Sunday, February 12, 2012

Final Thoughts

Back when I started this site in 2007, my only thought was to present a comparison of the different versions of the BCS, since the system went through 5 changes in its first 8 seasons. I was curious to see what the national championship could have been if a few small variables had changed, and my conclusion was that "It's rather ironic that the most effective version of the BCS (the most recent one) is the one that most approximates the system of polls that the BCS was originally designed to replace, making you wonder whether it was all worth it."

That central question, whether all the fuss about the national championship issue is worth it, has remained the unchanged focus of this website, like the BCS formula that's been used the last eight seasons. But after attempting to look at a lot of different college football related issues from different perspectives, my answers to that question have grown more complex and involved, just as the sport itself has in the few years since that first post.

Back in 2007, I was vehemently anti-playoff. Not that I liked the BCS, but I felt, and still feel at times, that the negatives of a playoff outweighed the positives. About the time that I created a series of posts attempting to explore all sides of the playoff debate in spring 2009, my thoughts on the issue started to change. But not in the way you might think. That exercise did help me to see some of the positives of a playoff, and my stance against one has definitely softened. I admit that I would thoroughly enjoy some semi-final matchups between four of the top teams in the country, and how the playoff-creation process itself plays out is still fascinating to me. But while I've come to see that there are better possible ways to handle the national championship issue, I've also come to firmly believe that it's not worth it. And that's the main reason that I'm putting this site to rest - I believe that the national championship issue and all that it entails has become too much of the focus of college football in recent years and is overshadowing many of the things that make the sport so unique and enjoyable.

At the beginning of the 2010 season, when I tried to detach my first week of viewing games from the overall seasonal ramifications, I had no idea I'd never really get back into the game, so to speak. But I must say, it has made watching the last two seasons more enjoyable, focusing on just the games, not wondering nearly as much how the outcome was going to impact teams from other conferences and the overall order of things. That doesn't mean I'm completely removed from the big picture. I still firmly believe that expectations of national-scene success are way too high for most teams, that what might help most in terms of figuring out ranking positions is getting rid of the cupcake games (even though they're a necessary evil), and that an evolved playoff, while unconventional, strikes the perfect balance towards finding both a definitive and overall best playoff champion.

But I've said it before, moreso in the last two seasons, that there's more to college football than just the national championship issue. So while I'll still pop up around the blogosphere and continue to follow and write thoughts on the sport, this site has served its purpose. I hope its ending does too - it just seems appropriate and fitting.

Thanks for reading.

- Ed


TomReagan said...

Sorry to see your blog go, you did a great job.

I couldn't agree more that the focus on the national championship has been bad for many aspects of the sport.

Thank you for the fine work.

Ed Gunther said...

Thanks for the kind words, Tom. I appreciate it!

Steve said...


I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts the last few years, and will miss them. I thought that your rankings each weeks were as accurate as is possible with the system that exists at the moment.

Enjoy your retirement!


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