Well, the weekly college football polling results dribble out onto the “paper”, like so much pumpkin guts collected on the local paper’s sports section before Halloween. The November 20th iterations of the football popularity contests are out, and the Victorious 8-3, on the cusp of an ACC Coastal Championship is left in the polling dust. Though not completely surprising, it is frustrating to see the sports writers ignore the success of Virginia Tech, and coddle other teams with 8-3 records like they are precious spoiled children.
The Associated Press Sports Writers’ Poll from Yahoo Sports (choose the poll in the drill down) lists the Hokies as having a mere 77 votes and coming up at #27. UNC is bringing up the 29th slot with 55 votes. I suppose that given the nature of the Notre Dame’s matchup quality (meaning the Irish just haven’t met lofty expectations this season) and the fact that we looked so bad against Georgia Tech last week, might be a bit harsh in result; but understandable. What is inexplicable is the Coaches’ Assistants Poll where UNC is STILL pulling more votes at 118 than Virginia Tech at #26 and 101. Is any team’s actual record against any other team in similar circumstances of any value? If for no other reason than the real ranking on the field between the teams should always, for this season, should give the edge to Tech.
There are other affronts, arguments, and above all fodder for chewing, but the truth is pretty plain this season as the polls all place two B1G teams in the playoffs, and one other close by waiting for a shot. Is this a more ridiculous way to choose a champion? Why don’t we have judges with little cards with scores from 1-10 where we throw out the high and the low and average the performances? At least that system is openly subjective and depending on the contest type (Diving, Gymnastics, Figure Skating, or Dancing with the Stars (oops that’s an 8, not 10...) gives some form of openness and accountability. You know what judge scored what and for what reasons; at least the public version of things. Well, at least Bruno would be more entertaining while rendering his judgements, than a dry sports article dropped on the floor in the midst of the NFL’s 1:00 o’clock contests.
The worst case scenario for the CFB would be to have 2 or 3 teams in the B1G set up for the playoffs. In fact, it would be near disaster since all of the teams had already played, and their championship settled. Currently there could be two B1G teams in the mix, Ohio State and Michigan. How does it work to have either of these teams walk into a playoff and claim an actual victory? Do they play each other again? Does the fundamentally unjust nature of grid matching (1st seed against Last seed)? Why not do what’s truly fair and have a draw instead of a fix; especially since the seeding is based on subjective judgment?
The list of question begged by the situation just gets worse as time goes on and frustrations with the current “system” (if it’s a system, it’s an Apple LISA). What is becoming blatantly obvious, but no one in the sports media really wants to say it because it cuts them out of their power trip, is that the current thingy isn’t any better than the older “thingy”, and even the long passed “thingy”. It is time for Division 1 FBS to be divided into an upper and lower division set, with two playoffs and two champions determined on the field by divisional, conference, and playoff championships. That means that Arkansas State, Toledo, or Appalachian State would have a chance at a National Championship.
It’s actually past time, since the FCS schools, as implied by the name of the major division Football Championship Schools, plainly states.
Yes, by all means keep the bowl games. Make the playoff games above the Round of 32 (Conference Championships) Bowl games. By all means have some consolation and exhibition bowls to brighten the holiday season all with the noted exception that they are invitational exhibition games to match up teams that don’t normally play one another.
It is high time for big time college football to be judged by performance on the field against similarly skilled equal level opponents. No more cupcake games, or record padding puff games. It’s time for there to be real conferences where those conference championships have real consequences. It’s time to determine champions on the field.
And for those of you with the poll bias still stuck in your heads, just ask the Evil Emperor Bill “Darth Hoodie” Belichick, and his evil apprentice Tommy “Darth Legwarmers” Brady how they feel about Tom “Grumpy Old Man” Coughlin and Eli “Easy – Goofy E” when it comes to championship games.
It’s time to leave it on the field and let the winners and losers determine the winners and losers.
Well, this was all about unjust and inscrutable rankings, and the only cure that Virginia Tech has at its hands is to win the Coastal, and meet up with Clemson in neutral territory to see who can leave it all on the field. We all know that if the Hokies win that one, there will be no ACC in the “playoffs”, don’t we?
But first, we need to beat Virginia on Saturday. Because this season is One Game, One Team, Right Now.