Monday, January 09, 2012

The Least Entertaining Postseason in Sports

I could go on and on about how sketchy and stupid college football's bowl system is. I could point out what's been pointed out a billion times and say "we need a playoff." And I think I might start writing a book on the tyranny of the bowls and how they unjustly control college football's postseason. In this little article though, I'm just going to point out a simple fact:

College football's postseason is the least entertaining of all postseasons in major sports.

The Stanley Cup playoffs are amazing. I'm not much of a basketball fan but the NBA playoffs usually draw me in for a weeks. March Madness might be my favorite sporting event of the year. MLB playoff games are tense and pressure filled. And the NFL playoffs are thrilling.

There's something about earning the right to extend a season. There's something special about hockey in June, baseball in October, and football in February. And there's something even more special about teams fighting tooth and nail for that right to play one more game.

Compare that to bowl games. Which can sometimes be entertaining to watch. But then the victors' season is over. Just as over as the team they beat. There's nothing more to win than a trophy and a t-shirt. There's no survival, no advancement to next week's round.

Imagine if last night's Broncos/Steelers game were a bowl game. It would have still been fun to watch. But without anything more than a trophy awarded to the winner, it's not nearly as exciting as a playoff win. We'd forget all about it in a few weeks as the #1 Packers played the #2 Patriots for the national title. While the Saints played in the Rose Bowl and the Broncos played in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

We've seen some entertaining bowl games. And tonight's might also be fun to watch. But how much more fun would it be to see the winner of tonight's game play Oklahoma State? How about Stanford playing Boise State? How much more enjoyable would the previous bowls been if the winner won the right to survive for another week?

College football might have the most exciting regular season of all sports. But it's postseason is the least entertaining.

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