'Tis the Season for Bowl football
- Lon Austin
- Central Oregonian - Features
>Thoughts on the mess that is the Bowl Championship Series in college footballThe Bowl Championship Series in college football has always been a mess, but this year takes the cake.
Going into the final week of the season, Missouri and West Virginia were ranked first and second and would have been in the national championship game except they both forgot that they needed to win to get to the championship.
Missouri fell to Oklahoma for the second time in the season while West Virginia lost to lowly Pittsburgh.
This apparently threw both the human pollsters and the computers for a major loop. Ohio State, who everyone agrees has played a very weak schedule moved up to number one while LSU jumped from eighth to second in the polls after beating Tennessee. This is the same Tennessee team that finished their season with a 9-4 record including a loss to California, who finished in seventh place in the PAC 10.
All of the experts seem to agree that at the end of the season USC and Georgia were the best teams in the country. Georgia was ahead of LSU in the polls, while USC was ranked ninth. USC defeated UCLA while Georgia was idle and yet Georgia fell in the polls and USC moved up only one place. To further confuse things, Oklahoma finished with the same record as LSU and Georgia and USC and they too were snubbed.
To add insult to injury not only did Missouri not get to play in the championship game, they were snubbed by the bowl championship series altogether over Kansas whom they had beaten a week earlier. A strong Arizona State team was also snubbed.
For the national championship we get to see a repeat performance of last year where Ohio State was absolutely demolished. Lost in all of the posturing for good bowl bids was the fact that the University of Hawaii went undefeated on the season and was still unable to get higher than 10th in the poll. They get the pleasure of traveling to Louisiana to take on an angry Georgia team that feels slighted by the bowl system.
Hawaii's failure to move higher in the polls is because of their questionable schedule. The odd thing is that if you check they played a tougher schedule than Ohio State, so go figure.
A playoff series would seem a reasonable solution to the problem. After all, every other level of college football has playoffs, but this is unlikely to ever happen. The current bowl system generates a huge amount of income and it seems that much of this chaos is about the almighty dollar. One thing about the whole thing; it makes for good conversation around the water cooler, and it gives me something to write about.
Have a great Christmas, and happy bowl watching.