Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Blog Swap - For My Part

When Henry approached me about his Blog Swap idea, I was both enthusiastic and a little bit reticent. Enthusiastic because of the great exchanges it should promote, but reticent because I asked myself – “What do I have to add?”

Well, having thought about it at length, I plan to do the following –

1. Revive and revise the “Rivalry Series”

I started a Rivalry Series at season’s end that stopped just before I did Georgia (though the work is finished). I put the project on hold because, according to site traffic at least, college football interest had gone into “spring-summer” mode. I plan on updating the work already done, and re-presenting each during the relevant week, and;

2. What I like and respect about our upcoming opponent

This idea just hit me today, and I think it is going to be really interesting from a writing standpoint. In my roughly 25 years as a Gator football fan, I have been fortunate enough to personally attend well in excess of 200 Florida games, including many at our rival’s fields. I have been to virtually every SEC stadium (yes, even Starkville).

Coming soon to an SEC Blog near you

In my early years as a Gator fan, it was easy to “hate” the other teams, especially the real rivals. However, as the years went on, I came to first respect the other teams (be it their football prowess or traditions), then even came to enjoy various aspects of their football experiences. I eventually came to the point where I was able to say, “Hey, I can see why I could be a fan of this team and/or experience.”

So, I am going to try to represent to opposing fans what this Gator, through his long time Orange and Blue glasses, admires about their team and traditions. For example (and since we don’t play Alabama this year), the scene on the “Quad” at an Alabama game day is something to behold, and is tailgating at its finest. And when you sit in Bryant-Denny stadium, you can’t help but feel the weight of southern football history.

The exercise won’t always be easy, but it will be more challenging, interesting and thought provoking than merely mocking that week’s opponent.

Not that I’m above that either.

7 comments:

jamie a. said...

great, but be sure to hold your nose when you get to 'the lovliest village on the plains'

pbg8r said...

Henry and Mergz,

For various reasons, I have just discovered your blog today. I must say your blogs are well written and chocked full of insight into the Div 1A football world. I certainly look forward to reading during the upcoming season. The Blog Swap will only add to the enjoyment.



I really enjoyed your series on the National championship "claims." That being said, I am most interested to hear your proposed alternative to the BCS. I challenge you to propose some sort of system where all Div 1A teams have equal chances at earning a spot in the national title game.

Henry Gomez said...

pbg8r,

Thanks for the compliments. If they really wanted to do it they could. But they'd have to have an open mind. One idea I had was to create eight 12-team super conferences. That's 96 teams. The balance of the 1A teams would move to 1AA.

The make-up of the super conferences would be such that the biggest historical rivalries could be preserved. Some of the conferences would change very little. For example the SEC's new super conference might lose Vandy and MSU to 1AA but pick up schools that would make sense like FSU.

Each conference would have a championship game and the champions would be the 8 representatives in an 8 team playoff.

It's a radical departure from what we have but its simple and regardless of how much money is made under the current system this would generate a boatload more.

Americans like to crown champions. Why do you think boxing is tanking? Who is the champion? how many belts are there?

Another thing I would do is restrict scheduling games to only division 1A schools and I would require a set number of randomly selected out of conference opponents. Like the NFL does.

Duhhh said...

> And when you sit in Bryant-Denny stadium, you can’t help but feel the weight of southern football history.

Nahh, the weight you feel is the 350 lbs. bammer fan who gets a little tipsy and falls on you. And you wonder where the elephant mascot comes from.

pbg8r said...

Henry,

Your super conference idea and requiring D1A schools to only play D1A schools are both steps in the right direction. But, I can think of no system that will get around the major challenge in crowning a D1A champion...the large number of D1A teams. Even with your super conference approach, you are still left with the challenge of seeding the 8 conference champions when the playoffs start. What is the likely approach...some one must make a qualitative judgment. Plus, with such large conferences you still have the highly likely chance of the conference champion winning their conference on a lucky schedule draw such as Iowa this year not having OSU amd Michigan on their schedule.

I just can't see any system of determining a D1A football champion without the use of some qualitative criteria in the process such the current BCS poll and the polls supporting that system.

Henry Gomez said...

At least we'd only be talking about seeding, not whether you got in or not.

And think about it, you could have a system whereby wins/losses/head to head/points differential are used to determine the seedings. Since scheduling would be out of the hands of the schools (the conference would schedule conference games and the entity -NCAA or similar- would schedule non-conference games) there would be less of a problem with weak sisters. Especially since 20 or so teams would have been culled from the ranks of Div 1A.

It wouldn't be qualitative but quantitative.

pbg8r said...

Having "regulated" schedules is an option I hadn't considered. With the importance of home games relative to revenues, I wouldn't expect the schools to ever accept having the NCAA set their non-conference schedules. For most D1A schools, those non-conference games are home games and big money generators. Now we expose the real reason we'll never see a D1A playoff system. The almighty dollar!