Well we've arrived football fans. The last three weeks of college football may have been the most exciting we've ever seen. Oklahoma State ended Baylor's national championship dream with an epic performance, then fell flat on their face in Bedlam as time wound down making Baylor the Big Twelve Champ. Ohio State roared for 'War Eagle', to turn around the following week and lay an eagle sized egg in the Big Ten Championship. Auburn provided us three of the most intriguing and exciting games in college football history with wins over Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri. And Jameis Winston, despite his name being dragged through the mud in the court of public opinion, continued doing what he's been doing in putting together a perfect season.
Today... it stops. It's over with. In every other organized sport this excitement leads right into a playoff or championship when interest it as its highest. But not college football. College football does things it's own way. It likes to be different. It's above the rest of the class. Why build on momentum? That would be stupid. College football says that we should all catch our breath and reflect for the next four weeks. Sure it'll create that much more anticipation. The talking heads will spend the next month breaking down the championship game. But what happens in that championship game... we have no idea. When teams have four weeks to prepare anything can happen.
In all other sports you want to peak at the right time. In college football you need to peak at the right time, win the right games, schedule properly, make sure you're in the right conference, be a popular entity already, and then you need to be good at enjoying the holidays and figuring out what you were doing a month earlier. It's ludicrous. What sport ends, and then has it's finish a month later?! College football.
I actually don't have a major problem with the college football BCS Bowl system. It's flawed but more often than not we end up with the best two teams going head to head at the end. The problem is we never get to see those same teams that played through the regular season. This thought process of waiting weeks on end to play these games just doesn't make sense to me. It destroys all momentum and any excitement built up over the final weeks.
I get that New Years Day used to be the day we had all the great games. It was a tradition around my house to set up three to four TV's and watch them all with far too much food available. But what significance does January 6th have over December 21st?
The National Championship should be no more than two weeks after the regular season ends. It's complete insanity to make these guys sit around for so long and wait on this game. And who this affects the most is the fans. The bowl game and sponsors think its great because that's four weeks of promotion, breakdown, and value for their brand. But the fans have a short attention span. We have other things to worry about so now it's time to focus on mid-season NBA games (hey did you see Kobe is back today?). The excitement of the NFL playoff race will steal our attention. And since the NFL will go right into it's playoffs the same weekend as the BCS National Championship, some casual fans will forget the college football national championship game was even being played.
This is yet another reason my “NFL” friends make a point to me that I can't counter why the NFL is better to watch and makes more sense.
Fortunately this is all coming to an end. Next year I believe the semifinals will be two weeks after the season finale and the championship two weeks later. It's not ideal, but it does allow for travel accommodations, ticket sales, and when teams have bye weeks they get two weeks to prepare for a game. Why not give them a bye week before the final three games of the regular season.
But for this year it's one more year of waiting, watching a bunch of worthless bowl games that pit teams together who have no business enjoying a post-season, and then hoping the best two teams in the country are still the best two teams in the country when they've been practicing for a month straight.
FSU finished undefeated and #1 at the end of the season so they are the national champs, right? No way...Auburn polished off the Tide, the #5 Missouri Tigers and ran through the SEC with only one loss. Woah guys... let's settle down. We'll figure this all out in a month. Enjoy the holidays.