SCREAMIN’ FROM THE CHEAP SEATS : SEPTEMBER 12

By Leo Haggerty

DOES ANYONE HAVE A CLUE

NCAA FOOTBALL POLLS

Memo to all people who put out NCAA polls.  You, like the Ottman Empire in the early 1900’s, have outlived your usefullness.

Now that the Selection Committee gets together at the end of the season to choose the the four college football teams that are in the playoffs, the polls are outdated and meaningless.  It’s all about conference champions and not about rankings.

The choices for the Committee are as simple as can be.  You will have five conference champions in the Power 5.  Worst one is thrown out.  99% of the time, that’s the end of story.  The only time that isn’t the case is when a non-Power 5 conference team runs the table and there’s two conference champions with two or more losses.  Possible but extremely improbable so the polls, like the typewriter, needs to vanish into the sunset.

WHAT’S HOT

THE AAC

Don’t look now but The American Athletic Conference is setting itself up to throw a money wrench into the NCAA Playoff system.  And it’s not just one team but a possibility of at least three.

First of all, someone in the AAC has to run the table and get to 13-0.  There are three teams with a legitimate shot at that and they are Houston and South Florida plus Navy.  There are others, like Cincinnati and Memphis as well as East Carolina, but there will be only one or two that come to the AAC championship game with a shot to make it to the NCAA Football Final Four.

Here’s why this is possible.  Each of them will have at least one significant win against a Power 5 conference opponents.  They will also have another big victory that will go a long way against a team or two in the AAC.

Yes, this is a longshot (see DOES ANYONE HAVE A CLUE segment above) but it can happen.  I figure it’s a 1% chance of happening.  If it doesn’t, not a big deal.  What is a big deal is that the AAC will show that it’s top teams can play with the best that the Power 5 conferences have to offer.  Can you say Power 6?  Hummmmm?

WHAT’S NOT

OUTCOME OF THE CENTRAL MICHIGAN-OKLAHOMA STATE GAME

This subject has been ridden to death and rightfully so.  With that said, I am going to touch on two points briefly on what needs to happen to prevent this in the future.

First, I believe that the officials need to be a neutral crew at all inter-conference games throughout the season.  With Oklahoma State in the Big 12 and Central Michigan in the Mid-America Conference, the officials should have come from any other conference.  These games need to be like bowl games and the officiating crew be from a comparable conference.

Second, if there is a major error committed by the on-field officials and the two replay judges, those individuals need to be suspended for one calendar year.  Cincinnati HC Tommy Tuberville even took it farther saying, “This can’t happen.  It can’t happen.  People involved in this should not be allowed to do games anymore.  Until you start doing something like this, until you hold people accountable who are put in situations and continually make mistakes and don’t take it seriously, they don’t need to be doing it.  This really upsets me.  I’ve been in college football a long time and I know what these kids put in.  It’s got to change.”

I can’t top that statement and won’t even try.  Has to be some sort of meaningful punishment or it will continue to occur.

LOOKING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL

REPLAYS

The Crystal Ball sees the replay system in all sports coming under some major scrutiny.  In fact, the Crystal Ball sees that one group may even initiate stopping all instant replays entirely.

There is such an uproar among NCAA Division I football coaches about the lack of “attention to detail” among the replay officials as well as the lack of meaningful penalties when officials/replay crews make egregious errors (see Tommy Tuberville quote above in WHAT’S NOT).

The Crystal Ball doesn’t see the elimination of replay in any sport that has it.  It does see significant changes coming in all sports especially NCAA football.

And, the Crystal Ball rests.