By Ken Reed
University of Central Florida (UCF) athletic director, Danny White, announced yesterday that the school will hang a national championship banner inside the school’s football stadium to celebrate the university’s undefeated football season.
Good for them. The so-called College Football Playoff is a joke. It’s not a true national championship because only about half of the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly NCAA Division I) programs have a chance to compete for a national championship. The current four-team playoff system is really nothing more than the Power Five Invitational, as only schools in the Power Five conferences have an opportunity to make the playoff.
The Power Five conferences operate as a cartel which keeps the so-called Group of Five conferences in the FBS out of the playoff. The NCAA goes along with this unjust arrangement because they’re afraid that the Power Five cartel might one day say, “We’re out of here! We don’t need the NCAA or all these other schools. If you hassle us, we’ll go create our own athletics association.”
Unfortunately, schools like UCF get screwed in this system. They aren’t treated fairly. UCF beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl to finish off a 13-0 season. They were the only undefeated team in major college football this season. UCF beat Auburn, who beat the two teams, Alabama and Georgia, who are playing for the “national championship” in a few days. Nevertheless, the Power Five cartel told UCF, “No, you’re not invited to our party.”
“There should be change,” White said.
“It’s not an equitable system … You can’t subjectively pick only four teams … I think you need to have at least eight teams in a playoff if you’re really going to call it a true national champion. Absent of that, we’re claiming a national championship for the 2017 season.”
You go Danny White! The College Football Playoff is as phony as can be. Until this deeply flawed system is fixed, any undefeated conference champion in the future that wins its bowl game and is left out of the playoff can also legitimately claim a national championship.
Former college football player and current college football analyst, Danny Kanell put it best on Twitter:
“This is so bad for college football. Fans are really gonna see thru the farce we call ‘playoffs’ and realize it’s a rigged system designed to benefit the elites.”
Exactly. Profit-at-all-costs — good old fashioned greed — on the part of the elites is what drives the Power Five Invitational.
It’s clearly isn’t fair play, sportsmanship or justice.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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