I hate to harp on a the same topic two nights in a row but I need to say something after ESPN sought the opinion of Oregon president and chair of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee David Frohnmayer regarding President-elect Barack Obama's plea for a college football playoff last week.
"We deeply respect the president-elect and we are glad that he is a fan of college football," Frohnmayer said in an e-mail. "We have the most compelling regular season in all of sports, and I'm sure that contributes to Senator Obama's enjoyment of our great game. My colleagues and I on the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee have discussed the future of postseason football on many occasions and we do not believe a playoff would be in the best interest of the sport, the student-athletes or our many other constituencies."
Here's what Obama told me last week when I asked him where he stood on a college football playoff:
"I've always believed that we should have a playoff system in college football. I'm not sure who came up with the idea for the BCS formula we use today, but to borrow a phrase I've used over and over on the campaign trail, it's time for a change. I'm tired of all the confusion and controversy that boils over at the end of every college football season, and I think an eight-team playoff would make a lot of sense."
I think most American would agree with Obama that it's time for a change.
The only ones that seem to be against it are the BCS commissioners profiting from the current archaic bowl format.
Here's what really gets me about Frohnmayer and the seven other university presidents on this BCS Presidential Oversight Committee: as distinguished and intelligent as they appear to be, for some reason they continue to lie to the American public in order to keep things status quo.
Let me once and for all (I promise) take a sledgehammer to Frohnmayer's two tired arguments.
First, "We have the most compelling regular season in all of sports, and I'm sure that contributes to Senator Obama's enjoyment of our great game."
No, Senator Obama's love of college football is what contributes to his enjoyment of your great game. His love of college basketball is also what contributes to his enjoyment of that great game. The fact that there is no playoff in college football does not contribute to his enjoyment at all. Not having a playoff in college football does not make the regular season more exciting, it makes it categorically unfair. Explain to Utah and Boise State, two undefeated teams that could turn out to be college football's version of George Mason or Davidson in a possible tournament, that they don't deserve a chance to play for a national championship. They could go undefeated year after year and never once even crack the BCS Top 5, but that and a possible trip to the Poinsettia Bowl are apparently supposed to be "compelling" to their fan base.
Second, "We do not believe a playoff would be in the best interest of the sport, the student-athletes or our many other constituencies."
If a playoff would not be in the best interest of the sport and the student-athletes, then please stop staging playoffs in every single other NCAA sport. No, seriously. If you truly believe that a playoff is somehow not in the best interest of the sport and the student-athletes, why would you think it would be in the best interest of every other sport and their student-athletes? Is there some sort of double standard here? Oh, I almost forgot about the last line of Frohnmayer's quote: "our many other constituencies." That's right, this has nothing to do with the sport and the student athletes that would thrive and benefit from a playoff, but everything to do with your many other constituencies that pay you big money to stage 33 bowl games that have no bearing on the national championship and one "national championship game" that is usually filled with more controversy and debate than any kind of consensus or decisiveness.
Look, I understand that not having a playoff makes every regular-season game important, but that doesn't make it right. If you had an eight-team playoff, the regular season would be just as exciting. Think about it. Any team with two losses would essentially be eliminated from contention. The regular season wouldn't lose any excitement. After all, teams like Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and USC are still the national championship conversation despite having one loss, which by the way debunks the idiotic theory that the regular season is somehow a de facto tournament. Nothing would change, except that at the end of the season, instead of arguing which one or two teams are the best, we would find out the same way they do it in every other sport, on the field of play.