Welcome back to The Sports Ace, where the Stanley Cup forever reigns as the greatest prize in sports. Seeing it always gives us chills.
Quick update: a little while ago I wrote about the University of North Dakota and its nickname controversy. Just yesterday ND voters elected to drop the nickname, in the latest sign that reason is winning out over passion. This quote from Tim O’Keefe, EVP and CEO of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation, says it all: “The price of keeping the name is simply too high.” Exactly. I know it’s painful, North Dakotans, but you’ve done the right thing.
Meanwhile, as we speak, big shots from the major college sports conferences are in meetings in Chicago to debate the future of the BCS and whether or not to initiate a playoff for college football. My thoughts?
This blog has long been a proponent of a playoff, and that hasn’t changed. I think it’s ludicrous that the national championship isn’t decided on the field, like it is at just about every other level of every kind of sport. Done right, such a set-up leaves an undisputed champion – and a ton of revenue and buzz, a la the NCAA basketball tournament. Personally, I’d support a four, six or eight-team seeded tournament, with all games at neutral sites. Select the teams with a selection committee, like in basketball, and let the chips fall where they may. This is what is needed for the game…a pure process where biases, conflicts of interest and the like are as far removed as possible.
That said, as a former band member/letterwinner at the Big Ten’s University of Minnesota, I’m admittedly a bit of a purist. The Rose Bowl is part of our DNA in this part of the world, and ever since birth I’ve been looking forward to the day that I could follow my team to Pasadena for a Rose Bowl. I didn’t have the honor during my years wearing the maroon and gold, although we got close. And in many ways, I’d rather see the Gophers play once in the Rose Bowl than two or three times in a college football playoff – it’s about the experience of it all. Yet I understand that if/when changes are made, said experience will fundamentally and forever change. I get it, and I think it’s necessary for the greater good, but I’ll still hold out hope that the Gophers are playing a title game someday…for the Roses.
That’s all for now. I’m out like the Boston Celtics.