Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ncaa's Plan for Tie-Breaker Is Half-Baked

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ncaa's Plan for Tie-Breaker Is Half-Baked

Article excerpt

It will be exciting. I will give you that much. There is nothing quite like overtime to turn up the intensity, to make you inch forward in your seat.

It will be intriguing. No argument there. Something new, something different, always is. And, boy, is this different.

It will be entertaining. No doubt about that, either. It involves athleticism and strategy and winning and losing on every play. Of course it will be entertaining.

What it won't be is football.

When you're talking about the National Collegiate Athletic Association's new method of breaking ties in bowl games, that could be seen as something of a problem.

Yep, the geniuses at the NCAA have done it again. The people who brought you the bowl coalition instead of a playoff have now come up with another half-baked, watered-down solution. I would say the rule leaves me fit to be tied, but I'm not sure what the NCAA's solution would be. Probably to send me to Kansas.

This is silly, folks. From now on, when there is a tie in a college bowl game, the teams will go to this silly Kansas tie-breaker system where each team takes possession on the 25-yard line. If neither team scores, or if both score the same, the possessions continue.

Think about this. For four quarters, these teams play one game. Then, for four plays at a time, they play another one.

This is tantamount to deciding a tied baseball game by putting runners on first and second with no one out, then seeing which team scores the most. Or to decide a basketball game by turning overtime into a series of three-on-two fastbreaks. Or to settle hockey games the way they did in the Olympic gold-medal game, with a shootout.

It is exciting to see. It is memorable to watch. It is fun to debate.

But it isn't the same game the teams have been playing all afternoon. It isn't the struggle for field position that constitutes the essence of the game. It isn't the majesty of how plays mount into a great drive.

It isn't football.

Frankly, I'm not even sure ties are that big a concern in college football now that Pat Dye has left coaching. But with the possibility we could have a matchup of No. 1 vs. No. 2, I can see where the image of a tie would be a concern. …

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