Tuesday, January 09, 2007
The Anatomy of an Upset.......Is a Playoff Now Needed?
It begins with two teams. One team is heavily favored over the other. One team expects to win while the other team hopes to keep the game within striking distance. One team is the national giant that never loses the big game, the other team wins but not nearly at the level of the favorite. As the game approaches The favorite becomes even more confident. They know they are favored for a reason and there is very little the other team can do to stop them. The favorite believes it is their destiny to win the game. As the game begins the favorite makes a mistake to fall behind. However this does not phase the favorite. They know they can afford to mess up from time to time because in the end they will still come out victorious. As the first quarter moves along the score does not change. The underdog has kept the game within seven and begins to build confidence. The favorite continues to try and blow the game open but something isn't working today. The underdog is not allowing the favorite to control the game.
As the second quarter ends the favorite clings to a three point lead. Although they haven't played their best game the favorite knows they are going to win. They played a bad first half but that is why there is a second half. Regardless of how bad they played they are still winning the game by three. Things will calm down in the second half and the favorite will take over and run the underdog into the ground. The underdog realizes that they may have a chance to win this game. Their coach has preached that the favorite is a better team but anything is possible. The coach has told the players that if they keep the game close for three quarters the fourth quarter can provide the type of ending they will never forget. Although the players know the other team is more athletic and should win, they still believe they have a chance.
The third quarter begins and the favorite makes another mistake. The underdog now has taken a four point lead halfway through the quarter. The stadium begins to realize they are going to see something special. As the third quarter winds down the excitement builds in the underdog's stadium. Their team is now winning a game they have no business being in. The players are giving their all to upset the favorite. The players now believe they can win the game, knowing that all they have to do is player better for one quarter. As time ticks away in the fourth quarter the underdog shows more fire than they have the entire year. They hit as hard as the other team and are covering the players like they know the routes themselves. Nothing is going to stop them from winning this game. With four minutes left the favorite scores to take a three point lead. The crowd is deflated as their team hung in there for so long but may still lose. However, the players realize this is exactly what they wanted: To go into the fourth quarter with a chance to win. The underdog puts together a drive worth remembering as they get inside the ten with twenty seconds left in the game. On the final play of the game the QB rolls out and hits the WR to win the game. The fans storm the field as their team has done the unthinkable. How can you not love college football?
Boise State played the underdog role only one week ago. They believed they could play with Oklahoma and showed the nation that on January 1st they were the better team. It does not matter who was better during the season, all that matters is who played better on this one day of football. last night Florida was the better team and thoroughly outplayed Ohio State. Is Florida better than LSU or USC? We will never know because of the lack of a playoff in college football. However, I rescind my thoughts only one week ago. I feel in order for college football to truly capture the nation they need to institute a playoff. The picture above is a bracket of a playoff that would have taken place years back. I have to say I would much rather see a champion crowned on the field. Michigan had one loss. Florida had one loss. Ohio State had one loss. Wisconsin had one loss. Louisville had one loss. Boise State went undefeated. USC and LSU had two losses. Who would not want to see these teams play in a playoff this year? Throw in a Cinderella in Rutgers and we have excitement all over the nation for college football. As Fresno State fans we want a return to the winning team we have become so accustomed to seeing every year. Wouldn't it be great if the Bulldogs found a way to win again and their reward would be a chance at the national championship?
Florida yesterday shocked many people across the nation. The one thing you should take from the championship is you never know who is going to win in the college ranks anymore. The schools share a level of equality that has never been present before. Without an eight team playoff we will never know if a team such as Boise State could play better on one day than Florida. Yes Florida is a great team and they may very well win in a playoff but we will never know until it occurs. College football is sitting on a goldmine in a playoff and not taking advantage of it. One day a playoff will be instituted, it is inevitable. When the BCS contract ends in 2010 a playoff will begin. A true champion will be rewarded and finally college football fans will truly be able to claim their team is number one.