By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Jan 12, 2007 at 5:27 AM

Bits ‘n Pieces or Flotsam and Jetsam.

We begin with a man who has my almost unqualified admiration, Drew Olson. The columnist for and host of the mid-morning radio show on WAUK, is a journalist of the highest order, ethical, smart, colorful and with well-defined senses of humor and importance.

So it's stunning to see him jump on this bandwagon of calling for a playoff in college football. It's an annual argument, but I just can't see the sense of it.

First of all, a playoff certainly does not guarantee that the best team will be crowned the champion. Sports are full to bursting of great teams that have succumbed to some lesser squad in an upset of major proportions. Nobody has to list them because we all remember.

I also don't think that a playoff system would guarantee any of those dream matchups that surface during the year. You might try to get them, but the odds against dream matchups happening are staggering.

But, perhaps the two most important reasons I'm against the playoffs has to do with the teams themselves.

Primarily, I think a playoff system would lessen the importance of the regular season. Right now each game takes on the importance of The Battle of the Bulge. Every game means a lot.

Start a playoff system and watch how teams with berths secure rest stars before the playoffs start. The focus would shift from the regular season to the playoffs, and that would leave lots of people out.

I also think that it's likely that under many of the playoff scenarios out there, Boise State might not have had the chance to upset a power like Oklahoma. The kids on that team would have been denied that chance and those memories.

Take a look at Division III playoffs and see how many kids and teams are sitting home instead of playing in a bowl game somewhere.

And finally, if we went to a playoff system, what would talk radio and columnists and fans argue about?

Next bit of flotsam...

I'm not one of those guys who think coaches should be the only ones held accountable when a team loses. I think there is usually a lot of blame to spread around. But when a coach makes an error, it ought to be pointed out.

I watched the Bucks against the Cavaliers last week, a game the Bucks could have and should have won. But leading and with momentum going there way, Sotts put the retread, Steve Blake in for point guard Mo Williams.

The point guard runs the team. And with Blake in, the Bucks went from a 82-74 lead to a 84-82 deficit. In a three-minute span, the Bucks put up quick shots that missed, bad shots that missed and no shots. Finally, Stotts had seen enough and put Williams back in, but the momentum had changed and the Bucks lost.

Great bench coaches like Don Nelson and George Karl and Jerry Sloan learn from their mistakes. Let's hope Stotts does as well.

Next bit of jetsam...

Doesn't your heart just break for the Bucks? A season with such high hopes and Simmons, Redd, Willians and Villaneuva are all on the hurt list. Almost makes you wonder if the gods have something against this team. Sure, injuries are part of the game. But injuries to all of your big scoring threats? That seems like overkill. The next time you're in a pew somewhere, say one for the Bucks.

Another bit....

Doesn't it seem like it's taking a long time for WSSP to fill the afternoon drive time slot vacated when they fired Peter Brown. They fired Chuck Garbedian and 30 seconds later they had a replacement in Doug Russell. Let's hope it's not going to be Gary Ellerson and his partner, Cliff, in drive time. They are a mid-morning act.

Full disclosure here, I had a brief e-mail conversation with the program director there about the vacancy. The conversation withered and then ended.

I really hope this station makes it, since in order for me to hear WAUK, I have to use an old portable radio, stand on my roof, lift one foot and put it on the chimney flashing and hold a roll of aluminum foil between my teeth.


Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.