‘Flutie Magic’ days with Bills are numbered

November 22, 2000 10:00 AM
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Although the overwhelming sentiment among both the media and the public is in favor of a playoff system to determine a legitimate college football national champion, there is absolutely no chance of this happening in the foreseeable future. The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is locked into television contracts through 2006.

Nevertheless, the BCS is increasingly catching flak from all sides, principally because of its employment of computers. Each of the eight computers utilized by the BCS have a different database, the result being that the final figures tossed out by the various computers vary wildly. And here’s a real stinker: one of computer operators admitted that he made his rankings without knowing that Miami (Fla.) had defeated Florida State.

As long as the good ol’ boys that run college football have foisted the BCS upon the nation’s fans, the least they could do is fine-tune their operation by making it more palatable.

They could start by eliminating the computers. They have obviously failed in their objective to make a definitive determination as to the strength of teams. More to the point, they have simply provided additional confusion.

Long odds

Probably at some time, every young boy dreams of becoming a professional athlete and enjoying the money and fame that go with it. But the offs against realizing such a dream are enormous. Statistically, a youngster has a better chance of becoming a doctor than becoming a professional athlete.

Approximately 1-in-1100 high school seniors that play football (about 0.09 percent) will get drafted by an NFL team. In fact, the odds against a high school senior even playing college football are high — only 5.8 percent (1-in-17) will play for a college.

The odds are greater against getting into professional basketball, as only 1-in-3,400 (0.03 percent) of high school seniors will eventually be drafted by an NBA team. Less than 1-in-75 of college players (1/3 percent) will be drafted by the NBA.

Although still long, the odds are better for baseball. Approximately 1-in-200 high school seniors will eventually be drafted by a major league ballclub. Obviously, being drafted is no assurance of ever playing in the big leagues.

No Magic Flutie

Some of the national media have coined the rivalry between Buffalo’s Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson as a "quarterback controversy." But there’s no controversy.

Johnson is the No. 1 quarterback for the Bills. Flutie knows how to work the media, but "Flutie Magic" is a myth.

Those who know the Bills know Flutie is limited in his abilities. Because of his lack of height, he leads the league in passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage, and his presence takes away the vertical passing game because he can no longer effectively throw the long ball.

In any event, his days in Buffalo are numbered. By the time next season arrives, Flutie will be gone. His salary cap number is way too large, also.

Saturday, Nov. 25

Notre Dame (+1) at USC: This game is a $10 million roll of the dice for the Fighting Irish. If they win, they finish the regular season at 9-2 and in line for the BCS series, probably in the Fiesta Bowl. If they lose, they’re relegated to a lesser bowl.

It’s been a horribly disappointing campaign for the 5-6 Trojans, but they could close their season with consecutive victories over UCLA and Notre Dame.

The Irish enter the game – the nation’s oldest intersectional series – riding a six-game winning streak. But the quality of the opposition is suspect. None of the six matched the personnel of USC. Notre Dame has been living off its special teams with blocked kicks and kick returns. Can they do it one more time? We think not.