Magazine article USA TODAY

College Football Playoff System a No-Go

Magazine article USA TODAY

College Football Playoff System a No-Go

Article excerpt

The debate about switching to a playoff system to determine college football's national champion again is in full force. In fact, Pres.-elect Barack Obama has expressed support for such a change, and this season's deadlock among Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech atop the Big 12 Conference's South division further has fueled the argument to move away from the current bowl system.

The 2009 Bowl Championship Series title game pits the University of Oklahoma Sooners against the University of Florida Gators, Jan. 8, in Miami, since the (some say arbitrary) BCS rankings catapulted the Sooners out of the three-way tie into a shot at the number-one ranking.

"It would certainly be fun for college football fans to have a playoff, but it's a very bad idea," opines Orin Starn, professor of cultural anthropology at Duke University, Durham, N.C. Such a move, he indicates, would represent "the latest step in the NFL-ization of college football, and the endless stretching of the season and the obligations on the unpaid college students who actually play the games."

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A study shows the average Division I football player already spends 44.8 hours a week on gridiron duties, which Starn calls "an astonishing amount. …

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