Why can’t we just enjoy the moment anymore?
Every time we see something good happening we have to comment on how something else is better or worse. The same thing is happening with this upset-filled NCAA tournament led by Cinderella Oral Roberts.
Sports media and fans partook in a conversation on Twitter yesterday about how the college football playoff could improve by adopting more of a March Madness-style format and letting more teams in. It led to a discussion about how unfair it is that the same teams win in college football every season and how the sport should be more inclusive to other teams.
Firstly, I’ve always believed that expanding the College Football playoff from four teams was a horrible idea. In a typical year in college football, there are not four teams good enough to get a shot at the national championship. This is why we usually see the fourth-seeded team get obliterated by the 1 seed in the national semifinals.
The entire regular season serves as the win-or-go-home style tournament for football. Teams battle it out to see who will get a chance to get the Final Four and every game matters. It might actually be a harder system to win in because you have to prove you can play at a high level for a longer period.
If you haven’t proven yourself to be categorically one of the best teams in college football for 12-13 weeks then there is no helping you once those final rankings come out. Also, you have to really understand the difference between upsets in basketball and football.
The likelihood of a basketball team beating a higher-seeded opponent is significantly higher than the same occurring in football. In basketball, you have five players on the court, which means that there’s a higher chance that one or two players playing well can catapult your team to victory. Just look at how Oral Roberts is making their Sweet 16 run. It’s led by two players, Kevin Obanor and Max Abmas, who are consistently getting buckets. Both of these players are averaging north of 27.5 points per game in the tournament so far and together account for 72 percent of the Golden Eagles points in these games.
They are the ones carrying this Cinderella story, because players are way more individually impactful on the hardwood than they are on a football field.
One or two players won’t be able to have that amount of impact on a football game. For an upset to transpire on the gridiron, you’d need nearly all 22 guys on both sides of the ball playing at an elite level. Those chances are very slim, which is why it would be a huge waste of our time to even think about it. The only thing expansion would do is put really good players at risk for more injury in an already violent sport.
Let’s just enjoy the magical run that Abmas, Obanor, and the rest of the surprise players in March have given us and let football mind its business.
Nothing needs to change. Just watch the games and enjoy.