There is reason for optimism going into the 2014 Washington Huskies football season. That said, fans aren’t going to get ahead of themselves. In other words, they won’t expect to be one of the elite four teams that makes it into the “playoffs.”
That word is in quotes because this is still not a playoff. When you think of other playoff structures, try to fathom any other sport where a committee of random people gets together and picks the teams that get to play for the championship. Maybe Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NBA and the NHL should do that. Forget about the standings and division winners. Just pick four teams with an arbritrary process.
Yeah, that will work. I’m sure none of the fans will be upset.
I was reading an article about the new system, and the author was praising the demise of the BCS because “humans mean something again.” Excuse me?
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I’m sorry, folks, but humans were always a part of the BCS. Who voted in the writers and coaches polls? Humans. Who programmed the computers and determined the shifting criteria for strength of schedule? Humans. That’s right. Humans are responsible for the sad experiment that was the BCS, and we’re supposed to celebrate the incorporation of more humans?
This statement from the article is the kicker:
"The arrival of the four-team playoff will mean the departure of the public lobbying system. No more Auburn AD Jay Jacobs saying it would be “un-American” if the Tigers were left out of the BCS National Championship. No more SEC commish Mike Slive arguing his conference’s case on “Mike & Mike.” No more coaches contorting logic to squeeze their team into the national title conversation."
That, unfortunately, is totally incorrect. If anything, this system will solicit more lobbying. Coaches, athletic directors, conference commissioners and analysts know that the 13-member committee will listen to the radio and read the paper. Those people know that “strength of schedule” will have an element of subjectivity.
Just wait, boys and girls. Wait until there is one or two undefeated teams and 6-8 one-loss teams. Then, you will hearing lobbying, if not howling. Will the committee have a clear and fair way to differentiate between several teams that have the same record, just because they played a particular schedule? No.
Nevermind the fact that you still have teams like Alabama, who play eight of their 12 games at home and have scheduled daunting powerhouses like Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss and…wait for it…Western Carolina! (In November, no less) Strength of schedule? Please. Alabama should be disqualified right now.
Back to the Huskies. Will the Dawgs ever rise to the top of the college football food chain again and bring back the glory of the early 90s? Based on the direction of college football in the last couple of decades, one has to wonder. At least the Huskies get to be in a “Power 5” conference, which means that they are apparently more special than the rest of the now meaningless programs.
Now, would it help if the Huskies were to win 11-12 games in a season? Certainly. Maybe the Huskies should take a cue from the SEC. Don’t travel very far, stick with teams in your own conference so that you can collectively maintain the illusion of being somehow better, and schedule plenty of cupcakes.
As a final slam of the new system, let’s just say that it won’t be anywhere near fair until there are eight, if not sixteen teams. Until them, this system will have the same problem as the BCS, just with a different package.
Have fun being the No.5 team, whichever school has the unfortunate privilege of being the first team that is arbitrarily snubbed.
Would an 11-1 Washington Huskies team get put into the playoffs over a Nick Saban-lobbying 11-1 Alabama team? Doubtful.