Posted on: December 7, 2009 11:09 pm

A Sports Major's Final Exam Essay . . .

I took a class this semester called "Trends and Issues in Sports and Entertainment"

Throughout the course of the semester we discussed many issues in all sports and forms of entertainment.

From social networking to steroids, from ticket scalping to coaches salaries we hit just about everything.

For our final, the professor asked us to choose one of the following:

College Sports, Professional Sports, or Live Entertainment (the clothed variety) and write an essay about its biggest issue.

Our only guidlines as far as length being:

"I want your essay like I want a woman's skirt. Long enough to cover the crucial areas, but short enough to keep my interest."

I chose College Football, and then I wrote this . . .

Coach Bib 13   ( no real names here lol)      

Final Exam

Question 1: What is the biggest issue concerning college sports?


            I thought about this question long and hard. I could have gone with athletes being paid but I don’t think that’s really that big of an issue. They get scholarship money and I don’t think there are many people out there besides the athletes who think they should be paid. One issue that everyone has an opinion on, and I’m sure you will get plenty of essays about this, is the college football bowl system vs. a playoff.

            Why do I think this is the most important issue? You can walk into any sports bar in the country and toss that question out and a heated debate will ensue that could go on for hours. Most fans think that there should be a playoff, most players think that there should be a playoff, most coaches think that there should be a playoff (the ones that are in the championship vs. usually care a little less that year but otherwise they want one too). Some say they want a playoff but they aren’t sure if it would work, or how it would work. Even the President of the United States has come out and stated publicly that he wants a playoff in college football. You would think that with all of the commotion the NCAA would just go in and make a playoff but that’s where the problem lies. It’s all about the money. The NCAA will say it’s reasoning is about the kids but not many are buying that. This is basically an issue of the people vs. the system: A system that appears to be far too political for the aforementioned people.

            For those that are for a playoff in college football the reasons are simple. First of all, Division 1 (Big) College football is the only league that does not   have a playoff to decide its champion. Which leads to reason 2. Because there is no playoff after the “chosen” championship game we are all left to decide if we thought the championship was legitimate or if another team should have gotten a shot at the title. These are the only two real arguments for a playoff but two strong points. Why only two? I’d say it’s because it’s common sense to most that a playoff is the way to go. The rest of the arguments for a playoff are rebuttals of arguments against one.

            As for arguments against a playoff, and there are many. Some say that a playoff would diminish the importance of the regular season. These people cite the fact that NCAA teams can make the NCAA tournament with upwards of 10 losses, and in the NFL teams that know they’re going to make the playoffs rest their starters at the end of the season when they have nothing to play for. They also state that a playoff would ruin the “tradition” of the bowl games. Others issues that the common man brings up are that travel would be difficult for fans. How would one set up a playoff for major college teams where fans could travel to two or three playoff games? Then there is the argument from the NCAA itself. They also have multiple arguments. One being that a playoff would interfere with exams, the “it’s about the players” argument. Another is that if you opened it up to 4 teams, then people would argue that the 5<sup>th</sup> should have been in and then it grows to 6 or 8 and so on. This has already happened in Division 1AA.

            Personally I’m for a playoff for the reasons stated above. It just makes more sense. I hate politics in sports and this system is political from top to bottom. I shouldn’t be able to say, “follow the money” for a game that is to determine the champion of a college sport. As I type this I’m hoping TCU gets voted ahead of Texas and yesterday I was hoping Texas would lose so I wouldn’t have to.  The argument about the academic side is ridiculous. Are these people saying that finals don’t matter to division 1AA or division 2 or 3 athletes? The argument for the Bowl games is somewhat legitimate but nobody said get rid of the bowl games. The corporate sponsors aren’t going anywhere. You think they don’t want a piece of a playoff game? As for the diminishing of the importance of the regular season this argument is just not well thought out. There are still only 11-12 regular season games. Is Florida tanking last night since they’ll still likely be in the top 8 if they lose? Does Cinci lie down against Pitt because they might? Is Boise resting Kellen Moore yesterday because they have the game in the bag, well I guess they did anyway didn’t they. If there is a playoff every game will still mean just as much if not more. If teams are fighting for 8 spots and not just 2 then when they get that 1 loss they still have a reason to believe they have a shot at the title and therefore reason to keep fighting week in and week out for the prize. The best argument against one is that it would open up the floodgates and for that I propose this. Today is selection Sunday for the college bowl games. If there were a committee this committee could sit down every year this time and decide if they agree that #1 and #2 should play for a title, or if there should be a 3-8 team playoff. Today everyone would be glued to their televisions to find out if TCU and Cinci would get to play Texas or Bama and decide who goes on to play for the title. I know I would. If there isn’t a set number then there won’t be as big a debate. This year I don’t think anyone would argue that there are more than 5 teams that have a claim to the title game. So I’d expect the committee to come out and say that there will be a 4-team playoff with the four I just mentioned or a 5 team playoff that would include Boise . All I want is for that to be decided on the field, and not at a desk.

Obviously I wrote this Sunday

any opinions?

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