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Berry Tramel  


College football playoff: Why film study?

by Berry Tramel Modified: May 31, 2013 at 3:06 pm •  Published: May 31, 2013

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby revealed a few more clues about the makeup of the new College Football Playoff committee. Not who might be on it, but what their job will be.

Including this nugget: “It’s going to take somebody with significant work ethic,” Bowlsby said, noting that the job would include film study and travel.

Oh brother. The next time you hear someone mention that troubles are deep-seeded and cultural, this is exactly what they’re talking about. The committee that will be asked to pick the four semifinalists for college football’s tournament will need to study film.

What exactly will they be watching? The technique of the defensive tackles? The arm strength of the quarterback. The dexterity of the cornerbacks. The speed of the linebackers? Sounds like a scouting mission.

The committee should be doing NO study of games and talent. The committee should be focused on results. Who did you play? Where did you play? How did you do?

That’s what matters. That’s what counts. Florida State beat Florida with the help of an onside kick? Who cares? Scoreboard. That’s what matters.

This is all cultural. College football has been so ingrained in decision-making, rather than results-tabulation, in determining postseason status, that it can’t break away.

This is foreign to professional sports. Can you imagine the NBA saying the Lakers are out of the playoffs because of Kobe’s injury? Or that the Ravens get bumped up to a No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs since they played half the season without Ray Lewis. The pros say you are what your record says you are.

Colleges have to have some decision-making, since without centralized scheduling you have a wide disparity of competition. But decisions should be made on results. Not on appearances. Not on talent. There is no reason to study film. Who’d you play, where’d you play, who’d you beat. Nothing else matters.

No reason for Football Four committee members to travel around and watch games. No reason to study film. It’s a zero sum game. Someone wins. Someone loses. How some team won or why some team lost is irrelevant.


by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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