In College Football, Who Needs Playoffs? Playoffs?!

Kirk DymbrowskiCorrespondent IOctober 7, 2009

28 Sep 1996:  Head coach Mack Brown of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on from the sideline as he watches his team during a play in the Tar Heels 13-0 loss to the Seminoles at Doak S. Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida.   Mandatory Credit: Scott

According to "Mack Brown made the best case for a college football playoff we’ve ever heard.  Brown said his players face so much pressure to win every game that they are looked at as failures if they lose one game."

Exactly, I agree, and that’s just another reason I am against a playoff.  I love Mack Brown.  But, I disagree with him and the majority of others who wish to see a playoff system in college football.

I love the 'everything matters on every play of every game' nature of college football, not simply does the play work, but, does it look impressive, does it get style-points?

If the Bears lose on opening day to Green Bay.  "Darn".

I might even miss a pro score.  "Hey, how'd the Bears do yesterday?"

I know how Notre Dame did.  I would never miss a Notre Dame score because I watch every game from a hospital bed!  Figuratively speaking.

EVERY FRICKING GAME is life or death.  As Duffy Daugherty (of Sparty Fame) put it, "...its not life or death.  It's more important than that."  It's stressful, but that's part of the joy of it, feeling the emotional energy we felt when we were college aged kids.

That’s one of the bittersweet differences of college football.  It's not relaxing when your team plays...even if they are playing Northeastern Delaware Polytechnic, it’s a CRISIS!  When your pro team is losing, its upsetting.  When your alma mater is losing, it's medical!

Playoffs would turn college football into mini-pros.  Playoffs make too much sense.

That's right, playoffs make too much sense.

Since when has being 19, surrounded by 50,000 other 19-year-olds made sense?  Youth is supposed to be a swirling mass of confusion.  Keep the playoffs in the boardrooms and professional ranks, where it's business.  Keep the playoffs where people wear ties on dates, not wear kids wear Iron Maiden t-shirts on dates.

Leave college a mess. Leave it a beautiful, smoking, drinking, fornicating, crying, laughing, change-your-mind-every-two-seconds, emotional breakdown of a mess. 

At that age, you stand utterly convinced that you know exactly whats going on, only to have it continuously made apparent that you have no clue at all what's going on.  That permeates right through to rankings and bowls, and it makes it a delicious mash of junk, garbage and nonsense to talk or argue about ad nauseam with all your buddies.

You don't have that in the pros; all that matters is the win, and the Super Bowl, and then the conversation is over.  Everything has been clearly, absolutely, and empirically answered with finality and chiseled into the history books.  Done.

College is never done.  We can still argue about rankings from ten years ago.  Beautiful...or would you rather discuss the layoffs at the electronics manufacturer?

We know the Bears won Super Bowl XX.  There is really nothing to BS, argue and debate there.  Done.  Final. 

The pro fan now needs to move on from the Super Bowl to discuss the proliferation of nuclear weaponry. 

The college football fan, on the other hand, is still wondering how Florida State leap-frogged Notre Dame even though Notre Dame beat them head to head.  It's still a crisis, its still something to get emotionally invested in and have fun with.

Playoffs would "institutionalize" the game, and we'd lose that "Smells Like Teen Spirit," gooey, wet dream, fuzzy-sweater cheerleader, sleeping in your own vomit, hiding your stash from the cops, ditching Chem class, youthful, messy, bleeped-up ambience.  Let it remain an intense, unfocused, emotional mess, Mack Brown.  Let it be a vomit-strewn, fall in-and-out-of-true-love-every-ten-seconds, uncontrolled erection of youthful angst.

They don't need EMPIRICAL champs.  Ninety-five percent of those players from those other 119 schools need their confusion and weirdness.  Those crazy kids will be in cubicles and teleconferences, wearing ties, and waking up to alarm clocks for the rest of their hum-drum lives soon enough.

Let it be one huge jubilee of youthful confusion, for the brief time that it lasts.  Just look at those nuts who fly the WASU flag at every College Gameday appearance.  They are still getting a retro-thrill of that ol' college spirit, regardless of the teams rankings.

At the end of a season, I can say to my friends (and foes), "Notre Dame defeated Stanford, who defeated USC.  Therefore, Notre Dame is better than USC."

It's silly and obtuse, but it'll generate lively and entertaining discussion, rampant BSing, and a slew of wacky e-mails.  That does not exist in the pros.  The Steelers won the Super Bowl.  Conversation over.  Let's talk about taxes and medical bills now. 

Who doesn't love the fact that we can ramble, babble, BS, and "what-if" the snot out of college football?

The rest of our lives are tyrannically ruled by empirical truths, immutable postulates, autocratic axioms, and final pronouncements.  For the sake of beer-swilling BS and water-cooler jibing, let college football remain its own amorphous realm of confusion and emotion.  Give us an alternate to the pros, give us a place where emotion and style and hype mean as much, if not sometimes more, than reality.

Its nice to have two different products, isn't it?

One is slick and corporate, has final answers and indisputable conclusions.

The other is a bunch of guys acting like kids, discussing kids, and rooting for kids and never really agreeing on anything.

Having two different products is better, for a consumer, than having one product which comes in two sizes.  Imagine there were only Hondas, different sizes, different models and colors, but all Hondas nonetheless.  Dullsville.

 But, unlike so many other sports, college football is a completely different product from the pros, straight up through ranking, rooting, point spreads, and talk shows.  In the objective truth world of the pros you have Giants, Bears, Eagles.  In college, you have Banana Slugs, Horny Toads, and Golden Flashes.  College is different.  Let it be different.  Enjoy the fact that its different.  Why insist on making it a Mini-Me of the pros?  Isn't it nice to have a different product?

Do you really need answers?  Don't you get enough answers from layoffs, attorneys, auto mechanics, pro football, pro-everything?  Isn't it kind of nice to just wallow in the unresolved craziness of college football, and arguing, discussing and theorizing it to pieces?

The students and athletes will, all too soon, be in the adult world of; failing job interviews (playoffs), divorce settlements, and collision repair costs.  Keep reality out of our colleges.  College is a place for questions and dreams, not answers.


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