Thursday, December 11, 2008

In Football Utopia...

In football utopia some things on the college football calendar over the next few weeks would stay just the same.

For example, Michigan State’s Javon Ringer and Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno would still go head-to-head in the Capital One Bowl giving fans the opportunity to see two future NFL running backs on the same field.

Fans would still be treated to a surprisingly strong Chick-fil-A Bowl matchup between defending National Champion LSU and arguably the best team from the ACC, Georgia Tech.

Even lowly Colorado State would still get a chance to play in the New Mexico Bowl in this imaginary world of football justice.

Some things, however, would be different in football utopia.

Texas Tech and their high-flying offense would not be in Dallas for a Cotton Bowl matchup with the 8-4 Ole Miss Rebels. In utopia that would be considered a waste of one of the most exciting teams in the country, and a slap in the face to a few of its finest players.

Nor would the Alabama Crimson Tide be stuck playing Utah in the meaningless Sugar Bowl after starting the season 12-0 and losing its first game (and season) in the fourth quarter of the SEC Championship.

Better yet, that 11-1 Texas squad that beat Oklahoma by 10 points on neutral turf would surely not be insulted in such a way that they would be forced to conclude their outstanding season with a date in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. The same Ohio State team that, in football utopia, would have actually had to play a conference championship game like everyone else.

And no, Virginia Tech and Cincinnati would not be automatically included based exclusively on the fact that their conference is called a “BCS” conference.

Instead, Brian Kelly’s Bearcats would be judged by their own quality as a football team and this year that would have been good enough to punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff, football utopia’s featured event.

Here justice is served the same way it is in every other Division I sport.

There are eight teams in a bracket designed to yield one, undisputed National Champion. There is no bias to big conferences or small ones, just the eight best teams in the country getting a fair shot to win it all.

Making money is still possible in football utopia, in fact, it’s encouraged. Instead of there being empty seats at the Orange Bowl this year when Cincinnati and Virginia Tech play, the Orange Bowl would serve as home to one the first or second round playoff games. And trust me, football utopia’s College Football Playoff is so thrilling that there would not be a seat left empty.

This sponsorship system allows all four BCS Bowls (Fiesta, Rose, Sugar and Orange) to play a major role in the playoff while allowing two more bowls to bid up into the top tier of bowls because there would be six total games before the National Championship.

Here’s what we would be in for:

#1 Oklahoma vs. #8 Cincinnati: Big East champ up against the Big 12 champ to see if Cincinnati can hang with the big boys, good thing Cincinnati improved as the season progressed because the Sooners whipped the Bearcats 52-26 in early September.

#2 Texas vs. #7 Texas Tech: How exciting would it be to replay this classic? These are the kind of things that could unfold if we had a playoff.

#3 Florida vs. #6 Penn State: Old school vs. new school in this one with one of the all-time greats, Joe Paterno, matched up with arguably college football’s top coach Urban Meyer. Only one team advances.

#4 Alabama vs. #5 Southern Cal: The richly steeped tradition of the Crimson Tide clashes with the top program of the new millennium. Two different offensive philosophies that have found great success this season would make for a very interesting matchup of West Coast style versus SEC style.

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