Thursday, November 25, 2010

Understanding Ohio St President Gordon Gee

“If you think otherwise, then stop reading. You’re too naive to save.”

Can somebody please tell me how Dan Wetzel’s convoluted article about how Ohio State President Gordon Gee’s comments regarding Boise State and TCU not deserving to play for the National Championship ends?  I stopped reading right where he told me to stop, and not a moment too soon as his argument is about as confusing as he claims the BCS to be.

Not really, the man just assumes entirely too much.  Let’s forget about his assumption that he is right and if you disagree, well he just doesn’t want to hear from you, and look at what Mr. Gee said. 

Gordon Gee points out, from his experience having been a president at both a Big Ten and an SEC school, that those teams have to go through a gauntlet (slight exaggeration, but okay) and that every week they play very fine schools.  He further states his belief that if you don’t play a comparable schedule, then you don’t deserve a spot in the National Championship game.  He does make the very offensive mistake of calling Boise and TCU’s opponents Little Sisters of the Poor, which I just found out doesn’t even have a football team.

Dan Wetzel interprets this as: “Gee clearly has no idea what he is arguing about, or for, let alone how the BCS formula works, why it exists or how a playoff could actually operate.”  Bold stuff!  “Gee may think he’s arguing for the BCS, but he’s actually arguing against it.”  Really? Tell us more Captain Extrapolation!

See you can go from “I disagree” to “You’re stupid and you don’t know what you’re talking about,” but that’s a pretty shitty thing to do if you are over the age of 18.  Nowhere in Mr. Gee’s statements can we really gauge his grasp on the BCS or its formula. 

To me his statements are not much different than when Nick Saban said on National TV (minute 2:45 on) that, and I’m paraphrasing, it is not about the quality of team that Boise and TCU have, but consideration has to be given to the difficulty of what others have to go through to get to a 12-0 record.  Or as Dan Wetzel would put it: Nick Saban has no idea what he is arguing about, or for, let alone how the BCS formula works, why it exists or how a playoff could actually operate.

Wetzel actually gets to something that sort of resembles a point at around the 17th paragraph when he says that the reason Gee is actually arguing against the BCS is because the system would, and could be about to, let a 12-0 WAC (or MWC) team play for its National Championship game, which is exactly what Gee is against.  BUT THEN WHAT IS THE BCS OUTRAGE ALL ABOUT?!

If the BCS system is capable of allowing teams like Boise or TCU to play for the National Championship then it is not systematically excluding any team.  The system is designed to make it difficult for them to get there, but that is a fair compensation for playing weaker schedules.  Yay, I got to my point in the 9th paragraph!!!!  But I won’t ask you to stop reading, even if you disagree with me, because I got more to say.

The actual outrage should, of course, come from undefeated teams that are left out of the National Championship game.  This outrage, however, cannot come from any undefeated team.  Nick Saban is correct in saying that consideration should be given to teams whose path to 12-0 is inherently difficult (read: teams from AQ conferences and Notre Dame).  A playoff system is unfair in that it rewards teams for having weak schedules, not only by making it easier to go undefeated, but by keeping those players in better physical condition by the end of the season.  The only team that can be legitimately outraged is the 2004 Auburn Tigers.

Wetzel believes that money is the reason a playoff system hasn’t been implemented; he believes that wealthy bowl organizers want to continue to profit handsomely, even at the expense of the schools.  He’s right, but who is being naïve now?  Money just so happens to be the reason for EVERYTHING! 

Blaming something on the power brokers behind the scenes is just a very cheap way to gain support for your argument.  Hey, that Kanan guy is only writing this because he makes money if people click on ads on his blog!  Oh wait, so does Wetzel, only he makes more, so he’s the evil one!

Yes, bowl organizers are making a lot of money, and I will agree that requiring schools to purchase seats at face value is egregious, but the fact is that the bowl system has not always been the cash cow it now is.  Indeed College Football history is littered with failed bowls.  To think that a playoff system will be by its very nature a fair one where nobody profits more than anybody else, is, well, naïve.

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