Monday, March 28, 2011

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEEDS TO TAKE A PAGE FROM THE BOOK OF HOOPS

Virginia Commonwealth will be making the improbable trip the NCAA men's Final Four in Houston. (AP Photo/Scott K. Brown)
College football could definitely learn a thing or two from its brethren on the hardwood.

If college basketball operated its post-season competition like football currently does — where rankings and regular season play determine your fate — the NCAA men's title would've saw the No. 1 rated Ohio State Buckeyes battling the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks in Houston.

There almost certainly would've been a panel of collegiate presidents and BCS board members praising the system for how it got everything right by putting the two best schools in the country against one another. The only problem would've been ... they didn't.

In fact, it appears that "the little sisters of the poor" have found their way to Texas, as Butler and Virginia Commonwealth — not Ohio State and Kansas — will be playing Saturday for a spot in the championship game. How in the world did that happen?

A playoff system, that's how.

We didn't need a computer, or a sports writer's opinion, or a coach's take on things ... no, we let them settle their business on the court. Kansas, who would've been voted into the title game, was blitzed by VCU by 10 on Sunday. The Rams are the same team that many so called experts (Dick Vitale) were complaining about even being in the tournament. Sound familiar, TCU, Boise State, Utah?

I have, and will continue, pushing a 16-team playoff for college football. The tournament would consist of 11 conference winners — from the Big Ten, Big East, SEC, Pac-12, Big 12, ACC, Mountain West, WAC, MAC, Conference USA and the Sun Belt — along with the five highest rated non-conference champions. The system, like the NCAA men's basketball tournament, would give every team that plays Division 1A college football an opportunity to play for a title.

It would still provide great importance to the regular season, being that a team would have to play well enough to qualify for the tournament. But, it would actually give the post-season meaning, something it's lacking completely under the current system.

And I don't want to hear none of this malarkey about the "top four teams playing for the title,"either.

How would that scenario have worked for us this post-season with Ohio State, Kansas, Pittsburgh and Duke playing for it all? None of them even made it out of their respective regions. In fact, we could've went with the top eight teams and it would've failed as well.

Look, all teams, from all conferences, need an opportunity to play for a championship — not a select few. That's the only way we can honestly crown a true champion.

College basketball has shown us the way, I suggest football pulls their heads out of the sand and follows suit.