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I know this is
a daily question, but like why gas prices are so high, I still
can’t get a definitive answer. What is the problem with the
powers-that-be when it comes to changing the BCS, and really,
within reason considering who’s in charge, how should the system
be tweaked to make the most people happy?
As a Pac-10 follower I just don't understand why the
conference joins ranks with the Big 10 in opposing a playoff and
protecting the BCS. The Big 10 does quite nicely in the current
format but the Pac 10 continually gets screwed. It stands to
reason that the Pac -10 should support a system that settles
things on the field and not in votes by self interested coaches
and so called experts that probably don't even bother to stay up
and watch the Pac-10 play. What gives? – Alex
A: I have the answer to make this work. More on that in a
The reason you’re not getting your Plus-One, or a playoff format
of any kind, really does rest with the Big Ten even though
Commissioner Jim Delaney will have you thinking otherwise. Oh
sure, the Big 12, among others, were quick to shoot down the
SEC’s proposal, but it’s the Big Ten that’s really setting the
tone here because it has the best deal of the bunch. If the Big
Ten joined forces with the SEC to scream for a playoff, it would
The Big Ten has the strongest tie-in with a team almost certain
to go to the Rose Bowl no matter what (Illinois going to
Pasadena instead of Georgia proved that), and it doesn’t want to
mess with a good thing. Everything is hunky dory for the Big Ten
right now and a playoff doesn’t really help its cause.
The SEC wants a playoff because its star team, at least at the
moment, would probably win it all most of the time. I have no
idea why the Pac 10 isn’t pushing more for an expanded system
since it always gets the short end of the stick (although it’s
been justified, as most of the Holiday Bowls have shown) and
would almost always have USC, at least in most seasons, in the
top four, and the Big 12 should want in since it would likely be
a lock to have a team in Plus One format every year as well.
Also hurting the cause is the flat-out wuss factor from the non-BCS
leagues. It’ll take a miracle for anyone outside of the BCS to
ever play for the national title, yet WAC commissioner Karl
Benson, who was the spokesman for the little guys, basically
said they liked things as they are.
The conferences are intellectually lazy, and as proven in this
last go-round of talk, hopelessly inept. This isn’t that hard to
fix, but did anyone actually try to appease everyone? No.
They’re just afraid of any playoff talk leading to some
full-blown 16-team format which would screw everything up, and
there doesn’t need to be one (again, more on this in a moment).
College football is, to use their term, healthy right now and
despite the public outcry there’s not any real reason to change
what’s working from a revenue standpoint. The BCS makes roughly
$80 million a year from Fox, the conferences make out great from
the bowls (although most teams break even at best from their
bowl trips), and at the end of the day you have five big-time
teams ending the season happy, happy, joy, joy. That last part
is a bigger deal than you think; ask Memphis, UCLA and North
Carolina fans if they’re happy with how their basketball seasons
I know, college football playoff proposals are like fantasy
football teams, golf stories, and kids. Everyone has one or two
and no one has any interest in hearing about them, but I have
one that would work with absolutely no room for objection from
Work with me here and realize we have to keep this in the land
of the possible and reasonable.
Step One: Make the Cotton Bowl a fifth BCS game. It might
end up happening anyway. Jerry Jones and his brand new stadium
will make the Cotton Bowl a showcase game to potentially be at
least as big as any of the non-Rose Bowl bowls. Like it is in
the current format, ten teams would still get into the BCS, so
those happy with the current system would still get their money.
Step Two: Seed the top four conference champions according to
the BCS rankings and play them against each other … with a catch
coming in Step Four. The No. 1 team plays in its host bowl
against the fourth best conference champion (or Notre Dame if it
finishes in the top four in the BCS rankings), and the No. 2
conference champion plays in its host bowl against the No. 3
conference champion. The Big East would have an automatic tie-in
with the Cotton Bowl to make sure that all five BCS games have a
shot to host one of the big games (notice I’m keeping the word
playoff out of my proposal).
This year it would’ve been Ohio State in the Rose Bowl against
Oklahoma and LSU in the Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech.
(Remember, USC finished seventh in the BCS and also remember we
have to keep this within reason; any proposal of an eight-team
format would instantly get shot down.)
Step Three: The current BCS Championship Game would take the
two winners and play a week later. There’s no need to add an
extra game since it’s already there. The complaint about not
wanting to make college football a two semester sport, a common
excuse among the conferences, would be rendered moot, and yes,
fans would travel to a Rose Bowl and a national title game. The
relevant BCS bowls to the championship game would sell out in a
heartbeat and would be even bigger than they are now.
Step Four: The Big Ten appeasement. Realizing that this
only works if we make the Big Ten happy, I’m throwing in a
quirky provision so the league doesn’t have to change anything,
and could potentially benefit more than anyone else. Since the
Big Ten doesn’t play a round-robin schedule, if two teams tie
for the Big Ten title, didn’t play each other in the regular
season, and finished in the top four, both teams would be in.
Let’s say Ohio State goes 12-0 and is ranked No. 1 but it
doesn’t play No. 4 Wisconsin, who goes 11-1 with the one loss in
non-conference play. Both teams would be in.
Step Five: The BCS bowl appeasement. The big cry would
come from the BCS bowls that the three that aren’t part of the
national championship picture would lose some of their luster.
While that’s wrong considering their bowls already have nothing
to do with the national title and would still be watched by just
as many viewers, we still have to make sure they’re happy.
That’s why the selection rules would be changed so that the
other three BCS games, whatever they might be, can select from
any of the top ten BCS ranked teams. The two-team conference
limit would be thrown out, so in the case of last year,
Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri, all ranked in the top eight,
would be eligible to go. Two years ago Ohio State, Michigan and
Wisconsin would’ve been in the BCS. That would mean bigger and
There. Now someone make it happen.
Fifty-seven percent of teams will be going to bowls this year
versus only thirty-nine a decade ago. How can college football
fans continue to argue that the regular season means so much
more than most sports now? How can it be argued having that many
teams going to bowls is good for college football? It seems like
the regular season will now only matter to elite teams fighting
for a BCS spot. – Phil
A: Simple. They’re bowls; not a playoff. If 57% of the teams got
into a playoff, then yeah, there’s a beef that the regular
season is as meaningless as it is in all the other sports. But
the non-BCS Championship bowls are glorified exhibition games
and outside of bragging rights they really don’t matter. If you
don’t like them, don’t watch. You don’t see anyone complaining
about the NIT in college basketball.
I find it funny that you continue to champion Florida Gator
players over Georgia's. Not only are they better this season
but they have better prospects too right? How is it that you
can rank Tebow over Stafford in NFL draft rankings? Yesterday
about every site on the net put out a mock draft for next year,
not a single one ranked Tebow above Stafford. In fact, some
didn't have Tebow even coming out. What about his skill set
transfers to the NFL? He doesn't have the greatest arm, can't
run a two minute drill and can’t consistently stay in the pocket
and make plays. What's the reasoning here? It's obviously not
production which takes Tebow out, because you clearly stated
"what makes a good college player may always not make a good
pro..." Look I'd rather have Stafford stay as a UGA fan, but
it's hard to deny what skills he brings as a pro prospect
compared to what Tim Tebow brings. – BS
A: This is my number one problem with the lazy world of scouting
college players; they often miss the obvious. Stafford should
be a No. 1 pick, but Tebow plays like a No. 1 pick.
They’re both around the same size, Stafford has the better arm,
but not by enough to make that much of a difference in this
comparison, Tebow is way, way, way more mobile, and despite what
everyone’s trying to tell you, is a better passer. I’ll put
Tebow’s touch on his deep throws up against Stafford’s any day,
while Tebow has been far more accurate on short to mid-range
passes. However, Tebow does have to tighten up his throwing
Production does count for something. While Stafford completed
just 55% of his throws last year, Tebow led the nation in
passing efficiency for a while and finished No. 2 behind Sam
Bradford. Tebow completed 67% of his throws with just six
interceptions and 32 touchdown passes, to go along with all of
those rushing scores, while Stafford threw ten picks with just
19 touchdown passes. The other part of the equation is how Tebow
wore down late after having to carry the team. After this year
when he gets to hand the ball off more, he’ll be far better in
the fourth quarter. If Alex Smith could go No. 1 overall, and
Tebow is the bigger, more talented version, then he needs to be
looked at as a possible No. 1 overall pick. I have nothing
against Stafford, but if he’s going to be a top ten caliber pick
and a franchise quarterback, he needs to play like one for a
The BCS conferences, especially the Big 10 and Pac 10, are
typically characterized by the traditional style of play of
their teams (e.g. Pac 10 = no defense/big passing). I was
wondering what your conference associations would be, and
furthermore how would you generally characterize the non-BCS
conferences? – BA
A: Of course, the characterizations are wrong considering how
many receivers the Big Ten puts into the NFL and how good some
of the Pac 10 defenses have been in recent years. Here’s what I
perceive the biases are on a national scale when it comes to
each league. Obviously I’m not saying any of these are actually
- ACC – A basketball league. Soft.
- Big East – A beefed up division of Conference USA.
- Big Ten – Slow. Three yards and a cloud of Field Turf.
- Big 12 – Oklahoma, Texas, and ten other teams (it used to be
nine before Bill Callahan took over at Nebraska).
- Conference USA – A beefed up MAC.
- MAC – Division I-AAA.
- Mountain West – A high-octane offensive league because people
in the east confuse it with the WAC.
- Pac 10 – USC and nine other teams, no defense, lots of
- SEC – The good: it’s fast and very, very talented. The bad:
everyone’s getting paid off and everyone is cheating.
- Sun Belt – Division II-Plus
- WAC – Throw, throw, throw, throw, throw.
As an LSU fan I am
wondering what happened to Ali Highsmith in the draft. We all knew he
was undersized but most of the projections I saw placed him somewhere in
the 3rd round because they thought he’d make a good weakside
guy. I heard he ran a couple of bad times on Pro Day and the combine.
Is that enough to have dropped him completely out of the draft? I am
wondering if his times at LSU, which were much better, were false. He
always looked plenty fast enough on the field though. I heard a rumor
he was injured and that contributed to his poor times and not being
drafted. But I have not been able to find anything on the internet one
way or the other. I am just wondering if you guys at CFN know what
happened and why he wasn’t drafted. – LR
Am I the only one
that has a major problem with Atlanta trying rebuild their team around a
QB like Matt Ryan. He may have been the best QB this year but last
year, in my opinion, he would have been a mid second rounder behind
Beck. I really don't think he comes close to having "franchise
quarterback" talent like Manning, Brady, or even Brees. Why not just
wait a year and fill some other holes. Am I totally off base here or
A: He fell through the cracks because he didn’t fit anywhere. If you’re
6-0 and 221 pounds soaking wet, you can’t play the weakside in the NFL
if you run a 4.74. Of course, Colorado’s Jordon Dizon is 5-11 and 227
pounds, ran a 4.73, and was taken in the second round by Detroit.
However, unlike Highsmith, Dizon is seen as more of an inside/strongside
defender. Also getting killed on measurables was Maryland’s Erin
Henderson. He has the size at 244 pounds, but his 4.81 was slower than
many of the ends.
A: Ryan’s fine, but I wanted to scream every time the ESPNers and NFL
Network types kept using the words Peyton and Manning when describing
him. Atlanta had to get a quarterback, and it had to make a statement
that it was going to rebuild around a No. 3 pick by making he
investment. Not meaning this in any sort of a racial way considering who
Ryan’s replacing, Atlanta needed a new start and a new face to the
franchise after the ugliness of last year. The team needed to make a big
PR move, and while Glenn Dorsey would’ve have been every bit the
spokesman and the talent to make the team better and to heal the wounds
from the Vick era, nothing signals change like a quarterback.