Time for a another makeover

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: December 4, 2010

IOWA CITY (BASN) – It is time to come realization that the bowl system set up by the big boys in college football has problems.

For one, conferences are changing year to year as teams jumped from one conference to another. This will strengthen some conferences and weaken others. Another problem, conferences strength wanes one year and improves the next year.

Take the strength of conferences this year.

Between 2003 and 2008, the Big Ten was mediocre which was shown by poor performance in bowl games and against top teams of other conferences but this year, it was one of the elite conferences.

The Big East this year is mediocre and Boise State defeated the best team in the ACC this year, plus they beat the best team in the Pac-10 last year.

Many voters punished Boise State for losing to Nevada, but the reality is that Nevada or Boise State along with Mountain West power TCU would be favored to win the Big East and the ACC, and they were be in the hunt for a Big 12 title.

Boise State, Nevada, and TCU would be competitive in the Big Ten and Pac-10 even though they were not be favored those conferences.

The Mountain West and the Western Athlete Conferences are as strong a conference this year as the Big East or ACC and maybe even be stronger than the Big 12.

(When Texas is 5-7, then the Big 12 is in trouble but then next year, the Big 12 will be the Big 12 minus 2 but that is another piece as Colorado goes west to the Pac-10 and Nebraska heads east, going to the Big Ten. The loss of Nebraska will hurt the Big 12, which almost imploded this year.)

The one conference that has shown to be one of the two or three elite conferences year end and year out is the SEC. Even at its weakest, SEC still remains at or near the top consistently. Four straight national championships simply show that the SEC is the best conference presently and have been over the past four years.

Next year, the Big Ten becomes stronger with the addition of Nebraska, a national power and other conferences are looking for new partners. Mountain West adds Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada over the next two years.

But TCU will join the Big East in a couple of years so who knows how good the Mountain West will prove to be in the future or if TCU will add credibility to the Big East?

One reform is simply get rid of conference ties in to the top bowl games and simply picks the top tens. By getting rid of the tie-in’s, maybe pundits and voters will cease to rate certain teams higher than others due to the conference tie in.

The other reform is to adopt the bowl games plus one. The big boys don’t want to have playoffs due to the fact that bowl games provide job security for coaches and allows mediocre teams a shot of post season glory.

There is nothing more exciting to see the watever Bowl featuring a 6-6 Big Ten team vs. an 6-6 SEC team in a some nice warm sunny place. The problem with the present system is that some top teams are denied a shot at a title.

TCU went undefeated through the regular season over the past two years and there was no title shot for TCU last year and no title show this year. Would it have been exciting to have Boise State, TCU, Texas and Alabama conducted a semi-final and championship game?

Keep the present bowl system but have two of the major Bowl games become semifinal games followed by a championship game. This is the best of both worlds with a semi-playoffs plus you keep bowl game system.

Keeping the present bowl system will allow Boise, Idaho gets keep their Humanitarian bowl but then some would say a two mediocre teams deserve to play a bowl game in Idaho in the middle of December.

(I have to imagine the reaction on player or coach’s face when they are told, “Hey you just won us, ole State U, a bowl game in Boise, Idaho.” ) At least this way a team goes undefeated and maybe, just maybe will get a chance at the title.

These two reforms does two things, it allows a true national champion to be crowned while keeping the present system plus allow the best teams to entertain us in the big games while allowing intriguing match-ups to pervade through the bowl season.

This is a simple plan easy to do and still make a ton of money for the NCAA.