Thursday, December 18, 2008

The 2008 Bowl Season

On's bowl selection show, the national audience was polled to see which college had the biggest BCS gripe: Texas, Texas Tech, or Boise State. The winner, in a landslide, was Texas. Now, I like Texas a lot. I'd consider myself at least a tangential Longhorns fan, and come September 2009, I may well be enrolled there. But I respectfully disagree that Texas had the biggest BCS gripe. They were ranked third in the BCS, and they earned a bid to the Fiesta Bowl. Seems fair to me. Whether or not they had a Big XII gripe, especially relating to how Oklahoma got a spot in the Big XII championship, is another matter entirely.

No, it's the Broncos who have the biggest BCS gripe. Their coach put it better than I could have: "we did all we can do." An undefeated season, beating a solid Oregon team and winning the conference handily. Apparently, that's not good enough to earn a BCS bid.

I think the national championship game between Florida and Oklahoma will be a fine one. Whether or not these are the two best teams in the country, they're certainly two of the best in the country, and we'll get one heck of a football game. I'm going to go with Florida for three reasons. First, they beat Georgia, not just this year, but consistently. And I can't help but support a team that does that. Second, Oklahoma's fight song is annoying--not just the song itself, but the frequency at which they play the first eight measures of it. Score, okay. First down, maybe. Missouri does an illegal shift? Sorry guys, that's not "Boomer Sooner" worthy. And third, I think Sam Bradford is a bit of a douchebag. Did you see his ten-degree hat tilt after Oklahoma beat Missouri?

I like Penn State in the Rose Bowl, mostly because I'm no fan of USC, and Texas in the Fiesta, mostly because I'm no fan of Ohio State. Either Alabama or Utah would be fine in the Sugar, and really I couldn't care less about the Orange, since Georgia Tech isn't in it.

The saying is that "my two favorite teams are Georgia Tech and whoever plays Georgia." In that case, color me a Michigan State fan. I don't know much about the team this year, mostly because they've been so thoroughly overshadowed by Penn State and Ohio State. I do know--incidentally, so does ESPN--that Georgia has had a disappointing season: giving up 40 or more points in losing all of their important games. Let's see the Spartans put up 50 in the Capital One Bowl.

Of course, Tech will take care of LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. No doubt about it. Remember the last game each team played? Tech takes care of their perennial rival Georgia... and LSU loses to Arkansas.

Finally, I'd be remiss not to talk about the Playoff Question, which is a sine qua non for debating the intricacies of college football. I think it's a bad idea. Yes, it would more accurately crown a national champion, but that's all it would do. Part of the draw of the bowl season is seeing all these bizarre matchups of teams that would never, ever play each other except under the duress of corporate sponsorship. All a playoff would do is shift the focus to a handful of four or eight or sixteen elite teams for a few weeks. I don't know about anyone else, but watching USC and Oklahoma and Ohio State play three games apiece to end the season is a little anticlimactic.

Currently listening: "Bethlehem", Chicago (from What's it Gonna Be, Santa)

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