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and by that I mean people like Alex Ferguson and Walter Smith,

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. Cleveland Cavaliers Shirts . -- Its right there, in bold type, on the College Football Playoff website.Every Game Counts. Well, and sorry if this seems a little weird, truth is that maybe not quite every game. Maybe the game that does not count is a conference championship game, like Saturday nights Big Ten matchup of Penn State and Wisconsin, and try to explain that one.Because, in the very next paragraph, the playoff websites criteria go on to proclaim, The selection committee ranks the teams based on conference championships won . . .In other words, a conference championship is the key factor.Except when it isnt.Critics used to mock the people who run the college football bowl games because they paraded around looking like peacocks in all those brightly colored blazers with their oversize logos, spending fall weekends wining and dining athletic directors.Well, those guys look like Einstein compared to the clowns now in charge of the college playoff.They played the Big Ten championship game Saturday night at the dome in Indianapolis, and as game time approached, tickets could be had for less than $10, which should give you some idea of what the public thought of it.And about a dozen hours after the end of the game, Ohio State, which failed even to qualify for the conference title game, is expected to be chosen one of the four teams for the college playoff.The Big Ten champion will finish the season with a high place in the national rankings and a boost in its recruiting. It just will not be given a chance to play for the national championship, not be allowed a Cinderella champion like Texas Western in 1966 or a Villanova in 1985 in the NCAA basketball tournament.The consolation prize will be a trip to the Rose Bowl.Thats not bad.And, an argument can be made that Ohio State was the best team in the Big Ten this year, anyway, and maybe it was, although it lost to Penn State and beat Michigan only because of a few dunderhead plays by the Wolverines in critical spots. But the point is the Buckeyes did not even win their conference championship and they are going to get a chance to play for the national championship and the team(s) that finished ahead of them in the conference are not.You have to wonder what the geniuses who dreamed up the college playoff were thinking when, by design, they guaranteed a degree of controversy by setting up a four-team playoff among five power conferences. In other words, you know you are starting out by leaving out one of the conference champions. Period.Its a small step from there to leaving out another.The playoff, of course, was supposedly designed to eliminate the controversy that occurred in the past when the national champion was decided by a vote instead of, oh, say, an actual game. Which is how an undefeated Nebraska was selected over an undefeated Penn State in 1994 or several years when two groups of voters selected different teams as national champions, giving a little for everybody.A word, supposedly, appears in the previous paragraph because it would never pass a lie detector test. Lets face it, the playoff was set up to give a small group power and a bigger group money, because nothing much happens in college sports that does not really involve power and money.The five major conferences brought six bowls into their playoff orbit and only under pressure allowed one of the dozen spots to go to a school not a member of their cartel. But they certainly did not want one of the outliers getting super rich on the playoff, which is why they limited the playoff field to four teams and put the rest into a so-called Group of 6 bowl lineup which they controlled -- and, of course, sold for a huge sum to television.One interesting sidelight is that the people who run this sham championship arrangement, try as they might, could not fool everybody. Youd think, ordinarily, the championship game of the richest conference would be a huge magnet for fans, but since the fans realized it had so little to do with the national championship they smelled it for what it is.On Stubhub earlier in the week, there were more than 15,000 tickets available for the Penn State-Wisconsin matchup. As late as Saturday morning, more than 5,000 were still available, with sideline seats going for as little as, get this, $9.71.You can be sure that would not have been the case were the winner assured of going on to play for a bigger prize, but as it was, even Penn State and Wisconsin fans kept their wallets in their pockets because, since the meaning of the game was diminished, theyd prefer to save for, say, a trip to Pasadena instead of Indianapolis.Going into the game, the coaches, of course, tried to downplay the bigger picture by simply talking about the import of a conference championship -- huge, said Penn States James Franklin -- and deferring any questions about the playoff possibilities.But it didnt take a deep reading of Franklins comments to know how he felt.You could make a really good argument that the Big Ten, specifically the Big Ten East, may be the best conference in all of college football right now, Franklin said.He is probably right. The Big Ten is probably the best conference in college football right now, just a couple years after people were writing obituaries about the leagues weakness. Its just not a good enough conference, apparently, to allow its champion to play for the national title.--Ira Miller is an award-winning sportswriter who has covered the National Football League for more than five decades and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee. He is a national columnist for The Sports Xchange. Brevin Knight Jersey . He just needed to be his best twisting, turning acrobatic self. "I didnt need to be anybody else, I just needed to be myself and be aggressive," said Burks, who scored a career-high 34 points to spark the Utah Jazz to a 118-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. Butch Beard Jersey . Philadelphia is 2-0 against the Senators this season and scored five goals in each victory. The Flyers recorded a 5-0 win in Ottawa on Nov. 12 and then earned a 5-2 home decision on Nov. 19. The Flyers have claimed three straight and four of the last five encounters with the Sens overall and Philly has won two in a row and three of its past four tests in Canadas capital city. https:///...ersey-cavaliers.html . 1 position. The Mustangs (6-0), who beat Queens 50-31 last weekend, earned 17 first-place votes and 287 points in voting by the Football Reporters of Canada. Western was last ranked first in the country in October 2011.Former Scotland boss Walter Smith says Gordon Strachan should remain in charge of the national side despite recent poor results. Strachan has come under pressure after guiding Scotland to just one win - a 5-1 victory in Malta - from the opening four qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.Last weeks 3-0 defeat by England at Wembley left the Scots with slim hopes of reaching the finals in Russia, but Smith is convinced the former Celtic boss is still the best man for the job. Action from Scotlands 3-0 defeat to England at Wembley Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports News HQ, Smith, who was in charge of Scotland between 2004-2007, said: Personally, I think he should stay on.I thought the team had some excellent performances in the last campaign. We havent matched them this campaign but Gordon knows all the players. Former Scotland manager Smith wants Strachan to continue as the national team manager, despite a string of poor results He has a problem that quite a lot of them are not playing for the clubs at the moment, but hell know them better than anyone and I think going into the last half of the section we will be looking for a reaction and I think Gordon can bring that.Smith, who revived Scotlands fortunes after replacing Berti Vogts towards the end of 2004, admits the demands of the job at national level are on a par with club level. Strachan has come under fire since last weeks defeat to England Managing clubs is intense enough but managing the national team you have shortened periods of intensity and that makes it a little bit more difficult, added the 68-year-old.But it is also like club football in that you have to win or you come under a little bit of pressure. Vitaly Potapenko Jersey. Gordon is coming under that at the moment but I still think he is the best man for the job.Ally McCoist, assistant manager to Smith at Scotland and Rangers, believes a radical overhaul of the game north of the border will be required before any progress is noted. Ally McCoist (left) calls for radical shake-up of game in Scotland I dont think anyone can hide from the fact that we are not producing anything like the level of the youngster that we once did, he said.But we havent qualified for 18 years so this is a problem that has not come overnight. Theres a number of reasons for that. If I had the absolute answer I would be telling you it, but its a combination of things.It comes down to clubs, the SFA, the youngsters themselves, parents, boys clubs, coaches, and we definitely need a revamp of the whole situation. Theres a million things. Fergie and Walter the men to rekindle Scotlands fortunes, according to Ally McCoist My boys for example cannot play two games at the weekend. They cant play with their school and their boys club. What is that all about? Can someone tell me what thats all about?When we were young we played Saturday morning with the school, Saturday afternoon with the BBs [Boys Brigade], and Sunday with the boys club. And then during the week we were playing and training all the time. It seems to me there are people putting obstacles up rather than trying to help.There has to be change and theres a lot of people culpable, but I do believe everyone has the best interests of our country at heart in terms of producing youngsters again. Six months half price Upgrade to Sky Sports to watch Man Utd v Arsenal on Saturday and get the first six months half price We have to sit round a table and get those in the know, and by that I mean people like Alex Ferguson and Walter Smith, and come up with a plan.McCoist and Smith were speaking at the opening a new £1.5m clubhouse at Torrance Park Golf Club in Motherwell. Also See: Nicholas: Scots not good enough Griffiths: Dont sack Strachan ONeill: Scots not on my agenda Table ' ' '
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