The Fifth Down

President's column: A playoff for the elite

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Lenn Robbins

Now that the power brokers are done slapping each other on the back because they've set up college football for a huge TV payday and the university presidents are crowing about how they have not allowed football to become a two semester sport and the fans are rejoicing that the BCS is DOA, surely the reality of what has transpired has hit you like a Joan Rivers interview.

We don't have a playoff in college football.

We have a playoff for the elite.

Fans with money and the elite BCS programs, for the most part, are the winners. The rest of us? We know this feeling. We've been shafted before.

In this issue of The Fifth Down:
Robbins: A playoff for the elite
Richardson: A valuable resource
Lodge Notes
FWAA, Armed Forces Bowl create Merit Award
Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List
Outland Trophy Watch List

Let's start with the fans, you know, the ones that support their teams year-round, that use vacation days to travel to regular-season away games, that spend their Holiday Fund savings if they're fortunate enough in this economic climate to have a Holiday Fund on airfare, hotel rooms and tickets to a bowl game.

Those fans now will have to make a decision: Attend the semifinal game or, roll the dice and save those hard earned dollars for the championship game. Think you can afford both?

The price for a 2013 Rose Bowl travel package starts at $1,045 not including meals and drinks. Excuse me, it does provide a Continental boxed breakfast the morning of the Rose Bowl parade. That cardboard cheese Danish is making my mouth water.

Oh yes, your ticket is in the end zone, somewhere behind the Boomer Schooner and Keith Olbermann.

Let's just round it off: A family of four needs about $5,000 for a trip to the semifinal game. The next weekend they'll need about $7,500 for the championship game junket.

Too bad young Tommy won't be attending the college of his choice but hey, he got to see the college football playoffs.

Wait, Tommy's family might be saved. If his family roots for Boise State or TCU or Rutgers they do not have to fear financial ruin.

Because let's be honest, do you really think one of those non-BCS undefeated or one loss teams gets picked by the still to be determined selection committee over a one or two loss SEC team?

Boise State lost once last season and finished 7th in the final BCS standings. Two years ago undefeated TCU finished 3rd in the BCS standings. That one-loss Nevada team in 2010? The Pack finished 15th in the BCS. Fifteenth!

If you're a fan of Ohio State or USC or Oklahoma or any school in the SEC except Vanderbilt or Kentucky, life is good in this new playoff gig.

If you didn't buy Facebook stock but bought 10,000 shares of Apple 10 years ago, than you'll enjoy jetting on your private plane from the semifinal to championship game.

The rest of us? Well, the BCS rotted from the ground up. This playoff system stinks from the head down.

KEY FWAA CONTACTS

Bert McGrane Award nominees: Mark Blaudshun (blauds@aol.com)
Volney Meece Scholarship nominees: Dave Sittler (davesitt@aol.com)
Website, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week: Ted Gangi (webmaster@sportswriters.net)
Membership Directory: Charlie Fiss, AT&T Cotton Bowl (charlie@attcottonbowl.com)
Ethics/Press Relations Committee: Kirk Bohls (kbohls@statesman.com)
College Football Playoff Liaison: Gina Lehe, College Football Playoff (glehe@collegefootballplayoff.com)
Eddie Robinson Award: Steve Richardson (tiger@fwaa.com)
Fifth Down Blog/FWAA Best Writing Contest: Ken Stephens (ken.stephens@sbcglobal.net)
Bronko Nagurski Award: John Rocco, Charlotte Touchdown Club (jrocco@touchdownclub.com)
Outland Trophy, All-America Team: Steve Richardson (tiger@fwaa.com)
Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll: Phil Marwill, National Football Foundation (pmarwill@footballfoundation.org)
Discover Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award: George Schroeder, USA TODAY (gschroeder@aol.com), Ron Higgins, Nola.com (rhigg@aol.com)
Freshman All-America Team: Mike Griffith, MLive Media Group (mgrif32@aol.com)

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