NCAA College Football: to Playoff or Not to Playoff? For me, it's not about the money.

January 13, 2009

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Burl Bridger

NCAA College Football: to Playoff or Not to Playoff? For me, it's not about the money.

Will NCAA D1 football get a playoff system?

For me, it's not about the money.

The money that schools and bowls make off of the games isn't relevant for me in any way. I make the journey to Auburn once a year (if I'm lucky), and I fork out the money for the overpriced nose-bleed seats. Sure, I'll buy a pricey hot-dog and soda, but that's about the extent of my monetary investment into the sport. The rest of the season I kick back on the couch and watch from the heated comfort of my home, and I doubt I will ever make that expensive post-season ticket purchase (unless my Tigers go to Nashville, or somewhere like that). 

For me (along with countless sports commentators), the emphasis in college football during the regular season is simply magical. Sure, I knew after 5 games that my Auburn Tigers didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of making a run at a long overdue championship. And I don't mean because they couldn't move the ball on your average high school team; it wouldn't matter if they snuck the '73 Dolphins out there for the rest of the season, they just weren't going to make it. They had lost 2 games. There's not a chance of a miracle run through the conference tournament and a birth into the Big Dance and having a shot at it, just like everyone else. Sure that's awesome, and I watch it every year. But I must confess, I'm a bit lax when it comes to watching regular season college basketball. I know there are lots of other sports enthusiasts out there who feel the same way I do about college basketball, and I would hate to see the same thing happen to the football regular season.

Reason #2. I know lots of people are advocating an eight-team playoff, and I'm not saying I wouldn't enjoy it. But if I were a standout player on a national championship caliber team, poising myself to go high in the first round of the draft--there is no way I want to play two more games, even if I could win a championship. I wouldn't want to take the risk of injuring myself in the two additional games versus big, hard-hitting teams. Look at Alex Smith; I think he's doing just fine with his $50 mil. contract. Would he really want to take the risk of going up against the '05 defenses of Auburn or USC? I think not. At least, I wouldn't. I'd take the money and run!

Sure, I wish the Tigers had had a shot at the championship in 2005. But if they had, and they'd won, then I wouldn't have anything to gripe about... Nothing to start my blog about. And as injury prone as Carnell Williams is, he probably would have gotten hurt, and not been a top-5 draft pick and not won Rookie of the Year. But then again, I would have a really cool TigerRags t-shirt with Aubie ripping a Trojan to shreds :).

All-in-all, a playoff wouldn't be a terrible thing. A playoff in college football would be good in lots of ways. But there are plenty of college football fans out there writing about why there should be a playoff. I always have to be different!


Feel free to comment.

Keywords: Alex Smith, Auburn, Auburn Tigers, Auburn Tigers football, bowl games, bowls, Carnell Williams, college, college football, college football playoff, football, Jason Campbell, money, NCAA, NCAA football, playoff, Ronnie Brown, USC, USC Trojans, Utah, Utah Utes

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  1. not a bad first effort. We all seem to love the playoffs in any sport because the level of play and intensity rises, but we also have to remember ( and I think it all too often gets forgotten ); these are STUDENT athletes. The money always seems to win over the education these kids are supposed to be getting. Congratulations to Myron Rolle who chose the Rhodes scholarship over the NFL. Unfortunatley he is the exception to the rule, just like Maurice Clarett but totaly opposite as individuals. go blue.

    benjamin litkebenjamin litke on Wednesday, 14 January 2009, 15:40 PST # |

  2. Thanks for the comment.

     Awesome point! I'm not sure I've ever really thought about it in regards to football players. Too often, I think we let the stereotypical  image of the dumb jock dominate our perceptions of the athletes, when many of them truly are excellent students. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to play a sport full-time while still keeping focus on the schoolwork--most of us fans don't even consider their academic careers.

    Great feedback!

    Burl BridgerBurl Bridger on Thursday, 15 January 2009, 06:52 PST # |

  3. It's tough, from my own experience a number of years ago I figured out that if a player was to dress for games on saturday, including the team breakfast, travel, the practices, meetings, lifting and the game itself acounted for more than 40 hours a week. 40 hours and I haden't even cracked a book open or gone to class yet.

    benjamin litkebenjamin litke on Saturday, 17 January 2009, 07:00 PST # |

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