Drag Race Central - NHRA
Sat, 13 Dec 2003, 01:11 PM

By Norm Froscher


There, I said it and I'm glad.

Now that I have your attention, this isn't necessarily about football, or the disputed bowl/playoff situation.

You know part of a columnist's job is to stimulate and inform as well as to entertain, however. So bear with me.

Everybody is in a huff over the BCS, the writers and coaches football polls. Somehow, they've wound up with the No. 1 team playing in one bowl, the Rose, and the No. 2 and 3 teams -- in whatever order you wish -- playing in the Sugar, for the BCS National Championship.

Blame it on the computers and strength of schedule or whatever those BCS guys have come up with. Before you read any further, my son tells me that BCS could mean Been Caught Stealing. USC fans will agree.

But this is not about football, rather crowning of champions and how football might take a page out of racing's book.

The NHRA and some other racing in a minute, but first, NASCAR has much the same problem, only in a lighter version. Its race winner gets 175 points, plus five for leading a lap, naturally. But where the rub comes in is that the second place finisher gets 170, and if he led a lap, five bonus points and if he led the MOST laps, five more, putting him in a tie with the winner. Points-wise, for the race, you have two winners.

Welcome, BCS, to the world of NASCAR. But at least NASCAR is contemplating a change.

Why doesn't the BCS take a look at NHRA, or even Formula I?

NHRA awards rounds points to the top 16 qualifiers as follows: 100 points to the winner; 80 to the runner-up; 60 to the semifinal loser; 40 to the quarterfinal loser and 20 to the first round loser.

No chance for controversy there. Not even if you figure in qualifying, which grants points (eight for No. 1) on a graduated scale down to a single marker for positions 13-16.

And the NHRA Rookie of the Year is decided by a vote of some media members. Of course, if there was a tie, I dunno exactly what they would do, but trust it wouldn't cause the stir of the BCS.

Now, Formula I is also a fairly simple format. Nine points for winning the race, six for second, four for third, and then three, two, one back through the top six finishers.

The Driver of the Year also uses that format and because of an original deadlock last year had to go to points awarded in quarterly voting.

That was when Cristiano da Matta emerged as the winner.

BCS might adopt the same scale. Nine points for beating the current No. 1 team during the season, six for defeating second and so forth.

If you just beat a bunch of nobodies, you don't receive any points and probably don't deserve any. Just a thought.

The late great Woody Hayes' quote comes to mind: "Whom have they played?"


Perhaps NASCAR can shortly fine-tune its system so that the winner of a race and the runner-up can't end in a points deadlock. Let's hope so. And hope also that the BCS can take some advantageous steps. Maybe using common sense, along with its computers.

So much for championships and points systems.

This is not the season to really be worried about such things.

Rather, we should be making our own list and checking it twice.

One of the top items on Fro's list, here at approaching completion of my "50 Years of Writing" is to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Profitable New Year.

I'd love to list all of you here, but space is limited. So, unlike the BCS, I'm just using one word on this computer to cover all of the readers and friends of these offerings.


A Merry Christmas and a Happy and Profitable New Year to Everybody!

(Editor's Note: Froscher says his current series, "Fro's 50 Years Writing will not be continued into 2004. Not even ‘Fro's 51 Years Writing' but he's not ready to begin his Fro's Final Pages tour and turn attention to books just yet, so please stay tuned.)

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