ESPN is Just Wrong (Squared)
Why does ESPN poke the bear?
Written by ESPN sycophant Evan Maisel, his argument is that his eyes could tell that Clemson and Alabama were clearly the 2 best college football teams in the country and the results played out that way. "Being right is no fun, is it?"- Maisel
This article made me so mad on so many levels. Let's start at the beginning. For 100 years, college football hasn't been able to figure out playoffs. Somehow every single sports league in North America, college and pro, have figured out how to have a playoffs, including Division II football and Division III football.
Then, when Division I starts to get it right in the past decade, not gets it right, but STARTS to get it right, idiots, yes IDIOTS, like Maisel chime in that we don't really need a 4 team playoff.
Listen. We have 5 major conferences, some conference is screwed every year. When Notre Dame (or a second SEC team) is good, 2 conferences are screwed. Because today we are still using debates or the eye test.
Solutions are simple. No one wants to do them.
If you want an 8 team playoff, each conference champion gets in, 2 wild cards get in, and a slot for an independent or small conference gets in. The conference championship games are like the first round of the playoffs in that scenario. That way a champion is decided on the field.
If you want to keep a 4 team playoff, fine. Dissolve the Big 12 and make Notre Dame join the ACC or Big 10. Each conference then sends their champion and teams like Texas and Oklahoma can join other conferences. That way a champion is decided on the field.
Or, the most radical way, let's call it the Maisel Plan. Playoffs are stupid. Just pick the 2 best teams and have them face each other. But I don't trust Evan Maisel to pick the best 2 teams every year. He might have been right this year, but next year he could be way off. I want the champion to be decided on the field and Maisel only wants a championship game.
Just so you know, there's a league that kind of does it that way. The Premier League. (They have no playoffs. Best record wins league, we're done.) So the Maisel Plan is going to pattern itself after...soccer. Good Luck with selling THAT, but let's move forward nonetheless.
You create a new level above Divison I, let's call it the Walker Division after college football's greatest player. 28 teams. An East and a West division. (Or a North and South, however you want to do it.) 14 teams on one side, 14 teams on the other. Each team plays each other once within division, division winner plays other division winner, then there's your champion. How's that different than what's going on now? Simple. Now there's a 100 or so Division I teams and until kickoff everyone (theoretically) has a chance to win the national championship.
But that's the ruse. In reality 50 or so teams are eliminated in August. No team from the MAC or the American Athletic Conference is making the playoffs. But you need those conferences so teams in the Big 10 and SEC can fatten up their coffers and inflate their records. By October, only about 10 teams have a real shot at the playoffs.
What you do is take the 28 biggest college stadiums, which house the sports' traditional powerhouses, and then give them some sort of carrot, like a multi-billion dollar sports contract (from somewhere like ESPN) and make the Walker Division like a semi-pro league. Divisions I, II, & III, student athletes are still rewarded with scholarships, just like it is now. But, in the Walker Division of college sports, you can sell your likeness for money (like in the Olympics) and, when you leave college, besides your scholarship, you are given a lump sum of money based on some magical formula. Long story short, Walker Division athletes get paid when they leave college. The rest of college football? No.
Automatically, the best athletes will gravitate to the Walker Division and only the Walker Division will be eligible for the National Championship. Every week is like a playoff and there's no weeks off by playing The Little Sisters of the Poor or Rice. Now college football would kinda be set up like the Premier League, with the biggest schools poaching from the smaller schools.
There would be blood in the streets if the Maisel Plan was installed. Why? Because the big universities have the system slanted towards them and they have zero interest in flattening out that table. They like their inflated records and having a competitive advantage. They are like their own cartel. And they definitely don't want to PAY players, even by letting players make money on their own likenesses.....
Do I think players should be paid? No. They are paid in scholarships. And paying players opens a whole new can of worms. How do you decide who gets what money? All players on a team equal? How much does the backup Punter get? You catch my drift. But I'll listen to paying players if you set up a college football Super Division.
Before I could finish this article, Evan Maisel was already posting his follow up.
You know what's great? COLLEGE FOOTBALL! Just the way it is!
Rah! Rah! Rah! College Football is 150 years old, and it's a year long celebration! Instead of Maisel's romantic version of college football....
Let's make a list of the biggest problems in College Football today, from my perspective as a fan.
2. Player Movement (Controlled by Schools)
3. Player Violence (Good players coddled & inferior players treated like debris.)
4. Playoff not decided on the field (but by commissions).
Let's address these point by point.
1. Aaron Hernandez had Stage III CTE. If Hernandez had Stage III CTE, that means he had CTE in college. That is going to be a huge problem in the next 10-20 years.
2. Players should be able to transfer to another school if coaches can coach the next year at a different school. I understand that at a place like Alabama, you don't want to let a kid transfer to Auburn. And I understand you shouldn't be able to transfer within a school year. But other than that, the whole sitting out a year to transfer isn't fair. It's just not. If the kid in the example wants to leave the Alabama bench so he can start at Iowa State, he should be able to. A one year penalty is WAY TOO LONG for a college kid to sit.
3. The conference, not the team, but the conference should have certain conviction standards. If a player is convicted of a felony, he's out of the conference. And, conversely, if a coach rips a kid's scholarship for violating team rules, that player should be eligible to play somewhere else the next year. Coaches shouldn't have the power to ruin a kid's college career, only the courts.
4. Yeah, I think I was pretty clear on where I stand on the playoffs.
5. Ohio State's best player Nick Bosa was injured and shut it down in October. In Urban Meyer's final press conference, he lamented that he didn't have his best player down the stretch. Nick's a good guy and showed up at Rose Bowl practice on crutches and in obvious pain to cheer on his team....
Wait, that's not what happened? You want to show me a picture? Okay.
What was his injury again? A core injury?
LEAVE POOR (saving-himself-for-the-number 1-pick-in-the-draft) NICK BOSA ALONE.
Why am I so surly about college football? Because I'm tellin' ya, no college sport is in a more perilous situation than college football. Instead of celebrating its Sesquicentennial, college football should be sounding the alarm that they may not exist in a generation. But people in power have no interest in not counting their money and fixing the real issues of the game. And the players, it wasn't that long ago that players tried to unionize.
Right now college football has television contracts with ABC, NBC, ABC, Fox, ESPN, Big Ten Network, Fox Sports, .... and 2 dozen more broadcast entities.
Ask a College President the problem with college football and he starts to quote Biggie and Diddy.
Hey, whatever happened to Mase?
Editor's Note: Wow, now we're really, really off track. Article over.