The Rose Bowl is dead. It is dead, and the Bowl Championship
Series killed it. AT&T attached its name to it and drained its
blood out like 10,000 leeches on a human body.

John Becic

Then the BCS stabbed it through its flowery red heart.

Gone are the New Year’s Day classics like Michigan vs. Southern
Cal. or Ohio State vs. Arizona State. Welcome to the new era of
Nebraska, Miami and Oklahoma all getting shots in Pasadena while
teams like Iowa, Oregon and Illinois are supposed to be content
with the FedEx Orange, Tostitos Fiesta and Nokia Sugar bowls.

Thanks to the design of the BCS, even in years when the Rose
Bowl is supposed to have the traditional Big Ten and Pac-10 matchup
(i.e. last year), teams like the Sooners can corrupt the purity
that was once the “Granddaddy of Them All.”

The Rose Bowl is dead.

It is dead, but now is not a time to mourn. Instead it is a time
to revamp and move on, postseason wise.

Not too many years ago, getting to a bowl game actually meant
something. Now it’s just an excuse to have something to do over
winter break.

Bowls are now a dot-com joke waiting to happen (EV1.com Houston
Bowl, I’m looking at you here) or a horrible mismatch of sponsor
and bowl name … ahem, Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl.

So I say get rid of it all and start from scratch.

The BCS has dodged bullets so far (minus that whole
Nebraska/Oregon fiasco in 2001), but it has to be dreading the
plethora of one-loss teams that may be around when this season ends
– especially if there aren’t two undefeated teams from major
conferences. Which brings us to problem No. 1 of the BCS. What
happens if Northern Illinois or Texas Christian go through the
season unbeaten? Would the BCS allow either small-market team into
its multi-million-dollar party if it meant lower ratings and
revenues? Or would red-hot Auburn – should it finish with just two
losses – get a shot before a no-loss Horned Frogs team? But then
again, why shouldn’t Auburn get a shot at the title if it is
playing better football than the two teams invited to the national
title game? Shouldn’t Southern Cal. have been given a shot to add
on to Carson Palmer’s postseason hardware with a championship ring?
For that matter, why should teams like Southern Cal. or Auburn be
punished for having a tough schedule, while squads like Florida
State and Miami go through a relatively challenge-less conference
schedule and then get the premier bowl games because of it?

Is it just me, or are there still a lot of questions to be
answered by a system that was supposed to leave as little debate as
possible?

The BCS was a fun, new idea, but it’s time to cut the cord and
make way for a 32-team playoff.

Here’s how it works: All the bowls go to the toilet bowl and get
flushed. (Tell me you haven’t wanted to flush the Humanitarian.com
Bowl.) The season is limited to 11 games over a 13-week period,
ending the second weekend in November. Each conference will forgo
its conference title game and will be unified if separated into
divisions.

The 32 teams will come from 11 conference champions (Big Ten,
Pac-10, Big 12, SEC, ACC, Big East, MAC, WAC, Conference USA,
Mountain West and Sun Belt) and 21 at-large bids. There will be no
exceptions for Notre Dame or any other independent. Either you’re
good enough to make it, or you’re not. The tournament teams will be
picked by a committee much like that which selects the 64 teams for
March Madness.

Okay, it’s that simple. Questions?

Where and when are all these games going to be
played?

As can be seen below, I have made out a chart of how this year’s
playoff bracket would shape out if you used the top-32 teams from
the Associated Press poll instead of a committee.

There will be four regions: East, South, West and Midwest.

And then each bowl game site would host one of the 31 games
being played. Sites like Minneapolis and Cleveland would be added
for the sake of having more Midwest-area games.

The postseason would begin the final week of November and be
played through the third week of December. A week would be taken
off and then the national championship game and third-place game
would be played on Jan. 1.

But you’re killing traditions!

Yup, I’m afraid so. But I’m doing it in the best interest of the
game.

Tell me you wouldn’t want to see a No. 2 seed Florida State
versus a No. 7 seed Florida. Or that Michigan vs. Texas doesn’t
intrigue you as a first-round Ford Field match-up. Just see if you
could stay away from the television on Thanksgiving weekend when
Nebraska and Auburn would do battle.

March Madness, meet Winter’s Wrath.

I love the bowl bonanza on New Year’s Day as much as anyone, but
it no longer has the flair it once had. Besides school pride,
advertising and office pools, there aren’t many reasons to actually
play these games at all.

A tournament gives meaning to an otherwise dot-com driven
December.

What about the seventh-best team in the Big Ten? Where do
they fit in?

They don’t. A five-loss team has no business in the postseason.
Enough said.

Who hosts the national title game?

Well, the two Final Four games will be rotated by New Orleans
(Sugar), Miami (Orange) and Tempe, Ariz. (Fiesta). The left out
location will be the third-place game location.

As for the national title game, give it to the only location
deserving of such a game: Pasadena.

The Rose Bowl presented by AT&T is dead.

Long live the Rose Bowl.

Kyle O’Neill can be reached at kylero@umich.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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