So this is my first blog post on 11w, and it seems like it is an apt time to share some thoughts on the misery that is college football.
As ohio state fans, we have unusually high expectations. A single loss is the end of the world, and we must fire our coaches for not leading us to a championship win every season. The media ads to this with their relentless coverage over a sport where each team plays less than 15 games a year. And to be honest, I have those feelings too sometime. "We are a better team than michigan state, we are a better team than all the others, we just need our chance" I have said to myself multiple times since our B1G championship game loss. Earlier, when the undefeateds started falling like flies, my tune changed. "Do you know how hard it is to go undefeated through an entire season, let alone two entire seasons?!?!" was my argument for ohio state's rightful place in the BCS championship game. But as soon as our team, who put up a valiant effort against a very tough michigan state team, fell from the rank of the unbeatens I can not bring myself to watch any sports show, whether it be on ESPN or any other channel. I just can't do it. But why? We just argued for weeks about how tough it is to make it through an entire season unscathed, how rare that feat is, and that the BCS will take care of itself. Well, it did.
In no other sport is it (to borrow a phrase from UFM) march madness every single game of the season. In no other sport to you have to prove yourself under such scrutiny and be one of the best two teams in the entire nation just to have a chance to play for the championship. I told myself that I am excited for a playoff, but do not want it to lessen the importance of the regular season. No other sport has a regular season with so much parity that forces you to be the best team each and every time you step out onto the field. But I think this past week has changed my mind. What makes the NFL so great, what makes college basketball so great, and what makes every other major athletic competition so great is that it is decided on the field. I am not saying this is for the players sake, or the coaches, or even the NCAA (or any other league office). This is for the fans. The fans who pay to watch their favorite team. The fans who buy jerseys, and shirts, and hats, and anything else with their teams logo or reference to their favorite team. The fans that make professional sports what it is today. They deserve it. They deserve to see their team slug it out with the best of the best, loser goes home based on their performance on the field at the end of the year. Not so that the media and other officials can determine who are the two best teams available, or who will bring in the most money. The fans deserve to have all of the politicking taken out of (to the best of anyones ability) whose team gets to make lasting memories.
So I guess the point is that it is a flawed system. To take a phrase from a great man (Mr. Churchill), it is the worst system...except all the others that we have tried. But all of this should not take away the passion of buckeye nation or any other university for that matter. Everyone is doing the best they can, and to make outragous accusations that anyone (on ohio states team/staff or any other university) is not doing everything to the best of their ability is just ludicrous. We need to enjoy the fact that we get to play in a major BCS bowl, against a quality opponent, in a great location, and root for the best damn school in the land.