I am Very Honored to Take Up for Tune-Up Teams

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The scene opens

n a far away place that is pretty much obscure, we see two varsity football players walking back to their locker rooms after a brisk fall practice.

One of the duo, “Nedd,” says to his pal, “Dick,” “I feel lousy, buddy.”

“Dick,”: “Why is that, “Nedd?”

“Dick,”: “Well, I fumbled three times and didn’t tackle worth a plug nickel.”

“Nedd,”: (laughing) “Dick,” do not sweat it. We are NOT upper-echelon football players. We are on a tune-up team.”

And with “Nedd’s” words of comfort, “Dick,” smiles and they continue their trek to the showers.

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A SERIOUS Question:

Now that the NCAA and college football are working together to have a good play-off system and less bickering by fans and supporters, allow me to ask this question: What if a Harvard, Yale, or even a Colgate or Penn has a perfect season? Will they be in the running to be selected for a place in the play-off system? Will this play-off system only apply to the top 25 college teams in the country?

Exactly who will end-up as the Number One college football team for the 2014-15 season?

When you arrive at an answer, please let me know.

I take this story seriously

Tune-up teams. That’s what my story, well, my vent is about today. I have held back from commenting on tune-up teams for a long time, and now I feel that my readers are of the sophisticated and understanding type, so I can just let all of my frustration and anger go in to the words of this story.

Since college football went from being “just” a collegiate sport and transformed into an avenue for the Division 1 college network (the more-powerful, noted colleges) to make money. And lots of it with television rights, interviews with coaches and athletic directors, money by the millions is raked-in year by year. Don’t believe me? Do yourself a Google search on the subject of “How much does Division 1 colleges profit each year?”

I do not mind in the least at these Alabama’s, Auburn’s, and Florida’s making money hand-over-fist. This is not what makes my blood boil. It’s the fact that these colleges start each season with two or three tune-up teams.

A tune-up team quarterback never completes a pass

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Someday this tune-up team thing will be over

Steve Spurrier, now the head coach of SEC’s South Carolina Gamecocks said when he was the head coach of the Florida Gators, “It irritates me.” He said concerning how his and all of the college athletic directors bring in the tune-up teams every year to go against a bigger and more-experienced college football team. “Yeah, we’ll bring in a smaller college, beat their butts, and send them home with a two-million-dollar check.” Spurrier added.

The mis-matches at the first of the college football season is really more than embarrassing when you pit a Georgia Bulldog team against a smaller Troy University, from the state of Alabama and the coaches of the Georgia team have the game won in the first quarter, then start playing the second and third string players. But the system is what the system does.

I just hope that one day soon, since the 2014 college football season is the inaugural season of the much-debated Play-off System, is now three weeks old, that one day soon the Division 1 teams will start their seasons with teams who are equally-matched. Fans would love it. I would love it. And the Selection Committee who will choose the four deserving college teams at (this) season’s end to participate in the four-team play-off games, might take a sharper notice of how the bigger schools are not afraid to show their courage by playing teams who can match them toe-to-toe.

How do you honestly feel about big colleges using tune-up teams?

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A halfback for a tune-up team is easily tackled

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Fullbacks seldom score touchdown's for tune-up teams. You cannot score while you are on the ground.

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"If only my wide-receiver knew that the ball is coming his way."

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Tune-up teams never give up

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Now with that being vented, I will go further with my tune-up teams rant, but in a positive way.

Do not faint, but hidden among all of my facts and fancy-raving is this fact:

There are advantages of being a tune-up team.

  • Recruiting – is so easy for a coach of such teams. Hardly anyone is going after the players that a tune-up team wants. Nothing against the tune-up teams’ players, but this might be how a meeting with the coach of a tune-up team and a possible-recruit might go.
  • Coach: “Son, we really need you this season and we need your talents badly.”
  • Recruit: “Well, what about playing time, will I have any?”
  • Coach: “Son, are you serious? I promise to play you right away.”
  • Recruit: “What about my grades, will I be able to keep them up?”
  • Coach: “Are you a comedian? We never win, so therefore we do not practice that much, so you will have lots of time to study.”
  • Stress and Pressure – among big college players and coaches is always an area of concern for causing high blood pressure or hypertension, but that is non-existent if you are playing on or coach a tune-up team. You know going in against a Florida Gator or Ole Miss team that you are not going to win, so there is no nail-biting, nervous stomach, and no tension. So thereby, I think the life-expectancy of a member or coach of a tune-up team is a few years more than being a part of a big football program.
  • Losing Creates Character – and if you think this is just “whistling in the wind,” do you remember that “one” season that Bill Curry, who Alabama fired for losing to Tennessee and Auburn, coached the SEC’s Kentucky Wildcats? Everyone knows that Kentucky like Indiana is not a football power, but a basketball school. But somehow these colleges do have football teams. And Bill Curry was willing to take the job of coaching the Wildcats after he left Alabama and even the Kentucky AD told him, “not to worry about pressure,” they did not go for that in Kentucky. He was right. That season Curry and the Wildcats traveled to Gainesville, Florida to face Steve Spurrier and his Florida Gators, a feared team in those days. My point of how losing builds character is that The Gators beat Curry’s team unmercifully by a score of 67-3, but Bill showed so much personal-discipline on the sideline, that I thought that one member of his Wildcat team must have been impressed at his maturity that this player went on to be in a vocation where personal discipline is a great tool—if the young man is going to be a prison warden, a police officer or maybe a middle school teacher. Who can prove me wrong?
  • Fans of Tune-up Teams – are more loyal to their team than those like Auburn or Alabama who win lots of game every season that comes. And when you are spoiled to winning, you expect it each year, but when “that” one dismal season happens, fans of these Division 1 schools start to grumbling and wanting to fire their coach. Not with a tune-up team. The fans cheer, but for a losing team. The players on a tune-up team know before the game that they will lose, but they do not sit around and whine like children, they play like men with the heart of lions.
  • Hard-Partying – is seldom reported among schools with tune-up teams as much as you see heavy-party-related incidents at a USC or UCLA school. When you lose, what are you going to celebrate with booze and drugs? Breathing? But when you are a big college team and win “that” crucial play-off game, there is that need to let off the steam with a wild frat or sorority party where alcohol and drugs are present. I say with complete faith that there is far less drug and alcohol abuse among schools with tune-up teams than the bigger, more-powerful schools.
  • Embarrassing Scandals – are common place in the bigger colleges for someone, a coach, a fan or football booster illegally-recruiting a Blue Chip high school player that this big school can really use in winning their next National Championship. The person who breaks the rules and is eventually exposed and arrested also affects the guilty player as well. The “I was in the dark,” routine has been used to death. But think about this: When was the last time the NCAA Infractions Committee had to visit a Colgate, VMI, William and Mary for illegal recruiting violations as you heard on SportsCenter about a party from Florida State (just used as an example) being hauled-in by the cops for giving a highly-talented high school player a few thousand bucks and a new car?
  • Dating – among football players on a tune-up team is rather easy. Girls seemingly have sympathy for these guys for never winning and their nurturing nature kicks-in and the tune-up team player has the night of his life. But players from the bigger, dominant schools are rejected more than you would think because girls can sense arrogance and self-serving a mile away, and most players on a big college team has plenty of both, so they feel the “sting of rejection,” by a hot cheerleader or maybe a gorgeous majorette.

To all tune-up teams . . .”There is no disgrace in losing, but, be careful! You might start winning and we all know where that will go!”

Other hubs you might enjoy:

  • "20 Things You Will Never Hear From The Mouth of a Southern Deer Hunter"
  • "Getting Engaged? Are You Sure That You Are Ready?"
  • "How to Know That The Girl You Are Dating or Wanting to Date is Out of Your League"
  • "An Old Dreamers Dream"
  • "Walking on Snowmen"

"Thank YOU

for taking time out of your life to read this hub. And I do hope that you did not take any of my text to heart.

This was just a comical vent that I have wanted to share for a long time."


Kenneth

Rare moment in a football game where one of the teams is a tune-up team

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Comments 8 comments

annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

This is a whole new ball-park for me.:) We know hardly anything about this type of football in Britain. However, it sounds like the sort of thing that can happen in any sport. Money drives and so does the 'elite'. I can understand why it makes you mad!

Great explanation of pros and cons. Ann


lions44 profile image

lions44 2 years ago from Auburn, WA

Nice article, Ken. I don't know who is more at fault: the powerhouse D-1 school for scheduling them or the smaller school for being greedy. Look at Kent State over the weekend pocketing $750K to go against Ohio State and get beat up. I know some coaches say "Hey, we're helping out that small college by getting them $$ and notoriety. But c'mon. They want an easy win and the small school's administration wants $$. Really is disgraceful. Good job.


sheilamyers 2 years ago

Playoffs? From what I've heard, this isn't really a playoff like you would see in other college sports or at the professional level. The teams chosen are going to be the top four and how do those teams get in the top four? It still relies on the votes. Undefeated or not, no team should be near the top of the list if they play any games against what you call "tune up teams". All of the games should be against teams within their division or divisions that are at the same level. I think the playoff system should pit the two top teams in each division(regardless of their record) against each other. The winners move on in a predetermined bracket the same as college basketball. They could use the various early bowl games for the playoffs and still have the national championship game in the middle of January.

But who am I that I think I'm smarter than the people who design the system?


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear ann,

Same thing in your country or any country: Money breeds power. And both are evident in our football-driven society.

I appreciate you and your comment so much.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

lions44,

Great comment. And with much appreciation I say, "You are right." A smaller college getting paid to be a real-life "whipping boy," for Ohio State. Helping them? How much?

But remember when Appalachian State beat Michigan in a last-second fieldgoal? That ended Karr's career and the smaller team's got some needed-respect.

Thanks for standing with me.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear sheilamyers,

You ARE smarter than the ones who designed the system. How I found out that this "Play-off" system will work is this:

The Selection Committee will start looking at the four teams with a perfect or one loss record and their schedules. If they hit it right, they go with the first round four teams they see. If they need to, they look at the next four teams with two-losses and etc.

Same old system under a new coat of make-up.

And more bickering on January 2.

Thanks for your comment. Loved it.


sheilamyers 2 years ago

kenneth: "Same old system under a new coat of make-up". Exactly!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear sheilamyers . . .

Thank you, dear friend, for the comment and support.

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