“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” - Frédéric Bastiat
College football is in trouble.
In 2014, the maligned, unpopular Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was replaced with the College Football Playoff. Sports are magnetic because of their pure meritocracy, and the sport of college football was going to finally embrace a format for competition that rewarded on-field performance.
Or so we were led to believe.
On Sunday, ESPN produced a four hour (!) made-for-TV spectacle replete with all of the pomp, manufactured drama, and gravitas required from a Disney entity. It served as a platform for the largest egos in the sport to pontificate and ramble about a Final Four that surprised exactly no one. This, on the heels of weekly ranking shows with very serious analysis repackaged, regurgitated, and spit out to the most passionate fans in sports for
The stage was what you’ve come to expect - a very important roundtable of Rece, Galloway, Pollack, Palmer, and Herbstreit.
Take a shot of Jack for every time you’ve heard one of these buzzwords...
- Body of work
- Eye test
- Strength of schedule
You’re likely in a bodybag at this point - a preferable resting spot versus having to sit through the four hours of propaganda and posturing courtesy of the World Wide Leader.
As viewers, we were treated to the manufactured theater of the five majestic Roundtable Bishops pretending they didn’t know who the Top 4 would be.
Naturally, the Top 4 was as predictable as a Russian election with Vladimir on the ticket.
I’m not going to get into the merits of which teams belong (Alabama, Clemson) and which do not (Ohio State). That fodder is all over the internet. I want to shed light on the idiotic shit charade we’re being fed so that this sport can fix what’s broken before it’s too late.
This isn’t a playoff. It’s an invitational.
Would Maryland be in the Playoff if it had Ohio State’s résumé?
Would Texas A&M be in the Playoff if it flipped résumés with Notre Dame?
The answer is - who the hell knows? Thus, this isn’t a playoff.
This is the BCS 2.0 with somehow less charm and thrill.
The ESPN fellas are on the Playoff Committee.
The closest thing college football has to a governing body is ESPN. They control the eyeballs and the pursestrings. Week in and week out, we are treated to Rece, Kirk, and the gang stitching together the acceptable narrative in real time. They are the PR arm of the cartel. I don’t even think it’s nefarious. This sport has always been a big grift, and the likes of ESPN, the Playoff Committee, and Herbie & Co. get fabulously wealthy by maintaining the status quo.
You’re not watching five objective, independent thinkers at the mighty roundtable. You’re merely seeing the best TV-ready smiles of the Committee. It’s too produced, too slick, too... 24-hour cable news.
We gotta talk about Herbstreit.
I’ve been watching (and loving) Kirk Herbstreit for nearly 25 years. It’s no secret that Kirk Herbstreit played at Ohio State and his two sons play at Clemson. Fine. If anything, he should be commended for how impartial he’s been over the years.
Something about this Pizza Party (yay!) exchange was irritating...
These are the elites of the
Playoff Invitational hamming it up and having a folksy laugh while the cartel pisses all over the likes of Cincinnati and any semblance of transparency and meritocracy.
Kirk Herbstreit is the most influential voice in all of college football. When he talks, everyone in the sport listens. If anyone has the weight to call bullshit on this whole racket, it’s Herbie.
Unfortunately, for the last handful of years, it seems like Herbstreit has treated the sport like it’s one big corporate junket. He yucks it up with the bluebloods, eats in your town’s finest restaurants, zips around on the private jet, punches a seven-figure salary, and gets to be everyone’s bud:
Know there’s a lot of debate & frustration on this day every yr in CFB. I just wanna say I’m so grateful to the players, coaches, & staffs across the country that we had a season-It’s given our country football & a sense of normalcy-Thank you ALL for your sacrifices & efforts.— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) December 21, 2020
It’s not good enough. The most passionate, raucous, insane sport in America deserves a postseason that is more than the coronation of bluebloods and money funneled to old white dudes.
The cartel is yielding a product that is hollow, corporate, and soulless. I noticed it a couple years ago during the National Championship - Fowler and Herbstreit seem to be going through the motions. Maybe that’s human nature. They’ve both been doing this for a long, long time and have become fabulously wealthy. This sport is desperate for critical thinking and fresh voices. The status quo is a pig turning into a hog that is fit for slaughter. Speaking of...
The Playoff Committee doesn’t need to exist.
Could this bloated band of boomers be more condescending and insulting? It’s all so SERIOUS and IMPORTANT. WE WATCH FILM AND STUDY METRICS.
“Mortgage-backed securities. Subprime loans. Tranches. It’s pretty confusing, right? Does it make you feel bored? Or stupid? Well, it’s supposed to. Wall Street loves to use confusing terms to make you think only they can do what they do. Or, even better, for you just to leave them the fuck alone.” - The Big Short... could be paraphrased into the College Football Playoff selection committee
We - the paste-eating serfs - are given glimpses into the four-star hotel ballrooms where these gout-riddled emperors decide who shall live and who shall die.
Think of all the hours wasted and hot air blown out of mouths and asses to ultimately land on Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Notre Dame.
Put a Las Vegas bookmaker, Spencer Hall, a jar of moonshine, and a revolver in a Motel 6 and it would be a more efficient and effective committee.
How do we take a sledgehammer to what is already broken?
So glad you asked.
- Remove all bowl tie-ins to the playoff. The Rose Bowl structure - the finest sporting venue I’ve ever visited. The Rose Bowl enterprise - a dubious tax shelter that masquerades as tradition. Know what else was a college football tradition? Not allowing black players. Have the national championship at the Rose Bowl. No need for THE Rose Bowl to have anything to do with the playoff. Want to know how pointless THE Rose Bowl is? It took a couple phone calls to ship it to the worst corporate relocation destination on earth - Arlington, Texas. All bowls can continue to exist. Lord knows I need all bowls for wagering on games of chance. The bowls would simply have nothing to do with the playoff.
- Eight teams. Power 5 champs, Group of 5 autobid, two at-large to be selected by my Motel 6 committee outlined above. Yes, you will still be pissing off some people who get left out, but at least we’re moving in the right direction.
- Campus sites. An eight team playoff will require three rounds. Rounds 1 and 2? Those will be on campus sites. But, but Gards - the MONEY. I don’t give a shit. This status quo is not sustainable. People are tuning out. We gotta shake this thing up for the sake of the next ten years and beyond. I will show it on my bracket below, but imagine PLAYOFF games in Tuscaloosa and Columbus versus Miami and Arlington.
- 86 the Committee and this weekly parade of North Korea media. But, but Gards - the MONEY. Again, I don’t give a shit. Rece Davis ad nauseum... “How does the committee view a one-loss SEC team versus a Cincinnati team that plays an inferior schedule.” My God this is no way for us to live.
- My 2020 bracket.
Is it perfect? Hell no. But at least we’re putting a dent in the cartel and opening up some seats at the table.
Gig ‘em and Go Irish.