NCAA FB

Don't buy into 'playoff' lie

Watch as the BCS committee talks about the new playoff system.
Watch as the BCS committee talks about the new playoff system.
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Jen Floyd Engel

Jen Floyd Engel, selected as the top columnist in the 2012 Associated Press Sports Editors annual contest, started working at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1997 and became a columnist in 2003 before joining FOXSports.com. Sports opinions? She's never short of them. And love her or hate her, she'll be just another one of the boys. Follow her on Twitter or like her on Facebook.

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It seems saying “playoff” was all everybody needed from college football; an actual playoff was unnecessary after all.

Because this new four-team plan voted into existence on Tuesday is not a playoff, not in the teams win divisions and then those teams play to determine who is best kind of way. This is not that at all. Its most redeeming quality, it seems, is it is not the BCS.

Let me see if I’ve got this: We are supposed to celebrate this “playoff” simply because it replaces something that so many people were against that it was crumbling under its own idiocy?

The BCS is dead. The BS most certainly is not.

This is not a column about how the powers that be in college football got it right, about how a four-team playoff is better than nothing. They hoodwinked us. They convinced us a playoff was never coming, and now tout their obstructionism as a hurdle they overcame.

“A four-team playoff doesn’t go too far,” Virginia Tech president Charles Steger told reporters. “It goes just the right amount. We are very pleased with this new arrangement.”

First sign the screw job is in: College presidents like the plan.


Can I translate what Steger said for y’all? We were going to have to change — public perception mounting, Congressional meddling, etc., you understand — and so the plan was to give in without giving up what matters to us (mostly unequal access, money, control). We did this, and y’all are commending us. Damn, we are smart.

They kind of are. They created a system so flawed, so dysfunctional, so unpopular that anything looked better in comparison, and so they were able to give us the most watered-down playoff possible and lock this baby in for 14 years.

“It’s an awesome day. It’s a historic day. It’s a great day for college football,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock told reporters, who I am hoping at least had the good sense to laugh in his face.

This is the same guy who told us a playoff would ruin the bowls, devalue the regular season, destroy tradition and end life as we know it in this great democracy, or in other words, anger Nick Saban. So, again, if Hancock is touting this playoff plan, be wary.

College presidents and conference commissioners were busy butt patting each other, and getting butt pats from media for what amounts to shoving a lollipop in our mouths.

What college football has given us is a Final Four -- their version of the NBA conference finals, the league championship series in baseball, the semifinals. And while we have two more games, the plan seems to do little to answer the big problems with the BCS.

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Does Boise State have a clear path to play for a championship now? Or any schools formerly known as non-AQ?

Of course, not, instead the same people who brought us the BCS are selling this as “an open marketplace for schools” which is as good-luck-with-all-that as it sounds for Broncos coach Chris Peterson. What this basically means is Alabama and LSU will have to play a Big 12 and a Big Ten school before meeting in the championship in 2014.

What safeguards are in place that this 15-man committee will do any better than polls and computers in selecting who is on the team? Absolutely none, of course, my guess is we get a bunch of pontificating blowhard Craig James types picking the field.

Do the athletes get any more than the zero they were previously getting from this bigger “playoff” money pile? That would be funny, if it were not so tragic. Players are still getting screwed — greyshirted, their brains put in harms way and for what? The free education is not really payment because there is no mandate to educate.

POLL

  • The four-team seeded college football playoff is ...
    • Awesome
    • Horrible
    • Don't care

Are conference championships valued and protected? Hahahahaha. Although the powers that be in college football wanted to assure everybody that they will be taken into account.

We know damn well bowls were protected because, well, bowls have always been more important than kids, or finals, or tradition, or any of the other reasons given for stonewalling on a playoff. It is not because bowls help universities, or really make that much money for them. Nor is it because of everybody’s warm and fuzzy memories of the 1995 Poulan Weedeater Bowl or the 2002 Orange Bowl for that matter. Bowls exist because they wine, dine and otherwise kiss the butts of the people making the decisions.

Commissioners basically kicked off open wooing season by saying they had yet to decide what six bowls will host the semifinals.

Yes, the BCS is dead. The BS lives.

And the first rule of college football is just because they tell you it is so does not mean it is. This is not a playoff. This is just more BS.

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