I'm obsessed ... with bowl games.
I know, it's not healthy.
It definitely comes from my childhood where I used to set up four TVs in the living room on New Year's Day to watch all the games. Mom wasn't too happy when I took the TV out of her bedroom to watch four games at once.
Mom: "How can you watch four games at one time? You don't even know what's going on."
Me: "Sure I can, Georgia Tech is beating Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl! If they win, it's going to have to be a split national title!"
Mom: "Just make sure its back in my bedroom tonight so I can watch Rescue 911."
Ahh, Jan. 1, 1991. Memories.
Back to 2008.
I'm amazed to think what we've come to in this day and age is 34 bowl games. THIRTY-FOUR BOWLS?!?!? Do we really need that many?
Since when did bowl games become what everything else in society has become -- rewarding mediocrity. In the 1970s when I was in elementary school and we had a Field Day competition, the person that finished 4th got NOTHING. Top three get ribbons, the best were rewarded, the losers were not. That's how a compeititon works, you reward the people that succeed.
Now everybody wins. It's ok that little Curly Sue finished 43th out of 50 kids in her 3rd grade race. She gets a ribbon. Everybody wins! We wouldn't want you to go home and think you failed. You won! It's a great way to set up kids for life because that's how the real world works (being sarcastic). Just do an average job and get rewarded.
Now when Curly Sue goes to apply for a job at the local Panda Express in the mall when she's 16 and doesn't get it. Don't you think she's going to be a little confused because her whole life she's been never lost?
This is the same idiotic treatment we are getting from the so-called sport that I love -- college football.
Since when did we start rewarding teams for finishing .500? Are the NCAA and bowl officials worried that the players are going to feel bad when they go 6-6, while their friends went 8-3 are are playing in the Libery Bowl? It's called life college football, but I'm not surprised from a sport that continues to determine which two teams play for the championship by human voting and a computer ranking.
Way too many games. We could easily cut it down to 24. I know that won't make everybody happy, but we don't need Conference-USA getting six bids or the ACC getting nine, etc., etc. Let's make it so getting to a bowl is a tremendous accomplishment.
As for the actual games, look at some of the things that jumped out a me:
Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 -- Five games on each day, the way college football should be. Chick-fil-A and Sun povide the best possible matchups on Dec. 31, while Jan. 1 is loaded with the best full day of games.
Hawaii Bowl, Dec. 24 -- The past couple of seasons the Hawaii Bowl has taken a team from the WAC against a Conference-USA team. This year its WAC vs. Pac-10. Much better matchup for the West Coast and will probably give fans a high-scoring affair. The only problem is, hopefully it wont last until 1 a.m. when Santa is supposed to come.
The Congressional Bowl -- ACC No. 9? Are you serious? When's the last time the ACC had nine bowl-eligible teams? This game has Navy vs. Maryland written all over it. This might be the easiest bowl to predict. Now what if the ACC doesn't have enough teams, then we might be looking at Sun Belt No. 2
Notre Dame -- Love them or hate them, they are the darlings of bowl selection and this year it will be the Gator Bowl. The Gator Bowl can take a Big 12 or Big East team and since they had Texas Tech last year, that means they get first choice of Notre Dame is the Irish are bowl-eligible. So expect the Irish to be in Jacksonville on Jan. 1.
Jan. 2 -- Three games on Jan. 2 this year? Sweet. Cotton at 2 p.m., Liberty at 5 p.m. and Sugar at 8 p.m. Tell the wife and loved ones you are busy that Friday. (Wow, Jan. 1 games, Jan. 2 games, then the weekend with NFL playoff games!)
And, the national title is in Miami. Will we see Ohio State vs. SEC, Part 3? Stay tuned...