Saturday, December 21, 2013

If I Ran the Bowl System...

I've been a huge opponent of how many bowls there are, and I've been an even bigger opponent of the BCS system, and what is sure to be a failure early on of this new playoff system that will go into place. Being a man over the age of 40, I remember a day when there wasn't a push to have an absolute #1 team at the end of the season, and almost every bowl had meaning to it. .500 teams weren't considered bowl worthy, unless they got hot in conference play like UCLA did in 1984 when at 6-4-1, the Bruins won the PAC-10, and routed Illinois 45-14 in the Rose Bowl.
As far as that national championship thing, we didn't care back in those days. If you had a split title, it was water cooler talk for the entire off-season. A healthy debate as to who you sided with ensued, and it extended the season for months in our minds as we talked endlessly about proving who the better team was the following year. It was fun. The modern day system is anything but fun, and non-deserving teams get peachy bowl slots, while deserving teams play before Christmas.
If I were college football king, here is the bowl schedule that I would allow, and trust me, there will be little scope on commercialism, and more scope on tradition and value.

My bowl schedule is posted below, with who would be playing in said games this season:

January 1 Games
Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs. Stanford
Cotton Bowl: Baylor vs. Ohio State
Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Alabama
Sugar Bowl: Auburn vs. Oregon
Fiesta Bowl: UCF vs. Oklahoma
Outback Bowl: Louisville vs. Clemson
Capital One Bowl: Duke vs. South Carolina
Gator Bowl: Missouri vs. Oklahoma State

December 31
Peach Bowl: Miami vs. Arizona State
Liberty Bowl: Rice vs. Northern Illinois
Sun Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Wisconsin

December 30
Independence Bowl: Marshall vs. LSU
Holiday Bowl: Fresno State vs. Ball State
Alamo Bowl: UCLA vs. Houston
Texas Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Iowa

December 29
Military Bowl: East Carolina vs. Texas
Aloha Bowl: Nebraska vs. Utah State
Pizza Bowl: Bowling Green vs. Minnesota

December 28
New Orleans Bowl: UL-Lafayette vs. Middle Tennessee
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: BYU vs. Boise State
Las Vegas: USC vs. Navy
Russell Athletic Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Georgia

December 27
California Bowl (San Francisco): Vanderbilt vs. Washington
Sunshine Bowl (Pasadena): North Texas vs. Texas A&M

I have replaced some existing bowls with new bowls, but overall, I have cut the bowl schedule from 39 games to 24, and I have kept all bowls to the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. Notice there would be no games after New Year's in keeping with tradition. The schedule also allows athletes to enjoy Christmas with their families before traveling for Bowls.
In this schedule, there are no teams below 8 wins. Only Western Kentucky, at 8-4, gets left out of a bowl. Every other program left out would have been 7-5 or worse. If this would have been your program, I don't apologize, as teams who are 7-5 and 6-6 hardly deserve to be bowling outside of winning a conference title.
Also notice that other than conference champion destinations, every other slot is filled by an at-large team, much like the old days. Other than these conference championship slots, there will be no conference affiliations in my bowl system, allowing a wide variety of schools to enjoy a more varied destination system yearly.
The start date of December 27th also extends the amount of time that teams would be able to practice for bowls, and also gives bowls more time to actually promote their bowls. In the current system, a team can play in a bowl as soon as two weeks after their final game.
College football is a journey, and while the destination is meaningful, so is that journey. By starting after Christmas, the opportunity is provided to actually enjoy that journey.

No comments:

Post a Comment