This man does not look like he knows a lick about sports. You'd think that he were, you know, a best-selling pop culture writer or something. Ahem.
Anyway, Chuck Klosterman, like many nerds (including us), loves sports. And, in a column on ESPN.com's Page 2, has taken a stance with about as much popular support as the old "new" NBA basketball: the college bowl system is exactly as it should be.
In all fairness (I'll wait till the bewildered look leaves your face), he makes a pretty compelling argument. I'm sticking to my guns, insisting that every reason Klosterman is in favor of the college bowl system (the significance of every single game, the balls-to-the-wall boldness of every team with the knowledge that their season is worth only as much as the current game) would still exist if college switched to a playoff system.
For example, Klosterman argues that Ohio State's lack of a margin of error (one loss would crush their season because each campaign is so short) makes them exciting to watch every week. In a playoff system, instead of playing each game with the premier bowl game in mind, they're playing for a high playoff seeding. In college, home-field advantage is incredibly more influential on the outcome of the game than in the pros, so a high playoff seed means a lot. Of the top eight teams in the final BCS rankings this year, only one loss separated #1 (Ohio State) from #8 (Boise State). So each game maintains its dire importance.
As for the desperation boldness in each team's gameplan, well, that takes care of itself with the point above. Every game matters, even in a playoff system, and inventive coaches will find a way to be daring from week to week without being repetitive.
A valiant effort indeed, Chuck, but maybe you should stick to writing awesome books. Check. And. Mate.