Let me be the first to say it this year. there are too many college bowl games! Way too many. The NCAA has approved a whopping 43 bowl games for this holiday season, in addition to the BCS playoffs for the so-called National Championship.
We will be treated to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, GoDaddy Bowl, Popeyes Bahamas Bowl, TaxSlayer Bowl, Cure Bowl and Dollar General Bowl among other strangely named contests. All of that makes me wish for a return to the Hillary-Trump debates!
Why has this happened? Why has the NCAA sanctioned so many to play for so little before so few? In a word, of course, money! In truth, if there weren’t so many television networks vying to fill their time with something, anything!, then we wouldn’t have this pox on our airwaves.
Other than a few moms and dads, a few overweight athletic directors and boosters, a few bands and a few dancing, prancing cheerleaders and pom-pom squads, nobody cares! Quick now, tell me if you’ve already set your DVR to record the Idaho Potato Bowl, or the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. No? Didn’t think so.
At the very least, can we request of the NCAA that no team without at least a winning record should be allowed to go to a bowl game. Not 6-6, a winning record. That would mean 7-6, or better! No, we should not allow a team with a 6-6 record to play in a bowl game. That means that if they lose they finish with a sub .500 record. That shouldn’t happen.
How much is too much? I guess the dollar will eventually be the judge of that but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t protest. Protest I do!
The 5A football playoffs are on a collision course to pit the #1 and #2 rated teams against each other. Trouble is, it could happen in the Sub-State Championship game rather than the State Championship game. This week #1 Wichita Heights tangles with Goddard while #2 Great Bend hosts Valley Center. All four ball clubs sport 9-1 records. Look for Heights and Great Bend to both advance and meet next week in what amounts to the state championship game.
The 3A bracket has a couple of interesting games on the western side of the slate. Hesston’s resurgent Swathers travel to Philipsburg to take on the undefeated Panthers. Phillipsburg is vulnerable. They barely escaped an enthused Larned club last week and have a couple of their better linemen banged up. Phillipsburg is playing at home but it will just barely be enough.
Meanwhile a banged up Hoisington team at 11-0 entertains a very good Garden Plain team that has only one loss, that a one-point affair to a very good Conway Springs team. Much is made about Hoisington’s powerful running game but, as they showed against Norton, their defense sets the table. That should be just enough to move on. Cardinals 27-14.
Kansas has a chance to escape the Big 12 cellar this week as they host Iowa State. Both are 1-8 and winless in the conference. A win is a soothing salve for whomever can pull it off. Iowa State has probably been more consistent than the Jayhawks but KU is playing at home, though that only usually equates to 25,00 to 30,000 in the stands so the crowd won’t be intimidating. It’s probably my heart and not my head but let’s go with the Jayhawks 30-28.
After a needed week off Kansas State travels to Waco a week from Saturday to take on a hurting Baylor team. Baylor is terrific at throwing the ball. Kansas State is not so good at defending the pass, especially over the middle and deep, as that has been a Cat weakness. Baylor gets back on the winning track 40-24.
FOOTBALL-“A sport that bears the same relation to education that bullfighting does to agriculture.”—Elbert Hubbard
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and her views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at email@example.com