I want to talk a bit more about the BCS/Playoff issue. Or, more specifically, state my thoughts in another way
About a week ago, after years of lobbying for a playoff, I announced that I had crossed over to the dark side, and was currently content with the BCS system. I expected that most of you would be shocked, stunned, and disappointed with my decison, and many of you were. I almost feel like a traitor.
Understand that I am not anti-playoff. But I'm thinking in shades of gray here. A playoff is an inevitability. It may not happen in the next five years, but it will happen--likely well before my one year old son graduates from high school. The consumer wants it, and the players want it. The Tom Hansen's of the world will soon die off, and more rational thinking will prevail. I'm having fun with the BCS, but I'm not going to stand up and protest when a playoff does come. Its the natural order of things that it will.
That said, in spite of all my bitching the last few year, I've really come to the realization that I'm having so much fun with college football right now. And, while the playoff will be thrilling and exciting (not to mention a whole lot more fair), there is a lot about college football that will be changed, and gone forever, when that playoff inevitably comes to fruition.
A lot of it starts with the polls. We all know that polls are a terrible way to determine who is a better team. Its all subjective, too hard to move up if you start low, etc. But, to me, this is where I have a lot of my fun with the game. I love the debates. I can spend hours during the week just talking about polls, who is better, etc. We can bitch about who's overrated, underrated, why Ohio State is in the top two AGAIN despite us knowing that they're going to be destroyed in their bowl game. And we'll come to no real conclusions, because delusional fans will always insist that their own team is better than everyone else's. But, dammit, its a ton of fun. I compare this to college basketball. Nobody cares about the polls. Nobody's is sitting here midweek debating whether Memphis or North Carolina should be ranked higher. Because in basketball everything will be decided in the end. And, while that is more fair and less frustrating, its not necessairly more fun (the playoff is a lot of fun, but more of the regular season is a snoozefest).
The BCS is also why I care about non-Duck games. During college hoops season, I'm not sitting down for Duke-Carolina or Tennessee-Memphis. Why the hell should I bother? It won't really mean anything. But I have to pay attention to those college football games. I need to know the other teams to debate, but also because every game affects my team. I want Cal to smash Tennessee because a stronger Pac-10 OOC makes it more likely that the Ducks crash the BCS. But, while I start watching these games for purely selfish reasons, all of sudden, I know these teams a bit, and I'm watching games that have nothing to do with the Ducks. It gives me stories to root for, and that's the way my fandom works--I have to have a rooting interest, or I just don't care. If everything is settled in the playoffs, I likely never tune into any regular season games not involving the Ducks (just like I don't watch NBA games that aren't the Trail Blazers, or MLB games not involving the M's--I just can't get into it).
A playoff is coming. And, to be quite honest with you, the kids competiting out there deserve one. And, one day, I will be ready for it. Perhaps after I have another kid, and they're a bit older, and I just don't have the time in my week to debate college football or watch six games on a Saturday. Then I'll be ready for the change. But until then, and for purely selfish reasons, I'm having a blast with the current system (and if Oregon gets hosed again, I'll probably forget all this and go on a tirade. People are hypocrates by nature). Again, its not that I think that the BCS is the most fair or best system to determine a champion. But it is fun. And I admit to being very selfish.
Just wanted to clear that up.