Welcome to my world.....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's time for a BCS Playoff System

Well, I don't know about you, but the excitement of last nights BCS National Championship Game kept me on the edge of my seat and chewing my fingernails. Not. It was all I could do to stay awake. Don't get me wrong - I love a good defensive football game almost as much as I love an offensive shoot-out. However, as the game progressed, all I could envision was the great debates that would start today regarding who really is the #1 team in College football and how to fix the system in order to answer that question.

For me, it's easy: Playoffs. When this is mentioned to the NCAA, the BCS Bowl Committee, or various other's in "the know" they quickly point out all of the reasons why there can't be a playoff. But I call "Shenanigans!" I spent three hours this afternoon checking out this years bowl game schedule, the top 25 college rankings as of Week 15, and the champions for each conference and I worked out a very simple playoff bracket making use of the existing bowl game schedule. And if I do say so myself, I'm freaking brilliant. (Yeah, you're smiling)

I based my system on a 16 team playoff: 12 conference champions and four at-large teams. To pick the at-large teams, I simply looked at the top 25 and chose the four highest ranked teams that were NOT their conference champion. I also set up the brackets so that the at-large teams are on the same side as their conference champion because, frankly, I never want to see two teams from the same conference in the National Championship Game ever again. Ever. I mean it. Done.

The only real drawback is that the current system has 35 games which means 70 different teams. In using the existing bowl schedule, and a 16 team playoff, I had to eliminate a few teams and cut back to just 56. But really, isn't 56 teams playing in the bowl games good enough? Is team #57 going to call me and threaten to beat me up? I don't think so.

So: Here's my playoff bowl list. Let me know what you think!

First Round - left

12/17 R&L Carriers Bowl
WAC Champ Louisiana Tech

12/17 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
ACC Champ Clemson
Independents BYU

Winners 12/27 Little Caesars Bowl (winner to Semi-Final)

12/21 SD County Credit Union
Mountain West Boise State
At-Large #1 Alabama

12/20 Beef O'Brady's Bowl
Conference USA Southern Miss
At-Large #3 Arkansas

Winners 12/28 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (winner to Semi-Final)

Semi-Final 01/02 Gator Bowl
(winner plays for National Championship)

First Round - right

12/17 Glidan New Mexico Bowl
Big 12 Champ Oklahoma State
Sun Bel Champ Arksansas State

12/22 Maaco Bowl
Pac-12 Champ Oregon
MAC Champ Northern Illinois

Winners 12/27 Belk Bowl(winner to Semi-Final)

12/24 Sheraton Bowl
Big 10 Champ Wisconsin
At-Large #2 Stanford

12/26 AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl
Big East Champ West Virginia
At-Large #4 Kansas State

Winners 12/28 Military Bowl (winner to Semi-Final)

Semi-Final 01/02 Rose Bowl
(and the chance for it to still be Pac12 vs B1G!)

01/09 Allstate BCS National Championship Game

Maybe we take the Gator/Rose options and alternate years with Fiesta/Sugar or something. I'm flexible. My point is simply this.... If I could figure this out in one afternoon, what the heck is stopping the BCS folks from doing the same thing?

Respecfully Submitted,

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Help Wanted - Sheriff

"...there's a new sheriff in town. And his name is Reggie Hammond. So y'all be cool. Right on." - Eddie Murphy, 48 hrs

That is one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies. With all the swagger he can muster, a young Eddie Murphy strolls through a red-neck cowboy bar looking for information. He uses the strength of his personality to take control of the situation and get the information he needs - plus he gets out alive! It's also what Cleveland sports fans are looking for: a new sheriff.

In all of the great old Westerns, there's a town in trouble, a Sheriff, and a group of bad guys/outlaws looking to oppress the people of the town in some fashion. And the Sheriff is the hero of the film, saving the townspeople from the outlaws and wearing a white hat and getting to kiss the prettiest girl in town. Sometimes the Sheriff has been in office for a while and knows it's his job to save the day. But my very most favorites were the ones where just a simple cowboy, going about his business, was forced into a situation where he suddenly became the Sheriff. Where he was thrust into the position of saving the whole town. And he does!

We've had Sheriff's in the past here in Cleveland. Men who stepped up and, with their personalities and athletic talents, took control of this city. They are still (mostly) regarded with awe and respect even though their careers are over. You know some of the names... Jim Brown. Bernie Kosar. Sandy Alomar. LeBron James. (Yes, I said LeBron. Before the fateful decision, he was a Sheriff in this town. The fact that he joined the other side and became an "outlaw" doesn't change what he was to this town and Cavalier fans.) Browns, Indians, Cavaliers. We've had Sheriff's come from each team during different periods of time and in different ways.

The question now is: Who will be our next Sheriff? Which team will supply us townsfolks with the hero to save the day and bring our sports pride back?

It doesn't have to be a player. For a while, I thought perhaps Mike Holmgren could take on that job. He came to town and filled Browns fans with the hope & faith that he could build a winning team here, that he could put together the Super Bowl Champion that we've all been dreaming about. This season not only left us with a dismal 4-12 record, it also left Browns fans with little faith and less hope. We didn't see the progress that we expected which makes the losing record that much harder to handle. And it makes it very difficult to believe that the Browns are on the path to success.

If you ask me (and since this is my blog let's assume that you did), the Cavaliers show the most promise of providing fans with the Sheriff that will give us hope, make us feel safe, give us something to look forward to in trying economic times. Byron Scott, as head coach, is ruling with an iron fist. He is in complete control of the Cavs and is showing that he has what it takes to develop this group of young players into a really great basketball team.

And then there's Kyrie Irving. In his first five games as a professional basketball player, this young man has already exhibited signs of leadership many veterans don't possess. Admittedly, he has a long way to go towards becoming a great ball player, but with the little bit I have seen so far, he has promise and poise. He has the opportunity to take control of this city and it's fans. He has the chance to be the Sheriff of this town, to save us all from the oppression of bad sports teams, and to get the girl. Or the ring. However you want to look at it.

Respectfully Submitted,