10 Reasons Why I Hate College Football
Today marks the first Saturday of the college football season. Millions across the country; especially here in the home of the #4 ranked USC Trojans and the recipient of seven votes in the AP Top 25 - UCLA Bruins, are excited to get the 2009 campaign kicked off. I, on the other hand,
could couldn't care less.
I love the game of football, especially the brand of football that begins on September 10th in Pittsburgh but I can't come up with one reason I'd be excited to see the NCAA season begin. I can, however, list 10 reasons why I hate college football.
1. The regular season means too much.
College football fanatics love to say that this is the reason why they love the college game. You'll very often hear a fan of NCAA football say, "every game is like a playoff game." No, not every game. Just like a real playoff game, if you lose a game your season is over, unless you play in the SEC or Big 12. Unlike an actual playoff game, though, you still have to strap on your helmet and pads and go out there every Saturday and play a schedule of games that mean absolutely nothing in regards to the national championship and are nothing at all like a playoff game.
2. The lack of a playoff system
It's easy to think every game is like a playoff game when you don't have an actual playoff system in place. Rather than throw the best teams into a bracket and let a champion be crowned on the field, the two teams playing for the championship in college football got there through the three layer system called the BCS.
Those three layers are made up of the press, coaches and computers. Yes, guys who write about the game, guys who coach the game and a computer program have more to say about who the best team in the sport is than the teams themselves. Surprisingly, the press are the most qualified of the three layers of the BCS because the coaches don't have the time to watch every game every weekend and the computers are just reading data.
Chula Vista's Andy Rios is lifted by Isaiah Armenta after winning the Little League World Series Championship baseball game. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
3. Nobody will really start to complain about the sport's lack of a playoff system until their team loses a game.
Everyone is euphoric right now because college football is back. It seems as though, now is not the time to start complaining about the game's major shortcoming because it's football and it's on TV.
You won't start to hear anyone to complain about the BCS until their team becomes a victim of this system. Why wait? The BCS fucking sucks. It's awful and I'll say it today, the same day USC and UCLA kick off their season. Don't wait until your team loses to Oregon State to let your voice be heard about this shitty half-assed system.
4. The lack of parity
Going into the NFL season, more than half of the teams involved actually have a legitimate shot at winning the Super Bowl. In college football, of the 140 teams who play in Division 1 FBS (or what normal people call Division 1A) realistically only the teams included in the preseason Top 25 have a shot at winning the national championship. Teams outside of the BCS conferences have to go undefeated to even get considered for a shot at a national title, and even going undefeated doesn't always do the trick - just ask
Utah quarterback Terrance Cain (AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)
This season, non-BCS conference the Mountain West has three teams in the preseason top 25, while BCS conference Big East failed to get one team ranked. If any of those three schools loses a game, even though they are considered one of the best 25 teams in America, they're out of the race for a national title. Voters, coaches or computers won't give a team that has San Diego State, Wyoming and New Mexico on their schedule the benefit of a second chance.
In NCAA Basketball, one of the greatest stories in the history of the sport was George Mason, a school from the Colonial Athletic Association reaching the Final Four in 2006. In college football, there will never ever be a Cinderella story like George Mason, and we're just supposed to accept that. Sure, a 41-point underdog Stanford can be Cinderella for a weekend and Hawaii can find a way into a BCS Bowl; but a national championship run? Not going to happen.
5. The blowouts
In order to impress the voters and to "send a message," teams feel the need to run the score up on their opponents, especially those out-of-conference cupcakes who are happy to hear their names on ESPN. You're up by 30; We get it, your team is good. Now put your walk-ons in the game. Not so fast, my friend.
Not only will the big bad juggernauts keep their starters in, they'll do some fucked up shit like go for a 2-point conversion in the fourth quarter with their first-team offense against Charleston Southern, just to see if the scoreboard can handle 100 points.
As we already discussed, one-third of the voters aren't watching this game anyways and another third of the voters don't have eyes. Not really sure who they are trying to impress.
Think college football is more pure than the NFL? Look no further than former Trojan Reggie Bush. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
Please stop telling me that you love college football because it's "more pure" than the pro game. What makes college football more pure?
It's the money, isn't it? That argument would work if it weren't for Yahoo! Sports' team of investigative reporters telling us all about Reggie Bush's $100,000 worth of benefits while playing at USC. Reggie isn't the only college player who's been given a gift or two or 100,000 for their services on the field. Who can blame a player for taking some cash on the side, the universities are making a killing on them. Jerseys, video games, TV deals make college football a billion dollar business and the guys who play the game don't see a dime of it. Money is the same reason why we don't have a playoff system, there's too much money in the bowl system, even if President Obama wants to see it go, it's not going anywhere because the cash prizes the come along with the bowl games are too good to walk away from.
Maybe you think it's more pure because the players are better behaved than their pro counterparts. While no college football player, that we know of, has been tied to a federal dog fighting ring or shot himself in the leg at a nightclub, that doesn't mean that the college game is full of angels, just look at Thursday night's fiasco in Boise. If that's not enough for you, look at the number of arrests Big Ten school's Iowa and Penn State have racked up in the last ten years.
That seems pure, right? I didn't even get into how the label "student-athlete" is a joke or the gambling scandals or the dirty game of recruiting that plagues this "pure" sport.
7. The Heisman Trophy
It's too early to talk about what a joke the BCS is, but it's not too early to talk about who's going to take home the coveted Heisman Trophy, right? The prestigious trophy that is awarded to the "best player" in college football will be talked about every day from now until the day it's awarded. Unfortunately for guys on defense, the "best players" are almost always quarterbacks or running backs and occasionally a wide-receiver. The one exception to this is Charles Woodson. In the entire history of college football, only once was the best player in the game someone who played defense?
Also, if these guy are so good, why don't they end up becoming stars at the next level? Troy Smith (2006), Matt Leinart (2004), Jason White (2003), Eric Crouch (2001) and Chris Weinke (2000), all took home the Heisman this decade, yet only Smith and Leinart are still playing football, and neither are starters. Bush (2005) and Carson Palmer (2002), two former Heisman winners from USC, have made the successful transition to the pro game but are clearly in the minority.
Tim Tebow is one of the 10 reasons why I hate college football. (AP Photo/Phil Sandin)
Speaking of Heisman Trophy winners, there's Tim Tebow. He runs. He throws. He's a leader. He's a winner. He's got heart. He does missionary work in the Philippines. He's home schooled. He's a virgin.
We get it. Tim Tebow is the chosen one.
I'm sure he's a good guy, a better man than I'll ever be, but do we need to know every last thing about him. Do we need every member of the media falling in love with him?
I know the NFL's got Brett Favre. To be fair to the college game, at least we know when this Tebow-ner will end, but once Tim Tebow's gone and holding the clipboard for an NFL team next season, the college game will find another home-schooled virgin who does missionary work to shove down our throats.
9. The month of December
The college football regular season ends in the first week of December and starts its post season in the last week of December. There must be a good reason why the sport goes into hiatus for three weeks, right? It's so the guys who are winning all the trophies have enough time to go pick up their trophies. Nothing goes on in these football-less weeks except for some award banquets. It seems like that would be the right time to get a playoff going, but that would make too much sense. On the bright side, the NFL takes over Saturdays in December so go ahead and keep taking the month off. That's why the opening moments of the national championship games are always pretty dreadful, the two teams involved haven't played a game in 30 days.
10. Bowl Week
Just like a Spike Lee movie, college football's ending will make you shake your head and think "Wait, that's how it ends?" It's such a goofy way to end a football season. Every team plays a full schedule of meaningful regular season games, only to decide which of the not-at-all-meaningful post-season exhibition game they get to play in. For a week plus, we're given something called Bowl Week, a week full of games sponsored by the San Diego Credit Union, Roady's Truck Stops and Gaylord Hotels. There are a total of 34 bowl games, and 33 of them don't mean a damn thing but ESPN tries to trick us into watching the games with their "Most wonderful time of the year" promos. They are right, it is a pretty wonderful time of the year and it's got nothing to do with the GMAC Bowl or the Insight Bowl, it's crunch time in the NFL.
Go ahead and make your list for why you love the game, I already know what's going to be on that list and I say you can keep your tradition, pageantry, rivalries and hot college age females wearing nothing but team spirit. On second thought, you can keep your tradition, pageantry and rivalries. I like my football on Sundays, with a playoff system in place.