Sunday, January 3, 2016

College Football: 40(!!!) is too much and other bowl season thoughts.

Last night, at 1:40 AM CST, Arizona State coach Todd Graham proved he was bad at maths and kicked the extra point, up by five, which allowed West Virginia to drive down, score, and kick their extra point for a 43-42 win.  With that result a too-long college football bowl season came, mercifully, to an end. All we have now is the College Football Playoff Championship on January 11th.

There's a lot that's going to be cussed over and discussed at length regarding this year's Bowl Season so I thought I'd get out a few thoughts regarding the same:

A. Playing the Playoff Semi-Final games on New Year's Eve was idiotic. Everyone is saying this, but college football doesn't care. So we're going to get the same thing until the ratings become too low and advertising suffers and the bowls start losing money. With the networks of alumnus and fans that's probably not going to happen. People will continue to grouse about it and it's clear that the powers that be in College Football operate under the "no such thing as bad publicity" method of public relations.

B. Yes, the games themselves sucked. I haven't done the analysis yet, but an eyeball's test of the results shows that a large majority of the games ended with a greater margin of victory than one score and in many of the games either one team, or both, mailed it in.  It got worse on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day as none of the "Big 6" games were competitive. The Bowl season was saved by two games on Saturday that most people didn't watch.

C. You can't rate conferences by Bowl Results. Although many people will try to do so.  Suggesting that the B1G was way worse than the SEC or that the Big XII was somehow worse than the ACC due to some games played coming off over a month's rest is ridiculous. What we know is that Alabama is better than Michigan State and that Clemson is better than OU. If you try to read anything else into that, stop it.

D. The "SEC" chant is a sign of ignorance. It's tribal, and the equivalent to the "U.S.A" chants at the Olympics and at other sporting events. Root for your university, leave it at that.

E. There are too many bowl games. There just are. 30 feels about right. Maybe less.

F. Worst game: The Goodyear Cotton Bowl (CFP Semi-Final #2) Michigan State was destroyed by Alabama in a game that was held at a bad time, and was unwatchable.

G. Best Game: TCU's come-from-31-points-down to win Alamo Bowl. Who knew the best game would be between two teams featuring back-up quarterbacks by the end?

H. Last night was the football gods apologizing for the rest of the bowl season. It just was. Again, too bad few were watching.

I. All of the talk about playoff expansion is meaningless. The talking heads are in fine form, using a handful of injuries, nostalgia for the bowl system or a host of other nonsense to say the playoffs shouldn't be expanded. The only reason to not expand the playoff is that you don't want to expand it. None of it matters however because it's not going to happen as long as the current money printing machine stays in operation.

J. Officiating is horrible. It's even worse than the NFL. Something has to be done about officiating in college and professional football.

K. The Playoff final might be interesting. I think the experts have Clemson in with very little chance. I think this is a mistake after watching both games.

L. It's time to blow up media coverage of the sport and salt the ground. The ESPN almost monopoly is doing us no favors. Fox needs some bowls, as does CBS, as does NBC. And let's start scheduling against some of the big games to provide us options.  Being forced to watch the Rose Bowl Blowout just because was annoying.

M. Brent Musberger is the best announcer out there. He called the Las Vegas Bowl, and the Rose Bowl. I was hoping during both that he'd spend the 2nd half telling old Jimmy the Greek and gambling stories.

N. Houston should be a top ten team. I don't think the voters will put them there, but they should. The win over Florida State was impressive.

O. Oregon could be on the way out. Time will tell if they're a program in decline or just had an off year. I think it might be the latter.

P. See you for the final. There's still a lot of NFL football to play in the interim but, for now, it's a pause.

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