BY REDCHAIR; Sports Editor
A hot item to be discussed right now is college football and how the sport goes on to picking the national champion for the year. Right now the current system has a bowl game system and the top two ranked teams in the poll go on to face each other in the BCS Championship game. A lot of scrutiny often goes into the rankings and the choosing of the teams that get to play in the bowl games. The simple solution is to have tournament playoffs like the professionals or even just like college basketball does. The amount of teams to be in the tournament is up for discussion. The important people in collegiate athletics are sitting down and discussing all options now that this college football season is over. After what were two elite teams but a boring game of field goals from the same conference a lot of fans were turned off by this season’s finale.
The idea that fans want a 16-team playoff system is simply unrealistic. A 16-team playoff would add four more weeks of games to the schedule. While we don’t see this as a problem as a fan it’s a problem for the student-athletes, who aren’t getting paid, and for the administrators. With the unpredictability of advancing or not even making the tournament the idea of scheduling buses, hotels, practice field times and places, fan travel, and all other small things are going to be incredibly difficult and stressful. The bowl games are great because they have key sponsors and plenty of time to work out the scheduling for both school programs. They allow for all the bowl games to sell out because the fans have time to figure out their travel schedules as well. While a playoff system if probably the easiest way to settle things on the field it is not easiest to plan everything else leading up to it.
There a lot more that goes into bowl games and how winners and conferences get bonuses for winning and for making it to bowl games but that’s a whole different article. The best solution in my eyes is what’s called the “Plus 1 System.” The Plus 1 System is basically mini playoffs. It takes the bowl game winner of the #1 and #2 seed and has a game between the bowl game winner of the #3 and #4 seeds. For this season we would have a game between Alabama and Oklahoma State to determine who the real national champion is. These two teams were the #2 and #3 seeds before the bowl games were determined and Oklahoma State nearly missed out on being in the BCS Championship Game. This would also work because it is only one more week of games and could open up for another bowl game sponsorship. By doing this it would bring in even more money and make fans happy. It would be easy to schedule, and it’s the easiest step to adjusting to what they currently have.
Another problem with the playoff system is that it makes the regular season not as important. The games aren’t as intense as it currently is. Right now if a major program has an upset or key loss their shot at the BCS game and a top 2 ranking are in jeopardy. With the playoff system the teams just have to do enough to get in and the regular season loses the excitement. If they want to adapt the version of a Plus 1 System make the #1 and #2 teams get a bye and that way it includes the top six teams in the country. The regular season would mean something and I believe no one would argue that the top six are the best teams out there. This would then add two extra bowl games. The first step to any changes and the most realistic option is the Plus 1 System. They need to add one extra bowl game and have a national champion that we all believe is truly number 1.
BY REDCHAIR; Sports Editor
“Tis the season” you might hear a lot of people say around Christmas time. But what I say is tis the season for sports lovers. This is the period of time that sports fans enjoy being fans and amateur critics. Right now we have the end of the regular season in the National Football League (NFL). Fantasy sports fan know its playoff time and how their week goes depends on how their players play. For the normal fans this is the time of the year where you’re fighting to make it to the playoffs. The best is being brought out of each team in the last few weeks for that opportunity to win a championship. Can Tebow continue to will his team to victory week after week and get into the playoffs? Will the Packers rest their players week 17 against the Lions now with no chance at perfection? Who finishes with the worst record with the chance to draft highly touted prospect Andrew Luck?
Major League Baseball (MLB) is having their offseason where we get to wake up each morning with excitement of a new signings and trades to help our team improve upon last season. We get to see signings we thought wouldn’t happen, ala Albert Pujols going to the Los Angeles Angels, and get to judge whether the trades that are pulled off such as Matt Latos coming to Cincinnati and wondering if the Reds gave up too much to get him. Does signing Carlos Beltran improve the Cardinals chances at repeating or does signing Yu Darvish make the Rangers a lock straight to the World Series for the third season in a row? Does YouTube sensation Yoenis Cespedes sign with the Yankees? How will the Marlins do with their new expensive budget and new stadium?
Normally we have been about two months into the National Basketball Association (NBA) and are starting to see what teams are for real and what teams simply can’t put their pieces together and need to start looking for trades. Even right now with the NBA starting their season on Christmas we are all excited to see the new look teams with a fast and furious offseason of acquisitions. Chris Paul did end in Los Angeles but he’s wearing a Clippers Jersey. Are the Mavericks going to repeat? Can the Heat finally come through in the clutch or did the Bulls picking up Rip Hamilton pick up the edge to triumph over the hated Heat. Can the young teams of Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzles continue to improve and possibly surpass the aging Mavericks?
I’ll be honest and admit that I’m not the biggest hockey fan. I do enjoy going to games and I enjoy staying informed when the playoffs begin but even the National Hockey League has been exciting to that fan base with the season being halfway through. The Chicago Blackhawks are back to being in first place in their division after a disappointing season last year. College basketball is off and running and college football has bowl games going on around us. The bigger bowl games will be here before we know it. Will the LSU vs. Alabama turn into more of an offensive game compared to their first battle? Which NFL prospects will shine brighter in the Stanford vs. Oklahoma State Tostitos Bowl?
So while the majority of the world are enjoying unwrapping their Christmas presents and getting ready for their New Year’s Eve parties the sports fans of the world are keeping their phones in their hands and their wandering eyes on the television. Instead of playing their new Call of Duty game they’re watching the great matchups on Christmas day. Instead of getting “chocolate wasted” on New Year’s Eve they’re making sure all their fan fanatics attention span is ready for the major bowl games starting on January 2nd and on. Tailgating is their time party. Other fans have their phones blowing up with twitter following all the new plot twists and turns on MLB acquisitions. Whatever sport is your passion or whatever combination of sports gets your juices going this is definitely one of the best times of the year for sports. Now all we have to do is sit back and let all the different stories unfold and simply go along for the ride and enjoy it.