It’s hard to think of a sport that has undergone more changes since my youth than college football. Time was, not that long ago, that the sport didn’t crown a champion due to the bowl system and contracts that forced certain teams to play in certain games. An undefeated Big Ten champ was stuck playing the Pac Ten champ in the Rose Bowl, even if there was another undefeated team out there. As a result, there were years with two (or more) teams laying claim to the “mythical national championship.” The closest thing to a nationally recognized champ was the team voted #1 in the AP writers poll, though for a long time a similar poll of coaches run by the UPI had some weight.
The UPI poll and the old system are finally gone after three decades of seeing the landscape shift bit by bit with today’s four team playoff, the rise of the Power Five and conference championship games emerging. But the AP poll endures, a respected measure of regular season play, and the team that wins the playoff receives not only the trophy Beasterly uses to illustrate his weekly Tailgate Talk post, but also the above trophy from the AP. Some traditions, no matter how silly, endure.
And if you don’t make the playoffs, you might be fired. One of the topics up for discussion today, along with:
- Memphis fires David Fizdale
- Baseball’s Cold Stove League, week four
- Is the AFC really that bad?
- All three of the New York area’s hockey teams are good. All one of Philadelphia’s is bad.
- Do the Yankees even need a manager?
- Eli Manning benched.
As always, any and all sports subjects are fair game.