Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Simple Question

How exactly does one sell the four-month college basketball regular season when the Final Four is comprised of: (1) the second-place team in the SEC East that went 2-6 on the road in KenPom’s sixth-placed conference; (2) the ninth-place team in the Big East that lost seven of its last 11 games (so much for that theory that you can watch games in February and figure out which teams are peaking); (3) a team that was at one point 6-5 in the Horizon League; and (4) the fourth-place team in the Colonial Athletic Association that finished on a four-game losing streak in that mighty conference?

Dan Wetzel, if this is what you want college football to become, then I think I speak on behalf of most enthusiasts of the sport when I say “no thanks.”


Anonymous said...

Boy, this tournament really blows some holes in your anti-entertainment posts from last year.

You don't speak for most college football enthusiasts. You have the minority position on a 16-team playoff. The regular season is its own reward and the tournament is separate. You asked what Duke received for its great regular season? Well, Duke did not win the regular season ACC title (UNC did), but it did win the conference tournament. Duke gets a great celebration and a trophy for its efforts. The post season is separate. The same is true in your soccer leagues: the champions league results don't invalidate the domestic league results, just as they didn't when a team from a crap league that clearly wasn't the best team won (Porto), just as they didn't when the 4th place team from the English league won the championship in part by defeating a team that finished 19 points higher in its domestic standings (Liverpool), etc.

One other thing about the soccer comparison; most of the domestic soccer leagues have perfectly symmetrical schedules; every team plays every other team twice, home and away. In a national sport with hundreds of teams like college basketball or college football, that isn't possible. Clearly, the gap between the top-30 teams in college hoops is dwindling down to nothing, due to officiating, training methods, early entry, and some other things. the gap between the top 12-15 in football is dwindling too.

Anonymous said...

You would sell the season with the opportunity to get into the tournament. I know you don't have to sell the OSU Mich game, but imagine the hype if that game meant a spot in the tournament that meant a chance at the national title.

Also, there is a reason the super bowl is one game and the NBA finals is best of 7. Its just the nature of the sport. I think you are completely ignoring this difference between the two sports.

I for one would think it would make the last couple of weeks in college football even more intriguing as teams are vying for those last spots in the tournament.

chg said...

Anon, Michael speaks for the exact same number of "college football enthusiasts" as you do: one.

I too am adamantly opposed to any sort of tournament. I do not want college football's regular season to become as meaningless as college basketball's.

Truthfully, how many college basketball games did you watch? If your defense is you don't watch the regular season because you are not as big of an "enthusiast" of the sport as you are of college football, ask yourself why you find football Saturday's more gripping, yet do not watch basketball until the postseason rolls around.

The NCAA tournament is entertaining, but college football is much better. A great many fans of the sport believe that crowning the most deserving champion is much more important that giving dilettantes something to talk about between NFL wildcard games.