How about a playoff now?

Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2009 by Travis Cody in

USC thrashed Penn State in the Rose Bowl. The Nittany Lions made the score close in the second half, but they were dominated by the Trojans. And USC won't be the NCAA champion.

Utah manhandled Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. The Utes are the nation's only undefeated team in Division 1-A and proved that they belong at the table with the cool kids. But Utah will not be the NCAA champion.

Texas and Ohio State get to play for nothing but money on Monday in the Fiesta Bowl. The winner won't be NCAA champion.

So because the people in charge don't seem to care about much other than money, Florida and Oklahoma get to play for what the NCAA would have us believe is a national championship.

I have nothing against those two programs or their fans. The rules are the rules and either the Gators or the Sooners will win the BCS championship game. Good for you! But I'm sorry...I won't be calling either of them the NCAA champion.

Come on gang! Let's get this organized so we can settle the question on the field. Let the kids play it out and find out who really is the champ. Figure it out. It can't be that difficult to come up with a playoff system that satisfies the money situation and let's the players play it out.

Get it done. And get it done so college football finishes before the NFL playoffs begin, please.

Speaking of the NFL.

I haven't done much in the way of football posts this season. I've just been too busy with my certificate program, and wrapping up at my old company as they closed down, and then starting the new job.

I didn't do great with my picks. I hit my normal 65%. I had a tough time buying into the emergence of teams like Atlanta and Arizona, and understanding the complete collapse of teams like Dallas and Tampa.

So now it's the playoffs, specifically Wild Card Weekend. We've got 4 games, 2 today and 2 tomorrow. Let's see who we like today.

Atlanta (11-5) vs Arizona (9-7) - The battle of the birds eh? I gotta go with the birds of prey on this one. Atlanta has an outstanding running game at 153 yards per game, 2nd in the league. Rookie QB Matt Ryan is the real deal. He has thrown for 3440 yards and completed 61% of his passes. The Falcons have a balanced offensive attack, and I think a team that can run the ball effectively has an edge in the playoffs. Atlanta does not have a great defense, although they have sacked the QB 34 times.

Arizona has been a great passing team. They have two of the best wide receivers in the game in Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, although Boldin is nursing a bum shoulder and is questionable for the game. But the Cardinals have benefited from playing in the NFC West. They went 6-0 against SF, SL, and Seattle, but only won 3 outside of the division. The Cardinals limped into the post season, losing 4 of their last 6. Arizona is another dodgy defensive team.

Normally, in a game like this with two questionable defenses and two teams that don't have recent playoff experience or success, I would go with the home team. But I just don't have any confidence that Arizona can win a big game outside of the NFC West.

My pick is Atlanta.

San Diego (8-8) gets to host Indianapolis (12-4) in this game as a division winner because Denver couldn't win 1 game out of its final 3. I think the Chargers are a better team than their record shows, and they are definitely dangerous. They have momentum after winning the last 4 games in a row, by a combined score of 149 to 73. Of course, none of the teams they beat made the playoffs (Oakland, KC, TB, Denver). SD relies on a high scoring offense, although LaDainian Tomlinson is nursing a groin injury and could be limited in his effectiveness. The defense is suspect.

And Peyton Manning just won his 3rd MVP award. The Colts have also been a hot team, winning their final 9 games of the season. Manning has thrown for over 4000 yards and 27 TDs after getting off to a slow start due to off season surgery on his knee. The running game is not good, but it has been strategically effective late in the season as the offensive line has gotten healthy. Indy struggles at times to stop the run, but they have a solid secondary against the pass that has only given up 6 TD passes for the entire season. And if the Colts get a lead, the defense is built to hold it.

SD jumped the Colts in the playoffs last season. I don't expect that to happen again.

My pick is Indy.

Enjoy the games!


  1. Jeni says:

    Seems to me that even my dear old Penn State was in that boat too a couple years back weren't they -in which they had a perfect season, a point or so above the others and yet, they weren't regarded as the national champs then either. BTW -I agree with your use of "Thrashed" or "thrashing" with respect to the Rose Bowl. The first half was truly a major disappointment although the second half things were a tad spicier. Just not enough though!

  1. You and my husband, Vinny, will be glued to the TV this weekend, Travis. Enjoy yourselves!

    And in ref to your comments about religion on my post I agree with you. I wouldn't stop anyone who feels their religion has to be expressed but I wouldn't want that expression on public property.

  1. Julie says:

    **starts taking notes**

  1. yeah...they gotta get some sort of schedule in place to play to a champion. AND YES before the NFL playoffs start.


  1. The problem with the Big 10 and bowl games is that the Big 10 starts their conference play and ends it much earlier than other conferences. By the time a Big 10 team gets to a bowl game, they haven't played a game in over two months! It's ridiculous. NCAA hoops has a tournament; why shouldn't football have some sort of playoff? Let the games count for something.

    As for your picks, I'm with you. The Cards are suspect, and I think Matt Ryan is the real deal. I love Kurt, but I don't think the Cards can win with just his arm and Fitzgerald/Boldin.

    As for Indy/San Diego, well, I'm sure you know how I feel. Your assessment is on, my friend.

  1. Cheesy says:

    And the Pac 10 ruled their bowls! We get no respect... sigh~

  1. I'm just sad college football is nearly over.

  1. If it isn't the Patriots or the Red Sox, it's below my radar. I've never learned to just "love the game(s)"... for me it's all about my hometown teams. But my Dad is right there with you, as is my SisterDear2, her hubby, her sons and their significant others. They even do fantasy league stuff.

  1. "USC thrashed Penn State in the Rose Bowl."

    I couldn't read another word.
    It was just too violent.

  1. jennifer says:

    AMEN! Time for a REAL college playoff system.

    And ouch. My poor Tide :(

    Happy New Year Travis!