If Burke Were a College Football Fan…What Would He Think?

December 9, 2011

Political Theory


As I’m sure many of you saw just a few short days ago, the National Championship Game in college football will be Alabama vs. LSU. The computers, analysts, and coaches voted and crunched the numbers and these two teams came out on top but is that the right way to go about selecting the teams to play in the game of all games? Oklahoma State had a statement win, or should I say spanking, against Oklahoma the weekend before which finished out a nearly flawless season for the Cowboys yet they were left out in the cold, somewhat, and were selected to play in the Fiesta Bowl.

The computers which run the numbers, and take into account strength of schedule and strength of conference, decide who are the top two teams in the nation and, based on that, will compete for the national title have caused quite the commotion in recent years because of the rankings they have given teams at the end of the year. I think we can all agree that LSU is clearly the best team in college football, so the discussion comes down to whom they will play. Alabama, hailing from the apparently all-mighty SEC, only lost one game this season, and that was to LSU in an overtime thriller, but the rest of their schedule throughout the year was rather weak when compared to that of Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State, champions of the Big 12, lost only to an Iowa State team, which is clearly much weaker an opponent than LSU, but played a significantly harder schedule throughout the year, with more wins against ranked teams and teams with records above .500, when compared to the games Alabama played.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The computers somehow crunched the numbers and deemed Alabama to be the better team, sending them to the National Championship game but the debate and discussion still continues; is this the final piece of proof needed for the creation of a college football playoff system? I believe there is an apparent necessity for a playoff system because the current system we have is clearly broken. There is almost no way for a non-SEC team to get into the title game, let alone a non-power conference team to come anywhere close. Burke, on the other hand, would most likely argue against this kind of radical change, arguing it would lead to chaos in the college football world. He would probably argue that the playoff system would move too quickly towards equality, which is very bad in his eyes.

What do you think? Is a playoff system necessary? Would Burke argue against it, or would his potential love for the game sway him?

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7 Comments on “If Burke Were a College Football Fan…What Would He Think?”

  1. mturner1013 Says:

    I personally think that a playoff system is definitely necessary to promote fairness in the league. I do however agree with Alabama getting the nod for the national championship game over Ok State. I think Alabama is a much better team, and lost to LSU by only a field goal, when they missed multiple field goals in the game. For the playoff though, I think that they need a playoff definitely, but there will still be teams that are getting screwed. People that just missed the playoffs would complain about the BCS rankings. This year K State would have missed the playoffs, and teams that are really unproven like Boise would make it in favor. Boise State never plays a good team all year and somehow are consistently in the top 10 BCS ranking which is clearly flawed. I would love to see them in a conference where they have to battle every single weekend. So in short, I agree with the a new playoff system, but there also needs to be a new way to rank teams, so the teams that get into the playoff, to make it more fair.

  2. evanhw Says:

    Having a stronger appreciation for the structure of March Maddness within college basketball, I’m inclined to think that a playoff system would be less problematic and would more effectively decide a #1 and #2. The BCS system, although the next best alternative, seems to be much more controversial than the proposed playoff system would ever be. Obviously, there would still be a need for a computerized system that calculates the strength of schedule and keeps rankings fair throughout the regular season; but when the most important decision of the year falls in the hands of a objective selection process that consistantly provokes controversy year after year – I think it’s time to change the system.

    However when we call on Burke to remedy college football’s biggest flaw, I would have to believe he would regect the playoff proposal due to his stark conservatism. He would see no need for change unless the BCS system was seriously detrimental to it’s members (the atheletes and coaching staff.)

  3. jacobdockser Says:

    I personally believe that a playoff system is not necessary at this point of time. I also take issue with those who say that a playoff system is “more fair.” The truth of the matter is that no matter the outcome of the BCS ranking system, someone, some team, some conference is going to be upset the computers didn’t rank them more favorably. Alabama is a far stronger team than Oklahoma State. No question about that, in my mind. I think most agree that this year the BCS computers got it right. The national championship pits the best 2 teams in the nation (and possibly best two teams in many years) against each other in a rematch of the “game of the century” and personally as a football fan, I could not be happier.

    If people want to get a playoff system, the systematic objection of the rankings will continue, if not grow. There will always be a team left out of the playoffs that will argue they should have been there. In fact, with a 8, 16, 32 team bracket, there will be MORE teams angry they weren’t selected.

    The bottom line is that the BCS is not perfect, but it is as close as College Football can get to perfection.

  4. collinam Says:

    I agree that a playoff system is necessary for post-season college football. The entire BCS system is flawed in the way that it decides who should play in the national championship gain. The system itself provides incentives for coaches to “sand-bag” other teams in order for their teams to make it to better bowl games. A playoff system would decide who the best 2 teams in the land are by actually PLAYING the game. This would be way more fair to every school involved. The small schools like Boise would have their chance to shine; while the LSUs of the world would still have to prove themselves. Even though some teams bubbles would still be burst by being excluded from these playoffs, I think it is the most fair way to go about deciding who is the national champion.
    I don’t think Burke would be in favor of this move though. He would consider such a drastic shift in the system a bad decision. College football has never established a playoff system before, and thus this move could lead to even more fighting and chaos within college football. In fact, he probably wouldn’t see the need for change. The system now works well enough for most of the teams involved. There is only one or two teams a year who are actually upset about the BCS’s decisions. If change were necessary, Burke would probably push for a switch back to the old way of deciding a national champion: the team with the best record is the national champion. This system worked for years until the BCS was instituted, so we should go back to that since this BCS experiment clearly didn’t work.

  5. carweiss Says:

    While I have my issues with the way the BCS is run as of now, there is clear solution. I don’t believe that implementing a playoff system is the next-best thing. First off, although I would love more football to be played, the risk for injury suddenly jumps to an all-time high as the season would be extended. Secondly, how would the playoff system really work? It isn’t that easy for someone to say “let’s change” and bam, a new system that is flawless. Personally, I don’t think there will ever be a fair way to decide who will play in the spot light at the end of season. We can look to the NFL and March Madness and see that controversy still exists in a playoff environment. I think the only fair solution would be to do a playoff system like the NBA or NHL, but that is simply impossible in the NCAAF as that is just too many games for college athletes to play at such a high-risk injury sport.
    I do think that changing the system could cause more chaos than what we have currently but I’m not so sure it would really bring more equality. The name teams will still get chosen over the others to play in a playoff game and money will still be a driving factor. I wish there was an easy solution as this season was definitely a chaotic one, but it just isn’t easy.. if it were, we would already have a fair and equal system in place.

  6. rschles92 Says:

    At the end of the day, college football fans are going to find a way to complain. People look to NCAA Basketball as the gold standard of college post-season but it is unrealistic for football.
    The reason March Madness works is because there are 60+ teams participating so if the 72nd team is left out there’s little controversy because their odds of winning are low.
    So lets say our prayers are answered and NCAA Football comes out with an 8 team playoff. Obviously they will not all be conference champions or else it wouldn’t be fair to SEC teams who don’t come in first but would most likely beat the other 7 teams. So there would have to be at large bids.
    Thats where the boo birds come in. How could you possibly exclude that 9th team?! They deserve it and are equally able to compete as that 8th team.
    The plus one system does the same. What about that 4th team?
    A playoff might be lesser of all evils but its a system that still will be flawed. College Football is about nothing more than money anyways, why not let them operate in a way that allows them to make the most money.

  7. wjpetok24 Says:

    The once lauded must-win regular season of college football has come into question. The fact is, it is an imperfect system. The BCS, an addendum to the postseason of college football in 1998, was put in place to identify the top two teams in the country for an undisputed national championship game. Yet this has rarely been the case, with much controversy similar to this year’s mess.

    As Rschles92 alluded to, the college basketball postseason tournament is simply unrealistic for football. The amount of teams in CBB to CFB, approximately 320 to 110, allows for a more competitive, parity filled regular season. Thus, the postseason tournament is a fair determinate of the national champion. However, in CFB, there are usually only a few number of teams deserving of this opportunity. This year, it could be argued as many as four other teams deserved a spot to face Louisiana State.

    While Alabama is certainly one deserving team, the other schools that would have been afforded an opportunity to win in CBB, must settle for a lesser postseason bowl game appearance. Therefore, my solution would relative to this year would be to institute a r team playoff system, allowing for proxy national semifinals to determine the second best team in the country. While this is unlikely, and the criticism of the BCS evolves with each year, this would be the most fair and judicial way to decide the fate of the national champion in college football this season.

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