What’s dumber and more reckless than playing a college football season during a pandemic that’s spiraling out of control?
Holding the College Football Playoff committee meetings in person during a pandemic that’s spiraling out of control.
So, of course, that’s exactly what’s happening.
ESPN’s Heather Dinich reported Friday that the 13 Zoom ignorami will be taking rapid antigen tests each Monday before their meetings, with follow-up PCR tests if those are positive. That would be followed, if still positive, by either a two-week quarantine at the Gaylord Texan Resot, or driving home, “if possible.”
In the best of times, having the CFP committee meet in person is an airline mile/hotel point grift of the highest order. Everything they do could be accomplished over email, conference call, fax, Slack, AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, text message, smoke signals, carrier pigeon, or ink blots. None of it matters at all, because the playoff rankings carry absolutely no weight in any way, shape, or form before the final one. Everyone knows who the best teams in the country are, and the AP poll, coaches’ poll, and computer rankings all still exist. The only reason for in-season CFP rankings is to give the illusion of a playoff race, right up until the committee makes its final determination that either enrages Ohio State or enrages everyone who isn’t Ohio State.
To actually have these people get together in a luxury hotel in the Dallas Metroplex is beyond stupid now, and what a delight it must be for the people who work at the Gaylord Texan to find out that they might be responsible for catering to the needs of quarantined committee members after they test positive. Nothing but the best for America’s least essential workers, after all.
Why is this happening? Bill Hancock, the CFP’s executive director, explained to Dinich that without in-person meetings, a few of the committee members might not make platinum status this ye— oh, wait, he said something else.
“We’re asking players and coaches to travel every week,” Hancock said. “The least we can do is ask the selection committee members to travel.”
No, the least they can do is nothing. That would be less than traveling for weekly meetings. Something else that’s less than traveling every week is assembling their rankings through any of the remote methods of communication that are widely available and being used by millions of Americans to get their work done on a daily basis now. This is not some kind of heroic show of solidarity, it’s ludicrous and needless risk-taking that can potentially get people killed… so that we can know that Clemson is No. 5 in the country until somebody drops out of the Top 4 in the final week.
It’s probably safe to say safe to say a few of these committee members are not as fit as a 22-year-old “student-athlete,” and are at-risk.
Also, Hancock may not realize this, but the reason that they’re asking players and coaches to travel every week is because it is impossible to play football with only one team on the field, notwithstanding the efforts made by Penn State not to show up at all this season. Unless there are Festivus-style feats of strength in the committee meetings to determine whether to rank Alabama or Notre Dame ahead of each other, they do not need to do this.
Hancock thinks they do.
“Anyone who’s been on a Zoom knows after about an hour or 90 minutes your attention begins to wane,” he said. “Can you imagine doing that for 10-12 hours over a two-day period?”
Yes, plenty of kids all over the country who can’t go to school right now can imagine just that. You’re ranking college football teams.
Get over yourself and stay the fuck home.