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IMAGINE THE SPLENDOR

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As March Madness comes to simultaneously mask office despair for a month and validate the existence of college basketball, consider the opening brackets of a completely improbable sixteen team bracket played out with 2008's week fifteen BCS results.

picture-11
Picture from XKCD, of course.

--#1 Oklahoma versus number 16 BYU. Because we know how well Mormons deal with people in wagon trains.

--#2 Florida vs. #15 Georgia. Which went so well the first time through in 2008.

-#3 Texas vs. #14 Georgia Tech. Given Tech's performance versus LSU and their shoddy 2008 secondary, Colt McCoy would have shot Tech into fine, lacy cheese.

--#4 Alabama vs. #13 Oklahoma State. Okay, this would have been fascinating. If you doubt this, consider how the spread performed versus Alabama's maturing but still green defense in the Sugar.

--#5 USC vs. #12 Cincinnati. Fascinating, but only in the sense that a sheep being dropped into a shark tank is.

--#6 Utah vs. #11 TCU. Redundancies. A playoff has them. Or, as they call them in a playoff, "rematches."

--#7 Texas Tech vs. #10 Ohio State. A beerworthy game, for sure.

--#8 Penn State vs. #9 Boise State. Only really potentially interesting because at one point Boise State pantsed Oklahoma in a bowl game in the biggest upset ever, and you'd like to see that happen again, even though it was a low probability event like winning a single number bet in roulette, but too bad for you it happened, you remember it, and the rush will keep you expecting it against all hope and probability for the rest of your life. /gamblersanonymous.

So even just looking at that extremely unlikely and hypothetical slate of games...it's a total crapshoot with three, possibly four games of real intrigue. For sheer interest--discounting the fairness of a playoff aside--does it really beat handpicked bowls for a consumable product of football interest? And would it have a diarrheal anthem like "One Shining Moment?" (Probably not: soaring blandthem would be the bet, with leading money on something by Coldplay or The Killers.)

College football retains much of its market value in its scarcity: as much as that idea pains us to admit, more of it may not be a good thing. (Ducks thrown bottles, cans, and fetuses in jars.)

P.S. Official EDSBS stance: playoff agnostic, if we were to believe it would be in a plus-one God, most likely, but not this laborious 16 team model that would be octopus-on-roller-skates awkward.