Thursday, March 31, 2011

March Madness

It's been a fun tournament so far.  The Jayhawks got beat, which sucks, but there are some good stories that have come out of the tourny.  Since this is the first time ever that not a single one seed or two seed has made the final four, I think it's fitting to broach this subject (again).

Anyone who points to college basketball as the model for finding the "true" champion when arguing for a playoff system in college football no longer has any argument to stand on.  In my opinion, that argument was always flawed, but this year has proven that it is.  The tournament does not in any way crown the best team in the nation as its champion.  In fact, the one and done scenario almost prevents the best team from winning every year.  Love it or hate it, but in the last 12 years the BCS has done a better job of getting it right than the NCAA tournament, when crowning the *best* team in the country.  Since 1999 there has been 5 match-ups of number one seeds in the championship game in the NCAA tournament.  In that same time span, college football has gotten 12 match ups of the top two teams in the country.  I, personally, love the bowls.  I love the games, I love the match ups and I love that the players, coaches and support staff get to take part in the experience of bowl games.  I don't see a single problem with having 35 bowl games, I think it's great.  Reward these guys for the grind of the season.  I also don't understand why anyone hates bowl games.  What's not to like?  It's a bit spread out, I'll admit, but what's your reasoning for disliking the bowl games?  I don't hear anyone screaming that we should do away with the NIT.  If you don't like the bowls, don't watch them. 

Now, the tournament in March is an unbelievable fan experience.  But it absolutely diminishes the value of the regular season.  The best record left in the tournament is UConn at 30-9.  There are 18 teams with equal or better records from this past season that are not involved in the final four.  Granted, most of them had their chance to get there, but they aren't there.  There are 7 teams not playing in the final four with 5 or fewer losses.  You may not like the fact that TCU didn't get play in the National Championship this past season in college football, but the teams that played above them were also undefeated.  If your argument is that playoffs would crown a "true" champion, you're mistaken.  If you want playoffs purely for the match ups and games that we'd get, fine, but I'd have to be convinced that a playoff system wouldn't greatly diminish the value of the regular season.

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