ASK CFN - A Great NFL Game vs. College (8/27)
New England QB Tom Brady
New England QB Tom Brady
Posted Aug 26, 2010

Does CFN hate the Pac 10? What's better, a great college game or a great NFL game? Does South Carolina football really suck? Does the Mountain West deserve an automatic BCS spot now? What's next if Lane Kiffin fails? These questions and a lot more in the latest ASK CFN.


August 27

Fire over your questions, comments, and baskets of mini-muffins to

- ASK CFNs 1/22 - Bowl Matchups | 1/29 - Being Boise State 
2/11 Part One - Greatest QB Ever | 2/11 - Comparing soccer and college football 
3/12 - Where are the Texas titles?

Q: I know you're a college football guy, but try to be objective here and chime in on our debate. What's really better, a great college football game or a great NFL game? - SF

A: Throwing out the maudlin lovefest you might have with one sport over another based on some emotional attachment that nobody cares about ("My grandpappy took me to the Polo Grounds and we had hot cocoa, and that's why pro football rules!"), this is a slam-dunk, no-doubter of a debate.

It's an undeniable fact that any top regular season college football game is bigger and better than any regular season NFL game. The stakes are higher, there's more invested from all sides, and the games actually matter. If Dallas loses to Philly, whatever; there's always next week and the playoffs are always right around the corner. But if Oklahoma loses to Texas, the entire college football season is changed.

Quick, name the biggest regular season NFL game in the last, say, ten years. It's probably the 15-0 New England Patriots going against the Giants in 2007, and while it was thrilling, did it matter? No. Outside of the notion that New York got some sort of inspiration by knowing it could hang with a team as good as the Patriots, it didn't make a difference since the two teams ended up playing again a few weeks later.

Now, on the flip side, it's an undeniable fact that any NFL playoff game is bigger and better than any college bowl game, with the possible exception of the national championship. When the stakes are highest and the pro teams are playing at the highest level, it's football at its best. Obviously, I love college football more, but top-shelf NFL playoff football is special.

I'm not a fan of the Super Bowl and am biased in thinking that the BCS Championship is the most underappreciated championship in all of American sports, so leave the title game debate up to you and your preferences.

In response to my opening line in the South Carolina preview, "South Carolina football sucks."

Q: South Carolina football sucks? You suck. Why can't you see that we have been good over the last few years and why don't you keep on kissing Alabama and Florida butt all the time. How dare you write something like that. I'm never visiting this site again. You suck. - HT

A: Yes, I do suck, and so does South Carolina football compared to most BCS-level programs.

Go back to what I wrote and explain, exactly, why South Carolina football doesn't suck.

" … the last ten-win season was in 1984, which accounts for the only ten-win season in the program's history. In fact, there have only been two seasons in school history of more than eight wins (1984 and 2001) … the same number as Vanderbilt. The Steve Spurrier era has been considered a disappointment, yet the 35 wins from the Ball Coach represents the best five-year run in the history of South Carolina football. Meanwhile, Florida has won 35 games in the last three seasons."

The fans are some of the most loyal in all of college football, sitting through thick and, well, thick to watch a mediocre product year after year after year. I'm not dogging the people around South Carolina football, I'm not ripping on Spurrier (one of the coaches I like), and I'm certainly not firing on the fan base. But the wins aren't there, and while the program has been decent, it hasn't done enough. Yeah, saying South Carolina football sucks is too strong, but it certainly could stand to be a whole bunch better.

Now, if you want to explain why I'm wrong, I'm all ears.

Q: In your articles about the Pac-10 you seem to look down on the conference. Snide comments here and there. If you don't like the Pac-10 just come out and say it. - TM

A: Exactly what have I written to suggest that I don't like the Pac 10? It couldn't be further from the truth considering the late night conference games that take center stage on FSN are among my favorite parts of every college football Saturday. With that said, the simple fact is that no one on the right side of the Rockies gives a flying hoot about the league if USC isn't great. We devote as much time and effort on the previews and the weekly game coverage to the Pac 10 as we do to the SEC, but the SEC generates ten times the readership. On all the radio shows I do, no one ever asks about anyone other than USC and occasionally Oregon, but that's it.

It's unfortunate because the league really is fun and entertaining, but the late night games get overlooked by everyone on the East Coast and no one watches the afternoon games when the other big battles are happening at the same time. There's no better example of ignorance of Pac 10 football than Toby Gerhart coming in second in the Heisman voting. Had anyone seen him play on a regular basis, and not just against Notre Dame, he'd have won in a walk.

But when all is said and done, the real problem is the lack of powerhouse teams other than USC and sometimes Oregon. Quick, name the last time the Pac 10 had two teams truly worthy of playing in the BCS. It would be a huge help if UCLA and Washington were strong again, and the addition of Utah and Colorado should provide more focus over the next few years.

In response to my thoughts that players should be allowed to have agents, take money from boosters, and be able to do endorsement deals.

Q: What you're suggesting is tantamount to the suggestion of completely eradicating collegiate sports altogether and the formation of minor leagues for all of the professional sports that would be loosely affiliated with a college nearby. Heck, why even make the players show up for classes if they aren't student athletes anymore. - LB

A: YES!!! That's the point. College athletics, as they're currently set up at the highest of levels, are one big whopper of a lie. The top players are "student-athletes" only because they're forced to be for some ridiculous reason, when instead they should be allowed to major in football if that's their chosen area of interest. Is that any more insane than dropping 40K a year on some small liberal arts school to major in Prancing, Dancing and Philosophy, only to be unqualified to get a job as a Sandwich Artist? I'm not talking about the backup punter who's going to college because he got a scholarship; I'm talking about 1) the guys with true pro potential who have no interest in being in college, but have to be, and 2) the guys who have no interest in being in college, but have to be in order to play more football. There's no reason whatsoever for players to not be allowed to have agents and take money that's being offered to them. None.

If you REALLY care that much about the childish and antiquated concept of marginally talented athletic students playing sports, then get into Division III. Be one of the ten people who show up to a non-revenue sporting event. Get into the Ivy League. There are several outlets for you to feed your desperate desire for pure amateurism, but in 2010, it's time for everyone to finally move up to the adult table and understand that at the multi-billion dollar business level that BCS conferences are operating at, the system is totally and completely unfair and hypocritical. It doesn't need to be that way.

Q: I am so sick of your elitist articles about who is what in the BCS leagues when you never have any FACTS to back up your arrogant opinions of College football. ..."wanted to be big time" you mean like Vanderbilt, Miss St, Baylor, Colorado, Iowa St, Syracuse, Virginia, Duke on and on and on, but NEVER. NEVER do we read anything about them NOT being big time, WOW!!! You ASS.

What is it you stand to gain anyway? Is the BCS signing your paycheck? What would be so wrong in just dropping your arrogance and OBVIOUS bias and just write the reality. That is, that despite top ranked (what the H*ll does that mean, see Boise State) recruits, so-called non BCS teams just keep competing!!! Hmmmm. Maybe they do it in SPITE of arrogant, ignorant writers like you.

All I can say is THANKS for the chip on our shoulder you arrogant, ignorant sportswriter...
- JC

A: I don't quite get the rant, but I liked it so I'll try to decipher your beef. I'm assuming you're peeved over the idea that non-BCS teams want to be in BCS conferences. Is there something controversial about this? Is there something out of line to think that the non-BCS teams would like a bigger spotlight, more money, and better bowl games? If you're angry over the idea that non-BCS teams can't play with the BCS teams, I don't think anyone thinks that. However, if you're thinking that Boise State, Utah, or any good non-BCS team would have the same success in a BCS league on a consistent basis, you're wrong.

Q: Why does the Big 10 have to split into divisions? Can't they play a normal schedule with 2 rivals (like now) and just take the top 2 teams regardless of who they are to play in the Championship game. If the Big 12 did this, OU could have played Texas a couple yrs ago when they each had 1 loss. This would be the best way to keep tradition AND ensure the best 2 teams are playing in the championship game. - Jeff M

A: Interesting. Considering it looks like the Big Ten will go with a nine game conference slate, your plan could work, but it would still be unsatisfying. In my perfect world, the schedule is expanded to 13 games with each team getting two non-conference paydays before facing an 11-game schedule. Then you'd have a true champion with everyone playing everyone else, like it is now in the Pac 10 (but it'll change) and the Big East. Really, as long as Michigan vs. Ohio State and Minnesota vs. Wisconsin (the longest running series in major college football) are preserved, the rest of the Big Ten traditions can be pushed aside for progress.

Q: Assuming BYU isn't going anywhere, is the Mountain West FINALLY going to get an automatic invite to the BCS? - JT

A: It should, but the automatic aspect of the equation is something the league gets into too much of a twist over. As is, it's hard to full all the BCS spots and there will almost always be a spot for a Mountain West team. With the rule that only two teams from a conference are able to get into the BCS, figure the SEC and new Big Ten will always have two teams in, two teams from the Big 12 will usually get in, and then the champions from the ACC, Big East, and Pac 10 are in. That still leaves open three spaces, and even if the Pac 10 and ACC get two teams in, there's still one spot left that won't be filled by the WAC once Boise State is in the Mountain West, and it'll never be taken by Conference USA (without a lot of luck). If the Mountain West doesn't have a team in the top 12 of the final BCS rankings, it doesn't deserve to have a team play in one of the big games.

Q: if the Kiffin situation turns like many expect and he flunks, who you think is in the group of names that might be the next head honcho at SC? - Ryan

A: You're thinking several years from now. Unless Kiffin rubs everyone the wrong way within the next six months (possible), he'll be allowed a grace period of at least four seasons. He can't be blamed for anything that goes on over the next few seasons when the program is on probation, and then it'll take at least a year to get everything back on track. If USC doesn't fall completely off the map, Kiffin will be at the helm for a long time. But to answer your question, Steve Sarkisian.

Q: Give me the skinny on the 2010 Miami Hurricanes. Best case, worst case, and likely. Thanks. - CE

A: If the team's head is screwed on straight and it plays up to its talent level each and every week (and as long as the temperature doesn't get a bit chilly, like it did in the Champs Sports Bowl loss to Wisconsin), the Canes could win the ACC title. However, it's not going to be easy.

Miami has to go to Ohio State, Pitt, Clemson, and Georgia Tech, but it has a big positive getting North Carolina and Virginia Tech at home. At best, Miami can go 10-2 if everything goes the right way, and at worst this could be a 7-5 season if the Tar Heels and Hokies are just plain better. Also, there's only a one week to prepare for Georgia Tech's offense, and that's impossible to do.