What is your commitment to fixing the system?

So I promised myself that I wouldn’t blather on about football, but this is relevant to work, I promise…just bear with me. This weekend, aside from my my attempts to recover from the most annoying head cold ever, the focus of the weekend was football. Even to a larger extent than usual. Yes, I watched my game (and frankly, was surprised at how well ucla played…never know what will happen in those big rivalry games). If you are a newer visitor to this blog, I’ll just tell you up front that I am a huge Trojan football fan. Went there…loved it. Was President of the Midwest Alumni Club when I lived in Chicago. In the fall, I live for football. Jeesh, I hope that doesn’t sound sad. It isn’t. I just love the sport. I’m not into pro football (AKA money ball), just college.

Anyhoo, year 7 of the BCS format and people are still really ticked off…namely Auburn fans and Cal fans (this year). We knew someone was going to get left out of the NC game. At least this year it was the number 3 team (last year it was the number 2 team and it was us and I was ticked, but attended the Rose Bowl game anyway). If you aren’t really familiar with the BCS format, here’s the quick rundown. There are 4 BCS bowl games and each year a different bowl is designated the NC game. This year it is the Orange Bowl. Typically, each bowl invites champions of particular major conferences. For example, the Rose Bowl invites the Pac Ten Champion to play the Big ten Champion. This year, the Pac Ten Champion is going to the NC game (that is USC…wheeee!). What generally would happen in this situation is that the #2 team in the Pac Ten would go to the Rose Bowl. HOWEVER, according to the BCS regulations, if a team does not win their conference championship, but finishes in the top 4 of the BCS standings, they get an automatic bowl berth. Since Texas jumped over Cal in the polls (Texas moved to number 4), and since the #1 ranked team left a hole to be filled in the Rose Bowl (they fill the holes in order of the rank of the team vacating the bowl berth), Texas was invited to play Michigan in the Rose Bowl. I’m sure a bunch of people at the Tournament of Roses lost their lunch over that one. No disrespect to Texas (though I am not a huge fan of coaches lobbying for BCS ranking…I mean you Mack Brown), but it just doesn’t seem right to have a Rose Bowl without a Pac Ten team…especially a team as great as Cal is this year.

OK, so here’s where this becomes relevant to work. My question is how long do you stick with a system that does not work? We’ve all been there haven’t we? We pour resources into something that is supposed to improve how we work and, when it doesn’t, we are stuck with it because we have put so much into it (money, people hours). It’s good to take risks (calculated ones, at least), but at what point do the ill effects of an ineffective system trump the need to rationalize the resources you put into it in the first place? When is it appropriate to cut your losses?

With regard to the BCS, the most painful part is that there is a clear solution that will fix the system (4 plus one bowl game scenario or top ten round robin play-offs for example). How much longer will these young guys be victimized by the system (I know that sounds dramatic, but ask Aaron Rogers how he feels)?

And since I promised not to do a bunch of posts on football, let me get a couple things out there…

1) Reggie Bush deserves the Heisman. Sick of East Coast bias. If you are a Heisman voter and didn’t give equal attention to the top nominees (by this I mean, watching their games, even if it’s past your bed time…get a Tivo), shame on you. I mean it!

2) Did anyone else think that Trev Alberts lost it on Saturday? He reminded me of the kid who disagrees, just because. I fully expected to see some foot stomping. Sheesh!

3) Great finish by Virginia Tech. They are getting some well-deserved recognition.

OK, thanks for letting me get that put of my system!

Comments (10)

  1. Tate says:

    3) Great finish by Virginia Tech. They are getting some well-deserved recognition.

    Heather, I’m not a big Virginia Tech fan (Univ. Virginia alumni), but I have to admit that this was a very impressive year for the Hokies. I wonder how many other teams have entered a new conference and emerged at the top in the first year? And I think you’re right. The system does need to be fixed.

  2. Maurits says:

    I remember back when Cade McNown was a Heisman candidate, one of his big games was at Hawaii. Some Heisman voters on the East Coast were watching the game at a sports bar… but the game went on so late that the bar closed and they weren’t able to watch the end, including a touchdown pass from Cade McKnown to Freddie Mitchell.

  3. Heather says:

    Maurits-that’s another entry to be filed under "who are these people?". It’s like they don’t even create the illusion of fairness. They would really stink as politicians. You at least need to create the illusion!

  4. Darrell says:

    Go Tech! They started slow but finished strong. Plus most of their games were close and interesting, not 55-0 blowouts. Zzzzzz.

  5. Chris Haaker says:

    East coast bias??? Who won the Heisman just two years ago??

    Hmmm, Carson Palmer? Chris

  6. Heather says:

    Chris-are you telling me that East Coast bias doesn’t exist and Carson getting the Heisman is proof of that? Really? You are joking, right?

  7. Bah!

    I’m not mad. But I am, rightfully I think, upset with the system. I responded to your comment on my blog.

  8. And as for Cade McNown…he wasn’t half the QB you think he was…and having a big game against Hawaii is generally nothing to brag about… 😛

  9. Sean Kent says:

    Heather, great post and I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of the BCS (or BSC, as I like to call it). I do have to disagree with your Heisman pick though – Reggie Bush? Please. Are you serious with this? Take off the Trojan glasses!

    I went to Florida, so I’m not biased towards Oklahoma, but Adrian Peterson is hands down the most impressive RB in college football, WAY better than Reggie Bush. Compare Adrian’s stats to your boy Reggie:

    Pos Yr Gms Car Yds TDs Avg YdsPG

    Adrian: RB FR 12 314 1843 15 5.87 153.58

    Reggie: RB SO 12 137 833 6 6.08 69.42

    Now tell me how Reggie deserves the Heisman?? If anyone from USC deserves it, it is Matt Leinart.

  10. Heather says:

    Sean, stats don’t tell the whole story. How about the fact that our opponents have to double-team him and that leaves holes elsewhere for their D. How about the fact that he is plug and play….the most versatile player I have ever seen. How about the number of tackles he avoids, his ability to change direction on a dime. I mean, I could go on but that would be no fun, right?

    Matt is also impressive but he’s an intellectual player. It’s his compusure under pressure and his leadership that make him outstanding. He’s just not that physical a player. Don’t get me wrong. I think he’s fantastic and could also win the Heisman. It’s just a matter of what *kind* of player the voters want to win this year. And after throwing no TDs in out last game, I think his Heisman chances have dropped.

    I think Peterson has a good chance of getting the Heisman, but the fact that he’s a freshman may work against him (with an outstanding field, they may think he could compete for it next year). I’d be really surprised if White got it again. I think people remember his bowl performance last year. As much as they are only supposed to consider this year, they can’t forget that.

    Of course, as always, just my opinion.