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December 09, 1983 - Image 20

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-12-09
Note:
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Page 6 The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 9, 1983

T HE WAY those in charge of college football
talk about it, you'd think it was as difficult as
solving the problems in the Middle East.
In reality, however, the development of a
workable college football playoff system to
determine a national champion would not be a
cumbersome task.
Yet even though the polls are a joke of a way to
choose a champion and fans have been clamoring
for a torunament for some time, a few coaches
(General Bo) and administrators object for
various reasons. They claim that they haven't
seen a system that is workable.
Most critics have three main objectives to a
college football playoff:
1) It's too difficult to select the participants
fairly.
2) A playoff would be a slap in the face to the
tradition-rich bowl games that have supported
college football for so long.
3) The extra games would conflict with exams
and cause academic hardship for the participants
(ha!).
These concerns are legitimate, but far from in-
surmountable.
It is possible to have a 16 team playoff with the
major bowls alternative each year-one holding
the final, two having the semis, and the fourth
being a quarterfinal site. The Fiesta Bowl and two

KERRSE WORDS
BY JOHN KERR
other smaller bowls, chosen by the NCAA could
host the other quarterfinal contests. Eight of the 16
teams in the playoff would be given the home
field advantage in the opening round.
The rest of the system would work as follows:
* An 11-game regular season that ends by the
second Saturday in November. Teams would have
to start the season by the first week of September.
" A committee formed by the NCAA to select
and seed 16 teams immediately following the
completion of the regular season. The pairings
would be based on the seedings-the top team
would meet the 16th team, the second team would
play the 15th team and so on.
" The semifinals played on January 1.
* The finals played a week to ten days after the
semis.
This playoff format addresses all the problems
that critics of a post-season tournament are
always harping on.
Under this system, the academic worry would
be moot. The situation would be no worse than it is

now. "Student-athletes" involved in the playoff
would either be done with football by late Novem-
ber or have a five week layoff until the semifinals
on January 1.
And, since there would be no playoff games
during December, all the bowl games that aren't
involved in the tournament could still be played on
their regular dates. Each bowl's committee would
have to decide if it still wanted to put up the cash
to keep the bowl going, but the odds are good that
most would vote to do so. There would still be,
some quality and big name teams that don't make
the playoff.
The selection of the playoff teams, which would
appear to be the most difficult aspect of the
system, actually would be fairly simple. By in-
cluding 16 teams it would be very difficult to
overlook a qualified school. It would also make it
easier on the selection committee since it wouldn't
have to narrow the field to just a few teams.
The time has come for college football to stop
naming a mythical national champion. It is
possible to have a workable playoff- system to
determine which team is really Number One. The
fans would love it, the players would love it, most
coaches would love the challenge and, best of all,
the networks would fall all over themselves to
televise it.
So what's the NCAA waiting for?

S13

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SATURDAY
Dec. 10
loam-5pm
SUNDAY
Dec. 11
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Peach
Bowl
Atlanta, Dec. 29
This year, Peach Bowl officials have
to be ecstatic since they have what is
probably their best game ever.
However, for the two teams, North
Carolina and Florida State, their in-
vitation to the Peach Bowl has to be
somewhat of a disappointment.
For UNC (8-3) this season has been a
very heartbreaking one. At the begin-
ning of the year, believe it or not, they
were ranked right up there with the
Nebraska and Texas teams.
FLORIDA STATE enters the game
withe worse record but probably with a
little more respect. Despite a meager 6-
5 record the Seminoles' losses have
come against some rather tough op-
ponents.
Behind running back Greg Allen (1047
yards, 12 TD's) look for the Seminoles
to come out on top in a close one.
- RANDY BERGER
Liberty
Bowl
Memphis, Dec. 29
Now battling for bragging rights in
the world of Catholic football, it's
Boston College vs. Notre Dame.
Finishing up at 2-9, the Eagles
knocked off Clemson, Penn State, and
Alabama while crucifying many other
opponents during the season. The
Fighting Irish nailed themselves into a
6-5 record.
ALSO IN the Irish arsenal, however,
is Allen Pinkett who currently ranks fif-
th in the nation's rushing department.
The Eagles must stop Pinkett in order
to unleash their own weapons, namely
Doug Flutie et. al.
In 1983, the junior quarterback from
Natick, Mass. ranked an eye-Pope-ing
fourth in the nation in total offense and
the Eagles were sixth in the same
category. To the dismay ofnSouth Bend
faithful, opponents inability to contain
Flutie during the season should con-
tinue in post-season play.
Still, all the elements are there for a
monumental holy war in 1983's Liberty
Bowl.
And rumor has it John Paul II himself
will be present at the December 29
classic in Memphis; the VFL (Vatican
Football League) draft occurs the
twelfth day of Christams.
- ADAM MARTIN

IUge*
they probably would have had to spend
the holidays cn the mainland.
And come on Washington supporters.
Okay, so the Huskies choked out of the
Rose Bowl for the second year in a row
(both times by falling to Washington
State in the season finale). Where
would you rather spend Christmas - in
that wacko, decadent state of Califor-
nia, or the tropical paradise that Jack
Lord made famous?
THE HUSKIES played in the Aloha
Bowl last year, edging the Maryland
Terrapins. This season their opposition
will be a bit tougher. Penn State isn't
the patsy it was at the beginning of the
season, having come on strong from the
middle of its schedule.
The Nittany Lion defense will have to
contain Husky QB Steve Pelluer if Penn
State is to have any chance to win.
Pelleur riddled the Michigan secondary
back on September 20 and is one of the
top passers in the west.
Despite Pelluer, Penn State will win.
The Nittany Lions are playing good
football now and Washington isn't. But
make no mistake about it, it should be a
good game.
Be there, aloha.
-.JOHN KERR

ts

San Diego, Dec. 23
Brigham Young (10-1) enters this
bowl game with an offense and quar-
terback that cannot be stopped.
Missouri (7-4) is a sporadic team which
is capable of an upset.
BYU quarterback Steve Young is the
man to watch. The senior completed 306
of 429 passes for 3,902 yards and 33
touchdowns. ,
Missouri finished second in the Big
Eight Conference to Nebraska, while
registering two impressive victories.
Mizzou beat Illinois, 28-18, in the first
game of the season and shut out
Oklahoma, 10-0.
Not acclaimed offensively, the Tigers
boast two nationally reknowned defen-
sive ends, Bobby Bell, Jr. (son of for-
mer NFL Hall of Famer Bobby Bell)
and Pat Taft. Bell and Taft do an ex-
cellent job of containing the run, which
won't'do much good against BYU.
- DOUGLAS B. LEVY

Holiday
Bowl

Sun
Bowl

The Michigan Daily - Friday, De
snub.

rill

Hall of
Fame
Bowl

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El Paso, Dec. 24
This year's Sun Bowl gives every in-
dication of being one of the most ex-
citing in recent years with the sixth-
ranked Mustangs of Southern
Methodist battling the Crimson Tide of
Alabama in El Paso, Texas on
Christams Eve.
The controversy surrounding the
game, however, is threatening to over-
whelm the contest itself. SMU partisans
are bitter, and rightfully so, their
school was overlooked by the major
bowl committees - the Sugar, Cotton,
Orange and Fiesta - and thus had to
accept a bid to the bowl with the second-
lowest payout per team at $400,000.
With the Mustangs' record of 10-1 and
their lofty perch in the rankings, SMU
coach Bobby Collins must feel like the
Rodney Dangerfield of college football,
ALL THIS talk should not lessen the
game's football value, however. SMU
will bring an explosive offense to El
Paso, led by quarterback Lance McIlh-
enny and the formidable Mustang
ground attack of freshman Jeff Atkins
and sophomore Reggie Dupard, both of
whom are averaging over six yards a
carry.
Alabama is in the midst of an atypical
year, illustrated by its 7-4 record, but
this is understandable due to the
coaching change in Tuscaloosa. Ray
Perkins has replaced the late Bear
Bryant, certainly a difficult act to
follow. Even so, the offense of the Tide
has been averaging over 31 points per
game behind the passing of quarter-
back Walter Lewis (139 of 234 1929 yar-
ds and 12 TDs) and the rushing of
fullback Rickey Moore (838 yards, 7
TDs).
Regardless of all the hoopla centered
on what is being referred to as "The
Great SMU Snub of 1983," the Sun Bowl
promises to be an offensive thriller -
perhaps thrilling enough to keep im-
patient gift-waiters from peeking under
the tree this Christmas Eve.
-- TOM EHR

Birmingham, Dec. 22
"Why shore we're glad to be playin
there," said spokesman from both the
Universities of Kentucky and West
Virginia when asked about their in-
vitations to the Hall of Fame Bowl in-
Birmingham, Ala.
This statement rings especially true
for Kentucky, considering its 6-4-1
record and sixth place finish in the
Southeastern Conference. On top of
that, coach Jerry Claibourne's Wildcats
have not appeared in a bowl game since
the 1976 Peach Bowl.
West Virginia probably had other
holiday plans at the halfway point of the
season, when it was rated number
four in the country. Unfortunately for
coach Don Nehlen, a former Michigan
coach, and his squad, they ran into Penn
State, Miami of Florida and Syracuse,
and now have to settle for Christmas
in Birmingham.
The Mountaineers feature quarter-
back Jeff Hostetler who was allegedly a
Heisman Trophy candidate. Hostetler
passed for over 2000 yards and 14
touchdowns, which are certainly im-
pressive numbers, although its doubtful
that Mike Rozier lost any sleep
over them.
Look for bld blue Nehlen to take
care of Kentucky in a romp.
- SCOTT SALOWICH
Florida
74+ ZZZ Citrus
Bowl
Orlando, Dec. 17
In what will be a very juicy match-up,
the Florida Citrus Bowl pits the

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Fabulous drinks - 2 for I
from II am til 7 pm.

What a setting. You'll prob-
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FOOD AND DRINK
3150 S. Boardwalk (near Briarwood)
Ann Arbor 9 Phone 668-1545

Aloha
Bowl

Honolulu, Dec. 26
That three game losing streak at the
start of the season wasn't that bad now
was it Penn State fans? Heck, if the Nit-
tany Lions had won two of those games

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