If you read only one blog full of ranting and raving about sports (local and otherwise), movies, TV shows, miscellaneous pop culture, life and other assorted flotsam and jetsam, make it this one!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MLB Stupid, CFB Stupid

Just a couple of sports rants here. Perhaps "annoying" is the more appropriate word for one of the two  mentioned in the post's title, but I'm sticking with "stupid."

Major League Baseball: They decided to add a second Wild Card team in each league, determining that the two Wild Card teams in each league would have a one-game playoff to decide which team moves to the Division Series. Then, they decided to rush to implement it this year. First, it allowed mediocre and underachieving teams like the Diamondbacks, Angels and, yes, Phillies to pretend they were actually contending at the end of the season.

Then, because they rushed it into effect this year, when the schedule had already been set and there was little flexibility for fitting another playoff game into the schedule, it was decided that the winner of the Wild Card game would start the best-of-five Division Series at home instead of flying to the city of their opponent, the team with the best record in the league. So that team got punished by starting with two games on the road followed by three at home, instead of the customary two home, two road, final game at home. I didn't realize it at first but the same rule applied to the Division Series involving the other division winners as well.

The result of this, besides a World Series between the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants (Tigers in 5, by the way)? Home field disadvantage. There have been 33 games in the playoffs so far, and the road team has won 17 -- more than half. The two Wild Card games went to the road teams, and in the four Division Series the road teams went 11-9. Some sanity was restored in the League Championship Series as home teams won 7 of 11 games.

College Football: This is the one that's more annoying, and part of my problem is that, because I didn't go to college, I have no true rooting interest. I can sort of root for the local schools, but that only goes so far. What's made things worse is the big schools' switching conferences in recent years, chasing after more and more money. It's watered down or ended a number of traditional rivalry games, caused ridiculous anomalies such as the Big Ten conference having 12 teams and the Big East soon to include schools from places like Idaho and California, all of which makes it more difficult for the casual fan to keep track of. And (helped by the television networks) it's led to about thirty different games available on TV every Saturday, many of them being played at the same time on different networks. With all of this, when I do want to sit and watch a game, I have no idea which one I should watch, so I end up flipping back and forth hoping to find something compelling, usually without success.

And don't even get me started on the BCS or the eventual switch to a four-team playoff.

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