Tag Archives: college football

BCS or Playoff, or Both?

13 Jun

Welcome back to The Sports Ace, where the Stanley Cup forever reigns as the greatest prize in sports.  Seeing it always gives us chills.

Quick update: a little while ago I wrote about the University of North Dakota and its nickname controversy.  Just yesterday ND voters elected to drop the nickname, in the latest sign that reason is winning out over passion.  This quote from Tim O’Keefe, EVP and CEO of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation, says it all: “The price of keeping the name is simply too high.”  Exactly.  I know it’s painful, North Dakotans, but you’ve done the right thing.

What a 2011 playoff might have looked like (photo credit: ufrsports.com)

Meanwhile, as we speak, big shots from the major college sports conferences are in meetings in Chicago to debate the future of the BCS and whether or not to initiate a playoff for college football.  My thoughts?

This blog has long been a proponent of a playoff, and that hasn’t changed.  I think it’s ludicrous that the national championship isn’t decided on the field, like it is at just about every other level of every kind of sport.  Done right, such a set-up leaves an undisputed champion – and a ton of revenue and buzz, a la the NCAA basketball tournament.  Personally, I’d support a four, six or eight-team seeded tournament, with all games at neutral sites.  Select the teams with a selection committee, like in basketball, and let the chips fall where they may.  This is what is needed for the game…a pure process where biases, conflicts of interest and the like are as far removed as possible.

That said, as a former band member/letterwinner at the Big Ten’s University of Minnesota, I’m admittedly a bit of a purist.  The Rose Bowl is part of our DNA in this part of the world, and ever since birth I’ve been looking forward to the day that I could follow my team to Pasadena for a Rose Bowl.  I didn’t have the honor during my years wearing the maroon and gold, although we got close.  And in many ways, I’d rather see the Gophers play once in the Rose Bowl than two or three times in a college football playoff – it’s about the experience of it all.  Yet I understand that if/when changes are made, said experience will fundamentally and forever change.  I get it, and I think it’s necessary for the greater good, but I’ll still hold out hope that the Gophers are playing a title game someday…for the Roses.

That’s all for now.  I’m out like the Boston Celtics.

News Flash: The Truth Still Wins

31 Aug
Welcome back to The Sports Ace, where we always get the steal of our fantasy football draft.
Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel (AP photo)

It’s been the worst year ever for scandal in college football.  But I think it’s worse than it had to be.

Don’t get me wrong – rulebreakers and cheaters should be held accountable.  What they did was wrong, and their actions have impacted the innocent as well as the guilty.  But in most cases, the downfalls of those accused have just as much to do with how they fell from grace as what they did in the first place.

Remember Watergate?  Richard Nixon told the nation every chance he got that he wasn’t a crook.  Then the proof came, and he had nowhere to hide.  Remember Alex Rodriguez, who at first flatly denied using steroids?  The proof came, and he was exposed as well along with more than a hundred of other ballplayers.  Tons of other examples exist of people who did misdeeds, denied them and took just as much heat if not more for the cover-up than their actual crime.  In college football in 2011, Exhibit A has been Jim Tressel, who might still be coaching if he came clean at the beginning.

Now remember Andy Pettitte.  When the story broke in 2007 that he had used HGH, he called a news conference, told the truth, admitted it, answered every question and appeared genuinely sorry.  The news media covered it for a while, but the story went away and public sentiment toward Pettitte has been nothing like that toward ARod and others.  People were less angry at him because he told the truth; Pettitte minimized the damage from his mistakes, and therefore won the PR battle. 

Athletes, public figures and people everywhere would be well advised to remember this indisputable fact: the truth always wins.  Truth makes the world go around, and it always seems to come out somehow.  It has always been this way, and will always be.  Better to tell the truth, and take the heat for what you did, than to deny or cover up your actions.  These events – and countless others – clearly illustrate that the people and brands who win long-term are the ones who admit their mistakes and work to fix them right away.  The cover-up is indeed worse than the crime.

With the season starting again, let’s hope the discussion will shift back to the action on the field instead of off of it.  And let’s remember to celebrate the people, fans and institutions doing it the right way.

That’s all for now.  I’m out like the NBA.