Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Bad Boys Conference

Great Horny Toads! College football season begins in less than two weeks!

There is an idea I have been kicking around for several years now. Surely it's an idea that many have postulated before. After all, I am just a fair weather football fan who has ignored the whole sport in past years when my favorite teams were mostly losing. I am the sort of fan who gets really disgusted hearing about the Crimson Tide, the Rebels, and the Tigers of Death Valley year after year. I like underdogs and surprise plays that change the results of games. I would like to watch every game and wonder who might win. I would like to see much more shifting and revolving of teams throughout the seasons. I don't want to watch the New York Yankees win every Superbowl or the Dallas Cowboys win every World Series. I want more fun surprises in my college football!

Pardon my impertinence, but what I would like to see would be a college-level substitute for the draft system of pro ball. It is obvious why we cannot just adapt the draft to college teams, but there is something else we could do. Of course if this plan was implemented, there would be howls of protest. The red and white teams of Alabama and Ohio State would surely object, but I say let them fuss. My plan would still crown them the Kings of College Football much of the time, just not ALL the time.

I call my plan The Bad Boys Conference, but you could name it anything you want as long as the game results become more varied, season after season. The plan is simply to pull out the twenty strongest teams from the prior season, ten from the Western U.S. and ten from the East. These twenty teams would form the BBC East and BBC West for that season. With limited exceptions, these teams would not play anyone but other teams within their conference during the regular season. The point is that, as much as it could be feasible during each season, every one of these Bad Boys of College Football would be forced to sweat jock straps over the outcome of each and every game! There would be no more sacrificial lambs from the repeatedly weaker schools within their normal conferences. There would be fewer games of lesser importance in which practically every fan would know the result to expect even before the coin toss. No longer would the Bad Boy climb in the national rankings as the weaker team fell precipitously with damaged self esteem and little hope of season recovery. 

The BBC would shift with every season, of course. The officials selecting the BBC teams for each new season would begin with the previous rankings. If a previously top-ranked team had lost many of its key players to graduation or the draft, then that team could petition the selection officials to remain in their regular conference for the new season. The next ranking team would be considered first as a replacement. If there is some reason not to include that team, then the next choice would be examined. Of course you can imagine many ifs, ands, and buts that will clog up the selection process, but I am sure there are many who would gladly take on the job. You can also imagine that some teams will throw a tantrum to be included for one reason or another, while others will pitch a hissy fit just to opt out. I'm sure you can visualize the pros and cons of inclusion in the BBC. You will receive the best and most of everything from the television networks and sports journalists, while the season itself will likely include grueling punishment and defeats of the sort to which the Tide is not accustomed. 

The sports junkies will love the intense quality of the BBC games throughout the whole regular season. The bookies and gambling junkies will be challenged by more games. The TV executives will roll in dough and more stadiums will fill closer to their capacities for more games. No more of the typical murderings, annihilations, or blow-outs that bring small crowds to college stadiums all over the country early in each season, even with their accompanying low ticket prices. The fans of the multitudes of lesser college teams will attend more games when a relentless loss is not perennially inevitable.

Here are a few basic ideas I have kicked around the field in my head. Each BBC team will of course play twelve games in each regular season. The reason I have chosen ten as the number of teams in each conference is that a couple of slots should be left for each team to play its legendary rival or rivals, with a possible wild-card game with a team from wherever at the beginning of each season, much as we have now. The choice of the number ten is totally arbitrary. You know how much Americans like Top Ten things. The number in the BBC East and West could easily be lessened if necessary. The whole point of the BBC concept is to make college ball more like pro ball, with a revolving set of teams that over time offers much more variety for the fans. It would give at least a little hope to all the perennial losers out there. It would challenge the top-rated teams to play their very best in every game, less they be demoted back to their regular, not so exciting conferences for the following season.

What does Yosemite Sam have to do with the Bad Boys Conference? The Bulldogs of my alma mater are infamous for their cowbells, as well as being drowned by the Tide for most of the past century. If I were in charge, every time the TCU Horned Frogs scored, the voice of Yosemite Sam would loudly exclaim, "Great Horny Toads!!" 

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