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End of an era
Charlies Inside Corner
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LARNED — The upcoming college football bowl season is the end of an era. Thank goodness, or Santa Claus or whomever!
This is the end of the Bowl Championship Series, or BCS as most know it.
The BCS was a failed attempt to give us a consensus national champion in Big Boy college football.
Of course it failed. It had no chance of succeeding because only a true playoff system would deliver that.
So in this final, futile ploy, we get Florida State playing Auburn. Is one of them the best college football team out there?
No way of knowing.
What of Michigan State, or Baylor, Ohio State or even Alabama?
Except  for a fluke play, a miraculous ending, we would be seeing Alabama in the title game and not Auburn. It is some kind of devilish justice that Auburn was able to have two game-ending miracles in this season that would get them into the national title conversation.
So for the final time, the computers have wheezed and cranked, the polls have been consulted and the coins flipped and we get Auburn and Florida State.
Enjoy it if you can.
Next year we change to the new system of a four-team playoff and we’ll not have computers and polls helping to pick the teams but instead, Tom Osborne, Archie Manning and ... ta da ... Condoleezza Rice, among others, picking four teams.
We all know that picking four teams won’t cut it. Just take the deserving teams this year and you are going to come up with a whole lot more than four that should be in the mix.
Those in control of Division-I college football tell us that a playoff system isn’t possible. That it won’t work.
Listen to what Duke coach David Cutcliffe had to say about it, “We’re not a natural playoff sport. I think we can make this work, but I think we’re going to find out that we are going to go from a few schools angry to a whole bunch that are angry. Maybe that will be good.”
I am not sure I follow that line of reasoning, but then I didn’t have a team that just got hammered Saturday night! (Florida State 45, Duke 7)
College football may not be a “natural playoff sport” but it seems to work pretty well for the NAIA, NCAA Div. II and NCAA Div. III and just about everybody else in the world playing football EXCEPT the Big Boys with their cuddly friends in the Bowls around the country.  
THAT, in a nutshell, is why we don’t have a college football playoff system. It is about friendship and money and don’t we all know that money talks and, right now, it is saying NO PLAYOFF!
We can only hope that this new four-team playoff will only be a step, albeit a little one, towards a true playoff system.

CHALK TALK — The warning shot had been delivered in the NFL by some of the defensive backs, “If you are going to penalize us for hitting up high, you are going to force us to go low and some knees are going to suffer and careers be ended.” Case in point, the Patriots lost Rob Gronkowski with torn MCL and ACL, and he might miss a whole year ... Many college basketball coaches consider a zone defense about as useful as a fork in a sugar bowl but both Colorado’s Tad Boyle and KU’s Bill Self resorted to it last Saturday and it proved to be the difference maker in the Buff’s upset of the Jayhawks ... The NFL fined Steelers coach Mike Tomlin $100,000 for his little two-step onto the field on Thanksgiving. For $100,000 they ought to give him the whole field! Would somebody tune up and play Tiny Tim’s “TIPTOE THROUGH THE TULIPS” for him? ... Wow! This football season and, now even in early basketball games, has shown fans to NOT leave early, don’t turn off that TV too quickly, as last second miracles are becoming as common as cows in a dairy barn! ... The reason my golf pro tells me to keep my head down is so I won’t see him laughing at me!

Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned