Another college football season is winding down, and I’m wondering why this new Division I playoff system has me feeling the old way might have been better. Remember when media voted in the AP poll, coaches voted in the UPI/USA Today poll, each determined a national champion, and when they differed, national debate ensued? Talk about fun!
I used to think a playoff was the way to go, but now I’m not so sure. We have this new ranking system, in addition to the media and coaches polls, to settle the four teams that will challenge for the national championship and the eight teams that will fill New Year’s bowl games. It was bad enough when a team held two rankings – say No. 1/2 Alabama – but now there are three!
I’m also wondering why Navy is having another great season (8-1) and Army is not (2-8). Do the best football jocks at the service academies want to drive submarines instead of tanks and land jets on carrier decks instead of helicopters on pads?
I’m wondering why Maine and New Hampshire can win in the Colonial Athletic Association and Rhode Island can’t. And why Columbia, situated in the most exciting city in the world, can’t win in the Ivy League and Dartmouth, stuck in the New Hampshire woods, can.
I’m wondering why quarterbacks and running backs always win the Heisman Trophy, making a routine tackle is cause for chest thumping and finger wagging, coaches get a Gatorade bath instead of being carried off the field after a big victory and why the worse URI plays football, the better the URI Band plays music. And now I’m wondering if even turf and lights at Meade Stadium can help revive that program.
BROWN AT COLUMBIA
Brown has 32 turnovers this season, more than the Wayland Square Bakery. Unbelievable! If the Bears can hold on to the ball Friday night in New York, they can salvage a .500 season. I’m not counting on it.
The Pick: Columbia
BRYANT AT ROBERT MORRIS
WBy losing to Sacred Heart last week, Bryant threw away an opportunity to win the Northeast Conference title this week. Now the Bulldogs must win to finish 6-5. This is the last game for running back Ricardo McCray of Middletown. He leads the NEC is rushing (1,180 yards) and rushing touchdowns (8) and ranks fifth in the nation in yardage and average. Nice going, Ricardo!
The Pick: Bryant
URI AT TOWSON
The Rams are staggering to the finish of their 27th losing season in the last 30 years. Who would have predicted this after they won the Yankee Conference and finished 10-3 in 1985?
The Pick: Towson
SALVE REGINA VS. HUSSON
As disappointing as Salve Regina’s 28-21 loss to Western New England was last week in what amounted to the New England Football Conference championship game, the Seahawks have a chance to end the season with a victory. They will kick off Friday afternoon against Husson, of Bangor, Maine, in the ECAC’s Clayton Chapman Bowl at Central Connecticut State University. Each team is 7-2. Husson is the two-time ECFC champion and played in the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2014.
The Pick: Salve Regina
HARVARD AT YALE
After a subpar performance that ended wit a loss to Penn last week, the Crimson is faced with a must-win game to earn a share of the Ivy League championship. No better foe than archrival Yale for that mission.
The Pick: Harvard
Last Week, 4-3. Season, 35-12.