Sunday, October 26, 2014

How to Fix College Football

Yesterday the Tennessee Volunteers football team got thumped again, 34-20, by the 4th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, a defeat that was widely predicted and by a margin close to what was expected. Previously they were also roundly beaten 34-10 by then 3rd ranked Oklahoma and 34-3 by 3rd ranked Ole Miss.

In contrast, they thrashed the minnows of Chattanooga, Arkansas State and Utah State earlier on.
So, out of 9 Vols games so far this season, 7 have been match-ups between clearly unequal teams.

Its a wonder anyone bothers to turn up at Neyland Stadium. It's not as if there's much excitement there any more.

They should not be playing teams ranked 50 places above them. It's boring for the fans, and demoralizing  for the young kids on the losing team.

Here's how to fix it:

At the beginning of the season there is a preliminary ranking of schools. Only the first month should be firmly scheduled, with games against teams within 15 places either side in the rankings, preferably geographically close. That means that, in the current rankings, the Vols would be playing colleges such as UNC, Western Kentucky, MTSU, Florida, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and Texas Tech.
These would all be exciting games because we WOULDN'T KNOW IN ADVANCE WHO IS GOING TO WIN!

Now, in college football teams can sometimes turn out to be much better or worse than expected, as the roster turnover each year is high. So every week, as the rankings are adjusted, so would be the schedule for games a month away and longer. Thus the schedule would adapt to the strength of the team. We'd keep all games scheduled within 4 weeks as they are, though, so as to not disrupt travel plans. But a team that is 6-0 after the first month and half could well be facing Top Ten teams in the third month.

Of course, this would be the virtual demise of the conference system; no more SEC, ACC etc.
And some of our treasured match-ups, such as Alabama, LSU etc, wouldn't take place every year.
But what's the point of them when the game is a foregone conclusion?
Adaptive Scheduling - the Future of College Football!

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