College football is really starting to piss me off.  Not because the games are less exciting then they used to be.  They aren't.  One look at Faurot Field two weeks ago against OU and there is your proof right there.  No psychoanalytic testing required.  Just plain craziness.  College football has the tailgates, the beer, the barbecues, and the smoking hot girls with stickers on their cheeks decked out in their school's dual color garb of choice.  What ticks me off isn't the game itself, the people who play it or those who support it.  Rather, what irks me is the foundation it rests upon: purist Capitalism in the most awful sense possible--that of which takes away the integrity of the game.

When I started hearing about Boise State's need for "style points" at the beginning of the season, I realized that my college football fanhood needed to subside.  How could I support such a primitive, unjust system?  How could I be a major fan of a system that is solely built to help the rich get richer and never give the little guy who can't control the conference they play in a shot?  How could a Boise State team who dominated college football for the past half decade still not be worthy of reaching its biggest stage, even if they didn't win every game by 50 points?  How could teams like Utah and TCU have little shot at reaching the National Championship even if they ran the table?  TCU is coming off a one loss season and has had the nation's top ranked defense the past two years.  Utah has had two undefeated seasons this decade and embarrassed the Southern Swoop, Alabama, in the Sugar Bowl two years ago.  I'm not saying that Boise State, TCU or Utah are the best team in the country.  Yes, their athletes are inferior to many of the top programs.  But who cares about Forty times and Rivals star numbers when you are playing in a system that makes you better than your market value?  Intelligent coaches + sound strategy + athletes with as much heart as skill = Winning formula.  I don't care what the computers say.  The best thing about sports--the Cinderella Story--is implausible in college football.  No Butler romance story can ever be written here.

I've made my case for the little guys.  Now it's time to make it for the BCS conference big boys.  Let's use Mizzou as an example.  After Mizzou beat Bob Stoops two weeks ago, this campus was at its 171-year historical climax.  Goalposts were torn down.  Students were arrested and had zero capacity to care.  An average bar where the posts were taken was spoken about nationally via word-of-mouth.  Heck, Republicans were kissing liberals.  Everyone shared the moment.  Then, a week later, Mizzou had an awful first quarter against a good Nebraska team.  Mizzou was down 24-0 after 15 minutes and it was if the weekend before had been voided.  Texts flew in, "Mizzou sucks;" "Mizzou is overrated." The previous week's upset had been diminished.  The moment of rushing the field in triumph will forever live in our hearts.  But, from a football standpoint, it no longer mattered.  Mizzou was no longer a contender for a championship.

No one cares (or at least they shouldn't) about being good or being average.  The only thing that really matters in sports is being the best, or at least giving yourself a shot to be the best.  Once you have eliminated yourself from the "being the best" conversation, what's the point of watching?  No one remembers the team that won the Outback bowl, or even the Fiesta Bowl, two years ago.  (Think fast.  Did you get both or even one in the last 30 seconds?  Didn't think so.)  If you lost one game, you are done.  See you later reigning National Champ, Alabama.  You were sure good last year, but you're gonna have to fight for your life if you wanna be back this year.  Situations like this arise time and time again in college football.  The best teams flop one week and all of a sudden they are irrelevant.  The computer lovers say, "Oh, well the BCS format makes each game matter and there are exciting games each week because if you lose, you're done."  The smart people, i.e. the progressives who want change, say, "This system is moronic.  Team XYZ is incredibly good, and just because they lost to another incredibly good team, they are eliminated from conversation."  And the cycle goes on and on and on.  In the meantime, the enlightenment from the ESPN hype machine never drowns out.   For ten weeks I have to listen to a nice old man with a speech impediment (Dr. Lou) and a tall man with an obese ego (Mark May) tell me who deserves to be in the BCS National Championship.  Guess what ESPN?  I don't care.  Because you know no better than me, my goldendoodle, or the computers.   I demand a playoff, damnit!  This isn't groundbreaking.  A majority of fans want it.  So, NCAA can you please deliver it?

I fear that a playoff will not be coming any time soon.  Advertisers get too much attention and revenue from bowl games.  Schools get too much money--none of which goes to players, by the way--for participating in bowl games.  Money never sleeps in college football.  Until the institution makes a change, college football will never be  "the" premiere sport in the country.  And if it is considered the favorite sport among fans, shame on us.  The game has all the assets in the world.  But sometimes no level of excitement, passion, or commitment to change will keep crooked hands away from pumping more money into their own pockets.