Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011
By Frankie O
Is it possible to have too much of a good thing?
Unfortunately in college football were finding out. Thats because thanks to our friends at the Bowl Subdivision, there are now 35 of them. Remember when it was easy to figure out the levels of college football? Division I, Division IA, Division II and Division III? Well the powers to be couldnt leave that alone. So we still have Divisions II and III, but as we move up the food chain, there is the Championship Subdivision and the Bowl Subdivision. And just so we dont get confused, they're making sure there are enough bowls.
In fact, if I was marketing them, I have the perfect slogan: The NCAA: We put the bowls in the Bowl Subdivision! I guess they figure with so many bowls well remember the name. NOT! Everyone still calls it Division I, but I digress. The point is that there are so many that theyve killed the buzz. Way back when, while the thought of inebriating adults for a living was only a gleam in the eye, I remember the 4 bowls that we all watched and the ability to get to one of these games really meant something: The Rose, Sugar, Orange and Cotton. These games were special and had historical significance if not National Title implications and any fan knew the teams playing in each game. Now? Now we have teams competing for the right to throw down in the Beef O Bradys Bowl. What?
My question is, when you have 120 teams, do 70 deserve to go to a bowl? (And we think too many teams get in to the NHL playoffs?) Again, we have the B.C.S. to thank for this. Since creating their 5 bowl country club for the good old boys, they decided to spin it to the rest of their membership by letting the little sisters of the poor have their moment of glory in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Keep your hands out of my pie!
As long as everyone can wet their beak, there wont be any support for that darn playoff that every fan in the country is crying for, because, as you know, a national title playoff would erode the sanctity of the bowl system. I want my Chick-fil-A Bowl! So as I spent another bowl season in a bar where at least a third of the games did not even get watched, and another third were only watched by alumni and gamblers, Im thinking: This is good for business? Not theirs, mine! As someone that can watch almost any football game, it even gets to be too much for me. And as someone who wants to entice customers to stay by putting something on the TV that is compelling and fun to watch, I end up putting on NBA games instead. Regular season NBA games! Games that dont include the Bulls!
So the system has to change, right? Wrong! As long as the big conferences are making their money, and GUARANTEEING that one of THEM will win the title by excluding, at all costs, (is that ironic?) smaller schools from having a chance (T.C.U.Boise State) the system will not change. As their proof that the system works, they will point out that the 1 team beat the 2 team in a National Title Game that was the most watched cable program EVER. As someone whos been numbed by the glut of bowls, I say that only proves that we love college football and want to find out who the champ will be. It would be nice though, if we could equally enjoy the path to get there. Think about that while enjoying your BBVA Compass Bowl!