The NCAA, exhibiting their great wisdom, has now given us 40 bowl games, plus the National Championship. 41 more football games. Still, we cannot have a true national playoff in Big Boy football in the collegiate sport. That’s because “we must look out for the interests of the college student/athlete, not make too many demands on their time.” 41 Bowl games does that?
To accomplish this 40 Bowl feat, the NCAA had to allow in some 5-7 teams this year. There just weren’t enough mediocre teams to fill the bowls. We had to include some bad teams to complete the slate, all picked under a supposed assessment of “academic performance by previous rosters at those programs.” I laugh. It’s the old “everyone gets a ribbon” philosophy, or, in this case, a trophy and a bunch of free gifts.
Three cheers for the Atlantic Coast Conference who voted to require a 7-5 record for bowl eligibility. It should be made an NCAA rule. If that rule applied you could wipe out eight of the bowls. Those teams could stay home and study. Perhaps get acquainted with the library on campus!
Let’s take a look at some of these bowls.The GoDaddy Bowl features Bowling Green vs. Georgia Southern. REALLY? GoDaddy? Go Home Daddy would be more like it!
Who names these Bowls? The TaxSlayer Bowl has Georgia vs. Penn State, two nationally known football teams who have seen better days. TaxSlayer? That would be our politicians and the IRS. Perhaps we should have the IRS football team take on Navy or Army in a Bowl game. Navy and Army get to use REAL weapons!
The Foster Farms Bowl sounds like some free gift of kitchenware given away by some seed company in Nebraska. Come to think of it, Nebraska IS playing in this game. Their opponent is UCLA who would know absolutely nothing about a farm. Will this game be played in the middle of a corn field somewhere? I’ve heard that the cornfield and ball field where they filmed “Field of Dreams” in Iowa is for sale! Go Cornshuckers!
Then we have the Cure Bowl featuring those giants of college football, Georgia State and San Jose State. The lyrics of the hit song, “Do you know the way to San Jose” come to mind. We sure don’t know the way to the Cure Bowl! A CURE for all of this is to follow the ACC’s lead and make all teams have a WINNING record to be bowl eligible.
Better yet, how about a TRUE national championship playoff of either 8 or 16 teams? It works in EVERY other division of college football. Use some of these Bowls as early-round playoff spots and use the big Bowls for the final rounds, alternating the national championship game.
Simple isn’t it? Instead we all get treated to the Idaho Potato Bowl(is that baked, french fried or steamed?), or the Quick Lane Bowl (there won’t be a lot of tickets sold so you know the traffic won’t be congested because the name tells you so) or the Belk Bowl (no, that is not a disease!)
Think of all the money that will be saved from not having to produce all of those ugly trophies they give the winning teams. They might be able to buy some new books for the libraries!
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned.