The Pryor Times

April 25, 2013

The Porter Report

The John Smith of tournaments

Chuck Porter
Sports Editor

PRYOR, OK — College basketball has the best postseason in amateur sports.

Start with the sheer size of the tournament. Sixty-eight teams is ridiculous. It provides for memorable upsets, unpredictability and plenty of busted brackets.

In fact, picking the bracket is half the fun.

Add it all up, and the NCAA has its flagship sporting event, and it even has an awesome name: March Madness.

College football? Not so much.

A four-team playoff was announced last year to replace the woeful, misguided Bowl Championship Series in crowning a national champ, and while there wasn't as much rejoicing as there might have been, a collective sigh of relief still escaped the lips of college football fans nationwide.

For the record, I'm still a proponent of the 16-team playoff. And also for the record, I produced a 2,500-word manifesto during my undergrad studies on why a 16-team bracket is not only feasible, but even advantageous to major college football. I'll write more on that later...probably in late November when we have five undefeated teams trying to snag one of the two available slots.

Four teams will suffice for the time being, given that two of them will undoubtedly be from the SEC, leaving space for two non-SEC teams to claim final-four status (See? March Madness branding is awesome) in 2014.

What I'm concerned about is the name of the four-team tournament.

The NCAA announced the name and site of the 2014 title game Tuesday, and it was with as little panache and gusto as you'd expect from an intercollegiate governing body. Arlington, Texas, as the site is fine (though Jerryworld hosts everything nowadays), but the name leaves much to be desired.

"College Football Playoff."

That's what they're going with.

"College Football Playoff."

They didn't even throw in a definite article or sponsorship. How about, I don't know, "The College Football Playoff hosted by Dr. Pepper"? Or maybe try "Sony presents The Collegiate Football Classic"? With apologies to the horrendously-dubbed Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, this is one instance when a sponsor throwing money at something would actually spice up the name of a game.

Seriously. "College Football Playoff" is the language equivalent of cold, plain oatmeal.

It's like Google translated the basic idea of what the tournament is supposed to be from Mandarin to English, then to Portuguese, then back to English again.

I'm fairly certain College Football Playoff only exists to make us think the BCS was a good idea in retrospect. And, frankly, "Bowl Championship Series" was a better title for a college football playoff.

I mean, College Football Playoff.

Oof. That title is so generic, you can get it at Beggs Pharmacy for less than a third of the price of name-brand products.

Oh well. At least the College Football Playoff bracket will at least be easier to pick than March Madness.