2007 Bowl Primer

Eleven years ago, there were 18 bowl games. Today there are 32, some operated by ESPN. No wonder the opposition to a playoff by the bowl system.

After a run of five in a row, NC State is home for the holidays for the third time in four years. With a more manageable schedule approaching coming in 2008 and Coach Tom O’Brien’s system and recruiting having a year to take root, there is a very good chance that this will be the last time the Wolfpack won’t be performing on a bowl stage for a long time.

Just because the Pack isn’t bowling doesn’t mean that you won’t be watching any games this year. Today’s entry should serve as a pretty decent primer on the season’s events.

Perhaps the most interesting bowl article that you will find has nothing to do with this year’s match-ups and is linked up in this entry.

Poinsettia Bowl fever isn’t the only thing that is at an all-time high! I found two links to different rankings of this year’s bowl games with quick paragraphs on each game.

* Fox Sports

* CBS Sports

Of the two articles, CBS’ offers a perspective that is much more aligned with my own and represents a lot more original thought about the match-ups than Fox’s attempt that didn’t venture much farther than ranking the bowls based on how good or bad their name is. For example, just because the Meineke Car Care Bowl is a bad name, doesn’t mean that an even match-up of a 9-3 vs 8-4 team is one of the worst games on the docket.

This blog entry details bowl games that we would have liked to have seen. I would like to see more blog entries like that one as it was pretty good.

On a similar note, Stewart Mandel gives you the fascinating scoop on how we all missed out on an attractive match-up of Virginia Tech and Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

The BCS ultimately selected consensus No. 1 and 2 teams, Ohio State and LSU, but many followers — myself included — were left disappointed that none of the other highly ranked contenders (Oklahoma, Georgia, Virginia Tech or USC) were pitted against each other in bowl games.

As it turns out, an 11th-hour agreement had been reached that would have allowed the No. 3 and 4 teams in the final BCS standings — Virginia Tech and Oklahoma — to meet in the Orange Bowl, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. The conference commissioners who oversee the BCS, however, shot it down — and several of the affected parties are still wondering why.

Lastly, today’s N&O had an interesting look at the finances of the ECU’s bowl trip. No word yet on how much Terry Holland’s brother is contributing to the bill.

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'07 Football

26 Responses to 2007 Bowl Primer

  1. SuperStuff 12/18/2007 at 8:59 AM #

    I seriously doubt Rich Rodriguez would be leaving West Virginia right now if his team was in a play off system for the national title.

    SFN: Is that really some kind of valid reason for a playoff? To hand-cuff coaches? All that will do is change the cycle of coaches leaving until after the bowl games and screw up the recruiting cycle. Of all of the reasons people argue for a playoff, this one doesn’t resonate.

  2. tooyoungtoremember 12/18/2007 at 8:59 AM #

    It never struck me just how deeply ESPN has their hand in the cookie jar that is the bowl system. It makes their little hypothetical playoff exercise that they waste so much airtime on (they’ve done it TWICE now for the same season) that much more insulting.

  3. StateFans 12/18/2007 at 9:02 AM #

    ^ You mean the ‘hypothetical’ playoff that omitted ACC Champion and the computers #3 ranked Virginia Tech Hokies?

    Yea…that playoff idea won’t generate any controversy at all.

  4. RAWFS 12/18/2007 at 9:30 AM #

    ^ In a playoff situation, you can almost certainly count on conference champions from the major conferences getting invitations to the tournament…sort of like the hoops tournament does now.

    I’d rather see the top 16 teams vie for a national title than the largely media-driven BCS mess that we have now. There is precisely one and only one bowl game that matters — the BCS title game. #3 vs. #4 would be entertaining, but it won’t mean jack squat. As for the other 30 bowls, precisely the same thing — they are irrelevant beauty contests that might have entertainment value but that’s all. In between, expect breathless updates on the LSU-tOSU game anyway.

    Some say that the regular season is the tournament, but I do not buy that. That line of thinking has teams avoiding good games in the regular season because they “don’t have any upside.” App State cannot fill two slots in their schedule now because they beat Michigan and thus the big boys won’t play them. LSU has an open date in September, think they might want a game with the Mountaineers? Don’t count on it. They’d probably rather play someone like La Tech. They’ll win and they can soak their fans at $45 a ducat for a glorified scrimmage.

    Add in the unbalanced BCS conference schedules, where it is possible that the two higher ranked teams can avoid one another in the regular season in the conferences that do not have a title game. That’s the Big Ten and the Pac-10 for those of you keeping score at home. And looky, looky, who’s playing in the BCSTG? tOSU. Again.

    As it stands now, FBS is the only “major” sport in the US that doesn’t settle their title on the field equitably. How would you like the Super Bowl teams to be picked by cryptic computers and sportswriters? The Final Four? The World Series? I bet you wouldn’t. For some reason, however, some people seem to like the bowl system and it just makes me shake my head.

  5. Otis 12/18/2007 at 10:03 AM #

    I like the bowl system. Half of the teams end up winners, with a playoff everyone leaves disappointed save one team. Also, how can you expect a schools fan base to follow a team to different sites for a playoff, 2 or 3 weekends in a row during holiday season? I think the arguments for a playoff come from the tv watching crowd and not the schools fans,(except for the 2 or 3 schools that feel like they got jobbed). A playoff would not eliminate the controversy, it would only alter it. Bowls are cool, different and wacky. I don’t think the basketball model will work for football. Take it for what it really is, an extra game for your team, hopefully in a fun/warm city, against an opponent you don’t normally get a chance to play. I don’t really think a playoff would eliminate any of the griping, instead of the 3rd and 4th teams complaining they should have been in, it will be the 5th and 6th or 9th and 10th depending on how many are in the playoff.

  6. Girlfriend in a Coma 12/18/2007 at 10:04 AM #
  7. VaWolf82 12/18/2007 at 10:05 AM #

    there is a very good chance that this will be the last time the Wolfpack won’t be performing on a bowl stage for a long time.

    I hope you’re right, but I’m not convinced that the weaknesses on display this year can be corrected in one year. I would love to be wrong, but…

    SFN: No doubt. But, we don’t need to correct the weaknesses to get to 6-6 and bowl eligibility.

  8. 85Designo 12/18/2007 at 10:16 AM #

    A playoff can be done with 32 teams using all 31 bowls minus Toronto and be done by Jan 14 or 21st. I worked it out on an excel spread sheet. Any way to attach it to this blog?

  9. RAWFS 12/18/2007 at 10:27 AM #

    Also, how can you expect a schools fan base to follow a team to different sites for a playoff, 2 or 3 weekends in a row during holiday season?

    Don’t use the basketball model. Use the system of working college playoffs that’s already in place. We should be quite familiar with it, after all, our sister school in Boone has come home the winner three seasons running now.

    In the FCS playoff system the higher seed plays at home. We seem to have some romantic notion that the bowls must be protected, but in truth they are a corrupt system that should go.

    Back to the FCS model, I know if NCSU was in a playoff, and they were the higher seed playing at CFS, I think I could find a way to get in there, one, two or three weeks. Heck I would love the diversion in late November and early December.

    Besides, the three game idea only has merit for four teams. Eight teams, two games; the first round of sixteen teams, one game.

    As for half the teams get to be winners I guess we should just hand out trophies for participation like the do in kid’s soccer.

    Finally, I would rather hear a bit of griping from the #17 and #18 team about getting jobbed by a legitimate selection committee than I would the #3 team getting jobbed by the regionalism of sportswriters. Look at the way that Mack Brown browbeat sportswriters into voting Texas into the BCS a few years back for more info.

  10. Sam92 12/18/2007 at 10:40 AM #

    a four-team playoff would be better than the current system. pair season-ending #1 against #4, #2 against #3, and then have the winners play for the championship. existing BCS bowl games could even be used for the playoff. the other bowls could remain in place, no less relevant than they are now.

  11. RedTerror29 12/18/2007 at 10:52 AM #

    #1 reason to watch this bowl season:

    To see Lou Holtz attempt to pronounce Ken Niumatalolo and Kaipo-Noah Keakah-Enhada when Navy squares off against Utah in the Poinsetta Bowl on Thursday.

  12. WolfpackCoach21 12/18/2007 at 11:01 AM #

    wow, how about that link from Girlfriend in a coma. That seems like huge news about FSU.

    I wonder who the players are, and whether we can get FSU coming to Carter-Finley in the first three games of the season!

  13. quad87 12/18/2007 at 11:16 AM #

    Wasn’t App State the #5 seed in the FCS tourney? So they really shouldn’t have won their third NC since they lost two games during the year when their starting quarterback was hurt. Guess their regular season doesn’t matter much. Sure wish they’d switch to the bowl system too. It’s much more fulfilling.

  14. TampaPack 12/18/2007 at 11:37 AM #

    The BCS probably doesn’t want the #3 team playing the #4 team, because if the #3 team wins and dominates the #4 team and the #2 team gets past the #1 team slightly there is the age old controversy is #3 better than #1 or #2, with no way to resolve the situation. If #3 and #4 play lesser opponents and win, they are somewhat immune from the arguement.

  15. bTHEredterror 12/18/2007 at 11:41 AM #

    RAWFS good point about the regular season. How “important” is the regular season when Ohio St avoids any real o-o-c tests and only leaves the Horseshoe 4 times in 12 games.

    He who would argue on behalf of the bowl system is suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

  16. Noah 12/18/2007 at 11:46 AM #

    He who spends time trying to make sense of a playoff is on a Quixotic journey.

    While that sounds nice…remember that Don Quixote was insane and delusional.

  17. SuperStuff 12/18/2007 at 12:03 PM #

    I’m not argueing that we need a playoff to keep coaches around. Who the hell would think that? I’m just saying he wouldn’t be leaving if he was in a playoff system right now that could lead to a national title.

    If you want an arguement about having a playoff system. What about App State? If they played under the BCS rules they would not have a national title this year. They earned it through a playoff system and they are the best team in that division. No way you can convince me otherwise.

  18. VaWolf82 12/18/2007 at 12:07 PM #

    He who would argue on behalf of the bowl system is suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

    Or be responsible for balancing the financial realities of a big-time athletic budget. A play-off system that takes money away from the BCS schools will never happen.

  19. PacknSack 12/18/2007 at 12:29 PM #

    Why do we waste our time talking about this? It will never change, at least until someone like Mark Cuban comes in and say “Here’s $1 billion, cash, yours to keep if you start a 1A playoff system. Keep all the revenue from TV, sponsors, etc. Just do it. And there’s $1 billion in it for you.”

    The only thing that talks in the NCAA and college football is money. Not until fans are serious about this — and I mean painfully serious — will anything change. And that means stop buying tickets, boycotting games, have games played in front of nearly empty stadiums with the express message that we are boycotting until there’s a playoff, then there will be discussion. And since that will be laughed off as a ridiculous option because no one is willing to do it, it proves that fans really don’t have the stones to try to force the NCAAs hand. We’re just whiners, and the NCAA knows it. I for one haven’t bought a ticket in a decade, so I can say I’ve started the ball rolling.

    But all this talk is wasted energy. I would rather talk about how Dana Bible is going to have to install a wishbone next season to get AB, TB and Jamelle enough touches.

  20. RabidWolf 12/18/2007 at 3:27 PM #

    I would suggest the flexbone, since JE has shown a great ability to catch the football.

  21. RabidWolf 12/18/2007 at 4:00 PM #

    VERY off-topic, but…watching the tube…Fayetteville SERIOUSLY has a hockey team….called the FireAntz???? WTF??

  22. 98st8 12/18/2007 at 7:18 PM #

    I’m still not sure how a playoff can work that well. Say there just an “and one” scenario. I guess that would be like a final four.

    Ohio St v Usc in the Rose Bowl
    Games Played Jan 1
    NC State v LSU in the Sugar Bowl

    winners go to the national championship in Tempe Arizona (Fiesta National Championship ) played Jan 8

    How many of the typical fans would go to New Orleans one weekend then fly out three days later to Tempe Arizona? I would personally not go to the sugar and hope that we made the NC. In a playoff ( on a neutral field) I doubt you would have fans that would travel to the individual playoff games.

  23. redfred2 12/18/2007 at 7:35 PM #

    “After a run of five in a row,…”

    Shoo, I almost forgot, this is about football. I thought maybe this was going evolve into another of those coach worshipping threads.

  24. choppack1 12/18/2007 at 8:37 PM #

    “Back to the FCS model, I know if NCSU was in a playoff, and they were the higher seed playing at CFS, I think I could find a way to get in there, one, two or three weeks. Heck I would love the diversion in late November and early December.”

    I’d make it too. Of course, we’d probably be playing in the old Carter Finley because you wouldn’t have an opportunity to ever go to a playoff game in Raleigh if there was a 16 game playoff.

    Over 300 college football games had more than 50k people attend. It’s not like a lack of a playoffs is hurting the game. I would argue that if there had been a playoffs the last 15 years, NC State football wouldn’t have averaged over 50k and wouldn’t have the Murphy Center. We damn sure well wouldn’t have brough 40K to Jax.

    I mean, a playoff would be great for the tOSU’s, Michigan’s, Florida’s and LSU’s of the world, but for the middle of the Pack BCS schools, it will push us further to the fringe.

    Regarding the scheduling – a 16 game playoff would actually incent BCS schools to schedule LESS big time games. The reason, a big time BSC school w/ have a shot at getting in the 16 game playoff w/ 2 losses, w/ 3 it’s all over. Right now most schools at least know that they may have to seperate themselves from the pack – lest they end up like the Auburn Tigers of a few years ago or the Kansas Jayhawks of this year.

  25. bTHEredterror 12/18/2007 at 10:52 PM #

    /\So you feel it more likely we will be ranked #1 or #2 than getting into a 16 team field? The current system is what enables the OSU’s and LSU’s of the world to reign. I like our odds of going 10-2 or 9-3 and winning four in a row a lot better than our odds of going 12-0 or 11-1 and getting respect from voters.

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