Jan
6
2015
Bowl Me Over!

bowlI just couldn’t let the college football bowl season slip past without weighing in. That is, if I can regain my senses from football overload mania. This is craziness! We have the two teams now that will play for the national championship, but in the interim, there were six more bowl games that had to be played before the big finale. I suppose that is so we can all be pacified in the meantime and not go into football fever detox too quickly.

To me, the college bowl picture has gotten totally out of hand. There are big dollars at stake and as many as can, scramble for their share of the pot. It wasn’t very long ago that the bowl games were all played on New Year’s Day – Yep, all eight of them. They were simply named The Cotton Bowl, The Orange Bowl, The Citrus Bowl, etc. But these days the corporate world and television marketing has taken control and each year the race is on to carry the hype to new levels. Now, there are well over thirty bowl games starting before Christmas and spanning almost three weeks.

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Many of the teams that are invited to a bowl game do not have winning records. A six win and six loss year is considered good enough to put butts in the seats, secure corporate sponsorship and television advertisement for a bowl game. Go figure. And if you are knowledgeable of the game, you will surely notice the quality of play in these games is certainly suspect. But, it’s not about putting a quality product on the field, is it? Nope, it’s about the dollars, pure and simple.

And the best process for selecting the national champion continues to slip through the fingers of the decision makers. The BCS wasn’t the answer and the new championship process is certainly not fair or objective. A twelve person panel making subjective, personal choices is surely not the answer. But, there again, it’s apparently about the dollars and popular, favored conferences over others. When a team (TCU) is rated number three in the nation going into the final regularly scheduled game, wins 55 to 3 and emerges as number six and out of the championship final four selection, something is definitely wrong with the process.

bowl1But that’s just me. Maybe you see the logic behind all this madness. Don’t get me wrong, I am a football fan and played the game when I was young and I’ll continue to watch games, but with less enthusiasm for the game. So many games and so much money and hype tend to dumb down the entire scheme of the football season, not enhance it. The bowl games should wrap up the season on a positive note and cause everyone to eagerly look to next year. Instead, to me, there is simply too much of all the above and the quality of the sport is suffering because of it.

Gone are the days of the simple and we have ushered in the days of the complicated, opinionated and hyper-thrill seeking days of sports. In a forgotten time, there were athletes and coaches that youngsters could look to as examples and role models. But, not so much anymore. There seems to be a “hooray for me” attitude among players now that has developed out of all this.

Well, I could continue, but that is enough. Of the four teams that played the National Championship Semi-Finals, I believe the two best teams emerged and, even though I was pulling for Alabama, it should be a very good Championship game.

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Being an old Southwest Conference fan and seeing what the conferences have evolved into makes your head spin. But it is what it is and maybe it can get better.

We Baylor fans will look forward to next year and leave you with, “Sic Em Bears!”

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