This will become a recurring section of this blog where I pontificate on various subjects. For now, I will try to restrict myself to sports items.
FOOTBALL BOWL GAMES OR A PLAY-OFF SYSTEM?:
The excitement of March Madness is often cited as justification for a football playoff system, but what is forgotten in this argument is the difference between the two sports. Specifically the physical demands and the increased risk of injury to the players. These guys are NOT being paid, and a playoff system would require them to add how many games? For a 16 team football playoff the top two teams would play 4 extra games. For an 8 team field the top two teams would play 3 extra games. Most conferrenses are going to in-conferrence playoff systems which already adds extra games to an already injury filled season.
Unless teams agreed to reduce their regular season schedule by one or more games, I cannot see a playoff system as being warranted.
Advantages of a playoff system? There would be a clear winner. Disadvantages? Everyone else is a loser.
Advantages of the bowl system? With 35 bowl games there are 35 winning programs at the end of the season and 35 losers. In a playoff system with 32 teams involved, 16 of them would be one and out - so if they had shortened their season to accomodate a playoff system now they play fewer games than before the change. And ultimately, only one winner. Fans may see a clear winner of a playoff system as satisfying, but the players as a whole are not served, and they are risking a lot for their fans.
Along these lines, Soggyblogger advocates a pay system for college football, basketball and any major sports which are paying their way and then some. The current system acts as an "attractive nuissance" which encourages, even almost compels the breaking of the rules for recruitment and scholarships which do not adequately compensate the players for their contribution to a money-making machine.
The current system results in lavish training facilities about the only legal place to spend money on players and impress them enough to attend those schools, and while the students get by as best they can, their coaches are paid on a scale close to the NFL coaches level. Players enjoy gold plated showers and high tech jacuzzi's, but then either take part time jobs to supplement their incomes or have someone else punch the clock for them and place the school and their eligibility at risk. Playing by the rules is much tougher on the students from middle income families and below.
The current bowl system has its problems, but a playoff system would amount to massive change of such proportions as to be disruptive to the sport as a whole, but the additional risk of injury to the players is, to me, a deal breaker. Keep the bowls.
On a related note: If the NCAA wants the recruitment rules followed by one and all, they would need to penalize coaches responsible by banning them from coaching NCAA schools following recruiting violations. As it is today, we see coaches spend a few years or more in a program until that program gets caught breaking the recruiting rules, and has sanctions applied to the school, and then leave the school for another program with no sanctions. In Pete Carroll's case, whether he knew sanctions were coming or not, he escaped to the NFL, but that escape route is quite limited.
So says Soggyblogger.