Four charged in overdose death Underage felonies strain county system Fayetteville looks forward to 2018 celebration Russellville council discusses underground tanks in village Marilyn A Wren Larry E Carter Virginia L McQuitty Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Hundreds of Narcan doses used in 2016 Heavy weekend rain causes flooding and damaged roads Child Focus hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors

College football needs to cut down on bowl games

College football is fun.

Sitting down on a Saturday afternoon and watching all the pageantry that goes into the games as well as the competitiveness of the games themselves is an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon. However, the saying “you can’t have too much of a good thing” is absolute nonsense in general, and when you toss college football bowl games into the mix, it becomes blatantly clear.

First, let’s start with some numbers. There are 128 teams in college football’s highest level of competition. If you count UAB, which took a forced vacation this season, and Coastal Carolina, who will join next year, there are 130.

Thanks to the addition of the Cure Bowl in Florida and the Arizona Bowl in – shockingly enough – Arizona, there are currently 40 bowl games in college football. If you count the College Football Playoff Final, that number jumps to 41, but since there aren’t an additional two teams picked to play in that game I’ll ignore it.

That means that 80 of the 128 teams currently in college football get to play in a bowl game, which is just under two-thirds of the total.

Other than money, what good reason is there for so many bowl games to exist? Sure, they provide exposure for teams that don’t usually get to play in front of a national audience. Unless you play in the Arizona Bowl, in which case there is no additional exposure because that particular bowl game is so new it doesn’t have a television partner. It’s being streamed online via CampusInsiders.com.

But the problem with so many bowl games is simple: dilution of the product. Even if the game were on over-the-air television or cable, who in the world would want to watch what basically boils down to a Mountain West Conference game played in Arizona? Not very many people, but there’s enough money somewhere to make it happen.

There are logistical problems too. In order to qualify for a bowl, teams usually have to win at least six games in a season. However, there weren’t enough teams this season because there were so many bowls. Three teams with losing records got picked to play in the postseason.

To be fair, and before I get too deep into the lunacy of losing teams playing bowl games, I will admit that if 0-12 Central Florida squared off against 0-12 Kansas I would tune in with all the intensity of a playoff game. That said, teams with losing records don’t belong in the postseason.

Everyone gets up-in-arms in the NFL when the possibility of a losing team making it to the postseason arises (looking at you, NFC East). The same thing happened in college football. The difference is in the NFL, however, there’s a set system for determining the postseason. If you win your division, no matter what your record is, you make the playoffs.

College football doesn’t have that, which is why they had to come up with a way to sort through the mess last week, choosing to pick teams based on high academic ranking.

It’s not going to get any better. Instead of subtracting or simply not filling bowl games if there weren’t enough participants for them, by allowing losing teams to play in the postseason college football has left itself open for a whole mess of problems.

The number of bowl games is not going down. In fact, three more games are expected to be added next season. The Medal of Honor Bowl will transition from a college all-star game to an actual bowl next year. Another unnamed bowl game in Austin, Texas was actually given permission by the NCAA to begin this year, but they decided to hold off until 2016 due to time constrains.

As recently as 2013, games were proposed in locations such as Little Rock, Dubai, Toronto and Ireland. The Shamrock Series Notre Dame has participated in hopefully eliminates Ireland from that list, but that’s not guaranteed.

Flooding the market with terrible bowl games is not a good idea, but I do think there is one game that should be added. I’m not necessarily a fan of a four-team playoff. It’s worked out well over the last two seasons, I’ll admit that, but every system is flawed and the cracks will show eventually.

Instead of jumping straight to eight teams, however, I propose a different solution: let the so-called “Power Five” conferences each receive auto-bids to the tournament with the sixth team coming from the group of five. Seed them one to six and give the top two seeds bye weeks. Does that create an awkward scenario where one of the top two seeds could go a lengthy period of time without playing? Yes, but that happens already.

Even that won’t be a perfect system, however. Fans of teams without championship games will still face the same issues the Big 12 had last season. Still, it allows all Power Five schools a chance at the championship and allows the smaller conferences a shot at a title.

Will it happen? No, probably not, the Power Five conferences don’t seem to care about the “Group of Five,” so why would they want to do change anything? Changes are needed regardless, however, because at this rate by 2025 every team will be in a bowl game and that’s ridiculous.

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By Garth Shanklin

gshanklin@civitasmedia.com

Reach Garth Shanklin at 937-378-6161 or follow him on Twitter @GNDShanklin.

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2016 News Democrat