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Dec. 13, 2011

The NCAA needs to fix its system Football’s postseason should be based on the success of teams


Who do you think will win the National Championship?

BY COLLEEN ADENAN Sports X-tra Editor As the college football postseason begins, the issue of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) system is once again debated among fans. A longstanding complaint about college football has been which teams are chosen to play in bowl games. The current system is too commercial and should be about the most successful teams rather than which teams can bring in the most revenue. “I don’t think the [postseason selection process] is fair because it doesn’t reflect anything that postseason stands for,” senior Dylan Shuey said. The huge, unnecessary list of bowls is evidence enough of how commercial the postseason has become. The postseason is supposed to be about the best teams in the league playing each other. A list of the top 25 teams are featured in several newspapers that is updated each week. So, why are there 35 different bowls, meaning 70 teams are playing against each other? Out of all of these bowls, the only bowl that features some sort of championship title is the BCS National Championship. Although this structure does give college football fans plenty of opportunities to watch a game, it is completely nonessential. Postseason sports are supposed to highlight the best of the best, yet some of the teams that didn’t make a bowl had higher records than those that did. The reason for not being picked? Lack of a fan base. Teams are selected based on how big their fan base is, although their success is also a factor The problem is that consideration of fan base makes these bowls selfish, caring about potential profit rather than success. The majority of the teams featured in bowls are from big leagues such as the Southeastern Conference (SEC) or the Big 12, even though teams in other leagues are just as—or even more—successful. This is because the featured schools tend to be bigger in student size and fan base, meaning more revenue will come in from the games because of larger ticket sales. However, the size of a school shouldn’t determine who gets a bowl berth, it should be about the team’s record. It is true that teams that are more successful will often have a large fan base, making this a win-win for some fans. But the problem with this is that it does not attract as much attention as it could if the system were different. In fact, it makes those that choose the teams seem unfair. “[The team selection process] is not fair because a select few choose what a majority wants,” special education teacher Jeremiah Davis said. “Six teams should be chosen to play in the championship and

“Alabama will win because its running back is going to run all over LSU since he’s number one.”

“I think Alabama will win because it can change its plays based on what it has seen from LSU.”

“Alabama because it wants to win more since it has already lost once.”

“Alabama since it’s difficult to beat a team the second time around and LSU didn’t do well the first time.”

—Bryan Harrod senior

—Faith Paletti sophomore

—Shannon Casey junior

—Karl Kerns Director of Student Services

“LSU will win because it doesn’t have as many gaps in its defensive lineup.”

“I think LSU will win because it has just been so dominant throughout the whole season.”

“LSU because of Honey Badger (Tyrann Mathieu). He’s the best defensive cornerback in the league.”

“LSU because it already beat Alabama in its season game.”

—Megan Ryan sophomore

—Holly Miller history teacher

—Paul Helfgott junior

“Alabama will win because it have really good players and a great season in the past.” —Sofia Jorgenson freshman

“LSU because it has a great offensive line.” —Daniel Turcios junior

—Joe Rolen junior

the rest should be put in bowl games.” Davis played for Penn State football from 2000-2004 and traveled to Orlando, FL to play in the Capital One Bowl against Auburn University in 2003. A simple solution to the system isn’t hard to find; BCS officials should just look at how the college basketball season works. The top teams participate in a playoff bracket that narrows by process of elimination until two compete for the win. Fans select which teams they think will win at different stages in the tournament with a prize for being completely correct of one million dollars. Needless to say, this prize has never been won, although many have come close. Because of the format, each person theoretically has an equal chance of guessing correctly, so lots of people pay attention to the tournament regardless of whether or not they are fans. If college football had the same system for their postseason, it would probably attract an even higher fan base than it does now. A team can come out of the basketball

tournament with the ability to say it made it to the Sweet Sixteen. A college football team can come out of a postseason match up saying it won the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Businesses sponsor college football bowls in order to make a profit and get their names out to possible customers; companies would rather have teams with more fans than teams that will make for an interesting game in order to get more revenue. Because there are only two teams playing for the National Championship, there is also less of a chance that the other bowls will ever get watched as much as the BCS does annually. If the BCS were to change its system, a profit could still be made from all of its games. More people are likely to buy tickets or watch a game on TV it features the top teams in the country rather than teams chosen by a committee (that identifies the teams with the largest number of fans). These teams could still have a large fan base and still be successful. The NCAA needs to realize this and make its bowl games again about fairness, not profit.

Join our contest! The A-blast will be having a contest to see who can guess the most college football bowl wins correctly. The contest will run from Dec. 13-17. Directions: Scan the barcode on your smartphone or print it from the website at Forms are also available at all lunches on Dec. 14 and 16. Circle the team you think will win each bowl game. Bring the form to the back table in the cafeteria with your name, grade and e-mail filled in. Each correct prediction counts for two points. Whoever has the most points wins. The top three winners will receive gift cards. Predictions are due by Friday, Dec. 17. Winners will be notified by email and results will be posted on the website on Thursday, Jan. 12. Note: Winners will be photographed for the website.


Davis (number 86) looks to make a tackle in a game against UVA when at PSU.

Special education teacher Jeremiah Davis plays in bowl game Q. What was playing in the Capital One Bowl like? A. It was neat, playing after the season and going to Orlando and Tampa. We could go to any park with free, all day passes, we were in a parade and could go on rides before anyone else. The drawback was being in Orlando on Christmas; my mom couldn’t come down so I had Christmas dinner at Denny’s. That’s the one thing I remember, the tough thing was not being with family for the holidays. Q. How did you balance school with football? A. Freshman year, there was a mandatory study hall period. You’d have class until like 2:45 p.m., then practice from 3-6 p.m., then dinner from 6-7 p.m., then study hall from 7-9:30 p.m. You were basically locked in so it became a habit of making time for school. Q. What was the Penn State program like when you played? A. When I was playing there, I guess it was the same as it was now. It’s very traditional, everyone in the state of Pennsylvania follows what’s going on. They know your name, they know who you are when you walk in the restaurant, it’s a small city but on a state level everyone supports Penn State. There are lots of high expectations. Q. Did any other schools offer a spot for you? If so,why did you choose Penn State? A. I had offers from all the Big 10 schools, Texas A&M, UCLA, University of Washington and all of the ACC schools. I think I had 50-60 offers. I chose Penn State for the educational value and to play for the legendary Joe Paterno and I couldn’t get that anywhere else, the balance of those two, so I think it worked out well. Q. How has playing for Penn State affected your life today? A. Even with the Joe Paterno scandal, people still look at PennState as one of the top programs, and it has been for 60 years, and so people just have a reverence for it playing for Paterno. It’s kind of like what we have at AHS with tradition and things are done a certain way so they know , you’re a good, solid person. I also met my wife at Penn State so that was really great.

The history of the BCS 1902: The first Rose Bowl game was played between Stanford and Michigan. Michigan wins 49-0. 1935: The Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl are created. 1992: The Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Gator and the Hancock Bowls combine to form the Bowl Coalition with the ACC, Big East, Big 8, Southwest Conference, Southeastern Conference and Notre Dame. 1995: The Bowl Coalition evolves into the Bowl Alliance. 1997: The Big Ten, Pac-10 and Rose Bowl join the Bowl Alliance. 1998: The first BCS Championship is played between Tennessee and Florida State, with Tennessee winning 23-16. 2012: The sixth BCS Championship game will be played between Alabama and LSU. —Compiled

For the rest of the interview, scan the barcode on your smartphone



the 6th issue of the 2011-2012 year


the 6th issue of the 2011-2012 year