2012 College Football Bowls Expose a Tired System

By Nick Tullli

The Division 1 College football bowls have been selected, and this year’s lineup is a perfect example of why this pitiful system coming to a close. Paul Newberry, an AP national writer, said it best in an article from December 4: “This college football bowl season is like a brand of Chex Mix that comes with a bunch of nuts that you don’t really care to eat.”

This year’s postseason is sprinkled with a few games that prove to be exciting and noteworthy with a heavy dose of duds. This year’s National Championship game is sure to produce great ratings. Notre Dame, a team that is either loved or brutally hated, will take on Alabama, perhaps the best program of this millennium, in a game that every college football fan will surely tune in to watch.

But in the discussion of great contests to be played this postseason, the BCS Championship is just about the end of the argument. Georgia, an 11-2 team that was ranked third before falling to the Alabama in the SEC championship game, is playing in the Capital One Bowl. Seriously?

Unless you live in Tallahassee or are a fan of Northern Illinois (because there are so many of them), do you really care about the Orange Bowl? No.

But that is not any normal game, it’s the Orange Bowl. This is a game that’s supposed to be fought by two powerhouses, such as Michigan and Alabama in 2000, the University of Southern California and Oklahoma in 2005.

Northern Illinois?

Don’t get me wrong, I loved seeing little Boise State take down Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl years ago. That was awesome. But the Northern Illinois Huskies are no Boise State Broncos. This year’s Mid-American Conference champions lost to Iowa, a team that failed to win more than four games. NIU barely beat both Army and Kansas, two teams that have three wins between them.

Residents of El Paso, Texas will be greeted on December 31 by Georgia Tech, a team with a losing record that was blown out by Middle Tennessee, and USC, a team that began the season ranked number one but ended the year having lost five times. ESPN didn’t even want the rights to present that game to the nation’ they let CBS have it. Just another reason not to tune in.

The Armed Forces Bowl is one of two that will be played against a pair of 6-6 teams. Air Force and Rice will battle for basically the least significant victory of 2012, and frankly, our men and women in uniform deserve much better.

Perhaps the biggest travesty of all, as pointed out by Paul Newberry of the Associated Press, is that poor Louisiana Tech, the highest-scoring team in the country, got snubbed.

It’s saddening to say that a team that won nine games, has the second-leading passer, third-leading receiver, and averages the most points in Division 1-A won’t be playing in front of a population that loves offense. It seems funny that everyone loves Oregon’s offensive attack but neglects a team that apparently does even better than them in that department.

“But wait,” you might call out. The BCS has changed its style of playoff. In a couple of years, all of this arguing will be done with, and fans of the sport won’t have to worry anymore. Stop all your complaining, because this will be over soon.

Not true.

In 2014, there will be four teams playing in a playoff to determine the National Champion. This year, those games would be played as Notre Dame vs. Kansas State, and Alabama vs. Oregon.

Great! We’ve solved basically nothing. It’s all well and good that at that point in time there will be no disputes about who should play in the title game, but that doesn’t solve the issue at hand.

This year, for many reasons, the bowl games are not exciting. The Championship and Fiesta Bowls will be, of course, as well as the Rose Bowl, which is a spectacle every year regardless of its competitors. But, that leaves 33 other bowls with minimal importance and minimal entertainment — unless you’re a fan of the Central Michigan Chippewas; then it’s only 32.

Sadly, I might have to revert my attention this holiday season to spending more time with my relatives. As horrible as that sounds, it just might be better than sitting through one awful postseason of football.