“Let the Bowl Games Begin-Good and Bad”
It used to be the postseason when you could not wait.
College football was great then, the anticipation of the great nationwide matchups every New Year’s Day. The Cotton, the Sugar, the Orange, and the grand-daddy of them all, the Rose Bowl.
Of course there were other bowl games like the Bluebonnet Bowl or the Tangerine Bowl, and even our Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
But New Years Day was so special. Ohio State-USC in the Rose Bowl. Nebraska or Oklahoma most every year in the Orange. Texas or Texas AM in the Cotton. Alabama forever part of the Sugar Bowl.
Woody or Bo, Bobby Bowden, Bear Bryant, Darrell Royal, John Robinson or John McKay, and even an occasional sighting of someone from South Bend, like Lou Holtz. We’d start at 9am with the early games, and watch right thru 11pm that evening, overdosing on football that one given day.
It’s different now. The college game is electric these days with all the great quarterbacks, athletes, and state of the art offenses.
But it’s really different now with 40-bowl game, 80-teams, including some guys that went (6-6) or even (5-7), who had to be chosen to fill out slots. And then you see empty stadiums, really empty stadiums, and you wonder what’s the end game here.
Sure it’s fun if you play at Western Kentucky or Ohio University or Western Michigan or Utah State to go to the post season. And in some cases,you get to go to exotic places like Hawaii, the Bahamas, Yankees Stadium.
But all in all, the games leave a lot to be desired, because hardly anyone ever watches. It’s not because the Final 4-playoff has siphoned off all the media coverage, of course it has based on the money and the importance of the ratings, it’s just many of these games are not on anyone’s radar any longer, because there are too many of them.
Yes, I’ll catch a glimpse of BYU-Utah, because that is a pretty good historical rivalry. Pitt-Navy interests me to watch the final game ever before he goes on board a ship as a commissioned officer, quarterback Keenan Reynolds. I always root for the underdog, and Mike Leach has done such a good job at Washington State, you shouldn’t ignore the Cougars-Miami game in the Sun Bowl.
Of course I will watch Christmas Eve somehow, when the Aztecs play the Bearcats at Aloha Stadium. Christmas in Honolulu sounds special, even if no one pays attention to the Hawaii Bowl.
There will be dandy matchups a week from now, once we get beyond the prelims, like Oregon-TCU at the Alamo Bowl; Jim Harbaugh and the men from Michigan in a in the Citrus Bowl against Florida.
USC plays here against Wisconsin in the Holiday; Boise State faces Northern Illinois in our Poinsettia; and you better believe they’ll get their Big Boy pants on when it is Stanford-vs-Iowa in the Rose Bowl.
Of course the world will watch Clemson-Oklahoma and Alabama-Michigan State in the Final four matchups.
It seems really different though, to have so many bowl games, so unimportant, clogging up the road to the games we all know and love.
Heck my alma mater, the Ohio Bobcats get to play Appalachian State in something called the Camellia Bowl. Of course I will watch it because I bleed Green & White, but I bet none of you can even tell me where Appy State is located and what conference they are in.
So it kicks off Saturday with 5-bowl games, and we go from there. Make sure you call me right around New Years Eve, when the real bowl games are played. 40-bowls, 80-teams, too much for me, even a football junkie, to cope with.