Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ask Marilyn: College Football Edition

What is the hold up on a playoff? The fans want it. The media wants it. The players want it. Other divisions hold them. Why can’t we crown a true national champion?
-- HokieFan, Blacksburg, VA

It doesn't take the world's highest IQ to realize that a playoff makes sense. Unfortunately the three most powerful forces in college football (Disney, the Coaches, and the NFL) don’t want it to happen. Each has its reasons. Disney’s ESPN would lose its money-making bowl week and debate material to fill hours of shows. In exchange they would have to buy a loss-leading TV package (a potential NCCA DI-A tournament) that is just as likely to go to CBS, Fox or NBC. The coach that finishes third is usually the only guy who wants a playoff. The rest are happy with their bowl bonus and the chance to end the season with a win. Under the current system almost half the teams get to the postseason and 28 end on a high note. Even in a 16 team playoff, nearly 100 teams would be done after Thanksgiving and there would be only one winner. Then there is the NFL. The 800-pound gorilla that does what it wants. Tagliabue and company have no desire to have ad dollars and viewers taken away from their tournament. As long as they carry more weight with the TV networks there will not be a playoff.

What do the following occupations have in common? Investment Banker, Trader trainee, Sales rep, Arena Football League backup, Lobsterman.
-- TripleEagle, Medford, MA

The answer appears below.

What is the key to building a winning program? Is it the players? The school? The coaches? The schedule?
-- DukeNerd, Durham, NC

All of the above. There is no guaranteed way to build a successful college football team. The school’s location, infrastructure and tradition help, but don’t ensure anything. Padding your schedule might lead to bowl eligiblity but won’t win championships. The key is still players and coaches. I subscribe to the thirds principle. A third of success is who you get (players), a third is how you develop them (training and technique) and the final third is the coaching (play calling and game prep).

Answer: All are potential jobs for Quinton Porter after this season.

Ask Marilyn ® by Marilyn vos Savant is a column in Parade Magazine, published by PARADE, 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA. Marilyn vos Savant is listed in the "Guinness Book of World Records Hall of Fame" for "Highest IQ."


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