Well, that sucked.
The Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys played an instant classic on Sunday. Tony Romo had a chance to move past his reputation while proving me right, if only for a week.
We all know what happened, and, no matter what you think of Romo, you are further entrenched after “The Interception.” I won’t spend any more time defending Romo. Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com did a great job of that yesterday. Check out the first section of that piece.
Anyway, the college football landscape has faced a growing controversy. Condoleeza Rice, the former Secretary of State, has reportedly been named to a small selection committee for the 4-team college football playoff which starts next year.
If true, there is only one word to describe this development: finally.
First of all, the adoption of a playoff system is a welcome addition to college football. While we’d all love an 8-team playoff, four will do for now. Including twice as many teams in the championship hunt makes the BCS championship much less ridiculous. Kudos.
Secondly, including Rice, someone with a passion for the game, though she lives outside of it, shows evolution in a sport that has a ways to go in this area.
Of course, no measure of progress is without resistance. Caveman Logic has slowly crept up in media reports. Pay Dye, former Auburn football coach, was the latest critic. His comments aren’t the first, and they won’t be the last in this vein.
To ease the collective agitation from Dye (and those in his camp), I offer three reasons why Rice is a fine choice. Stop dragging your wife by her hair, and pull up a rock by your cave fire:
More smart people in a group are always better –
Every. Single. Time.
And let’s face it, this isn’t rocket science. Having a smart, neutral observer is a welcome addition to this group. Rice’s lack of “football experience” makes her a rational mind you want making key decisions. She isn’t biased by history or relationships.
To be fair, I work in corporate America and often see the “analysis paralysis” that can come about when there are too many smart people together. But, this group will be different for one important reason. Business decisions are hard to make because everyone is in ass-covering mode. No one wants to get fired for making a decision without a majority behind them. This group, like the March Madness selection will be anonymous. Have a complaint? Too bad, you’ll probably watch anyway.
Rice will help ensure all worthy teams are considered, but won’t hinder the decision making process.
John Clayton –
Clayton is the nerdiest football reporter in the history of ever. He’s never played the sport, but is a fixture on ESPN because he busts his ass and delivers quality reporting. People talk about his appearance, and even jokingly call him The Professor, but when he’s on TV you take his work seriously. That’s all that matters.
The same goes for Rice.
She has long been a passionate fan of the game, likening the strategy on the field to military tactics. Her knowledge made her a serious candidate for the Pac-12 commissioner position in 2009(!). She’s smart and knows the game, to pretend otherwise makes no sense.
Change is good. –
The other names reportedly included in the selection committee are Oliver Luck, Dan Radakovich, Barry Alvarez, and Pat Haden. All Athletic Directors at major universities. All old white men.
These guys fit the bill for a group like this based on their time in the game. Frankly, “old white guy from a power football conference” is just what you’d think as well. What’s the harm in including a smart, knowledgeable person that isn’t pressed out of the same cookie cutter?
Change is good. Diversity of opinion is good. And the administrative ranks of college football could use the shake up.
Those are my two cents. What do you think? Are you excited for a 4-team playoff? What do you think of Rice being included? Hit the comments and let me know!