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Bowl Notes

by Mike Mitchell
12/5/06

College football's second season is upon us. This year, the bowl season adds a fifth BCS game to the mix, better known as "Cash Cow Five".

The problem with the BCS isn't the play-off vs. non-playoff issue. The problem with the BCS is that most of their ideas so obviously lack common sense.

The fifth BCS game is simply titled the "BCS Championship". If you break down the acronym, it's the Bowl Championship Series Championship.

How could you sit in a meeting with that bunch, hear that proposal, and vote "yes"? Obviously, they didn't take nominations.

This new game is the winner of the Stupid Name contest. It's like putting a bowl game in the Dust Bowl region of the country and naming it the Dust Bowl Bowl.

I hate to even refer to it as the BCS Championship because it just sounds ignorant. I prefer the "BCS Title Game" - an easy modification that isn't redundant.

Until now, the BCS has simply rotated the championship between four pre-existing bowls - the Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and Rose. Therefore, common sense would probably tell you that, if you're going to add a new game, you should involve another bowl such as the long-standing Cotton Bowl. This would have been a great opportunity to spread goodwill and money to another bowl, while automatically creating another staunch BCS ally.

Alas, the BCS didn't go good will hunting. They went good will shooting.

The BCS decided to give the existing four bowls an extra game by staging it a week later in one of the same four bowl stadiums. To do this, they had to put a week between the first and second bowl games hosted in the same city. This means the two participants will now have five or six weeks off from playing any football games, giving us the rustiest pair of combatants you could hope for in a "national championship" game.

How could you sit in a meeting with that bunch, hear that proposal, and vote "yes"? Obviously, they did not concern themselves with the travel logistics of fans.

A search this morning for hotel rooms in the Phoenix area from January 5-January 9 turned up a Days Inn at the Phoenix airport charging $280 a night, and a Super 8 Hotel charging $267. Or you could stay at the "Innsuites" in Tempe and watch your rate rise from $89 on January 5 to $667 a night on January 7 and 8.

Of course, I won't be going to Glendale unless I can somehow conjure up the minimum $1,050 that a single ticket is going for through the re-sellers.

On the plus side - if you have tickets and still need to book air travel, room and rental car - I found several 5-day, 4-night packages from Orlando and Columbus for under $1,000 per person at Expedia.com . But if you want at least a 3-star rating, you better hurry - only five such hotels had rooms left and they started at nearly $1,400 per person for the package.

COMING SOON - THE SANTA BOWL AT THE NORTH POLE
The bowl season will treat us, or inundate us, with 32 games. The line-up includes the inaugural PapaJohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, and our first postseason foray into that warm, winter climate of Canada for the International Bowl.

(RE)NAME THAT BOWL
The Houston Bowl becomes the Texas Bowl, the Fort Worth Bowl becomes the Armed Forces Bowl, and the Peach Bowl becomes the Chick-fil-A Bowl. I always thought they grew some of the hottest chicks in Georgia. I never found a Peach tree, though they are rumored to be plentiful.

EVERYONE PLAYS AND WE WON'T KEEP SCORE
The bowl season features 64 of the 119 teams playing major college football. That's 53.78% of all of the teams.

San Jose State is going bowling as a reward for beating eight teams that won a total of 17 games over 1-A opponents.

Next year, let's add 28 more and get everyone involved. In this day of political correctness, we can't possibly justify leaving any team out of the bowl season - that's discrimination!

Better yet, we should immediately adopt the rules of Little League T-Ball - no scorekeepers allowed and every player gets equal time.

UNBEATEN TEAMS
Only two teams escaped the season unscathed - Ohio State (12-0, 8-0 Big Ten), and Boise State (12-0, 8-0 WAC). Boise State got screwed because they're, well, Boise State and their coach wasn't shown on ESPN a hundred times politicking for votes. 90% of the media is still trying to figure out where Boise is on a map and 90% of coaches don't want to play them because they almost never lose a game. The computers think they are actually named Bose and keep trying to play music out of them.

Last year, Texas and USC were the only two undefeated teams left at this point of the season. The Longhorns defeated the Trojans for the national title (2005 recap).

WINLESS TEAMS
Duke (0-12, 0-8 ACC Coastal) and FIU (0-12, 0-7 Sun Belt) completed the year without a single victory. Duke even managed not to mess up that perfect mark when they played 1-AA Richmond and lost 13-0. FIU's coach resigned. Duke is reportedly still trying to confirm that they actually have a football team and, if so, why Mike Krzyzewsk isn't the coach.

Last year, Temple finished 0-11 and New Mexico State ended the year at 0-12.

POISONED CUPCAKES
1-AA teams were 7-71 this year against their higher-classified brethren.

New Mexico lost to Portland State 17-6.
Colorado lost to Montana State 19-10.
Duke lost to Richmond 13-0.
Northwestern lost to New Hampshire 34-17.
Indiana lost to Southern Illinois 35-28.
Ball State lost to North Dakota State 29-24.
San Diego State lost to Cal-Poly 16-14.

Since the start of the 2003 campaign, 1-A teams hold the upper hand by a huge margin, 235-25 (.904).

77 schools took the opportunity of a 12th game to schedule a cupcake opponent and New Mexico State double-dipped for half of its four victories.

STREAKS
Ohio State has won 19 straight games.

Boise State has won 14 straight regular season games, 12 straight over-all, and 36 consecutive regular season home games. The Broncos have never lost a home game to a WAC opponent (24-0).

USC has won a nation's-best 33 consecutive home games.

Duke has lost 20 games over-all, and 22 straight to 1-A teams.

FIU has lost 12 straight games.

NEW COACHES
The 2006 season introduced 11 coaching changes. Five have led their team to a bowl game. Here is how each of those teams finished the regular season.

Boise State, 12-0 under Chris Petersen (vs. Oklahoma in Fiesta Bowl).
Wisconsin, 11-1 under Bret Bielema (vs. Arkansas in Capital One Bowl).
Kansas State, 7-5 under Ron Prince (vs. Rutgers in Texas Bowl).
Middle Tennessee, 7-5 under Rick Stockstill (vs. Central Michigan in Motor City Bowl).
Rice, 7-5 under Todd Graham, (vs. Troy in New Orleans Bowl).
Idaho, 4-8 under Dennis Erickson, season completed.
Northwestern, 4-8 under Pat Fitzgerald, season completed.
Buffalo, 2-10 under Turner Gill, season completed.
San Diego St., 3-9 under Chuck Long, season completed.
Colorado, 2-10 under Dan Hawkins, season completed.
Temple, 1-11 under Al Golden, season completed.