In response to Roger H. Small's letter, those "sissy" soccer-style kickers with their greater accuracy and longer range are truly artists, and they make the game more exciting. Straight-on kickers would be viewed as nonathletes in any soccer-playing country. And besides, the name of the game in the NFL is not runball, passball, tackleball, catchball or blockball. It's still football, and soccer-style kickers do it better.
STEVEN ISTVAN VARSA
Virtually every sport except major college football has some sort of playoff to determine a champion. Sportswriters pick the NCAA Division I football champion, which is unfair to other contending teams. We believe that the following method would be a legitimate way to decide who's the national champion:
1) Take the winners of the six major conferences (Southeastern, Southwest, Big Ten, Big Eight, Pac-10 and Atlantic Coast).
2) Combine these six and the 10 best remaining teams into a 16-team field. This year those 10 teams would include BYU, Washington, South Carolina, Nebraska, Boston College, Miami, Oklahoma State, Southern Methodist, UCLA and Auburn.
3) Have the sportswriters seed the 16 teams.
4) Allow the bowls to remain intact but make them serve a different purpose. Smaller bowls such as the Florida Citrus, Hall of Fame, Freedom and Cherry, along with the Aloha, Sun, Liberty and Peach would be the sites of the first-round games. The quarterfinals would be held in the Bluebonnet, Gator, Cotton and Fiesta bowls, the semis in the Orange and Sugar bowls, and the title game in the Rose Bowl.
5) Let the bowls increase in value. For example, a first-round game should be worth about $250,000 per team and the Rose Bowl game about $1 million per team. Thus, the national champion would benefit the most.
We realize that there may be flaws in our plan. However, this system can't be any worse than the present one.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]