Today is December 23, better known as Festivus the fake holiday made up by George Costanza’s father, Frank.
So we got together and decided to air our grievances. WE GOT A LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH YOU PEOPLE, AND NOW YOU’RE GONNA HEAR ABOUT IT
I know we should keep this to LSU (And if I did, it would probably be with the tennis program or the Title IX office, and that isn’t in the goofy pirit this was intended, so let’s not get dark), so instead I’m going to go bigger...
I have a eternal grievance with the NCAA itself, as amateurism is a con created by the rich, leisure classes in the turn of the last century to prevent the working class from playing sports against them. It’s always been a con, and it’s never been seriously upheld. There were paid players probably in amateur sports the moment after amateurism was created. But that’s an overarching grievance that never goes away, so let’s deal with a specific one, with the idea that we are withholding the profits of this billion dollar industry from the labor in the back of our minds:
The Playoff Committee is bad. It’s real bad. We have entered into a period of dominance the likes of which college football has never seen before, and that’s saying something, because college football has never been all that egalitarian. Big programs have always dominated, but it’s somehow not only gotten worse, but much worse since the creation of the playoffs.
The reason for that is we’ve essentially recreated the situation that existed before the NCAA v. Oklahoma Board of Regents case, which is why we have a national TV contract and can see every program rather than a mere handful. But now, only a few teams make the playoffs, and they make it every year, making it so other programs have less exposure and thereby get diminished. With recruiting more national than ever, all of the top talent goes to just a few schools, and we have the situation in which Oklahoma has won the last six Bi 12 titles, Clemson the last six ACC titles, Ohio St the last four Big Ten titles, and Bama five of the past 7 SEC titles while making the playoffs six times.
College football is noncompetitive right now and the regular season is becoming increasing meaningless because the gap between the true elite and everyone else is getting too large to scale. It used to be a lesser program could have that One Great Season, but even that is becoming more rare. National pundits will point to LSU as an example, but LSU has not had a losing season in two decades, the longest streak in the nation, and is one of the top five winningest programs of the past decade. The mere idea they can be thought of as an upstart illustrates the severity of the problem.
And the Playoff Committee had a chance to strike a blow in the name of competitiveness, for the good of college football. Instead, Texas A&M was harshly reminded that there is not, nor has there ever been, an SEC exemption for teams that fail to win the conference. It is a Bama Exception or, more broadly, a Blue Blood exemption. The rules are different for Bama, Ohio St, and Notre Dame, who have now all enjoyed favorable treatment from the committee over the years, at the expense of programs with a lower Q rating. And while I think it is funny A&M just had their best season in 30 years, only to be denied a shot at the title, the Committee needs to think about the good of football as a whole.
Which is why they should have let in undefeated Cincinnati. The Bearcats got hosed. They meet all the criteria: they won their conference title, went unbeaten, have more wins over teams above 500 than A&M which roughly translates to Quality Wins, and their inclusion would be both interesting this season and longterm. Cincinnati didn’t just have an argument for inclusion, they have the third best resume by the Playoff Committee’s stated criteria. They should be safely in. The Playoff Committee had a chance not to save college football, but at least slow the extreme stratification, and they blew it.
Justice for the Bearcats.
My grievance is with people who vote on awards. Can’t give Cade York or ZVR some more love?
What Poseur said, all of it, I’m pretty annoyed about it all too. As far as the CFP goes, Cincinnati deserved the 4 spot and practically speaking, the CFP committee could have exorcised their demon of perceived G5 erasure for a damn decade by putting Cincy at 4 and just didn’t. It would have been far from an indefensible move. They also boned Coastal Carolina through this entire damn season in their rankings and they deserved a NY6 bid, fix the system that restricted that. Justice for the Bearcats, justice for the Chants.
I’d also like to file a grievance with the people who run the ball frequently on 2nd and long, enjoy your 3 and outs coward.
I too will endorse the roast of the College Football Playoff committee and their insistence that Group of 5 teams just don’t exist.
The grievance I will air is with uniforms. I wish I could have a sit-down with every FBS team to discuss their uniforms because there are so many that bother me. This past Saturday featured several examples. Why in the absolute hell does Oklahoma wear these weird alternates several times a year? They have a full set of these cream and burgandy monstrosities, but they only wear two of them a year. Your regular uniforms are iconic and perfect! Then their opponent, Iowa State, comes out in all black instead of their very solid all red.
Notre Dame, for the love of God, you have GOT to get your pants fixed. They literally do not match the helmet AT ALL. You look like a teen trying to cosplay as Notre Dame but all he has are khaki pants.
And Florida... you’re so close. My pet peeve with football uniforms is when the helmet, jersey and pants are all three different colors. For DECADES Florida has been trotting out this orange-blue-white combo and it drives me CRAZY! The blue pants they were against use looks great! So does the alternate white helmet. Even the orange pants giving us an orange-blue-orange combo looks better than this. Y’all are so close.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but there are soooo many teams who have combos, or a lack thereof, that I want to dive deep into.
I’m surprised no one’s gone after Bo Pelini yet, though now that he’s on his way out maybe its better if we just pretend his second stint never happened. He’s gone, no need to kick him while he’s down.
I want to direct my ire towards the basketball program as a whole. LSU has had three of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time wear the purple and gold and have basically nothing to show for it. Chris Jackson, Pete Maravich, Bob Pettit, Rudy Macklin and Shaq is as good an all-time starting five as any school and LSU has still not won a Final Four game.
Remember Johnny Jones? I try not to. He’ll be back inside the PMAC coaching against LSU Saturday—though you could argue he was coaching against LSU while at LSU—and the thought of that guy failing to make an NCAA Tournament with Ben freaking Simmons is mind boggling. Say what you will about Simmons, but he’s a top-15 player in the NBA and in a sport like basketball, where one guy can lift a team to heights it otherwise couldn’t reach, that 2015-16 season was a total failure and I owe most of that to Jones.
I just hope Will Wade can deliver a title before the feds eventually take it away.