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VETTEL: System Still Stinks

Written by larry vettel, February 6, 2007, 0 Comments,
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I think the BCS got it right for a several reasons. First, Florida played more quality teams (10 that are bowl eligible) than did Michigan (7). 2nd, UF finished strongly, winning its last six games while Michigan lost its finale. 3rd, the Gators own their conference, Michigan did not. And fourth, and most importantly Michigan had its shot at Ohio State and lost despite a three turnover advantage.

Sure, some voters switched to Florida because they “didn’t want a rematch”. Sorry, Kirk Herbscreetch, that’s as valid a reason as any other. Some voters probably simply decided which team they thought was better and you cannot argue with the logic behind that. If I was voting, knowing the circumstances I would have voted for the Gators, but that doesn’t mean I think the Gators are better than the Wolverines, just more deserving.

The bottom line: this is a horrendously bad way to decide who plays for a championship. That’s especially true for an organization (NCAA) that exists SOLELY to coordinate intercollegiate competition and championships.

Next: Coaches Drop Out

Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel did the ethical thing (and politically expedient one, too) and declined to vote in the final coaches’ poll. Good for him, but his decision wasn’t based on integrity. Tressel simply did not want to have to cast a vote for or against Michigan and deal with the repercussions.

I don’t blame him. He would have been a fool to cast a vote under these circumstances. The real question is this: Why would any coach ever take part in this system? The idea of coaches voting to decide which team gets to play for a national title is inane. Coaches are, for better or worse, psychopaths. Okay, that’s over stating it, but they are so single minded in their approach to work they know less about most teams not on their schedule that the person who delivers the mail.

This year, for the first time the final coaches’ poll will be made public and every coach who chose Florida over Michigan will be taken to task. While that’s fine with me, it certainly doesn’t do the coach in question or his school one bit of good. If I were an athletic director, there’s no way I would allow my football coach to take part. Other sports, sure, that’s not a problem, but football no way?

Why? I’m glad you asked. Other sports have polls fun and selection committees for national tournaments. If the BCS had infected basketball like it has football, do you think Florida plays for the NCAA Championship? No way on earth! Does Becky Burleigh’s soccer team get a chance to dethrone North Carolina in 1998? Fughettaboutit!

But in college football the preposterous system drones on, and fans continue to be shortchanged. Yes, the “system” worked for the Gators this time around, but that doesn’t change the reality of the situation. College football is the greatest sport on earth, with the worst method imaginable for determining its champion.

Still Happy for the Gators

Please don’t mistake my ripping of this system for indifference towards the events of the day. I have great affection for this football team and several of the players on it. It was great to see several members of the coaching staff back at the hotel after the game and congratulate them on an incredible season. This is one of the three best seasons in UF history and the Gators of 2006 get to try and make it the equal of the season ten years back.

It’s a great time to be a Florida Gators, and all involved should celebrate the day, no matter how ridiculous the process that got them here.

About larry vettel

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I think the BCS got it right for a several reasons. First, Florida played more quality teams (10 that are bowl eligible) than did Michigan (7). 2nd, UF finished strongly, winning its last six games while Michigan lost its finale. 3rd, the Gators own their conference, Michigan did not. And fourth, and most importantly Michigan had its shot at Ohio State and lost despite a three turnover advantage.

Sure, some voters switched to Florida because they “didn’t want a rematch”. Sorry, Kirk Herbscreetch, that’s as valid a reason as any other. Some voters probably simply decided which team they thought was better and you cannot argue with the logic behind that. If I was voting, knowing the circumstances I would have voted for the Gators, but that doesn’t mean I think the Gators are better than the Wolverines, just more deserving.

The bottom line: this is a horrendously bad way to decide who plays for a championship. That’s especially true for an organization (NCAA) that exists SOLELY to coordinate intercollegiate competition and championships.

Next: Coaches Drop Out

Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel did the ethical thing (and politically expedient one, too) and declined to vote in the final coaches’ poll. Good for him, but his decision wasn’t based on integrity. Tressel simply did not want to have to cast a vote for or against Michigan and deal with the repercussions.

I don’t blame him. He would have been a fool to cast a vote under these circumstances. The real question is this: Why would any coach ever take part in this system? The idea of coaches voting to decide which team gets to play for a national title is inane. Coaches are, for better or worse, psychopaths. Okay, that’s over stating it, but they are so single minded in their approach to work they know less about most teams not on their schedule that the person who delivers the mail.

This year, for the first time the final coaches’ poll will be made public and every coach who chose Florida over Michigan will be taken to task. While that’s fine with me, it certainly doesn’t do the coach in question or his school one bit of good. If I were an athletic director, there’s no way I would allow my football coach to take part. Other sports, sure, that’s not a problem, but football no way?

Why? I’m glad you asked. Other sports have polls fun and selection committees for national tournaments. If the BCS had infected basketball like it has football, do you think Florida plays for the NCAA Championship? No way on earth! Does Becky Burleigh’s soccer team get a chance to dethrone North Carolina in 1998? Fughettaboutit!

But in college football the preposterous system drones on, and fans continue to be shortchanged. Yes, the “system” worked for the Gators this time around, but that doesn’t change the reality of the situation. College football is the greatest sport on earth, with the worst method imaginable for determining its champion.

Still Happy for the Gators

Please don’t mistake my ripping of this system for indifference towards the events of the day. I have great affection for this football team and several of the players on it. It was great to see several members of the coaching staff back at the hotel after the game and congratulate them on an incredible season. This is one of the three best seasons in UF history and the Gators of 2006 get to try and make it the equal of the season ten years back.

It’s a great time to be a Florida Gators, and all involved should celebrate the day, no matter how ridiculous the process that got them here.

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