Comedy Bracket: Elite Eight

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My apologies for waiting so long to get this up. We're in the middle of a longer-than-we-ever-imagined move, so it's been kind of tough to get around to this. If you've missed any of this, here's a quick review:

Round 1

Round 2

Sweet 16

Here are the results from the last round of voting. This is your Elite Eight bracket (click to enlarge):

Finally, the new poll. Deadline is next weekend-ish - unless I'm actually moving stuff into our new house, in which case it will take longer.

8 Reasons Pro Football is Better Than College Football

8 - Loyalty to conference?

The bizarre ranking system (#3) and lack of a playoff (#2) means that your chosen team looks better if the other teams in the same conference perform better. This sets up some bizarre rooting situations. Fans end up cheering for their hated rivals when they play against teams from neighboring conferences. Last week I observed two fans cheering for Oklahoma State against Georgia. One fan was dressed head to toe in Oklahoma apparel while the other sported Texas A&M gear. They weren't rooting for Oklahoma State so much as against the hated SEC. But in what sport is it okay to cheer for a conference or division rival?

7 - The NCAA's ridiculous rules

Recently my alma mater was forced to vacate its wins from the 2007 season because of recruiting and amateur status violations. The crime? Allowing a student to take an admissions test on a computer in the athletics department. Apparently not going to the library was reason enough to erase a playoff season (this is Division 2). The sad part is, you're probably reading this and saying, "That's nothing. My school wasn't allowed to go to any bowl games for 5 years because our coach spent too much time on the phone with a kid." And that's ridiculous. I understand that the amateur status of student-athletes needs to be protected, but the NCAA ends up picking on small schools and letting others get away with highway robbery. The rules are not enforced evenly because some schools have boosters and money and all kinds of influence. Which leads us to...

6 - Student-athletes at big-time football schools are not really amateurs

This is the biggest open secret in college football. Once in a while, somebody like Rhett Bomar or Reggie Bush gets caught. The NCAA was forced to act on Bomar because he still had time to play, but in Bush's case, they basically left well enough alone. Meanwhile, small schools like mine (#10) are punished for minor violations. Neither USC nor Oklahoma had to vacate wins. The fact is, football factories use boosters like politicians do PACs - funnel the money somewhere else, and if something goes wrong, there's no accountability to the parties that are actually responsible.

5 - 1 foot vs. 2 foot, down when touched

Let's get to some on-the-field stuff. Some of the rules that make college football "distinctive" from the pros are simply ridiculous. Exhibit A is the rule that once your knee hits the ground, you are down. It doesn't matter if you were tackled or if there's nobody within 20 yards. If this is the case, why not call an incomplete pass if you bobble the ball before securing it? Exhibit B is the one foot inbounds for a completed catch rule. You cannot argue that this makes the college game more exciting. Inaccurate passes and lazy receiving is rewarded in this system.

4 - Parity

As I type this, I have a choice of watching 4 football games. Not one of them holds any interest to me, because the teams are so unevenly matched. I flipped to the Florida-Troy game to see how it was going, and Florida was winning by 32 points in the second quarter. You don't attend or watch that game expecting to see an actual competition. You watch it because (1) You went to one of the two schools, (2) You want to be watching in case Troy pulls off the impossible, or (3) You have money on the game. The gambling line for this game was -37. The biggest line in the NFL this week? -13.5, a game that involves the only winless team in NFL history, the Detroit Lions. The worst team in the NFL has a legit shot at winning every week. You cannot say the same for many teams in college football. Another way to say that is you can turn into any pro game and expect a fairly evenly-matched game. Of the 4 games I mentioned earlier, only 1 is what you might call competitive.

3 - Rankings & Schedule

It's hard to separate this from the lack of a playoff system (#2), but let me try with a hypothetical.

Let's say Prestigious Team A is ranked #8 in the preseason poll. Less Prestigious Team B is ranked #19 in the same poll. In Week 1, Prestigious Team A loses to Very Prestigious Team C (#5) by a small margin while Less Prestigious Team B beats Less Prestigious Team D (unranked) comfortably, but not in a blowout. In the Week 1 poll, Prestigious Team A drops to #13, while Less Prestigious Team B jumps up to #14. Both teams win out, and at the end of the year, Prestigious Team A remains ranked above Less Prestigious Team B, despite Team B having a better record. The reason? The teams never played each other, nor did they have any common opponents, meaning even computer formulas were useless and relied on things like margin of victory, which is code for running up the score. The entire season for both of these teams hinged how they were ranked in the preseason, before anybody settled anything on the field.

2 - Playoffs

I realize this is a contentious subject, but let me say this: I cannot respect college football as a viable competitive sport until it finds a better way to determine its champion. I probably don't need to make the case for a playoff system - that's been done numerous times. If you believe that the BCS is the best system for postseason play, you are either (A) a college president, (B) a retard, or (C) both.

I will say this: Less prestigious schools that continue to be forced out of the national championship discussion should form their own league or division.

1 - Logic

If I had only argument for the superiority of the pro game to the college game, it's this simple point: the pro game features the best athletes playing against the best athletes. Not many people argue that minor league baseball is better than the major leagues, and that's essentially what college football is: a glorified minor league system. At least in minor league baseball, the teams are fairly evenly matched!

4 Reasons I can see the other point of view:

4 - Overtime

Pro overtime is flawed. Each offense should get a shot at scoring. I like college overtime a lot, but there is one change I would make: move the starting position back from the 25 yard line. I think teams ought to have to work to get into field goal territory.

3 - The option

This is one of the most exciting plays in football, in my opinion, and you rarely see it in the pro game. The reason points back to my earlier point (pro players aren't fooled by the option), but I would like to see more innovation in the pro game like we see in college.

2 - Greed of the Shield

It is well documented that the NFL is a greedy league. Proponents of college football can point to NFL blackout restrictions, and I have no answer for that.

1 - Fans/Atmosphere at games

This is the number 1 argument I hear from people who "don't know anything about the NFL because I don't watch it." Seriously, is there anything more annoying than that? Except for Apple fanboys, of course.

Anyway, it's hard to argue against a college atmosphere, especially when some NFL teams have lame, gimmicky fanbases. I'm looking at you, Oakland, Washington, and New York (Jets). I suppose my response is that the product on the field is inferior.

Happiness For Blessing. 2008 One Winged Angel.Bloggerized by : GosuBlogger