On The Fence
Bobby Leach "The Rooster" | 10/20/2015, 11:14 p.m.
With the advent of the new college football playoff system, style points seem to be expected if a team is to make it into a top four ranking. Teams that are several touchdowns better than their opponent feel it is necessary to run up the score as high as possible to impress voters when it comes time to vote on which teams will top the poll in order to secure a highly sought after playoff spot at seasons end. I suppose this concept isn't lost on the general public but I personally don't like it.
There are millions of dollars at stake for these universities when it comes to a playoff spot in the new system and understandably it becomes a popularity contest many times when deciding the fate of a team when the record alone doesn't distinguish the best team outright. There are several teams that finish the season with the same record thus there are factors that help guide voters but running a score up shouldn't be one of them.
I think strength of schedule and record should be the ultimate rule of thumb. There is a notion among some of us that sportsmanship always outweighs intangibles and that running up a score against a lesser opponent should only take away from a teams character in the eyes of a voter. Like it or not, I feel like we have lost what is most important in athletic competition and I fear that we will never see it again in the "me generation" unless there are specific rules forbidding such actions.
When I see a score of 70-0, I think right away if there was some sort of grudge that was settled. Surely there would be some logical motivation to finish with a ten score lead beyond just hard fought competition? Maybe we could use a slaughter rule in football that would all but end such one sided contests early. Once down by five touchdowns a running clock and down by seven touchdowns end the game wherever they are at. It's my opinion that such a rule would not only save embarrassment but would logically reduce injuries with less field time in a blow out.
I guess 70-0 speaks more to a frown than a smile when I think of those contests and in the end sport competition is suppose to be fun especially at the youth and prep levels. Hopefully we will one day see something in the rule book that protects such ridiculous lopsided victories like that as the supposed honor system most coaches respect is always adhered to. Then again maybe I have it all wrong so swing away, perhaps it's time I found something else to do on my free time than spend it watching something not agreeable in my eyes.