I can’t wait for the Fort Worth Bowl
Congratulations to the Colorado Buffs for backing into yet another Big 12 North title. Gary Barnett, you still may have a job after the Nebraska debacle. Speaking of debacles, the Buffs’ reward is Texas in the Big 12 championship.As much as I would normally enjoy a thrashing of a Colorado-based sports team, I’m rooting for CU. If the Buffs pull the miracle, the Bowl Championship Series goes poof.You’d have an unworthy 8-4 Colorado team in a BCS bowl. USC would likely be playing Penn State for the alleged title with a host of one-loss teams equally eligible to be in the Rose Bowl.That would be complete bliss. All you need to know about the BCS is to drop the C.In all likelihood, the Longhorns will thrash the Buffs, USC will take out UCLA, and we’ll have the only two 12-0s in the Rose Bowl. The masses will say the BCS works, and all will be happy.Nope.BCS busted
Even if all this comes to pass, the BCS stinks and the rest of bowl system is a mess. Going 12-0 doesn’t mean that you have the two best teams in the country. Texas, although I think the Longhorns are a better team than the Trojans, has played a pathetic Big 12 schedule. USC’s offense is spectacular, but its defense is suspect.This is completely arbitrary. Penn State deserves a shot. JoPa’s crew’s only loss was at the Big House. That shouldn’t eliminate a team from title contention. Oregon’s the best 10-1 team you’ve never heard of because the people who vote in the Harris Poll can’t be bothered to put on another pot of coffee to stay up to watch West Coast games.If Virginia Tech and LSU get through their stiff conferences with just one loss, why not them? Notre Dame is all of 10 points from a perfect season. And don’t even talk to me about West Virginia. The Big East doesn’t deserve a bid.The bottom line is that you have seven teams worthy of a shot at a national title.The BCS is still busted.Then there’s the big conference bias. It’s gotta go. Even though Utah crashed the BCS party last year, the $64,000 question was “How good are the Utes?” We never got to find out because 11-0 Utah took on 8-3 Pitt. We should have had Utah in the Sugar Bowl against 12-0 Auburn. That game would have had great ratings with the underdog storyline, and we would have seen if the Utes could hang with the SEC champs.Like Utah, Fresno State is getting the shaft this year from the BCS. If you stayed up to watch the Bulldogs play USC last week – that would be you, Harris Poll writers – you’d know Fresno State is a great team.But because the Bulldogs play in the podunk WAC, they’re off to the glamorous Liberty Bowl and will likely play UTEP. Whoop-de-do.
Bowled over by bowlsThere’s also the issue of all of the other bowl games – 29 postseason contests are just too manyy. That the Big 12 is sending eight teams is evidence enough. If you are watching the MPC Computers Bowl – CBS Sportsline.com has Boise State and Georgia Tech there – you need to seek help.Teams with 6-5 or 7-5 records – ahem, Colorado – do not belong in bowl games. If you’re going to have this ludicrous bowl system, you might as well have fewer games with better teams to make them mean something.The NCAA will tell you the reason there should be all these bowl games is that a playoff system would impede the players’ academics. Who are we kidding here? Navy and Harvard aren’t playing in the Rose Bowl. With very few exceptions, these players aren’t nuclear physicists.The reason we have 29 bowl games is not the money. The serious change only goes to the BCS games. Schools lose money on games like the hallowed Poinsettia Bowl, which will feature Colorado State and Navy.The reason we have 29 bowl games is that 29 coaches can go back to their alumni and say they won their last game of the season. If you have a playoff system, fans will start to notice which teams don’t advance past the first round on a regular basis, and that’s going to have coaches worried about job security.Playoff time
Ditch the BCS and the bowls, and put in a 16-team playoff system. Take the Pac-10, Mountain West, Big 12, Big 10, SEC, ACC and Big East champs and Notre Dame at 9-2 or better and seed them one through eight. You can make the Big East Champ the eighth seed so that conference’s champion will be creamed by the ninth seed.Then, take eight or nine (if there is no Notre Dame) wild cards, seed them, and play it down. This allows the Fresno States and the Utahs a legitimate chance to prove themselves. It also lets the system take more teams from better conferences, as opposed to giving the Big 12 eight bowl spots before the season begins.Play the title game on New Year’s Day, and you have two Super Bowls between Division I football and the NFL.This year’s Rose Bowl is Jan. 4, so the kids won’t be missing school time as the NCAA insists. What’s more, you’ll only have 16 teams missing class rather than 58. The networks will pony up for this big time, so you’ll still get the BCS-style money, if not more.The fans? It’ll be bigger than March Madness.But this just makes too much sense, or about as much sense as Colorado playing in the Big 12 title game.Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14630, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado