Basic Biittner: Tracking the "Bowl" Games

Friday, January 8, 2010

I don't care what you say - there are only four college football Bowl games - the Sugar, Cotton, Rose and Orange - played on New Year's Day in that order. No other bowl games count (sorry, Iowa State fans and the winning teams in the other 30+ "unofficial" bowl games).

In the 2009-2010 bowl world, unless you are an absolute college football fanatic with absolutely nothing else to do, it is virtually impossible to keep track of all the Bowl games, let alone the winning teams.

I've felt this way for several years now, but the absurdity of the whole situation really hit me on January 2 this year, when I found out that yes indeed, they did play the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day, and Ohio State beat Oregon - or maybe Oregon beat Ohio State - or maybe it was Ohio beating Oregon State. I don't know (or care). I mean, just when I was getting used to the "real" bowl games NOT being played on January 1, it turns out that some still are. Who knew? (not me, obviously).

I realize that the various and sundry bowl games are a money-making proposition for the sponsors, the schools , their conferences, the business people in the cities in which the games are held and the airlines, but really - who really cares, besides the most loyal of alumni, if two 6-6 teams battle it out for some kind of trophy?

It is my personal belief that if the NCAA insists on having these games, they should be part of a playoff system which will settle the national championship on the field.

Step One - Combine the coaches and writers polls into a single weekly poll. so that there will be consensus number 1 - 8 teams at the end of the season.

Step Two - If any of the teams ranked from #9 and higher, including unranked teams, want to play another game and can find a place to play and someone to sponsor the game, play it the week after the season ends, but don't call it a bowl game. If you have to name it, just say it's an MPG, as in Meaningless Postseason Game.

Step Three - In early December bowl games, #8 plays #1; #7 plays #2; #6 plays #3; and #4 plays #5.

Step Four - The winners of those four games then meet in two of the "real" Bowl games on New Year's Day and the losers meet in the other two games (games to be rotated annually in a regular rotation).

Step Five - The winners of the two "winner's bracket" games on Jan.1 meet for the National Championship on January 8 at a warm weather or domed stadium site.

The name for this event? Well, let's see, all the bowl names have been taken, except for the Salad Bowl and Toilet Bowl, so how about the National Championship Game? Not the "Fed Ex" or "Tostitos" or "Avis Rent-a-Car" National Championship Game. Sure, somebody has to sponsor the telecast, but how about leaving the company's name out of the name of the game?

Just an idea.

Happy New Year!