Wilkommen To Pigskin Playoff Madness

footballoldThe leaves are turning. It’s no longer abysmally hot, standing to next to a heated grill full of brats, while tailgating on asphalt. (There is only one Grove.)

Moth eaten letter sweaters are coming out of the bottom drawer. Hot Totties are replacing August Amber as the pre-game libation of choice.

This college football season is at its mid point.

Because of a convergence of circumstances, not the least of which is the presence, for the first time ever, of an honest to Betty Coed attempt to crown a legitimate “national champion,” it is the most intriguing campaign in, well, ever.

Those who thought the playoff scenario would demean the value of regular season games were obviously wrong. By mid September, every hands to the face mark off against a legit contender was being parsed by the punditocracy. The effect of pick 6s, backward laterals and early season Ls was being quantified by Nate Silver’s gang over at fivethirtyeight.com.

Oregon fans were taken to wondering what uniform color combination would overcome the school’s propensity to underachieve.

Condoleezza Rice’s every move is being tracked, some might say stalked, by Houndstooth Harvey Updike, to see if she’s on board with a vote for the Crimson Tide come Selection Sunday.

Of course, we with a more sardonic approach have been zoning in on the travails of Brady Hoke, a matter, frankly, of little consequence when considering the current landscape of the sport. Meanwhile, the nation is turning its eyes to Dixieland, where old times there are not forgotten.1

The truly paranoid pigskin fans in, say, well, any other environ outside the Confederacy, are already fretting that New Year’s Day’s semis will look like the SEC tournament.

That’s going to shake out. I dare say Mike Slive won’t be able to market more than two of his schools into the playdown. Which, depending on one’s level of dislike for the Paul Finebaums of the world, shall be either one or two too many.

Which brings me to this firm conclusion.

Four ain’t enough.

For the umpteenth time, allow me to opine that eight is the minimum number of schools that should have a chance to student body left their way to a title. Sixteen would be optimal, crowning a most deserving champ, from a pool that would include surely every team worthy of a shot. Not to mention it would line the pockets of schools, the NC2A and ESPN, while relegating every single bit of Christmas shopping to the non-pigskin obsessed member of every household across the land, while the rest of us would be seatbelted into our recliners, wishing Lou Holtz would shut up and we could get back to the second half.

As it stands with but four possible winners, there are any number of schools capable of stringing together two, three or four post-season Ws that shall be left with playing Iowa in the AARP Pension Fund Cumquat Bowl.

But four’s a start. The playoffs are long overdue. And generating the kind of excited anticipation anybody with any sense of drama knew would come about.

And, I guess, while I’m here pontificating about the imperfections of the system, let me suggest this. No team should be able to join the Final Four unless it wins its conference.

And, before you throw the NCAA hoops tourney at me, remember this. For years, when there were far less post-season participants, a school had to win its league to join the title fray. Because of national caterwauling at the injustice of that, the NCAA expanded the tourney field, allowing more schools in.

Which is working out pretty darned well, it seems to Joe Lunardi  and one and all who fill out an office bracket.

So, when the football playoff expands to more teams — which it shall as soon as the present media contracts expire — then it can include runners up and such.

Until then, win your league or watch the playoffs with the rest of us chips-eating fans.

— Seedy K

2 thoughts on “Wilkommen To Pigskin Playoff Madness

  1. Nice piece; in the Commonwealth just to the East- Southeast of us there is a football squad whose recruiting may be heavily influenced by what happens with the hapenings in Ann Arbor. Doesn’t Stoops cross recruiting paths with Wolverines in Ohio ?

    OPPORTUNITY for jgjoyner to recognized your veiled concerns for the Cayuts when you get right down for your Hokes obsession

    1. Despite all appearances to the contrary, the Cayuts may actually have a punchers chance to play in the SEC title game—-this year. The SEC east basically is the ACC Coastal made over. LSU is way down and MSU may play the Blew fat-headed or in despair from a tough loss. Ga just lost its best player; Mizzou lost to IU of all teams and Tenn may have given up for 2014 when that game is played.

      70 years of bad luck and terrible play over in one season? Who this side of Rock Hudson could have guessed this? But stranger things have happened.

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