THE NEW NORMAL: COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S IMPENDING PLAYOFF
FCS playoffs expand. Again
The prospect of the four-team college football playoff expanding is usually countered in two ways -- one by people who want that out a mistaken belief that bigger is automatically better, and one by those who say it's simply doomsday / slippery slope talk. In 1978 -- 34 years ago, or not that long ago -- the FCS started a four-team playoff. Thursday brought us this news:
The Football Championship Subdivision is on the verge of expanding its playoff system from 20 to 24 teams by 2013. ...
It expanded to 20 teams with five seeds in 2010 and, according to Kallander, started considering further expansion even then as a way to more fairly accommodate a growing membership that will include 124 teams in 2012.
Not only has the championship grown, but it's grown rapidly. It will have taken three years to go from 20 teams (which is already far too many teams for any reasonable playoff system) to 24 teams.
The point of this is not to knock the FCS -- that subdivision has its system and, like all other sports, its fans have grown accustomed to its system. The point is to highlight that we might not be all that far from making the regular season just like the NFL, where losing one or two or even three games is nothing to worry about. And if that's fine by you then it's fine by you, but it's not the college football I grew up with.
Not just no ...
Meanwhile in the debate over the FBS playoff, Nick Saban does not heart Jim Delany. Or his conference champions only idea.
"The one thing that I think is that people want to see the best teams play. They don't want a bunch of conference champions to end up playing in a championship game," Saban said. "If we do that, did we accomplish what we set out to accomplish? Hell no."
I guess we can all be grateful he didn't compare it to the sack of Rome or something.
This seems ill-conceived
No, the new college football playoff is not going to kill the bowl system. This, however, just might.
Former Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe is believed to be on the short list to become the first Football Bowl Association executive director.
It's hard to get much higher than that
Chris Stratton, who's been a phenomenal pitcher for the Western Division Bulldogs this year, is leaving room for him to return after the major league draft next month. Sorta.
"I can see myself coming back but it depends on the situation and where I get taken," Stratton said Thursday. "There's always a choice to be made but if it's the first round, that’s pretty high up there. We'll see what happens."
The good thing about the baseball draft is that players can see where they're chosen and then decide whether or not to sign. But the principle is the same as football in this regard: If you're a first-rounder, you go. At least Stratton doesn't have to rely on a board conducting an academic exercise to find out if he is.
C.T. Bradford is done for the season
He's Mississippi State's starting center fielder, for those who don't know. It's not exactly the best time for any team to suffer an injury.