“That weekend is going to be sex for my eyes.”
Those were the words of a friend of mine when describing an anticipated Saturday of college football. The thing is, the weekend he is describing is still a month away. Such is the beauty of college football.
Even when the Bowl Championship Series is threatening to undermine the sport that causes orgasmic experiences for some, there is a playoff in place to wet the appetites of the freakiest fan.
The I-AA playoffs, college football in a true non-partisan form, begins Thanksgiving weekend.
The BCS is all about which schools have the most tradition and would draw the most fans to a traveling national championship game in one of the four prestigious bowl games. The playoffs are about what team can get hot at the right time.
In easier words, a 4-4 FAMU team lost its shot at a national championship Sept. 3 with a loss to Delaware State in one system, whereas in the other-no matter how minimal- the Rattlers still have a chance at the conference crown and a playoff spot.
No matter how foolish the I-A system is, college football is still worlds better than its professional alternative. There might be no crying in baseball, but the same has never been said of fanatical relationships with college football.
What makes college basketball such a rite of springtime is the NCAA tournament. College football has the same solution and with due respect to Mike Gillespie, the Rattlers have a real shot at winning this tournament.
Rather than griping about the BCS, open your eyes and allegiances to the I-AA playoffs.
Even if Hampton or South Carolina State temporarily borrows the MEAC title from the Rattlers, it is not too much of a favor to root for a conference opponent in the name of sportsmanship. Cinderella’s aren’t reserved for the basketball tournament.
Each of the past two seasons has seen the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament lose in the first round. A finalist in 2002, McNeese State got embarrassed 35-3 to Northern Arizona in 2003 and Southern Illinois lost to Eastern Washington 35-31 last year.
The same top-seed upsets might not happen if there was a playoff in I-A, with USC being so dominant this year, but the possibility remains.
Even with the early elimination of the top ranked team, the I-AA tournament is never in need of excitement.
Mid-major Colgate University stole headlines with its improbable 2003 run to the national championship game. Meanwhile, Utah and Boise State can cry to boosters about being robbed of a chance to play for a national championship after an undefeated regular season last year.
Selecting the 16 teams for the playoffs might not be perfect, but with eight of the participating 12 conference champions receiving automatic invitations, it is more reasonable than the I-A alternative. Only six of the 11 participating conference champions are automatically eligible for BCS consideration.
Cinderella in football pads may not be sexy, but it’s easy on the eyes.
Will Brown is a senior newspaper journalism student from Rockledge. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org