Biddle’s Beat: Wed. June 6, 2012

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: July 7, 2013 (Image 1)

Obtaining solidarity in the SEC is like herding cats.

It's no different on the college sports landscape.

The majority of movers and shakers are in favor of a playoff for college football. After all, it's the only sport in college athletics that is not decided on the field of play.

Baseball has the College World Series. Basketball has the Final Four. Swimming, diving, softball, gymnastics, tennis, golf, bowling — you name it, all have competition that eventually crowns a champion.

That is, all except football at the highest level. Even the smaller schools in the Football Championship Subdivision (Division I-AA) have a playoff to determine a champion.

So we have reached a point where even the most staunch opponents of a playoff admit there is ample evidence that the paying public has grown weary of the current BCS model that uses a zillion bowl games to determine which football team gets the crystal football to cherish forever. That is, unless you happen to be Carleton Tinker, the father of Bama long-snapper and former Riverdale player Tinker Carson. Carleton was admiring the trophy after the A-Day game this spring and watched in horror as the football he had just held bounced off a table shattered when it hit the floor.

The rub is, as it always has been, what does the final plan look like?

You want a plus-one? Stand over here. You want a four-team playoff? Over there. Some may favor an eight, or even 16 team, playoff. But they have to embrace patience, as those dreams are way down the road.

The current BCS formula is flawed. It relies on coaches, sports media and computers to determine which two teams meet in the BCS Championship Game.

I don't know about you, but I don't have a lot of faith that coaches can put aside their buddies in the profession when it comes to voting on the weekly Top 25.

I know I don't trust sports writers to be 100 percent objective when they cast their votes. Some tend to favor geographic areas the live or work in or schools in the conference they cover. Do we know that media of the Catholic faith that grew up in a family that worships Notre Dame gives the Irish a break when they vote?

And computers? Puhleeeze. Garbage in, garbage out. That's all you need to know.

That brings us to the summer meetings of a selected group of conference commissioners and other leaders of college sports to determine the inaugural playoff format.

Having covered the sport for 40 years, allow me to share some thoughts.

First of all, there are too many meaningless bowl games. Even the BCS bowls don't have much clout, as the BCS title game is the only one that counts.

The bowl season is way too long. All a team has to do is win half its regular season games and they are eligible to go bowling. Too many teams are rewarded for mediocrity.

A champion is not crowned until January. It used to be on New Years Day, but now they have strung it out to January 9, the date of this year's Alabama-LSU game.

Teams have to wait more than a month between games. Football is all about being in rhythm. Shorten the time spent in the waiting room.
Make Jan. 1 a firm date. Wrap it all up by then. If you have a four-game playoff, incorporate the bowl games on a rotating basis.

TV will eat it up. The payoff will be monumental. Follow the money. That's what this is all about, if the truth be told.

Always has been. Always will be.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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