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Looking back with sober reflection, I can honestly say just three words about this year’s Bowl Championship Series:
“That was it?”
Normally, even in light of biased polls and the opinions of writers from Duluth, the bowl series produces at least one game that was interesting. Not always the kind where your hat blows off the top of your head, spilling your drink as you stand up…
But the kind where you watch the whole game, even if you have no rooting interest. Even if you couldn’t name where the school is located, let alone more then two players on the team.
Even if it’s being called by Brent Musberger.
But this year, for no rhyme or reason, the BCS was a bore. A letdown. A series of unfortunately unexciting games.
Now I’ve said many times – including on this blog not too long ago – that I don’t think college football needs a playoff. And I still believe that, even in spite of all logic, for reasons that I’m sure nobody agrees with.
But after this year, I’m starting to reconsider my stance.
Last year we had an instant classic in the Boise State/Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl, a thrilling shootout that left no viewer sitting down. Before that, there was the FSU/Penn State Orange Bowl, a triple OT thriller. There was the 2005 Rose Bowl, won on a final-second kick by Texas.
(I don’t mention the Texas/USC Game simply because I feel it to be the greatest game I’ve ever seen. It was a rare alignment of the college football stars, so to speak, and cannot be replicated year after year.)
But there’s always a few stinkers too: teams that played in a weak division, perhaps, or were just plain overrated.
And two years into the BCS Bowl, that’s what both games have been: stinkers, of the highest order (or is odor?).
Twice Ohio State has made the bowl, riding the polls and a schedule against such tough teams as Kent State, Northwestern and Akron, who didn’t even score a single offense point against them in a 20-2 drubbing.
And both times in the BCS Bowl, Ohio was slammed, embarrassed by teams from the SEC.
So perhaps the system that organizes the bowls are flawed – if the polls took quality of opponent into their rankings, for instance (SEC teams would rank higher, as they play in a tough division; Hawaii wouldn’t since they play in a weaker division).
Maybe if the BCS left out the AP Poll, which rewards writers who vote for big-name schools or for a hometown favorite.
Maybe the proposed playoff system, where the current bowls would be used like an elite eight, would work to weed out the weaker teams.
But now, after a whole series of stinker bowl games – yes, even the Orange Bowl – it’s time to start looking for alternatives to the current system.
Anything to keep that lousy Buckeye team from choking in the BCS Bowl again.