I’d like to think common sense is what got the 11 NCAA Division I conference commissioners to meet immediately following the extremely lame and boring National Championship game between LSU and Alabama. The presumed premise of the meeting was to discuss a new playoff – wait, that playoff word is an absolute no-no within NCAA lexicon when speaking about NCAA Division I football – let’s go with a “discussion of possible changes to the postseason model”, which is how my favorite sports writer Chris Dufresne from the LA Times put it in his article Wednesday morning.
I’m smart enough to realize that it wasn’t common sense that sent the suits from the athletic conferences into a meeting in some swanky New Orleans hotel. It was, brace yourselves, a slide in television ratings for the entire bowl season, and other factors, including allowing a computer to dictate we watch a rematch of a game that was boring to begin with.
You know what happens when people tune out from a boring game right? Advertisers get irritated, and irritated advertisers do not write checks. Yes ladies and gentlemen, like Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and Boeing, college football is a big part of America’s capitalistic engine. As it should be.
The NCAA is scared now because they want those checks. They thought they were big enough and their product was good enough to demand Americans watch a rematch. Well, Americans and their copious amount of viewing options stopped watching the BCS championship right after Alabama’s kicker hit his third field goal. This was about an hour (in real time) before LSU and that stagnant offense crossed the fifty yard line for the first time. I challenge anyone to argue that Oklahoma State wouldn’t have put up a better offensive effort than LSU. I know Cowboy’s, coach Mike Gundy agrees with me.
So here we are at a juncture – quite frankly, one we should have been at back in 2008 when the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conferences both suggested a four-team playoff, but were shot down by the Big-10, Pac-10, Big-12, Big East and Notre Dame. Wait, what? Notre freaking Dame?! Yes, the same Notre Dame that hasn’t been relevant on the national football scene since Lou Holtz left South Bend, still has a say in the matter. I’ll save my thoughts on that for another day.
None the less, today the 11 conference commissioners are meeting with BCS director Bill Hancock to bring forth change. Here is the link from the AP I pulled from ESPN.com.
On behalf of college football fans across America, let me thank the 11 commissioners and Mr. Hancock in advance for finally allowing ideas to be thrown on the table, for cans to be kicked around, and for deciding to at least give common sense a chance. Thomas Paine would be so proud. But I’ll give it a couple more days before I start holding my breath.