Commissioner Gordon For A Day
Okay, Bruce. Bruce Ciskie's invited Blogpollers to ape SI's "Commissioner for a Day" series, presumably because the SI version is full of useless suggestions like "put the NHL All Star game in Europe." Jack McCallum is the worst offender in this category, spending his ten edicts on the following:
- Muzzle PA announcers
- Alter the dress code
- Put press back on the floor
- Curtail crazy introductions
- Schedule NBA-NBDL doubleheaders
- Police anthem length
- Create wives section
- Make retro night "cheap"
- Make the finals 2-2-1-1-1
- Don't let players call TO without clear possession
- GET OFF MY LAWN
For those counting, there's one self-serving YAY JOURNALISM suggestion, two useless scheduling suggestions, one suggestions that's already a rule, and a whopping six suggestions that amount to "mutter mutter kids these days... putting music videos in the beef." Jack McCallum should be put in a home.
("Music videos in the beef" is the totally awesome phrase of totally awesome comic Jesse Popp.)
Where was I? Right: football. Mandel's are better than McCallum's -- faint praise, that -- but manage to dodge the pressing issue of the day.
1. Eight team playoff.
We've been here before. Top five conference winners, one non-BCS team conference winner, and two at-large slots. First two rounds at campus sites in December, final @ the Rose Bowl. This system maintains the tension of the regular season -- one loss is probably the difference between a home game in round two and an away one -- but relaxes things a bit, allowing interesting non-conference games.
Another key aspect of the system: the seeding/at-large selection process ignores non-conference losses. You get rewarded for the quality of your wins, but the only penalty for losing is the loss of whatever points you would have gotten for winning.
2. No I-AA games.
3. No more than one guarantee game per year.
One preseason-type opener against a team that's going to get whacked is fine, but any more than that is a tedious waste of time and fan money.
4. Drop the Sun Belt to I-AA.
What is the point of that conference other than to supply vastly incompetent refereeing to Alamo Bowls? Not a single team in it has ever or ever will do anything other than get waxed by real I-A teams. Someone should do them a favor, kill their I-A aspirations, and save those schools a heap of money.
5. Tweak OT.
Though it does do a much better job of simulating actual football (the NFL version doesn't care whether you score a touchdown or not), placing the ball at the 25 offers a makeable field goal without gaining any yards. To cut down on excessively long OT sessions the ball should be placed on the 35 and you should have to go for two after the second OT period; after four OTs it's a tie.
6. Fix the fumble-out-of-endzone rule.
Probably the strangest rule in football is that a fumble that goes out of the endzone you'd like to reach is a turnover and a touchback. On all other fumbles that leave the field of play, the offense retains. A fumble that goes out of the endzone should be brought back to the point of the fumble.
7. Add a flagrant pass interference foul.
It only happens occasionally, but when it does it's irritating: a defensive back beat deep sees a choice between a touchdown and a 15-yard penalty, chooses the penalty, and tackles the receiver. Equally irritating is watching NFL games decided by an extremely tenuous bit of hand-fighting or incidental contact adjudged to be a 55-yard pass interference penalty. It's like making all facemask penalties 5 or 15 yards. Football should give refs discretion in these potentially game-changing situations.
8. Implement NFL-style challenges.
...because clearly the replay officials are not up to the task. Either that or automatically replay all important plays that are remotely questionable.
And while we're at it, could we get some replay officials that, you know, know the rules of football? Twice last year Michigan was robbed when obvious non-fumbles were judged to be turnovers by replay officials. Even more egregious than the Peko "fumble return" was the Bass play in the Iowa game, which was correctly ruled on the field and then overturned despite clear visual evidence that the ball did not come out until Bass' elbow impacted the ground.
9. Crack down on this facilities ridiculousness.
This is impossible to enforce, but marble lockerrooms full of PS6s are a bit much.
10. Assign Mark May and Lou Holtz to the WNBA.