The playoffs are coming! The playoffs are coming!
Excuse me while I contain my enthusiasm.
By far the biggest news of the NCAA football off-season that wasnít Jerry Sandusky-generated was the announcement a four-team post-season is coming to the college ranks at the end of next yearís regular slate of games.
Itís designed to put an end to a BCS selection process that has its hiccups ó and itís haters.
Will it really do just that?
In place of the selection process will be a new playoff selection committee, which will decide the final four and how they are ranked heading into the semifinal set of tilts.
Isnít this just the same system dressed in a different jersey?
Instead of two top teams being decided by a computer/poll (with help from humans) recipe, itíll be humans (with help from the polls) doing the same for four teams. Instead of the third-rated team being left out of the mix and ticked off that it was short-changed, itíll be the fifth-ranked squad squawking about being chop-blocked from the final four.
Thatís already happening, and itís only Week 2.
Oklahoma, despite beating UTEP 24-7 last week, fell from the coveted No. 4 spot to No. 5 ó and out of a playoff position ó swapping with Oregon, who beat Arkansas St. 57-34. Yes, the Sooners struggled until late in the game, but they still got the job done. And itís not like the Ducks were playing a ranked team ó not like No. 2 Alabama dominating No. 8 Michigan to push the Crimson Tide past formerly No. 1 USC in this weekís polls (which is a debate in itself).
Certainly, there are pluses with the coming change ó strength of schedule will play a major role in deciding the final four, likely putting an end to silly get-togethers like the one that saw Oklahoma State blow away baby-sister Savannah State 84-0 last Saturday.
But Iím good with todayís system. Yes, it has warts, but unless you have a league with a balanced schedule (and thatís a tad impossible with some 800 teams ó hands up if you knew Savannah State even existed), then thereís no ideal way to decide which 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, or 64 teams should make the post-season. When teams donít play every other team in its league during a regular schedule, then thereís always talk that this team had it easier or that team had it more difficult.
Besides, the best aspect of is the debate that comes as the season rolls on. The íBama-LSU-OK State debate that lasted long into December last year was a beaut.
Now, go talk amongst yourselves.
FIRST & GOAL
How good is Ohio State pivot Braxton Miller? Buckeyes Urban Meyer, who had all-world athletes QB Tim Tebow and RB Percy Harvin in Florida, says Millerís the most dynamic player heís coached Ö Speaking of the almighty former Denver Broncos star, Floridaís finally named its starting QB ó and heís got a little Tebow in him. Jeff Driskel won the Gators job by being more mobile than fellow sophomore pivot Jacoby Brissett Ö Holy yellow pants, Michigan men! The all-lemon unis are a little harsh on the eyes. Can we have some blue in those trousers, please? Ö If the Wolverines want to rebound from the Week 1 thrashing, theyíve gotta let QB Denard Robinson run more ó just 27 yards against the Crimson Tide Ö If Florida State wants to live up to a few pre-season Hail Marys of being picked to be in the title tilt, itíll have to do so without DE Brandon Jenkins, the teamís sack-master the last two seasons. Heís gone for the year after a teammate stepped on his foot ó what the heck is a Lisfranc injury anyway?
FOURTH & INCHES
Without QB Case Keenum, where is Houston? Try struggling ó and red-faced ó after losing 30-13 to Texas State last Saturday. The Keenum-less Cougars were 35-point favourites to top the toothless Bobcats, making it the second biggest upset against the spread in NCAA history. The worst was USC, favoured by 41, losing to Stanford five years ago. T-State? Not sure the Cougs could even beat Blue Mountain State ó or Savannah State ó these days Ö Heisman finalist Tyrann ĎHoney Badgerí Mathieu is back in school at LSU as of Tuesday in hopes of rejoining the Tigers next year. Letís just see if he learns how to say no to drugs Ö And itís time to welcome Texas A&M to the SEC, as itís at home to host its first conference game nowhere near the southeast. Donít get me started, Aggies.