BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
When talking about championships, there is nothing better than the term, "The Final Four."
The NCAA Basketball Tournaments both the Men's & Women's feed off of March Madness.
The NFL does a great job and this weekend will provide us with the Conference Championship Games.
Will the New York Jets relish their role as underdogs and leave Indiana with a victory over the Indianapolis Colts?
Will 40-year old Brett Favre return to his hometown region of Louisiana and end the feel good story of the New Orleans Saints with a Minnesota Vikings victory to become the first quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two different teams?
At least in both cases, these championship results and match-ups will be decided on the field.
It's hard to believe that two weeks ago Alabama defeated Texas to win the National Championship at the Rose Bowl.
But as the debate over the years has lingered that the highest level of NCAA Football still doesn't have a playoff system to determine it's true champion and the politics of university presidents, conference commissioners, etc... prevent such a reasonable conclusion, I do hope at some time the public gets to see a true champion decided the right way.
I have a feeling that one day, Congress will step in and there will be legislation to force a change in how the NCAA does business. They've intervened with steroids, the concussion debate in the NFL so why not here.
While there is no easy solution to create a playoff system, there is a means to minimize the debate as to who gets to the championship game. I'd like to think there is a degree of common sense which can factor into the equation.
I'm sure that there isn't a person who doesn't enjoy the great different rivalries on Saturdays during the fall. But what makes me ill is that when the season ends, we can see 2-5 undefeated teams going into the bowl season.
While the BCS does its best to match the top two teams in the country to minimize the debate, I understand why the college football hierarchy doesn't want to make major changes in their system.
Being an NFL writer, I enjoy the bowl system. It gives NFL scouts the opportunity to attend 34 games to find prospects with the 68 teams participating. We shouldn't forget that that NFL does have the other divisions to find players and do have their playoff systems to determine their national championships. Regardless of the level, there is nothing better than hard hitting, adverse game conditions and the ability to see which players talent's emerge under high pressure circumstances.
Not all of the best players have ever played in NCAA Division I. Former Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton (Jackson St.) and current Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco (Delaware) are prime examples that you can find talent anywhere. You'll find talent in the Mid American, Sun Belt, Big East, Conference USA, etc... and the hidden gems are usually found in rounds 3-7 as well as undrafted free agents. This determines whether an NFL team becomes a constant post-season participant and wins Super Bowls.
The post-season college All-Star Games are a great way to interview potential pro prospects, determine strength and watching players perform against the best of all levels. But the coaches have to substitute so much to look at all players and not key in on specific ones.
At long last, again, it's time for common sense to take over!
I'd be happy to just reduce the debate and give an underdog a chance to compete for a national championship.
It's time to finally add just one more bowl game and create the "Plus One" so we can see the 1-4, 2-3 scenario!
This won't effect final exams.
In fact, it will bring more money into the NCAA and I doubt that even with a slow economy that there would be much difficulty finding advertising. It would have been great to see a Boise State (12-0) versus TCU (12-0) contest in a semifinal setting instead of just a BCS game with no meaning for the right to have played for a national title.
We've all heard that saying that on any given day, a team can beat another.
Nobody expected Boise State to upset Oklahoma 43-42 in overtime in the 2007 the Fiesta Bowl. Utah defeated Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl in 2009 much to the delight of the Nick Saban haters in South Florida. The list can go on and on. I doubt that the collegiate football powers complained about these upsets.
Boise State, TCU and Cincinnati were worthy of getting their opportunities to compete this year but the system prevented that. Would former Cincinnati Coach Brian Kelly have left early for Notre Dame with a chance to win a national championship? I doubt it because if Notre Dame wanted him that bad, they would have waited to get their man.
But the NCAA does need to add a "Plus One" format. We're only talking about one football game!
As I mentioned before, I enjoy the bowl system because not only is it a great scouting base, but it gives smaller conferences a chance to promote their schools academics, bolster their athletic department revenues, plus it's nice to see different college campuses.
One of the things I enjoy doing when I travel around the country by car is touring different universities. I enjoy the sports venues, museums, scenery and talking with the people in the area. With all of the different bowl games, it's great for the tourism industry plus does give the smaller schools a chance to add revenue to their athletic programs.
To me, college football is two things:
1) Great Fall Entertainment in 49 States. I'm not sure how much Alaska is involved except for watching the games.
2) A Feeder System to Pro Football, whether it's the NFL or CFL. Period!
The reason these students play college football is to fulfill their lifelong desires to play on Sundays and earn a paycheck. I get sick and tired of student athletes having a full ride to get to school, earn $30 a weekend for meals and then end up robbing others to buy shoes etc... while universities make millions of dollars off their efforts.
To not allow athletes to gain some extra income means they'll resort to find another way to get it.
But no matter how you look at the glamour of college football, it's still very corrupt, filled with greed and plenty of controversies.
Now the question is to find a happy medium to crown a champion with lesser discussion about "What If" and compromise the best way possible to make everyone happy with as less inconveniences as possible.
It's not that much trouble to climb from 35 games to 36. Just add another week.
The sport gets more cash, publicity, the term "Final Four" becomes relevant, an underdog could emerge as a champion and the exposure is priceless.
Even though the NCAA knows it can't duplicate it's Basketball Tournament model to the gridiron enabling the public to pick upsets in their office pools, enough is enough with the excuses by not being able to add that final game.
By not having a sensible way to create some sense of sanity, these executives are looking like a bunch of clowns in a circus!
The NFL makes billions of dollars doing things the right way, after all of these years, it's about time The NCAA will at least alter a "Severely Broken System."
The NFL Conference Championship Games are more interesting than the BCS Bowl Games. At least they decide something, the right to earn who has a chance to be the "Best."
As for the "Super Bowl," that speaks for itself. The NCAA's system is a "Super Farce."
Scott Morganroth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com
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