Originally posted Jan. 9, 2013 for IndySportsLegends.com.
I was going to write a column saying the 2012-13 bowl season wasn’t all that bad.Clouded by a thrilling start — Arizona bearing down with two touchdowns in under a minute to floor Nevada in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl — and fogged somewhat by Cincinnati’s sprint by Duke in the final seconds of the Belk Bowl (can anybody tell a Midwesterner what Belk is all aboot eh?), there were apparently a few things I missed.
A few things like Utah State 41, Toledo 15 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Or Central Florida 38, Ball State 17 in the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl. Maybe (sorry, Boiler fans) Oklahoma State’s 58-14 thrashing of Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
And then we all witnessed that Alabama-Notre Dame debacle, where the most talked-about moment was Brent Musberger’s Viagra-induced infatuation with Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend, Katherine Webb.So, in hindsight, it was that bad.
Sure, there were a scattering of good games this bowl season, but the fear going in was this would be a watered-down, rather boring set of contests. Overall, the fears were justified. Brand-spanking new corporate name only bowls and more traditional corporate name/old-style bowls alike. Most of the contests really weren’t that compelling.
If you don’t believe me, did you watch all the games? If so, did you see the wide-angle crowd shots? Those showing the lower bowls in the two-deck stadiums barely full and the upper decks dotted with a smattering of jackets posing as people? I rest my case.
With the playoffs coming, a bowl season like this honestly may serve as a decent transition into what’s to come. Break us of the bowl mystique, if you will. I’m starting to wonder if a 10-game season, followed by a 32-team playoff and a round of bowls for the also-rans can’t be any worse than what we currently have or will see. The bowls can keep the automatic conference connections, or they can set up a rotation so different conferences and different standing placements can meet.
A similar system seems to work in Division II, although the playoff field is thinner (16 teams), the bowl games aren’t as plentiful and the conference links are automatically set.
All I know is I don’t want to watch another season of postseason mediocrity like the one I just had the “opportunity” to watch.One thing I know I wish I had missed….that wide receiver screen late in the Georgia-Nebraska game. Chris Conley could have run for another quarter-mile and still not had anybody in his ZIP code.