Best-of-three for NCAA post-season
Hunter O. Lyle — Sports Editor
In collegiate athletics, regardless of the sport, the regular season can be a long, exhausting climb to something in which the only payoff is an elusive chance for a playoff drive, which can be ended just as quickly as it began.
To remedy this, more sports should have a best-of-three series to determine the champion, rather than just one stand-alone game. The fans, the teams and the athletic administrators would all benefit.
First off, football should remain a one-and-done game style, due to the higher risk of impairment to the players’ physical and mental health. Instead, the change proposed would affect collegiate team sports such as soccer, basketball, field hockey, lacrosse and baseball.
A best-of-three series would eliminate dull and lengthy playoffs and instead provide more exciting post-season games. Three games would boost both fan interest and athletic challenge.
This removes the possibility of skeptics crying out that the champion team won only because of luck. There is no lucky shot that ‘should not have gone in’ as one may hear some bummed-out fans exclaim after a loss. If a team wants to win, they must prove it — at least twice. On the flip side, it also gives teams a chance to rebuttal after a loss.
There is another stipulation to these hypothetical rules that should also help this system work. On plenty of occasions in professional sports, there are teams in the post-season that, whether it be lack of skill or will, are matched up against a Goliath of an opponent and constantly get rocked, night-in and night-out.
To fix this, I would like to add a ‘Blow-Out Rule:’ if a team, in any game during the series, gets blown out majorly — for instance, in basketball, a 30 point final deficit would qualify, and in soccer, a 12 point deficit — that team should be eliminated from the playoffs. This would help keep competition interesting, while also doling out some mercy to the losing team.
This change in postseason play would benefit the respective athletic departments as well as the teams.
Each team now gets at least one home game. Teams that would have had to travel would now get a chance to summon some school support, sell tickets and recruit fans. Teams that would have been hosting would now get two opportunities to cash in on school spirit.