Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010
By Joe Collins
There's a scene in "The Blues Brothers" where a few of the former bandmates end up playing in a sleazy hotel lounge to make ends meet. The spinoff group now calls themselves "Murph and the Magic Tones" and belt out songs like "Cuando Cuando Cuando" to a sparse, apathetic crowd. Their outfits--raspberry-red tuxedos--look like something out of a prom at Hand Me Down High School. It's a sad getup and it serves as the benchmark for how far the band had fallen from the glory days.
Boise State? Let me introduce you to Murph and the Magic Tones.
The battling Broncos, media darlings since the hook and ladder play against Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, were always the David to certain college football Goliaths: the BCS and muscle conferences like the SEC to name a few. They won 24 straight games over the last two years, prompting the obvious question: "Should Boise State, a team from the scrappy WAC, be allowed to eat at the adults table and play for a national championship, even though their conference schedule might not be as daunting as some of the other big boys like Auburn, Oregon, Ohio State...etc?
We found out over the weekend as Nevada shocked Boise State 34-31 in overtime, sending the Broncos into the "Cuando Cuando Cuando" tier of bowl hierarchy. Get this: not only will Boise State not play for the BCS championship, but here are two possible bowl games where the Broncos might land: the Humanitarian Bowl-- their home field (nothing says postseason fun like a 22 degree day in Boise) and the...wait for it...Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Who needs the BCS Championship when there's the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl? Here's hoping that Boise State can put the band back together for a stellar run in 2011.
I feel for Boise State. I really do. I think we should do something to make the Broncos feel better. How about we just let every team bust a move in the postseason dance? Heck, by comparison, it'd make Boise State look bigger. Seriously, college football is already playing the "everybody gets a trophy day" card with endless, meaningless bowl games as it is. Let's liven it up even more! Your team went 2-10 this year? You're in. Winless in conference? Step right up. Program on probation? Bowl game elation! Set your DVRs for the following:
DICKEY V BOWL (Tampa, FL)
Duke (3-9) vs. Kansas (3-9)
Basketball megaphone Dick Vitale finds another way to plug Duke and Kansas basketball by having their football teams play each other at Tropicana Field. Game is shown with a continuous picture-in-picture of the Cameron Crazies jumping up and down.
CRAIG T. NELSON BOWL (Minneapolis, MN)
Minnesota State (12-0) vs. Minnesota (3-9)
Minnesota State head coach Hayden Fox finally got a winning squad! Fox, with his outstanding coaching staff comprised of Luther Van Dam and Michael "Dauber" Dybinski, will play a pesky Golden Gopher team fresh off an upset of Iowa. Brett Favre, who is scheduled for the coin toss, will also make an announcement of his playing status in 2011.
MO MONEY MO PROBLEMS BOWL (Minute Maid Park--formerly Enron Field, Houston TX)
Southern California (7-5) vs. Any SMU team from the early 1980s
USC and SMU exchange pleasantries on a field that is trimmed to look like a 100 bill. The winner of the game gets to pick one of 26 gray suitcases a'la "Deal or No Deal." One suitcase has "NCAA death penalty" on the inside. All the others have various amounts of prizes, including cash and the phone numbers for blue chip prospects. Howie Mandel is the special guest referee.
AMERICAN IDOL BOWL (Hollywood, CA)
Maine South (12-2) vs. Akron (1-11)
Welcome to Hollywood! Matt Alviti, the sophomore quarterback of the IHSA 8A state champs, gets his first crack at becoming a rags-to-riches celebrity story. He has to face competition that is a bit older, though. If he is victorious, he gets a full-ride scholarship to the school he just beat in this very bowl game: Akron-- a program that actually lost to Gardner-Webb in 2010. Early line: Maine South (-7)
BOURBON BOWL (Orlando, FL)
South Central Louisiana State University (6-6) vs. Louisiana Cougars (12-0)
It's a breakout year for the 6-6 Mud Dogs, who are paced by a water boy-turned-linebacker named Bobby Boucher and----- err..... wait...this has already been done. Next.
AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL BOWL (Anywhere in New England)
Colgate (7-4) vs. San Jose State (1-11)
I love this game for a lot of reasons. First, it gets a brain school into a bowl game. Good luck finding a Patriot League or an Ivy League team in this year's bowl lineup. I dare you. And it also matches the school with the best graduation rate among athletes --Colgate is 100-- with the worst in college football's bowl subdivision: San Jose State chimes in at only 53 (Source: NCAA and USA Today-- Average four-year graduation rates for players entering school from 2000-03). The halftime show: the last 20 minutes of "Stand And Deliver."
Maybe we don't need a playoff system at all. Maybe all we need is a couple of NCAA suits and television executives who are willing to listen for 20 minutes.
Or something like that.