Finally, it’s that time of year again where “GRAB YOUR NITROGLYCERIN PILLS” is tweeted daily by none other than Jon Rothstein.
College basketball is unlike any other sport, and for many reasons, it is the best sport. Since the college football playoffs just wrapped up and college basketball is in the midst of a great year, I am going to make the case for why college basketball is better than college football.
The biggest problem I have with college football is the lack of competitiveness amongst teams.
In college basketball, a small school like Loyola Chicago or Xavier can compete with the blue-bloods. However, in college football, there are a select number of teams that you can expect to be good every year. Alabama, Ohio State, and Clemson have regularly dominated the College Football Playoff since 2014.
People often complain about expanding the college football playoffs to add teams who “deserve” a chance to compete for the championship. This would make things more interesting and likely bring in more revenue, but these games are not competitive anyway. In the semi-final games since 2014, the winning team has outscored the losing team 617-280, and for some reason, everyone is always fired up to watch these “good” games.
I’m not afraid to say that these games are the opposite of exciting and tend to end up in a lopsided blowout.
On the other hand, college basketball might as well be the most competitive sport, especially during conference play. I find myself watching games between two unranked teams that I would normally not care about because the game is down to the wire. Games like these make it interesting to watch even if you are not a fan of either team or don’t happen to know a single player on either team.
Small schools are disregarded in college football because they have no chance to compete with the top dogs of the country for several reasons.
First of all, it is harder to field a good football team and recruit for a smaller school which is an expected setback. And secondly, even if a smaller school has a good team and a good year, they are almost instantly ignored because of their lack of strength of schedule.
However, this is for good reason because most college football schedules consist of three to four non-conference games and then eight or nine conference games. A good school in a weaker conference will have an easier time since they lack competition, which gives them no chance at making the playoffs. College basketball finds a way to get around this problem by adding automatic bids to the tournament. At least one team from every 32 conferences will get in because the conference champion receives an automatic bid to the postseason.
Plenty of other small schools receive at large bids as well; in recent years, Loyola Chicago, Murray State, Gonzaga, and Davidson have dominated the mid-major realm.
Unfortunately, college football is only making the problem worse by agreeing to stack the SEC, as Texas and Oklahoma have agreed to join in the near future. Instead of piling all the good teams into a few conferences, the best way to promote competition is to spread out some of the bigger programs.
This does not mean I think they should rip apart all of the power 5 conferences and make it a completely even playing field because that would defeat the purpose and lose lots of money.
All I am saying is that the SEC is already the most dominant conference in the country, and by adding two legendary football programs, I don’t think it will make the scene of college football more interesting or competitive.
Last, but most importantly, the postseason of college basketball is incomparable to that of college football. I don’t even know where to start, but what I do know, is March Madness may be the most exciting few weeks for any sports fan in the country.
First of all, the first weekend of play kicks off right as spring break does, and there are multiple games on for four days straight; once the second weekend hits, the games become more serious, and more brackets are busted. In my opinion, nothing is more fun than waiting for selection Sunday and filling out a million brackets for March Madness. Everyone tries to argue who they think this year’s Cinderella team will be and who will win it all, and it is nearly impossible to have a perfect bracket.
In contrast, there were no real playoffs in college football until 2014 when the four-team CFP was introduced. I do enjoy bowl games, but something about the CFP is not as exciting, and it may be that the games are not close or there are only four teams. I think expanding the playoffs to eight or twelve teams would be great because it includes a few extra teams that worked hard the whole season but either one or two losses destroyed their hopes to compete for a championship. I am in favor of the 12-team pool because it gives the original top four teams a bye and then there are still enough teams that get to play.
Maybe I am just a biased 17-year-old who loves college basketball and the history behind it. But I think some changes could improve the scene of college football, and I believe for those reasons that college basketball is better than college football.
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