The new incoming college football playoff system in 2014 might prove to have a few warts, but at least it’s going to be different. Most of all, it will bring some relevance back to traditionally important bowl games – something that the BCS did it’s darnedest to kill.
That’s not to say that these bowl games don’t have some meaning to at least one of the teams playing in each of them. Louisville obviously took the Allstate Sugar Bowl seriously, even if the mighty Florida Gators didn’t. But it was a snoozer for most of the viewing public to watch, unless you were one of the few people who knew who Teddy Bridgewater was, and wanted to see him on the national stage.
The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl–traditionally one of the most exciting and fun bowls to watch–was another flatliner. After both Oregon and Kansas State blew their chance to make this a BCS National Championship match-up back in November with losses on the same night, this game just became yet another victim of the BCS era. Outside of the rarest of the rare “1-point safety” play, it was just plodding Wildcats against fast (but predictable) Ducks.
The Discover Orange Bowl was absolutely unwatchable, pitting a Northern Illinois team that had no business being on the same field with a Florida State team that looked like they were a cat toying with a half-dead mouse. Thanks BCS. You really gave us a barn-burner on this one.
The “Granddaddy of Them All”–the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Vizio–gave us the first ever 5-loss team playing in a Rose Bowl in the Wisconsin Badgers. The 20-14 final score is just as boring sounding as the game itself was.
As flawed as the system prior to the BCS (and all it’s previous incarnations) was, at least the bowl games had some significance and were compelling to watch. There were always permutations about if Team A lost to Team B in the Rose Bowl, and then Team C beat Team D by 20 points or more in the Fiesta Bowl, then Team E could be national champs by beating Team F in the Sugar Bowl.
No more. It’s all computerized, calculated predestination now.
Now it’s just about a paycheck for each school’s already over-funded athletic department, and a patch sewn on the shoulder of the jerseys.
Now it’s about the match-ups determined by an inflexible system, instead of what the most compelling and meaningful game might be.
Now it’s just all about the BCS Championship Game, with all other games just being a stale prelude.
Yes, the stories of teams like Louisville are nice, but they are the exception, not the rule. Most of the once revered bowl games are now just consolations for the BCS also-rans. Not the kind of college postseason anyone wants to see.
Thankfully, it’s almost over. One more season, and then the BCS is permanently drydocked.
The new playoff system can’t come quickly enough in my book. The BCS has basically killed the crown jewels of the college football season. Hopefully the new system will be the CPR the great bowls need.
The four-letter mothership says “The BCS Lives Here”, but as of the end of next season, it mercifully will die there too.