Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bowl season thoughts

I believe college football deserves a playoff system, that there are too many bowl games, that cronyism is involved with the selection process and that the BCS system is broke. But, other than that, yesterday was an entertaining day of football for those of us who tuned in for the Outback, Capital One, Gator, Rose and Sugar Bowls.

Rain in Florida affected the three bowls there but, unfortunately, the game featuring the two highest ranking teams was played under truly adverse conditions. The field in Orlando at the Capital One Bowl was in inexcusable shape. Huge pieces of sod came undone throughout the game leaving the field thoroughly torn up and muddy, clearly affecting the play, and speed, of LSU and Penn State. Penn State ultimately prevailed by two in a game showcasing the #7 and #8 teams in the nation.

Over in Tampa, Auburn and Northwestern went to overtime in a game which the War Eagles seemed to have won on two different occasions, only to have to play on due to a penalty or official's ruling. Auburn won when Northwestern's fake field goal try went awry.

Up in Jacksonville, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden closed out his career with an upset win over West Virginia, 33-21. It was a fitting end to a fabulous career--college football will miss Bowden's charm and down home turning of a phrase.

The Rose Bowl offered up a clash of one of the best uniforms in football (Ohio State) versus one of the worst (Oregon.) The flashier uniforms, and quarterback, won as Ohio State beat their Pac-10 opponent by nine. Terrelle Pryor had a huge night for the Buckeyes, which was a bit ironic given the many OSU fans who had suggested that he be moved to wide receiver earlier in the season.

Finally, in the Sugar Bowl was perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the day--Florida, #1 in the polls for the majority of the season until losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship game, versus Cincinnati, winner of the Big East, possessor of one of the most explosive offenses in the nation, and loser of their head coach, Brian Kelly, to Notre Dame. It wasn't even close. Proving why he's the best college football player in the land--and making a compelling argument that he may be the best ever, over a four-year span--Tim Tebow accounted for a BCS record 533 total yards. Florida thoroughly beat down Cincy 51-24.

There are five more games today and then four over the course of next week culminating with Texas-Alabama on Thursday night. Wouldn't it have been fun to have had a four-team playoff this year (Alabama, Texas, Florida, TCU or Boise State) in order to have crowned a true national champion? Methinks the final two may have ended up being Alabama and Florida, playing again, this time for all the marbles. Instead, we'll have an undefeated team late on Thursday evening (Alabama or Texas) claiming the championship even though there will be another undefeated team (TCU or Boise State) with claims to a perfect season as well.

Let me say it again, more slowly--we need a college football playoff.

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