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An Open Letter to the NCAA, Playoff Committee, and Associated Press

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NCAA Football: American Athletic Conference Championship-Memphis at Central Florida Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

Dear Stupid Idiots,

With all due respect, you’re a bunch of window-licking, Elmer’s-glue-sniffing, cigarette-butt-eating, bowl-cut, leotard-wearing, gutter-bathing, dumpster-dining, gap-toothed, back-waxing, double-cross-eyed, public-pool-drinking, bunion-footed, root-beer-bellied, zit-popping, incontinent, knuckle-dragging, unreasonable elitists with fart-mustaches.

…But let me tell you how I really feel.

For the life of me, I don’t know why the University of Central Florida’s football team was not unanimously ranked number one in the final AP poll, after having gone undefeated and beaten Auburn in a NY6 bowl game, remaining the only undefeated team in Division I football. (To the four out of 61 who did, please disregard my opening statement.)

A quick check of all the sports sites today tells me that the Alabama Crimson Tide are the national champs. Alabama Crimson Tide only lost once this year, and that was to Auburn by 12 points. So by your estimate, who was the better team that day, and what factors are you using to make your determination? I see that Alabama outrushed Auburn 209 yards to 168. They also had a higher average of yards-per punt!

Or maybe you want to compare their records and determine who is the better team based on strength-of-schedule and win-loss record? Maybe they have a common opponent with whom you can compare quality of wins?

Let me simplify the formula for you: Who won?

How many games are ever won in a newsroom or conference room? Last I checked, the game was played on a field, and the winner was determined by whichever team got a pointy ball into a goal or between some yellow posts more. At least, that’s how my youngest daughter understands it at a ripe six-years-of-age. But maybe you’re on some higher plane of thinking, haughtily chuckling at the amoeba-like intellect of those who think 26 is a greater number than 14.

“Oh, you poor soul,” you say, tossing some more television royalties into your fireplace. “You think actually pitting teams one against the other is how we determine who is the superior specimen? Puh-leeze! Those mortals who suit up and play that caveman contest are mere pawns in the real game, which is to determine which team is better at buying us yachts.”

But if you are one of those rare people who can see that Auburn was the better team, then perhaps it’s not much of a stretch to see how that same logic applies to UCF. And this is not some 63-deep map of comparable wins against a team that might have beat Alabama in a game of foot-ball back when the helmets were leather and the for-ward pass was a new concept. (“Well, UCF beat Memphis, who beat Navy, who beat Germany in WWII, who beat Poland, who played Chopin, who beat a piano…etc.”) We’re talking about two head-to-head games with a common opponent!

A > B > C

If you still hold to the strength-of-schedule argument, I would counter with this: How do you justify ranking teams before they have even played a game (i.e. preseason polls)?

“Well, we can guess how well they would play based on last season,” you say. “And how much in the SEC they are.” You’re good at guessing knowing this stuff, so it’s a great measuring stick to determine how strong teams are! Like how Florida State was destined to be the 3rd best team in the nation instead of finishing 7-6, right? I’m pretty sure Alabama beating a 3rd ranked Florida State in their season opener didn’t hurt their SOS. Never mind that Alabama played 4 teams who didn’t make a bowl, or scheduled FCS powerhouse Mercer Bears! Hey, some of those teams were from the SEC! It’s hard to succeed in such a tough conference!

Hey, I’ve got news for you: There are just as many losers on a conference schedule as there are winners. There is a bottom-half in every conference, even the *gasp* SEC. But see what you’ve done? You’ve roped me into talking about strength of schedule here, and I just wanted to make a point that it’s a farce as long as you have preseason rankings. Alabama will always be in the top 25, because Roll Tide (and good luck dropping them out of the top ten if—heaven forbid—they lose a game).

What is the point I’m getting at?

It’s pretty simple. Give us a real playoff! Each conference champion (including each Group of 5 champ) has proven over the course of a season that they have earned the right to have a shot at a national championship. Even if you perceive their conference to be “weaker,” they have still gone through the grind of a regular season and come out on top, proving they are a contender. And what conference doesn’t have a down year, even among the “Power 5s.” (BTW, real subtle on the name!)

I can already hear the excuses: “But the players! We care about their safety! They couldn’t possibly handle another few weeks of games in which they would get exposure on a national stage and improve their draft grades!”

Hold on… can’t they opt out of playing if they fear injury? (Given, this takes away some interest in the games and might lose you money, uh oh.) I believe most players would be up to playing a few more games, especially if they aren’t in some meaningless bowl sponsored by a lawnmower website, but actually competing for a title! Heck, if they’re serious about playing at the next level, this is good real-world practice for a 16-game regular season plus playoffs! Pssshhhh, what’s 13 games? Not even a full professional season!

And if you think such a rigorous schedule is impossible at this level, maybe you can ask your little brothers in FCS, Division II, or Division III how they pull it off.

If you think the players would have a problem with playing a few more games if it meant a shot at the title, ask Ohio State how they feel this year.

What gets me the most is the pure bias against G5 teams. Never once did UCF have a chance at breaking into the top four, and you know it. Heck, you know it more than me—you made the decision! Let’s not pretend the bottom line isn’t all about money. It’s the same reason Virginia Tech and Michigan played in the Sugar Bowl in 2012, over a higher-ranked Boise State. You weren’t even trying to hide your bias then! You still don’t. And don’t worry about losing your bowls. Isn’t there anyone smart enough to figure out how to keep bowl tie-ins with a bigger playoff, along with consolation bowl games for non-conference champs? Hasn’t this happened somewhere before? Sounds familiar, somehow…

You seem to think G5 teams are playing a different sport out there, like shuffleboard instead of Division I football. And no, having a lower-tier championship for the G5s will not solve the problem, thankyouverymuch.

I think Americans would all agree that they like their football played on fields and not in polls. This isn’t a popularity contest or a pageant, it’s a sport. Leave the deciding to the coaches and players!

This year, we hear you say, “Hindsight is 20/20,” and “Maybe UCF can make a run next year, building on this year’s momentum!”

But that won’t mean a thing to this years’ team.

UCF has every right to call themselves national champions, and you elitists who sneer at their claims can suck a wet fart. I’m amazed that they beat a top-tier team with one hand!

(You gotta hand it

to the One-Handed Bandit,

In fact, I demand it,

I’m candid,

He planned it.

Shaquem Griffin burned down Auburn’s house!)

So if you won’t recognize them, I will; however insignificant a pasty-white, dad-bodied writer from Pocatello, Idaho is.

So figure yourselves out, you mouth-breathing, oxygen-stealing, mattress-soiling, tooth-kissing, money-hoarding fun-stealers!

Respectfully,

Your Mom