken into before or been carjacked, you really don’t know what it’s like. For a person to carry a gun, I mean, you’re not carrying a gun to show that ‘I’m tough.’ It’s safety, it’s nothing but safety. They’re making [Burress] out to be such a bad guy but you look at all the guys that’s been robbed this year, all the home invasions, all the guys that’s been shot, like Collier, look how many times he got shot. I’ve had my house broken into before … I know Plax had been robbed before … But it’s tough for us to say we’re professional athletes so we’re not supposed to protect ourselves.” Here is a strong article on fear many athletes still have following the horrific death of Sean Taylor titled Living Scared.
- Lastly, this week is the Jimmy V Classic. I wanted to honor that with his famous speech at the 1993 ESPY Awards. “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”