Reading article after article about the upcoming college football season, I'm noticing a pattern: sports writers and commentators alike are regurgitating the same drivel as in years past. College football writers perpetuate many myths from year to year, without so much as changing the language. If they're not plagiarizing others, they're just plagiarizing themselves form the year before -- or in the case of Corso, from 1997.
So what are those old, tired myths? Glad you asked...
1. Notre Dame is a national power.
This one is a golden oldie, always available in a pinch. Notre Dame has not played for a national championship in over 20 years. They have had little to no success in recent bowl games and have struggled to be above .500. Their Catholic base, once a powerhouse in America, has become smaller and smaller as the nation's populations expands. While Notre Dame still enjoys a perch above a lot of college football teams, they are not automatically an elite team without question. Their evolution into the new age of recruiting, playing style, etc. has not been smooth, and it's not guaranteed that they will ever recover to a stature in the same area code as their former glory days. At this point, Notre Dame is just a team with a good television contract, at least until proven otherwise. And we've been waiting to be proven otherwise for 20 years.
2. UConn is now a power in the Big East.
I'll admit, this is a new one. Finally tired of waiting for Rutgers to turn the corner, UConn is the newest media darling in television and print.
This year, UConn returns 16 starters from a team that had a 8-5 record in 2009. That sounds somewhat promising, but if you look a little deeper you see the flaw in the experts' logic. The Huskies were 0-3 against Top 25 opponents and only 3-4 in the Big East.
The only reason, at least that I can see, for the experts jumping on the UConn bandwagon, is the fact that they are all tired of jumping on the Rutgers bandwagon and looking like idiots at the end of the season. WVU, Pitt and Cincinnati are all coming back with strong teams, that also include a lot of returning starters. Suddenly, UConn's position doesn't look all that special.
Two teams have a shot at winning the Big East: Pitt and WVU. Sorry experts, you are all going to look like idiots again at the end of the year, but after the years of Rutgers love, you're used to that. No change necessary.
3. Only "traditional powers" can win a national title.
College football is the rare sport that wins and losses don't matter at the end of the day. What really matters is what happened during the 1965 Cotton Bowl where "Three legged Willey" and "Back door Brownie" ran wild on the Princeton defense. If you don't have "tradition," you don't have shit college football.
Aging sports writers like Beano Cook, Ivan Maisel and Gene Wojciechowski don't give teams the credit they deserve until the teams prove it during multiple seasons. And by multiple seasons, I mean decades.
4. A playoff would diminish the importance of bowl games.
The bowl games, all 459 of them, are a wonderful reward for teams and, more importantly, student athletes. It allows them more practice time, a trip to a usually warm locale (sorry Marshall and your perpetual trip to the Motor City Bowl), and the chance to kick back and have some fun. Of course, outside of the BCS games, these bowl games have little to no meaning in the big scheme of the college football season. It's a point of pride for the school, of course, but really only the top 8-10 teams play meaningful games.
In a playoff system, that would still be the case. Bowl games would still continue, but we would just take those top 8 (or so) teams, and have them play truly meaningful games. I can't imagine how trying to determine a true, legitimate champion is a bad thing for college football. It just doesn't make any sense. And unless you really want to sacrifice that end result for preserving the beauty and tradition that is the damn Sun Bowl, then you should be in favor of a playoff.
5. The moon shot was real.
OK, granted, you don't hear many sportswriters talking about this, except for yours truly, and I'm not much of a sportswriter. But that picture above is totally fake -- as fake as Rutgers football.
Let's go over the basics in the above photo: 1) the shadow directions of the landing module and flag are essentially opposite. The sun is tricky, but it's not that tricky. 2) The flag is blowing in the wind, except there is no wind on the moon. Suspicious? I think so. 3) Mythbusters is full of shit. We know those guys just do a bunch of mushrooms and then just blow up stuff on TV. Hell, I can do that, but it doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about.