Sunday, January 6, 2019
Changes made in college football playoff selections confusing and misguided
College football fans deserve a legitimate playoff – one not determined by the subjective whims of a committee of kingmakers behind closed doors but an actual eight-team playoff composed of the five Power Five conference champions and three of the best at-large teams the FBS has to offer. If there is any one thing missing from the process of selecting playoff teams in college football, it is objectivity.
After five years of the college football invitational experiment, the only thing the playoff committee has done consistently is change the criteria for gaining entry as well as angering fans everywhere outside of Tuscaloosa, Ala. (home of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide).
Depending on the criteria, the third and fourth spots in the playoff could have been filled by some combination of Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio State or Notre Dame. Conference championships, records against common opponents, strength of schedule, defensive rank, offensive rank, number of wins, and number of losses are all criteria, and unfortunately this does not lend well to figuring an objective apples to apples comparison when each of these teams has an advantage in different categories. The committee changes criteria like a person changes pants and the end result is confusion and a lingering question of why a handful of people get the privilege of picking who gets a shot at the national title.
The only objective criteria should be winning a conference championship because it is the only true apples-to-apples comparison college football has at its disposal. Each of the Power Five conference champions should get a seat at the table, and to satiate the committee’s obsession of picking only the “best” teams – no matter how wrong they have gotten it some years – they would get three additional teams of their choosing to compensate for the atypical three-or-four loss conference champion and to allow a shot for independents like Notre Dame.
While media outlets like ESPN continually harp on why an eight-team playoff is such a bad idea and why Alabama-Clemson Part 4 is so good for college football (and even better for ESPN financially), I believe an eight-team playoff would restore some parity to the college football world and also restore confidence in a process that has been under scrutiny throughout both the playoff era and BCS era of college football. After 100-plus years of college football, fans deserve objectivity in arriving at a true national champion.
Alex Mangie, Canfield
Editor’s Note: The College Football Playoff National Championship game between No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide and No. 2 Clemson Tigers will kick off at 8 p.m. Monday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The game will be aired on ESPN.
Use eminent domain to claim GM property
The time has come to play hardball with General Motors and call its bluff. Our local politicians tried in vain to get CEO Mary Barra and other executives to commit to some kind of future for the Lordstown plant, but all they received was static.
At this point, unless they can commit to some product in the near future for the facility, Trumbull County and the village of Lordstown should take the plant and property (not equipment) through eminent domain and sell it for $1 to one of their competitors willing to build something.
The taxpayers practically own the place already. They’ve already bailed GM out in 2008. It was granted massive tax relief by the current administration very recently.The Ohio Turnpike has funded the creation of access ramps to/from the turnpike at its own expense to support the plant. The union has bent over backwards with concessions over the years and reducing bargaining units to make it easier for GM to negotiate. Sometimes it’s necessary to utilize radical measures in the face of dire situation. What is left to lose but thousands of jobs already about to be lost?
Mark Knafels, Austintown
Too many work to ensure president will not succeed
Voting for each of the last three presidents meant business as usual in Washington; one hand washing the other. Each one more interested in the status quo and his or her personal wealth and interest and reputation than the good of the people. Instead of aiding President Donald Trump, their goal is to make sure he does not succeed. His success would result in their loss of control and reputation.
For many decades now we have ignored the problem of illegal aliens so that now in some distorted way, they and many supporters believe they have rights as American citizens. If you were not born here and you have become a legal citizen, you probably understand and appreciate America more than the rest of us. Many of us born here take our citizenship for granted. Those who are here illegally believe it is their right instead of a privilege granted to them. Many who came here illegally know the consequences and put their children in jeopardy anyway. Some who come here illegally know they would not be allowed in this country if properly vetted because of their criminal or personal history.
Most of America was shocked when former President Barack Obama made the nuclear deal with Iran. We now seem to be making progress in the denuclearization of North Korea, removing a great threat to America and the world. North Korea must see the advantages of a government and economy that is enjoyed by South Korea. The leadership will never voluntarily give up control. Like many in Washington, there’s too much at stake, considering their personal interest.
Trump has not made any friends in Washington and is being attacked from every side. There is a campaign to remove Trump from office; a coup if you will. They are picking away at the troops from behind until they get to the leader, left vulnerable. Divide and conquer. They will not stop until we citizens say we have had enough and take a stand. There is so much hatred it scares me.
I’m a concerned citizen, too often bombarded with opinions and propaganda. Investigate and be informed. Obey and respect those we have put in charge. Respectfully question authority. I’m praying for a better America.
Paul Lieder, Salem
Trump cannot even pick the best crooks in US
Paul Manafort was found guilty on five counts of tax fraud and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account. Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felonies implicating President Donald Trump in two of them. Congressman Duncan Hunter was indicted on 60 charges and Christopher Collins, another congressman, was also indicted on federal charges. Both of these crooks endorsed Trump for president. Maybe when they get out, Trump will give them a job in the swamp. All this means is that Trump is unable to pick the best people for government positions. He can’t even pick the best crooks.
For once, good old boy Ted Cruz got something right. It happened in 2016 when he called Trump a “pathological liar and a sniveling coward.” A few words about the economy. For the wealthy life is great; for the people who serve them their food, clean their homes and landscape their lawns, the cost of rent alone is outrageous. In the U.S. overall, wages haven’t kept up with inflation and productivity over the years. Wages have remained stagnant since the ’60s while most of the gains go to the wealthiest. Higher education is almost impossible for the majority of middle-class families. Students try to work while attending college but this is very difficult. In the end a lot of them won’t ever get their degree. Bernie Sanders had the right idea when he put forth a plan to make college education free. Do you think the Trump White House would go along with that? There’s only one answer: No.
Bud McKelvey, Hermitage, Pa