If Only Football Could Have This Day




Today is the best day of the sports calendar and it’s not because of St. Patrick’s Day, although it happens to fall on that day this year.

To me, while I’ve always been more of a fan of NCAA football than NCAA basketball, I have to admire what that sport has done to captivate the national sports public for a whole month. Today is the one day of the year when your favorite basketball team has a chance, no matter how small, of winning it all. In basketball, with runs by teams like Butler, George Mason and LaSalle in recent years, that kind of hope exists.

It would be nice if football had the same thing.

Football can never duplicate that because it does not want to but, just once, I’d like to see them try. It’s gotten far too complicated with far-flung conferences that make zero geographical sense, but this is how it can be done.

1) Have a 64-team field

Base the seeding on the regular-season outcome so, say, Alabama opens at home with Idaho. Before you say it would be a bloodbath, check out some of the teams Alabama played in its non-conference schedule over the last five years.

2) Play a Limited Regular Season Schedule

Determine how many weekends a regular-season would take, with byes, then base the post-season off of it. If it’s an eight-game season, the 2015 Temple Owls would have had a high seed based on a 7-1 record that included a four-point loss to the then No. 9 team.  Maintain current rivalries, like Ohio State-Michigan, Army-Navy, Alabama-Auburn, Texas-Oklahoma, but ditch the Stony Brook-Temple and Rutgers-Howard type games, which really clog up the college football season and nobody really wants to see.

3) Create November-Dec. Madness

Pair the field down to 32 after the first week of the playoffs, 16 the third, eight the fourth and four the fifth. Hold the Final Four in January. No byes.

4) Wake Up

It was a good dream while it lasted but face facts. We college football fans will never have what college basketball fans have this one day of the year—the audacity of hope, and that’s a powerful drug.

At least we will always have tailgating.


12 thoughts on “If Only Football Could Have This Day

  1. everyone talks about how the P5 is slowly breaking away from the NCAA and creating their own rules, etc..,

    the old AFL and ABA model could work for the G-5 schools..,

    stop fighting for status and create a separate governing organization, with playoffs, national championships, etc.., make the NIT great again…,

    the building blocks, TV money, fan bases are already in place.., a Super Bowl for college football between the G-5 and P-5 would get tons of viewers.., nothing is more American.., middle-class of college football left out, struggling, working hard, fighting for acceptance, David vs Goliath…,

  2. I love March Madness – except last year when Temple got screwed. Mike you are right on. What makes the tournament great is not Duke, Kentucky etc it is the Lasalle’s and Butlers that come out of nowhere. Imagine if Temple football went undefeated last year. Absolutely no shot at the football “playoff” and that just isn’t right.

    • yes, Tim, as primarily a football fan I am jealous of basketball fans this month. Football really screwed up with these far-flung conferences and the BCS. Basketball at least includes representatives of the middle and the lower classes. The BCS is building a wall around college football and making the G5 pay for it.

  3. There will never be a winner take all game if the G-5 breaks away because there is nothing in it for the P-5. This is not AFL v. NFL, which merged to save everyone money given the bidding wars for players. The P-5 can keep all the money for itself under the current system and will do so. The G-5 has to be satisfied with the crumbs the P-5 gives them for the time being.

    • The BCS taking over the NCAA should really be a story for 60 Minutes or at least a 30 for 30. Used to be that the dog wagged the tail. Now, the BCS tells the NCAA how to run its football playoffs and is increasingly meddling into hoops (as proven last year when all the metrics had Temple in and the ‘eye test’ had 4 P5 teams in).

  4. Hey Mike, i wasn’t talking about u (i have agreed with u many times). i was talking about KJ idea.

  5. Nobody wants to say it but college football is following the typical corporate way of doing things – garner more and more power for fewer and fewer and the hell with fairness. It’s just the way it is. The big schools and conferences have for a long time been doing this but they publicly made it standard by coming out with this Power 5 conference nomenclature (at least I don’t remember hearing it until maybe 2-3 years ago). Now it has become standard. It’s all about the money and really, nothing else.

    • that is 100 percent correct. wish they could all take a step back and see the kind of excitement this could generate for football like it has in basketball. Maybe they truly do not want the Northern Iowas or the Stephen F. Austins and the Middle Tennessees beating their precious P5 schools, but the public gets a kick out of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s