Brew: College football needs a playoff, Kentucky will be better as season continues
- Dec. 3, 2012
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Lack of playoffs diminishes BCS championship
Sunday’s announcement that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Alabama Crimson Tide will face off in the BCS Championship game was a surprise to no one. Between Notre Dame’s perfect season and the SEC championship game win for Alabama, the two schools clearly outshined any other schools’ case for the chance to play for the championship.
The matchup is one that most college football fans wanted to see, but there is still a good argument that schools like Georgia, Kansas State, Florida and Oregon should have a chance to play for the championship as well. It is unfair those schools do not have a chance to play Notre Dame and Alabama and prove they belong against the teams selected to play in the biggest game of the season (though Georgia did have that opportunity in the SEC championship game).
The playoff system that will begin in 2014 allows for the course of the season to be determined on the field rather than in the hands of computers and companies with greedy interests. The nature of sports, after all, is to watch two teams battle on the field with the knowledge that any team could win on any given day.
While both Notre Dame and Alabama have earned their spot in the championship game, the prize is diminished as there is no advancement through a playoff system. The playoff systems in professional sports allows for a clear champion to be crowned as it measures a team’s abilities at the end of the year. In the BCS system, an entire season can be unraveled by an early regular season loss before a team is able to find its footing.
Over the past two seasons in the NFL the Giants and Packers won the Superbowl after surging late in the season to earn a wild card spot. While the two teams were not elite regular season teams, they were able to correct mistakes and play their best when it mattered the most.
In the NHL, the Los Angeles Kings went into the playoffs as the eighth and final seed in the West before winning the Stanley Cup. These Cinderella stories are the reason playoffs are so fun to watch, and is also why March Madness is the best month of sports, professional or collegiate.
Kentucky falls out of top 25
The Kentucky Wildcats, who defeated the Kansas Jayhawks for the championship last season, may finally be seeing the consequences of relying so heavily on ‘one-and-done’ players.
Coach John Calipari has built a tremendous programs over his career, but had perhaps his best team last season as Kentucky cruised through the regular season and the NCAA tournament on the way to their eighth national title.
Kentucky then lost six players to the NBA draft and replaced them with more great talent. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the talent hasn’t gelled and the team has stumbled to a 4-3 start with losses to Duke, Baylor and Notre Dame.
Still, Calipari knows how to get young talent to produce at a high level and should lead Kentucky back into the top- 25 and to a deep tournament run. It is likely, however, that Kentucky will be dethroned this season. Not only does the field look stronger, but the Wildcats do not possess the same level of skill they did last season.
Jayhawk fans will delight in the early struggles of the team that derailed the Jayhawk’s championship aspirations last year, but don’t sleep on Calipari and the Wildcats. They may present a very dangerous challenge come March.