by WCT, The Ship of Fools
As I sit and ponder the unanswerable questions that go through a college football fan's mind; like how the GMAC Bowl became a January bowl game, or how Capital One Bowl "Week" can last from December 20th to January 1st; I am faced with a stunning realization: The BCS and the current bowl system has completely ruined what should be a glorious day for me and others like me all over the nation.
First, let me take a step back. Let me remove the cloak of objectivity that I have attempted to wear while blogging about college football in this space all season. I grew up in northeastern Ohio, and have been fanatic about the Ohio State Buckeyes since I was eight years old. That's my team. I have lived and died with them for more than 20 years.
As a Buckeye fan, waking up with OSU in the Championship Game should be like being a kid on Christmas morning. But its not. No, its not because they played in the game last year, nor is it because they lost last year's game by 27 points. Its because of the system, and what the system has turned this Championship Game into. Consider this:
It has been 51 days since Ohio State last played. Yes, part of that is the Big Ten Conference's fault for not having a championship game and having its teams play 12 straight Saturdays with no bye week, but even LSU has been idle for more than five weeks. Hell, the Tennessee Vols have played three games since OSU last played! Remember back when the biggest postseason games all took place on New Years Day? Or within a couple days of January 1? Now the Championship Game is on Jan 7!
Are these even the two best teams in the nation? I'll be the first to admit that the Buckeyes played what turned out to be an easy schedule, and the LSU Tigers are somehow in the championship game with two losses. Who knows how good these teams even are? Are they better than West Virginia? Is Georgia better than both of them? I have to listen to west-coast homers talk about how great USC is, could they be right? If the Bucks are lucky enough to win, it would be somewhat hollow, because it seems like both of these teams sort of snuck into the game through the back door. There is no way to know if the winner of tonight's game is any better than a handful of other good teams.
Finally, there just isn't a whole lot of intrigue or star-power surrounding this match-up. Last year we had the Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith and the 12-0 OSU juggernaut against the two-headed QB and the spread offense of Florida. Two years ago we had Vince Young and Texas against Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, and the defending champs from USC. In '01 and '02 we had Miami squads fraught with future NFL studs. This year, with the parody that exists in college football, no one stood out, therefore the match-up seems kind of boring. I am a huge fan, and you may be a huge fan, but if you are a casual fan, are you getting excited to watch Brian Robiskie catch passes? Is Jacob Hester running with the rock blowing your skirt up? Does watching Craig Steltz or Malcolm Jenkins patrol the defensive secondary set your heart racing? We didn't even have anyone from either team talk trash about the other, or guarantee victory, or physicially threaten anyone from the other team. Where is the sizzle in this game? Where is the bad blood? I guess you could play up the fact that LSU coach Les Miles once played at Michigan, but even that seems like a stretch. I think I'm going to need to see a pre-game fight at midfield, or someone stomping on someone else's logo or something to get really fired-up for the game. Joey Porter is never around when he is truly needed.
Thanks BCS. Because of you, this whole Championship Game has been ruined. The day that is supposed to be the best day of the year for me, isn't. Buckeye and Tiger fans are supposed to be breathless in anticipation of the game tonight, and I have to tell you that I am not. And I am sure that I am not alone. The momentum that was there after the big win in Ann Arbor more than seven weeks ago died, like, four weeks ago. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to watch, and at some point tonight I will hopefully be able to get into the game and forget about all of the extra stuff in the background, but there is just too much surrounding the circumstances under which these two teams ended up in the game for me to be as excited as I should be.
by WCT, The Ship of Fools