I’m not into even – never had been for that matter! Some people, some teams, some programs, some franchises, some coaches, some athletes, men and woman, some work harder are more committed, sacrifice more, and put in more hours. I’m for that woman, that kid, that man earning a better spot at the table of life. Why work hard if there is no reward? In baseball, the American League East – the Yankees, Red Sox’s, Rays, Jays and Orioles – could see 3 teams get into the playoffs come October. I’m okay with that! They are more committed and spend more money.
In college football last month, we voted for even! We didn’t vote for fair. We have now finalized a 4 team playoff – there is some good news of course, you can now lose a game and still play for the national title. If Ohio State, USC or Oklahoma, Virginia Tech play great all season long and suddenly get nipped by an inferior team in Week 10, but can still win their conference championship, they will get in now. But what was decided last month wasn’t fair, but even. The SEC is now going to get in only 1 team. Here’s what we are going to get: The best team from the south, the winner of that Ohio State/Michigan game, USC out west and a Big 12 champ – the Big 4, touching every corner of America. That’s certainly more even but I’d contend it’s not fair because you and I know that conferences are not all even. The SEC has been more committed and worked harder, paid more for their coaches, recruited better players – they will not be rewarded.
Today, college football is more even and although it creates more arguments – more material for me to rant about, the media however often confuses fair and even. A really good team will get left out every year, one that scheduled much tougher games. Don’t think for a second that college football is even. For example, go look at LSU’s schedule last year (seriously, look it up) they played 7 of the top programs in the country: Oregon, @ West Virginia, Florida, Auburn, @ Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia – heck I’m not even counting the SEC championship game. Do you want to know who Iowa played in 2007? Ohio State and Michigan weren’t even on their schedule!! They loaded up with teams like Florida International! They didn’t even play a top 20 team that year, until they got into the Big 10 championship. If your okay with that then so am I, I really don’t care.
By the way, who is going to select the final 4 teams? Oh shoot, it’s a committee! You don’t think they’ll be biased there? Go check out the Heisman voting. What was the only region last year to vote in Andrew Luck for the Heisman? Oh what a shock! He plays for Stanford, the guys out west. What was the only region to have Trent Richardson in at #2? What a shock! He played at Alabama, the South had him. Fair isn’t even and even isn’t fair. Every region will be represented – if this was baseball, sorry 2nd place team in the American League East, you don’t get in, but the Cleveland Indians do!! That’s what we voted for in college football. Now I’m not totally against it, it’ll certainly be fun, it’ll be good for the fans, and it’ll be more “even”…there’s a lot of good stuff. We’re going to get 2 really good days of this stuff where #4 meets #1 and #3 meets #2…I’m all for that. But I think sometimes we confuse fair with even – I’m not a big believer in “even” in life. I’m a big believer in that the harder you work, the more you get.
Here’s another thing, only 4 teams get in yet we have 5 power conferences and Notre Dame. Are you going to be okay when Notre Dame goes 11-1, can create their own schedule, gets in over LSU whose also 11-1 but finished 2nd in their conference and has 7 quality wins to Notre Dame’s 2? Is that more intellectually honest? The idea here, what I’m trying to tell you is that we’re still going to have massive bias and massive arguments. It’ll be better for ESPN, better for my blog, better for people in the media, but it will not be fairer!! It’ll just be more even. This is going to ensure than one big dog from every part of the country gets in.
You Yankee fans out there today, would you be okay if even if you committed more than the Mariners, with a new system, just to ensure we get a team from the Pacific Northwest in? They get into the playoffs every year and you don’t? Would you be okay with that? I certainly don’t think you would. Speaking of which, last month there was a particular play at a Yankee game, where Dewayne Wise was ruled to have made a catch when in fact he didn’t. He went into the stands, doesn’t make the catch, fan has the ball in hand, but the umpire rules that he had caught the ball.
Now, here’s the interesting part – when did everyone discover that it wasn’t a catch? Ahhhh when the REPLAY was used is how we found out the truth! How ironic is that?? When did we find out the truth on that call? Replay! Which MLB refuses to use and the decision not to use it looks sillier by the day. It was not easy to see but of course was easy to see with replay because a fan was holding it in the air and the umpire apparently didn’t see it as the player Dewayne Wise ran into the dugout with no ball in his glove – the umpire never checked. Folks, what if that were an ALDS game? We have to get replay into these big baseball games