Yesterday I was in the car on the way home from work and was listening to ESPN radio. It was the Colin Cowherd show with some host (his name escapes me at the moment) filling in for Colin. The topic was How to fix college football. The premise was designed to get listeners to call in or e-mail their thoughts and ideas about how to better the game. There was one exception… no talk of a playoff at the end of the season.
At first I was dumbfounded. “What the hell is wrong with the greatest thing on this earth other than a retarded way to decide a TRUE champion?” It was about that time that I turned into the driveway and went inside. I never did hear the conversation, but not long after I went inside I found myself scribbling down a few things. There are many things that are great with College Football, but here are the things (and they are just a few) that I would change…
Early Signing Period. It has been said many times by coaches, analysts, and fans from around the country… recruiting is the life blood of any program. But, recruiting has also become a huge business and time consuming affair for all parties. And quite honestly, it has become a circus. I think the best way to help the college game would be to insert an early signing period. Let’s just say, August 1st. If a recruit wishes to pledge himself to a program, let that person put it on paper and fully commit himself. If a recruit signs, and changes their mind in say, December, that person will be ineligible to play in their freshman season with the following exceptions…
- A coaching change.
- Status of their academics.
- Granted permission to change by the NCAA due to an appeal.
If a recruit does not sign by August 1st, they can still give their signature and commit by February 1st. This might cut down on the poaching of athletes, the lies, and the games that are played by coaches and recruits alike. It will allow coaches to have a firmer grasp on what their roster will look like in the coming year, and could take some of the pressure off of the H.S. kids to allow them to concentrate more on their senior year.
Pull the stick out of your ass. It gets worse every year. College officials are throwing out the yellow rags more and more for celebrations. For what college football fans say they love about the sport, the emotion of athletes playing for their school and not money (which is a farce anyhow) some out there want to see robots playing. This is a different age in the world, let alone College Football. Let them get excited and have a little fun. I am not saying, that this should be more like the NFL because it shouldn’t. If you watch a lot of college games you understand what I am getting at. It is hard to set guidelines for this but, I’ll give it a shot…
- No spiking.
- No taunting. (The player would have to be specific with his gestures to an opposing player or the opposing bench)
- No group stuff.
- No props (Sharpies, signs, etc.)
Other than that, let them play. “Act like you been there before?” What if they haven’t? What if they just picked the ball off in the redzone to seal a victory? Chris Spielman. Shut the hell up. Let them have fun and in turn play the game with emotion and fire. Next time you bitch about a player having a little too much fun out there, look to see if you either grew a new patch of grey hair, or still have that stick firmly planted up your…
Practice makes perfect. This has never made sense to me. A school can only have practices after the regular season if they are heading to a bowl game. That’s cool. Letting the rich get richer while those who need all the help they can get, are shut out. It’s an American tradition. Quite simply: as long as there are teams playing and practicing, every team should be able to practice as well.
Stop rewarding mediocrity. It is time to cut the bowls in half. While this will never happen because of money, it would be a major fix to the college game. 32 bowls? Not needed. I will stick to the parameters of no playoffs and give you the fix…
- 16 Bowl Games. Same BCS format for the BCS games with the top 4 teams placed in bowls with seeding. (It’s not a playoff if you call it a bowl game) All games are to be played on December 29th, December 30th, New Years Eve and New Years Day.
- A plus1 National Title Game. Played 1 week after bowls are decided.
- Only conference champions and teams with 8 wins over 1-A opponents are eligible. This would also mean that a team would not be eligible for the National Title if they have ANY games versus a 1-AA school.
Schools should not be rewarded for a 6 win season that could turn into a losing campaign after the bowl game. And scheduling 1-AA schools is just wrong. This would provide the fans with a more exciting time and really put forth a true champion. Without a full blown playoff.
In Conclusion. I love college football. I think it is the greatest sport in the world. I also think that it does need tweaking. Do not speak of “Tradition” If tradition would have prevailed, football would have been banned. This is an ever evolving sport that needs tweaked from time to time. Even Rockne would agree with that. He changed a lot of the aspects of the game as well as many other coaches. And if Rockne isn’t college football, who is?
Feedback. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. You may e-mail me, use the shoutbox, comment on the post itself, or discuss in the forum. Any way you choose, I would like to hear it.