Hog Blog with Adam Carriker - Week 17
By: Adam Carriker 
Posted: 2010-12-30
Category: Washington Redskins News
The Final Chapter

This will be my last blog of the year. Last week was obviously a very good game for us and a very big win. We were able to beat a playoff/playoff contending team without a lot of our starters and main guys in the lineup. I will say this. I never thought I would play a game in Florida and it would be that cold. Graham Gano earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week and kicked the game winning field goal in overtime. I had told him about 5 minutes before then that we would need him and we believed in him. As it turned out, I was right, and he proved me right. I was honored by the team and received Defensive Player of the Game for my performance in the game.

This year has been a bunch of ups and downs and highs and lows. Like I said a long time ago, the NFL season is a marathon and not a sprint. We have now entered the home stretch of the race and/or the final week of the season. I think we have a lot to look forward to next year. The second year under a new coach and in a new scheme both offensively and defensively is always night and day a lot easier than the first year. Everyone is familiar with everybody, everyone knows what is expected of them and what the expectations for and by everyone are, and most importantly, everyone is much more familiar with the schemes and there is almost always a vast improvement because things are a lot easier than the first time you try to learn them. I think there will be a vast improvement in year two. I still believe in this team.

There are a few things that I personally want to talk about.

First off, I think the fines this year are ridiculous. Iím beginning to wonder if weíre playing flag football out there. Player safety is one thing (which I find hard to believe since it looks like weíre going to an 18 game season, which definitely is not for our safety), but I think guys are almost afraid to touch a quarterback or hit anybody hard at all. I hear from people, ďWell itís for your safety. Why would you be against these fines?Ē Because it affects how we play. We know the risks when we lace up our cleats but making it so we can barely touch anybody isnít good for anybody, the fans or the players. As a player, I have to be careful while Iím going 100 mph and Iím about to sack the quarterback that I donít him too high or low or too hard or with a banned part of my own body. How am I supposed to take on two 300-pound linemen, beat them, and not hit the ball carrier too hard (not just quarterbacks) or with the wrong part of my body, or on the wrong part of his body? Players donít like it because we are playing too hard, going too fast and then we are supposed to be careful. It affects how we play. Somebody could let up too much and miss a key sack or tackle. That affects the outcome of a game. What if this game affects the playoffs or is even in the playoffs or even the Super Bowl? This is football. Let us play. We know the risks. There should be certain rules for protection but Iíve heard people refer to the NFL as the No (Full) Contact League. The rules and fines are just getting too excessive.

Another thing Iíd like to talk about is the BCS. I think it is great and terrible at the same time. I think itís great in the fact that college football has the most exciting regular season by far of any other sport. I think itís terrible in the fact that I think it very rarely actually finds the true national champion. The first big mistake is that it only gives the #1 and #2 team in the nation a shot at the title at the end of the season. I find it hard to believe that every year there are only two teams that are good enough to play for the national title at the end of the season.

The obvious thing to say is what if there is more than one undefeated team at the end of the year? What if every team has a loss and there are more than two teams with one loss? What if every team has two losses like what happened a few years ago and there is more than two teams with two losses? What if there are two undefeated teams and the #3 team has one loss, but they played a much tougher schedule? Should they really be punished for playing a tougher schedule? Donít we complain enough already that teams play too easy of schedules? I donít know that I have the solution but something definitely needs to be done.

Here is my opinion, for what itís worth. I actually like the idea of four major conferences with 16 teams in each conference. I propose the Pac-10 has 16 teams, the Big 10 has 16 teams, the SEC has 16 teams and the ACC has 16 teams. Then the four smaller conferences has 16 teams in their respective conferences as well (As of right now one of the smaller conferences would not have 16 teams, just because there arenít enough teams in Division I, but every time a new team joins Division I, they can join that conference until there are 16 teams in that conference as well). Each conference has two divisions of eight teams each and the two divisions play at the end of the year for the conference title. The winner of the Pac-10 goes to the Rose Bowl, the winner of the Big 10 goes to the Fiesta Bowl (not the Rose bowl), the winner of the SEC goes to the Sugar Bowl and the winner of the ACC goes to the Orange Bowl. That leaves four at large spots. I think one of those spots should automatically go to the highest rated non-BCS team. This year, that would be TCU. Then that leaves three at large spots for the next three highest rated teams to automatically receive. Then at the end of the bowl games the two highest rated teams play for the National Championship.

Now, the one thing I would add to this is that I think there should be a committee of college football experts who will look at the top four teams in the nation (nobody rated below number four would be eligible), and they decide if the #3 or #4 teams at the end of the bowl season have earned the right to play for the national title. It not, then we have our national title game between #1 and #2. If they decide that just the #3 team is worthy, then we have a #3 team playoff. #2 and #3 play each other, while #1 gets a bye. Then the winner of #2 vs. #3 play the #1 team for the national title. If they decide all four teams are worthy of a national title shot, then the four teams play it out.

The only negative I can see with this is that people might say it extends the college football season too much. I do not agree. If all four major bowl games are played on New Years Day like they used to be years ago, then the national title game would be played on January 8th. If more than two teams have to play it off after the bowl games, then that would only extend the season by one week, ending the season on January 15th. That is only 5 days past when the national title is being played this year, which is on January 10th. Most years I believe it would only be two teams playing after the bowl games so most years the season would end on the 8th. This also would cut down on the long layover from the end of the regular season to the bowl games. For example, Oregon and Auburn would be playing on January 1st, instead of January 10th, nine days earlier, which I think is best for everyone involved. Fans donít have to wait as long to watch great games and the players donít have as long of a layover, which trust me, affects the teams and I believe changes teams and can alter the outcome of bowl games.

To me, there are a few guidelines that should be expected, (not rules but guidelines), in order for a team to be eligible to play for the national title. First of all, you have to win your own conference championship. If you canít win your own conference title, then how can you be the best team in the nation? The other is that you should have to win your bowl game. Since there are only four major conferences and only four major bowl games, then there is no way a team below ranked below number four should even be eligible to play for the national title. Now, if a team from an undefeated non-BCS conference wins a BCS bowl game, then they would essentially take the place of the BCS conference champion they just beat in the run for the national title, so once again there is no way more than four teams should be considered for the national title at the end of the year. This also keeps any extra playoff games that could be played to a minimum and would only add one extra week to the season at most.

Now every year is different. That is why you need a committee to look at that particular year and decide who deserves a shot at the national title. This preserves the regular season and allows us to find a true national champion. Like I said, this may not be the best way, but something needs to be done. I am a huge football fan. I have been my whole life. I think itís the most exciting sport to watch from start to finish of the season, but I would like it a lot more if things werenít decided by which way makes us the most money but instead which is the best way for college football.

Now if youíve actually taken the time to read this whole blog, then I want to thank all of our Redskin fans, all of my fans, and all the people who have read my blog and supported us throughout this entire season. Thank you!

Jesus said... "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in..." Revelations 3:20
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