Coming out of a huge weekend of college football, I had some great conversations via social media and face to face with a couple friends. My Vegas pal Paul Zilm had some great insight on a couple issues. He’s a great follow on Twitter (@paulzilm). Lives in Vegas, loves the action, has worked in the industry. My buddy here at home (@skerble80) always has opinions on whatever is wrong with sports on the day you catch up with him. A great follow as well, especially if you love his UK Wildcats.
The CFB Playoff was the centerpiece of these exchanges. As Paul clearly stated, Alabama and Georgia are, in his eyes, the 2 best teams in the country. However, unless Georgia beats Alabama this weekend, it would be hard to imagine the committee putting them in over a 1 loss Oklahoma or Ohio State team. Gary spoke those same sentiments today about Georgia being the sleeper team in all the playoff talk. His biggest beef at the moment is the possibility of Ohio State getting in after getting blown out by a mediocre Purdue team only because they trounced an apparently overrated Michigan team. He and I both agreed that the Big Ten was weak and overrated this season.
Another point that Paul brought up was that Ohio State and Oklahoma are essentially the same team. Tons of offense, absolutely no defense. Both of these teams are very reminiscent of the PAC-10 teams of the 90s. This topic led Paul into a glaring issue with few other teams out there. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Miami need to seriously adjust their offensive mindset. A good defense is great to have, but if you lack offensive firepower in today’s game, especially with all these new penalties, then you’ll get left behind. Look what happened to those 3 teams this season. And for the record, unless you get a chance to catch Gary on his soapbox regarding these penalties, you don’t know what true passion sounds like. I’m trying to talk him into putting it into a blog. Stay tuned.
Bowl season is almost upon us. I’ve always loved this time of year. As a huge college football fan, it is like Christmas to me. The more bowls, the better. Well, not so fast, as Lee Corso would say. Last year was boring. There, I said it. It’s safe to say that we’ve saturated the airwaves and tickers at this point. What’s that? They added another bowl this year? It’s starting to become overkill. I’ve turned on games with sparse crowds, almost as though it’s a high school game between 2 teams with sub-.500 records. Bowl season is losing its appeal to me; a statement I didn’t think I’d ever make. Despite my love of the game, I just don’t need to see the 5th place CUSA team battle the 4th place Sun Belt team. I really don’t. I get the money-grab aspect, but if no one is showing up or tuning in, what are they really doing? The bigger problem now, as Paul brought up, is the players who sit out meaningless games fearing injury before the draft. I don’t blame them either. This only makes the game less appealing than it already was. The NCAA, or bowl system, whatever faction controls this, has a huge potential problem on the horizon. I hope they fix it.
One final thought, my dream scenario for the playoff. Alabama crushes Georgia, Texas beats Oklahoma, Northwestern beats Ohio State. Please, football gods, give me that. Two things will happen if it plays out like that. First off, the committee almost has to give UCF their shot. Then the entire nation will watch Alabama destroy them on national tv and the UCF backers will have no choice but to shut their collective mouths forever. UCF deserved a shot last year, not this year though. The second thing that will happen is the pressure to move to an 8 team playoff. That will fix so many things that have people in an uproar. That’s really all that most of us want. That, and stopping these ridiculous penalties for playing hard.